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After seeing the DVD release of the Blues Brothers, and their mention of
"Wired" on Belushi's bio, my boyfriend and I were hungry for more
information on John Belushi. I had heard of "Wired" but didn't know too
much about it and found it way in the back of the local rental store. I
understand that Dan Akroyd was really p***ed over this movie and I thought
it was because it didn't portray them in a good light. But that had
to do with it.
The movie starts out okay, until they wheel in John's body to the morgue. When he wakes up on the autopsy table, and decides to run for it, then begins the utter tastelessness of this movie. John is subjected to viewing his life and all of the turmoil he created with "Angel," a Puerto Rican cab driver with a wicked sense of humor -- subjecting him to criticism and attempting to try to get him to cross over.
The two actors who portray John and Dan look nothing even remotely close to the real actors, (let alone anyone else related for that matter, i.e., Lorne Michaels,) making it difficult to really try to concentrate on them and how they were in real life... but that is the tip of the iceberg.
I believe this was supposed to be an "artsy" film -- John constantly being tormented by drugs (i.e., the powdered soap in the bathroom being cocaine,) in such a way that was also difficult to follow. The flashbacks are choppy, also making it difficult to understand.
Probably the most tasteless scene was when John is (literally,) forced to undergo his autopsy and is in pain while they remove his heart to weigh it, saying that it was abnormally large due to drug use, obesity, yeah, we get the point without the grotesque portrayal.
There are very few other actors we know of in the movie, (where's Carrie Fisher for instance? They were incredibly close. And Jim Belushi would have been a great person to show,) it looks VERY cheaply made, (we felt it looked as if the graphics were from the early 80s or late 70s,) it felt as if it was filmed in about a week and all in all, didn't show the side to John at all. I felt I knew a little bit more about him from watching episodes of Saturday Night Live.
On one last note, Bob Woodward comes across narcissistic by placing himself in the movie, arguing with John about writing his life story. For someone who was supposed to be very highbrow, concerning the bust on Nixon, his calibur of person could match any writer in the National Enquirer, and therefore losing my interest in any of his work from this point forward.
SKIP THIS MOVIE. If you want to see more on John, watch his movies, see clips of Dan Akroyd talking about him or hope someone has the taste to make another movie on John that goes along the lines of "Man on the Moon," which is ultimately what we were expecting. I guess this was a "moral" kind of movie -- you know, don't do drugs, but I guess the creators of this film didn't understand that his death made a number of people (like Carrie Fisher,) stop doing drugs altogether for that reason.
It just doesn't succeed. I didn't hate the movie like some did, I simply felt it should have concentrated more on Belushi's life then the whole afterlife fantasy nonsense. It had good moments here and there, especially the scene where Belushi and his wife are on the beach and he tells her he loves her, and the scenes involving Cathy Smith(played riveting by Patti D'arbanville)who was the women who gave drugs to Belushi the night he died. As far as Michael Chiklis performance goes he does try valiantly but comes short with portraying the comic energy that made John Belushi such a special comedian. Lucinda Jenny however is good as Belushi's wife. I'm surprised no one ever metioned her performance. She is one one the film's few virtues. Overall, though it comes up short in showing the true Belushi and really you what the filmmakers were thinking.
Before I watched this movie, this is what I knew of John
He was a comic who got a gig on Saturday Night Live, was great friends with Dan Ayckroyd (who was on the show with him), they did "The Blues Brothers" on the show and in a movie (and he did other movies as well), he was married and he died from dope. Oh, and Bob Woodward wrote a bio on him.
That's exactly ALL this movie tells.
So, save yourself a few bucks at the video shop and RENT SOMETHING ELSE!!
It's like a deeply unsettling version of Scrooged, based upon the life
of a real person. I can understand why his friends and family were
outraged, however, to an interested bystander it emerges as an oddly
fascinating - albeit imperfect - movie.
It's character assassination, which doesn't in itself mean this is a bad movie, just a distasteful one. I thought it was a really good film. Perhaps one that should never have been made, but maybe that's why it's so powerful.
Every film has an agenda, so this one is no different... but just because it stays fixated on one angle doesn't mean that there's no insight at all to be gained from it.
Someone once said that John Belushi was a combination of Lou Costello and Vlad the Impaler! He wanted to grab the whole world and snort it. This was Michael Chiklis's first big part (he's now the rogue cop on The Shield). He does a convincing job bringing Belushi to life in all his madness. They do a good recreation of him and Dan Aykroyd doing their Blues Brothers routine. Did Belushi have a sub-conscious death wish? It would seem he did. Like the phantom cabbie tells him "Life is not for everyone". The whole "angel" thing is original but it does make the movie confusing and hard to follow. Belushi wanted it all but it was too much. Like Elvis, Belushi was a case of too much and too fast.
I am a huge Belushi fan and yes I would have liked to seen a more straight forward bio-pic. However, Belushi was not a straight forward guy he was a wild-man and this movie suits his comedic style. You never knew what you were going to get from John and this movie does a good job of capturing that late 70's early 80's craziness. Michael Chilklis is wonderful as Belushi, sometimes I even forgot that someone was playing John, he captured his Walk, Talk, Craziness, and Sincerety very well. The movie like John's life makes a huge anti-drug message. If anything John's life did change the way Hollywood dealt with addiction and aside from his comedic genius this is something I believe he will be remembered for.
and I have seen a lot of films. I saw this in the theatre in 1989 and to this day I remember the sickening urge to walk out. If you like John Belushi, respect his talent, or even the sanctity of the cinema-- this film has nothing to offer you. It is mostly a pathetic showcase for the writer of Belushi's biography, Bob Woodward. As we see the progression of Belushi's life pass on the screen, Woodward actually shows up in the film like a ghost character. The most offensive scene occurs when Belushi is dying, looks up from his deathbed to see the author standing above him and he weakly utters "Breathe for me, Woodward." There are too many terrible things to mention them all, the least of which is the opening that has Belushi jumping out of his body bag in the morgue and getting into a taxi driven by a guy named "Angel." I'll leave it at that.
Because that's exactly what this is. Don't get me wrong, it's an awful movie and an insult to a comedic god. But I laughed harder at myself for paying attention to this movie than at anything in, say, "Night at the Roxbury" or "Manipulatively awful DR.Death -or- Patch Adams". Michael Chicklis(pretty good in "the commish")is absolutly terrible as Belushi, but he tries, JT Walsh a truly great actor is painfully bad as Bob Woodward(stick w/ Redford & that character), and then there's Sharkey as Angel the Puerto Rican cab driving guardian angel(nuff said there). The movie and skit recreations are slow and unfunny, but in the end we feel a little bit of sadness for our fallen clown.
Here is a movie that is utterly without redeeming qualities.
I was a Belushi fan, but I never shared the opinion that Woodward's book was a hatchet job...on the contrary, I though it was a pretty good piece of journalism.
This movie, however, is not at all faithful to the book. There is a bunch of "ghost of Christmas past" kind of stuff with the ghost of Belushi riding through his past with a Latino cab driver who identifies himself as Belushi's 'guardian angel'...where did this come from?
It's certainly not in the book.
Everyone involved seems embarrassed to be part of this mess, and so they should!
On a scale of 1 to 10 I give "Wired" a MINUS 20...utter and complete garbage...the final insult to a great performer.
It's so bad that even the Razzie's couldn't award this as being the
worst movie of that year. It's too painful that John Belushi fans or
even fans from the people involved with this garbage have to go through
hell torturing themselves just to see how low this can get. But as
common knowledge (and Coldplay!) says: if you never try you'll never
know. Well, I went for it and hated it. Really hated it. Now I know! It
was depressive, sad, messy, sickening to watch this, one of the most
unglorifying portrayals ever presented of an artist. Fine, we know
Belushi wasn't so much of a good person and who is anyway but to point
fingers for most of the film saying "You were nothing but a drug addict
who lived most of your days as if they were endless Saturday nights,
party all the time and few responsibilities" is a low act. He was there
for us in several classics such as "The Blues Brothers", "Animal House"
and a few others, and also as being a great comedian with his famous
appearances in SNL; and to reduce the man as being a loud cokehead is
shameless and atrocious.
Not just the portrayal that bothers, the way this was written and presented is terrible as well. I refuse to say the writer of this wrote a screenplay, he made something else but not a screenplay. He took Bob Woodward's biographical work, used very little of facts and invented countless devices in order to make this appealing or as the next "Citizen Kane" due to its several flashbacks and the point of view of a journalist - represented by Woodward as a character (played by J.T. Walsh) investigating the final moments of the actor, interviewing people who knew him. It gets truly ridiculous when Woodward is taken to the very fatidic day of Belushi's death. But until that moment comes, we were already introduced to a taxi driver who is an angel of death who not only takes Belushi (played by Michael Chiklis, way before of The Shield fame) to the afterlife passing back through moments of his life and work but also he has the "power" of delivering the man to hell (a possible homage to "The Seventh Seal" but instead of a chess game it's a pinball game who'll might save John's life). Where does one came up with those ideas? The only praise I give to this involves the presentation of a film director based on John Landis. Since they couldn't use his name due to a possible lawsuit, they picked an actor who resembled him (but not that much) possibly filming "The Blues Brothers" and there's a hint of whom he might be because of a background noise of helicopters flying around (referencing the future tragedy of "The Twilight Zone: The Movie" happened in Landis segment).
There's nothing special about "Wired". Nothing. There's just too many things in it, and none of them are serviceable enough to make us interested enough. Biographical pieces tend to present good and bad moments of a person analyzed; "Wired" doesn't do that, just focus on the negative and destructive side of Belushi. And when the movie seems to be presenting his trajectory whether performing his Blues Brothers gigs or shooting a movie or the SNL skits, they're never energic, funny, careful. Worst of all: it doesn't look happy and one can say that most of those memorable moments were some of his happiest, joyful and important things in his life. Drama is cheesy and ridiculous, the comedy numbers don't provide laughs of any kind; the musical performances work sometimes. Everything goes without enthusiasm.
What's left to be said about "Wired"? The acting. Chiklis almost impressed me from time to time in playing Belushi (the first scene was one of those parts) but in the end it's just another case of an actor impersonating another actor, it goes on and off and it's disappointing. But one cannot deny some talent from his part, he can hold a movie along as the lead. I really felt bad watching one of my favorite character actors involved in this and worst he's not doing well his part. The Woodward played by Walsh doesn't sound or behave like a reporter, he seems quite naive about Hollywood and famous, making dumb questions that even viewers know the answers, he isn't intrusive as he could be and like most reporters are. The rest of the cast (Alex Rocco, Dakin Mathews, Patti D'Arbanville, Tom Bower and others) all seem to be embarrassed in their supportive roles. Best thing of the show is the guy who plays the angel, although he's a bit annoying, you can find some humor in him.
All the curiosity in the world doesn't worth wasting one hour in this, clearly one of the worst biopics ever made. 1/10
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