James Woods is Spectacular
P. B Rubalcaba | Redlands, CA USA | 08/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Good evening. Or is that buenos noches? I spent the
last 120 minutes watching the 1998 flick "Another Day
in Paradise". This one came highly recommended as a
Bonnie & Clyde type crime drama. Let me tell you the
This one captures James Woods at his best. When I
heard several years ago that James was abusive in "real life", I felt there could be a thread
to his motion picture roles. Guess what? There is.
While I thoroughly enjoy crime dramas, "Another Day In
Paradise" is not for everyone. Here's why.
It's loaded with crude profanity, an abundance of
blood, extreme violence, heavy smoking and drinking,
streamlined drugs, death, murder, emotional and
physical abuse to the point of insanity, raunchy sex,
lots of bullets flying, and gross dialogue and camera
pans that definitely make this a...a...a (let's say)
Woods gets a 10. His girlfriend (Melanie Griffith)
gets a 9.5. Their sidekicks Vincent Kartheiser and
Natasha Gregson Wagner get 8's. It is billed as a
Bonnie and Clyde for the '90s. It plays out as a
deranged journey into merciless crime...moral
decadence and a heartless joy ride. That's why I give
it a "10"!!!
A 10, you say? Yes! Simply because if you like this
type of film, it is a solid 10. If you don't, I
strongly recommend you not view it, nor give yourself
an opportunity to rate it. It is not as extreme as
"Natural Born Killers" by any means, but Woods'
satanic role is one worth watching. The only other
person that could have played his role would have been
Jack Nicholson (that says a lot).
Trust me...this one is either a 10 or a 0...nothing
The DVD version contains both the Theatrical and
Director's Cut. I watched the theatrical (which this
review is based upon). I'm assuming the other side is
even more...??? (think about it)."
No-one Plays a Sleaze Better Than James Woods
Kitten With a Whip | The Hellmouth | 10/11/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Especially when the movie takes place in the 70's (see "Casino") and he's all tricked out in those greasy retro seventies duds. I suspected this before, but having seen this movie I have decided no other actor in the business can come close to him when it comes to playing a sleazy hustler-type. Or just a sleaze.Anyway, he and the rest of the cast of the movie are great. Melanie Griffith, not a favorite of mine, does her best performance I've yet to see as Sid, Mel's junkie girlfriend with a heart of gold, a woman who can shoot smack directly into her neck without flinching but who can also sing a sweet lullaby to soothe Natasha Wagner's emotionally immature character. Yes, she can act- I finally had to admit it to myself in the last 20 minutes of the movie when she very realistically portays a woman whose entire world is finally falling apart, and who has to make some serious decisions. The movie's plot (based on the book by Eddie Little) concerns a young drug-addicted couple named Bobby and Rosie, who survive on petty crime. Bobby's luck finally runs out while he is trying to jimmy a vending machine, and by the time he gets home to Rosie, he is in pretty bad shape. Fortunately, his "Uncle Mel" is called over to patch him up and shoot him full of narcotics. Mel and his girlfriend Sid decide to take the young couple under their wing, and teach them to become career criminals like them. They have fun at first, but... I especially liked the way the movie does not glamorize drug use--the characters all look like cr-p, and Wagner's character has spotty skin and thinning hair. I was really expecting throughout the movie that all the 4 main characters would end up dead, (probably from finally killing one another), but this didn't happen--the people left alive at the end were not the ones that I thought would be. I don't recommend this movie if you are squeamish about any of the following: needles and injections (my husband is, and actually got up and left the room), seeing heroin use portrayed in a very realistic light, or James Woods dressed like a pimp. All the actors did the movie for scale and from what I understand Woods even ended up funding most of the movie when the production ran out of money at one point. Lots of good black humor, and Woods is always great in everything, but best when cast in really nasty roles like this, which was probably written for him. As usual in this type of part, he's completely disgusting, but still somehow likeable (at least for the first 2/3 of this movie), and always hilarious. Some of the clothes that Griffith and Wagner wear are to die for (though they look more late 60's than 70's if you wanna get picky, but who cares?) This is also one of those drug movies such as "Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas" or "Clean and Sober" where, if you had any temptation at all to do drugs in the first place, that urge will definitely be gone by the end of the movie. I didn't even feel like even drinking a frikkin' glass of wine again after I saw this. But apart from being a subtle "just say no" movie, I found it entertaining overall, enough to purchase it. Recommended for Woods fans, and adult (this is not a movie for kids) fans of Griffith's who would like to see her in something very different."
Definitely a well-acted downer of a good movie (get that? )
P. B Rubalcaba | 01/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I became a fan of James Woods after seeing him in the movie "The Hard Way" -- he rarely disappoints. I know Hollywood's latest hard-nosed action golden boy leading man is Nicholas Cage, but Woods is the real deal. After reading the previous comments on this movie, it's apparent that many agree. "Another Day in Paradise" is a raw look at a troubling mix of drugs and crime. Melanie Griffith is very believable and it's nice to see her with a meatier role than what she gets in movies like "Milk Money." Vincent Kartheiser makes the transition from children's movies (like "Alaska") to adult fare in a big way. The theatrical version doesn't give you the full dose, but on the DVD flip side, the unrated director's cut was astonishing. If you are a fan of this young actor, this will give you a complete 180 from his previous work. I can't recall so graphic and extended a sex scene as was in the director's cut of this movie. All in all, the performances were incredible -- even Lou Diamond Phillips does a great turn (unbilled) as a gay "crime lord" (or "crime queen," your choice). Drug use was definitely not glamorized, nor were the crimes... this paints a bleak, lonely, and tragic picture of what this kind of life can be like. This movie is not for the timid, so if you can handle it, check it out... you won't likely be disappointed."
A crime drama and a touching interpersonal story
Jessica Lux | Rosamond, CA | 12/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"James Woods and Melanie Griffith are career criminals (burglary and drug dealing) who recruit a young pair of lovers to join them on a cross-country crime spree. The foursome enters a pseudo-parent-child relationship, as Woods instructs his young friend on the ropes of crime, and Griffith takes the girl shopping and coos just like a grandmother when the young couple gets pregnant. The teenaged male (not too far from a junkie himself) is desperately searching for a father figure, who he finds in Woods, but Woods is reluctant to admit it, and crushes his protégé every time things get a little too emotional. Of course, crime doesn't pay, and the relationship comes to a bloody climax, making for a fascinating drama both for the crime details and for the way these four unlikely friends deal with one another. If you like offbeat drama, this one is for you."