Lisa Gottlieb's Across the Moon
Charles Tatum | 01/19/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Christina Applegate and Elizabeth Pena are desert bound in a quirky comedy that often crosses into already explored territory. Richie (the late Tony Fields in his last film) and Lyle (Peter Berg) land in prison after a drug deal gone wrong. They leave behind their respective women, Carmen (Elizabeth Pena) and Kathy (Christina Applegate), and Carmen's son Paco (Michael Aniel Mundra). The men are sentenced to a state pen in the middle of the California desert, and the two women and Paco decide to move down there to be closer to their men. The trio moves into a dilapidated trailer in the middle of nowhere. Kathy is a former Beverly Hills brat, and Carmen has seen tougher times, so the women butt heads often in a bit of class warfare. They are starving and run out of money, and decide to become hookers. Instead, they meet Jim (James Remar), who gets them set up at jobs in the local town. In the desert, Paco begins skipping school in order to hang around with Frank (Michael McKean), a big cat trainer down on his luck. Jim lives in an abandoned Hollywood western set, and sees Barney (Burgess Meredith), an old prospector. Eventually, all of these misfits' lives cross, as Frank finds himself rustling a cowboy's (Jack Nance) cattle, and Paco witnesses a murder. He also finds a gold mine, thanks to Barney. Kathy marries Lyle in prison, but they can never seem to get the conjugal visit honeymoon right, and a frustrated Carmen falls for Jim but still loves Richie. The final scenes tie up the entire film's ensemble in one fail swoop. Despite the video cover art, this is not "Thelma and Louise." The two actresses are pretty, and do drive around the desert in a convertible, but that is the end of the similarities. The cast of characters are all quirky, but the screenwriter does not overload his story with too many quirky characters. The actors and actresses all do good work, although no one really breaks out and makes the film their own. Scenes go on, everyone is likable and you hope they do well, but the film cannot shake its small trappings. The entire proceedings happen, but do not challenge the audience. Director Gottlieb has some lovely shots, including one where Frank and his lion are silhouetted against a sunset, but the scene before that is an awkwardly played vignette in which Carmen tries to spank Paco for skipping school and being held back. "Across the Moon" is as innocuous as its title. The cast tries to convince the viewer that desert living is next to paradise, but the high quirk factor and leisurely pacing makes me want to stay in the great plains. There are some good scenes, but the film plays it safe when it comes to laughs or plot. "Across the Moon" is strictly average fare, just a typical "independent film" that everyone could add to their resume."
ACROSS THE MOON!
Michael Anthony Brenton | The Other Side of the Known Universe | 10/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Remember "Thelma and Louise"? Well, here are Kathy (CHRISTINA APPLEGATE!) and Carmen (ELIZABETH PENA!), a couple of YOUNG WOMEN who end up living together in a TRAILER to be near their boyfriends who are in prison! With no money, Kathy and Carmen consider becoming PROSTITUTES, but then they get a couple of legitimate jobs! Getting tired of the ways things are going, the two gals take to the road and seek a NEW LIFE of ADVENTURE and ROMANCE! Not good enough for you? How about if we throw in BURGESS MEREDITH as an old prospector and MICHAEL McKEAN as a guy who keeps a trained lion and tiger out in the desert! Still not good enough for you? Well, this film has JACK NANCE! That's right! "Eraserhead" himself! Directed by LISA GOTTLIEB!"
This Movie Is A Gem (PLUS Christina Applegate!!!)
John Baranyai | 05/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In this movie Christina Applegate plays Kathy a rich Beveley Hills girl and Elizabeth Pena plays Carmen, a streetwise Hispanic woman. This unlikely duo band together when their respective boyfriends are busted for a drug deal gone wrong and are sent to prison. Kathy and Carmen move to a trailer in the desert so they can be clos to the prison and so they can visit their boyfriends. There is one very funny scene where Kathy and Carmen run out of money so they decide to become prostitutes but can't make up their minds about how much they should charge!!! Luckily Carmen lands a job in a bar and Kathy finds work in a grocery store. This movie is a subtle comedy which shows just how far some women are willing to go in their quest to love and be loved.Critics have compared this movie to the much overrated Thelma and Loiuse but this movie is much better."