Low budget? Check. Cast of unknowns? Check. The same set used over… MoreLow budget? Check. Cast of unknowns? Check. The same set used over and over? Check. And yet not a bad sci-fi metaphor of modern society as a hope-killing, inescapable trap as the proverbial group of stereotypes meet inside a deadly Rubik's Cube and try to escape. Give it a coupla minutes to warm up ... and it's not too bad at all.
Amping up the ante a wee bit, the story about the people's revolution… MoreAmping up the ante a wee bit, the story about the people's revolution against the government goes on with our young heroine struggling to fight the power. More money and star power (I'll admit I audibly gasped when Phillip Seymour Hoffman first appears) than the first, and a bit more refinement, too. The big showdown is yet to come though. One hopes it comes with better writing.
Exploitation of the youth market is nothing new, nor is the same… MoreExploitation of the youth market is nothing new, nor is the same masquerading as social commentary. The only rarity is how well Harmony Korine manages this overlong music video/Abercombie & Fitch commercial. The basement party crowd get their prerequisite boobs and gunplay, the social commentary crowd get ... not so much, which is better for the basement party set anyway. Like many American International films before it, you can wait to see it.
Riding on the coattails of the popularity of The Sting and Bonnie and… MoreRiding on the coattails of the popularity of The Sting and Bonnie and Clyde before it, Walter Hill's Depression era tale, while Hollywood's picturesque version of the times (even the dirt is cleaner), and often with the puppeteer's strings very much in evidence, it still charms through the work of the familiar experienced cast that sells the by now cliche story of the iconic mysterious stranger coming to town to change everything. And Strother Martin!
Not for everyone, and especially not for those who prefer their plots… MoreNot for everyone, and especially not for those who prefer their plots spoon-fed to them, much less to make sense, Ritchie does some knocking on Scorcese territorial doors with this hallucinagenic gangster/chinese box of a filmic exercise in (ulp!) psychological self-discovery (in a movie?!? say it ain't so!!!) ...
... that fails in one important aspect: we remain unconnected to our main character, thus rendering the many and varied contortions moot. Ineffectual. Things happen and you're like "whatever."
Nonetheless, there are interesting segments throughout, and rarely a dull moment. I liked it more than it deserved.
That can happen sometimes.
A small town in Ireland (a coupla hours west of Dublin) is subject to… MoreA small town in Ireland (a coupla hours west of Dublin) is subject to a stay by a strange visitor from an alien planet (NOT!), and the harmless shenannigans that ensue, all of which would make for seriously cringeworthy television, let alone a theatrical release. It's all in fun, yeah, and there's naught wrong with that ...
but this film really needs a coupla spliffs to take off.
It is filmed in Ireland.
Maybe that's the only compensation you'll get.
And beer. Get some beer, too. Lots of beer.
John Carpenter's sci-fi looking effort is actually a road trip romance… MoreJohn Carpenter's sci-fi looking effort is actually a road trip romance (ala Capra's It Happened One Night) about a guy from somewhere in space getting a close hand look at backroads America. Jeff Bridges does well as the newborn earthling/alien larnin' about our downhome, simple but good ways o' livin', but the film actually belongs to Karen Allen who carries the emotional weight of the piece and acts as our stand-in on a trip from Madison, Wisconsin to Winslow, Arizona.
As a point of interest Kevin Spacey would play a similar type alien being, birdlike movements et al, with Jeff Bridges playing the psychologist trying to get at him years later in 2001's K-Pax. Both are guilty pleasures of mine since their initial releases.
I write this on 2/26/2014, which as it turns out is Madeleine… MoreI write this on 2/26/2014, which as it turns out is Madeleine Carroll's birthday. Who's Madeleine Carroll? She's the fount of my melancholy today as through her I realise that fame, however sumptuous, is indeed fleeting, and yesterday's big deal is tomorrow's "huh?" Translation: all of my favorite stars, no matter how big a deal they were, will one day be forgotten, my own mortality reflected through them. Aaugh!
Until then, Madeleine Carroll and Fred MacMurray do quite well in this unusual, unbelievable, unpretentious yet forgotten little charmer about love predestined as a businesswoman set in her ways meets an adventurer who questions the status quo. They go off to the Carribean, they go off to Bali, all at a whim, as if anybody could. MacMurray walks in with somebody's kid, f'cryinoutloud, and that's all there is to that. Oy vey. Meant for the afternoon-at-the-flickers crowd and a creature of its time, its still not bad at all, and Madeleiine? Well, happy birthday old girl and thanks for the memories.