WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A depressed and disheveled young man, whose life isnít going the way he wants, decides to head back home. But dealing with his smothering parents and directionless brother proves to be more a hindrance then a help and he must ultimately decide what he wants out of life.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
I must say, after a killer debut with TREES LOUNGE and powerful follow up with ANIMAL FACTORY, Director Steve Buscemiís LONESOME JIM is a real disappointment. Whereas both of his previous films had a real distinctive and endearing quality about them (more so with the brilliant LOUNGE), JIM is a dark and dreary film that just refuses to get out of itís own personal blue funk. As any film geek knows, even in the face of tragedy or just ultimate depression, there has to be some sort human factor that helps an audience identify somehow, but the lead character in the film is just too damn unlikable. And with tons of slow and supposed reflective moments, this one is a disaster that even the Life Channel wouldnít go near. Not to mention that the absence of anything resembling humor in the piece (this is a comedy?!), is glaring and leaves the audience screaming for a batch of sleeping pills.
Whatís really strange is that this felt like an even heavier handed version of JERSEY GIRL, right down to the casting. An Affleck of a different generation, this time itís Casey up to bat, continues the family name, with Liv Tyler reprising the same damn role she played inÖJERSEY GIRL! Add a cute kid, wacky parents (substitute JERSEY GIRLís George Carlin for new father Seymour Cassel) and youíve basically got a dark and directionless JERSEY GIRL 2. (And Mary Kay Place, normally a fine actress, definitely hams it up a little too much in this one!) How Buscemi went from the spot-on TREES LOUNGE to this sedated bore-fest is a real mind blower. Look, when the hero of the story doesnít start to change his stripes until near the end of the final act, there are some serious issues that only a script doctor can fix. LONESOME JIM didnít need to come out for all to see, it should have crawled into a corner and died appropriately Ė alone.
Commentary (with Director Steve Buscemi and Writer James C. Strouse): Considering Buscemiís body of work (both as an actor and director) thereís not much of interest being said here. Buscemi isnít giving much away, if fact if it werenít for Strouse asking the occasional question, Buscemi wouldn't say much at all. There is a definite lack of preparation in terms of stories and anecdotes (Buscemi wouldíve liked a exterior shot of the hospital!), which goes to show either the people doing the tracks need to do some more mental homework or there needs to be a mediator asking the hard questions everyone wants to hear the answers to. Either way, a snooze fest!
Making Of Lonesome Jim: A Promotional Featurette (6:04): This is exactly what it says it is, a promotional reel. Meaning a few snipets of interviews mixed with a mother lode of scenes from the film. An extra this ainít!
There are, thanks to the Weinstein people, a bunch more forced trailers, sigh, will you ever learn?!
So, you say youíre a big Steve Buscemi fan and you loved TREES LOUNGE, huh? Me too! And thatís why Iím warning, no begging everyone to stay at least 5000 yards away from the boring, depressing and totally unredeaming mess called LONESOME JIM. Bad movie, measly extras, and a strange feeling that you just wasted a few hours of your life youíll never get back Ė know when to leave well enough lonesome.