Wrt. /Dir: Dylan Kidd
Starring: Campbell Scott, Jesse Eisenberg, Jennifer Beals,
Elizabeth Berkley, Isabella Rossellini
Opens October 25th
in Exile Finds Solace in Sex
Who knew that George Lucas had so much sway in Hollywood?
Sure, he directed a couple of movies that did reasonably
well, but that was way back in the eighties for chrsitsakes!
And who would have thought that he would take my demand
that he be summarily executed so seriously. I mean where's
the sense of humor and forgiving love that Hollywood is
so famous for? Did he really have to get me axed from every
major studio's press screening distribution list? And who
would have thought that my raging addiction to heroine would
have gotten so out of hand that I'm completely out of money
to pay for movies myself these days? Life sure is funny,
The only PR companies still letting me come to their movies
are promoting those tiny little indie flicks. The ones that
generally involve a heavy dose of Parker Posey and some
vague story about an art school student trying to find meaning
to his angsty, pathetic (but well-to-do) NYU existence.
Don't get me wrong Parker Posey is awesome, but I've seen
so many of these movies, I'm actually starting to enjoy
black coffee and poetry readings. I'm physically worried
that my mother is going to buy me a beret for Christmas.
That's why I'm starting the National Association for Reckless
Critics (NARC). A not-for-profit organization dedicated
to providing those critics idiotic enough to get hooked
on drugs and piss of everyone in Hollywood with funding
so that they can continue to see the Tom Cruises and Gwyneth
Paltrows in all of their stadium seated splendor.
I swear that no more than 85 cents out of each dollar contributed
will go towards sweet, sweet heroine. The rest will be used
solely and exclusively to help the needy get back to the
movies you all are so desperate for them to review. Ten
cents of the remaining Fifteen will be placed in an aggressive
mutual fund with which shall be used to bribe our way back
into the hearts of Lucas and other victims of the criticatorial
arts. The remaining five cents will go into my personal
bank account and I swear I'll start buying movie tickets
with it once I get out of debt.
Think of it! For every two hundred dollars you give to
the NARC fund, you'll get one more fascinating review to
peruse and enjoy. It's exactly like giving to your local
NPR station, but with much less radio, and tons more drugs.
In the mean time you'll all have to just deal with reviews
of movies that will only be out for a week or so. For Example,
Campbell Scott's latest: Roger Dodger.
This is a very simple, very intelligent movie. Roger (Scott)
is waylaid by his 16-year-old Nephew (Eisenberg) who is
desperate to lose is virginity.
HEY! Get your mind out of that there gutter!
Roger, well known as a sexist but sly hot chick electro-magnet,
endeavors to show the adorable peach fuzzed lad the in's
and out's of the art of seduction. It's a movie that could
easily dip into something far too raucous and Porky's-esque,
or fall as flat as
say Molly Ringwald's breasts in
Sixteen Candles. But it is neither a cheesy diatribe on
love nor an idiotic teenage sex romp. It is, instead, witty
and cavalier, being truly clever while never taking itself
The acting is fabulous. Scott as always disappears into
his role and delivers magic. Eisenberg is the perfectly
nervous sixteen-year-old-- shy and clever in equal proportions.
Elizabeth Berkley and Jennifer Beals defied all odds and
blow their roles out of the water. Isabella Rossellini is,
of course, still stunningly beautiful and she delivers Joyce
as wonderfully sharp as ever. Nearly everyone is this movie
delivers a perfect performance. Scott and Eisenberg, both
as actors and as their characters, interact well. They speak
as though they are actually related, having the same sharp
fast clip to their voices.
The Music, by Craig Wedren, stands out well, sets the mood
of every scene, and moves the movie along with a perfect
pace. The humor of the movie is almost exactly the same
as the humor of Scott's character. It is very dry, and very
biting; this works better for the movie than it does for
the character and it shows a slight lack of inspiration
on the part of the writing. But that's a minor offense.
The humor is clever and well timed and far out shines it's
One of the most amazing aspects of this movie is just how
desperately you want Nick to score. Not because you feel
bad for the 'poor little virgin' or anything, more because
Nick acts almost like an Everyman. Likewise it's amazing
how unsure you are that he actually will succeed. One doesn't
usually find tension in a movie like this, but it's peppered
This is a talking head movie. And there's really only one
head that's talking most of the time. Roger. While Scott
does a phenomenal job with the sexist outdated playboy,
the character steps too far outside of believability. It's
simply impossible for one man to say so many clever biting
and borderline insulting comments to so many women without
getting at least a little mace. Also, as the movie progresses,
Roger begins to lose his suavity a little too quickly. This
character, who is supposed to be perfect at enticing women,
only ever seems to fall on his ass while trying. If there
had been an ounce of charisma to Roger, and something of
an effect on the ladies, then there would have been much
less to balk at.
On a slightly more terrifying note, Jesse Eisenberg is
the brother of Hallie Eisenberg.... That dreaded Pepsi Girl.
I'm just not sure that family deserves any accolades or
attention after what she has subjected us to.
Sexism: Two barefoot housewives cooking my dinner
While Isabella Rossellini shines, Roger doesn't hold any
punched when it comes to how he feels about women. But if
you want to see some real sexist language, watch the beginning
of Below and count the number of derogatory phrases they
have for women (may favorite was Brillo Pad!)
Acting: Four Dames Judi Dench
The entire cast is wonderful. Despite the focus on Nick
and Roger's characters, all of the actors give it everything
they have. It's truly an ensemble performance of the highest
Bringing the Dead Back To Life: Two Zombies
Berkley and Beals both give very solid performances after
years and years of anonymity. You don't get to see Berkeley's
coochie, however, and Beals, unfortunately, doesn't dance,
or weld anything together.
Overall: Three glorious weeks
That's about how long it should run. I doubt it will get
a very wide release, but while it's in the city, go see
it. This is an excellent movie, definitely worth the time.
And who knows you might just pick up a few pointers on scoring