I'll try to keep my movie reviews skewed toward positive. I'm sure nobody really wants to know what movies NOT to see... especially if they are obscure movies that you are not likely to stumble across. Well, I'll start that practice AFTER this posting. I've got two bad, one great, and one good.
A 1992 indi-flick, I was hoping this would be cool. It had a good look and a good cast. David Horovits (yes, the Beastie Boy), David Caradine (yes, Qui Chang Kane), Woody Guthrie (yes, Alice's Restaurant), Timothy Leary (yes, LSD guru), John Cusack (yes, the guy from whatever the heck he's in)... several others... this should have been awesome. The plot could have worked as a vehicle for all this talent... a factory worker biker meets a guy for a few hours when he dies a sudden and bizzare death. So the biker tries to honor his last request by taking his ashes to some location in the Navada deasert. He has trouble locating this place, but meets some strange people on the journey. Unfortunatley the acting is mostly terrible... almost every character is un-believable. Nobody is "in the moment"... they're all acting. You know the basic rule... don't ACT like your smoking a cigarette... SMOKE the cigarette. Well in this movie everybody is ACTING like they're smoking the cigarrettes. The journy leads up to a big let down, and then peeters off from there. On the one hand, this tried to be "Easy Rider", on the other it tried to be "Repo Man". But the characters where not believeable or likeable like "Easy Rider", and the bizzare surreal obscure nature did not rise to "Repo Man".
I will say, there were two encounters that actually did work. There's the black hotel guy who shares a bottle of Wild Turkey... he gave a believeable and poinient performance. Also the meat seller... a bizare character in the middle of the deasert who sells meat. Again, a believeable and poinient performance, dispite the obscure situation.
Don't waste your time on this one. Not worth the big waste of time for about three minutes of good acting... which is a shame because the whole thing could have been great.
I should have seen this comming. I'm so done with comedy based purely on stupidity. But at the very least, the stupidity should be clever... like Black Adder or Faulty Towers. I was hoping for more from Mike Judge (of Beavis and Butthead fame)... especially since he has done some clever things, like Daria. But this was just pure stupidity with a scoop of dumb on top. Mya Rudolf (of SNL fame) was cute, but this did not show off her great tallent for comedy. Don't wast your time. Watch C-SPAN... it's funnier.
Being John Malcovitch
YES YES YES !!! I know everybody else in the world has seen this movie, and have told me many times that I HAVE to see it. Well OK, I finally saw it. This was fantastic. I didn't want to see this movie until I had seen John Malcovicth in some other movies first, because I didn't think I'd GET it. Well I finally did catch him in a few others, and felt comfortable watching this. Well it turns out that part of the gimmic in this movie is that most people don't really know what JM was in anyway... so there was definitely no need to wait. By now I had already known the basic plot... you go through this little door and start to see and feel everything that JM sees and feels... so you actually get to BE JM. But the cool part is what the DO with this bizzare situation. They use that a jumping off point to explore self identity and personal realationships. And the whole idea of the puppetteer expressing his deep feelings through some of the coolest marionettes EVER was fantastic. They probably milked the concept a bit much towards the end when the old dude and his friends were all trying to be John Malkovitch, but I guess it tied everything up in a nice bow... though I don't know if they really HAD to do that being it was such a bizzare situation in the first place.
I like this one, but I realize it's not for everybody. No big budget, no special effects, no action... just an indi-flick using NYC as a backdrop and some interesting dialouge. It might be a little to wordy for some, but I kinda like that. It's basically a male chauvanist who is too smart for his own good, and tries to impress everybody with his hyper-knowlege of women. Despite the fact that he seems to know everything, he is clearly unhappy and lonely. It gets more interesting when his 16 year old nephew shows up, and in one night he tries to teach him how to get laid. He spends the rest of the movie giving him advice on how to score, and the kid gets amazing amount of action for a 16 year old nerd right off the turnip truck. It ends with an interesting "leave it up to the audience" sort of cliff hanger. Well, baybe not a cliff hanger, but something akin to a cliff hanger. Good performance by Isabella Rossilini, who I like, but I don't now why some people think she's the most beautiful woman in the world. I do like the fact that she does indi-films, fantasy roles (like Merlin?), and even dresses as a Bumble Bee in a documentary about the sex lives of insects. It makes me think she's down to earth, dispite the fact that some people would put her on a pedastal.