8 March 2013 | Rodrigo_Amaro
Won't say "Slam Dance" was exactly a waste of time since it has some relatively interesting moments, parts to make you wonder. What I will say about this movie is that it was just too much of so less, off-beat, weirder by the minute and with not much to say. Here's an obscure film that needs to remain obscure, a film noir trying to be funny with humorless comedy intertwined with two or three good suspense scenes.
My main interest in seeing this was because of Tom Hulce in one of his first roles after the acclaim for "Amadeus" but he doesn't repeat the same qualities of that role. Not because it's different characters (both artists though) but simply because he's just not funny while playing this wimpy cartoonist trying to solve the mystery behind the murder of his love affair, a femme fatale (Virginia Madsen) involved with powerful and dangerous people. There's small portions when his character is charming and playful - specially towards kids and his daughter Beane (Judith Barsi) - but there are times when of eminent danger when he's desperate and he's trying to be cool and it just doesn't work. It makes things worse. And the whole thing of him dissecting the case is to be watched with a straight-faced expression in disbelief with everything going around, it's not confusing as it could be but it's just so not involving and lacking of good explanations (Adam Ant's character for example).
What does "Slam Dance" gets it right: all of the scenes with Virginia Madsen, presented in flashbacks exposing the torrid love affair between she and the cartoonist, there's magic going on between them; and the explanation on why she was killed, part of the final moments. It's extremely frustrating the whole way until we get there. It's like uh huh why should I keep going on in figure out who killed the woman? It loses time and essence and you're there for too little, almost nothing. A little watchable because of Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Millie Perkins and Harry Dean Stanton. 5/10