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  • This is a wonderful Ray Bradbury story. Four men who believe a special suit will change their lives, set upon a plan to purchase said suit, and it does. But is it because of the suit or because they mustered the courage to believe that the change was possible. The fifth man wonderfully played by Edward James Almos is content as he is but gets sucked into the plan and ends up changing in spite of himself. Sid Ceasar and Howard Morris, two fine actors from the golden age television play the shop owners who sell them the suit. Gregory Sierra is too fine for words. Joe Montagna is wonderful in this. Clifton Collings is adorable. And Esai Morales.......you have to rent "The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca" another fine work with Esai. One critique. I am extremely frustrated and disappointed that there is no sound track for this or DVD. The opening song done in English and Spanish is a very fine piece and the songs sung my Esai Morales are very much worthy of a soundtrack. Someone really goofed on that one.
  • I refuse to even contemplate living in a world in which Ray Bradbury does not exist. For within Bradbury's mind resides an entire universe filled with metaphor and dreams; galaxies teeming with life and love and poetry, with tales told and untold of such things as this world has never known and would never know, except for that magic that flows from his heart, through his brain and out through his fingertips, where they are born on the keys of his typewriter. And within that very same, ever fertile imagination, that wellspring of creativity, the words were formed, in a rush! and a swirl!, then tempered on Bradbury's mental forge of the fantastic, that ultimately came together and burst! forth as `The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit,' a transporting film directed by Stuart Gordon.

    Gomez (Joe Mantegna) lives in the barrio; a poor man, except in spirit, for Gomez has dreams, ah, such dreams! of something better, of a better life, of the magic that can happen if you but want it badly enough and will it to! And Gomez knows how to make that magic happen. There is a store, a certain clothing store, and in the window there is a suit; not just any suit, but a magnificent white suit, as white as the clouds, as white as the snow that falls in the mountains. Oh, such a suit! The kind of a suit that can make the man who wears it anything he wants to be. And the price? The cost of this bottle holding a genie who can grant your every wish, your every desire? $100.00!

    Gomez has $20.00...

    But, he has a plan! If he can only find four others like himself-- others with dreams but no means-- and of equal size and weight (and, of course, $20.00), they could buy the suit together, and share the magic! Ah, such a plan for such a suit! For one day at a time, taking turns, they could each wear the magnificent suit that's as shiny and bright and as white as ice cream; and for a time be able to realize their dreams. And so, very quickly, or even sooner, at that very moment! Gomez puts his plan into action, driven on by the vision he holds in his mind's eye of himself, wearing that wonderful ice cream suit.

    Ray Bradbury wrote the screenplay for this film, which he adapted from his own play of the same title, and this is vintage Bradbury. Under the auspices of director Gordon, the film successfully captures the very essence of Bradbury the writer, Bradbury the poet, Bradbury the genius, Bradbury the beautiful dreamer; this man from Illinois, who walks with kings and dines with gods, and dares to dream such dreams. More than a film, this is a celebration of life; an acknowledgement of the joys of living, captured exuberantly in music and song, poetry, performance and, of course, in Bradbury's words-- those exquisite, noble, transcendent words, born of some special, personal, inner muse-- that flow so splendidly in time with the rhythm of his heart and conjure up the images of his singular vision. All of which Gordon manages to grasp, grab hold of and transfer so resplendently to the silver screen.

    The performances are first rate, beginning with Mantegna as the indomitable Gomez, who believes he can rule the world when wearing that wonderful suit; Esai Morales, as Dominguez, who dreams of enchanting beautiful women with his music and songs, and knows he can with the suit; Gregory Sierra, as Villanazul, who looks to the suit for the words of hope and encouragement he can take to his people; Clifton Gonzalez-Gonzalez, as Martinez, hoping that the suit will attract the girl of his dreams; and Edward James Olmos, as Vamanos, who just wants to have a good time! Respectively, their portrayals are alive, and with their collective breath, they bring this film to life, as well.

    The supporting cast includes Liz Torres (Ruby Escadrillo), Sid Caesar (Sid), Howard Morris (Leo), Lisa Vidal (Ramona), Mike Moroff (Toro) and Mercedes Ortega as the beautiful Celia Obregon. From the opening credits, awash with dazzling color and brilliant imagery, `The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit' is an exhilarating, unique treasure to be embraced with the heart; a masterpiece of delights to be watched again and again. And most importantly, it honors the man who created it all, Ray Bradbury; a man who is, himself, invested with the same kind of life and joy his film brings to the screen. It's a fitting tribute to the inimitable Bradbury, Purveyor of Happiness, Magistrate of Joy.

    --Then through an open window blew the winds of night, and creatures, dark they were and golden-eyed; and calling to the Son of Kong they whispered `Something wicked this way comes!' And then, a sound of thunder! She rises! She rises! And from twenty thousand fathoms came the dragon, as if summoned by his master from the deeps; and the Man from Illinois held his sword above the crowd, the blue flame cracked and sparked and leapt into our bodies! then, `Farewell, my friends,' said he as on the dragon's back he mounted, `Live forever!' `Live forever!' Live forever...

    (From the poem, `Bradbury,' by JH Clues)

    I rate this one 10/10!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    White suit is usually the best clothes to wear, during the summer as it keep, some of the merciless heat away. Sadly, this movie is getting a lot of heated from certain critics, for its silly premise. I can understand why. This movie doesn't have much of a plot. It tells the story of five poor Latino men who pool their resources to buy one magnificent, beautiful, magically white suit and wear it for one hour- each. That's pretty much, it. I found the movie, so one-dimensional and cheesy. Each character seem like caricatures, rather than real people. Honestly, the movie could have work, better, if the movie gave, each character, more time to develop. It would be, nice to see what happens to any of these characters after spending one hour with the suit. I would love to see, what one week with the suit, could do, or a month, or a year. The movie could some really cool characters arches with all that time, spent. A good example is the wandering guitar player, Dominguez (Esai Morales). We could see him, getting really famous, and then let all the fame, get to his head, and then alienate the rest of the group, by wanting to keep the suit for himself, but in the end, seek redemption. It would be nice to see a story about him. One character that really needed, a back-story and a character arch, was Vámonos (Edward James Olmos), the bum. Edward James Olmos really went all out for this role. He's was the most entertaining person on the film! It sucks, that we rarely know anything about his character. It's such a bummer! One character that should have been delete from the film is Villanazul (Gregory Sierra). Villanazul is the weakest part of the film, not only is his scenes stripped of any clear political motivation, it's really boring. I really can't stand, this character. The only two characters that the movie gave time to advance, was Jose Martinez (Clifton Collins Jr.) & Gómez (Joe Mantegna). Sadly, their improvements are well-delivered. I really don't understand, what made the known con-man, Gómez change his evil ways. His redemption arch really comes, out of nowhere. Still, the Italian American, Joe Mantegna does seem believable as zoot suit wearing, Latino con-man. His acting wasn't so bad. I found Clifton Collins Jr's acting be mediocre. It's really hard to believe, that he's the main protagonist. He seem, very bland, compare to the others. The movie has other cameos, like Sid Caesar, but they seem wasted. Sadly, this movie wasn't director Stuart Gordon's best work. I didn't like the way, he shot things. A good example is the scene, where Vámonos was jumping over the car. It was just plain awful-looking. It looks so cheap. Still, I will give him, some credit. He got the right people to do the opening sequence. The film opens with a catchy number sung by Nydia Rojas, set to a gorgeous salt animation title sequence designed by Robert Dawson & Aleksandra Korejwo. It reminds me of a Diego Rivera-like murals. It was beautiful! Glad, they kept that in. I also, didn't like the writing. Don't get me wrong, I love Ray Bradbury's Sci Fiction stories, but I did not like, one. The reasons why, are very clear. First off, the white suit is pretty damning to Latino culture. Of course, in the world of fiction, the white suit means genuinely good, but in the American media, white clothing suggest pride, avarice, ambition, and questionable morality, which is why you can see so many mafiosos, drug lords, and corrupt corporate executives in such garb. I really doubt, Latinos want to be, anywhere part of that. Another problem is the script was made for stage play format, not a film format. This meant that the movie would have long drawn out, scenes of dialogue, with little to no action. It also meant that the film will have a limited budget. Since, stage play only play out in a few locations. This meant that the film would often, reused the same locations, more than once. A good example of this, is the bar settlings. The pacing got very repetitive fast for a 77 minute film. Another problem with Ray Bradbury's writing is the humor. The humor is mostly a miss than a hit. I really didn't like the racial caricatures, slapstick or the gross out humor. It wasn't very funny for me. Don't get me wrong, Ray Bradbury makes great Sci-fiction novels, but he's not a comedian. One of my big complains about this film is how Ray Bradbury change the ending. It totally alter the meaning of the original story. In the original, it is revealed that the central character doesn't need the suit to succeed, but just lacked the confidence. It is an uplifting message that leave its viewers asking, 'Was it, the suit that make the man or was it, the man that made the suit?' It would make a great dilemma! Instead, the movie skipped this, for a friendship moral. It's really hard to believe, that all these men became friends, after one night of each other, taking turns, wearing a suit. I think, I glad they kept in, was the smile. The smile imagery in this story again demonstrates Bradbury's high optimism concerning humanity. Even a simple smile has a greater impact than the so-called powers of materialism. It's nice to see that. Another thing that he kinda got right, was portraying Latin culture and it really shows here. Despite having a Ray Bradbury writing credit and an impressive cast, the movie would, end up getting buried. It wasn't release in theater, and only receive a direct-to-video release, which garner very little attention. For a PG movie, it was a bit weird to see all the over the top smoking/drinking, but it didn't bug me, so much. Overall: It's watchable. Just wish, it was better.
  • Knuckle5 July 1999
    The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit, from the magical opening credits, to the heart-warming end, holds your attention with humor and music. This movie has the heart and soul of an old-fashioned musical. This movie rates a 9 out of 10!
  • This gem of a movie only came to my attention because of a back-problem I had suffered a couple of years ago. My Blockbuster store only had 2 copies in, and they were way down on the bottom-most shelf. Since my back had seized in more-or-less a bending stance, it was in the perfect position to catch my eye, and is now one of my favourite films.

    It's always great to see Gregory Sierra (Barney Miler, Soap) act, and his portrayal of urban-poet Villanazul illustrates the breadth of his stage and screen presence, most notable during the masterful recitation of his character's work.

    Edward James Olmos is barely recognizable in the early parts of the film, hidden beneath the accumulated grime and stink of the vagrant Vamanos. But after the transformation of a bath, shave, haircut and the magic of the white suit, Vamanos shines as bright as any of the others on their best day.

    The sequences focusing on Esai Morales, Joe Mantegna and Clifton Gonzales Gonzales round out the fun with music, comedy and a little bit of drama as Mantegna's Gomez struggles with his greed and the thought of betraying his friends. In the end, the suit works it's charm on his conscience and sentimentality.

    This is one of the best films released in 98 in my opinion. Don't miss it...
  • woolgirls31 December 1999
    This film is one for the family. The characters are fully developed in a very short time. The writing is such that my family was very quickly caught up in the lives and dreams of these men. The acting is warm and honest. This movie stayed with me for awhile. It is magical and inventive. We loved it.
  • This little low-budget jewel should become a classic. It's fun, intelligent, and hilarious. Bravo!
  • I had read a review of this movie otherwise I don't know that I would have ever found it. I brought it home and put it on for my rather critical 16 year old son and joy-loving 17 year old daughter, not knowing what they would think. It was rather late at night and we should have been heading to bed, but I threw this on and we were all caught up in the story. My cynic I think enjoyed it even more than my joy-lover, and I enjoyed both the movie and my kids' reactions to it.

    I love these off-beat (so-called because they don't quite follow the Hollywood formulae) fun movies. And what a shock to see Olmos in such an unusual part! He was always so deadly serious in anything I'd seen him in before.

    It was a really fun tale and I recommend it!
  • akbuff21 September 1999
    this is a movie that is not mad at anyone, not trying to push a world view, not really trying to impress. They just told a simple story well. I think the cast had a great time making the movie. It is a simple, pleasant movie with charming colors and agreeable characters. I would recommend it for family viewing and for children alone. It does not take forever to watch, either.
  • sfdphd18 May 2019
    Warning: Spoilers
    I thought this was pretty bad. The only good thing about it was the mostly Hispanic cast and it was good to see Edward James Olmos get transformed. Mantegna is Italian and it was kind of sad to see him pretending to be Hispanic. But it was sweet to see him control himself from betraying his buddies.

    The worst part was the sexist fantasies of these guys: from the one that a bright white suit will bring all the women out of their apartments to follow you to the one where one beautiful woman finally notices you because of your suit.

    The whole thing was a pathetic commentary on men who will do something stupid like this: all chip in to share a suit. In reality, it would be so obvious that these guys are sharing a suit that everyone would laugh at them.
  • I'm not familiar with the original story, but I had read really positive reviews about this version. At first, I had high expectations, but I quickly learned the movie would not improve as I continued watching.

    The actors, are not the problem. The problem, or so it seems, is the way the movie is delivered. This story might work well as a play, but not work as well for a movie.

    On a positive note, the movie has an upbeat soundtrack and a unique setting(East. L.A). One of the best things I liked about this is the colorful intro and the mood the film has.
  • netmatrix30 March 2007
    I only came across this movie just 2 weeks ago. It was on the shelf of Tower Records in a shopping mall here in Malaysia. I would say the movie is quite good. Of course Joe Mantegna would look much better in some gangster movie. heh.

    Edward James Olmos which plays Vamanos is quite funny. To me he looks like a cross of many of the street bum we see in movies. But when he talks, i could swear he sounds like some Mexican pirate. hahaha.

    The premise of the movie is quite simple. 4+1 guys pool their money to buy a suit. And then somehow their lives change or somewhat they change it. Thanks to the suit.

    It does make the suit seem glorified. Oh yeah the suit would not be out of place in movies for portraying angels. Satin and white as Toyota super white II (a paint color). hahaha.

    To me the movie seem to ask you that sometimes, you do need something to push you to your dreams and aspirations. The suit is a way these people. I think many people do too.

    When they put the suit on, every fear is overcome. Every borders is crossed. Its almost like when a superhero is in costume! If i were to watch this movie like a reviewer, of course everything doesn't make sense. Everything is not polished and waxed like every movie i have seen. But i looks at it as a self enrichment movie. It is just a simple feel good movie.

    By the time it ends, all i wish for is the five men achieves more for themselves than just that night and hour. Gracias!
  • In a time when Hollywood can't seem to come up with anything, but rehashes trash that was trash before it was rehashed. Along comes a short story and some creative direction. If it had a bigger budget I think it could have hit 11 or 12. We had to track this one down and buy it, one of the rare gems...just open your mind to the unorthodox and enjoy Of course if you don't like ti your probably a republican. You can tell the difference between a novel adapted from a short story and one that has been created in committee in some room where people have degrees in accounting and couldn't be creative unless they're preparing something for the IRS. Edward James Olmos steals the show with an outstanding performance, I never saw him coming, the ending is so un-Hollywood as is the pace and creative direction this very low budget film went.

    just kidding....kinda
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you haven't lived long enough to get to point in life where you wish your life could change then this film is just a great comedy. But if you have, then this film is great comedy, drama, social commentary, and quality entertainment all in one.

    Simple plot, five guys, four dreams, one suit. The suit is not magical; but, as a placebo the first four men gain the confidence to express themselves as they have always dreamed and their lives change. The last guy, Vamanos, (masterfully played by Olmos) doesn't have a dream as he was forced into the "suit-buying club". On Vamanos, the suit again becomes a catalyst for life changing events but it requires a lot of help from the first four men.
  • i wasn't sure what to expect of this film when i started watching it, but it turned out to be a truly wonderful experience, so much so that years after i have seen it i still haven't forgotten it! (and how many people can say that about a film?). the story is: a man can't afford to purchase a suit for himself, so a group of men pool their money together to buy the suit and share it. what ensues? hilarity and solemn moments as they each take turns in wearing the suit. with great lighting effects and actors 'suited' for the roles, this is a 'wonderful' film, and i can't do it justice by explaining it, just watch it for yourself!!
  • LadyHawk-157 November 2000
    Again a wonderful ensemble of actors. Ray Bradbury fans will love this movie. The soundtrack is most excellent. Each of the main characters has their own particular charm and failing. Their chaotic search of a better life bring them together in a most unusual way.
  • geezer-86 June 1999
    I thought that "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" was a lovely little movie. Rarely do we see a movie in which men talk about their hopes and work co-operatively in order to achieve them. The men in this movie can address their fears and act to triumph over them.There is no violence nor nudity so it appears to be a children's tale, but the themes that are developed in this literate motion picture are important to people of any age.
  • i LOVED this movie...in these times in which hardly ANY movies are made appropriate for any age, this movie is a gem! the acting is superb - every person in this movie could have won an oscar...the music is great...the cinematography is on point...everything was as it should be...
  • This is the story of Gomez, a man who has a dream of owning an ice cream white suit that he saw in a local suit store. He needs $100 to buy this suit but only has $20. He recruits Dominguez (a skilled guitar player), Villanazul (a talented speaker) and Martin (young kid) to help buy the suit. They are all the same height, same weight and same build. One catch together they only have $80. They then reluctantly recruit Vamenos a stinky and dirty homeless man who has $20. Upon buying the suit they decide to wear it 1 hour each. This is when they discover that the suit makes the wearer's dreams come true as well as building a friendship between 5 men. In the end Martin sums it up the best. He says, this morning I had no friends but tonight I have many friends.
  • Although this film has some of the funniest Latin comedians inluding Sid Caesar and Martinez (Gomez in the 1990's Addams Family) this film has a good plot, but somehow lacks the hilarity. Maybe it is the quickly switching between characters. One moment the film is focused on the helpless romantics, next a political activist who can get his voice heard, then Sid Casear as homeless man with filthy habits. Although there a some of slapstick humor it is unfortunately too far apart.
  • Windwalkerz10 November 2003
    I cannot believe this is not available on DVD or that there is no CD sound track. The music is delightful and the performances are outstanding. WHAT GIVES HOLLYWOOD!!!!!!!!!!! Maybe now that James Edward Olmos is doing the remake of BattleStar Galactica....they will consider putting this on DVD. What do you think..
  • bottsworth7 September 2002
    Like you probably did, when I saw the cover to this movie at Blockbuster with my buddies, I knew that was the movie we were watching that night. I mean, c'mon-- four guys all fawning over this other guy in a bright white suit? It's pure gold!

    Well, we were all a little disappointed. I concluded that "The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit" had been written as a play and then they made a movie, because it looked like we were just watching a stinkin' play on TV. The acting, the music, the whole story... it just felt like a play. And it's kind of weird, too. I love to watch bad movies, but this one just wasn't fun like "Slumber Party Massacre II" or "Black Spring Break" are. The salon scene was pretty cool (worth rewinding and watching over and over). It's definitely not the best bad movie I've ever seen, but the 77 minute runtime makes it kind of easy. You know, a light viewing for you and your friends when you've had a heavy helping of awful movies.
  • Watching this movie which promised wonderful things -- not just the suit, but the titles, the art direction, a magical Sid Caesar, a heart-thumping Esai Morales -- watching all this go along on the one level that Bradbury allows, all human dimensions squeezed into his One Poetic Idea. Of course the dirty guy is going to take a bath. Of course Gomez won't get on the bus. etc. Joe Mantegna, who i believe has incredible range as an actor, is given one dimension to convey. Caricature. Then, beautiful emotional face of the young man Gonzalez -- also beautiful editing. Next time i watch with no sound.