New York, Sept. 29, 1996
Written and directed by Nick Gomez. Produced by Larry Meistrich. Cinematography
by Jim Denault. Production design by Susan Bolles. Edited by Tracy Granger.
Music by Brian Keane
Starring: Michael Rapaport (Dante), Lili Taylor (Suzanne), Adam Trese (Gabriel),
Kevin Corrigan (Francis), Angela Featherstone (Lilly), Tony Danza (D'Avalon),
Isaac Hayes (George), Paul Schulze (Lucas), Saul Stein (Gunther).
Most of us think of drug dealers as bad guys. Nick Gomez wants us to know
there are some nice people in drug dealing - ordinary folks who play golf
and have family values and worry about keeping their crews (teenage boys
who peddle the drugs for them, presumably to other teenagers) from defecting
to the competition. The trouble is, these nice people are leaving drug
dealing and it's being taken over by the bad people whom the nice people
screwed over a long time ago. We slowly find out what went down in the
distant past only when the nice people sit down and shoot up - and remember.
Weird thing: memory only operates when you're high.
Lily Taylor is good enough to create the only credible character in the
movie. The rest of the cast contribute to the wannabe alienation of the
story. In the context of drug-peddling, the whole appeal to us about how
hard life is for these people since drug dealing has become difficult makes
me wanna side with the Feds. And that's not a nice feeling.
There's an enormous amount of violence in the movie that builds to a showdown
in a poolhall, when our hero, Dante, goes to face a young kid who can blow
away people without blinking. Now Dante has moral compunction about shooting
people in cold blood, so we have to wonder if he'll really shoot this kid.
He does. And it hurts him so much, he has to shoot up to deal with it.
This movie is rampant nonsense tarted up as an art film. Characters stand
around in Godard-style confrontation with the camera and say things like,
"Money is easy, philosophy is hard" - a paraphrase of the deathbed
line of a famous Shakespearean actor who once said, "Death is easy.
Nick Gomez argues that this movie is not about anything, that it was a project
that ran out of money and turned into a total experiment. Listen, Nick,
the experiment failed. Go back to making realistic movies like "Laws
of Gravity." You seemed to know what you were doing then, because
realism is easy. Philosophy is too hard.
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