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"ALWAYS BE CLOSING!" by Dane Youssef

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 9 September 2009 06:53 (A review of Glengarry Glen Ross)

by Dane Youssef


Well-played, well-written look at the bottom rung on society--salesman. Real-estate, exactly.

Yes, it's a "photographed play." Like just about every other play adaptation to the big screen... but it's so well done, you don't care. Like "The Odd Couple" or... "Lost In Yonkers..."

The actors thankfully move outside the office a bit (outside the building, in cars, phone booths, restaurants... and at one point, over to someone's house)

This movie could have been called "Life of A Salesman." Men who dedicate their lives to selling real estate. Land and so forth. It's not as easy and as coast-worthy as it all seems.

God, what a racket. These people are all so cynical, bitter and desperate. They're claustrophobic and turning on each other. Their whole source of income and life rely on these little cards. "Leads." Little cards with names, numbers and addresses of people who want to buy land. But some of them are so old...

A red-hot salesman from downtown (Alec Baldwin, in a role written especially for him) comes down to motivate, drill and berate everyone into bringing their numbers up. When another salesman makes the mistake of protesting against all the abuse and calling Blake on his rant, Blake decides to put him in his place.

He flashes his watch. He shows off his car. "I made $970,000 last year. How much you make? Mitch & Murray asked me to come down. To help get the numbers up. As a favor. I told them that the real favor would be to take my advice and fire you. Because a loser is a loser."

Then Baldwin shows the 'Glengarry Glen' leads. He holds them and shows them off to the other salesman like he's holding the royal crown jewels. The hope diamond. The holiest of holy grails. Well, to these guys... they are. Baldwin remarks smugly, "These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry leads. To you, these are gold... and you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away." I like when Ed Harris starts to protest of this guy's dressing-down and Baldwin snaps back. He shows no mercy. Drills right through him. This is some of the best Baldwin has ever done.

"You see this watch? You see this watch? That watch costs more than you car. I made $970,000 last year. How much you make? You see pal, that's who I am, and you're nothing." He goes on and on, but I won't spoil it here.

Then he FINALLY drops the bombshell. "We're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired."

And there are more than three salesman in the office. One way or another, a lot is going to be trimmed. Not necessarily fat. Just... trimmed. A lot. To save money.

The characters are sharply drawn and in a story that is intertwined and sown together with skill and surprise. The all-star cast does the best with Mamet's angry, fierce and realistic speak (the adaptation is by Mamet himself, from his Pulitzer-Prize winning play). Pacino is (as always, blistering) as the star salesman who's landed the top of the board with his fresh catch James Linsk (Alan Arkin).

Ed Harris as Dave Moss is good as an angry, self-righteous salesman who's just such a [profanity removed] . An arrogant S.O.B. A great moment is when someone finally deflates him. Pops the big bag of hot air. Shows him to be scared and insecure underneath it all. His repeated cries of "F-ck you!" just reveal how truly desperate and insecure he truly is...

The buttoned-down office manager John Williamson (Kevin Spacey) who's "by the books to the core" and has never been out there, selling it, in the sh*t a day in his life. He's just a company man. "A secretary... and white bread" as some of the salesman in the office call him.

But the true breadwinner is the touching elderly Jack Lemmon as Sheldon "The Machine" Levene. Once the office golden boy, he was ahead and selling big week after week after week... reigning the very top of the board. The owners used to say things like "That car, that trip to Bermuda... you bought that for me..." Now he just can't sell. He sounds so grandfatherly and princely on the phone... you want to trust him so much. He's like Santa Claus.

But Shelley cannot find anyone who wants to buy. All the name and address cards ("leads," they're called) are older than Lemmon. Many have moved on and found better service elsewhere. The machine is longer up and running and Lemmon does a magnificent job of painting him a portrait of a burned-out star. A has-been. It's painful to look into those big sad dog-eyes of his...

He at one point goes to the house of someone who just doesn't want to buy. That's understandable, isn't it? Hey, how many times have you met a salesman who just won't get it. But Shelley's desperate. He bargains. He pleads. He drops his price. No sale. His heart seems to be breaking when...

There are many a great moment in "GGL." Where Baldwin drills the troops, when Harris is hoisted on his own petard, when Lemmon works his old time magic with potential customers... and when a salesman pulls a hustling con on a customer... all to have one misunderstanding--a split second blow the deal.

It would be unfair to go on with how the rest plays out. Suffice to say that it is worth watching again and again and again. The whole movie. It's a hard-boiled classic. Look for it wherever you can. Ask for it by name: "Glengarry Glen Ross."


by Dane Youssef


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"THE BEAUTIFUL SWAN SONG OF THE 1980'S"

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 9 September 2009 06:49 (A review of The Adventures of Ford Fairlane [Region 2] [import])

by Dane Youssef


More dated than a Vanilla Ice album, "Ford Fairlane" was clearly a vehicle for Dice.

Unfortunately, this big loud, rock 'n' roll, sex-starved Ford crashed and burned. Figures. It was made in America.

During that fabulous, f----d-up era known as the '80's, the Diceman was on top of the world. Known for his persona as an Elvis impersonator with tackiness and bad vibes to spare, his over-exaggerated mock "Itallian" accent, his trademark leather jacket jeweled all-over with rhinestones and studs, chain-smoking and spreading misogyny and prejudice. (sniff, weep, sob. I really miss the '80's).

The whole movie looks like a film that clearly embodies the whole spirit and soul of the '80's.

The tropical mellow melody from "Yello" is great and so is Vince Neil and Sheila E. (although they should have had more time with their numbers), and Tone Loc plays himself as "undiscovered." Getting out only one measly verse.

20th Century Fox distributed this one, and it was the first in what was supposed to be a string of vehicles for the Diceman. But after this one went belly-up, 20th Century Fox shredded Clay's contract into confetti. Like many entertainers who had created a character persona, The Diceman was a soup de' jour that fell of the menu.

Now the Diceman's very presence in a movie or TV show is a red flag. A dire warning that this will go down in flames and crash-land into the ocean. Which is why the Diceman wisely chooses to limit his presence to stand-up gigs.

Can the lovable everyman Andrew Silverman (yes, I am being sarcastic) play anyone besides "The Diceman"? Doesn't look like it. Still, that is essentially what this movie was meant to be him doing his Diceman shtick in a movie lead with a different name.

Some fan on eCritic once described Clay's Diceman character as "Elvis Presley given a fatal over-dose of testosterone." He hit the nail right on the head so dead-on, it was breath-taking. Yes, THAT is the Diceman.

The humor never rises above the belt-line (natch), but the real problem is that the junior-high school humor isn't very inventive.

But no, that's not what Dice is about, is it? Still, one of the screenwriters is the award-winning Daniel Waters, who wrote the '80's teenage-angst high school masterpiece "Heathers." So you expect some amount of wicked lines and skewering satire. And for the most part we get that. There are great things in this movie (a few), some good things... and too much other stuff.

Renny Harlin really gives the movie a hip, smooth, glossy neon look, as well as first rate comic-action sequences. Not to mention a cast as priceless as the original works of Picasso. Some (actually, many) said the movie's one real problem was the casting of Dice. Well, I can kinda see what they're saying. Hey, it's a Dice movie. Deal with it. Well, you can't please everybody.

The movie is chock-full of big name celebrity walk-ons. There are so many names dropped here, you want them to pick some of them up. Gilbert Gottfried is sleazier than he's ever been as a obnoxious, grosser-than-the-grossest-gross-out DJ who's Fairlane's childhood buddy and now #1 in the ratings. Gottifried makes us laugh in that way that only he can and thankfully his role lasts just long enough so that he doesn't get on our nerves.

Brandon Call (who's been acting since the cradle) is endearing as a little kid who idolizes Ford and follows him around faithfully like a stray puppy. This film is a take-off of detective pictures, including "Dick Tracy." So just like "Dick Tracy," Ford gets involved with this young little ragamuffin who wants to be just like him and is also name "The Kid."

Naturally. And Priscilla Presley is golden as the femme fa-tale who doesn't even bat an eye at Ford's juvenile behavior. Robert Englund steals scenes from Clay as a merciless hit-man who's scarier, funnier and more energetic than Freddy Krueger ever was.

But while there is a lot of hip music video rock imagery and big name musicians walking through like this whole movie is a big MTV music awards after-party, not too many of them do the music that they're so known for doing.

Wayne Newton seems appropriate as a blow-hard record exec who seems too full of helium, Priscilla Presley as the necessary whodunit femme fa-tale, David Patrick Kelly as a perverted fan.

But the sweetness of the movie comes from Lauren Holly as Ford's girl Friday Jazz (who's the only one with a uterus who calls him on what a s--t-crock he is). "I'd always love Jazz... 'cause she despised me for who I truly am," Fairlane tells us. And Call's "Kid" idolizes and emulates Fairlane the way most boys do superheroes. He is the innocence of the film.

Clay has the looks, stature and self-confidence to play a leading man, but not the charisma. But then again, most of us have just seen his "Diceman" shtick. But can he do any other shtick? Although this movie seems to lean towards 'no,' one has to remember than he was just expanding on his 'Diceman' shtick, because, around that time, it was still hot.

This guy had a hot career all throughout the '80's... and just as his career was really blowing up... it blew up. Still, I love this movie.

Ever since women took over in the late '90's, they censored and repressed us with a de-humanization form they like to call "political correctness." So that's really why I love this movie (and not just me, really), but a lot of other guys, too.

It was made during a time when it was still OK to be a man.


by Dane Youssef


danessf@yahoo.com

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"THE BEAUTIFUL SWAN SONG OF THE 1980'S"

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 9 September 2009 06:49 (A review of The Adventures of Ford Fairlane)

by Dane Youssef


More dated than a Vanilla Ice album, "Ford Fairlane" was clearly a vehicle for Dice.

Unfortunately, this big loud, rock 'n' roll, sex-starved Ford crashed and burned. Figures. It was made in America.

During that fabulous, fucked-up era known as the '80's, the Diceman was on top of the world. Known for his persona as an Elvis impersonator with tackiness and bad vibes to spare, his over-exaggerated mock "Itallian" accent, his trademark leather jacket jeweled all-over with rhinestones and studs, chain-smoking and spreading misogyny and prejudice. (sniff, weep, sob. I really miss the '80's).

The whole movie looks like a film that clearly embodies the whole spirit and soul of the '80's.

The tropical mellow melody from "Yello" is great and so is Vince Neil and Sheila E. (although they should have had more time with their numbers), and Tone Loc plays himself as "undiscovered." Getting out only one measly verse.

20th Century Fox distributed this one, and it was the first in what was supposed to be a string of vehicles for the Diceman. But after this one went belly-up, 20th Century Fox shredded Clay's contract into confetti. Like many entertainers who had created a character persona, The Diceman was a soup de' jour that fell of the menu.

Now the Diceman's very presence in a movie or TV show is a red flag. A dire warning that this will go down in flames and crash-land into the ocean. Which is why the Diceman wisely chooses to limit his presence to stand-up gigs.

Can the lovable everyman Andrew Silverman (yes, I am being sarcastic) play anyone besides "The Diceman"? Doesn't look like it. Still, that is essentially what this movie was meant to be him doing his Diceman shtick in a movie lead with a different name.

Some fan on eCritic once described Clay's Diceman character as "Elvis Presley given a fatal over-dose of testosterone." He hit the nail right on the head so dead-on, it was breath-taking. Yes, THAT is the Diceman.

The humor never rises above the belt-line (natch), but the real problem is that the junior-high school humor isn't very inventive.

But no, that's not what Dice is about, is it? Still, one of the screenwriters is the award-winning Daniel Waters, who wrote the '80's teenage-angst high school masterpiece "Heathers." So you expect some amount of wicked lines and skewering satire. And for the most part we get that. There are great things in this movie (a few), some good things... and too much other stuff.

Renny Harlin really gives the movie a hip, smooth, glossy neon look, as well as first rate comic-action sequences. Not to mention a cast as priceless as the original works of Picasso. Some (actually, many) said the movie's one real problem was the casting of Dice. Well, I can kinda see what they're saying. Hey, it's a Dice movie. Deal with it. Well, you can't please everybody.

The movie is chock-full of big name celebrity walk-ons. There are so many names dropped here, you want them to pick some of them up. Gilbert Gottfried is sleazier than he's ever been as a obnoxious, grosser-than-the-grossest-gross-out DJ who's Fairlane's childhood buddy and now #1 in the ratings. Gottifried makes us laugh in that way that only he can and thankfully his role lasts just long enough so that he doesn't get on our nerves.

Brandon Call (who's been acting since the cradle) is endearing as a little kid who idolizes Ford and follows him around faithfully like a stray puppy. This film is a take-off of detective pictures, including "Dick Tracy." So just like "Dick Tracy," Ford gets involved with this young little ragamuffin who wants to be just like him and is also name "The Kid."

Naturally. And Priscilla Presley is golden as the femme fa-tale who doesn't even bat an eye at Ford's juvenile behavior. Robert Englund steals scenes from Clay as a merciless hit-man who's scarier, funnier and more energetic than Freddy Krueger ever was.

But while there is a lot of hip music video rock imagery and big name musicians walking through like this whole movie is a big MTV music awards after-party, not too many of them do the music that they're so known for doing.

Wayne Newton seems appropriate as a blow-hard record exec who seems too full of helium, Priscilla Presley as the necessary whodunit femme fa-tale, David Patrick Kelly as a perverted fan.

But the sweetness of the movie comes from Lauren Holly as Ford's girl Friday Jazz (who's the only one with a uterus who calls him on what a s--t-crock he is). "I'd always love Jazz... 'cause she despised me for who I truly am," Fairlane tells us. And Call's "Kid" idolizes and emulates Fairlane the way most boys do superheroes. He is the innocence of the film.

Clay has the looks, stature and self-confidence to play a leading man, but not the charisma. But then again, most of us have just seen his "Diceman" shtick. But can he do any other shtick? Although this movie seems to lean towards 'no,' one has to remember than he was just expanding on his 'Diceman' shtick, because, around that time, it was still hot.

This guy had a hot career all throughout the '80's... and just as his career was really blowing up... it blew up. Still, I love this movie.

Ever since women took over in the late '90's, they censored and repressed us with a de-humanization form they like to call "political correctness." So that's really why I love this movie (and not just me, really), but a lot of other guys, too.

It was made during a time when it was still OK to be a man.


--Having Driven A Ford Vehicle, Dane Youssef


danessf@yahoo.com

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"THE BEAUTIFUL SWAN SONG OF THE 1980'S"

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 9 September 2009 06:48 (A review of The Adventures of Ford Fairlane)

by Dane Youssef


More dated than a Vanilla Ice album, "Ford Fairlane" was clearly a vehicle for Dice.


Unfortunately, this big loud, rock 'n' roll, sex-starved Ford crashed and burned. Figures. It was made in America.


During that fabulous, fucked-up era known as the '80's, the Diceman was on top of the world. Known for his persona as an Elvis impersonator with tackiness and bad vibes to spare, his over-exaggerated mock "Itallian" accent, his trademark leather jacket jeweled all-over with rhinestones and studs, chain-smoking and spreading misogyny and prejudice. (sniff, weep, sob. I really miss the '80's).


The whole movie looks like a film that clearly embodies the whole spirit and soul of the '80's.


The tropical mellow melody from "Yello" is great and so is Vince Neil and Sheila E. (although they should have had more time with their numbers), and Tone Loc plays himself as "undiscovered." Getting out only one measly verse.


20th Century Fox distributed this one, and it was the first in what was supposed to be a string of vehicles for the Diceman. But after this one went belly-up, 20th Century Fox shredded Clay's contract into confetti. Like many entertainers who had created a character persona, The Diceman was a soup de' jour that fell of the menu.


Now the Diceman's very presence in a movie or TV show is a red flag. A dire warning that this will go down in flames and crash-land into the ocean. Which is why the Diceman wisely chooses to limit his presence to stand-up gigs.

Can the lovable everyman Andrew Silverman (yes, I am being sarcastic) play anyone besides "The Diceman"? Doesn't look like it. Still, that is essentially what this movie was meant to be him doing his Diceman shtick in a movie lead with a different name.


Some fan on eCritic once described Clay's Diceman character as "Elvis Presley given a fatal over-dose of testosterone." He hit the nail right on the head so dead-on, it was breath-taking. Yes, THAT is the Diceman.

The humor never rises above the belt-line (natch), but the real problem is that the junior-high school humor isn't very inventive.


But no, that's not what Dice is about, is it? Still, one of the screenwriters is the award-winning Daniel Waters, who wrote the '80's teenage-angst high school masterpiece "Heathers." So you expect some amount of wicked lines and skewering satire. And for the most part we get that. There are great things in this movie (a few), some good things... and too much other stuff.


Renny Harlin really gives the movie a hip, smooth, glossy neon look, as well as first rate comic-action sequences. Not to mention a cast as priceless as the original works of Picasso. Some (actually, many) said the movie's one real problem was the casting of Dice. Well, I can kinda see what they're saying. Hey, it's a Dice movie. Deal with it. Well, you can't please everybody.


The movie is chock-full of big name celebrity walk-ons. There are so many names dropped here, you want them to pick some of them up. Gilbert Gottfried is sleazier than he's ever been as a obnoxious, grosser-than-the-grossest-gross-out DJ who's Fairlane's childhood buddy and now #1 in the ratings. Gottifried makes us laugh in that way that only he can and thankfully his role lasts just long enough so that he doesn't get on our nerves.


Brandon Call (who's been acting since the cradle) is endearing as a little kid who idolizes Ford and follows him around faithfully like a stray puppy. This film is a take-off of detective pictures, including "Dick Tracy." So just like "Dick Tracy," Ford gets involved with this young little ragamuffin who wants to be just like him and is also name "The Kid."

Naturally. And Priscilla Presley is golden as the femme fa-tale who doesn't even bat an eye at Ford's juvenile behavior. Robert Englund steals scenes from Clay as a merciless hit-man who's scarier, funnier and more energetic than Freddy Krueger ever was.

But while there is a lot of hip music video rock imagery and big name musicians walking through like this whole movie is a big MTV music awards after-party, not too many of them do the music that they're so known for doing.


Wayne Newton seems appropriate as a blow-hard record exec who seems too full of helium, Priscilla Presley as the necessary whodunit femme fa-tale, David Patrick Kelly as a perverted fan.


But the sweetness of the movie comes from Lauren Holly as Ford's girl Friday Jazz (who's the only one with a uterus who calls him on what a s--t-crock he is). "I'd always love Jazz... 'cause she despised me for who I truly am," Fairlane tells us. And Call's "Kid" idolizes and emulates Fairlane the way most boys do superheroes. He is the innocence of the film.


Clay has the looks, stature and self-confidence to play a leading man, but not the charisma. But then again, most of us have just seen his "Diceman" shtick. But can he do any other shtick? Although this movie seems to lean towards 'no,' one has to remember than he was just expanding on his 'Diceman' shtick, because, around that time, it was still hot.


This guy had a hot career all throughout the '80's... and just as his career was really blowing up... it blew up. Still, I love this movie.

Ever since women took over in the late '90's, they censored and repressed us with a de-humanization form they like to call "political correctness." So that's really why I love this movie (and not just me, really), but a lot of other guys, too.

It was made during a time when it was still OK to be a man.


--Having Driven A Ford Vehicle Lately, Dane Youssef


danessf@yahoo.com

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"IF YOU'RE A DIE-HARD DICEMAN FANATIC..."

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 9 September 2009 06:46 (A review of Dice Rules)

by Dane Youssef


"...WELL, YOU STILL MAY NOT LIKE THIS ONE"


Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Bill Cosby, Bernie Mac, Darryl Hugley, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Harvey. What do they all have in common?


They are all stand-up comedians who have had the honor of having their stand-up acts get filmed into movies.


"Dice Rules" is one of the few to actually make it to theaters. And with good reason. Dice is one of those comedians who has a strong persona and stage presence. As a matter of fact, that's stronger than any of his material.


The very beginning of the flick where the Diceman croons is almost worth the rental price. He has such pipes, you kind of wish he actually put more use into them. He did a first-rate job in his first (and only) Hollywood star-vehicle "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane" where he sings "But I Ain't' Got You." He does the same here with an opening bit "Can't You Take A Joke?" But before we're treated to the main course (Dice in a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden), we get an appetizer. You know, so these things feel more like an actual movie than just some tape-recorded stand-up bit.


The opening clip entitled "A Day In The Life" features a cock-and-bull prologue about who he was (Andrew Silverstein) before he became "The Diceman." Eddie Murphy has a brilliant one in his stand-up movie "Raw," and Martin Lawrence had an effective one at the beginning of "Runtelldat" where the press is airing out Lawrence's dirty laundry and kicking him when he's down on his knees.


That quickie movie in "Dice Rules," is the biggest abomination and folly since Napoleon and Waterloo. Dice has NEVER been this unfunny. Has anyone?


The Jerry Lewis vocalizations are painfully annoying. Not just annoying really, but actual torture. Like bamboo under the fingernails or death by a thousand cuts. I know he's know for that s--t (he's known for breaking into on occasion), but it irritates to the point that we feel like we're being interrogated. The people antagonizing his a--, riding him like a damn pogo stick, until he's ready to break. It's so horribly done. It's not even so bad, it's funny. It's more like... unforgivable. And the payoff (I can't believe I just used that term), is so patronizing, it's the most offensive thing in the whole movie. Not the goddammed stand-up material.


I read right here on IMDb that the whole "Diceman" character was largely inspired by Jerry Lewis in "The Nutty Professor." Fine, but that mock Lewis voice is excruciating. And the other actors are just as bad. Well... almost as bad.


Good Lord, and he wrote this bit? I was so sick, I couldn't even vomit.


Then this mini-colonoscopy ends and we're treated to centerpiece. The minute we see the Diceman pull on his luxurious studded trademark leather jacket, we know something big is happening. As if Elvis himself has resurrected and is performing for one night only. Perhaps for them, it is.


His impersonation of an Italian accent is so thick, you could choke on it. It's a miracle he doesn't.


The weirdest thing about the film is the audience members in concert. The audience doesn't stay quiet while he tells his jokes and then laugh when the punch line comes. They spend almost every second throughout the film cheering. Every time he opens his mouth, every time he says something---anything--the audience cheers like mad. Hell, every time he finishes a sentence (even before he actually even begins to make a point), the whole damn crowd gives him a standing ovation.


Jesus, throughout the whole damn movie, the cheering never stops. Dice may the star here, but it feels like we hear the damn crowd more than him. I... I must confess, I actually someone to start heckling them. I wanted to start throwing tomatoes at the crowd.


Remember the "Seinfeld" episode where Jerry gets heckled by Kramer's girlfriend, so Jerry, in retaliation, goes to where she works to heckle her? Yeah, I wanted to grab every one of them and scream, "Hey, idiots! You're in awe of the Dice, I can see that, but I can't hear HIM! DAMN!


Oh, and you know that whole "Jerry Lewis" vocal shtick I was talking about? Yeah, he keeps doing it throughout the whole movie. Whenever he's impersonating someone else, especially some woman. Lord, it makes you want to kill. Him.


Dice's usual subjects---women, sex, homosexuals, New Yorkers, the elderly, the ill. Hell, birds and insects, even. I gotta admit, I laughed at that. Damn freaking' birds & insects.


Still, as a stand-up concert film, this one's kind of a strike-out. The opening bit is too dumb and horrible to inspire anyone to do anything, but feel pain. And the rest of the stand-up, well... if you're a Dice fanatic (and you damn well who you are), then well.. hit-and-miss.


Dice is polarizing. You love the MF or you want him dead. There's no middle ground.


So, if you are reading these words right now... this review, and ANY of the other registered user reviews on IMDb for this one... that means that...


A)Youv'e been wanting to see this movie since you first fell in love with Dice. But it's been hard to find, especially on DVD. Not exactly "Casablanca."


B)You already have and you're just curious to see what others had to say about it.


Otherwise, you'll give yourself rabies, beat yourself to death, swallow fire (and more) before you even glance at one frame at anything related to Dice.


Still, "Ford Fairlane" continues to be his best work. I'd like to see Silverman actually cut a whole album full of music with himself on vocals and maybe push back for a while on the possibility of another comedy album anytime soon.


--Dice Bores, Dane Youssef


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"IF YOU'RE A DIE-HARD DICEMAN FANATIC..."

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 9 September 2009 06:45 (A review of Andrew Dice Clay - Dice Rules!)

by Dane Youssef


"....WELL, YOU STILL MAY NOT LIKE THIS ONE"


Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Bill Cosby, Bernie Mac, Darryl Hugley, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Harvey. What do they all have in common?


They are all stand-up comedians who have had the honor of having their stand-up acts get filmed into movies.


"Dice Rules" is one of the few to actually make it to theaters. And with good reason. Dice is one of those comedians who has a strong persona and stage presence. As a matter of fact, that's stronger than any of his material.


The very beginning of the flick where the Diceman croons is almost worth the rental price. He has such pipes, you kind of wish he actually put more use into them. He did a first-rate job in his first (and only) Hollywood star-vehicle "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane" where he sings "But I Ain't' Got You." He does the same here with an opening bit "Can't You Take A Joke?" But before we're treated to the main course (Dice in a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden), we get an appetizer. You know, so these things feel more like an actual movie than just some tape-recorded stand-up bit.


The opening clip entitled "A Day In The Life" features a cock-and-bull prologue about who he was (Andrew Silverstein) before he became "The Diceman." Eddie Murphy has a brilliant one in his stand-up movie "Raw," and Martin Lawrence had an effective one at the beginning of "Runtelldat" where the press is airing out Lawrence's dirty laundry and kicking him when he's down on his knees.


That quickie movie in "Dice Rules," is the biggest abomination and folly since Napoleon and Waterloo. Dice has NEVER been this unfunny. Has anyone?


The Jerry Lewis vocalizations are painfully annoying. Not just annoying really, but actual torture. Like bamboo under the fingernails or death by a thousand cuts. I know he's know for that shit (he's known for breaking into on occasion), but it irritates to the point that we feel like we're being interrogated. The people antagonizing his ass, riding him like a damn pogo stick, until he's ready to break. It's so horribly done. It's not even so bad, it's funny. It's more like... unforgivable. And the payoff (I can't believe I just used that term), is so patronizing, it's the most offensive thing in the whole movie. Not the God-dammed stand-up material.


I read right here on IMDb that the whole "Diceman" character was largely inspired by Jerry Lewis in "The Nutty Professor." Fine, but that mock Lewis voice is excruciating. And the other actors are just as bad. Well... almost as bad.


Good Lord, and he wrote this bit? I was so sick, I couldn't even vomit.


Then this mini-colonoscopy ends and we're treated to centerpiece. The minute we see the Diceman pull on his luxurious studded trademark leather jacket, we know something big is happening. As if Elvis himself has resurrected and is performing for one night only. Perhaps for them, it is.


His impersonation of an Italian accent is so thick, you could choke on it. It's a miracle he doesn't.


The weirdest thing about the film is the audience members in concert. The audience doesn't stay quiet while he tells his jokes and then laugh when the punch line comes. They spend almost every second throughout the film cheering. Every time he opens his mouth, every time he says something---anything--the audience cheers like mad. Hell, every time he finishes a sentence (even before he actually even begins to make a point), the whole damn crowd gives him a standing ovation.


Jesus, throughout the whole damn movie, the cheering never stops. Dice may the star here, but it feels like we hear the damn crowd more than him. I... I must confess, I actually someone to start heckling them. I wanted to start throwing tomatoes at the crowd.


Remember the "Seinfeld" episode where Jerry gets heckled by Kramer's girlfriend, so Jerry, in retaliation, goes to where she works to heckle her? Yeah, I wanted to grab every one of them and scream, "Hey, idiots! You're in awe of the Dice, I can see that, but I can't hear HIM! DAMN!


Oh, and you know that whole "Jerry Lewis" vocal shtick I was talking about? Yeah, he keeps doing it throughout the whole movie. Whenever he's impersonating someone else, especially some woman. Lord, it makes you want to kill. Him.


Dice's usual subjects---women, sex, homosexuals, New Yorkers, the elderly, the ill. Hell, birds and insects, even. I gotta admit, I laughed at that. Damn freaking' birds & insects.


Still, as a stand-up concert film, this one's kind of a strike-out. The opening bit is too dumb and horrible to inspire anyone to do anything, but feel pain. And the rest of the stand-up, well... if you're a Dice fanatic (and you damn well who you are), then well.. hit-and-miss.


Dice is polarizing. You love the MF or you want him dead. There's no middle ground.


So, if you are reading these words right now... this review, and ANY of the other registered user reviews on IMDb for this one... that means that...


A)Youv'e been wanting to see this movie since you first fell in love with Dice. But it's been hard to find, especially on DVD. Not exactly "Casablanca."


B)You already have and you're just curious to see what others had to say about it.


Otherwise, you'll give yourself rabies, beat yourself to death, swallow fire (and more) before you even glance at one frame at anything related to Dice.


Still, "Ford Fairlane" continues to be his best work. I'd like to see Silverman actually cut a whole album full of music with himself on vocals and maybe push back for a while on the possibility of another comedy album anytime soon.



--Dice Bores, Dane Youssef



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"IF YOU'RE A DIE-HARD DICEMAN FANATIC... "

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 9 September 2009 06:44 (A review of Dice Rules)

by Dane Youssef


"....WELL, YOU STILL MAY NOT LIKE THIS ONE"


Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Chris Rock, Martin Lawrence, Bill Cosby, Bernie Mac, Darryl Hugley, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Harvey. What do they all have in common?


They are all stand-up comedians who have had the honor of having their stand-up acts get filmed into movies.


"Dice Rules" is one of the few to actually make it to theaters. And with good reason. Dice is one of those comedians who has a strong persona and stage presence. As a matter of fact, that's stronger than any of his material.


The very beginning of the flick where the Diceman croons is almost worth the rental price. He has such pipes, you kind of wish he actually put more use into them. He did a first-rate job in his first (and only) Hollywood star-vehicle "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane" where he sings "But I Ain't' Got You." He does the same here with an opening bit "Can't You Take A Joke?" But before we're treated to the main course (Dice in a sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden), we get an appetizer. You know, so these things feel more like an actual movie than just some tape-recorded stand-up bit.


The opening clip entitled "A Day In The Life" features a cock-and-bull prologue about who he was (Andrew Silverstein) before he became "The Diceman." Eddie Murphy has a brilliant one in his stand-up movie "Raw," and Martin Lawrence had an effective one at the beginning of "Runtelldat" where the press is airing out Lawrence's dirty laundry and kicking him when he's down on his knees.


That quickie movie in "Dice Rules," is the biggest abomination and folly since Napoleon and Waterloo. Dice has NEVER been this unfunny. Has anyone?


The Jerry Lewis vocalizations are painfully annoying. Not just annoying really, but actual torture. Like bamboo under the fingernails or death by a thousand cuts. I know he's know for that shit (he's known for breaking into on occasion), but it irritates to the point that we feel like we're being interrogated. The people antagonizing his ass, riding him like a damn pogo stick, until he's ready to break. It's so horribly done. It's not even so bad, it's funny. It's more like... unforgivable. And the payoff (I can't believe I just used that term), is so patronizing, it's the most offensive thing in the whole movie. Not the God-damned stand-up material.


I read right here on IMDb that the whole "Diceman" character was largely inspired by Jerry Lewis in "The Nutty Professor." Fine, but that mock Lewis voice is excruciating. And the other actors are just as bad. Well... almost as bad.


Good Lord, and he wrote this bit? I was so sick, I couldn't even vomit.


Then this mini-colonoscopy ends and we're treated to centerpiece. The minute we see the Diceman pull on his luxurious studded trademark leather jacket, we know something big is happening. As if Elvis himself has resurrected and is performing for one night only. Perhaps for them, it is.


His impersonation of an Italian accent is so thick, you could choke on it. It's a miracle he doesn't.


The weirdest thing about the film is the audience members in concert. The audience doesn't stay quiet while he tells his jokes and then laugh when the punch line comes. They spend almost every second throughout the film cheering. Every time he opens his mouth, every time he says something---anything--the audience cheers like mad. Hell, every time he finishes a sentence (even before he actually even begins to make a point), the whole damn crowd gives him a standing ovation.


Jesus, throughout the whole damn movie, the cheering never stops. Dice may the star here, but it feels like we hear the damn crowd more than him. I... I must confess, I actually someone to start heckling them. I wanted to start throwing tomatoes at the crowd.


Remember the "Seinfeld" episode where Jerry gets heckled by Kramer's girlfriend, so Jerry, in retaliation, goes to where she works to heckle her? Yeah, I wanted to grab every one of them and scream, "Hey, idiots! You're in awe of the Dice, I can see that, but I can't hear HIM! DAMN!


Oh, and you know that whole "Jerry Lewis" vocal shtick I was talking about? Yeah, he keeps doing it throughout the whole movie. Whenever he's impersonating someone else, especially some woman. Lord, it makes you want to kill. Him.


Dice's usual subjects---women, sex, homosexuals, New Yorkers, the elderly, the ill. Hell, birds and insects, even. I gotta admit, I laughed at that. Damn freaking' birds & insects.


Still, as a stand-up concert film, this one's kind of a strike-out. The opening bit is too dumb and horrible to inspire anyone to do anything, but feel pain. And the rest of the stand-up, well... if you're a Dice fanatic (and you damn well who you are), then well.. hit-and-miss.


Dice is polarizing. You love the MF or you want him dead. There's no middle ground.


So, if you are reading these words right now... this review, and ANY of the other registered user reviews on IMDb for this one... that means that...


A)Youv'e been wanting to see this movie since you first fell in love with Dice. But it's been hard to find, especially on DVD. Not exactly "Casablanca."


B)You already have and you're just curious to see what others had to say about it.


Otherwise, you'll give yourself rabies, beat yourself to death, swallow fire (and more) before you even glance at one frame at anything related to Dice.


Still, "Ford Fairlane" continues to be his best work. I'd like to see Silverman actually cut a whole album full of music with himself on vocals and maybe push back for a while on the possibility of another comedy album anytime soon.



--Dice Bores, Dane Youssef



danessf@yahoo.com

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"THE INSIDE DOPE ON HOLLYWOOD OFF THE RED CARPET"

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 9 September 2009 06:42 (A review of Kevin Spacey Collection - Swimming With Sharks/Darrow)

by Dane Youssef


Now here is a movie for those looking for an attack on white-collar corporate office life, the spinning gears of Hollywood. And not overblown with big-budget special effects, scatological humor and saccarine-coated deluded big-screen implausibilities. For those looking for something really strongly written by a veteran of it's field and performed by pure-blooded thespains in the low-budget indie vein.

"Swimming With Sharks" seems to owe more than a little something to "Dilbert." The movie is more about Corporate America than Hollywood. There are a lot of white-collar touches that apply to offices, cublicles and other such rather than the Hollywood spin machine. Like Robert Altman's "The Player," this is one of those thrillers about people in "the biz" who are driven to the breaking point by how cruel L.A. can really be.

The film's writer/director George Huang himself was a former personal assistant to some of the biggest names in Hollywood, has described the movie as "20% autobiographical." Much of this one is said to be based on his experience working for noted mega-mogul producer Joel Silver for Columbia Pictures. So it should come as no surprise what-so-*****ing-ever that his first crack at film was his own life story.

Surprise, surprise, huh?

Well, more or less.

A critical darling, unseen by most of the world and known mostly for the blistering, superb performance of two-time Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey.

But despite Kevin Spacey being the big name in this movie and him getting first-billing because of it, Frank Whaley ("The Doors" and "Career Opportunities") is the star of this one. Most of anything with him headling is a sign of a bad movie ("Cold Dog Soup" and "The Jimmy Show") , but this is one of those where he shines because he's allowed to. He's not the most versative actor, the best-looking or the most charismatic. He's had a rep as being something of the life-long "bit player." But when he's given a movie, script and part which allows him any headway, he damn well manages to make the most of it.

Spacey, being one of Hollywood's finest and renown, is able to pull off the screaming antagonistic drill-instructor and the restrained, tortured hostage here pitch perfectly. Whaley effectively plays the green and naive wide-eyed rookie to the Hollywood spin machine with his usual perfection, but when the other shoe drops, he doesn't quite pull off the scorned, disgruntled employee seeking revenge. His Jeckyll isn't as convincing as his Hyde. He doesn't scare us. He never seems truly unhinged. Maybe that's why Whaley sticks to the youthful deer-in-the-headlights. He's just believable. When it comes to acting, you judge a book by it's cover. Whaley doesn't really seem as demented and unhinged as he should in his captor scenes. He's best as a whipping boy--whcih is why he plays so many.

1994 was the official year for Spacey. He got his breakout with the TV series "Wiseguys," and made the big screen transition with worthwhile fare like his Oscar-winning supporting role in "The Usual Suspects," "The Ref," "Se7en" and this. Spacey monopolized himself in the '94 as "absolute talent" (my term).

Geez, after seeing what a softball he was in "Glengarry Glen Ross" and "The Usual Suspects" who would've guessed the same actor could pull off such a corporate monster?

Well, I guess we all would have. Every time, you see him act, he has that way of letting you know he make you believe in every single role.

Benecio Del Toro, the "Brad Pitt of Mexico" (someone else's quote, believe me, I never dubbed him such) has a quickie cameo as Spacey's assistant who's given his three weeks notice and is on the way out, making way for Guy. But not before giving Whaley some final parting words of wisdom. "Protect his interests, serve his needs. What you think means nothing. What you feel means nothing. You have no brain. He yells all the time. It's a lose-lose situation." This job is a fast-track shortcut to the top and if Guy does right and keeps his mouth open wide enough to catch all of Buddy's [profanity removed] , he may very well be someday on the same mantel as Buddy and his former assistants. Everything Guy'll ever need to know about his job, he learns on day one.

Enter Dawn Locklard (Michelle Forbes of "Guiding Light" and "24"), another powerful Hollywood producer who Guy doesn't have the best first meeting with. She doesn't show a lot of warmth, which explains why she's a producer.

She herself is angry and cycnical, and throughout the course of the film, we will see why. She eventually warms up to Guy and asks him out. Guy is stunned. But she needs Buddy on her side and is interested in him getting behind her new project. Guy sees this as an opporunity. Her new project for the studio, "Real Life"may just be Guy's window of opportunity. She seems to be interested in Guy because he's the most real thing she's seen in the Valley for the longest time. But does she really feel something for him or is she just using him? Is Buddy two-faced and back-stabbing or is Dawn? Guy no longer knows what's real and what's what?

At first, we don't realize Buddy just likes to yell and scream and humiliate no matter what. Well, unless you've seen the trailers. e just likes to rant. You will never again confuse a packet of Sweet 'N' Low with Equal again. You'll never look at sugar packets the same way. This is perhaps the funniest moment in the movie. Although when Guy starts to show some spine after a lot of Buddy's tantrums, the payoff is almost evenly matched with the artifical sugar scene. Buddy gets to emotionally, verbally (and at times, physically) abuses Guy (and apparently all his assistant's) on every possible ocassion. He also gets to skewer just about everyone who crosses his path.

Kevin Spacey's rans are hilarious. We dont know whether to laugh at Spacey or feel bad for Whaley. Often, we don't know if the horrific hostage-stiuation quite works as well as the corporate office scenes.

And Kevin Spacey brings his trademark dry cynicsm and sardonic behavior to what could have been a limited one-dimensional bullying manager. But Spacey plays the character for all it's worth and then some and turns him into a memorable antagonist who is one of the sole reasons this movie has a reputation and cult following.

"Swimming With Sharks" isn't just a featherweight comedy for a slow Saturday night about a bullying boss like the trailer may lead you to believe. It's a non-cronological film which deals with white-collar office comedy and torturous drama. Shifting from a lightweight comedy to a torturous thriller. It's sort of schizophrenic thing. We're laughing heartily one minute and horrified the next. A lot of time, this one keeps us guessing as it criss-crosses from Buddy torturing Guy to vice-versa.

The whole fiim is so reliant on it's writing and acting, it was adapted into a play premiering at London's Vaudeville Theatre in 2007, featuring Christian Slater, Matt Smith and Helen Baxendale. Ys, plays can be adapted into movies and vice-versa. The movie works like the theatre or an actor's workshop, relying mostly on performance and dialouge. Spacey seems to prefer doing this type of work, judging by his resume. It's fun for actor's and it forces them to rely on their own raw talent, letting you know exactly where they stand.

But there's a lot to this movie (maybe too much) about this movie that rings true to life. A lot of moments filled with the harsh insights and disillusioned truths that one learns from living an uncharmed life. And so theres illuminating light and lessons, as well as laughs. Not to mention some great acting from the heavier moments where ugly secrets about Buddy and... well, surprisingly Dawn are revealed.

The plot is over-developed and the ending is more poetic than anything else.

But most of the movie really does does work and really does sticks with you... like all the great ones do.


by Dane Youssef


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"WHAT'S ELSE IS THERE TO SAY?"

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 9 September 2009 06:40 (A review of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Quebec Version - English/French))

by Dane Youssef


Well... what is there?

Gee... What can I say?

What can be said that hasn't been said a zillion times about this movie before? By film critics, film buffs, the other user posters on IMDb and every other person who saw this one?

But you know what? I'm not here to really promote this movie, or analyze it... I'm here to write my love letter for it. We're all here to share our movie-going experiences, aren't we? Well, f*ck it, here's mine.

I still remember being a little prepubescent boy sitting in the theater watching this movie, totally amazed and astounded by what I saw. Seeing this wacky cartoons going through a routine Tom-and-Jerry-type episode... and then... it was amazing how these movie actually tricked you, convinced you to believe that human and cartoons can exist in the same universe and dimension of reality.

There are many a great pleasures and moments in this movie, one of them is the duet at a "toon" night club called "The Ink & Paint Club" where Eddie goes to get information about Roger's wife, and the opening act is a dueling duet on the piano featuring two great legends, Daffy Duck and Donald Duck (I doubt there's any biological relation there) together at last. Why did it take so long for these two to get together? Well, they are rival entertainers for rival studios, so...

But of course, the dueling duet ends in an all-out war. Come on, we both know the hatchet wasn't going to stay buried very long.

The whole movie is worth renting just to see the two great legends, Daffy and Donald, put their differences aside for one memorable dueling piano duet ALONE.

"Roger Rabbit" pioneered not only animation and film-making style, but acting, writing, directing and a meshing together of different genres.

Imagination, luck, brilliance, skill... it's all been blended so perfectly here... just like the animation and live-action.

Funny, sharp, satirical, smart, thrilling, skillful, bright, bold, hard-boiled, colorful... at even at times, a little scary.

It one three Oscars, not to mention an Honorary Award for it's Technical Advancements.

Hell, it deserved every single Oscar it got! And a few it didn't. It should've won every single Oscar that year. Maybe some from others...

God, you know, I still remember finding my little Rescue Ranger toy in my pocket and running in back-and-forth through my fingers... I remember being very careful not to loose it as I watched this. And it was hard, damn it, all of what was going up there on the screen.

There's the best of the everything here. Everyone should see it, pure and simple. It's a movie... for pretty much everybody. A masterpiece in more ways than one.

So help me God, I cannot think of a better actor for the role of the classic, hard-boiled, rock-bottom, not-too-smooth P.I. than Bob Hoskins. I don't think he's ever played a better role in his whole life. He seems to be a strange collision of Sam Spade and W.C. Fields, in some strange way.

Christopher Lloyd proves yet again (as he does in all his roles) that he's one of the most underrated actors in the business. He's known for playing the bizarre, the crazy, the wired. But his ability to play villains, particularly more sedate and low-key ones, is overlooked so much, it's grounds for a discrimination lawsuit.

Kathleen Turner is damn perfect as Roger's Mrs; especially considering that all she does here is a voice.

"Roger Rabbit" pioneered not only animation and film-making style, but acting, writing, directing and a meshing together of different genres. Literature purists and scholars (yes, I mean geeks) will note that this movie is adapted from a novel by Gary K. Wolf, who specializes in science-fiction.

For those of you who are enamored with this movie and just learning this, are actively considering dropping this review right this instant and running to your nearest library and bookstore to pick up a copy to read as an addition to the movie or just out of curiosity, I should warn you that the movie is completely unfaithful to the novel.

Oh, both are clever and well-written spoofs of the whole "hard-boiled private-detective mystery noir genre," but the two are so completely different, in writing-style, character dialouge, plot, theme, even ending, you wonder why they even bothered to get Wolf's permission and pay him a royalty. Gee, usually these Hollywood types are a little more snaky and know how to exploit all these loopholes.

You've no doubt heard the old saying, "You can't please everyone, so don't even bother." Because when you try, you wind up ultimately pleasing no one. Least of all, yourself. It's strange, this movie seems like an exception to that one little rule. I mean, I know there's an exception to every rule, but this is one you're sure is completely iron-clad. This is a movie for everyone. This is a movie that will please everyone. And you know what else? It never got the credit for that. Think about what a big train-wreck this movie could have been. How many things could have gone wrong.

How many years Disney and Warner have been at war, all this time, money for a experiment that could have gone worse than than the killer bees and the atomic bomb. And yet, glory be, it didn't. We all live for days like this, filmmakers, film critics... and film lovers.

The best part? After it was all over... Roger and Baby Herman went on to star in several of their own cartoon shorts before the movie for real ("Dick Tracy" and "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids").

Good for them.


by Dane Youssef


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"WHAT'S ELSE IS THERE TO SAY?" by Dane Youssef

Posted : 8 years, 1 month ago on 9 September 2009 06:40 (A review of Who Framed Roger Rabbit)

by Dane Youssef


Well... what is there?

Gee... What can I say?

What can be said that hasn't been said a zillion times about this movie before? By film critics, film buffs, the other user posters on IMDb and every other person who saw this one?

But you know what? I'm not here to really promote this movie, or analyze it... I'm here to write my love letter for it. We're all here to share our movie-going experiences, aren't we? Well, f*ck it, here's mine.

I still remember being a little prepubescent boy sitting in the theater watching this movie, totally amazed and astounded by what I saw. Seeing this wacky cartoons going through a routine Tom-and-Jerry-type episode... and then... it was amazing how these movie actually tricked you, convinced you to believe that human and cartoons can exist in the same universe and dimension of reality.

There are many a great pleasures and moments in this movie, one of them is the duet at a "toon" night club called "The Ink & Paint Club" where Eddie goes to get information about Roger's wife, and the opening act is a dueling duet on the piano featuring two great legends, Daffy Duck and Donald Duck (I doubt there's any biological relation there) together at last. Why did it take so long for these two to get together? Well, they are rival entertainers for rival studios, so...

But of course, the dueling duet ends in an all-out war. Come on, we both know the hatchet wasn't going to stay buried very long.

The whole movie is worth renting just to see the two great legends, Daffy and Donald, put their differences aside for one memorable dueling piano duet ALONE.

"Roger Rabbit" pioneered not only animation and film-making style, but acting, writing, directing and a meshing together of different genres.

Imagination, luck, brilliance, skill... it's all been blended so perfectly here... just like the animation and live-action.

Funny, sharp, satirical, smart, thrilling, skillful, bright, bold, hard-boiled, colorful... at even at times, a little scary.

It one three Oscars, not to mention an Honorary Award for it's Technical Advancements.

Hell, it deserved every single Oscar it got! And a few it didn't. It should've won every single Oscar that year. Maybe some from others...

God, you know, I still remember finding my little Rescue Ranger toy in my pocket and running in back-and-forth through my fingers... I remember being very careful not to loose it as I watched this. And it was hard, damn it, all of what was going up there on the screen.

There's the best of the everything here. Everyone should see it, pure and simple. It's a movie... for pretty much everybody. A masterpiece in more ways than one.

So help me God, I cannot think of a better actor for the role of the classic, hard-boiled, rock-bottom, not-too-smooth P.I. than Bob Hoskins. I don't think he's ever played a better role in his whole life. He seems to be a strange collision of Sam Spade and W.C. Fields, in some strange way.

Christopher Lloyd proves yet again (as he does in all his roles) that he's one of the most underrated actors in the business. He's known for playing the bizarre, the crazy, the wired. But his ability to play villains, particularly more sedate and low-key ones, is overlooked so much, it's grounds for a discrimination lawsuit.

Kathleen Turner is damn perfect as Roger's Mrs; especially considering that all she does here is a voice.

"Roger Rabbit" pioneered not only animation and film-making style, but acting, writing, directing and a meshing together of different genres. Literature purists and scholars (yes, I mean geeks) will note that this movie is adapted from a novel by Gary K. Wolf, who specializes in science-fiction.

For those of you who are enamored with this movie and just learning this, are actively considering dropping this review right this instant and running to your nearest library and bookstore to pick up a copy to read as an addition to the movie or just out of curiosity, I should warn you that the movie is completely unfaithful to the novel.

Oh, both are clever and well-written spoofs of the whole "hard-boiled private-detective mystery noir genre," but the two are so completely different, in writing-style, character dialouge, plot, theme, even ending, you wonder why they even bothered to get Wolf's permission and pay him a royalty. Gee, usually these Hollywood types are a little more snaky and know how to exploit all these loopholes.

You've no doubt heard the old saying, "You can't please everyone, so don't even bother." Because when you try, you wind up ultimately pleasing no one. Least of all, yourself. It's strange, this movie seems like an exception to that one little rule. I mean, I know there's an exception to every rule, but this is one you're sure is completely iron-clad. This is a movie for everyone. This is a movie that will please everyone. And you know what else? It never got the credit for that. Think about what a big train-wreck this movie could have been. How many things could have gone wrong.

How many years Disney and Warner have been at war, all this time, money for a experiment that could have gone worse than than the killer bees and the atomic bomb. And yet, glory be, it didn't. We all live for days like this, filmmakers, film critics... and film lovers.

The best part? After it was all over... Roger and Baby Herman went on to star in several of their own cartoon shorts before the movie for real ("Dick Tracy" and "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids").

Good for them.


by Dane Youssef


danessf@yahoo.com

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