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The movie starts out okay, until they wheel in John's body to the morgue. When he wakes up on the autopsy table, and decides to run for it, then begins the utter tastelessness of this movie. John is subjected to viewing his life and all of the turmoil he created with "Angel," a Puerto Rican cab driver with a wicked sense of humor -- subjecting him to criticism and attempting to try to get him to cross over.
The two actors who portray John and Dan look nothing even remotely close to the real actors, (let alone anyone else related for that matter, i.e., Lorne Michaels,) making it difficult to really try to concentrate on them and how they were in real life... but that is the tip of the iceberg.
I believe this was supposed to be an "artsy" film -- John constantly being tormented by drugs (i.e., the powdered soap in the bathroom being cocaine,) in such a way that was also difficult to follow. The flashbacks are choppy, also making it difficult to understand.
Probably the most tasteless scene was when John is (literally,) forced to undergo his autopsy and is in pain while they remove his heart to weigh it, saying that it was abnormally large due to drug use, obesity, yeah, we get the point without the grotesque portrayal.
There are very few other actors we know of in the movie, (where's Carrie Fisher for instance? They were incredibly close. And Jim Belushi would have been a great person to show,) it looks VERY cheaply made, (we felt it looked as if the graphics were from the early 80s or late 70s,) it felt as if it was filmed in about a week and all in all, didn't show the side to John at all. I felt I knew a little bit more about him from watching episodes of Saturday Night Live.
On one last note, Bob Woodward comes across narcissistic by placing himself in the movie, arguing with John about writing his life story. For someone who was supposed to be very highbrow, concerning the bust on Nixon, his calibur of person could match any writer in the National Enquirer, and therefore losing my interest in any of his work from this point forward.
SKIP THIS MOVIE. If you want to see more on John, watch his movies, see clips of Dan Akroyd talking about him or hope someone has the taste to make another movie on John that goes along the lines of "Man on the Moon," which is ultimately what we were expecting. I guess this was a "moral" kind of movie -- you know, don't do drugs, but I guess the creators of this film didn't understand that his death made a number of people (like Carrie Fisher,) stop doing drugs altogether for that reason.
It's character assassination, which doesn't in itself mean this is a bad movie, just a distasteful one. I thought it was a really good film. Perhaps one that should never have been made, but maybe that's why it's so powerful.
Every film has an agenda, so this one is no different... but just because it stays fixated on one angle doesn't mean that there's no insight at all to be gained from it.
He was a comic who got a gig on Saturday Night Live, was great friends with Dan Ayckroyd (who was on the show with him), they did "The Blues Brothers" on the show and in a movie (and he did other movies as well), he was married and he died from dope. Oh, and Bob Woodward wrote a bio on him.
That's exactly ALL this movie tells.
So, save yourself a few bucks at the video shop and RENT SOMETHING ELSE!!
I was a Belushi fan, but I never shared the opinion that Woodward's book was a hatchet job...on the contrary, I though it was a pretty good piece of journalism.
This movie, however, is not at all faithful to the book. There is a bunch of "ghost of Christmas past" kind of stuff with the ghost of Belushi riding through his past with a Latino cab driver who identifies himself as Belushi's 'guardian angel'...where did this come from?
It's certainly not in the book.
Everyone involved seems embarrassed to be part of this mess, and so they should!
On a scale of 1 to 10 I give "Wired" a MINUS 20...utter and complete garbage...the final insult to a great performer.
Not just the portrayal that bothers, the way this was written and presented is terrible as well. I refuse to say the writer of this wrote a screenplay, he made something else but not a screenplay. He took Bob Woodward's biographical work, used very little of facts and invented countless devices in order to make this appealing or as the next "Citizen Kane" due to its several flashbacks and the point of view of a journalist - represented by Woodward as a character (played by J.T. Walsh) investigating the final moments of the actor, interviewing people who knew him. It gets truly ridiculous when Woodward is taken to the very fatidic day of Belushi's death. But until that moment comes, we were already introduced to a taxi driver who is an angel of death who not only takes Belushi (played by Michael Chiklis, way before of The Shield fame) to the afterlife passing back through moments of his life and work but also he has the "power" of delivering the man to hell (a possible homage to "The Seventh Seal" but instead of a chess game it's a pinball game who'll might save John's life). Where does one came up with those ideas? The only praise I give to this involves the presentation of a film director based on John Landis. Since they couldn't use his name due to a possible lawsuit, they picked an actor who resembled him (but not that much) possibly filming "The Blues Brothers" and there's a hint of whom he might be because of a background noise of helicopters flying around (referencing the future tragedy of "The Twilight Zone: The Movie" happened in Landis segment).
There's nothing special about "Wired". Nothing. There's just too many things in it, and none of them are serviceable enough to make us interested enough. Biographical pieces tend to present good and bad moments of a person analyzed; "Wired" doesn't do that, just focus on the negative and destructive side of Belushi. And when the movie seems to be presenting his trajectory whether performing his Blues Brothers gigs or shooting a movie or the SNL skits, they're never energic, funny, careful. Worst of all: it doesn't look happy and one can say that most of those memorable moments were some of his happiest, joyful and important things in his life. Drama is cheesy and ridiculous, the comedy numbers don't provide laughs of any kind; the musical performances work sometimes. Everything goes without enthusiasm.
What's left to be said about "Wired"? The acting. Chiklis almost impressed me from time to time in playing Belushi (the first scene was one of those parts) but in the end it's just another case of an actor impersonating another actor, it goes on and off and it's disappointing. But one cannot deny some talent from his part, he can hold a movie along as the lead. I really felt bad watching one of my favorite character actors involved in this and worst he's not doing well his part. The Woodward played by Walsh doesn't sound or behave like a reporter, he seems quite naive about Hollywood and famous, making dumb questions that even viewers know the answers, he isn't intrusive as he could be and like most reporters are. The rest of the cast (Alex Rocco, Dakin Mathews, Patti D'Arbanville, Tom Bower and others) all seem to be embarrassed in their supportive roles. Best thing of the show is the guy who plays the angel, although he's a bit annoying, you can find some humor in him.
All the curiosity in the world doesn't worth wasting one hour in this, clearly one of the worst biopics ever made. 1/10
It's then alone in the L.A County morgue that Belushi suddenly comes to life and ends up riding in a taxi cab with Angel Velasquez, Ray Sharkey, whom we find out is also like Belushi really dead, for some eight years, of a drug overdose. The rest of the movie has Belushi with both Angel's and Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's, T.J Walsh, help review his short life, Belushi was 33 at the time of his death, and how he so royally screwed it up.
The film "Wired" is so confusing in it going back and forth in time that you have trouble following it not knowing if the John Belushi on the screen is either the live or the dead one. We do have John doing a number of his memorable acts on TV and in the movies but their more or less padding giving the film, thats seems far to long, its 112 minutes of running time.
The film really gets interested when it focus on Belushi's drug addiction that lead to his untimely death on the morning of March 5, 1982. Losing control of both his career and wife Judy, Lucinda Jenney, due to the pressures of being on top as a Hollywood super star John's reliance on drugs, mostly cocaine, took precedent over everything else in his life. Too strung out to work and feeling that he's soon to become poison, after a string of flops, in the box office Belushi just about gave up on himself. Belushi spent all his time when he was supposed to be writing a script for his latest film in his plush L.A hotel room getting himself high on the drugs that ended up killing him.
Depressing movie that shows what drugs, legal as well as illegal, can do to you and those you love by letting them take control of your life. John Belushi's life as well as death is all too common in Hollywood with drugs like cocaine being readily available to big time actors and actresses like himself. Belushi's serious drug addiction wasn't a secret to those who knew him which makes his death even that much more tragic. Instead of trying to get him help, in drug rehabilitation, Belushi's desperate plight was put aside-by his employers- as long he brought the big bucks into the studios. It's when his career started to wane that Belushi's drug dependency started to intensify and get out of control.
John Belushi wasn't alone in having himself end up on a cold slab in the L.A County morgue! He had a lot of help from those who encouraged and supply him with illegal drugs over the years. But in the end it was John and only John, by giving into his drug addiction and refusing to get help, who was more responsible then anyone else in having himself end up there.
P.S It's Bob Woodward's biographical book on John Belushi's wild and stormy life as well as his tragic but not at all unexpected death that the movie "Wired" is based on.
The plot revolves around the lifestory of the late John Belushi. Belushi's corpse rises out a bodybag,eats a cheeseburger and is met by his guardian angel,together they walk through key events in his life.
The film goes downhill from there.
Belushi is portrayed as bullying slob of a junkie,the film is poorly cast and directed and the storyline is horrible.
Don't even waste your time renting it.
Well the director did go beyond Woodward's narrative. He added a hip Hispanic angel named Velasquez that was not in the book. He had Bob Woodward interview the dead Belushi in an exchange in the morgue. The film had all the insight of someone stoned on PCP staring at his navel.
If this is a spoiler to you, you will thank me for it because it is absolutely the worst movie ever made.
As if the film hadn't engaged in enough lame cliche, it gets worse. While Belushi is taking a ride through his life, Bob Woodward is contacted by Belushi's widow who asks him to investigate his death. Woodward flies to Los Angeles to trace Belushi's last days. In the only interesting technique employed by the film, Woodward finds himself witnessing events in Belushi's life firsthand. Unfortunately, this effect is destroyed when the characters in the flashbacks start to interact with Woodward. Cathy Smith, as Woodward watches, looks up as she is administering the fatal injection of heroin to Belushi and says, "Wanna shot, Woodie?". Lame. Then, as Woodward is alone in Belushi's room, watching him die...the two get into a conversation which ends with Woodward telling Belushi, "I would help you John, but you did this to yourself". In another scene, Belushi is awake for his own autopsy. The film is ruined by several such lame attempts to be shocking, disturbing, or artsy, and only succeeds in being crude and offensive.
John Belushi's death rocked Hollywood and changed attitudes about drugs. Drug humor was no longer funny after his death. "Wired" thankfully does nothing to try to reverse this or glamourize drugs. Unfortunately, what could have been a entertaining-if-tragic tribute to Belushi's talents is instead a muddled mess with no sympathetic characters, no warmth, no message, no point, and Chiklis' brilliant performance wasted on a film of virtually no value.
Rest in peace, John.
Everyone knew about Johns history. Everyone knew how he died. Some even knew that the lore did not make him out to be particularly friendly towards women in improv or comedy.
But hey. the man led his life and he was loved intensely by the people who were in his world, and lore also states that he treated all of his close friends with love and respect.
This movie. Well. Forget the idea of poor Michael Chilklis (who is a really great actor) being in a really astonishingly bad film, and really only relegated to doing an impersonation of the man.
Forget the idea that they could not get the rights to any of Belushi's work...and all the SNL scenes never happened that they portrayed in the movie.
Screw the idea that half of the historical information in the film did not even follow Bob Woodwards work. Kinda saying "Okay...we are about to mess with Belushi...now lets go after Woodward too..." They also decided to take the premise of It's a Wonderful Life and turn it into It's a Horrible Life on Crack.
Is he a guardian angel or the devil? Is the pinball machine the devil's assistant electronic device...how many different endings can you tack onto to a movie? It is one of those movies after it is over...you look at the person you are with and in stunned disbelief go "What the hell was that?!" In some circles this movie has become a kinda cult classic. But for good reason.
A good cult classic you sit around the screen and make fun of (or throw out snappy one liners) to the screen. A cult film is never good. And most people would never watch them in any serious context.
If you want to watch some classic bad late 80's fair stoned? Rent Wired. If you want to know about John Belushi...you can get more information off of the walls of Second City Chicago than this movie.
It fails to work either as a tribute to Belushi's unique talent, or as an accurate account of his short life.
A pointless mess with no redeeming features.
The movie begins with JB as a fresh corpse in the LA morgue, and his now disembodied soul, escaping, and roaming the earth, transported by his afterlife taxi-driver-spirit-guide, ' Angel ' (played by Ray Sharkey, in one of his last major film roles, and whose own drug use ultimately led to death himself). The two experience past & present events as observers, ala, " A Christmas Carol ", trying to make sense of the situation.
While simultaneously, Journalist Bob Woodward, on whose book the film is based, is brought in to investigate the circumstances surrounding JB's demise, with hints of the future dramatic forensics of, ' CSI '.
The story cuts back & forth, with shades of the flashback sequences in Milos Forman's, ' Amadeus ', another film about a self-destructive celebrity, and that also showcases performances of the subject, climaxing in a, ' face to face conversation ', between Belushi & Woodward, which is apparently a metaphor for the reporter's attempt to posthumously get inside the comic's head, in order to better understand him.
I get why, ' Wired ', was largely panned, but I think I also get what the filmmakers were actually TRYING for here: Juxtaposing the surrealistic fantasy of Belushi's ghost journey through time & space, vs the reasoned objectivity of Woodward's factual reporting.
And this premise MIGHT have worked, IF the creators had focused more clearly on what exactly they were trying to get across to the audience.
Yet as it is, all we are left with is a series of episodes from Belushi's life, with only the bare bones of continuity; an example of why interesting ideas still need effective execution all the way through.
All of the sudden, you meet Bob Woodward, the world-famous reporter who broke the Watergate scandal. He tells you that he wants to write a biography about your husband, showing his grand life and his tragic downfall. You of course agree, reasoning that the world deserves to know your husband's whole story. The good and the bad.
But when the book comes out, something goes terribly wrong. There's a whole lot of the bad, but virtually none of the good. The happier moments in your husband's life are either glossed over or woven into moments of piggish selfishness, and the bad moments are focused on with a heavy-duty microscope, exaggerated tenfold or outright fabricated.
Now you know the story of "Wired." A bizarre and confusing chapter in the book of Woodward, the only book he ever wrote that wasn't about politics. And that would be an unfortunate and tasteless enough end to this story were it not for this movie's production.
A mere year after publishing his hatchet job, Woodward was trying to auction off the film rights to his book, but no one wanted anything to do with it. Woodward eventually secured a low-budget studio's cooperation and production on this cinematic abortion began.
Even the gullible fans of Bob Woodward's Wired don't enjoy this film. What could have been a straight-forward Bio-Pic about the troubled life and times of a famous actor turns into a bizarre Three Stooges-style farce. Apparently the filmmakers decided that what a hard-hitting biopic about the raise and fall of a real person needed was comedic fantasy sequences of John Belushi's ghost traveling around with a wise-cracking Hispanic taxi driving guardian angel literally named "Angel."
The movie is a confused mess of bad ideas, poor execution and bad storytelling as the narrative goes back-and-forth between hammed up, exaggerated dramatizations of situations that vaguely resemble things that really happened, low-budget reenactments of legally safe bootleg versions of SNL sketches, and the insufferable "It's a Wonderful Life" subplot. The "Angel" character is one of the most unlikable characters in the whole film, spending his time either being Scrappy Doo levels of annoying and cracking bad jokes, or going on morally righteous tangents about how John Belushi ruined his life with drugs and is a piece of crap who deserves to die. He really is the heart and soul of this movie. The black, withered, shrunken heart and soul.
Woodward claimed Hollywood didn't want this movie made because it contained "too much truth." An assertion that becomes absurd once you actually watch the film. Even ignoring all of the ridiculous fictional elements, the "Real life" elements are just as out-of- touch with reality. People who were enablers and willing participants in Belushi's drug use become dotting parents who lecture him on the dangers of drugs, incidents that were totally innocuous are rewritten as bombastic pivotal disasters, and major moments in Belushi's life are either glossed over in seconds or totally ignored.
But by far the most insane and bizarre thing about this movie, even more bizarre than the inclusion of Angel the magic cab-driver and Ghost Belushi, is the inclusion of Bob Woodward himself as a character. Woodward, who served as a consultant on the film, is inexplicably featured in the story as a heroic protagonist unraveling the mystery of Belushi's untimely death. Watching this film would give you the impression Woodward was a brave hero everyone loved and Belushi was a mean junkie who everyone hated.
But getting angry at this film is pretty pointless, since it was a massive commercial and critical bomb. It's highly anticipated premier at Cannes ended in boos and a disastrous press conference and it's controversy and dubious quality ensured it never got a full home video release.
So is there anything redeemable about this film? Well, Michael Chiklis is great as Belushi. He looks like him, sounds like him and captures his attitude and behavior perfectly. Too bad this movie nearly ruined his career. At least him and Jim Belushi tearfully reconciled years later. Can Chiklis really be blamed for taking this part? This was his first real movie ever.
The story of Wired is far more interesting than Wired's story.This film is an interesting piece of film making history and an intriguing chapter in the life and times of Bob Woodward. But as an actual film? It's a real stinker. Don't even bother with it.
When I started writing reviews I incorporated comedy into my articles, not funny trendy internet meme's I mean stupid crap that I found funny. It gave it a personality, and that's why I had more readers than I could ever imagine (I imagined maybe 6). John was by far my favorite comedian, can someone who may have not lead the most perfect life be a bad inspiration? No, not at all. While he didn't make good decisions he was always nice to fans and cared about his work. Doesn't make him a saint but... he was still my inspiration and a good one. Blues Brothers was actually the first movie review I ever did, I didn't actually review it I just praised it. Although breaking down every little piece of comedy, breaking down every little scene and line actually revealed interesting details I never knew before. There's so many hidden laughs to have at this movie and breaking it down only made me love it even more.
So why the hell did I watch this? Well excuse me for thinking Hollywood would make a touching biography about one the greatest comedians of all time. You'd think a little, tiny sliver of respect would be in here somewhere. Somebody during the filming would say "Hey I liked John shouldn't we make him... oh I don't know, NOT look like a total druggy loser with no redeemable qualities?!" For ****s sake the man was in Blues Brothers... one of the most well know (and funniest) people on SNL.
This film makes me sick to my stomach. The imagery of John screaming for help laying on an autopsy table... literally hurts me to watch. It doesn't help Michael played this role so good... too good (he's a good actor). I feel guilty for being apart of the crowd that hated Michael Chiklis but as I grew up I learned who to really point my finger to. Actually going back to this movie after all these years I realized Michael Chiklis is the best part of this movie. Not many people could... no one could fill his shoes but if there was someone who had to do his sketches Michael Chiklis would be the next best thing.
Anyways, as with most people's lives which end in such tragedy it's important to take lessons learned and remember them so we don't make the same mistakes. But don't make their entire life based around those damn mistakes, he should be remembered as one of the greatest comedians of all time and a good person to his fans. Penny pinching bastards that made this piece of **** deserve to have their dead bodies paraded around on a film then shown to their family members as punishment. Oh too harsh? Well that's what they did to Belushi!