Another Day in Paradise (1998) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Tuna's comments in white 

Another Day in Paradise (1998) is an "old crook teaches young kid the ropes, everyone lives unhappily ever after" film from Larry Clark. 

The film starts off with promise. Vincent Kartheiser gets out of a warm bed with Natasha Gregson Wagner and almost gets beat to death ripping off a junior college vending machine area. His roommate's uncle, James Woods, is called to patch him up. Woods is a seasoned crook and a junkie, and takes Kartheiser under his wing. Melanie Griffith as Wood's girlfriend rounds out the foursome. During the training and planning period for the first big job, everyone is having fun and getting high. Of course, things turn to shit, and stay that way for 2/3 of the film. Woods started off with a very edgy performance, but was allowed to go WAY over the top by Clark. Kartheiser was good throughout, as was Wagner. Griffith was also in the cast.

Wanger shows breasts in a fairly hot sex scene with Kartheiser. The film is mostly dark and grainy, and is very slow moving for a crime/action flick. This is a passable genre film, and not much more. 


see the main commentary
 Scoopy's comments in yellow

Does anyone else find Natasha Wagner's whiny little voice as irritating as I do? Oh, well, she does seem like her mama reincarnated at times. This movie managed to do nothing with a cast that included James Woods, Melanie Griffith and Wagner. Unlike most of Larry Clark's films, it does have a coherent narrative, but it's really a same old same old, and I can't give you one good reason to see the movie itself unless you like classic R&B, in which case the music is outstanding. 

DVD info from Amazon

  • Widescreen letterbox, 1.78:1

  • two versions: theatrical, and director's cut with commentary

The DVD is a great rent, however. One scene got cut to avoid a nc-17 rating. Wagner goes for the man-slurpee, there is graphic male nudity, and lots of really dirty talk, and a very hot sex scene which includes every ingredient except Wagner nudity. That scene has been restored on the DVD, and there is also a second audio track with director's commentary, which is fascinating. Larry Clark, the director, is no NASA candidate, but he is very candid and outspoken in his down-home no-bullshit Oklahoma way, so his unguarded comments offer real insight into the moviemaking process. While I can't recommend the amateurish and vastly overrated movie, which isn't a hell of a lot better than "I Spit on Your Grave", I recommend the DVD heartily. Listen to the songs, watch a few scenes of James Woods going ballistic, listen to the director's commentary, and satisfy your curiosity about the deleted scene. By the way, the DVD got printed wrong, and the director's cut and commentary are on the opposite side from the indicators. 

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: nearly three stars. Ebert 3/4, Berardinelli 2.5/4, Maltin 3/4.

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.1 
  • With their dollars ... a million dollars domestic gross from a very limited run
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics - or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own 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 C (Tuna) to C- (Scoopy).

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