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Bongwater Movie Review

david slow psycho tommy

When I lived in Solano Park (that's a student housing tract, not a youth hostel camp), I used to hear geniuses-in-residence at the Davis campus of the University of California say, “Why don't more filmmakers show what getting stoned is really like?” As Bongwater clearly shows, the answer to that burning question is, “Because drugs on film slow down time, slow down plots, slow down character development, slow down everything!” Bongwater picks up speed when a red-haired tornado named Serena (Alicia Witt) is onscreen. She's mean and tough and she's nuts, but she's an INTERESTING mean, tough nut. As for the guys in the film…well, it's like being introduced to half a dozen indistinguishable dudes at a party. WHO'S DAVID? (Luke Wilson) WHO'S DEVLIN? (Jack Black) WHO'S TONY? (Andy Dick) WHO'S ROBERT? (Jeremy Sisto) WHO'S TOMMY? (Jamie Kennedy) WHO'S BOBBY? (Scott Caan) The difference between David and Tommy is that David's a Portland artist who takes drugs with Tony and Robert, and Tommy's a heroin addict/musician en route to New York. A huge chunk of screen time involves David's acid trip in the woods of Oregon where the ghost of his Mom (Patricia Wettig) drops by for a chat, but it doesn't have much to do with the rest of the story. (Guy meets Psycho, Psycho leaves Guy, Guy misses Psycho.) Did I mention that Serena burns down David's house during the opening credits and there's still a whole movie to plow through after that? Based on the book by Michael Hornburg. Bongwater played at San Francisco's Indie Fest in January 1999.

1998 98m/C Luke Wilson, Alicia Witt, Amy Locane, Brittany Murphy, Jack Black, Andy Dick, Jeremy Sisto, Jamie Kennedy, Scott Caan, Patricia Wettig; D: Richard Sears; W: Nora Macoby, Eric Weiss; C: Richard Crudo; M: Mark Mothersbaugh, Josh Mancell.

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