User Reviews (31)

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  • phnxdown27 January 2004
    Warning: Spoilers
    the friend i first watched this with hated the movie when he rented it. of course, this friend also bought XXX, having not ever seen it. so i guess that speaks for that.


    the script is phenomenal. i really enjoyed the touches of humor, especially since they were so off the wall most of the time. i get a kick out of the chief trying to talk like a movie Indian. the whole bit with the guy not being able to "sire" is insanely funny, and i love it when he pretends to die with the other patient's heart monitor. any of the scenes with the sheriff are great. my favorite punchline of the movie is: "son, you don't need a lawyer, you need a library card." but how about that chase sequence at the end? a limo trying to ram a bus? now that's just absolutely hilarious.

    otherwise, i like how this is a post-post-western. it's still got guns and a sheriff and bad guys going after money and indians. and even though the drifter says it's really about trying to find someone you can trust, i know better. it's really about our country screwing the indians, all over again. the chief's final bit about white people taking their land, and then giving them whiskey, and then pitying them as drunks, and then giving them gambling, and then making them beg for their money... well... it's a bit preachy... but then all westerns (and post-westerns and post-post-westerns) are supposed to be about the dying frontier. the frontier is dead, but the Indian has cancer. i think the opening shot of the pro-Indian-casino billboard and the interpretive shot of the chief's rage (as he's running at the camera, towards the bus) towards the end of the film perfectly underscore this tribute to the dying survivors of the frontier.

    in addition, i thought the camera work was well done. although the director recycled his few obvious uses of technique, namely the flashback montages and the 360-degree pan shots, i thought they were decently spaced and efficient. i also really appreciated the tastefulness that was used in filming the sex scene. panning away, and letting the imagination do the work is what really makes an intimate scene sexy. lubitsch knew that, and apparently so does ricagni.
  • A corrupt judge (Michael Lerner) is about to rule on an expansion to a neighboring Indian casino. He tells the Chief (Russell Means) that the FBI has put an undercover agent (Jeremy Davies) in his staff. The man witnesses a group of Indians killing his beloved. The Chief hires the Hit-man (Chris O'Donnell) to kill him. They pay the Hit-man with a bag of cash but he's robbed by a casino Security Guard (Jon Polito) who in turn is robbed by the Cop (Michael Rapaport) who then leaves the bag with the Ticket Clerk (Bill Pullman) for 29 Palms. The bag is then mistakenly taken by the guy originally slated to be killed who picks up the Waitress (Rachael Leigh Cook) stranded when her car broke down.

    It's interesting to follow the bag at the beginning. It has a silly ridiculousness about it. It stops being interesting after awhile. I wonder if director Leonardo Ricagni is trying to copy the Coen brothers or something like that. It becomes a boring mess. Chris O'Donnell is not nearly scary enough as a hit-man. Rapaport is a good weasel but none of the characters are particularly compelling. The movie wants it so bad but just doesn't have it.
  • I cannot exactly say that I hated it, nor can I say I loved it. I can see how some people think it is a complete mess, but as you watch it, it does sort of come together at the end. There seems to be a lot of holes in the plot. Somethings never really get answered, and if that is what the director and/or writer was going for, then they did their job. I found the individual performances pretty interesting, but as a whole they seemed all over the place. I kind of felt like the film should have been called Six Degrees of Devil's Casino.

    If you have an extra hour and thirty-three minutes to spare, it might be worth it to expand your movie selection and just check it out. I mean I have watched a lot of B rated films and I cannot say it was any worse than those. I agree with a lot of the people on here when they say the shots on location are actually what makes this film worth while. Since most of it is shot in the dessert, it makes for an interesting look.
  • A richly photographed ensemble piece about several characters attempts of obtain a bag of money. Nothing deep, just a quirky and sometimes funny film that uses coincidences similar to the 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrell's' motif. It never quite works as a hilarious caper film, and neither does the viewer enable any feeling for the main protagonist in the Drifter played by Jeremy Davies.

    '29 Palms' does have it's moments though particular during the scenes with Michael Rappaport as the nasty cop, who has some of the funniest lines. Joe Polito does a decent job, but his character is overly annoying and fairly stupid. Bill Pullman is a welcome edition, but again, short-lived and not really given an essential character to play. Chris O'Donnell makes an interesting, if not decent, hit-man character. None of the characters are really developed except Jeremy Davies one, and Rachel Leigh Cook's character. '29 Palms' would have got a far better score if it was more entertaining and less reliant on coincidences as plot-devices which has been done before. I did like some of the flashback moments and interactions but the main reasoning to also partially dislike this film is because it should have had a better ending. The ending was just plain weak, and the only redeeming factor from it was the very last line, but the entire sequence itself was stupid and nonsensical. I could hardly recommend this film, as it became tiresome and irritating, though it certainly had it's moments to give it an average score. **1/2 out of *****!
  • It's a big sloppy mess, but it's not half as bad as some comments would leave you to believe. The story goes all over the place, but the story is just a thread. There's a lot of Coen Brothers and a bit of David Lynch in this film. Wonderfully weird and unlikeable characters, nicely composed, sparse scenes nicely photographed and the humor is not of the joke/punch line school, which is probably why there are many disappointed comments. The budget for this film could not be called shoestring, it's more like twine. Still, despite the disassociated story - I mean, who has the money really doesn't matter, it's just getting us from point A to point B - it's quite an accomplishment. Some people like their films to be obvious stories that are easy on the eyes, this is a more subtle form of entertainment with a garish touch.
  • the only reason i rented this movie was because of the title. It was interesting to me since i used to live in the city of 29 palms.

    This movie felt like it was a quentin tarantino story, with oliver stone style direction. somewhat similar to Stones "U-Turn" just less complicated, and a less talented cast. Instead of Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jennifer Lopez. Its Chris O'Donnell, Rachael Leigh Cook, Jeremy Davies, and Michael Rapaport. Still pretty big names, just not good enough.

    The direction wasnt horrible, and the editing was actually pretty good. it felt like it was the directors first attempt at this style of film making. the film held my attention all the up till the last five minutes. then i fell asleep. but i got the just of it. i look forward to future films by Leonardo Ricagni.
  • chrissage13 February 2004
    a kind of numb curiosity kept me watching till the end. there was some truly appalling acting, one or two funny moments, ludicrous shoot-out sequences, annoying repeating flashbacks and a lead character with the personality of a three toed sloth (only less interesting)

    there is a vague nod to Tarantino here and Lynch there but overall the plot is just way too contrived for it's own good. coincidence as the driver very quickly gets old.

    the burning question in my mind, apart from the obvious 'who put up the money for this?' a place with so little charm, once each person got their hands on the bag, why didn't they just get the hell out of Dodge?
  • I watched this movie the way some people watch a traffic accident. You can't believe your mind can assimilate such an awful visual image, but something in your macabre inner self can not stop watching the carnage. Yes, I watched this to the end.

    Usually movies have some redeeming value. Maybe it's the soundtrack or the costumes, you know, something. Well, not this one. The acting was horrible. I like Chris O'Donnell and Michael Rapaport, but they completely fail to execute their craft successfully on this flick. Rachel Leigh Cook does an OK job, but nothing that moves beyond mediocre. That takes us to direction. Nobody ever heard of Leonardo Ricagni and I suspect no one ever will. There was some weak attempt to be Tarantino, but, WOW, was it not even close.

    The editing was more annoying than your neighbor's home movie. There were jumps in the scene, with the same segment repeated from different camera angles with a voice-over. Huh? Didn't these guys figure out that was a bad idea when they were a sophomore in film school.

    There were several times the same flashback was repeated. It got quite annoying. What was the point of that?

    The only way they could have made a worse movie was to have cast Jennifer Tilly as a blind African-American. Wait a minute, I have an idea...
  • Extremely disappointing story, completely lacking originality and creative flair.

    Wasted cast, no development, too much reliance on coincidence, not funny, not interesting to look at... put you off yet? Story is the old hackneyed idea of a misplaced bag of money. Seen it done before? Probably. Each introduced character wants to get their hands on the stash of cash and we're given Jeremy Davies' character to cheer on, and others to jeer on.

    What follows lacks any freshness or interest, which is really disappointing. Probably what could've saved this, if anything, would be a dash of Coen perspective and dark humour. A sudden attempt at inventive editing in the last twenty minutes does little to pick up the pace (if you're still awake) and even a turn by Bill Pullman can't do much to save it. Rachel Leigh Cook is pretty, though...
  • The central plot of this film is promising - an enigmatic drifter finds a bag of money and has the foresight to realize people are after it, so he places several decoy bags out there to confuse everyone while keeping the money for himself.

    In the hands of a director with more experience, this might have been a pretty good movie. It's still entertaining but there are moments that make you cringe.

    Jeremy Davies (the mumbling astronaut in "Solaris") is the drifter. Chris O'Donnell is the hitman trying to recover his money, which coincidentally, was to be his fee for killing the drifter, who was mistaken for an FBI informant. Now there's a laugh, Jeremy Davies as an FBI agent.

    Veteran Coen Brothers bit player, Joe Polito, plays a security guard after the money. Under good direction, he's a pretty decent actor, but here he looks like someone's brother-in-law who stumbled into a movie role.

    Not a bad first time effort by the writer and director. They tried a bit too hard to copy other people (the Coen Brothers most notably) by assembling a quirky cast and making a film that combines suspense and humor. You could do worse on a slow weekday night than to rent this one.
  • When I saw the commercial of 29 Palms on the TV I thought how the hell have I missed such a thing? Reading the complete cast and summary from the TV guide made me quite drool thinking of "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" in the world of "U Turn" and "Palmetto".

    Now, when the film actually started, I was quite confused. The whole thing seemed blurry and without any solid point, talking about things audience had no idea about. A story totally ripped out from context. Which... may be a good thing, like in the "Reservoir Dogs". As I kept watching, there was some points where the picture froze for a second. Umm... Okay, someone is trying to be artistic, like in the "Lock, Stock..."

    As the movie went on, it turned out to be a really pathetic attempt to rip off all of the cool movies mentioned above. Some of the scenes became clearer, but the big picture stayed exactly the same mess it was in the beginning. A very uninteresting mess.

    I'm still puzzled how this kind of cast agreed to play in THIS movie. I mean, they had to see the script (or the absence of it), did they?

    Oh, and I gave it TWO points instead of one only because I thought Jeremy Davies' and Rachael Leigh Cook's outfits were kind of cool.
  • `29 Palms' is such a bad, wait, it's so bad one can't even call it a movie, so, let me start again...'29 Palms' is such a bad abomination , disguised as a movie, that there are no words negative enough to describe it. Let's put it this way, I'm embarrassed to say I even watched it all the way through. It's so bad that my DVD player never worked right again after running it.
  • rsmolin4 November 2003
    My cable station rented this film for $3.95, and considering that the cast was a bunch of well known and good actors, I thought I'd give it chance.

    I'm now writing the cable company and asking for a refund, and I might actually sue them for cruel and unusual punishment.

    This is without a doubt the worst film ever made with such a decent cast. The direction is horrible. The screenplay should have been destroyed before it was ever read by anyone. The editing blows. The production sets are embarrassing to watch.

    If you want to laugh at total ineptness and don't have to pay to watch this, you might want to get a few friends together, have a few drinks, and get ready to be astonished at how bad this film really is.
  • This is not only not a good movie but it is also boring and stupid. Hell, it's trying so hard to be cool that nothing actually fits together and not even a few good actors and a few cars (I like that Saab 95 in the opening sequence) and some dancing "Indian" girls can't make watching this crap worthwhile.

    I just ended up with this movie on DVD as a ex-rental copy for $ 5.99 because I drove through the city of Twentynive Palms a few years ago and wanted to fresh up some good memories from Joshua Three National Park and the Joshua Thre and Gram Parsons and stuff I like. Boy was I wrong.
  • robb-4310 July 2004
    OK... First of all... worst movie ever. I've had a better time with a toothache

    No character development....

    Guy gets into trouble, Girlfriend gets whacked.. Whole movie there are visuals of guy and girl happy and laughing on swingset or whatever. Whole movie is based upon him being upset about girlfriends death. 2 days timeframe into the movie guy screws other girl.... What the??? Ya! He really cared about her.... Acting sucked.... Personal low for some great names... Bill Pullman.. Chris O'Donnell... My man Michael Rappaport.... Keith David...Rachel Leigh Cook.... Ummm.. I guess the sequel to Josie & the Pussycats fell through huh??? Anyways.. independent or not..... This movie reeks!!! I could film a better movie in my basement. 1-800-Collect commercials with David Arquette have more merit!!! Don't even waste your time walking by it in the video store

    Two thumbs, Two Feet & Nose pointing Straight down!!!
  • MOSSBIE20 August 2004
    This horrific attempt at originality in editing(all the worse for making it try and look as though there were some intent)and stabs at Tarantino-Mariachi-Lynch mixture comes out as tasteless, stupid, unfunny and pathetic garbage. The director is the mental offspring of the likes of Henry Jaglom and Dennis Hopper school of misdirection. It is loathsome in every way---one cannot spoil the blue of the skies. And to try and be so hip with the use of the Gremlin as one of the endless amount of cars and hiring Chris O'Donnell to play against type---CHRIS O'DONNELL? TYPE?...never to be used in the same sentence. Killing him off early wasn't soon enough..Gawd, he cannot act. And, to those performers who DO have some talent; are soooooo bad I was throwing things at the screen for them not having the gumption to know they were "being used for something evil". Please, please, NEVER let this man near a camera again!
  • This is good example of those film students who may think "I could make a film like that Tarantino, Stone, and Lynch". Not as easy as it looks to be different, quirky, avant-garde, and off your noodle.

    Here we have a fair try but it is confusing and redundant (and not in any good way). The stylish look is not done in any new, fashionable, kind of way, it is done in a, by then (2002) ordinary, onslaught of dark humor and blatant bizarreness that smacks, rather than strokes the viewer. It all becomes tired and tedious and seems drawn out and long.

    All the actors are suitably kinda kinky performers, except for the lead, who delivers a wooden, mumbling, uninteresting character that is consumed by anyone or anything that is on screen at the same time. The Native American Casino part of the story is offensive and over-the-top (again not in a good way). So we are given a mimicking attempt that fails to be nothing more than just a little bit interesting. Better luck next time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Follow the bag of money for an hour and a half. That's the extent of my spoiler.

    Great cast, put to decent use. Promising (and entertaining) for at least the first half-hour.

    Jeremy Davies, Rachel Leigh Cook, Michael Lerner, Russell Means, Chris O'Donnell, Keith David, Jon Polito, Bill Pullman, and Michael Rapaport.

    Severely padded out (with useless flashbacks) to 93 minutes. Should have been 15 minutes shorter. But then it wouldn't have been a feature-length film.

    Could have been a 6 (out of 10), but knee-capped itself to a 4.
  • When I read the back of this movie I thought of movies like 11:14 and Go. You know the type of movie that has multiple story lines that all connect is some way. To be honest this really isn't that kind of movie. I dose have a lot of characters but they are all pretty much the same story, everyone looking for a bag of money.

    This movie really tried to be a "cool" movie like Snatch but fails in almost every way. It also looks like there was no budget for this movie. Just looking at what passed for an Indian casino shows that. The story itself ends up being kinda dull. There really isn't anyone you can root for and some of the characters are just annoying. The camera work was nicely done.

    Overall, this wasn't the worst movie I have scene it just really wasn't good either.
  • Never in my life, have I ever seen such a movie-- a movie void of ANY plot, or substance at all. Not to mention, I lived in the beautiful small town of 29 Palms. It is the home of a Marine Corp Base. There are jobs, stores, homes, churches, bars, and yes, even, it's own High School and several elementaries too-- Did I mention it has a playhouse with talented actors? Better than this movie produced! Have you seen "Plan 9 from Outer Space, (1959) With Bela Lugosi? Even that one was better, and Bela died while it was being made! I can not believe I actually Paid over 3 bucks to see it! Can I get my money back? To all those who responded before I, what movie were YOU watching? There as no editing, the actors, while I have seen most of them in some GREAT films, must have done this one for was obvious. I would have worn a mask in this one guys. P.U.! If you really liked this movie...You must live in a third world country and has never seen excellence.
  • While pleased to see Bruce Gillis finally get a film released for all his effort as a filmmaker, this film is a great disappointment. Great cast, weak script and production. The plot is thin, and hard to follow. Keith David and Chris O'donnell deserve better.
  • FBI agent, Davies, comes into contact with a bag of money, but he's in a some-what-long line of people who do. The people who run the gaming casino in the desert want it back. Davies witnesses murder while trying to keep it. Rapaport is a crooked cop who comes into contact with it and sends it to 29 Palms (hence, the name). But it's not the right bag when he picks it up.

    Davies comes into contact with a waitress (Cook) out on the highway and I never did find out how she came into contact with it. In my mind, this story drifted all over the place. About the time the film focuses on one person, a set of flashbacks drift it to someone else. And to top it off, the photography was poor, also. In one shot, people are yelling because someone gets shot (can't give the rest of it away), but you don't see the shooting taking place. No sounds, just a bunch of swearing all of a sudden because of a little fire the bullet started. Funny what a bag of money will do to people, huh?

    As I said, there is no reality to this film. We all know what we would do if we had that kind of money, but the real question in all of us is, "How far would we be willing to go to keep it?" Too many characters in this film trying to be the main focus of the film is, in my mind, its downfall (and it keeps falling from there).
  • DrDVine31 July 2002
    I've seen 29 Palms at the 'fantasy filmfest' and had quiet a good time watching it. It's a classical road movie some in middle of nowhere (29 Palms, to be exactly). There is a smart lawyer on the run, a killer, Indians, a corrupt cop, a f**ked up casino security guard, a pretty girl, a sheriff, quite a lot dessert and of course a bag full of money. The rest is not really new and lies somewhere between `U-Turn' and `Way of the Gun`. Not as cynic as the first and not as witty as the last, but very amusing. The story is told very good with lots of good timed flashbacks and the film is photographed nicely, with beautiful pictures and pleasant camera effects. 29 Palms is not hyper original, but it guarantees a entertaining, joyful evening in cinema. (8/10)
  • For a straight to DVD movie this was pretty good. It had a busy plot but it was something new. Russel Means, Litefoot and Carlos Mencia were in this so that was cool. They worked well with the 5 million dollar budget. I thought this looked like a big budget movie.

    I thought they broke Native American stereotypes by diving into them. The story is based around a casino and the Italian mafia. I liked the unexpected pairing. No one broke character which is odd for a low budget movie. Sometimes you have really great actors and then one newbie who is still learning the ropes.

    The story gets sow sometimes but you want to keep watching. Its not a boring pause just a necessary delay. This movie is worth watching it you want something different.
  • When "BLADE RUNNER" first came out in 1982, Leonard Maltin and others panned it into the ground. But as we know now, it became the film most brazenly copied by the tens of scores of films that followed in it's wake. While not as portentous as Blade Runner, "29 PALMS" is its own work of genius. Far subtler, more ironic, goofy even, in a way which fools those desiring a Michael Bay grotesquerie into thinking that there is too little meat on the bone. Not so. This is a film which has to be watched without preconceptions or expectations, just to be viewed and absorbed. With one's mind open, the film can then settle in and make its presence fully known. I've watched it three times and find different aspects to enjoy each time. A true kick in the pants.
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