Under-rated and Under-distributed
The only way I got to see this film, was to order it online from
amazon.com and ship it over from the US. I can't even remember how I
came across hearing of the film, I think I was just browsing the net
one day and saw the name 'Bob Gale' attached.
I'm a huge fan of the BTTF series, and pretty much appreciate all works
done by cast and crew of the series in other titles. Robert Zemeckis,
Bob Gale, Christopher Lloyd, and the great MJF to name a few! So how
come I'd never heard of this film 'Interstate 60', as it contains 3 of
the 4 aforementioned magical ingredients (albeit the 2 actors in
Intrigued, I set about attempting to obtain the movie, which proved
more painstaking than trying to remove barbed wire from your rear end.
Nowhere in the UK has it or had even heard of it, there was no cinema
release, no straight-to-video, nothing. Not even big Brit name Gary
Oldman (who appears for his fair share in the film), or legend Kurt
Russell seemed to have secured its distribution.
Anyway, to the film, I think it has to be seen to be appreciated, I
rate the plot quite well, with its quirky and surreal sense of humour.
The direction and camera work are fantastic (albeit a little rough
around the edges) for a low-end budget film, and is something Bob Gale
should be proud of for his first outing as a director. The narrative
element from BTTF, using the main character as eyes and ears for the
audience is again used to good effect, and is once again an engrossing
way to tell the story in 'Interstate 60'.
Perhaps big distributors felt that the film was too odd, or strange to
merit a push for release, which is a shame, as it's a hidden gem and
well worth shipping over international waters anywhere. Strangely
enough, it seems as though its one of the only films amazon will ship
over to another country (so maybe they know its true value).
If your at all interesting or intrigued as I first was, then you should
definitely attempt to get hold of the film while its still about..
A refreshingly moral story with important messages presented in a humorous way...
"Interstate 60" is about a highway that doesn't seem to exist, yet
somewhere in between two highways in Louisiana it does, indeed, exist.
The main character of the film has a hard time trying to find it at
first, for his destiny lies somewhere upon the seemingly non-existent
People looking for "Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road" may have just
as hard a time looking for the movie itself, as it was not theatrically
released, has not been released on DVD, but continues to circulate
around small theaters and film festivals since 2002, in search of more
eager viewers who will no doubt be both surprised and inspired by the
film's truthfulness and sense of morals.
Yet "Interstate 60" plays like anything but a Surgeon General's
warning. It isn't as openly strict or hard-nosed. It has a sort of
subtle warning inside it that lets the viewer decide what it is about.
It's a film that stays with you after it's over, and that's a rare
thing these days.
It all starts with a rich kid named Neal Oliver (James Marsden,
"X-Men"). Neal's 22nd birthday has just arrived, and with it a
shiny-red BMW sports car, with the license plate specially modeled
after his father's own personal motto. In fact, the entire convertible
seems to be modeled after Neal's father's own tastes. "I woulda killed
to have something like this when I was your age," his dad mutters. We
have a feeling he really would have, too.
Neal makes a wish for his birthday, to find a meaning to his life. It
is overheard by an odd man named O.W. Grant (full name: One Wish
Grant), who decides to grant Neal his wish - by sending a painter's
bucket flying from above, only to come to a stop on Neal's skull.
Out of it for a while, Neal wakes up again and finds his perception
noticeably different. He notices things he never noticed before; his
senses are more acute. A strange doctor named Ray (Christopher Lloyd)
explains a thing or two about perception and blindness to Neal, before
Neal finds out there is no doctor on the staff at the hospital named
Ray (though that seems a bit odd, don't you think?).
Neal meets Ray again in a skyscraper, where Ray gives Neal a job to
transport a small briefcase to Denvar (yes, DenVAR), a small town
located along I-60. Neal reluctantly agrees to go on this journey in
hopes of finding a girl he can't rid his mind of, and so he finally
locates this nonexistent highway. Along his journey he once again meets
O.W. Grant (Gary Oldman), as well as Laura (Amy Jo Johnson), a woman
seeking as much sex as possible; a cop (Kurt Russell) in a small
drug-infested town; an ex-advertising agent played by Chris Cooper; and
finally he finds the girl of his dreams (literally), Lynn (Amy Smart).
Along his journey, Neal comes to terms with himself and who he really
is, and though this is predictable the way the film gets the message
across is more than ingenious.
The writer and director of the film is Bob Gale, the man most people
will always remember as the creator and sole writer of the three "Back
to the Future" films. Gale tried his hand at directing a few times,
including the 1995 "interfilm" called "Mr. Payback," which I have not
seen but have heard is a supposedly horrid excuse for a film.
"Interstate 60" is not - it is a cleverly-written little film that
avoided being released into the mainstream, and for a reason: It didn't
want to become Hollywoodized. It hasn't. And it shows.
"Interstate 60" is unmistakably a low-budget film, but it is all the
better for it. It has some important messages that really should be
seen by everyone. In a time when films like "Gigli" are invading the
film market, this is a breath of fresh air, a step towards a better
side of film-making, a side with morals for today's youth and future
There are some great messages in this film, it's a shame that the
majority of moviegoers and families seeking quality films will never
even see this film, much less hear about it..