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The Brown Bunny
DVD disk
Aug 9, 2005 By: Scott Weinberg
The Brown Bunny order
Director:
Vincent Gallo

Actors:
Vincent Gallo
Chloe Sevigny
Cheryl Tiegs

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Bud participates in a motorcycle race. And then he gets into his van and hits the highway. Bud stops at a convenience store, talks to the girl behind the counter, convinces her to drive to California with him, takes off without her, and then hits the highway. Bud stops to get a soda and makes out with a total stranger, and then hits the highway. Let's just say that writer / producer / editor / star / weirdo Vincent Gallo should have called this experiment "Driving: The Movie"
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
First off, no, The Brown Bunny is not nearly as bad as you've heard. The version that was practically booed into oblivion at the Cannes Film Festival was quite a bit longer and, I can only assume, drier and even more boring. But Gallo's put together a 90-some minute version that, while indeed quite dry and frequently (amazingly) boring, actually does have something to say.

Whether or not you'll actually care about what The Brown Bunny has to offer depends on your indie-weirdness tolerance level. But here's what I "got" from the flick:

Our main character is called "Bud," and throughout his travels he comes across women named Lilly, Rose, Violet, and Daisy. OK, so we have the flower symbolism down cold, got it. Gallo plays Bud as a completely disassociated and frequently fragile outsider, as if he's been hurt in the past and desperately wants to avoid any more emotional entanglements. So he drives and he drives and he drives some more, occasionally bumping into women he likes and/or covets -- but then he drives away again.

At the end of Bud's journey is a former girlfriend with a few shocking surprises. And no, I'm not only referring to the now-infamous blow-job sequence (as performed by the rather, ahem, talented Chloe Sevigny) that caps the movie off with a mildly sexy bout of melancholy weirdness. But if you've made it all the way to the end of Gallo's highway wanderings, at least you'll get some sort of clarification as to what all the driving's about.

I'm not necessarily saying that the "end reveal" makes the movie a brilliant piece of cinema, but for all its rather boring moments, The Brown Bunny still delivers an epilogue that pulls the journey together in rather sobering fashion.

So it's pretty damn dull, intermittently quite intriguing, shockingly sexual at one point, and strangely touching at the very last minute ... which means it's a whole lot like TONS of movies you'll find at the world's film festivals.

Some people adore this odd little experiment; others see an overwhelmingly indulgent piece of junk.

I'm somewhere right in the middle.

THE EXTRAS
Just a pair of trailers: the short teaser clip and the considerably more spoiler-ish full trailer (which you should watch after you see the movie).
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
I can plainly see why some people hate this movie -- and I can also see why it's got its fair share of defenders. Personally, I think there's a haunting and fairly poignant story here; too bad it's surrounded by so many damn driving scenes.
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