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Just Add Water (2008)

Danny DeVito , Jonah Hill , Hart Bochner  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Danny DeVito, Jonah Hill, Dylan Walsh, Justin Long, Anika Noni Rose
  • Directors: Hart Bochner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 17, 2008
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00171PAO2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,605 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Welcome to Trona, California - a dead-end desert town for people with dead-end lives. And no one is going nowhere faster than Ray Tuckby (Dylan Walsh, TV's "Nip/Tuck"), a mild-mannered underground parking lot attendant saddled with a neurotic shut-in wife and ill-mannered, sexually-frustrated son (Jonah Hill, Superbad). That is, until Ray's life totally bottoms out. Now, with the help of a childhood sweetheart and a concerned stranger (Danny DeVito), Ray is about to take back his life - and his town - in this offbeat comedy that proves it's never too later to grow - even if you're all grown up.

A quirky independent film featuring some strong acting by an eclectic cast, Just Add Water captures the desolate spirit of a group of trailer park inhabitants who have little hope of ever escaping their mundane lives. Ray (Dylan Walsh, Nip/Tuck) works as a parking-lot attendant who, like many of the town's inhabitants, is at the mercy of the local babyfaced drug dealer Dirk (Will Rothhaar). Flush with money from his meth business, Dirk is now the town's primary landlord and he takes a no-holds barred attitude when it comes to collecting rent from tenants who barely have enough money to survive. Trapped in an apathetic marriage to the agoraphobic Charlene, Ray enjoys some normal moments with their teenage son Eddie (Jonah Hill, Superbad). Father and son also share an experience neither would want to be reminded of when Ray tries to help Eddie lose his virginity, something Eddie clearly has issues with. Directed and written by actor Hart Bochner, Just Add Water works as an intriguing dark comedy. The casting is spot-on, with a nice appearance by Danny DeVito as an would-be oilman who could make life for these people just a little easier. --Jae-Ha Kim

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtly-nuanced, well-acted, quirky June 18, 2008
Just Add Water is a moving, quirky, subtly-nuanced fable about suffering, love and redemption. Set in the belly of a culture that's been spiritually and environmentally devastated, enough becomes more than enough, and a small group of determined people decide to reclaim their lives, their homes and their land.
Part comedy, part tragedy, part parable, this film is a mirror for our times.
Beautifully acted. Artfully written and directed by Hart Bochner.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good minimalist indie with a Big Fish ending... June 14, 2008
Customers have been wanting to see this title just for another glimpse into this Trona trend. The same named film of last year, along with several other forays into this desolate region have provided a nice realm for those minimalist fans.

Just Add Water has an outstanding supporting cast, but I would not recommend this film if one is looking for any significant screen time by Jonah Hill, Justin Long or Danny Devito. This is all about the Dylan Walsh (Nip/Tuck) and Tracy Middendorf (lots of TV) love story. Hitchcock's (the Serenity doctor) well-played whacko cheating husband role, coupled with Penny Balfour's first notable (and excellent) screen time, makes this a film someone will want to see as these actors become more prevalent. Same to be said for Lucy Devito's role. The location is a character in itself with that miserable desolation and abandoned small town feel. It makes you never want to drive through that area, except maybe to see for one's self if it is that boarded up and bleak.

The story centers on a man living a mundane life with a wife that has serious "issues", as told to us by the movie's narrator (also Devito). His voice-over divulges little tidbits about our tale of deceit, love and thugs in a forgotten-about town in the desert. The believability of these characters and their miserable existence is sustainable (especially if one watches Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea - this movie reminded me of that docu several times). When we get to the end though, you cannot help but see a Big Fish fantasy resemblance (Devito, water) mixed with a bumbling mess of 1980s slapstick (the CPS workers in WWII nurse garb, the immensely overweight police showing up in modern paddy wagon, the constant pregnancy theme, etc.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Local citizens reclaim their town July 7, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was born and raised in Trona, California. I remember when Trona was a booming town. The movie was done really well. It's got a great story line,a little quirky, with a great feel good ending.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Trona in another universe June 7, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The movie was a very enjoyable film with ironic humor. The story and the acting are worth while but what makes this film unique is the town it takes place in.

It was actually filmed in Trona and the nearby Pinnacles. Those are authentic. I just want to set the record straight. I am from Ridgecrest, CA where Ray, the main character works. There are no parking structures in Ridgecrest. The land is cheap so all parking is free and on large open lots.

Trona and the chemical plant that created it were founded in the late 1800's and the plant is still in operation and the town is not a toxic waste site. Things don't grow because water is expensive.

The grocery store is now open and I am not certain if they have a operating gas station right now. The high school is still open and they play 8-Man football on a dirt field.

There was a lake there once but it was prehistoric and the Pinnacles are emerging from what was the lake bottom. The Owens River is located north of Ridgecrest in the Owens Valley and is separated from Trona by several significant geographical features and distance. LA did not steal Trona's water. Trona is dry because of natural climate change over thousands of years.

There is a significant Meth problem but the town is patrolled by the San Bernardino Sheriff's department so good people can enjoy life there.

I realize this is not a movie review but I just had to set the record straight.

The movie was good enough that locals do enjoy it. The one very realistic thing in the movie is the depiction of the Trona spirit. That poor little town as the best community spirit in the world. Ray and his friends really do show that spirit.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hometown September 27, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A goofy movie about my hometown. While the landscape is fairly accurate from an outsiders point of view, there is more to Trona than the movie portrays. After all, who else can claim a dirt football field and golf course. And it was a great place to grow up in the 50's and 60's.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BIG DREAMS June 20, 2012
Ray (Dylan Walsh) is a parking lot attendant. He lives in the nearly deserted town of Trona, owned by a meth dealer named Dirk( Will Rothhaar) who bullies and extorts money. The rest of Ray's dysfunctional family includes his wife Charlene (Penny Balfour) who is afraid to leave the house, and his unlikeable son Eddie (Jonah Hill) a confused teen who winds up living with a black prostitute (Anika Noni Rose).

Ray likes the market girl Nora (Tracy Middendorf). She fears she is going to lose her store because of the opening of the Chevron station owned by Danny DeVito. One day, Ray and Danny team up and draw a line in the sand. There is a lot of odd ball type of action, although much of seemed to be odd just for the sake of being odd and not overly funny. There are some humorous scenes, although mostly it is either dark humor or that oddball kind of humor that characterizes indies. It is a good movie for those who like quirky humor. It is not overwhelmingly funny or deep, just cheap entertainment.

Parental Guide: rare F-Bomb, one brief sex scene, no nudity, sex talk.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars dumb movie but filmed locally and enjoyed scenes
What I expected, dumb movie but filmed locally and enjoyed scenes.
Published 3 days ago by John P.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad
This is a good movie, but even better if you are from, or live near the Ridgecrest/Trona, California area.
Published 12 days ago by M0JAV3GR33N
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
Don't recall seeing it.
Published 2 months ago by Vaughn Register
5.0 out of 5 stars Great "sleeper"
Ran across this on Crackle and really found a interesting story. Well worth viewing, as I have bought it for my collection.
Published 16 months ago by John Black
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Bought this movie because of Danny Devito and Jonah Hill. Devito is barely in it. Jonah Hill is not in it enough. It had a few funny moments, but I would not watch it again!!
Published 21 months ago by Someone else
4.0 out of 5 stars BIG DREAMS
Ray (Dylan Walsh) is a parking lot attendant. He lives in the nearly deserted town of Trona, owned by a meth dealer named Dirk( Will Rothhaar) who bullies and extorts money. Read more
Published on June 20, 2012 by The Movie Guy
4.0 out of 5 stars quirky character study with twists
This is a fairly quiet and leisurely paced character study, not an action film, so those who want an adrenaline rush should look elsewhere. Read more
Published on May 21, 2012 by Viva
5.0 out of 5 stars solid .. worth watching
interesting to see Justin long and joah Hill just before they were real famous

it is a good film
Published on June 14, 2010 by Johnny Gamble
4.0 out of 5 stars this is a funny funny movie
If you know where Trona is, if you know where Ridgecrest is, if you know what the people are like there- this is a funny funny movie. Read more
Published on February 10, 2010 by girl next door
4.0 out of 5 stars just add water review
i ordered the dvd for just add water and received it within 3-4 days as promised from seller. The item was exactly what the seller had specified.
Published on June 12, 2009 by Anthony Divietri
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