Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
Like most people I saw this movie by accident. I then hunted down a copy on VHS and found it in a bargain bin at my local Blockbuster. This film gets better on repeat viewing. As a fan of road movies this film is an unappreciated little gem. Like other lost films of the 80's, like Miracle Mile, I hope a DVD will be released eventually. Why is it worth checking out? 1. It stars the late, great Chris Penn and 80's bad boy Adrian Pasdar, of another 80,s cult classic, Near Dark ,fame. 2. The sound track arranged by Sonic Youth, inc. tracks by Timbuk 3 and World Party, like any good road movie ,is excellent, e.g. Wild At Heart and Easy Rider. 3.What makes this different, unlike most road movies, is that it shows the America not of wonderful scenery and natural beauty but of ecological and economic decline during the era of Reagonomics. 4. The cinema-photography is extremely powerful, showing us a normally unseen side of the American landscape. 5.With its unsympathetic characters, on the road, looking for redemption in one form or another,the film is a nod to Easy Rider. But this being the 80's they travel by stealing cars or trucks, pass through ecological disaster areas and the goal of their quest is a beach babe in a surfing magazine. The possible reason for the film's disappearance? 1.Lori Singer. Lori Singer. Lori Singer.Oh ,dear remember her? a flaky character played by Miss Kooky 1988. 2. The wolf.This story thread just does not make any sense at all. All cult films must have some moments of imperfection. But for it's bravery in going against the grain in the era of Rambo it deserves some recognition.
I will get the minuses out of the way first. 1.This compilation is just
of the Warner Bros.era so the classics of the early years are not here,
alas.But as they are available elsewhere we have to just put up with
it.But imagine how brilliant a full DVD of ALL their songs would
be.Sigh. 2.There are still some songs of the Warner Bros.era missing so
it is not complete.I wish the band would get over Shiny Happy People,
as it is a great ironic pop song that I know they have written out of
their history as an embarrassment.I know people took it at face value
but it was a big hit single and its disappearance is noticed.
3.It is in reverse order which is a bit unsettling as the band visibly get younger in each promo.
Now to the videos:
1.Bad Day.The newest song is ironically the oldest here having been written around the time of Document.The video is done in the style of a newscast and it works well. 2.All the way to Reno.A very uplifting video to a very downbeat song.Micheal Moore and some college kids direct a video of such freshness that it puts most others to pretentious shame.A surprising little gem.Warning, Peter Buck smiles in this video. 3.Imitation of Life. One of those how-did-they-do-that videos i.e.the band coughs up lots of money to help pay for new effects experiments that the advertising industry will make a fortune using. 4.The Great Beyond.A film tie-in promo that actually moves you.Unheard of until this.The film and song are about Andy Kaufman and it works beautifully.Not just a movie advert with music. 5.At My Most Beautiful.Another lovely song.But I was a bit distracted by the clumsy cellist having a rubbish day on the way to her audition. 6.Daysleeper.The set-list should have been moved about a bit as the songs in this segment are frankly, very similar in mood.A great song about working night-shifts but I found myself wanting to jump around to something idiotic like,say...Shiny Happy People. 7.Electolite.Another downbeat but moving song but this is helped by the band being silly in the video.Hurrah. 8.E-Bow the Letter.Moody promo to a moody song.A personal favourite with goddess Patti Smith mooching around Prague,singing as only she can ,a duet with Mr.Stipe.A bedsit classic. 9.What's The Frequency Kenneth? Suddenly Peter Buck is prodded into life and guitars are switched ON and I remembered that REM have one the most talented guitarists in the world.This ode to stalked newscasters is a classic.In the video though, Mr.Stipe came to terms with the onset of baldness by being filmed from the neck down only. 10.Nightswimming.A black and white promo of naked people swimmimg.At night. 11.The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite.More black and white, but with humour. 12.Everybody Hurts.Quite simply one of the greatest songs ever written.The video is not subtle put it packs a punch.All you can do is cry like a baby. 13.Man on the Moon.More shots of Andy Kaufman.The song that inspired the film that they then sung the theme song for .Mr.Stipe does a good Elvis impression, though. 14.Losing My Religion.Another genuine classic song.The promo though is a little on the very pretentious side.The band are surrounded by classical figures doing silly classical things like holding apples for no apparent reason. 15.Stand.A poppy silly song, probably ironic to. In fact it's not unlike Shiny Happy People but minus the embarrassment. 16.Orange Crush.Another classic.With guitars.The video is another black and white one but with a Vietnam vibe.
The Extras: All great songs from the last few albums but with unbelievably bad videos. Live classics from Trafalger Square,London.
If you are a fan of REM this is a must have.
THE FILM: The third of Parker's 80's heyday films following Birdy and
Angel Heart,Mississippi Burning is an acting masterclass.From Hackman
and Defoe in the leads to all the supporting cast. As per usual it
looks great and has some strong images. For all this it gets 7 out 10.
THE STORY: Is based on the real events of the murder of 3 civil rights activists in 1964 Mississippi and the subsequent FBI investigation into their deaths. The problem is not with the ongoing story of how the Fed's crack the case.This is fiction based on fact and as a police story it works fine.
THE COMPROMISE: 1, the FBI. J.Edger Hoover in 1964 was possibly the most powerful man in the country, with a file on everyone of importance or power.The FBI was his private fiefdom. Mr.Hoover believed Martin Luther King was a Communist and had no sympathy for the Civil Rights Movement.This is mentioned in one small line of script.The Bureau would have to go after murderers but was certainly on no crusade. Mr.Hoover detested the Kennedys and only kept his job because he had enough info to destroy them.So how the Defoe character, as a Kennedy man , got beyond a filing job is hard to say. Mr.Hoover used Hollywood to create the myth of the G-man ,this myth is still alive and kicking in this film.The Gene Hackman character had been a Mississippi sheriff and obviously part of a Bureau dirty tricks squad and we are expected to believe he has a bleeding heart under his badge. What would have made it interesting if his character was more truthful.The FBI was an all white agency and it certainly was not politically correct.Mr Hoover's views were no secret so rascism would certainly not effect anybody'career.Again this is hinted at in his speech about his father. 2,the KKK, It seems the whole white community in the South is a member which oversimplifies the situation a lot. Also, it does not show the main cause of the hatred was the Southern establishment,the wealthy landowners who encouraged the politicians,the police and judiciary to preach segregation as a classic measure of divide and rule of the poor- whites and African-Americans. It also ignores the fact that segregation had been twisted into the very fabric of the Southern states post- Confederacy identity. 3,the African-Americans, The docile passivity,gospel singing over ashes of churches and the lack of anger is patronising in the extreme.The Civil rights movement was born in South and the churches were its most vocal advocates.
Maybe if this film had been made in the 70's rather than the 80's these major background issues would not have been ignored.
After the surreal darkness of Delicatessen and City of Lost Children, via the hugely underrated Alien Resurrection, Jean Pierre Jeunet brings his original vision to Amelie, a fairytale of lightness and hope. Audrey Tatou is absolutely fall in lovable as Amelie whilst co -starring with the city of Paris. Where is the dog poo, the traffic and the rain ? Frankly who cares?But trust me don't sell up and move there just yet. God is in details.And as this film goes along you appreciate all the small things that make a life so rich and full. Jeunet's visual flair is here in spades.The film looks stunning, and as Michael Mann does with L.A., Jeunet makes Paris a character of beauty. Amelie "a child of a neurotic and an iceberg" creates around herself a world of fantasy. After she leaves home and gets a job as a waitress in a Parisien bar she decides to help others find happiness. But can she find happiness herself? This question will be answered during a film of eccentric beauty, wit and gallic charm. Just go with flow and enjoy.