Reviews written by registered user
wardicus2002

3 reviews in total 
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Good Luck (1996)
4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Good,with reservations, 27 January 2004

GOOD LUCK is an entertaining, frequently very funny, and extremely well-acted film. Unfortunately, it can't quite make up its mind whether it wants to be a realistic depiction of the problems facing the disabled or a feel good film. The strong language and sexual situations make it the former--some of the more unrealistically upbeat scenes the latter. Still, it's a lot better than many films that get more publicity. And the acting is superb. Max Gail is wonderful in a small but crucial part. The late Gregory Hines is excellent, although there's something disconcerting about such a great dancer confined to a wheelchair (although that may have been the point of his casting). And look here--Vincent D'Onofrio in what probably is the most conventional starring role of his career. And he looks terrific, right from the film's start, when he's speeding along in a sports car. He's believable as a football star, and, as always, a terrific actor.

Can I recommend it? Definitely for D'Onofrio and Hines fans. It would also be a nice antidote to the usual sports film. It certainly deserves to be better known.

Wardicus

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Weird, quirky, but fun, 5 December 2003

Alright, HAPPY ACCIDENTS is a weird, pretentious movie. It has all the marks of an artsy-fartsy independent film--the handheld camera moves, the jumps in time, the improvised scenes--but it works. The fact it works is largely the result of the excellent leading performances by Marissa Tomei and Vincent D'Onofrio. Tomei makes her character (who's a bit of a doormat and whiner) into a likable, realistic person. If there's a better actor at playing characters who can't quite fit in their own skins than D'Onofrio, I haven't seen him. He's splendid in this film, and very funny and touching by turns. He's particularly good in the scene where his character dazzles a classroom of children with his language skills.

The writer/director/editor Brad Anderson seems to be a bit self-conscious in his work (some scenes shout "Look at me! I'm a quirky independent movie! I'm art!"), and some of the film is frustrating. Is Sam Deeds, D'Onofrio's character, really a time traveller? Is he insane? Does it matter? Anderson never really seems to care about this. Then again, this ambiguity is one of the film's strengths. Perhaps the point of HAPPY ACCIDENTS is that love is what matters, rather than time, space, or mental health.

It's far from a perfect film, but I'm happy I gave it 2 hours of my life, and I'll probably give it more time in the future.

Wardicus

3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
A gem, 2 December 2003

Vincent D'Onofrio seems to appear in two kinds of films--big budget ones where he appears in bizarre supporting roles (think MEN IN BLACK); or small, independent ones where he appears in eccentric leading roles. THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD is one of the latter, and Mr. D'Onofrio is extraordinary as Robert E. Howard, the pulp writer who created Conan the Barbarian. His performance is funny, intelligent, scary, and heartbreaking. Few actors take as many chances as D'Onofrio, and some find his work too over the top. But he hits every right note in this film--it's a great performance. Renee Zwellegger is excellent as well, and deals well with her part in spite of the fact her role is somewhat underdeveloped. The film also does a splendid job in capturing the joys and terrors of living in a small rural community, and the cinematography is stunning. There are also wonderful performances by Harve Presnell and Ann Wedgeworth as Howard's parents.

The film does require the viewer to think, and to relate to characters who have serious shortcomings. These characters are well worth knowing, however. And the film contains one of the most romantic and tragic kisses I've ever seen on screen. Make the effort to see this movie.

I strongly recommend the DVD of this film--the commentary by Dan Ireland, Mr. D'Onofrio, and others is insightful and entertaining.