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Simple Men
Simple Men
Actors: Bill Sage, Robert John Burke, Karen Sillas, Elina L÷wensohn, Martin Donovan
Director: Hal Hartley
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
R     2004     1hr 45min

What do you do if your father, a former all-star shortstop and mad bomber anarchist, breaks out of jail? Go after him, of course! Two brothers trek through the deep, dark wilds of Long Island, only to discover that sometim...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Bill Sage, Robert John Burke, Karen Sillas, Elina L÷wensohn, Martin Donovan
Director: Hal Hartley
Creators: Michael Spiller, Hal Hartley, Steve Hamilton, Bruce Weiss, Jerome Brownstein, Ted Hope
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Studio: Image Entertainment
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
DVD Release Date: 01/27/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

"Trouble and Desire" = Another Terrific Hartley Project
G P Padillo | Portland, ME United States | 06/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Hal Hartley never fails to entertain, never fails to engage my mind and emotions on a parallel level. Simple Men is no exception. The seemingly simple plot - two brothers in search of their missing dad - provides so much room for character growth that I wish there were an entire series of films centered around them.

With a hard-edged view of the world as: "There's no such thing as adventure. There's no such thing as romance. There's only trouble and desire" (actually from a Fritz Lang movie of the 1920's) there's plenty going on to both prove and disprove Hartley's ambivalent theories.

Simple Men also formally introduces us to the absolutely delicious Elena Löwensohn. In one of the coolest and hottest scenes in all of cinema we get to watch her bizarre 50's beatnik-style dance to Sonic Youth's "Kool thing." Then joined by the two lost soul brothers it turns into an unlikely production number.

Many dismiss this film, and Hartley as unwatchable or trivial and miss the point. What is amazing about Hartley is that he takes the seemingly trivial and elevates it to a level of art that, once seen, reflects our lives on every level from brilliance to the inane.

Simple Men is pure cinematic delight.

Hooray for Hartley!"
E. emilfork Soto | Concepciˇn, VIII Chile | 02/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A few years ago I was looking for some movie in TV when in wrong move I put one of this channels you never watch cos the quality of the image is bad and the movies are in my spoken languaje (spanish, I prefer with subtitles). I don't remember what scene but I remember the face of Robert John Burke from Robocop III, talking some very clever dialogues. After just a few minutes I couldn't change the channel till the movie ends leaving me absolutely impress.
Just a few weeks later by the same reason I catch "Trust" and from this same moment I became fan of Hal Hartley.
Because after years watching more than one hundred different movies of any style and director, Simple men and the rest of the Hartley's work show me another vision of life and another way to make movies, thinking more in a good and very deep script with a few good actors than a good budget with great special effects.
It reminds me the movies of Terrence Malick, because in the chaos of the existence both directors show the path of the real survivors, not those guys who are born to be heroes, just those one only wanna some moment of peace and true love, that's it's more than all the glory of the universe."
There's only trouble & desire.
D. Klees | United States | 03/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"First thing's first, Hal Hartley's films will probably never be everyone's "cup of tea." That said, he is one of the most gifted film-makers to emerge in the past decade or so. In the same year that yielded such wonderful American movies as "Bob Roberts," "The Player," and "Night on Earth," "Simple Men" stands tall as a wonderful contribution to world cinema.In an interview, Hartley once said that he disputed people saying he wasn't a traditional fim-maker. He argued that he was a traditional film-maker, but that his tradition was people like Bertolt Brecht and Andy Warhol. Evolving from that (alternative) tradition, Hartley is a master of understatement, both as a writer and a director. Because of this, he is often able to reveal simple truths with more emotional impact than many more superficially passionate films. While some of his subsequent films have been more ambitious (and in some ways even better) than this one, "Simple Men" is the one that sticks with me like no other.The film is many things: a road movie, a quest, a love story. It begins as a bookish and somewhat naive son's quest to learn the truth about his father (a noted short-stop and political fugitive). He is accompanied by his older brother, who joins his quest for more material reasons. The quest takes them to a place which feels both completely concrete yet somehow divorced from reality. In this place, the younger brother learns a great deal more about life, while the older brother discovers depths of feeling and commitment within himself that he never imagined he had. Trying to give a literal description of this film's plot would do it an injustice, because that plot is ultimately a means to explore the intriguing characters who make their way through it. Suffice it to say that after watching it, you will be surprised at how moving this film is and how honest it is about the relationships which bind men and women together."
Should be on a Top-100 List to see
D. Klees | 09/29/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Perfect in it's balance of unnatural dialog and incredible insight into life and relationships, this is a fabulous movie. As surreal and funny as Raising Arizona, Simple Men's subtle humor isn't quite as redundantly over-the-top. If you appreciate dry wit and intelligent rapport, you are in the right vicinity. Although I love his films, Hartley isn't for everyone. The obscure dialog and sparse camera work is tailored for artistic sensibilities."