First Film Fest review

Tried to go see a movie on Friday night, but it was sold out, so I spent Friday night hanging out in Old City (Plough and Stars, followed by Triumph, both pretty decent spots, provided you get out of Plough before 11 p.m.) Had better luck on Sunday. Saw Bogart film Deadline USA with Sarah (review coming manana) and Dangerous Parking with Andy. If anyone is interested in checking something out tonight around 7ish, let me know. Here is Andy’s review for Dangerous Parking:
Dangerous Parking is the kind of film I’d never really recommend anyone seek out, but would love to talk about after they’d seen it anyway. Its flawed, loses its identity about halfway through, and becomes so disjointed that its really two films presented under the same banner. However, it does confront alcoholism and addiction in a way that can make any “professional drinker” reflect.

The problem with Dangerous Parking isn’t its message. It really does gets into the main character Noah Arkwright’s booze and blow problems in a lighthearted and funny way. The film uses jump cuts and
post-production animations to flash back and forward to funny drinking stories, and not so funny binges, and kept me interested, entertained and engaged.

The problem comes when Noah gets himself domesticated. Maybe I find drinking stories more fun than love stories (and that’s going to get me immortalized in film one day), but I think the real reason is the
film completely changes personality. Noah’s still there, and he still struggles with his demons, but the film goes from in your face and comedic about one bad thing (addiction), to a soft and romanticized
touch about another (cancer). It could be the nature of the two diseases, but I question why you’d talk about Noah’s first fight in a”fun” way and then change gears and talk about the second fight in a
“miserable” way.

In the end, Dangerous Parking had Johnny and I talking for 20 minutes afterwards, and I think that’s what I’ll take from it most. The film is not forgettable, but is a missed opportunity at what could have been a better film.

JGT’s take: Yeah, I’m in cahoots with Andy on this one. Another thing that was really annoying was the cussing. I’m no saint, but I honestly bet this guy dropped the f-bomb more than Pesci in Goodfellas, and to less effect. One good thing about the film Andy failed to mention: the women in it are stunningly gorgeous, somehow much hotter than most women in Hollywood flicks. But yeah, it tried to be a combo meal: come for the wacky tale of battling addiction and stay for the uber-depressing cancer filled conclusion. Shoulda picked which film it wanted to be.

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