Starring: Val Kilmer, Kate Bosworth, Lisa Kudrow, Josh
Lucas, Tim Blake Nelson, Christina Applegate, Carrie Fisher and
Directed by: James Cox
even with its delectable cast, slips and clucks through its own
artful delivery ultimately creating nothing more then a kinetic
mess of a film with glimpses of genius.
story is kind of a non-proven fictional tale of an infamous non-fictional
massacre in Hollywood California. Back in the early eighties a
group of drug dealing thieves took the advice of a sleazy coke-snorting
ex porn-star John " Johnny Wadd" Holmes (Val Kilmer)
and decided to rob a huge (and powerful) Los Angeles crime boss-like
entrepreneur named Eddie Nash.
the group of would-be-rich-from-the-take fools didn't realize
who they were hitting until the repercussion of their act
showed up in the form of a group of metal-pipe toting murderers
sent by Nash to unlife the lot.
the real Hollywood-style twist came in how these thugs knew where
to find the addle headed crooks. Seems their ex-porno film king
"friend" sold them out to save his own neck - or for
revenge for their treatment of him regarding his share of the
take after the fact
even a smidge of thought given that Holmes himself assisted in
the head smashing the thieves got. Which makes sense if he were
pleading he had "nothing to do with it." A kind of old-world
hoodlum test if you will.
are also introduced to Holmes' Holly Hobbie-ish almost catatonicly
dense wife Sharon (Lisa Kudrow) who still helps Holmes and his
new teenage gal pal Dawn (Kate Bosworth) try to escape all the
self wrought trouble
film's all over the place, and that's its error. You can divert
and ricochet to and from times and characters (Charlie Kaufman
continually proves that), but you can't just stitch together haphazardly
Val Kilmer as the well-endowed porn king John Holmes as always
just disappears into the skin of his character though here
the manlyberry studmuffin is all bearded up and looking more like
Bee Gee Barry Gibb then sleazstack Holmes visually. I run to see
anything Val-yum does. I'm not opposed to tripping old ladies
to get my center seat when he's involved! I am never disappointed
with his performance - rent Salton
Sea for example and enjoy
Kate Bosworth is great as the clueless teen under Holmes' spell.
Good for her and this non-all-American good girl soiree!
Bogosian is just terrifying as the Austin Powers-like villain
Eddie Nash. You could practically smell the Aqua Velva and death
A virtually unrecognizable Dylan McDermott sheds his practical
Armani and slips into the skin of a drug-snorting creepazoid as
tough as an angel from Hell. Who knew this Studly Doright was
so buff-o-rama? Not I said the little reviewer wiping her brow
in fond memory of the vision of man yum before her
But the rest of the incredibly talented cast is given tiny and
infuriating bits to develop. The film has sexy mansicle Josh Lucas,
quirky Tim Blake Nelson, Carrie Fisher, delightful Janeane Garafalo,
Natasha Gregson Wagner, a scummed-up Christina Applegate and so
forth just wasted.
style is superb. The sets are absolute time capsules of the era
without being a cartooned memory thanks to the production design
from Franco-Giacomo Carbone and the cinematography of Michael
Grady. The editing and graphics are fresh and visually exciting.
But director James Cox (who also co-wrote the screenplay with
Capt. Mauzner) moves so quickly through oodles of information
and characters he neglected to develop the story's people and
make us care about their tale. Maybe he knew the script too well
to guide it to first-time viewers? Cox does however, show he's
immensely talented and just needs to take himself out of
the mental vacuum before release in the future.
recommendation: Sixteen sugar packets and small black coffee.