Waking the Dead (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna
|Two thumbs down
To paraphrase Chandler Bing, "could this movie be any worse?" Well, frankly, yes. It could be the exact same movie without Jennifer Connolly's topless scene. It could be the same DVD without the additional deleted topless scene. Jennifer's chest, one of the best in the world, is a good reason to look at any movie. But I sure can't think of many more reasons to look at this one.
set-up. Jennifer Connolly and Billy Crudup are a typical
conflicted couple in the early 70's. Although they agree
on the world they want, they don't agree on how to get
there. Crudup wants to be a U.S. Senator, maybe
president, and change the system from within. Connolly is
an outspoken left-wing activist who wants to tear the
system down, with revolution if necessary.
They can see that their lives are coming into conflict. Crudup, a politician, needs to avoid making enemies, but when Connolly attends parties with him, she expresses her outspoken views, and tells people what she really thinks of them.
each other, but it's obvious that Connolly is never going
to be the ideal politician's wife. The situation seems to
be resolved when Connolly is killed in Chile while on a
mercy mission with some priests, except that eight years
later Crudup seem to be seeing her again, hearing her
voice. Then she calls on the phone. Then she's actually
there. Or is she?
I saw the movie, and I still don't know which it was.
(WARNING: SPOILER COMING)
Let me revise that. I know, but the Crudup character did not.
She had to be real in the way the script was written, because the vision he followed one night led him to the church where the same priests were now assigned - the people who were involved with Connolly's death. If he was following a mirage, how could he get to the exact church were the priests were now working?
Crudup did not know they had been relocated to a new church, or where that Church might be!
Therefore, he could not have been following his own imagination. Therefore, he must have been following somebody who knew where the priests were, and that had to be Connolly taking refuge provided by the priests.
In addition, of course, I saw her footprints in the snow as she was running from him, and so should he have. As far as I know, mirages don't leave footprints. He, however, could not figure this out, presumably because the author simply didn't think of it.
Man, this movie is so-o-o-o dull. I don't know how people stayed awake during its theatrical run, Well, I guess not that many people gave it the opportunity. The direction is clichéd, repetitive and irritating. He relies on two "tics".
Most of the film seems to be either Crudup and Connolly looking into each other's eyes and feeling the heat or the pain, or Crudup whining and sniveling because he misses her so much. How much of that maudlin b.s. can you take?
In addition to the pacing, there is no character to latch on to. Crudup often seems cruelly single-minded in his ambition. Connolly often seems moronic in her simplistic world-view. They often say cruel things to each other in cruel ways, not in the respectful ways that people who care for each other find to express dissenting opinions. Crudup and Connolly are beautiful people and can easily play sympathetic lovers, but they didn't have the tools to build that kind of connection in this script.
Ultimately, that means that you don't care if they split up or get together or live or die. You just want them to do it fast so you can do something else.
They cut a full 30 minutes of footage to try to make the pacing peppier, but it's still not peppy, and with the cuts they dropped several sub-plots with no explanation to the viewer.
Because of the edits, it is not clear to us why they had the former congressman (Ed Harris, a pretty big star reduced to a cameo by the cuts) in the plot, or why they belabored the sub-plot with the brother's girlfriend. Certain references make no sense, although they would follow logically if the deleted scenes were still in the film.
But I sure as hell support the cuts. Personally, I would have cut 105 of the remaining 106 minutes, and just released it as a naked Connolly .mpeg.
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