Loverboy is Kevin Bacon's second full-length directorial
effort, following many years after the other, a 1996 Showtime film
called Losing Chase. It is, at least in theory, a drama about a
psychotically possessive mother. I added the stipulation because
it also includes some moments of bizarre and perhaps inappropriate
The mother in question is played by Bacon's wife, Kyra
Sedgwick, whose own parents were so wound up in one another that
they barely noticed her. She resolves to be the opposite kind of
parent, and succeeds perfectly. Once she manages to conceive a
child, after a circuitous process, she makes the boy her full-time
job. (Her parents left her financially independent.) All of this
seems beautiful while the child is an infant and the mother is
doting and totally attentive, but ominous signs appear whenever
the boy starts to develop curiosity about the outside world,
because his mother insists on keeping his focus entirely on her.
She reacts in increasingly extreme ways whenever she has any type
of competition for her son's attention, so that her mental state
is gradually revealed to be not attentive, but smothering.
This film really struggles to find an appropriate tone. The
mother's own childhood is recalled in flashbacks, and since the
past is seen not as objective history but through her own
disturbed memories, her parents (Bacon and Marisa Tomei) are
seen as grotesque caricatures of thoughtless, self-absorbed
70s-era hipsters. Bacon does his best impersonation of Dr. Hunter
Thompson, as filtered through Eugene Levy's own 1970s character,
comedian Bobby Bittman, clad in tacky leisure suits and constantly
misfiring rapid-fire remarks which are designed to be funny.
There's nothing wrong with the Tomei-Bacon scenes. They are pretty
funny when considered on their own. And there's nothing wrong with
the fact that the characters are so one-dimensional, because they
exist only in the mother's tormented memories. It's just that,
well, the zany comedy seems to be in a different movie from the
tragic story which unfolds in the present. The inconsistency
of the tone runs through the film's other flashbacks as well. Her
attempts at conception, for example, play out as a sex farce.
I think the ending of the film is supposed to be a surprise,
but I only know that because some other people have mentioned it.
I saw the very first scene and immediately concluded that the
mother was committing suicide and taking her son with her. I mean,
they are in the car, the kid is behind the wheel, the ignition is
clearly on, they've packed enough for a day trip, and the car is
in park. What else could it be? Maybe I would have enjoyed the
film more if I had been aware that there was supposed to be a
secret. I can't say.
While we're on the subject of that ending, the film didn't even
have the courage of its convictions. The boy survives the carbon
monoxide poisoning. After the suicide has been revealed (along
with the similarly grotesque fate of Bacon and Tomei in the
flashbacks), it tacks on a strangely sentimental epilogue in which
the boy is revealed to have grown to young adulthood, and is
remembering his mother's tenderness with sad fondness. The
film got a bit muddled here, perhaps because Bacon made some
changes to the original story and those changes required other
elements to be reinterpreted. In the book, both the mother and the
son survived the suicide. Bacon decided that he wanted the mother
to die, but that change required other changes, especially the
disastrous epilogue. Is this a film about an eccentric, loving
woman who was a bit misguided? It seems to be that at first. Then
it seems to be a satire with a pitch-black sense of humor. Then it
seems to be a melodrama about a deranged psychopath. Then the
epilogue returns it to "lovable but troubled eccentric" mode.
My final problem with the film is its repetitiousness. It makes
the point that the mother overreacts to competition for her son's
attention. Then it makes the point again, and again, and ...
It played at Sundance in 2005, but distributors knew that the
film was totally unmarketable, so it was never in more than ten
theaters, and even that perfunctory release occurred more than a
year after its festival premiere. Because of the Sundance
exposure, it did pick up some reviews, almost universally
negative. (18% positive, per RT.) It hasn't generated much support
at IMDb, where it is rated a feeble 5.4.
It's not an incompetent movie, but any means. Kevin Bacon has
some talent as a director. I really believe that. And he certainly
has the ability to attract talented people to his projects. This
micro budget film is chock-full of name actors. Don't close your
eyes, or you may miss Blair Brown, Oliver Platt and Matt Dillon.
Bacon also has the ability to draw on the considerable acting
talents of his wife and himself. Given all those elements, I'll
bet he has a good movie or two in him, but if he's ever going to
make the transition from acting, he needs to acquire some
subtlety, and above all he needs a better script.
Third party videos:
Here is Amy Smart's wild sex
scene with Jason Stratham in Crank (Zipped.
avi, cap below)
Here is LC's film clip to accompany his captures of
Tiffany Shepis in Abominable. (Zipped.
avi, cap below)
Bob Costas discusses Godzilla with Ichiro
One of the all-time great Carson moments:
George Gobel comes out after Bob Hope and Dean
High school running back rushes for 658 yards
- and has a 77 yard TD called back on a
penalty! ... He did manage 10 TDs without
Comedian Pablo Francisco explains Mexican
Looking to upgrade your home? I have a helluva
place for you if you can come up with $135
Idiocracy, the brilliant movie Hollywood
doesn't want you to see.
February 2, 2009:
President Clinton Jails 938,000 Illegal Enemy
Combatants, all but one lifelong
Kazakhstan's largest chain of cinemas
confirmed on Friday it had no plans to screen
Borat's forthcoming movie in either of their
Honest to God, this is a real product from
a real company:
"Due to a fire at the Factory the Chimfex Fire
suppressor is no longer available." Oh,
that's OK. Never mind.
Here's the trailer for the fakumentary, Death
of a President
- "Death of a President follows the
investigation of the fictional assassination
of President George W. Bush in October 2007.
Combining real archival footage with a
credible but fictional story, Death of a
President presents a fascinating and
thought-provoking political thriller."
Daily Box Office for Friday, September 29,
- The films finished in the expected
order, but the numbers were quite low.
The trailer for Mr. Woodcock, a new comedy
starring Stifler and Bad Santa
A new Natalie Portman see-through
Here is Mark Cuban's actual semi-literate rant
"Only a "moron" would buy YouTube" ... Mark
- His logic is based upon the fact that
90% of the content is in violation of
copyright law, so they are just a large
lawsuit waiting to happen.
Is it possible to be identified by your 'clickprint'?
'Grand Theft Auto' makers sued for blame in
triple killing, to the tune of $600
"9/29/2006 - Here is the much talked about
video of MTV host Daniella Cicarelli caught
having sex with a Merrill Lynch banker on a
beach in Brazil."
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format.
Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
The filmmakers said that “we gave
the script to all the studios around town and told them that we
had William H. Macy starring and David Mamet writing and Stuart
Gordon directing and they all said, ‘Great! We’ll read it this
weekend,’ and never heard from them again.” Maybe, just maybe,
there was a reason why they never heard from them again.
Edmond is David Mamet's 2005 screen adaptation of his own
1982 stage play
about a prim and naive man who decides to take a walk on the wild side. Edmond
Burke (William H. Macy) visits a tarot reader. Based on her advice, he
goes home, informs his wife that she doesn't appeal to him physically
or spiritually, and heads to 42nd Street for some serious cruisin'. (Note that
LA substituted for New York, partially because of budget, and also
because the play was written in 1982, and 42nd Street is no longer sleazy.)
Joe Mantagna, playing the sure-to-be-iconic role of "man in bar," convinces Edmond that he needs to get laid.
"Man(tagna) in bar" sends Edmond
to a gentleman's club, where he promptly refuses to spend the fifty
bucks required to meet the two drink minimum, and is ejected. His next
stop is a peep show, where he fails to reach an agreement with Bai
Ling. His night goes downhill from there, each step requiring endless
If I am not mistaken, the medium was originally called "moving
pictures" because the technology allowed for some motion. This film
seems to be the exception. While it explores some interesting themes,
in the final analysis it feels too much like a stage play, in that
100% of the intrinsic value resides in the dialogue. Listening to over an hour of stage
dialogue from sad sack William H. Macy is pure torture. Moreover,
the theme of the piece seems to be that we have no choice in how our lives will
work out, but neither the filmmakers or the author make that case
compellingly, given that Edmond's night consists of a steady succession
of his own mistakes and bad choices, thus showing him to have forged
his own destiny.
The work has some positives. The photography is wonderful, and the cast is
full of attractive women ...
... but I was very glad when the film ended.
This is a C-.
- IMDb readers say 6.5.
- Made for an estimated ten million dollars, it grossed only $125,000.
Macy won awards at two small festivals.
Dann reports on Santa's Slay:
If I tell
you this sleeper 2005 comedy/horror flick is one of the best I've seen,
you'll think I'm nuts ... but only until you see for yourself. It's funny
as hell, a little gory but in a restrained way, features some top-notch
performances, some cameos by big-name stars, and will forever change the
way you look at Santa Claus.
The movie features a great starting scene
with Fran Drescher, Rebecca Gayheart, Annie and
Alicia Sorell, James Caan, and others you'll recognize. In
fact, there are familiar faces throughout, and outstanding performances by
Robert Culp as the hero's Grandfather, and Bill Goldberg
(yeah, the wrestler) as Santa Claus.
One thousand years ago, demon Santa Claus
lost a bet with an Angel, so he became a giver of toys and good spirit.
Now the bet's over, so he can revert to form - killing everyone in sight
with some really unique kills ... and again, the gore is there, but kept
to a minimum so it won't ruin the fun for most people.
I can't rave about this one enough, and as
a side bonus, it'd be a great way to tell your kids the truth about Santa.
September Spanish Movie Recap, Part 2
Caps from Rosario Tijeras (2005) ... (6.6 at
* Lina Marcela Parra
* Flora Martinez
Caps from Lifting de Corazon (2005) ... (5.8 at
* María Barranco
SPANISH ... um ... CLASSICS:
The following films are "classics" from Spain.
I'm sure that just about everyone in Spain has seen the
farcical comedies starring Andres Pajares, Fernando Esteso, and Antonio
Ozores. These movies were in the late 70's and early 80's, after the end
of the dictatorship, when Spain started to
change and to break free from both government and church censorship.
Many films tested the new sexual and satirical boundaries, reflecting
the spirit of rebellious freedom which is found wherever people try out
wings which have long been clipped. The quality of these movies is very
bad (see the IMDb user ratings for some of these!), but they can be very, very funny. They
are filled with nude girls, men in their underwear, and wicked lines of
Caps from Los Liantes (1981) ... 5.2 at
* Adriana Vega
* Loli Tovar
* Marcia Bell
Caps from Agitese antes de usarla (1983)
... a sterling 2.3 at
* Beatriz Escudero
* Jenny Llada
* Lali Espinet
Caps from Los Chulos (1981) ... another big
IMDb winner at 2.1
* Gina Baro
* Jenny Llada