Crazy Eyes (2012) Poster


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Leaving Los Angeles
soncoman13 July 2012
What's a "poor," aimless, alcoholic rich boy to do when he can't nail the girl he's fixated on? Keep trying.

There. I just saved you 96 minutes. That's the running time of "Crazy Eyes," director Adam Sherman's take on the classic Hollywood "drunk" genre. You know, the "drinking himself to death, screwed up his family, can't find a human connection, maybe gonna get rescued" type of film.

Lukas Haas plays Zach, the aforementioned drunk. Zach spends all of his time getting drunk and getting laid (usually in that order.) His money affords him the opportunity to do this. (Where did he get it? We never know.) He has the fancy house, the fancy car and the wad of cash to flash to bed anyone he wants. And he does, until he meets Rebecca (Madeline Zima.) You see, she'll sleep with him, but that's all. 'Sleep,' as in lie next to naked and pass out. No sex. Nada.

Zach, as one would imagine, finds this very frustrating. He finds himself obsessed with this girl (nicknamed "Crazy Eyes," although Zima's eyes don't appear particularly 'crazy' to this reviewer) and sets about winning her over. Does this stop him from banging anything else that moves? Not really. They are a perfect match, however, as she is as much a raging alcoholic as he is. Special note should be made that "Crazy Eyes" may set the record for number of "heaving" scenes in a film. (I half expected to see "Vomit Wrangler" listed among the crew credits.)

Zach's quest is complicated by family drama. He's got parents who are slightly off (the always welcome Ray Wise and Valerie Mahaffey) and an ex-wife and child to deal with (Moran Atias and an affecting Blake Garrett.) Some amusement is provided by Zach's bar tending best buddy Dan (Jake Busey, in a performance that calls to mind his father.) These vignettes do break up the monotony of Zach's repeated failed attempts at breaking down Rebecca's resistance, but not much.

So where does all this lead to? Pretty much where you expect. And that's the problem. Grounded in solid performances by Haas and the supporting cast (but not by the erratic Zima,) "Crazy Eyes" tells a story told before and better. The dialogue veers into the laughable at points, and by the end of the film you're left with an overwhelming sense of "meh." What was the point?
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hands down the worst thing i've seen in quite sometime
Matthew Stechel9 July 2012
I wanted to like this. I liked the look of it, I liked how from the opening scene on it seemed like exactly the kind of movie i would stumble onto at 3 in the morning on cable and try to keep watching just to see where it'll go. The 2 leads are plenty charismatic and definitely deserve to be in a good off beat movie, but oh man was this definitely not worth my, Mr. Haas or the appealing Ms. Zima's efforts to either watch or act in. (i really hope she gets a better movie to showcase her offbeat charm elsewhere tho as even here you can tell that the camera loves her)

Film is another movie about a guy trying like crazy to drink his various problems away--and is more than happy to be doing his thinking in a drunken state. At the beginning he gets approached and kissed by another seemingly crazy perma-drunken young woman--and from that point forward is determined to have a relationship with this "crazy eyed" girl at any cost...or would if he was capable of having relationships with other people, etc, etc.

Its not a terrible premise--and you've seen this kind of anti hero plenty of times before in films like Leaving Las Vegas, Barfly, or Factotum among many others, but what separates this movie from every other movie about a very troubled alcoholic trying to carve out a relationship with someone whom they feel understands them is um well to put it bluntly--the dialog here is awful. Tremendously awful. Laughably awful. Awful, awful, well as really really forced sounding as well. Almost nothing anyone says in this movie feels especially real. There's a great scene in the last half hour where Ms. Zima after being presented with a gift of a snow globe (along with a monologue about said snow globe) complains to Mr. Haas "what kind of a person sits around all day thinking of what life in a snow globe would be like?" she then tries to make a point of how empty and how miserable Mr. Haas's life is and how she could never give herself emotionally to him because of that---a scene that is pretty bad by itself, but is made much worse about twenty minutes later when replayed in a string of flashbacks that Haas is having about the people throughout the movie who've been complaining to him about his life. Was that snow globe slam really supposed to be the emotional highpoint of the movie???

Haas has a best friend (who is of course the bartender in the bar that Haas frequents) played by Jake Busey--who it should be said is actually quite good as the would be sidekick. The scene where he describes how much he would like to f--k an entire town is one of the few times i actually laughed at the dialog the way it was meant to be-for that alone he should get special mention. Haas also has an ex wife, two parents (one of whom is played by the great Ray Wise and is for the roughly three thousandth time ridiculously underused) and a young son with whom he has a running conversation about the existence of G-d. The running convo wouldn't be so bad if it didn't sound so forced yet again. We get from a string of run-on commentaries that are shown throughout what Haas thinks about humanity and the problems of society and blah, so the stuff with him and his kid doesn't really seem so necessary--and also the stuff with the kid itself--i get that this is supposed to show that Haas is a redeemable character and that the love he shows his son shows that he's capable of loving someone else unconditionally--but none of it really washes since well the film keeps going to the trouble of pointing out that he's really, really not--which i guess may be the point but why go through the effort in the first place then?

On the bright side--the dialog that the 2 leading actors have to say to each other in their bedroom sequences together are as awkward as anything Adam Sandler said to Emily Watson in "Punch Drunk Love" a film i reckon this one would very much like to be seen as a companion piece to but can't pull off the energy level of, or the melancholy strangeness of (remember how romantic it was when Sandler said to Watson that "he wanted to smash her face in with a sledgehammer???" dialog makes a couple of attempts to match that--there's a quick scene where Zima asks Haas to strangle her and he gamely attempts to put her in a headlock-- but again, like the stuff with Haas and his son--it just comes off as more forced sounding then anything else.)

I will give it this tho--at least when the ending comes--the movie doesn't try to shoehorn in this ridiculous resolution that would probably feel very false given everything else that's happened-but like almost everything else in the movie--the impact of it is completely lost in the fact that its deliver with almost complete and total ineptness. I honestly rarely dislike things to the point that i will actually backpedal and try to convince myself that there were things in the movie that i liked--but the 2 or 3 things i liked here just seem to get lost in the truly lousy everything else that makes up the bulk of this movie. That's an accomplishment tho right? Maybe if i wasn't holding the movie to somewhat higher expectations thanks to the first scene i wouldn't have the reaction i had? let the backpedaling start!
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Offensive, Dull, And Pointless
jplondon120 October 2012
Like the other reviewer, I wanted to like this film. It began with very real-seeming characters in Los Angeles dealing with the dysfunctional male-female dynamics there that can cause relationship difficulties, and I thought, maybe this is going to be like Swingers.

The problem is that the characters are SO vile, unappealing, and the entire film is so full of hatred and awful dialogue, that I couldn't care less what happened to any of these people.

All the female characters were basically drugged-out whores (except for the mother whose main dialogue line involves some insane comment about not going to restaurants because of black mold...?) But all the other women are portrayed as unintelligent, money-grubbing, shallow and promiscuous and have absolutely no redeeming qualities.

And the main male protagonist is so incredibly unappealing that I cannot understand what the viewer is supposed to be hoping will happen - he continuously treats every woman awfully and then acts frustrated that his women are not noble and are all basically treating him in a shallow way. It boggles the mind. And he is a (bad) father to a small child as well.

I really have not much else to say except to avoid this movie at all costs if you value your time. None of the characters learns anything, grows in any way, or is remotely interesting.
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all lit up
cheapholiday9 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
It's a drinking movie where the photography matches the mood, it's litup, darkly. So going into the theatre you are really headed into a good and dark bar. The story is set during the holidays, so it would be a good view then. The opening may set the tone as well as Bob in the ambulance and Abbey Lincoln on the score in Drugstore Cowboy. That's high praise.

It's a drinking movie with some good lines, too, from barkeep Busey; unlike the drink, the actress Zima is a convincing hookup and cheapie, gives good slur; Haas has a convincing Angelenoaire to his character.

And because it's a drinking movie, I'm still not sure if crazy eyes even exists, guess it takes some to see that one.
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Outstanding Portrayal of Young Love and Alcoholism
John Denver23 October 2013
Wonderfully acted, great dialog, great cinematography, great soundtrack. This movie was a most pleasant surprise. Give it 15 min and if it hasn't pulled you in then the movie just isn't for you. I honestly can't believe why anyone would give this movie less than a 7 but who knows. The movie is honest, the dialog is not laughable as one reviewer mentioned. "I tried to drown the monsters in my head but they learned to swim," the main character says about his struggles with alcoholism. Jake Busey is great in this film. I have seen him in various movies over the years and he is perfect for this movie. One of the best movies to come out of 2012 regardless of financial success.
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Unsure of what it wants to be
euroGary8 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Those who saw 'Witness' (I didn't) may recall Lukas Haas, its child star. Well, now he's grown up and in 'Crazy Eyes' plays a millionaire alcoholic drug-addict who spends his days trying to convince the titular prostitute to have sex with him (given his awful beardy thing it's no wonder she keeps turning him down). The film is okay, but can't seem to decide if it's a serious work or a comedy: hangovers seem to be played for laughs, but family scenes that demonstrate how much Haas' character is ignoring his responsibilities are drama. There's a child actor in this film, too, but unless he gets his adenoids sorted out he's unlikely to follow in Haas' adult footsteps.
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How could America shell out $6,106 for this tease . . .
Hot 888 Mama21 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
. . . and why isn't any of the alleged $10 million budget shown on screen? I could see that the part where Rebecca totals her junker car on a fountain or something might cost a few hundred bucks to stage, but the TV career actors who "grace" CRAZY EYES just seem to be picking up paychecks, as nothing really heartfelt is conveyed. The plot of this flick leads absolutely nowhere, and there is not one character who earns even the tiniest smidgen of empathy. When one finally croaks, the viewer only wishes that the whole story was taking place inside his head, which would have ended this miserable mess right there. No such luck. This story states that the 8 million residents of the L.A. area are entirely interchangeable in protagonist Zach's opening voice-over, and Lukas Haas as Zach does a good job of convincing those unfortunate enough to watch CRAZY EYES through to the close that "Zach" was right: no guy alive in Hollywood could have done a WORSE job of playing Zach as a booze-swilling womanizing loser with totally nothing to remember him by. (Tip for Haas: rent Nick Cage in LEAVING VEGAS.)
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The Maudlin Truth Above Franklin Ave.
hewrote-14 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
It's 3am. I'm writing a review because this movie doesn't deserve all the hate people are giving it. It's a Los Angeles movie. And it accurately renders one of the ways that Los Angeles can make a person feel. Movies like Spread (w/Ashton Kutcher) and In Search of A Midnight Kiss have also explored the absolute pessimism that effects a certain strata of the city. But this film takes more risks with its characters than the other two and these risks reward the viewer with a more substantial portrayal of life and love after all the dreams are gone. These characters don't exist to uplift you, they exist to make you feel compassion.

And they do, mainly because of the performances. Haas and Zima allow themselves to be vulnerable and ugly in ways that movie stars never will. Haas creates a character with a thousand faces and no self. He's a father, a son, a seducer, a cuckold, a self-pitying douche-bag-trust-funder, and a seemingly self-made man at different points in the movie. He's a series of moods stitched together by booze, regret and his desire for Zima. Madeline Zima is also wonderful. And in spite of running around in sexy outfits and lingerie through out the film she is never objectified by the camera or the director. She is particularly excellent in the swimming pool scenes where she reveals her character's heart and authenticity.

The director deserves some credit for these performances and for the respect he gives his actors and the characters. Only directorial miss was one messy scene in a bar with a bunch of out of focus camera moves that could have been cut.

All the other problems in this movie come from the script. The subplot with his father never resonates and it undermines the main character's climatic romantic decision. And the bar fights seem like the writer threw them in to keep the film from being too talky. The fights look okay, but they don't serve the story or change the characters. In spite of these few flaws, I wanted to know more about these characters when the movie ended.

It's definitely worth watching for the performances and overall emotional honesty.
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Still hungover with this flick!
meeza6 October 2012
Call me crazy (you won't be the first) but I feel that the independent movie "Crazy Eyes" was able to achieve its vision of a man and a woman consumed by troubles who resort to each other and a few bottles of the finest spirits to uplift their spirits. "Crazy Eyes" stars Lukas Haas as Zach, a pre-middle aged California man, wealthy by probably inheritance nature, who has a crazy crush on a younger recluse of a gal called Rebecca who bottles up her escapism with a few bottles of Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker, Jose Cuervo, and the rest of the usual liquorish characters we have all come to ingest from time to time. Rebecca does not reciprocate the same affection that Zach has for her, but nevertheless keeps him around; maybe for his money, or maybe because they share the same taste in beverages. Zach is divorced from a gold- digger beauty who wants the green from the Zach machine to keep her in the upstate Cali beachside world. They share a young son who Zach does visit and loves, but then again Zach should not be applying for any "Father of the Year" Award. Zach is primarily consumed with his lust for Rebecca and his passion for drinks, drinks, and yet more drinks. Zach's best buddy is a Cali bartender (no shocker here) named Dan Drake, also quite a lush himself who consumes his own inventory among a plethora of hardcore drugs. "Crazy Eyes" is not a balanced film whatsoever, and Director Adam Sherman does helm it with an unorthodox style which is not pretty in nature, but somehow it does have an effect; which is pretty much a microcosm of most of our drunken nights. Sherman scripted "Crazy Eyes" with Dan Reeves, and their screenplay is not a classic one and it falls short in trying to mirror some of the bravado elements of "Leaving Las Vegas", but somehow it gets the job done. Haas performance was solid as Zach. However, Madeline Zima's work as Rebecca was a bit overacted, and it seemed like that she had way too many Zima bottles to get into character. Jake Busey, Gary's son, performance as Dan Drake served up some good thespian ingredients. And Tania Raymonde's "easy on the eyes" work as a drug-addicted sleazy deserves a second round of work in other movies. "Crazy Eyes" is not a perfect structured movie whatsoever, but it did give me tipsy enough to buy into it, and vastly enjoy it. ***** Excellent
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