As I started to write these comments, having watched the movie scant hours
ago, I could not remember the title. Not Forgotten was indeed forgotten after
all. If I wanted to extend the wordplay a bit, I might say that it is
eminently forgettable. But let's not go there.
It is, more or less, a by-the-numbers thriller that takes place along the
border between the USA and Mexico, with the action centered around Del Rio,
Texas. A young girl is kidnapped in broad daylight. Her father, a local
sheriff, two FBI guys and some Mexican police get involved in the search. It
turns out that many of the central characters are hiding dark secrets.
This slow, low-key film has several flaws, the worst of which is a totally
stereotyped look at the two cultures which sit side-by-side across the Rio
Grande river, the Del Rio portion of which is pictured here as more of a creek than
a river. On the American side there are stately homes on tree-lined streets,
dignified parks with old-fashioned cart vendors manned by avuncular and
good-hearted citizens, vintage mom-'n'-pop retail outlets, and kids playing
soccer with quiet determination. A few hundred yards farther south, the
streets are teeming with hookers, and any woman who is not a hooker is a
stripper. Toothless men are holding cockfights in the streets, shouting
angrily, drinking tequila until they can no longer stand, and firing guns in
the air - all accompanied by non-stop guitar and accordion music.
Kinda makes you wonder why they want to be on our side of the border.
At any rate, the film does have some interesting elements:
- One of the FBI agents is played by Long Duc Dong!
- There is a forbidding tone created by an ongoing backdrop of "Santa
Muerte," an actual Christian death cult which is disavowed by mainstream
Christianity. Its rituals and symbols provide a frightening, ominous
- The film pulls off an interesting red herring with some trick casting.
The missing girl's father talks about his deceased wife. Before the
kidnapping, the girl looks at a picture of her late mom, and the image she
holds is obviously the beautiful actress Claire Forlani, who has an
unmistakable and unique look. Therefore, when the girl is kidnapped, we
automatically think (1) the mother is not really dead since Ms. Forlani must
play a character in this film; (2) the undead mother is probably responsible
for the kidnapping. When hour passes and the search has not yet turned
up any key leads, we are mystified that we have not yet seen Forlani. Given
this film's obsession with obscure death cults, we imagine that she is this
film's version of Colonel Kurtz, a powerful, shadowy character pulling
Wrong. That was all a ruse. Forlani does appear - for about a minute.
Her character is still alive, as we deduced, but it turns out that her
ex-husband knew that all along. He was hiding it from everyone else.
Essentially, that had little to do with the main plot. Years earlier,
Forlani's character was messed up on drugs and involved with criminals, so the
father simply abandoned her and took his daughter out of harm's way.
That combination of the script and the casting created a nice little bit of
misdirection. What's even better, all of that misdirection did tie in with the
main plot in an indirect way which I can't describe without spoiling what the
kidnapping is really all about. Since Not Forgotten is actually an adequate
thriller, I need to leave those matters for your own discovery.
Box Office: I suspect that no film will ever break the box office records
set by Zyzzyx Road, the domestic gross of which reached just thirty dollars,
but had that film never existed, this one may have set some records. For
example, on Monday, June 1st of this year, this film was in three theaters and
grossed $27 - nine bucks per theater. I suppose that is only a single ticket
in each venue. Given multiple screenings, it must have played to several empty
theaters, with nobody to confirm its existence, like the proverbial tree
falling in the deserted forest. As it turns out, 27 bucks was nowhere near its
worst day. On Thursday, June 18th, its final day in theaters, it grossed six
bucks. That was the third consecutive day in single figures!
Details here. Amazingly, this film managed to hang out in at least one
theater for 49 consecutive days! God only knows why.
Reviews: Both Variety and The Hollywood Reporter gave it good reviews, and
the Austin Chronicle gave it three stars. In fact, nobody panned it!
There are numerous topless and bottomless hookers and strippers, and they
come in all shapes, sizes and ages. I passed on capturing those anonymous (and
often unattractive) body parts.
Paz Vega was topless, but the camera was behind her. You can, however, see
almost her entire butt, thanks to some scanty panties. Somebody else had
already done this, so I picked up his vid rather than duplicating his efforts.
Here's the vid. Sample below.
Catch the deluxe
version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles,
Pam Anderson film clips
This is the one film to see if you're always wanted to see a remake of
Casablanca with Pam Anderson as Rick. Despite that ridiculous premise and a 3.0
at IMDB, Scoop and Tuna kinda liked it.
This comic book film is not likely to
spur much interest in the discussion panels at Sundance and NYU, but you
may enjoy Barb Wire if the following premise appeals to your inner
child, or at least to your inner douchebag.
Start with Casablanca.
Relocate the story from North Africa in
WW2 time period to Free City, USA in some hypothetical future war in
2017 - the second U.S. Civil War.
Cast Pam Anderson as Rick.
The DVD contains "extra sexy footage not
seen in theaters," which means this: "Oops. We made a movie with Pam
Anderson and forgot to show much of her jumbo, store-bought hooters.
Nobody will buy this DVD for the story and the acting, so let's add some
irrelevant footage of Pam dancing topless while her hyper-inflated funbags are being sprayed with an oily liquid."
Not that there's anything wrong with
Ingmar Bergman was going to do the same
thing in The Seventh Seal, but his casting director accidentally hired
Bibi Andersson instead of Pam, and the checks were already cut,
so they eliminated the medieval trapeze strip from the script at the
last minute. Bergman has often remarked that he would have hired Pam
except for the fact that the movie was made ten years before she was
Barb Wire is a
post-apocalyptic Pamela Anderson vehicle. She is a former resistance
fighter, now a mercenary, living in the only free city left, running her
bar, and doing the odd bounty hunter gig to pay the post-apocalyptic
bills. In the opening scene, she is dancing and swinging on a trapeze
with her breasts hanging out being sprayed with water. This is a night
club act, and everything goes fine until a customer calls her "babe."
Not a good idea, and she throws her high heel and kills him instantly,
saying, "Don't call me Babe."
A government scientist
has discovered that the government wiped out an entire city by testing a
biological weapon, so she goes over to the resistance with the antidote
to the weapon embedded in her DNA. She hopes to escape to Canada and
expose this to the world, if only she can get her hands on a special set
of contact lenses that will fool retina scanners, the current method of
proving ID. The scientist is traveling with Anderson's old resistance
partner and flame. The Congressionals (the Big Brother government bad
guys) are out to prevent this at any cost.
Anderson is big and bad,
and has a real attitude, but not much acting range in this film, and
everyone else is like a comic book stereotype. It is not much of a story
and the acting is abysmal, but some of the fights are good, and the film
looks great. I have no idea what their budget was, but the sets and
lighting were imaginative and very effective.
Raw frame grabs below