Donald Zuckerman

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Green Street Hooligans Review


OK
Lately, Elijah Wood has been very busy trying to establish himself as an actor apart from his role as Frodo in the obsessively popular Lord of the Rings phenomenon. Portraying peculiar supporting characters in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sin City, and Spy Kids 3-D, he's definitely made a valiant effort. He continues with Green Street Hooligans, this time attempting to play a tough guy. This is a first for Wood... and, hopefully, a last.

Originally titled just Hooligans, the film begins as a Harvard journalism student named Matt (Wood) is wrongfully expelled. To escape from his father's judgment, he jumps aboard a plane headed to London to visit his sister (Claire Forlani) and her husband Steve (Marc Warren). Almost immediately -- maybe out of rebellion, maybe out of curiosity -- he ditches sis and her hubby to hit the local pubs and football games (soccer for Americans) with Steve's irresponsible brother, Pete (Charlie Hunnam), and his band of hard-edged, hooligan friends.

Continue reading: Green Street Hooligans Review

The Man From Elysian Fields Review


OK
James Coburn is just great in The Man from Elysian Fields, one of his final performances before recently succumbing to a heart attack. As a dying, once-great novelist, the veteran actor displays a combination of fire and vulnerability that makes him a riveting presence.

Unfortunately, such generous adjectives can't be used for Elysian, which has a promising premise but does little of interest with it. Andy Garcia plays Byron Triller, a struggling novelist who has mounds of trouble supporting his young family. Out of luck and out of nowhere, Byron meets a mysterious, upscale pimp, Luther (Mick Jagger), who thinks Byron would be an ideal addition to his escort service.

Continue reading: The Man From Elysian Fields Review

The Big Brass Ring Review


Good
Extremely convoluted and complex political thriller, made only because Orson Welles was in the process of making it (and starring from his own script) when he died in 1985. The political melodrama was intended as a "bookend" to Citizen Kane, but this ain't no Rosebud.

Green Street Hooligans Review


OK
Lately, Elijah Wood has been very busy trying to establish himself as an actor apart from his role as Frodo in the obsessively popular Lord of the Rings phenomenon. Portraying peculiar supporting characters in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Sin City, and Spy Kids 3-D, he's definitely made a valiant effort. He continues with Green Street Hooligans, this time attempting to play a tough guy. This is a first for Wood... and, hopefully, a last.

Originally titled just Hooligans, the film begins as a Harvard journalism student named Matt (Wood) is wrongfully expelled. To escape from his father's judgment, he jumps aboard a plane headed to London to visit his sister (Claire Forlani) and her husband Steve (Marc Warren). Almost immediately -- maybe out of rebellion, maybe out of curiosity -- he ditches sis and her hubby to hit the local pubs and football games (soccer for Americans) with Steve's irresponsible brother, Pete (Charlie Hunnam), and his band of hard-edged, hooligan friends.

Continue reading: Green Street Hooligans Review

Mayor Of The Sunset Strip Review


OK
Like most viewers of his documentary Mayor of the Sunset Strip, director George Hickenlooper (The Man From Elysian Fields), doesn't seem initially all that impressed with little Rodney Bingenheimer. A small, black-clad moppet with a Monkees haircut, Rodney may be this legendary DJ for Los Angeles alt-rock powerhouse KROQ, but how cool could he be? Then there's that scene early on when Rodney's taking us through his house, showing his walls of framed photographs and letters, some quite impressive, when he gets to Elvis's driver's license. You can hear Hickenlooper stop short and ask, "What? How did you get that?" Rodney says off-handedly, "Oh, he gave it to me," as though talking about somebody loaning him a dollar, before tottering away on his little matchstick legs.

To look at the life of Rodney is to look at a near-complete history of several decades of music. A shy kid from a broken home, Rodney left Mountain View, California, for Hollywood in the early 1960s and never really left. Quickly making himself at home on the Sunset Strip scene, Rodney surrounded himself with every kind of celebrity, especially from the music industry. One interviewee after another comments on his Andy Warhol-like blank demeanor that allows the famous and talented to see reflections of themselves. But there is also an eternally childlike innocence to him that was quickly picked up on: Cher, who practically adopted Rodney for a time with Sonny, talks about how you could just tell that Rodney never wanted anything from you, just to be there and absorb the glittery experience was enough. There's a sense of a kid trying to make up for his own fractured past with a famous family, and also just looking for someone to take care of him.

Continue reading: Mayor Of The Sunset Strip Review

Beat Review


Good
Judy Davis might have commanded the definitive Joan Vollmer role in Naked Lunch, but in Beat, Courtney Love makes a not-half-bad at reinterpreting the last weeks of her life before being accidentally(?) shot in the head during a William Tell parlor trick by her famed writer husband William S. Burroughs.

Set in broken down Mexico City, the film finds Vollmer receiving a visit from beat-heads Allen Ginsburg (Ron Livingston) and Lucien Carr (Norman Reedus). (Carr, a minor figure in beat history, was a UPI reporter responsible for introducing many of the beats to one another as well as inspiring Jack Kerouac to type On the Road on a roll of teletype paper.) Burroughs (Kiefer Sutherland) is off on one of his bisexual booty calls, leaving his wife to ponder whether she should stay with her philandering husband (being no faithful lap dog herself) or skip town and return with her two kids to New York with Lucien and Allen. (Her very short history should tell you which route she actually chose.)

Continue reading: Beat Review

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Donald Zuckerman Movies

Green Street Hooligans Movie Review

Green Street Hooligans Movie Review

Lately, Elijah Wood has been very busy trying to establish himself as an actor apart...

The Man from Elysian Fields Movie Review

The Man from Elysian Fields Movie Review

James Coburn is just great in The Man from Elysian Fields, one of his final...

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Green Street Hooligans Movie Review

Green Street Hooligans Movie Review

Lately, Elijah Wood has been very busy trying to establish himself as an actor apart...

Mayor of the Sunset Strip Movie Review

Mayor of the Sunset Strip Movie Review

Like most viewers of his documentary Mayor of the Sunset Strip, director George Hickenlooper (The...

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