Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: John Savage, David Morse, Diana Scarwid, Amy Wright, Tony Burton
Director: Richard Donner
Genres: Drama, Sports
Genre: Drama Rating: PG Release Date: 3-FEB-2009 Media Type: DVD
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A neglected gem, finally available
Robert Morris | Dallas, Texas | 09/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
Note: This review was written quite a while ago. At that time, it was almost impossible to see this film. Fortunately, a DVD version is now available. So I have revised the otiginal review accordingly.
To say it this is a "small" film in no way questions its several achievements. The screenplay (co-authored by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson), direction (Richard Donner), acting, and cinematography (Laszlo Kovacs) are outstanding. Inside Moves is based on Todd Walton`s novel and focuses on Max's Bar in Oakland; more specifically, on those who work there and its regular customers. All of them are emotionally and/or physically handicapped and yet, once gathered together -- in what is in many ways a sanctuary for them -- they generously provide comfort and support to each other. It is also worth noting that the regulars have zero-tolerance of self-pity, theirs or anyone else's.
After a failed suicide attempt which has left him permanently crippled, Roary (John Savage) joins the group with apprehensions. Over time, he begins to work at the bar and later becomes its owner. He and Louise (a waitress portrayed brilliantly by Diana Scarwid) have a mutual attraction which eventually overcomes their self-doubts as well as their fear of being hurt again. The bartender, Jerry Maxwell (David Morse), was once a basketball prodigy but is now a cripple also, unable to afford the cost of corrective surgery. He is involved with a juvenile drug addict named Ann (Amy Wright) who supports her addiction with money earned as a prostitute. Although my remarks thus far may suggest that this is a "dark" film, it really isn't. "Touching," "intimate," and "moving" (no pun intended) more accurately describe its impact, at least on me.
Oh sure, it has some corny moments. I also agree with others who question the plausibility of Jerry's transition from limping bartender to making the squad of the Golden State Warriors. (I could also do without the subplot which involves him, Ann, and her pimp.) That said, I still think this is a fine film. Credit Donner with assembling a strong supporting cast (notably Harold Russell. Bill Henderson, and Harold Sylvester) and then carefully integrating their performances with those of Savage, Morse, and Scarwid. The musical score is appropriately, indeed cleverly coordinated with the plot's development. I also appreciate the selective use of humor within a culture which might otherwise seem hopelessly dysfunctional. Affection and respect between and among the characters are genuine. Granted, the film's "happy ending" is predictable. Given what all of the lead characters have endured prior to it, however, who can deny them the smiles on their faces? Not I."
One of the Greatest Films Ever and it's a Secret to Many
Joseph M. Davis | Boston, MA USA | 12/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered this film while reading the obituary last year for Harold Russell, one of the stars of the film. It was only his second film- even though his first, The Best Years of Our Lives from 1946, won him a still unbeaten 2 Oscars for the same role. He had lost none of his talent during those nearly 40 years. He is memorable as an incredible actor who happens to have lost both of his hands in an accident as a serviceman in WWII. David Morse will also look familiar. He has hardly changed since then and now stars in a new television show called Hack on CBS. He also recently appeared in Hearts In Atlantis. John Savage delivers a perfomance that is Oscar worthy in the lead role.One reviewer on Amazon[.com] said it best in describing this as a winner about losers. But after seeing it you will have too much of a soft spot for the characters to really refer to them that way. It follows a man played by Savage who after a failed suicide attempt is accepted into a small group of disabled buddies who hang out and play cards all day at a local dive. Morse plays the bartender who is really a part of the club and fits in well with his bad leg that he cannot afford to have fixed given the cost of the needed surgery. While he's not tending bar he limps over to watch the Golden State Warriors religiously. He watches every game, every practice and offers his cheers and critiques loudly. It is the critiqueing though that gets one of the players so irritated that he walks over to him and tells him that the team appreciates his support but that when they are not playing well his criticsm is too painful. This leads to a challenge of one on one in which the crippled bartender shocks everyone with his performance, especially the NBA star who then lends him the money for the surgery once it becomes clear that this guy could be his teammate with two good legs.What happens following surgery to his relationship with his disabled pals once he is no longer disabled himself becomes the focus of the film. This is an emotional powerhouse that is so great that I could watch again and again in spite of the intensity. I highly reccomend this film and will buy it again on DVD as soon as it's available."
Waiting anxiously for this movie to be released on DVD.
Flash | Cleveland, OH USA | 07/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I keep checking every few weeks or so to see if this movie is scheduled for release on DVD. Inside Moves has always been one of my favorite films and I highly recommend it. When this movie was first on cable, I watched it over and over again. I still remember the first time I saw it. I remember how the start of the movie shocked me, but then the movie became something I didn't expect. And it was a pleasant surprise. Inside Moves is an all-around feel good movie. It inspires. It teaches. I continue to hope for a DVD release.
Feel Good of Feel Good Movies
Rush B. Stuart | Germantown, TN 38138 | 05/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As with all of the reviewers, it is discouraging that one of the best movies I have ever seen has yet to be formatted on a DVD. The cast, the story, and the music have stayed with me ever since I first saw it on cable in the 1980s. For some reason it seldom is shown on TV and I can not understand the reason for its exclusion. Maybe everybody wants to feel depressed so TV puts on Mystic River and others of its genre.
To the studios there are a lot of people out there that want to see this great movie on DVD.