In this scathing and subversive social comedy, life in post riot Los Angeles is dissected under the sardonic eye of John Boyz, an unemployed thirty nothing flounderer on Venice Beach who is...
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In this scathing and subversive social comedy, life in post riot Los Angeles is dissected under the sardonic eye of John Boyz, an unemployed thirty nothing flounderer on Venice Beach who is trying to figure out what to do with his life. John can't be bothered with apathy, but no matter how much he wants to help people, he is too immobilized to do anything useful. Haunted by chronic insomnia and impending sense of doom, all he can do is watch, and John is an avid observer. Through his voyeuristic binoculars, he struggles to make sense of all the alienation and disaffection he sees in his neighborhood. In his journal he meticulously chronicles the mundane down to steadfast march of ants across his kitchen counter. John is desperately trying to keep one meaningless day from blending into next. He compulsively watches homemade videos of LA riots looking for a clue. But everywhere around him the city's social fabric is coming apart at the seams, and now it is John Boys's own threadbare ...Written by
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This sixties time-warped retro kind of "power to the people" nineties flick is mostly a procession of set pieces, some of which are not bad. The bit at the gun store with Billy Bob Thornton was superb. The crack philosophers scene was also very good. And the way "What's So Funny ‛Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?" was sung so badly was just perfectola. (Actually that's "What's So Bad about Peace, Love and Understanding?" but whatever...)
And the way that big silver fish popped those gold fish...gulp!
I think some of the negative comments about this movie ought to be greeted with a "Whoa, dudes--get a sense of humor." Or, "Don't be offended, man, it's only a movie." Or maybe, "Uh, the soundtrack is awesome, dude." (Oh, god, people really did talk like that!) The dream sequences fooled me at least twice. They were funny. Funniest line: when the trash lady pulls her rifle out of her cart and says "Vive la Revolution!" Second funniest line: "What kind of music do you want to hear?" "The farm report."
Okay, this was no masterpiece, and any episodic movie sans plot is not going to rival The Godfather here at IMDb. And James LeGros ain't no Marlon Brando. And if you've ever been to Venice Beach...well, you know it's a freak show. But I think director and screen writer Peter McCarthy did a nice job of bringing that slacker street scene to life. I think the big mistake was to headline actors like Steve Buscemi, John Cusack, Ethan Hawke, and Billy Bob Thornton when they only had cameos. That should have been made clear up front. And there was more than a touch of the kind of sixties moral pretension that we've all grown a little tired of. But bottom line for me, this was a funny movie.
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