Robert Altman's jazz-scored film explores themes of love, crime, race, and politics in 1930s Kansas City. When Blondie O'Hara's husband, a petty thief, is captured by Seldom Seen and held ... See full summary »
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
O.C. and Stiggs aren't your average unhappy teenagers. They not only despise their suburban surroundings, they plot against it. They seek revenge against the middle class Schwab family, who embody all they detest: middle class.
Dr. Sullivan Travis "Dr. T." is a wealthy Dallas gynecologist for some of the wealthiest women in Texas who finds his idealist life beginning to fall apart starting when his wife, Kate, ... See full summary »
Adaptations of two early plays, The Room and The Dumb Waiter, by Noble Prize-winning, English playwright Harold Pinter. The first revolves around paranoiac woman trapped in her apartment. The other is about two small-time crooks waiting.
May is waiting for her boyfriend in a run-down American motel, when an old flame turns up and threatens to undermine her efforts and drag her back into the life that she was running away from. The situation soon turns complicated.
Harry Dean Stanton
The familiar tragic story of Vincent van Gogh is broadened by focusing as well on his brother Theodore, who helped support Vincent. The movie also provides a nice view of the locations which Vincent painted.
Lawyer Rick Magruder has a one-night-stand affair with caterer Mallory Doss. He becomes hooked on her, and when he learns her nut-case father Dixon is threatening her, he puts the weight of... See full summary »
Robert Downey Jr.
Cynthia Nixon, who plays the same role she did in the original, did this sequel to HBO's _"Tanner '88" (1988) (mini)_ as she was wrapping up work on Sex and the City (1998), also broadcast on HBO. In this series, her character has become a filmmaker and film teacher. In the last episode, a student asks her if she knows anyone "at HBO". See more »
Altman is very proud of the fact that people in his movies talk over each other, because, he says, people do that in life. Well, people also cough, burp, go off on tangents, etc. The point is that just because people actually do something doesn't make it compelling cinema. That's one issue.
The bigger issue is that this just isn't a very clever or direct or hitting or relevant satire, in 1988 or 2004. Garry Trudeau is still living in the 1960s and thinks everyone except a small core of Republican elected officials is a 60s-style hippie liberal. I mean the guy still trots out Zonker in his strip - a character that is a complete anachronism, yet Trudeau still employs him as if he is representative of a large stripe of American youth.
Don't get me wrong. I am a conservative, but I'm not saying that this is bad because it's got a liberal bent. It could take a liberal tack and be funny and relevant, but it's not. It is mainly a vanity piece with a bunch of prominent celebrity liberals (including the odious, repellent Ron Reagan, Jr.). At times it feels unscripted, and the rest of the time it has a snarky air of self-importance and "aren't we oh-so-clever?"-ness.
Someone said that this show insists it has a cult following. I think its cult status is more wished-for than actual. I'm certain there are two or three people out there who taped all the original episodes in 1988 and still have them, but if that is the standard, then every show ever aired is a cult classic to some degree. If Tanner didn't have the names Altman and Trudeau attached, it would be another forgotten HBO production from the 1980s. Instead, it's presented as hard-hitting, incisive political commentary from guys who are at the top of their game. The reality, however, is about as far from that as possible. Pat Paulsen's presidential satire is more relevant than Tanner ever was, and he's been dead for a decade.
4 of 22 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?