Emile Hirsch (Into the Wild) stars as Speed in this big-screen adaptation of the popular 1960s-era Japanese animated series from directors Larry and Andy Wachowski, the minds behind the blockbuster Matrix trilogy. With the support of his parents (Susan Sarandon and John Goodman), his girlfriend, Trixie (Christina Ricci), and his onetime rival Racer X (Matthew Fox), Speed sets out to conquer a cross-country race known as the Crucible.
Rating: 6 out of 10
Make no mistake about it, the Wachowski brothers’ interpretation of this classic Japanese cartoon is a children’s movie.
If I were 8 years old, I’d love it. The racing and worlds are shiny like new plastic toys. The racing is action packed with physics that only apply to your Matchbox cars. The characters are developed enough so that adults can find something engaging, and the music and racing are very unique. The world is almost like the strip in Las Vegas. Everything is bright, loud, technologically advanced, and full of weirdos.
I give the Wachowski brothers credit for doing their own take on this film and essentially taking a cartoon and making its adaptation as cartoon-like as possible. As a grown-up, there wasn’t much to appreciate. I did chuckle a few times and it kept my interest enough, but it’s not a great movie. If you have young kids, they’ll probably eat this up like a bowl of Count Chocula. The rest of us will be eating our Total. (don’t talk shit about Total)
Writer-director Vincent Gallo stars as Billy Brown, who — fresh from a five-year stint in stir — heads home to Buffalo, N.Y., to visit his kin. Eager to impress his insouciant parents (Ben Gazzara and Anjelica Huston), Billy kidnaps buxom Layla (Christina Ricci) and makes her pose as his wife. As the day wears on, Layla falls for Billy, even as he lays plans to knock off the place-kicker whose botched field goal sent him to the slammer.
Rating: 8 out of 10
This is one of my favorites. I’m not a huge fan of Vincent Gallo. Based on what I’ve read about him, he’s kind of full of himself and is very difficult to work with. I believe Ricci said she’d never work with him again; I think he was really hard on her. “The Brown Bunny” was not good at all, as we discussed briefly in one of our podcasts.
At any rate, “Buffalo 66” is a really good film. We can’t help but sympathize with Gallo’s character, while laughing and hating him at the same time. He had a hard upbringing and has made a few mistakes. At the surface, he’s offensive, aggressive and wants to impress his parents for some sort of approval he knows he’ll never get. Deep down, though, he’s broken and just wants to be loved. He’s misunderstood and alone.
I don’t really care why Ricci’s character is attracted to Billy but she is and puts up with his nonsense. Isn’t that what happens to most of us? Meet someone you like a lot or love and put up with their weaknesses and bullshit? Maybe not as fast as her but I think so. The scene where they are just laying with each other is envious. Yeah, sure most of us want sex or just be in a relationship but there many times where you just want to lay with someone and feel comforted; that scene and one or two others captured it fully. Though this came out in 1998, I loved how vintage this film made Buffalo look.
Okay, so maybe my rating is a bit subjective but I don’t really care. To me, this is the perfect film to watch with someone. I don’t want to call this a date movie but a good one to watch with someone very close. A film to watch with someone whose worthy of “spanning time” with.
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Tagged Anjelica Huston, Ben Gazzara, Buffalo 66, Christina Ricci, Cinema, comedies, comedy, commentary, drama, Dramas, entertainment, entertainment news, Film, Independent Comedies, Independent Dramas, Independent Movies, Jan-Michael Vincent, mickey Rourke, movie, movie news, movie review, Movie reviews, review, Rosanna Arquette, The Movie Brothers, Vincent Gallo