Back by Midnight (2004)

R   |    |  Comedy


Back by Midnight (2004) Poster

The warden of a small, rundown, minimum-security prison plots revenge against the prison's dishonest owner by having four inmates break out and plan a department store robbery to spruce up the prison's faculties.


4.9/10
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20 April 2007 | caa821
1
| Time capsule example of a 1* film
Put a DVD of this flick in a time capsule, and it will definitely illustrate for future generations a perfect example of one which warrants the minimal rating on a 1-to-10-star scale.

Bill Cosby and Ray Romano have been at the top - in ratings and with tens of millions in earnings annually - with their television series'. Yet each has had no success in big-screen offerings. This has also been true for other TV personalities - perhaps because many of the stories which are presented for two hours or so seem more suited to either a 10-minute skit, or at most, the 22 or 23 minutes of drama during a half-hour program.

This film, however, doesn't have one single element which would warrant two or three minutes of time on MAD TV, SNL, or anywhere else on a screen or stage.

Its origination date is listed as 2002, but release date - to DVD only - is shown as 2004. It also was filmed not long before Rodney Dangerfield's death, so its one redeeming value is that it probably provided at lease a few hundred thousand more dollars for his heirs.

I'd never heard of it, but found it when turning-on my set, and frankly became fascinated by it. Some movies are so truly awful that they rate a sort of top rating in reverse - so bad that you can move the dial backwards to a 9 or 10. "Plan 9 from Outer Space" is the best example - and the Bruce Jenner/Village People opus, "Can't Stop the Music," is another.

Unfortunately this flick falls short even there. Even if Rodney's earlier work (as well as some of his fellow cast-members') fell short of "Citizen Kane" or "Casablanca," there were many moments of humor and a story providing at least a modicum of interest.

Unfortunately, this presentation doesn't seem to possess even a minute or two's worth of such material.

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