Superstar Bruce Willis (THE SIXTH SENSE) stars in this critically acclaimed, offbeat comedy about a man who's having a hard time getting a grip on his life! A millionaire car salesman who runs the biggest dealership in Mid... more »land City, Dwayne Hoover (Willis) is a celebrity, loved and trusted by everyone. Then one day, he wakes up and realizes that his life is a total mess! But between the headaches posed by his pill-popping wife (Barbara Hershey -- FALLING DOWN), a mistress (Glenne Headly -- MR. HOLLAND'S OPUS) who won't leave him alone, and a cross-dressing sales manager (Nick Nolte -- THE THIN RED LINE), Dwayne has picked a bad week for a midlife crisis! Based on the best-selling novel by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., this hilarious comedy and its incredible all-star cast will keep you laughing as Dwayne tries to keep from losing his mind!« less
"You know, some books were never meant for the world of film. Despite how popular and well loved they may be by everyone, that doesn't mean it'll make a successful movie. "Breakfast of Champions" is a perfect example of this. While it proves to be a masterpiece in the written form, it ends up being one lousy film that tries so hard to be funny and fails almost every time.The movie follows the basic premise of the book, but adds and changes things around (which I understand, because most of the stuff in that book wouldn't be able to translate on film--hence, why it should've never been done in the first place). Dwayne Hoover is a car dealer that everybody loves and trusts. Dwayne Hoover, is also losing his mind. From his pill-popping wife to his cross-dressing business buddy, Dwayne is losing his grip on reality on a daily basis. Soon, he will meet a sci-fi writer that nobody has ever heard of (except for one deranged fan), Kilgore Trout. Their meeting will be the final straw for Dwayne and chaos will be the aftermath.What made the book so funny in the first place was the actual commentary by Vonnegut as the overall narrator. It wasn't necessarily funny only because of the characters and their actions, but mainly because of Kurt Vonnegut's voice. Of course, they have to do away with the narration in order to have it work on film. The problem is, however, it doesn't work. It feels like a bad imitation of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." It's rarely funny nor is it strange, it's just plain annoying. The only way this film will be understood by others is if they have read the book ahead of time. And even if they've done that, they'll only end up being more ticked off at the debauchery that is the movie, "Breakfast of Champions." I wasn't expecting a dead-on adaptation, just something to do the book some kind of justice. Sorry to say, this film does no such thing.The DVD has almost no special features, and for the first time ever--I could care less. In fact, I'd be even more ticked off if this DVD had tons of special features while other great movies have "doodley-squat" for special features."Breakfast of Champions," while a literary masterpiece, is a "fabulously well-to-do" dud as a movie. I can't even recommend this to people who haven't read the book, as they'll most likely despise it since they will have no idea what is going on. This movie is living proof that some timeless literary classics were never meant for the big screen. I think Vonnegut would agree with that. In fact, with all of the rants he does on entertainment, TV, and short attention spans, it wouldn't surprise me if Vonnegut structured the book to be un-filmable on purpose. Avoid it and stick to the book, if you want my honest opinion. -Michael Crane"
Good Flick, but be Warned...
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As the reader may know, this movie is based on the magnificent Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. novel. If you've read the book, then you'll be satisfied with the movie. If you haven't read the book, then you'll think the movie is horrible. Besides, the book is better.Enter Dwayne Hoover, (Bruce Willis, in an odd role), a nut-case car dealer who seems to be looking for the meaning of life. Confused by the people arounfd him, such as his cross-dressing sales manager, (Nick Nolte), his kind of dumb secretary who's also his mistress (Glenne Headly), a maniacal super-fan who wants to work for Dwayne, (Omar Epps), etc., he decides to seek one of the artists at the upcoming Arts Festival. Enter Kilgore Trout, (Albert Finney), a has-been science-fiction novelist that's coming to the Festival. See the movie, or better yet, read the book to find out what happens next.A pretty good movie. On one hand it's screenplay isn't that good and the main story works better in the book. On the other hand, it's got a spectacular cast (including Barbara Hershey, Lukas Haas, and the recent Oscar nominee Michael Clarke Duncan who makes a short appearance, among others) and it's weirdness makes "Brazil" look like "The English Patient". If you are in the mood for a weird movie, see "Breakfast of Champions"."
Great effort, bad movie
Charles E. F. Madden | Baltimore, U.S. | 05/16/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"There was a lot of great talent on display in this movie - Bruce Willis did a great job with a nearly impossible character, and Omar Epps did well too. The technical aspects of the film were rather impressively done as well. Unfortunately, one has to wonder what the director's goal was. Movies are made to either entertain us or challenge us. This does neither. The only challenge was to keep watching it. I never read Kurt Vonnegut's book, and I shouldn't have to in order to like the film.... and well, I didn't. Maybe Vonnegut's story was good, but the story as presented in this movie is rambling and not worth the effort of trying to make sense of."
I wish there was a choice for zero stars.....
James Priasewater | San Jose, California United States | 02/17/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"First off, even if you have read the book and enjoy Kurt Vonnegut's novels, if you attempt to understand this movie your face will explode. It is completely non-sensical. I had not read the book, and to me this was as fun as setting my crotch on fire. The person I watched the movie with had read the book, and to him it was as fun as setting your crotch on fire and trying to put it out with your face. Watching Nick Nolte's long and enduring preformances were like watching someone try to start a car by licking the battery. It makes you cringe and just doesn't work. The movie follows the rising insanity of Dwayne Hoover (Bruce Willis) that occurs for no apparent reason, because the reason is that his wife committed suicide, but his wife didn't commit suicide in the movie because she is a character that is alive. A character that doesn't exist in the book (?). As someone who hadn't read the book I didn't even know the wife was alive because the scenes she appears in are....confusing. If this sounds like a painfully insane and rambling review, it is because this is a painfully insane and rambling movie. I still seek for the reason behind why his son lives in a fallout shelter beneath his house if his father is a millionaire who can afford to house three people. Why does Hoover turn magically sane from hearing that "life is what you do while you hear" (or something like that)? It made me feel as warm and wholesome as throwing dead kittens at preschoolers. And what is up with his wife (the non-existant character) throwing him shoes and yelling "take the shoes!" What the hell does that even mean! He has to cross a river? To what? His freedom? What was in the water? Why is this happening? Where am I? Why am I here? Why am I so angry? Why do I hate myself enough to still be watching this? I'm sure glad the director is confident enough in his story writing and directing ability that he can throw off the terribly confining shackles of the book he chose to base his movie on entirely and make up a bunch of crazy things that makes no sense at all.
I think it's ironic that a movie about a completely insane man who eventually becomes happy at the end can make a happy man go completely insane by the end. If someone said to me, "Hey, want to watch Breakfast of Champions again?" I'd say "No thanks, I'd rather see how many licks it takes to get to the center of a car battery!""
An unexpected surprise
Christine Menendez | St. Andreu de Llavaneres, Barcelona Spain | 04/24/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have forgone watching this film until now, due to the very bad reviews and the fear of seeing one of my favourite authors pulverized in a travesty of one of his great works. But, one of my kids brought the film home, so I bit that bullet and sat down and watched it.
You've read enough reviews by now to get some gist of the story, so I won't go into that again, except to say that it has to do with the madness that results from living a completely amoral and unfulfilling existence. Vonnegut is, I believe, primarily a philosopher and a very funny man who has the rare talent of pulling all of life's absurdities into some kind of focus. It is true that his books do not translate well to the screen because it is his dialogue that is so important and this is generally excluded. However. Breakfast of Champions, however much it could not remain completely faithful to the book, stands as a work of art in its own right. It is very Terry Gilliam in its approach and over-all strangeness, including the plethora of eccentric characters; the cinematography is superb and the acting is brilliant. If you like Gilliam and cult films and David Lynch, you'll probably enjoy this film. If, on the other hand, you tend more towards Speilberg, you will probably find the film an incomprehensible mess. I absolutely do not agree with those who off-handedly bashed the film to pieces as there was a great deal of thought and even love put into this film, and the fact that some find it incomprehensible does not mean that it isn't, only that they are incapable of understanding and appreciating it."