In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_mv5bmtq1mze4mte3of5bml5banbnxkftztgwotcyndm3nte_._v1__sx1216_sy640_

Amy

Sometimes, it feels as if we are eavesdropping on day-to-day conversations rather than just hearing the usual litany of platitudes and regrets.

Thumb_large_nxcfdsanskih09xq74fjnyhw4g0

Stray Dog

"Stray Dog" largely succeeds because Granik's technique complements her subject. Both he and the film are modest in their goals and cherish the value of…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

Reviews

Mad Dog Time

  |  

“Mad Dog Time” is the first movie I have seen that does not improve on the sight of a blank screen viewed for the same length of time. Oh, I've seen bad movies before. But they usually made me care about how bad they were. Watching “Mad Dog Time” is like waiting for the bus in a city where you're not sure they have a bus line.

The plot: A gangster boss (Richard Dreyfuss) is released from a mental hospital and returns to a sleazy nightclub to take over control of his organization. He has been gone long enough that a long list of gangsters would like to have his job, led by his top triggerman (Jeff Goldblum), who has been conducting an affair with Dreyfuss' girlfriend (Diane Lane) and her sister (Ellen Barkin). The girls share the last name of Everly, so they're the Everly Sisters--get it? Ho, ho, ho. God, what rich humor this movie offers! Other candidates for Dreyfuss' throne include characters played by Gabriel Byrne, Kyle MacLachlan, Gregory Hines, Burt Reynolds and Billy Idol. The way the movie works is, two or three characters start out in a scene and recite some dry, hard-boiled dialogue, and then one or two of them will get shot. This happens over and over.

“Vic's gonna want everybody dead,” a character says at the beginning, in what turns out to be a horrible prophecy. Vic is the Dreyfuss character. Goldblum is named Mick, and Larry Bishop, who directed this mess, is Nick. So we get dialogue that thinks it's funny to use Vic, Nick and Mick in the same sentence. Oh, hilarious.

I don't have any idea what this movie is about--and yet, curiously, I don't think I missed anything. Bishop is the son of the old Rat Packer Joey Bishop, who maybe got him a price on the songs he uses on the soundtrack, by Dean Martin, Sammy Davis and Frank Sinatra (Paul Anka sings “My Way,” which was certainly Bishop's motto during the production).

What were they thinking of? Dreyfuss is the executive producer. He's been in some good movies. Did he think this was a script? The actors perform their lines like condemned prisoners. The most ethical guy on the production must have been Norman Hollyn, the editor, because he didn't cut anybody out, and there must have been people willing to do him big favors to get out of this movie.

“Mad Dog Time” should be cut into free ukulele picks for the poor.

Popular Blog Posts

Why Can't Sad Be Fat?

A rebuttal to Joni Edelman's piece on "Inside Out."

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

The Unloved, Part 19: "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford"

The July 2015 edition of The Unloved looks at Andrew Dominik's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert...

Magic Lantern Show: The Sensual Pleasures of "The Third Man"

On the look and sound of "The Third Man."

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus