unique and brilliant
There is no other movie like "Masked and Anonymous" - and a lot of
people would tell you that that's a good thing.
There's no denying that "Masked and Anonymous" is not for every taste,
and there are qualities about it that would certainly be very
off-putting for many, if not most, film viewers. But its utter
uniqueness speaks volumes to me. (If you're familiar with salon.com
film critic Stephanie Zacharek, she loved it, and she hates most movies
she reviews. Of course, many readers hate her reviews for that very
reason.) Although there is a plot to the movie, I think it's best
appreciated as a collection of individual amazing scenes: Giovanni
Ribisi's back-of-the-bus monologue about his experience as a "freedom
fighter"; Val Kilmer's over-the-top "religious figure" (for want of a
better description); Jessica Lange's subtle masturbation scene; the
meetings with the TV network executives (the network having been taken
over by a Black Panther-like revolutionary group - or ARE they
revolutionaries?); and most anything with John Goodman in it. And this
movie has more great lines of dialog than anything since "Casablanca."
The images of a future America as a third-world country, in the midst
of a revolution and ruled by a banana republic-style dictator are
haunting (and if you ask me, a little too close to home these days).
Oh - and the music is incredible..
Ebert's Pain Is My Joy...
The fact that Ebert is so turned off is a damn good clue as to what's
so great about this "movie." Remember when Dylan went electric and
p***ed off everyone, especially the old tyme die hard folkies? Folk
singers were supposed to be the voice of acceptance, inclusion,
democracy; but there was Pete Singer threatening to take an axe to the
power cables to shut down Dylan's second set. Hypocrites. Bob's done it
again with Masked and Anonymous, a fake pseudo mock parable set in a
far off exotic land that's closer than we know. Its all done with a
wink and a grin, and done very, very well.
Jessica Lange is absolutely amazing as an Industry Hustler, John
Goodman is a riot and in the zone as a larger than life small time
shmoozer. There's a crap load of supporting stars that just blaze in
and out sight. Some you have to really squint to recognize, like Mickey
Rourke. Giovanni Ribisi delivers a silver bullet monologue on the life
of a rebel. Penelope Cruz has never ever been so watchable, her cute
accent exploited to the max. Jeff Bridges is, well, Jeff Bridges. And
Bob Dylan is OK. OK may not sound like much, but with this high power,
super star, mega talent mix, he's lucky to not be totally squashed.
Bob's smart enough to say as little as possible, and its a great
contrast to all the uber-acting going on all around him.
Ever see one of those corny french philosophy lessons from the 60's
that they call a film? This flick will help ya get over it..