The Search For One Eyed Jimmy was quite a strange experience. The offbeat style of this independent film is reminiscent of many from the time, however has the feel of a home made college production. And not in a good way.
The movie's weak plot starts out with us meeting Les, a student filmmaker who decides to make a documentary about the oddball inhabitants of his old neighbourhood. The production soon shifts to the whereabouts of "One Eyed-Jimmy", a "bum" who we learn has been missing for a number of days. Along with the help of old friend "Joe Head" (Michael Badalucco) and sneaky reprobate Junior (Nicholas Turturro) Les sets off to make the documentary of a lifetime.
The plot itself is fairly irrelevant. The film's purpose appears to be the encounters between Les & co and the town's eccentric neighbours. Filmed in 1993, obviously before a lot of these actors were famous, the film is marketed as a Steve Buscemi vehicle, despite him only getting about 15 minutes screen time. Boy how I yearned for more. Holt McCallany plays our protagonist with about as much confidence and conviction as Paris Hilton performing route canal surgery. The various cameos range from amusing (Samuel L. Jackson, playing a former army Colonel...or maybe he just thought he was) to the bizarre (Sam Rockwell, as One-Eyed Jimmy himself) to the down right equivocal (John Turturro as Disco Bean). You will be completely bewildered as to what purpose these encounters serve. Most of them aren't very funny, and seem to be prolonged.
Despite it's relatively short running time of 80 minutes the film appears to have been edited by a chimp. Independently spirited, you say? Not quite. If you watch a Spike Lee or Tarantino feature like Reservoir Dogs you'll see it is edited quite impressively, and never feels like it was made for next to nothing. I can only assume that the director took a bunch of actors on a booze cruise then wondered into an open lot, nicked a bunch of cameras and decided to film this. No producer to tell them that it serves no-one but themselves.
I don't mind a film being shallow, but there really is nothing to be gained from seeing this. It's not a terrible film by any means. There have been films made for a hundred times the amount of this which have stank many a cinema out. John Turturro's younger brother Nicholas is perhaps the stand out of the ensemble cast, not that it saves the film.
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