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Wow, Just all together BAD.
I'm somewhat shocked at all the stunningly glowing reviews for this film and how hauntingly similar they all are. I don't think the market is the only thing that smells fishy!
I went to see this film because it had been pushed as a positive film for the Jewish community. If this is positive for the Jewish community, then Blacula is the ultimate African American role model. OK, I'm being harsh, but it really wasn't a very good film.
The lead character, Putzel, was every bad Jewish stereotype available. But played in such an ineffective way as to not really matter. Like most of the characters in the film, you never really care about him. They all have frequent emotional outbursts, but they only seem to be because the script said emotional outburst. Melanie Lansky is a great actress wasted on this poorly written script. She is deeply distraught about something, but her dialogue doesn't give you a clue. Again, it seems to be a stage direction.
I think the core of the problem was a cookie cutter script. It was like a mad-libs version of script writing. It couldn't have been more exact formula in any other way. A then B then C then D. Just like teacher said. Since this is the first and last thing the screenwriter has written, lets hope it's a high school kid following a pattern he found online.
It was not bad because it tried too hard, or not hard enough, or was too anything. It was bad because it was bland, pallid, and went nowhere. Don't waste the time. If you want to visit New York, see Smoke, or 100 Cigarettes, or ANYTHING else.
The Apostle (1997)
Wonderful acting by Duvall, but a bit Disjointed.
The Apostle was a showcase for Robert Duvall, in interviews he stated that he had been waiting for 12 years to make this film, and finally decided to finance it out of his own pocket. Unfortunately when you are lead actor, director and editor, you have a tendency to use your shots over others. This was the case with the Apostle. After reading the original script, I was astounded to see all the really good scenes that were apparently cut to allow Duvall more camera time. Almost every scene that was cut, cut out another actor other than Duvall. There were many layers of the story that would have made it much more complete. I liked the film much more before I found out how good it could have been. After reading the wonderful scrpt, it turns into a self serving acting reel for Duvall.
Dinner and Driving (1997)
Wonderful Little Film, A good example of Indy Film making.
This was a delightful example of the under $500k Indy Film. Shot in rented houses, and relatives backyards, this film had acting and flow that was superior to many big studio films. Joey Slotnick was good as the pained lead character, but Sam Robards stole the scenes as his lecherous brother. It was a good turn for party of 5 star Paula Devic, and another place to see the a short clip of Indy film standard L. Christian Mixon. All in all it is a good watch, and a fine date flick.