Magnolia

Bomb Rating: 

It just goes on and on and on.

Tom Cruise plays Frank Mackey, a "Men are from Earth, Women arefrom the Bowels of Hell" self-help guru, in this, the latest film from "Boogie Nights" director P.T. Anderson. There's a scene in which Frank is about to be interviewed by a reporter and he's in his underwear. Well, you can't help but notice that Cruise has a ferret or something flopping around in his shorts. In fact, as I'm marveling at the size of his package, I feel this breeze shift my hair as every woman in the theater leans forward and locks onto Frank's jumbo-sized frank like the sights of a laser-guided missile.

Actually, I'm not really impressed by this thing; I'm just trying to figure out whether it's real. Since there have been all sorts of questions about Cruise's sexuality and prowess, I'm sure he thought it would be a good idea to make himself look like John Holmes. At the very least, I figure Cruise was in his dressing room giving himself a puffer right before the shoot. However, given Anderson's improvements on Mark Wahlberg, one shouldn't discount the possibility that the director just jammed a piece of pipe in there for effect.

This whole Tom Cruise distraction was actually a good thing since by that point in the film, most of the right side of my body had gone numb. I was only about 90 minutes into the thing and was well aware that there was still a whole other feature film to go. And that outlook was none too pleasing since the only way you could get a more miserable cast of characters in one place would be to surreptitiously pipe the ending of "Schindler's List" through the television during Thanksgiving at Pat Buchanan's house.

Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) is dying and so is game show host, Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall). This makes Earl's wife, Linda (Julianne Moore) nuts, which involves a lot of screaming. There's this whole game show thing where you can see whiz kid Stanley Spector (Jeremy Blackman) ending up like Donnie Smith (W.H. Macy). And then there's Gator's daughter, Claudia (Melora Walters), who's a basket case like her stepmom, the reason for which isn't revealed until minute 178 or so. To make matters worse, the only decent character in the film, an LAPD cop of all things (John C. Reilly), is trying to get in Claudia's pants. It just goes on and on and on.

You know, if Paul Thomas can start abbreviating his name, can't he start abbreviating his films?

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This is honestly the only film I've ever walked out on

Lula's picture

I like quirky movies, ok? I like weird movies, I like foreign films, I like meta concepts, I'm not a moron, and I like most of the actors in this. I was really excited to see it.

After the first nine hours of the movie had passed and NOTHING HAD HAPPENED and you HAD NO IDEA WHO THESE CHARACTERS WERE OR WHY YOU SHOULD CARE, AT ALL, I really had to pee, and I played the "wait for a crane shot to go pee" game, just knowing the moment I left would be the magical moment something, ANYTHING, finally happened. That moment never came. Eventually there was a shot of a cop staring at something while a kid was staring offscreen and then a long shot of the town where presumably everyone was also staring at something, and I looked at my watch and realized there were still hours and hours to go and we hadn't even seen the Tom Cruise character they built all the trailers around (or anyone interesting at all) so I said fuck it and left.

I sat through "Idle Hands", ok? I've sat through so many horrible movies because I'm CHEAP. I don't like to waste my money. And I couldn't sit through more than the first hour of this. Gives you an idea of how endlessly boring it is. Nothing happens, you won't give a crap about any of the characters, and then suddenly if you don't like it it's because you "didn't get it". I guess not. I guess I did not get it. I also guess if you are dying inside after one hour of a film, it's bad. After an hour, it's easy to committ yourself to the rest. But no. Don't see this movie. Leave me...save yourselves

I only lasted 10 minutes or so

FearlessFreep's picture

Paul Thomas Anderson's movies are a bit too strange for me. (I couldn't sit through PUNCH DRUNK LOVE either.) I didn't even care so much for THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

Signed, 

The artist formerly known as Zorro.

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