Danny DeVito is John Leary, a professional horror host "Al Gory"; whose wife's death in a car accident has left him to care for his two young boys. Loving, but useless at the daily job of fathering, the onus falls on plucky Jack the Bear (Robert J. Steinmiller, Jr.) Leary's conscience, and a quantity of alcohol, leads him to denounce a neo-fascist candidate on his children's television program, and also to the kidnapping of youngest son Dylan (Miko Hughes) by a disturbed neo-Nazi supporter.Written by
David Holmes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
At the end when Jack is playing the piano, Dylan comes downstairs and starts walking towards him. In the next shot, Dylan is back at the stairs again. See more »
I thought I knew all about monsters. I used to watch them late at night on Dad's TV show. After we moved to Oakland, he stopped doing kid's shows, because he was different now. Everything was different. Now he was Al Gory, monster of ceremonies at Midnight Shriek.
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The Leary family, John (Danny DeVito), Jack (Robert J. Steinmiller, Jr.) and Dylan (Miko Hughes), have moved from Syracuse, New York to Oakland, California in the early 1970s. John was a children's show host in Syracuse, but also has a love for horror films, and becomes a television horror film host in Oakland. On one level, the film is just a drama about the Leary's trying to settle into their new life. On another level, Jack The Bear is about confronting various kinds of monsters, from make-believe to human, as well as more abstract "monsters", including behaviors that are difficult to control and accidental tragedies such as deaths.
I've seen Jack The Bear a few times now, and every time I see it I like it even better. The performances are fantastic, taking you on a roller coaster of emotions. But it almost requires multiple viewings to really "get" the film. At its heart is the growing presence and threat of the various "monsters" mentioned above. The various monsters are all woven together in very complex ways, and most of the developments later on in the film are about how those monsters can be conquered, but always at some price. Just as the threads are densely combined, so is the vanquishing of the monsters, and both the development of the monsters and the "solutions" to them are like various pieces of a large jigsaw puzzle, each piece necessary for the whole, and often affecting the whole in unexpected ways.
The direction, script, editing, cinematography, and all of the technical aspects are impeccable. The score is also wonderful and not only enhances the setting, but underscores the dramatic developments if you listen to the lyrics closely.
A 10 out of 10 from me. Don't miss this film.
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