Fishing With John - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fishing With John Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 27, 2016
"Fishing with John" stars John Lurie with guests such as Jim Jarmusch, Willem Dafoe, Dennis Hopper, Matt Dillon and Tom Waits. Originally the show aired on IFC and Bravo in 1991 with a six episode run. I've never watched fishing shows on ESPN or other sports channels and although Lurie and his guests go fishing in beautiful locales that are tropical, arctic, etc., this show through its six episodes seems more about enjoying life then actually fishing. It's sometimes funny, sometimes poignant and sometimes introspective.
½ January 18, 2015
Fishing with John is a highlight in absurdist film, i`m not sure John knows how to fish or which end of the rod goes in the water but then neither do his friends a sea sick tom waits and the obviously pretend fishing they do, are a highlight ,as is a creepy overnight stay with willem dafoe ice fishing i`m not sure i`d want that face grinning at me as I lay sleeping
Super Reviewer
½ July 8, 2013
For fans of John Lurie, meaningless conversation, absurdist humor, randomness and a lack of narrative coherence, "Fishing With John" is where it's at. The uncomprisingly esoteric nature of each episode makes it an extremely tough sell to modern audiences, and only a select, select few will find it tolerable, but for those who are willing to embrace the strange, "Fishing With John" is quite entertaining.
Super Reviewer
May 31, 2013
Fishing with John is a six episode document ray program, of the fishing adventures of John Lurie. He brought his friends along, which included, Jarmusch, Waits, Dillon, Dafoe, and Hopper. My favorite episode was the first, with Jim Jarmusch, as it set a tone, and had hilarious dialogue. In fact I like the conversation in all the episodes, John Lurie is an obvious BS artist, and everyone else has wit in them. The only episode that I found boring is with Matt Dillon, since things just moved a bit slow.

The man who had the most humorous moments in this film is narrator Robb Webb. I like how Lurie put it in an interview with Criterion:
"He says something and it sounds as though it has to be true. And that is what really made it work, with him saying that ludicrous narration that I wrote." In fact a few times when Webb said something ridiculous, I believed him. What I did while watching this was I would view an episode or two a night, and process it the next day. This was a great leisure viewing, and a relaxing experience.
½ May 9, 2013
John Lurie, sax player and composer for the Lounge Lizards and occasional actor (e.g., Down By Law) decided to make a fishing show, filming 6 episodes back in 1992. Each one takes him and a celebrity friend to a different exotic location. It is all fairly ridiculous, particularly the voiceover narration. I laughed. Some episodes are funnier than others because some people are funnier (e.g., Tom Waits), although Lurie himself is a card. His wit also shows up in the music which is pretty absurdist at times (or good at setting the mood). Expect a slow pace, nice visuals, good music, ridiculousness.
March 3, 2013
I can't believe Criterion Collection actually picked this up. "Fishing With John" expects to put people who can't fish in a boat and let hilarity ensue. However, the result is about as boring as fishing itself. Even Tom Waits in Jamaica couldn't save it. For anyone out there who has the idea of "Hey I've got a camera! Let's put a bunch of famous people together in a boring situation! Something is sure to happen!" I've got bad news for you. Somebody already did that, and it's called Magical Mystery Tour.
August 18, 2012
fun fishing documentary with wit and humor
December 17, 2011
This is such an easy movie to watch. Its like one of those old ESPN fishing shows with a Jim Jarmusch vibe featuring some of the coolest people on the planet. The narration by Robb Webb is amazing. The theme song is hilarious. Some it drags on a little too long but screw it. If you like anything Jarmusch has ever done or the people involved you owe it to yourself to see this.
Super Reviewer
½ October 28, 2011
A strange but relaxing and entertaining set of episodes starring John Lurie and his famous friends going fishing.
December 24, 2010
"The fishermen wake up excited to be alive. They hope for good weather and good luck. Both fisherman are covered with sores and boners."
December 16, 2010
This is such an easy movie to watch. Its like one of those old ESPN fishing shows with a Jim Jarmusch vibe featuring some of the coolest people on the planet. The narration by Robb Webb is amazing. The theme song is hilarious. Some it drags on a little too long but screw it. If you like anything Jarmusch has ever done or the people involved you owe it to yourself to see this.
November 28, 2010
This is one of the most underrated things I've ever seen. It was completely hilarious and beautiful at the same time. I really wish this would have lasted longer than it did.
October 24, 2010
Can't get much cooler than seeing Matt Dillon do a sacred dance for fish.

Well, I guess you can if you see Tom Waits shove a fish in his pants. Which is also featured in an episode.
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2010
All six episodes of John Lurie's would-be fishing show aptly-titled Fishing With John seem to have something for everyone. If you're a fan of beautiful scenery and exotic locales you're in luck but mostly Fishing With John serves as absurdist entertainment in the form of the random and nonsensical narration ("This is a real Husker Du town") and an abundance of random moments between Lurie and his guests. The way that nonsensical stories were created in the editing room (namely Lurie and Dennis Hopper hunting a giant squid and the deaths of Lurie and Willem Dafoe) makes the show. I'm positive the people that Lurie harangued into making this show (Lurie knows very little if nothing about fishing) don't agree, but its a damn good time...
September 3, 2010
Fishing with John is one of the most delightfully original and witty television programs that you are ever likely to see. Musician John Lurie, who starred with Tom Waits in Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law, writes, directs, scores, and stars in this bizarro version of fishing show.

On the surface, Fishing with John is structured like any other fishing or nature show. It has a very basic premise: John Lurie takes his celebrity friends fishing for some particular sort of fish in a different part of the world in each episode: he goes shark fishing with Jim Jarmusch off the coast of Montauk, he travels to Jamaica to fish with Tom Waits, he goes ice fishing with Willem Dafoe, he and Matt Dillon go fishing in Costa Rica, and (in a two part story) he hunts the legendary giant squid with Dennis Hopper in Thailand. But Fishing with John is so much more than its basic premise might suggest.

For starters, John Lurie and his guests know next to nothing about fishing, and nothing exciting ever really happens in the show. Instead, the show focuses on the interactions between John and his guests while voice-over narration makes their endeavors seem dramatic, suspenseful, and even supernatural. The narrator makes normal remarks but they are interspersed with false and ludicrous claims, nonsensical rhymes, random asides, etc. The narrator's comments together with John and his guests' interactions create a constantly hilarious and brilliant experience that is unlike anything else you will ever watch. This brilliance together with the stunning cinematography of beautiful spots around the world make Fishing with John a show that you will never forget and will most likely quote on a regular basis.
August 22, 2010
Fishing with John is one of the most delightfully original and witty television programs that you are ever likely to see. Musician John Lurie, who starred with Tom Waits in Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law, writes, directs, scores, and stars in this bizarro version of fishing show.

On the surface, Fishing with John is structured like any other fishing or nature show. It has a very basic premise: John Lurie takes his celebrity friends fishing for some particular sort of fish in a different part of the world in each episode: he goes shark fishing with Jim Jarmusch off the coast of Montauk, he travels to Jamaica to fish with Tom Waits, he goes ice fishing with Willem Dafoe, he and Matt Dillon go fishing in Costa Rica, and (in a two part story) he hunts the legendary giant squid with Dennis Hopper in Thailand. But Fishing with John is so much more than its basic premise might suggest.

For starters, John Lurie and his guests know next to nothing about fishing, and nothing exciting ever really happens in the show. Instead, the show focuses on the interactions between John and his guests while voice-over narration makes their endeavors seem dramatic, suspenseful, and even supernatural. The narrator makes normal remarks but they are interspersed with false and ludicrous claims, nonsensical rhymes, random asides, etc. The narrator's comments together with John and his guests' interactions create a constantly hilarious and brilliant experience that is unlike anything else you will ever watch. This brilliance together with the stunning cinematography of beautiful spots around the world make Fishing with John a show that you will never forget and will most likely quote on a regular basis.
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