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.
Midwest insurance salesman Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear) hatches a get-rich-quick scheme that depends on him gaining possession of a rare and precious violin, but his planned score results in wild and unexpected consequences. Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup and Lea Thompson co-star in this meditation on lying and its consequences, written by sisters Jill and Karen Sprecher (Thirteen Conversations About One Thing).
Rating: 8 out of 10
The only reason I watched this movie is because it popped out of the Red Box by mistake. I literally knew nothing about this movie when I started watching. But the Red Box machine’s mistake became my surprise fortune. Now that’s good movie karma!
Greg Kinnear leads an excellent cast as a truly unlikable human being. He swindles people in business, cheats on his wife, doesn’t take care of his finances or family, and when pushed to his limits, will cover up a murder. This is one of those movies where there’s no good guy to root for. It’s definitely not filmed like an Alfred Hitchcock movie, but the script has the feel of it. Kudos to the Sprecher sisters for writing an intriguing script that unfolds very nicely, keeps the intensity at a great level, and inspires great performances by Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup, David Harbour and Lea Thompson.
This is a movie where nothing goes right, there are no heroes, and no possibility of a positive outcome. Sounds bleak, right? Well, it works very well with the balance of some humor. Bad deeds lead to more bad deeds, and they keep piling up. As the audience, we feel the tension build. the danger grow, and the risks get higher. It’s an entertaining movie, for sure.
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