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Brian De Palma
An offbeat, episodic film about three friends, Paul, a shy love-seeker, Lloyd, a vibrant conspiracy nut, and Jon, an aspiring filmmaker and peeping tom. The film satirizes free-love, the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, and amateur film-making. Written by
Philip Brubaker <email@example.com>
Poorly delivered episodic film whose only value is historic
In an episodic series of stories we meet three friends in the mid-sixties, each with their own hang-ups, issues and problems. Paul is shy and seeking love even though it isn't forthcoming from any of the computer dates he tries; Lloyd is a conspiracy theory nut, worried that he is being watched at all times due to his knowledge of those involved in the JFK assassination, meanwhile Jon is a shy amateur film maker who just happens to also be a peeping tom in training.
On the basis of those involved in this film I decided to give it a go and see what it did after all De Palma is mentioned in the same breath as other very good directors who did a lot of good work back in the late 1960's and 70's. However this film left me cold and failed to really make any lasting impression on whatsoever as it was rather messy and with nothing I could really get a hold of. Other reviewers have called this a satire but few have said what it satirises and I suspect are using the word rather than knowing that that is what this was. The episodic nature of the film was not the problem for me, it was more than few of the sections were funny or interesting and too many of them just seemed to go nowhere.
The cast are mixed and it is obviously the presence of De Niro that attracts a lot of people. He is good despite the material and he shows some touches that he would develop as time went on. Graham and Warden are underused and have nothing of any real value to offer not all their fault as the material is to blame but Graham does have some good moments. De Palma's direction is a bit dull to be honest and most of his shots are very static ignore the fact that it lacks the style he is famous for, this just lacks imagination full stop.
Overall this is interesting only to see early work from De Palma and De Niro but really as a film it is poor. The episodic nature of the film is not so much a problem as the fact that few of the episodes are any good, even if they are watchable in the main. Not really worth watching on the whole then but maybe completest will get something from it.
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