Three friends in New York City discuss how to dodge the draft and Vietnam, JFK's assassination, voyeurism, computer dating, and everything else.Three friends in New York City discuss how to dodge the draft and Vietnam, JFK's assassination, voyeurism, computer dating, and everything else.Three friends in New York City discuss how to dodge the draft and Vietnam, JFK's assassination, voyeurism, computer dating, and everything else.
Maybe this movie is dated. I wasn't around during 1968, so maybe I just didn't get the satire. Maybe that's why most of this movie flew above my head. Nevertheless, the movie never seems to center on a basic idea. It just meanders on and on, delivering a series of satirical sketches, almost as if they were coming up with ideas as they continued shooting the film. This would be typical of an experimental student film, and I'm sure it would get top honors if DePalma, DeNiro and the other people who took part in this movie submitted this to their film class in college. But I'm not going to purposely lower my standards just because a movie is cheaply made by a couple of ambitious filmmakers who simply tried to salvage whatever they can with their fledgling budget. I'm not going to feel pity for the film's cheapness, like it's some struggling vagrant. I've seen much better films made on low budgets that didn't contain shaky camera work and bad sound. You can at least do something fancy with the camera to show off your skills. Most of the shots you see in this movie are wide shots. There are very few close-ups. It wasn't until fifteen minutes through the film where I realized which one DeNiro was. It's like at those Christmas gatherings where one of the family members doesn't feel like lugging the camera around, so he/she mounts the camera atop some sort of aparatus to capture what's going on but it's just one boring still shot.
Anyway, I don't think DePalma will be putting this movie on his most-cherished list. Sometimes early work can be the best work. Like Martin Scorcese with "Mean Streets." I saw him on an interview recently and he claims "MS" is still his favorite out of all films he's ever done. I wouldn't be surprised if DePalma has this movie resting in the receptacle in his backyard.
Almost every great filmmaker started out making little forgettable, crappy, no-brain films with their camcorders at an early age. This is like one of those films, except it isn't completely devoid of intelligence and does have some direction. Just not enough consistency.
- Apr 22, 2001