Autumn in New York (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This is possibly the greatest horror movie I've ever seen. In my life I've seen a few scary films, and I don't think I've ever screamed out loud.

Until I saw Autumn in New York.

I kept screaming - "oh, no, they're not really going to ..... " But they did anyway. Then I screamed "he didn't really say that ..." But he did.

I'm not sure if the Guinness people have a record for most cliches in one movie, but this would be a good place to start.

It's a shame, really, that there was already a movie called Death Race 2000, because that would have been a good name for this one. Y'see, it isn't really a horror movie, but a weepy-ass dyin' woman hankie flick in the manner of Love Story. Richard Gere is a thousand years old, and he falls in love with Winona Ryder, who's about 12. But, lo and behold, when he tells her that there's no future, is he ever in for a surprise. Turns out the reason they have no future is not because she's gonna outlive him by 80 years. The reason is because she personally has no future, as she is dying of Ali McGraw disease. If he doesn't die first of old age.

And then he's searching for the miracle cure. Not for old age, for the Ali McGraw thing.

And then it turns out that Winona's mother was once in love with Gere, with unfortunate results, and Winona's granny is still alive to remind both of them of it, and to remind Gere not to hurt Winona.


none, but there are two very brief looks at Winona Ryder's nipples, so in the eyes of cinema nudity buffs, that is groundbreaking.
Not like it would matter that much - I mean she's only got like 16 seconds to live anyway. Her doctors advise her not to buy any long-playing records, so how much harm can Gere do?

But the granny tells Gere to leave her alone, so he dumps her on the advice of the granny, and the shock of that alone almost kills her! Good thinking, granny! Way to make those precious few days really special for her. Of course, Gere dumps her very stylishly and cinematically. You know, in the rain, and in the falling leaves, for the proper effect and all.

But then he begs her to take him back. The exact dialogue, "please let me love you. please. please. please. please. please." And the strain of listening to all this begging almost kills her again.

Oh, here's another one. They're dancing and he says "you don't dance, you float". Now do you see why I was screaming?

Oh, yeah, and get this. When Gere dumped Winona's mom so long ago (because she was getting too serious about their relationship), Gere went and boffed her tennis partner in the boathouse. Well, that little fling produced an offspring, and that offspring turns up on Gere's doorstep just in time to fill out the plot and find him a heart specialist.

DVD info from Amazon.

This is really odd. Although this was a high-budget film from a major studio with two pretty big stars, the DVD has no features at all. I mean zero. Not even some cheesy bios and a trailer. Zip. Nada.

The print is good. Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1, with a standard 4:3 version on the other side.

I'm still wondering how Winona had sex. You see, Winona's heart is so weak that she passes out when she gets a really good birthday surprise, or when they just rassle around in front of a mirror or run toward each other in movie slow motion, so I guess the old geezer wasn't giving her any really superlative and deranged sportfuckin'. Or maybe he was. Maybe that's why she finally died, as the result of a spine-rattling, heart-stopping orgasm. Well, in that case, I kinda like it now.

After Winona finally kicks the bucket, Gere changes his evil seducin' ways, and he even takes his long-lost daughter and his new grandson for a boat ride in Central Park, and the movie ends (I'm not kidding), with Gere feeding his little grandchild while he smiles beatifically, a reformed man, like when Our Gang comedies end with Spanky saying "I'll never be bad again", and firmly resolving to go to school instead of skipping out to go to the circus.

Terrible, terrible movie. Bad beyond belief except that the photography is pretty. A strong rival to "I Dreamed of Africa" as the second worst big budget film of the past year ('Battlefield Earth" kinda swept away the competition for #1). By the way, it isn't a chick-flick. Women rated it lower than men at imdb, and women over 45 rated it harshest of any group.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two stars. Berardinelli 2/4, Apollo 70. Ebert never reviewed it. The studio snuck it out without an advance screening for critics - a sure sign they knew it stunk. And they were right.

  • Rotten Tomatoes summary. Only 18% positive overall, and also 18% from the top critics.

he People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.7, Apollo users 53/100, therefore holding the course steady at two stars.
  • With their dollars ... it did OK. $38 million in the USA, on 2300 screens. Given overseas and rentals, it should break even, and maybe then some, on the $40 million budget.
My guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a D, and I suspect even if you love hanky movies, Gere, and Ryder, you still won't like it much.

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