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Wilder Napalm
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Reviews & Ratings for
Wilder Napalm More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Jerry Springer meets the Fantastic Four in a photomat.

9/10
Author: Jeremy Lee Hoag (j-bear@rocketmail.com) from Bowling Green, OH, USA
22 November 1998

This movie took the Jerry Springer approach to super-human power. "Wilder Napalm" is the kind of theme-based movie that I love, addressing the idea that prodigies in America are defined either by their gifts or by attempts to hide them. At the same time, the movie points out that every prodigy is only human, and no more to be feared or worshipped than any other human being. This was a great comedy, fun and human with that slight satiric edge.

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

One of the best films of the 90's !

10/10
Author: Seven Bates from Southern California
18 March 2006

It does come out of left field, and REALLY isn't what you're expecting. But I love that. The most memorable movie experiences come from being surprised, if you ask me. If you haven't been tipped off about the mysterious "thing" that makes these brothers so odd...you're in for a treat.

The cast is fantastic, but not stretching so much that it's palpable. The special effects come out of nowhere (seriously, it's like an oddly dark romantic comedy until they do -- then WOW) and they're great. The overall cinematography is easy on the eyes, the editing and sound are very good quality, and the twisted story unfolds without clichés. While none of these aspects individually make it a blockbuster, the "what the hell?" factor ALONE makes it a film treasure.

The people who bash this movie make no sense. It's one of those often-overlooked flicks of the 90's that you've either never heard of, or love so much you jump at the mention of its title.

I'm in the latter group.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A Cinematic Carnival!

10/10
Author: VideoKidVsTheVoid from Springdale, Arkansas
16 January 2007

I used to watch this on either HBO or Showtime or Cinemax during the one summer in the mid 90's that my parents subscribed to those channels. I came across it several times in various parts and always found it dark, bizarre and fascinating. I was young then, in my early teens; and now years later after having discovered the great Arliss Howard and being blown away by "Big Bad Love" I bought the DVD of "Wilder Napalm" and re-watched it with my girlfriend for the first time in many years. I absolutely loved it! I was really impressed and affected by it. There are so many dynamic fluid complexities and cleverness within the camera movements and cinematography; all of which perfectly gel with the intelligent, intense and immediate chemistry between the three leads, their story, the music and all the other actors as well. It's truly "Cinematic". I love Arliss Howard's subtle intensity, ambivalent strength and hidden intelligence, I'm a big fan of anything he does; and his interplay with Debra Winger's manic glee (they are of course married) has that magic charming reality to it that goes past the camera. (I wonder if they watch this on wedding anniversaries?......."Big Bad Love" should be the next stop for anyone who has not seen it; it's brilliant.) And, Dennis Quaid in full clown make-up, sneakily introduced, angled, hidden and displayed by the shot selection and full bloomed delivery is of the kind of pure dark movie magic you don't see very often. Quaid has always had a sinister quality to him for me anyways, with that huge slit mouth span, hiding behind his flicker eyes lying in wait to unleash itself as either mischievous charm or diabolical weirdness (here as both). Both Howard and Quaid have the insane fire behind the eyes to pull off their wonderful intense internal gunslinger square-offs in darkly cool fashion. In fact the whole film has a darkly cool energy and hip intensity. It's really a fantastic film, put together by intelligence, imagination, agility and chemistry by all parties involved. I really cannot imagine how this got funded, and it looks pretty expensive to me, by such a conventional, imagination-less system, but I thank God films like this slip through the system every once in awhile. In a great way, with all of its day-glo bright carnival colors, hip intelligence, darkly warped truthful humor and enthralling chemistry it reminds me of one of my favorite films of all time: "Grosse Pointe Blank".......now that's a compliment in my book!

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant!

Author: Spirit-8 from Midwest USA
15 December 1998

Tim Burton would have been impressed with the carefully crafted cinematography of this piece. The imagery and symbolism speak more than the narrative, and the music and transitions are superb. The movie stands by itself. Watch closely!

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Romantic comedy lights my fire

7/10
Author: spindizzy
15 May 2004

Brothers with psychokinetic powers (yes, really) duel not just for Debra Winger's affections but really over a secret from their childhood that left them at odds over their powers.

There are surreal touches (the fire brigade that act like a singing Greek chorus), but there is also humour, wit and romance. The soundtrack is great also. And similar to the way American Werewolf in London used every great Wolf song they could get ~ but with fire and I don't think I'll ever forget Dennis Quaid (mmmmm Dennis Quaid), setting his own trailer a rockin' too 'She's a lady' ~ priceless ;)

Best line missing from the quotes section btw ~ 'Once you've had a clown, you never go back!'

I love this movie (I just ordered the DVD from the US) and if the comments written by the kind of people who'd be happier with Legally Blond 3 don't put you off ~ give it a try :)

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Great portrayal of film music

7/10
Author: dcstatehoodnow from United States
9 March 2005

The people who are bad-mouthing this film are those who don't understand film to begin with. These are the people who love movie blockbusters and adverse to any movie that doesn't star Leonardo DiCaprio. Wilder Napalm is a neat little film that may seem quirky and maybe even stupid at first, but what it lacks in plot, it more than makes up for in substance.

One thing in particular about the movie that impressed me was it's use of music, which plays a large part. Those students of film music will notice how important music is in the movie, both in Vida and Wilder's life, and in the background. Wilder's theme, Vida's theme, and Wallace's theme are all heard in the opening sequence, and it is funny how some of the lyrics play out. For instance, in the scene where the men are singing "Duke of Earl", Vida is with Wilder when the men sing something like "She is my girl", and then she goes over to Wallace to give him something when the men sing the lyric "She will be my girl" cleverly showing the tension between the two brothers There are all sorts of little intricacies like this inside the movie, and while it may look like a flop on the outside, the real student of film will notice how good this movie really is.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Flame on,Bubba!

Author: bob dove from huntersville, n.c.
15 November 1999

This is one of my favorite quirky movies. I've seen it several times and always enjoy it. Good storyline and very good cast, especially Arliss Howard and Debra Winger. The fire effects are quite well-done (pardon the expression) also.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Romantic comedy that lights my fire

7/10
Author: spindizzy
15 May 2004

Brothers with psychokinetic powers (yes, really) duel not just for Debra Winger's affections but really over a secret from their childhood that left them at odds over their powers.

There are surreal touches (the fire brigade that act like a singing Greek chorus), but there is also humour and romance. The soundtrack is great similar to the way American Werewolf in London used every great Wolf song they could get ~ but with fire ~ and I don't think I'll ever forget Dennis Quaid (mmmmm Dennis Quaid), setting his own trailer a rockin' to 'She's a lady' ~ priceless ;)

Best line missing from the quotes section btw ~ 'Once you've had a clown, you never go back!'

I love this movie (I ordered the DVD from the US) and if the comments written by the kind of people who'd be happier with Legally Blond 3 don't put you off ~ give it a try :)

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Pleasant Surprise

9/10
Author: Oorag from United States
12 January 2000

Found this one in the video store and rented it. It's one of those quirky, quasi-comedies that's more interesting and weird than funny. It's a good one at that. It reminds me a lot of Being John Malkovich. If you enjoyed that movie you will most likely enjoy this one.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Great movie well worth buying on DVD

10/10
Author: matrix29 from Michigan, USA
17 November 2008

The characters were alive and interesting, the plot was excellently paced, the pyro effects were masterfully accomplished, and it takes a basic love triangle story and tosses in a science-fiction element into it. I could identify with many of the characters and their motivations made logical rational sense in the framework of the story.

The camera-work was great, the audio clear and accurate, the background music perfectly chosen for effect, the singing firemen a nice talented memorable oddity, the sets brilliantly crafted, and the special effects performed with a skilled talent.

I am a tad puzzled how an entire mini-carnival in a chain-store's parking lot could be powered by one single lamppost outlet. That seems impossible to say the least. The fight between the brothers near the end of the movie was brilliant though. Having Jim Varney in a non-clown role was a wonderful touch too as played the semi-serious role of a carny very well.

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