Documentary on Rockets Redglare (aka Michael Morra), a colorful figure on the New York City art scene up until his death in 2001. In his life, Redglare was the bodyguard/drug dealer to Sid ... See full summary »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gary Ray ...
Himself
Rockets Redglare ...
Himself
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself
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Himself
Rene Heras ...
Herself
Elizabeth English ...
Herself
Indian Larry ...
Himself
Alexandre Rockwell ...
Himself
Rachel Amodeo ...
Herself
Donald Baechler ...
Himself
M. Henry Jones ...
Himself
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Storyline

Documentary on Rockets Redglare (aka Michael Morra), a colorful figure on the New York City art scene up until his death in 2001. In his life, Redglare was the bodyguard/drug dealer to Sid Vicious and Jean Michel Basquiat, a stand-up comedian (he toured with Steve Buscemi), and an actor in over 30 films, including "Stranger Than Paradise", "Down by Law", and "Mystery Train". Redglare died from liver failure and hepatitis C, which was brought on by years of heroin abuse and plenty of other drugs. Written by Anonymous

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3 September 2004 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Less than compelling subject makes for indifferent documentary
25 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Rockets Redglare" is a documentary tribute to a man (known only as Rockets Redglare) who was a standup comic, a character actor, an alcoholic, a drug addict and a beloved friend of such cinema stalwarts as Steve Buscemi, Jim Jarmusch, Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon and many others. In fact, Rockets appeared in many independent features including "Stranger Than Paradise," "Down By Law," "Mystery Train," and "Basquiat," as well as more mainstream works such as "Big" and "Talk Radio" (he's the killer who shoots the talk show host). "Rockets Redglare" was planned and filmed before Rockets' death, making it one of those rare posthumous documentaries in which the subject gets to tell his own life story.

Although there are a number of interesting moments scattered throughout the film, I must admit that I began to wonder early on what it was exactly about this man that made anyone think him worthy of a full-length documentary. Frankly, except for some harrowing moments Rockets recounts from his childhood (his mother and father were both criminals and drug addicts), his life doesn't seem really all that interesting, and the insights he provides into life aren't particularly witty or insightful. With no voice-over narration to provide any real cohesion or focus, the film feels slapdash and aimless, relying strictly on Rockets himself and his buddies, Dillon, Buscemi, Dafoe etc. to flesh out the storyline. Although everyone keeps telling us what a wonderful and likable person Rockets was, the charm really doesn't come across all that well on screen, so I guess we'll just have to take their word for it that that was indeed how he was. I guess you just had to be there.


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