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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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
(Some Spoilers)Very confusing movie about the last days of actor
comedian John Belushi, Michael Chiklis, who after shooting himself up
with the help of his personal drug suppler Cathy Smith, played by Patti
D'Arbannille, with a combination cocaine heroin
concoction-speed-ball-went into cardiac arrest and expired.
It's then alone in the L.A County morgue that Belushi suddenly comes to life and ends up riding in a taxi cab with Angel Velasquez, Ray Sharkey, whom we find out is also like Belushi really dead, for some eight years, of a drug overdose. The rest of the movie has Belushi with both Angel's and Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's, T.J Walsh, help review his short life, Belushi was 33 at the time of his death, and how he so royally screwed it up.
The film "Wired" is so confusing in it going back and forth in time that you have trouble following it not knowing if the John Belushi on the screen is either the live or the dead one. We do have John doing a number of his memorable acts on TV and in the movies but their more or less padding giving the film, thats seems far to long, its 112 minutes of running time.
The film really gets interested when it focus on Belushi's drug addiction that lead to his untimely death on the morning of March 5, 1982. Losing control of both his career and wife Judy, Lucinda Jenney, due to the pressures of being on top as a Hollywood super star John's reliance on drugs, mostly cocaine, took precedent over everything else in his life. Too strung out to work and feeling that he's soon to become poison, after a string of flops, in the box office Belushi just about gave up on himself. Belushi spent all his time when he was supposed to be writing a script for his latest film in his plush L.A hotel room getting himself high on the drugs that ended up killing him.
Depressing movie that shows what drugs, legal as well as illegal, can do to you and those you love by letting them take control of your life. John Belushi's life as well as death is all too common in Hollywood with drugs like cocaine being readily available to big time actors and actresses like himself. Belushi's serious drug addiction wasn't a secret to those who knew him which makes his death even that much more tragic. Instead of trying to get him help, in drug rehabilitation, Belushi's desperate plight was put aside-by his employers- as long he brought the big bucks into the studios. It's when his career started to wane that Belushi's drug dependency started to intensify and get out of control.
John Belushi wasn't alone in having himself end up on a cold slab in the L.A County morgue! He had a lot of help from those who encouraged and supply him with illegal drugs over the years. But in the end it was John and only John, by giving into his drug addiction and refusing to get help, who was more responsible then anyone else in having himself end up there.
P.S It's Bob Woodward's biographical book on John Belushi's wild and stormy life as well as his tragic but not at all unexpected death that the movie "Wired" is based on.
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.
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