by Greg Muskewitz
Not to be confused with Michael Winterbottom’s 2000 movie of the same name, a post-porno career story of John “The Wadd” Holmes once he was well into the drug and petty crime scene (“He’s a mile of dick and no balls”), specifically about the 1981 Wonderland Ave. murders he was associated with, where four people were brutally murdered and a fifth was left in critical condition.The seamy subject matter is given the same type of tawdry treatment by James Cox as we get a hot potato narrative of conflicting details and developments from the husband of one of the victims (Dylan McDermott), Holmes himself (Val Kilmer), his teenage girlfriend (Kate Bosworth), and his estranged wife (Lisa Kudrow). Cox jumps into the sensationalism of the story as deeply as he digs into the grit, annoyingly cluttering the soundtrack with period music (“Shooting Star,” “Good Times Roll,” “Mighty Quinn,” “Big Shot,” “Love on the Rocks,” etc.), and weaving back-and-forth with flashbacks and Rashomon-like trading perspectives. (They’re all a bunch of liars, but the truth is to be found somewhere amongst the clashing stories, right?) He remains rather indifferent and bleak to the characters (with the exception of the estranged wife), letting their scumminess speak for itself, and instead of padding the movie down with a lot of myth-recreating and biographical supplementation, it is restricted mainly to the events that took place and the factual textbook follow-up of what was to come. The material never rises far beyond its origins, but it’s arguably energized storytelling that benefits from the sensational rubbernecking of its topicality, and has a really stellar cast, in many quirky roles, utilized in all the right ways (especially a strong performance by Kudrow). And somehow, the casting of Paris Hilton seems strangely appropriate. With Josh Lucas, Tim Blake Nelson, Christina Applegate, Eric Bogosian, Franky G, Janeane Garofalo, Ted Levine, Faizon Love, Natasha Gregson-Wagner, and Carrie Fisher.[Worth-seeing.]
"It's not Alice who's lost."
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originally posted: 04/07/04 15:49:11