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by Natasha Theobald

"Video - the wave of their future -->"
3 stars

This movie has some really funny dialogue and great moments. It's too bad that it doesn't really have a plot. Things happen, but none of them really cohere into a story, per se. Luckily, the lead actors are so appealing that we are willing to forgive small flaws.

Ivan and Josh have grown up together, playing ball and being co-named the most likely to succeed. But, they haven't succeeded, by their standards - not yet. They leave their jobs as security guards after getting caught having and videotaping a party on the premises. Videotaping, it seems, has always been a hobby. Josh, in particular, has an eye for the most up-to-date, cheesy 80s effects that could be generated at the time. This is real state of the art stuff. Think early MTV, when neon colors and watching a band play keyboards while over-lip syncing seemed fresh. Think the musical numbers from "Kids, Incorporated." (Or, am I the only one who watched that?)

Josh is the talent, and Ivan is the manager of the operation. They luck into sharing a loft free of rent and put out their shingle for Video Aces. Their goal is to make music videos, but along the way they find various other jobs, from videotaping living wills to capturing the happenings of local political events. Their big break comes when a band they have taped is killed in a most unlikely way. The video they made is aired in remembrance, bringing them attention and acclaim. They want to use their new power for good, helping boyhood music idols find the fame they richly deserve. Before they can enjoy the success, though, they must tie up some loose ends.

The bits of witty banter make this movie more worth the trouble. John Cusack, in particular, has a way of delivering a line that shivers you with giggles of delight. Seeing an early collaboration between him and Tim Robbins is a treat, here. They bounce off of each other in a silly, fun way that makes even the most implausible twist at least palatable.

The film looks like it could have been made by Video Aces. The costumes are the worst the 80s have to offer, and John Cusack sports a natty mustache that you have to see to believe. But, the music is outstanding, courtesy of Fishbone and with appearances by Sam Moore and Junior Walker. The final product is worth a few laughs, both for when it's trying to be funny and for when it just is funny.

Gather your friends, wear your best Madonna "Like a Virgin" or Boy George outfit, and enjoy the fruits of a bygone era - on DVD -->

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=1306&reviewer=317
originally posted: 08/02/02 17:09:40
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User Comments

7/28/05 Laurabetty a bit strange but fabulous!! 4 stars
1/06/99 John Julian John Cusak, Tim Robbins, Fishbone, Sam & Dave, and goofy 4 stars
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  02-Feb-1990 (R)
  DVD: 09-Mar-2010


  02-Jul-1990 (M)

Directed by
  Bill Fishman

Written by
  Bill Fishman
  Peter McCarthy

  John Cusack
  Tim Robbins
  Mary Crosby
  Clu Gulager
  Katy Boyer
  Jessica Walter

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