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By Adam Lippe

mv_overnight_1Overnight is a highly amusing and deserving embarrassment of Troy Duffy, the writer/director of The Boondock Saints. It follows Duffy from when Harvey Weinstein found him at the bar he was bouncing at and signed him to direct the film, have his band play the music, and even buy the bar and let him manage it. The documentarians were friends of Duffy, and even managed the band, and the idea behind the movie was to show his meteoric rise from humble origins. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for those of who’ve seen The Boondock Saints and know what a piece of shit it is), Duffy spends the entire movie alienating everyone in sight, proclaiming that he is 100% right and everyone else is 100% wrong in a situation, those who don’t give him what he wants are afraid of him, not paying selected bandmates (which include his brother and the filmmakers), and cursing at everyone in sight. I was entertained by the fact that Duffy is both the protagonist and the villain, but not an anti-hero, and that his failures were completely deserved.

There seemed to be a longer version that played at a Sundance, around 115 as compared to the 82 minute version released theatrically and on DVD, and while I can see how one can get enough of Duffy berating everyone around him, there are a lot of little details that are glossed over. For instance, much is made of the fact that Harvey Weinstein suddenly deserted and buried the project, but no interaction is shown where Duffy could have got on his case as well (though I wouldn’t doubt it happened). It leaves the door open for there being a conspiracy against Duffy for any number of reasons, least of all shooting his mouth off. For those who know of Weinstein’s exploits, where he shows enthusiasm for something and forgets about it and hangs it out to dry just as quickly, essentially blackballing the filmmaker (which is suggested, but could easily be part of Duffy’s Martyr/Hero complex), this wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary, but one could only guess from the material provided here,

overnightIt’s actually quite similar to the movie version of Final Cut (based on the superior book that was about the making of Heaven’s Gate), where there is more than the hint that Duffy and Michael Cimino had a masterpiece buried based on prejudice and anger against the filmmaker. The truth in both cases, is that neither are very good, one a deservedly panned and bloated western, the other, a cheesy B-movie Tarantino riff, with a lot of over-the-top acting and phony attitude.

And if that isn’t interesting enough for you, though watching an asshole flame out after overvaluing his importance should be enough anyway, it’s important to know that one of the co-directors is named Tony Montana (Scarface), impetus enough for those who enjoy overblown ego personified onscreen.

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By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]

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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.