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Eddie and the Cruisers 2: Eddie Lives! Movie Review

pare michael cast king

Eddie and the Cruisers was far from a masterpiece, but it boasted an intriguing mystery, a satisfying structure, and a fine cast which included Tom Berenger, Ellen Barkin, Joe Pantoliano, and Helen Schneider, none of whom returned for Eddie Lives! The ineptly promoted 1983 film also earned the reputation of being better than it was because it attracted a huge audience when it was released on video. Some of the excruciating dialogue wasn't quite so painful on the small screen, and the excellent soundtrack performed by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band sold in the millions. The sequel reveals that Eddie Wilson as portrayed by Michael Pare was to the first film what Tweety Bird was to the Sylvester the Cat cartoons. (Try imagining Tweety without Sylvester and you realize how dependent this non-character is on the much more interesting personality whose life revolves around him.) For those who care, Michael Pare is back as Eddie and a Canadian Geena Davis lookalike named Marina Orsini's got him. Eddie, also known as Joe West, is just as obnoxious as ever, but he meets an equally obnoxious young rocker who tries to lure him back into show business. Eddie drags his heels at first (they have to pad the running time somehow), but he is soon back to his old self, ordering everyone around just like in the old days. Meanwhile, greedy promoters (is that redundant?) are trying to cash in on Eddie's old records and tapes, encouraging Eddie sightings and lookalike contests. The only mystery in Eddie Lives! is whether transferring it to video will shrink its enormous flaws. Jean-Claude Lord's direction varies between mediocre and so-bad-I-can't-believe-I'm-watching-this, the acting is mostly wretched (three of the members of Eddie's new band cannot act at all so they just sit there when they're not playing, how exciting), and the script is strictly from hunger. The better cast members include Bernie Coulson and Anthony Sherwood plus Matthew Laurance from the original cast, who's already talking about Eddie 3. Larry King, Bo Diddley, Martha Quinn, and Merrill Shindler play themselves. You could probably pick up the album somewhere for the price of a movie ticket and spare yourself 106 minutes of squirming through the resuscitation of a jerk who still looks 29 long after he took that dive off the pier in 1964. woof!

1989 (PG-13) 106m/C CA Michael Pare, Marina Orsini, Matthew Laurance, Bernie Coulson, Anthony Sherwood; Cameos: Larry King, Bo Diddley, Martha Quinn, Merrill Shindler; D: Jean-Claude Lord; W: Charles Zev Cohen; C: Rene Verzier; M: Leon Aronson. VHS, LV

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