An amiable, partially contrived documentary by Mika Kaurismaki (1994) in which Jim Jarmusch joins Sam Fuller as Fuller returns to a Brazilian rain forest where 40 years earlier he scouted locations and shot 16-millimeter footage for a Hollywood adventure story that was never made. What keeps this fun and watchable are Fuller and Jarmusch holding forth for the camera and each other, but the settings and the Karaja Indians they visit hold plenty of fascination as well. Winner of the international critics’ award at the Berlin film festival. Music Box, Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2.
Jerky in both senses of the term, this slapdash comedy follows the efforts of the half-wit son (Chris Farley) of a midwestern auto parts manufacturer (Brian Dennehy) to follow in his father’s footsteps after the old man kicks off on his wedding day. (Bo Derek is the woman he’s just married, and she’s up to no good.) Directed by Peter Segal (Naked Gun 331/3: The Final Insult) from a desperately unfunny script by Bonnie and Terry Turner, this has a cheesy, unreal plot that vaguely suggests an overhauled Roger & Me with a happy ending. David Spade costars and Lorne Michaels, who should hang his head in shame, produced. (JR)
This 1994 feature about a friendship between two intellectual writers in the 50s and 60s doesn’t qualify as writer-director Carlos Reichenbach’s best work, but it’s an excellent introduction to one of the most interesting and creative Brazilian filmmakers around. His artistic interests and surreal imagination evoke Raul Ruiz as well as the French New Wave. Three Penny, Saturday and Monday, March 25 and 27, 8:45.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Still.
This fumbling and formulaic semiremake of The Private War of Major Benson (1955) is basically just an excuse to let comic Damon Wayansfunctioning here as cowriter and executive producer as well as starstrut his stuff. But he’s strutting in a void, and not even two gold teeth will light his way. The initial premise, good for a couple of laughs at most, is that he’s a professional marine consumed with blood lust who can’t adjust to his honorable discharge and a new job training boys in a Virginia prep school’s junior ROTC; after that, it’s whatever strikes Wayans’s and the filmmakers’ fancies from one moment to the next. That includes some threadbare noncomic material about bonding with the recruits. Directed by Nick Castle and cowritten by Dean Lorey and Gary Rosen; with Karyn Parsons, Michael Ironside, and Albert Hall, and a strained cameo by William Hickey. (JR)