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The Big Something (2011)

Marcus, the owner of a beloved record store, is found dead. Everyone thinks it's suicide but Lewis, one of his clerks who bums around and sleeps in the store. He sets out on a journey ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Lewis (as Michael Coleman)
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April
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Murphy
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Melinda
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Cliff
Dean Veglia ...
Harlan
Scott Scheall ...
Detective Quinn
Garry Myers ...
Harlan's Father
Spencer W. Carey ...
Mac the Freegan
Kasim Aslam ...
Rupert
Reavis Dorsey ...
The Poet
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Marcus
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Andrew Alexander ...
Freegan
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Funeral Attendant
William Bradford ...
Barista
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Storyline

Marcus, the owner of a beloved record store, is found dead. Everyone thinks it's suicide but Lewis, one of his clerks who bums around and sleeps in the store. He sets out on a journey through the eccentric world in and around the neighborhood to find the killer. Written by Travis Mills

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

phoenix | vinyl | See All (2) »

Taglines:

Blues, Vinyl, and MURDER!

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

17 November 2011 (USA)  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,150 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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(HD)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot in 14 days. See more »

Quotes

Lewis: It's a record store. It looks better when it's dirty. I wouldn't walk into a clean record store and by a record, no way Jose.
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Soundtracks

Original Rags
Written by Scott Joplin
Performed by Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (as Jelly Roll Morton)
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User Reviews

 
Terrific indie feature
20 December 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This stylish first feature, shot by writer-director Travis Mills in Tempe, Arizona, is infinitely better than most Hollywood comedies. Mills states that he is influenced by Buster Keaton, and by Howard Hawks in his screwball comedy phase, and one can easily spot traces of both. The framing of the action is consistently funny in and of itself (Keaton), and the laugh-out-loud dialogue has a line-by-line quotability (Hawks). (Even a simple utterance like "Scratch that" elicits a guffaw because it is so perfectly placed.) "The Big Something" is a satiric murder mystery set in and around Tempe's low-rent, sometimes even scruffy establishments: a record store, a coffee shop, a pool hall, a bike repair "hellhole," a dilapidated former mental hospital (shades of the popular website Abandoned Places). The actors vary in professional level, as is pretty inevitable on a low-budget feature, but it scarcely matters because they all do create engaging characters that you want to know more about, none more so than our hapless-but-likable protagonist, Lewis the record store clerk, played winningly by Michael Coleman. There are many more bits of recognizable human behavior here than in slicker productions. And the stylistics are wonderful: the ultra-precise framing as mentioned, the clear bright cinematography (the Arizona sunlight is practically a character), the sprightly use of public domain jazz and blue recordings on the soundtrack, the sparing but pleasant touches of iris-ins and iris-outs and silent-film-style title cards. Highlights of the action include the unexpected revelation of a character as an accomplished harpist, an absurdist chess match with one player who doesn't know the moves, a fight amongst homeless over a dumpster "territory," the threatening deployment of a croquet mallet, and the use of "Bob Saget" as a secret password.


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