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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20%
Worth A Look: 23.16%
Just Average: 7.37%
Pretty Crappy28.42%
Sucks: 21.05%

6 reviews, 59 user ratings

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Life of David Gale, The
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by Jason Whyte

"Another one bites the dust..."
1 stars

Alan Parker's "The Life of David Gale" is a disaster zone, falling ALL over the map of narrative, character development and goofy political agendas.

There's not a single convincing moment in the film to be found, and it feels at least an hour longer than its actual length. What's even more odd is this trash was released almost exactly a year after the medicare-brewhaha known as "John Q" (2002) which also drove me nuts by preaching to the viewer about the poor not getting treatment, all the while moronic characters spout out goofy dialogue to a laughable finale.

David Gale (Kevin Spacey) is sentenced to death row for a murder, and Bitsey Bloom (Kate Winslet) is a reporter assigned to find out the truth about the case before his execution. The film is abound with questionable antics by the main characters. Why, for example, does the movie open on a shot of Bitsey (I chuckle at her name rather easily) running away from a car that's obviously overheated, all to make a pseudo-foreshadow to the fact 20 minutes later in?

There's also a scene where Bitsey tries to reenact the murder scene that bordered on insanity. I caught myself tilting my head like a dog, completely speechless to think of how Parker had to say something like "Okay, Kate, you're going to reenact the murdered woman, by telling your partner you're going to put a plastic bag over your head, say you're going to count to three minutes, then squirm and cavort all over the floor. Okay? Action!" What's unbelievable to me is how after she removes the plastic bag from her head after her "experiment", she tells why she did it. Hey Bitsey, how about just figuring it out instead of nearly committing the dumbest suicide in film history?

Stylistically, the film is a nightmare. The twangy music score repeats constantly throughout the film, the wild-angle editing to jump time frames, the needlessly frequent references to the David Gale family photo, getting Leon Rippy to flash his crooked yellow teeth every chance it gets, and the film's final reveal, which plays like a B-minus horror film where the sting will just piss you off.

If I ever watch this film again, I'll bring a bottle of bourbon and a bottle of vodka, to make a drinking game for every time Bitsey makes a head-turn/tilt or for every time David Gale makes a goopy sad face. Other than that, the film's pretty good.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=7051&reviewer=350
originally posted: 06/30/04 03:24:51
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User Comments

3/25/10 Dane Youssef Something about the whole product feel episodic and unfinished. Final twist ruins the movie 2 stars
7/10/07 fools♫gold Eh, percentages and "whatever" rates are all conspicuous lies. Oops!!! 5 stars
2/18/06 Chris Smith Those states w/o the death penalty had a lower murder rate BEFORE they stopped it! Oops!!! 2 stars
2/18/06 Chris Bordeman All they even prove is it's easy to frame yourself if you really want to. Whooptey doo!! 2 stars
5/22/05 theo stevens histionic but excellent portrayal of anti-death penalty fanatics 3 stars
4/01/05 Cynthia Willingham Easy to figure out, not believable at all 3 stars
3/23/05 Helen Bradley Great acting by Spacey and Winslet great script a thriller suprise ending 5 stars
12/03/04 Sam Worth while watching. give lots of facts and how a girl tries hard to saves david's life. 4 stars
10/27/04 Daveman This film is all over the place, needlessly didactic and hilariously overblown. 1 stars
10/11/04 Cinnamon There were parts of the movie that seemed boring, but the story had a good twist at the end 4 stars
7/15/04 nsb i loved this movie. thought it was very good. 5 stars
3/20/04 Pat ending was strange 3 stars
3/09/04 bsho76 Very unique film, keeps you guessing... 4 stars
2/11/04 Thomas Weiler One of my favorites 5 stars
12/15/03 marvin sucks 2 stars
11/02/03 Michele Darcis worthwhile seeing, keeps you guessing 4 stars
10/16/03 Lee Aclaimed Bad on so many levels; and why the numerous scenes of cars driving down the road? 1 stars
9/30/03 keshia king this movie is cool, and there are a lot of things that you don't think will happen but do.. 5 stars
9/27/03 Kimberly Jacobs I totally disagree with this EFC review. ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES I HAVE SEEN LATELY! 5 stars
9/20/03 Flick Chick anything with kevin spacey is good. 4 stars
9/20/03 Darryl Spacey is great, as always. And the plot twist will blow you away! 5 stars
9/19/03 Jinnvisible Good plot , alas actors, straining to poo the emotion ,Steven Spielturd?emotional overdrive 4 stars
9/13/03 Kyle I thought it was an above-average suspense movie. I didn't get bored at all. 4 stars
8/29/03 Ben J. Doko It might help each States to review their capital punishment law. 4 stars
8/25/03 mark thomas it SUCKS! 1 stars
8/25/03 JUN Story to be too thin and predictable 2 stars
8/17/03 Alberto Well i thought the movie was great. 5 stars
8/13/03 Jeannie Karlsen This movie left me in tears. Excellent in every way. 5 stars
8/04/03 Piz Well-played thriller that did seem far-fetched. Had potential to be a tense nailbiter 4 stars
8/01/03 Matt Helm The trailer convinced me not to see it ... ever. So does this count? 1 stars
7/31/03 Doc Shock Predictable. 2 stars
7/23/03 Kecia good movie,but what happened to him was wrong. 4 stars
6/06/03 Brendan L I guessed the ending after fifteen minutes, got to love that!! 3 stars
5/20/03 Shadaan Felfeli Good performances.At times the story seems unnecessarily convoluted. Definately worthwhile. 4 stars
5/19/03 your worse goddamn nightmare The plot was pretty good. To I wish the flick had some competant cinematographer... ... ... 4 stars
4/17/03 Hussain Dada Amazing movie, but appears more fictitious than a true life story. 4 stars
4/09/03 Natalie Stonecipher (aka anti-anti-missile missile missile) Killing to show that killing to show that killing is wrong is wrong is wrong! 1 stars
4/09/03 Tiffany Thunderhurst Looks awesome until too many twists involute it into farcedom. 3 stars
3/10/03 Bentley Clark Let go of the politics and enjoy the mystery!! 4 stars
3/10/03 Krista Ann Amazing movie. Must see! 5 stars
3/09/03 andrew j saw it with three adults could not follow the movie slow wait for tv showing 2 stars
3/03/03 Nancy N. insults the intelligence (and the ethics) of the anti-death penalty group 2 stars
3/01/03 Jack Sommersby Spacey is outstanding; the film is simply ludicrous. 2 stars
2/28/03 WestcoastPunk Spacey is a god 5 stars
2/27/03 stud A GREAT FILM 5 stars
2/27/03 larry diek though it was great! fuck everyone else 5 stars
2/25/03 James S. Fritz OK movie but flawed by illogical plot twists and holes 3 stars
2/25/03 Eberto E. Soto Jr A Great Film about our judicial system and the extent that people would do to be heard. 5 stars
2/25/03 Poetchuck Good whodunit 5 stars
2/24/03 icemltr You misdjudged it; great story of the debate over death penalty, great acting and suspense 5 stars
2/24/03 Mister Bigglesworth Rush Limbaugh bet Michael Moore couldn't direct comedy! Leftist, rightist, all the samist! 1 stars
2/24/03 Stephanie I felt depressed and unhappy after seeing this movie. I wondered why they even made it. 1 stars
2/23/03 Cele Cinema Whether or not you agree with the politics, a nail biter. 4 stars
2/22/03 Ryan FB Predictable, banal, trite, hackneyed, and condescending. One of the worst films ever. 1 stars
2/22/03 brentyoung some people misunderstand the movie's point & call it "confusing." it's not;it'sbrilliant. 5 stars
2/21/03 bob leather jacket I disagree with the message from the movie, Criminals need to be put to death 3 stars
2/20/03 oki Armando very inteligent story 5 stars
2/19/03 Ingo Convetional story, clever outlined. Spacey in a deadlock as an actor? 4 stars
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  21-Feb-2003 (R)



Directed by
  Alan Parker

Written by
  Charles Randolph

  Kevin Spacey
  Kate Winslet
  Laura Linney
  Gabriel Mann
  Matt Craven
  Rhona Mitra

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