Hi, Mom! Reviews
Some quite controversial issues rise and as regards to storytelling, this is not such a straight forward film in the usual sense, in fact in many ways it's quite arty.
Like most of Brian De Palma's more recent films, "Hi, Mom!" wears the influence of other films on its sleeve, in this case the French New Wave(as do other films in the current 'New Yawk, New Wave' festival currently showing at the Film Forum, as other people have pointed out). But at least here, he takes the jump cuts and puts them to alternately hilarious and disturbing uses while telling an original story to deftly show how technology separates us, not brings us together, made still relevant today by the advent of the infernal cell phone while giving glimpses of a bygone New York City. For a while, this may feel like little more than elaborately devised skits but it all comes together toward the end in an increasingly provocative narrative.
One of Robert De Niro's earliest films. He plays a Vietnam War vet living in Greenwich Village. His interest in people leads him to begin filming the people in the apartment building across the street. Things escalate to acts of terrorism around New York City.
Now, my friend Brian has had more than one rant about Brian de Palma in front of me... I like Scarface, Carrie, and The Phantom of Paradise, so I threw caution to the wind for this one... After all, It has Gerrit Graham in it.
Well, I started of really liking it. DeNiro is so charming and the colors are vibrant.
DeNiro, Jon, is looking to make a buck by shooting erotic videos, of his neighbors. He notices a lonely girl across the way and fanagles a date out of her. The girl who plays Judy is really cute. Super adorable, and bonafide nutsy! He works her up and then plans to record them having sex. At which time the camera falls to reveal Gerrit painting himself black in the nude and debating whether or not to paint his junk black. Well, the producer of the movie hates it, so Jon is out of a job. Instead he buys a TV and joins Gerrit's urban guerrilla team/ performance art group... which give a frightening experiential look into what it's like to be black, and the white patrons love it when they know it's just been a show... I almost quit the movie then, really tough.
Then it's back to a more entertaining fare of Jon and Judy, she's now a whiney knocked up wife of Jon, and he blows up the building they live in. The neighbors aren't so concerned with the mass destruction of property and lives, but like the increase of space and are upset they cant get things like their wallet back from it.
I like pop movies, and, rereading the review, I LOVE the quirky story. It sounds great. But, the story telling is messed up by the look and cuts being too jazzy for me.