The Trip Reviews
Not great but entertaining enough, great 60's psychedelic feel and look. Still it does portray an lsd experience well enough for it's limitations.
Paul Groves is a television commercial director that is struggling with the thought of his wife leaving him. He decides to begin taking LSD that is provided to him by a friend. The Trip follows Groves through an array of sequences where he is high on LSD and unable to comprehend the world around him.
"If it happens again, just go ahead and die."
Roger Corman, director of Bloody Mama, The Tomb of Ligeia, The Terror, The Raven, The Haunted Palace, Pit and the Pendulum, and The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), delivers The Trip. This picture was written by the infamous Jack Nicholson. Fortunately, Nicholson pursued a career in acting and not writing because this movie is awful. You'd have to be on LSD to find this picture interesting. The cast is solid in name only and includes Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Susan Strasberg, and Bruce Dern.
"Just let everything flow, flow right to the center of everything."
This picture grabbed my attention when I saw it possessed similar elements and components to the great Easy Rider picture; unfortunately, this film is a dud and a complete waste of time. There was little direction, plot points, and an unfulfilled conclusion. Overall, I recommend skipping this picture.
"I am guilty."
Maybe it can only be appreciated by those who have indeed taken psychedelic trips. It reminded me of many of my 'nights' however I wasn't so much in the public view as Peter Fonda's character was.
In one scene of the movie in the midst of LSD madness, Paul [Fonda's Character] breaks into a house and befriends a little girl for a few minutes only to be shouted out of the house by her father. [Poor Paul]
Paul also has some fun hallucinations at the local laundry mat, He also walks up and down the streets like a cracked out mexican who has lost his way.
What I am trying to say is: This is a fun film and if you're into the drug culture this film can very be appreciated. More so for it's comedic aspect other than it's drug aspect.
"Do you feel that? The life, it's just flowing off it like energy! It's all over...all over my hands! It just runs down my arm..."--Peter holding an orange while on LSD
The Trip (1967) ***
Mildly disappointing LSD flick from the Corman factory written by Jack Nicholson. Peter Fonda is the TV ad director who decides to go on an acid trip, guided by his friend Bruce Dern. Cue a lot of psychedelic light effects, incessant cuts, gratuitous Dennis Hopper and a lot of paranoid freaking out. Frankly, unless you?re on acid yourself, the film becomes rather redundant after a while; despite only being an hour and twenty minutes long, it feels interminable. The cast (which also includes Susan Strasberg in a thankless role as Fonda?s ex-wife, who he keeps hallucinating about) do their best, but it?s obvious (despite the cheesy, tacked-on message at the beginning of the film) that the movie was made for people who were stoned. It doesn?t quite have the peculiar charm of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (which suffered from a similar fate, but was strangely entertaining and simultaneously headache-inducing) nor does it work too well as a coherent story. It?s still not a bad movie; it?s pretty well-made in spite of all this, and it certainly seems realistic (Fonda, Nicholson, Corman and Dern all did some ?research? before shooting) but that doesn?t help it much.
Dirty Pretty Things (2003) ***1/2
Captivating (though flawed) study of a Nigerian exile named Okwe (Chiwetel Eijofor) who lives in London, dividing his time between jobs as a cabbie and hotel receptionist. He finds a human heart in a toilet and uncovers a organ-trafficking ring that?s being led by none other than his greasy boss (Sergi Lopez). The thing is, he particularly targets immigrants, refugees and illegal aliens? including Senay (Audrey Tautou), the young Turkish woman with whom Okwe shares an apartment. Very compelling story is well-presented by director Stephen Frears and superbly-acted by the cast, but shy away from the film?s core and problems soon arise. The supporting characters are rather one-dimensional (none more so that the traditional hooker with a heart of gold or the two maniacal Immigration cops, one of whom even has a mustache that just begs to be twirled) and when the film hits its first ?twist?, it becomes relatively easy to see where the movie is going.
City of Joy (1992) ***
Passable mini-epic set in Calcutta stars Patrick Swayze as a selfish American doctor who has a young patient die on him and decides to go find himself in Calcutta. There he meets a farmer (Om Puri), new to the city, who eventually becomes a rickshaw driver. Meanwhile, Swayze builds a free clinic and a big fat evil guy makes the rickshaw man?s life hell. The rickshaw story is ten times more interesting than anything Swayze ever does in the movie; if Swayze was anywhere near decent as a actor, this would be forgivable? but seeing as how he is one of the most boring actors I?ve seen, it makes the dullness of the storyline twice as infuriating. Puri is much, much better and his storyline is actually much more entertaining. This is the kind of epic-lite that makes for passable viewing in a class where anything else would be much, much more boring.
12 Angry Men (1957) *****
A deceptively simple concept: 12 jurors, one room and one decision to make. It's the kind of premise that makes for a good little potboiler... but the fanatical attention to detail present in Reginald Rose's script and the intensity of the performances (coupled with Lumet's airtight direction) raise this well above a simple B-movie whodunit. Henry Fonda is Juror #8, assigned (with eleven other men) to the murder case of a young man who is accused of killing his father. #8 is the only one who believes that the young man is not guilty, and he sets out to get everyone to change their mind. Completely airtight in its development, the film builds suspense with nothing but character development and dialogue. The top-notch cast (besides Fonda, the film also stars Lee J. Cobb, Ed Begley, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam, E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman and a handful of other venerable character actors) makes this the best film of its type; many have tried to follow in its footsteps... but few have achieved what this has.
Lost in La Mancha (2003) ***1/2
Originally intended as a DVD extra, this documentary documents the short, troubled production of Terry Gilliam's "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote". The film follows an eager Gilliam through pre-production as he secures the cast (Johnny Depp, Jean Rochefort, Vanessa Paradis) and sets up his pet project, an overly ambitious fantasy he has been planning for ten years. As they draw closer to the first shooting day, however, problem after problem befalls the production: the soundstage is horrible, Rochefort gets sick, the weather is so awful that shooting cannot be continued. Lost in La Mancha is a fascinating film because there rarely are making-of movies for movies that never get made. It'S interesting to see how it works when it doesn't work... but the film remains a glorified DVD extra, glossing over certain aspects of the film and devoting too much time to footage of the filmmakers sitting around wondering what to do. Ironically, the minimal amounts of footage that were shot are tantalizing... but unlike DVD extras, you'll never see the movie.