Drowning on Dry Land (1999)
from Johnny Web
I'm not sure if I'm
proud or ashamed of the fact that I'm willing to sit
through a movie like this in order to see Barbara Hershey
naked in the last couple of minutes. Man, does this bite
the big one.
Barbara Hershey is an unhappy Manhattanite
who hails a cab and says "take me to the
desert". Naveen Andrews is the cab driver who takes
her on a seven day fare. The "trailer" for this
- I used quotes because I can't imagine that anybody ever
saw this trailer, since the film had no theatrical
release - but anyway, the trailer said it was "an
Sure, if your idea of eroticism is to see a 50 year
old woman stay dressed for 85 minutes while she makes
love with an unattractive and flabby guy whose body hair
places him in the celebrity pantheon somewhere between Ed
Asner and Gentle Ben.
Or maybe it's a romance - if your idea of romance is
to see the interaction between two people who hate
themselves and each other. (And whom we hate in turn)
By the way, it ends kind of in the middle of the trip,
with nothing much resolved or moved forward.
Pretty sure it went straight to vid. IMDB says that
this movie was nominated for The Golden Spur at the Flanders International Film Festival. Maybe ICMS, our Flemish Flash, would care to enlighten us as to the significance of this honor.
NUDITY: Hershey finally did get naked - pubes and all
- in some pretty explicit action in the last five
minutes. She still looks terrific, and is in top physical
condition. But if you rent it, fast forward to the end
Our colleague, Unique1, also did several captures from this movie.
summary: 7.0 out of 10. (Based on five votes. I feel
confident that it will wander down to the five range.
It's rated 59 by Apollo, 60 by Apollo users)
info from Amazon.
(1985) from Johnny
collection 3-DVD set of "Brazil" is a
tremendous addition to the collection of any film buff.
of all, it includes the entire 142 minute cut that Terry
Gilliam wanted. If you know a little bit about this
movie, you know that Gilliam had to fight for more than a
year to get this film released at all. He even took out
ads in the trades saying things like "where is my
movie?". Eventually, he managed to negotiate a 131
minute version, although the studio also prepared a 94
minute version that they preferred.
The studio hated the bleak ending which was so totally
emotionally unsatisfying. Gilliam argued that it would be
plumb stupid to have a happy ending in a movie about a
dehumanized bureaucratic society. His whole point was
that the individual was submerged in the society, and it
couldn't follow from the script that one little
bureaucrat could somehow triumph over an
institutionalized behemoth, although he might fantasize
This DVD set includes all of the usual bells and
- the full widescreen 142 minute cut
- the 94 minute cut
- full-length commentary
- "The production notebook", featuring
the screenwriter, composer and designers
- "What is Brazil" - a funny 30 minute
film made on the set.
- "The Battle of Brazil" - a documentary
of Gilliam's battles against the studio
"Brazil" is a unique film from an
imaginative genius. The original vision was to extend a
view of the future as seen from the past. Remember all of
those "Popular Science" magazines which
pictured the world we would live in? Well, imagine a
world absorbed by Bauhaus and Art Deco, ruled by Stalin
and Hitler, and imagine how the people of that time would
imagine your life today. They would take the trends of
the day, both political and artistic, and extend them.
Gilliam held this concept quite consistently
throughout, detouring only to deliver the occasional
smirk based on knowing how it really did turn out.
Jonathan Pryce stars as the insignificant bureaucrat
whose only happy moments occur in the flights of his
imagination, in which he soars like an angel and battles
various symbols of the State Behemoth.
It is a visual masterpiece, no question about it, and
there are moments and concepts I like very much, although
the pacing is much too slow and the humor much too
obvious for my taste. The whole schtick of the Monty
Python troupe really came down to carrying all points out
ad nauseum. As you know, sometimes it was very funny, and
sometimes it was just guys acting silly after the joke
was already over. There is a lot of that here, in my
But it's a world full of copycats and formulae, and
when eccentric geniuses like Greenaway and Gilliam come along, we
have to nurture them. Sometimes they may miss the mark,
but we still need them.
I like Time Bandits, 12 Monkeys, The Fisher King and
Holy Grail a lot. I'm not that crazy about Jabberwocky
and I just plain didn't like Fear and Loathing in Las
Vegas. As far as Brazil goes, I admire it, but I wouldn't
watch it over and over again, despite its brilliant
conceptualization and design. This movie engages only my
head, not my heart, and it just doesn't stir me.
I did like Robert DeNiro as a "terrorist".
In a world that requires hundreds of forms to be filled
out before anything can happen, DeNiro is a HVAC man who
intercepts calls to the official state repair agency,
then answers the calls promptly and simply fixes things.
That's his act of rebellion - he fixes things without
requiring any paperwork, then he slides into the night on
high-wire cables, like Spiderman. Needless to say, the
State considers him highly dangerous.
The nudity came from Kim Greist. Her breasts were
visible through a gown, and her buns were seen when she
was in bed with Jonathan Pryce.
summary: 8.0 out of 10. This is a movie now
considered a 20th century masterpiece of the imagination,
on a par with Fritz Lang's "Metropolis". IMDb
members rate it in the top 250 ever made. On the other
hand, it was not especially well received when it was
released. It grossed only $9 million, and Roger Ebert
gave it two stars at the time, based on the 131 minute
info from Amazon. This is the three-disc Criterion
info from Amazon. This is the bare-bones DVD, movie
So I Married an Axe Murderer(1993)
from Johnny Web
Mike Myers had two big
hits with the Wayne's World character back in the early
90's, and then had his Austin Powers smashes in the late
90s's. In between, he had kind of a dry spell, a four
year period between Wayne 2 and Powers 1, when was only
in one movie. This is it.
If you liked Fat Bastard, you
can see kind of an earlier bastard-in-progress in this
film, in the form of Mike's Scottish father, also played
by Mike (not surprisingly).
Mike plays a guy afraid of commitment, and he always
comes up with silly reasons to break up with a woman when
they get too close, things like "she smells like
soup". Just paranoid delusions. It runs in his
family. His mom reads Weekly World News as her bible.
Until he falls in love with Nancy Travis, a woman
about whom his usual paranoid fantasies may really be
I thought the best things about this movie were the
cameo appearances by some of Myers' colleagues from the
past. Phil Hartman, Charles Grodin, Steven Wright, Alan
Arkin, and "Kramer" provide some good moments,
and of course Mike himself can be quite inspired.
OK, so it's like an episode of SNL. Sometimes the
sketches are funny, and sometimes they just ramble on
humorlessly. Personally, I think 20 minutes of good Mike
Myers comedy in a two hour movie isn't too bad. Where
else you gonna get 20 minutes of good laughs? I can
always read a book during the slow parts.
By the way, Mike Myers in this movie appears to have
the same job as Ozzie Nelson in Ozzie and Harriet. I know
that in the evening he reads some poems in a jazz club.
Does one get paid for that?
Nancy Travis was seen in a steamed-up mirror. So it
might not even be Nancy, who knows? And if it is you
can't see jack anyway. But here it is for reference.
summary: 6.3 out of 10. (Berardinelli gave it two
stars, Ebert two and a half.)
info from Amazon.