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Jimmy the Saint's business is videotaping the terminally-ill, so that they will be around to give 'Afterlife Advice' to their survivors. He hasn't been doing too well lately and has had to turn to loan-sharks to accomodate his failing business, as well as his expensive personal tastes. When an evil gangster-overlord buys up his note and demands a favor of Jimmy, in exchange for the interest that he can't afford, Jimmy capitulates. Jimmy is to scare someone for the gangster-overlord--really rough them up. Without giving too much away (spoiler), the scene goes down badly and Jimmy and his crew all end up with contracts on their heads for their trouble. Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Boat drinks and Buckwheats. How this film slipped through is beyond me.
One of the greatest appeals of this film is its vernacular. Aside from being cast beautifully by talented actors in diverse roles set in an interesting story, it's the dialogue that is extremely memorable. That, and its great title.
And with such a great cast and dialogue, I'm absolutely stunned as to how this great little film slipped through the cracks and didn't get a wider audience. Its theatrical run here in Toronto was limited, actually I'm making an assumption, I don't recall a listing for it, but before you knew it, it was gone. Perhaps it wasn't marketed well or supported strongly enough.
I have recommended this film and lent it to many friends and every one of them has enjoyed it. I generally say, if you liked "Pulp Fiction", another film which is well cast and with great dialogue, then you will likely enjoy this one also.
One of my favourite quotes from the film (or any) comes from a supporting player. Andy Garcia as "Jimmy The Saint", seeks the advice of Bill Cobbs, playing "Malt", a Soda Jerk, on whether he should impregnate his hooker friend as a favour to help straighten her out, Malt sarcastically replies:
"That's just what the world needs... the unholy offspring of you two bag-o-smashes. That kid will be the anti-christ for sure 666 written all over it."
Christopher Walken plays a memorable role of a crippled mob boss, known as "The Man With The Plan" who is disturbed by his son Bernard's manic and sexually obsessive behavior after having been dumped by the love of his life for another man. The Man With The Plan insists that Jimmy, come back to work for one job, an action, to scare the living daylights out of this new beau, and tell him to stay away from Bernard's former girlfriend.
Jimmy is given the option to assemble his old crew for this action, which he does. A strange bunch of men who have been long out of any illegal action, some of whom miss it, and others whom do not.
And that's just about where it gets real interesting.
The story is laden with character revelation from a old wiseguy who just doesn't shut up and scenes from everyday people who offer their wisdom to videotape at Jimmy The Saint's legitimate but failing business, "After Life Advice" for people who are terminally ill and wish to pass on a legacy to their loved ones beyond the grave.
Everyone involved with this film should be proud of their accomplishment. It is a great film and unfortunately hasn't been seen by many, by my account anyway. Let's see if we can't change that.
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