Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Jesse Bradford, Jordan Brower, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Daryl Hannah, Tiffani Thiessen
Director: Nickolas Perry
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Drama, Gay & Lesbian
Every dream has its price... From Executive Producer Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Finding Forrester) comes another compelling story of a teenage dreamer. Johnny (Jesse Bradford, Clockstoppers) has run away from home to... more »
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Callie K. (ballofglitter) from GRAND ISLAND, NE
Reviewed on 8/14/2014...
I first watched this movie when people could still upload whole movies on YouTube and I liked it so much I looked everywhere to buy it but it's so hard to find. I finally found a copy and I liked this movie because I thought it had a great story. A story about not judging someone because they just might be the one to save your life and how people you'd never expect could end being the bestest friend you've ever had. The end is a bit of a tear jerker but it definitely worth watching once. For me it was worth waiting and searching everywhere until I found it to buy.
Compelling if imperfect character study
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film provides an interesting combination of "name" actors in an independent venture telling an off-beat story of friendship and love. Jesse Bradford (Johnny), Jordan Brower (Eric), and Darryl Hannah (Veronica) give strong performances, while Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Steve) delivers a good performance that is perhaps just a bit too studied to be completely believable. This is JTT's second film dealing with a gay theme (he was previously in Showtime's "Common Ground", playing a gay high-school athlete.) It is certainly enjoyable to see him again playing against type -- in this case taking a hit off a hash pipe and brandishing a cigarette while tossing around the f-word -- but for me there was something missing in his portrait of a streetwise bisexual hustler. Since his character Steve is a supporting player rather than a lead, whatever weaknesses lurk in JTT's work don't affect the overall quality of the film too much. I still like it enough to award it 4 stars. There is much sincerity and craft here.Indeed, this movie is for the most part excellent. Brower has the most opportunity to show his range as an actor and he takes good advantage of it. His character Eric is gay and in love with the straight Johnny played by Jesse Bradford. Eric knows that his attraction to Johnny is doomed to remain one-sided, and Brower communicates Eric's emotional turmoil about this very effectively. This is especially true in a crucial scene where he finally expresses his feelings to Johnny.My one quibble is with some clunkiness in the script. There are convenient coincidences that jolt the viewer with their unlikelihood, as when an older man is driving Johnny around town and Johnny finally figures out what the man is after. Johnny jumps out of the car at a random street corner then walks a few paces, only to find Eric seated curbside on a bench. There is no acknowledgement of how strange and lucky this happenstance is -- the characters simply start talking as though they'd been planning to meet up all along. Another coincidence occurs when one character is out on his own and gets beat up badly, only to awaken days later in another character's apartment. How did this amazing rescue happen to take place? We are expected to believe that another character stumbled upon the unconscious victim and, remembering him from a prior evening, got him to a safe haven. What I like most about the film is the way it tells the story of Eric's redemption through selfless love. Knowing that sexual consummation is impossible, Eric nonetheless perseveres in his devotion to Johnny. In one scene he even engineers a life-changing experience for Johnny that, as transforming as it is for Johnny, at the same time causes Eric considerable personal pain. Both Eric and Johnny are changed by their friendship in a way that is truly moving. Johnny comes to recognize Eric as the best friend he has ever had, and Eric finds solace in the knowledge that he has for the first time been able to feel a kind of true, selfless love for another person. The characters' growth toward these realizations is well-handled. We are engrossed in what we see as Johnny gradually becomes more street-smart, and we can sympathize with Eric as he lets down his guard and learns to trust his feelings for Johnny. Johnny also comes to understand how Eric feels and is finally capable of returning his affection, if only in his own way. That said, the ending of the film is something of a disappointment (that clunky script again.) I will not spoil anything here, but suffice to say that the story resorts to a tired plot device that ruined many a gay-themed movie in the 70's and 80's, in what I see as a desperate ploy for the (potentially straight?) audience's deepest sympathies. I wish the writer/director had had more confidence in the ability of the characters to emotionally involve the viewer and spared us the cliched turn of events. This ending did not have to be.As for "rated-R" content, there is no nudity and sex of the heterosexual type is alluded to more than actually depicted. There is no gay sex shown although it is certainly discussed. Which means that the "R" rating is mainly due to language and adult themes -- a rather tame "R" when considered altogether.From a technical standpoint, the DVD version of this film renders everything beautifully. Much of the film takes place at night, resulting in a shadowy milieu, but the picture is sharp and clear. In the area of sound, however, problems arise. Spoken dialog seems to be reproduced at a lower level than the background music. As a result I found myself cranking up the volume for many of the dialog scenes, only to have to turn it back down again when the soundtrack kicked in at full force."
Viva Lost Vegas
G P Padillo | Portland, ME United States | 02/04/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Some have said this movie isn't "real" enough . . . but it needn't be. What it is, is a film with a lot of heart and if one approaches it as a fable, you'll find it works. It's a heartbreaker of a movie with strong, committed performances by everyone involved. Dreams of NASCAR collide with male prostitution, shattered dreams and street life in Vegas for a gripping, sometimes unsettling, beautiful little movie.
Strong debut for its writer-director
N. Perry | Portland, Or | 05/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Nickolas Perry's "Speedway Junky" sounds like a race-car thriller but is actually a tender love story set in the Las Vegas underbelly. Inevitably it recalls "Midnight Cowboy" in some aspects but possesses sufficient individuality and personality to avoid being derivative. It marks an unusually mature feature debut for writer-director Perry, who combines visual grace and nuanced portrayals from an array of carefully chosen actors, including Daryl Hannah, in one of her sharper performances. Jesse Bradford stars as Johnny, an Army brat who has run away from his home on a California military base to head for Charlotte, N.C., determined to become a member of race car driver Richard Petty's crew, the first step toward becoming a racing champion himself. He stops in Las Vegas with the idea of earning some quick money to finance the rest of his trip, but in no time he's separated from his last $20 and a pack containing all his possessions. When in desperation he unsuccessfully hits upon a woman in an expensive car for a handout, he is observed by another youth, Eric (Jordan Brower), hanging out in the same nondescript strip mall as Johnny. There's a big difference in the two young men. For all his gentle demeanor and sensitivity Eric is a seasoned hustler who understands the old Vegas truth that you don't get anything for nothing. Eric offers shelter to Johnny, who he discovers is a young man of stunning naivete. Johnny is willing to hustle, but only women. Eric, who is gay, accepts that Johnny is straight but can't help falling in love with him anyway. As Johnny enters a world of danger and uncertainty, he realizes he can love Eric as the best friend he's ever had, even if he is not sexually attracted to him. Perry takes us into the world of convenience stores, cheap apartments, deserted parking-structure stairwells and cruising areas that exist in the shadows outside the bright lights of Vegas. Johnny meets Veronica (Hannah), Eric's late mother's friend who's slid from the chorus line to prostitution to the arms of the tough vice cop who arrested her. She and Eric have a mother-son bond, and Hannah is wonderful at conveying Veronica's wisdom, vulnerability and ultimate resilience. Key among Eric's pals is Jonathan Taylor Thomas' Steve, a determined hustler who overestimates his street smarts. Patsy Kensit is a chic prostitute. With its shifting moods captured beautifully by both Stan Ridgway's poignant score and Steve Adcock's evocative camera work, "Speedway Junky" is a potent mixture of sentiment and grit, and it showcases the talents of its young principals. Gus Van Sant signed on as one of the film's executive producers, and Perry has come up with a movie worthy of the support of the director of "Mala Noche," "Drugstore Cowboy" and "My Own Private Idaho."(Los Angeles Times Film Review)"