Firecracker - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Firecracker Reviews

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September 22, 2013
Definitely on the art side, a tiny budget, with the cast acting like its a truly tragic John Waters (especially Mike Patton and that lead guy, and many supporting caracters who are fun to watch in their voluntarily over-generous colorfullness). Karen Black in both her roles is magnetic and grand, giving two of the most cathartic performances of her courageous career. I admit the color scenes may be a bit jarring in their brightness but this is due to budget and even though the director could have taken this reality in consideration and chosen a more achievable way, i admire his courage to momentarily not prioritize the solemnity and opt for what is the visual firecracker: the fire brightness, whorered and skyblue. ( the mental firecracker are the moments of explosion, mirrored in the double stories, you will see...). The scenario is rich and the imagery is very evocative and poetic, either bleak but meaningful or oversaturated and desperate. With many influences (Lynch, Hitchcock, Jarmush, Antonioni) This is like a cerebral western, a dreamy film noir, a gothic americana freakshow with a hypnotic scarred heart.
March 27, 2013
Unlike any movie I can recall, Firecracker attempts to expose a real life cover-up in Wamego, KS half a century ago. Filmed in the actual house the murder took place and using symbolism throughout from the Yoruba Religion it this movie is truly art imitating life.
½ March 18, 2012
Sadly not a great movie. Fun to see Mike Patton in a movie, but that doesnt save it at all.
September 14, 2011
Godawful piece of insufferable wanna-be high-art drivel, recklessly pretentious, wildly overacted and overshot, with an embarrassing debut performance from the brilliant (musically anyway) Mike Patton. One of the biggest disappointments in recent years, especially to longtime Patton fans. Had to muster great resolve to finish it. Seriously. It sucks that bad. Balderson (the writer and director) is nothing but a Lynch rip-off artist (and that's the only phrase where I think the word 'artist' could apply to this guy), piecing his film together with pantomimes and parlor tricks that do nothing but insult the intelligence of a discerning filmgoer. Would have been better if he'd just made a self-acknowledged piece of crap, like Stephen King did with Maximum Overdrive, instead of aping greats like Lynch and Bergman and trying to pawn it off as something brilliant. I'll take Emilio Estevez and King's killer clown 18-wheeler over this drek any day of the week. And that's saying something
Super Reviewer
January 26, 2011
Firecracker tells a well trodden story in a surreal way, so reminiscent of David Lynch that I was waiting for the female Shaman to utter "fire walk with me".

Taking place in a backwater town in rural Kansas, a sensitive, creative young boy is being held back by an abusive older brother and a coddling ultra religious mother (one of two roles portrayed by Karen Black in the film). When the carnival comes to town, the young boy is drawn to the sexy siren (also convincingly played by Black, even if she is a bit long in the tooth to play such a role) - not knowing that his older brother has had an ongoing affair with Black going back several years whenever the carnival comes to town.

Sounds interesting so far, doesn't it? Sad to say the execution, direction, and especially the acting drag this down into a mere curiosity, so banal in parts and overly suggestive of mystical mumbo jumbo in others to be laughable.

The carnival aspects of the film give it some interest, compared to the main story of murder and mysticism, but there are so many scenes that add nothing and are so terribly acted (the boss of the carnival seems to have come right out of a high school play, complete with bad make-up), that, along with some gaping plot holes and preposterous reasonings, tempt you to continue watching simply to see how bad this can be.

Attempting to be creative, the director chose to film the Kansas parts of the story in black and white, while washing the Carnival in color. Pretty much stating the obvious; that life is bleak for the boy in Kansas, but there's a big colorful world out there (filled with inane characters who cannot act). However, this becomes tiresome as the film switches scenes back and forth - complete with some truly awful editing. The odd Lynchian elements seemed pretentious and thrown in not to advance the story or offer anything profound, but more as an attempt to make the film seem artsy (and failing).

A "B" film if ever there was one, and looking as cheap as its minimal budget... another film where you wonder how and why it was made. I also wondered how someone with good acting chops like Karen Black could have a career that never really blossomed. She tries her best here to carry the load, but it's pretty obvious that she is miles above the rest of the cast, in spite of her having to utter some truly ridiculous lines.
½ December 18, 2010
weird and kind of a mess, but still an alternative film that stands out. and it some interesting scenes and performances.
½ October 1, 2010
This was one of those rare gems I happened upon at a Missouri truck stop/liquor store. It blew my mind. Mike Patton and Karen Black are amazing in this.
December 27, 2009
Desde la duda que no veia una pelicula tan mala y tan agarrada de los pelos. Solo la salvan las actuaciones de Mike, la música y los cambios en los colores. Flojita.
½ December 24, 2009
This would have to be one of the strangest yet exciting movies i have seen in a while. Set in a middletown in Kansas, it has elements of surprise and mystery of these characters. Basically Jimmy is trapped in a hell of his own with his relgious mother, Elenor vacant father, and alcholic older brother David (played by Faith No More front man Mike Patton), he is a talented painist, but constanly is taunted and abused by David, his only escape is when the carnival comes to town with all of the streaming colours and lights and is enchanted by the carnivals singer Sandra ( played by the very talented Karen Black, also plays Elenor) who is a french singer, but she is entrapped by the possessive and controlling ringmaster of the carnival Frank, (also played by Patton)

Jimmy wants to join the carnival and play piano for Sandra, who has also the summer before being involved with David, who is obbessed with Sandra and follows her around, when they meet up again, Sandra draws the line wants nothing to do with David, after he got her pregnant the summer before.

Frank then made Sandra get an abortion leaving her horrificly mutliated, another part of Frank's entrapment to make sure she will never leave, making her feel like his personal slave, Both Jimmy and Sandra long for the freedom from their captours.

On the 4th July holiday there is a mystery when David goes missing Heddy the town sherrif starts investigating into Davids disappearance questioning the town for clues to his whereabouts when Heddy starts to look a bit closer to home, and discovers all is not what it seems.

All in all it is an intersting movie, my only little critic is that I wished they moved some of the storyline a bit closer into the family unit a bit more, showing why they were the way they were and it dragged a little in a few places but all in all, A creative and surreal effort for Steve Balderstone, and the colours and filming is amazing.

Karen Black and Mike Patton are defintley the stand outs in this film and Patton did a great job as the evil Frank (originally to be played by acting veteran Dennis Hopper) and also did justice to the twisted David, Black was amazing as Sandra as well.

At least give it a go and watch it once
½ October 14, 2009
I love stories where the antagonist is really evil and twisted, and in this film, Patton delivers in two roles. Character lines were blurred at times, and I am still unsure as to whether that was the filmmakers' intention or not. That said, I did enjoy all the characters and the strange secrets they kept.
June 8, 2009
Esta buena...actua Patton...a Balderson parece que le gusta mucho muy fuerte la trama y la Imagen... y la actuacion de Karen Black es tanto la de Patton... :P jeje
Esta buena pero no me termino de cerrar...
½ May 27, 2009
I have some mixed feelings about this movie, the black-and-white parts are preferable and it's in these parts of the movie that both Karen Black and Mike Patton are showing off some great acting skills, especially Karen! I have a hard time seeing Patton as anything else than Patton so I guess that affected me both in a good and a bad way.
The story is overall told in a very interesting and appealing way. I think Balderson captivates the mystery around this case and it was absolutley LOVLEY to watch someting else than the traditional hollywood-package. The photo and the music kept me interested enough right to the end which makes it hard not to downrate this movie. From time to time this movie reallt crawled into my very core and touched me in some extreme ways , but just as amazing as theese moments were the bad ones were Truly. Terrible.
However, as the dork I am, sorry for treating this in a very fangirly way - but I really can't bring myself to dislike anything Mike Patton is involved in.
½ December 12, 2008
Pretty average film overall - but worth watching for Mike Patton's (slightly dodgy) acting debut.
November 2, 2008
A strange movie that I caught ear about quite awhile back due to the fact that Mike Patton was slated to star in it. Not going in with super high expectations, I came out kinda liking the film. It had an semi-consistant use of black/white-to-color, caboodles of character acting, and a small cast of circus freaks. Quicker pacing and the absence of the town crazy woman would have given the flick a few more points in my book. I'll also note that I would have liked to see epilouge of the movie, but the guy touring with the movie set off a small brick of Black Cats in the theater at the very end. Classy. It scared the piss out of some peoples and reminded me that G.I. Joes were very durable back in the day...
½ October 18, 2008
it could have been a decent movie if it had better actors and an original identity of its own (instead of being so Lynchian)
October 15, 2008
As a huge fan of Mike Patton's music and his taste in film, this was one that I would love to rate highly but it is so misguided and tries to be so Lynchian that it wastes so much potential and is just ok. Mike Patton is good in it with his dual roles but the main kid just isn't cutting it. It could have really done something with the freak/circus subplot but is way more based is style over anything and just goes nowhere. Still it's an ok movie.
½ October 7, 2008
I loved the concept of the against-the-grain subjects, bold designs, wonderful reviews, unusual choice of actors, and the overall anticipation of seeing a truly clever and artistic vision onscreen. However, I would've possibly enjoyed the film more had I watched it on mute...while listening to Fantomas...really, really high...or not watching it at all...

Sorry guys, better luck next time.
½ August 2, 2008
More Mike Patton awesomeness
½ July 27, 2008
A movie that would have loved to be a Lynch movie, but dont have a clue about what lynch is all about. Looks good but lack everything else.
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