Monday, March 3, 2014

Nothing Lasts Forever

This film is another mostly forgotten Bill Murray appearance, primarily because the film has never had a home video release.  As a primarily black and white film meant to have the feel of  the 1930s, a lot of film clips were used, and Warner Bros has never fully secured the rights that would allow a DVD release to be possible.  The copy of the film I was able to find was clearly taken from VHS and contained a lot of audio corruption, so it is out there if you know how to find it.

The plot of the film makes you expect this to be a Terry Gilliam picture:  a young man trying to make his way as an artist in New York City discovers a secret society living underground.  They work to bring a better world for everyone, and they want young Adam to journey to the moon and fall in love with a local girl there, Eloy, because doing so will help them bring peace there.  He's able to go because tours are conducted on a regular basis sending elderly there to shop, though when they come back they find every time they try to say "the moon," "Miami" comes out instead.

The film was actually written and directed by Tom Schiller, who was an original writer on Saturday Night Live.  As such the film is produced by Lorne Michaels and contains Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray.  It also stars Zach Galligan, best known as the star of Gremlins.  Aykroyd plays Adam's boss at the Holland Tunnel, and Murray is the tour guide on the bus tour to the moon.  It makes him the somewhat villain of the piece. as he doesn't want Adam to interact with Eloy or otherwise disturb their lucrative money making scheme they've set up on the moon.  He's a smiling villain, playing nice with the elderly guests but stern and mean with Adam.  It's a bit different from the characters I've watched him play up until now.

I wanted to like this film.  The black and white retro feel has a nice charm to it, Galligan is a decent, likeable lead and the fantastical nature of the story is amusing.  The plot barely makes sense and is barely resolved, but the design of the moon landscape and the way the film just kind of randomly stops so that Eloy can sing the title song to Adam is very sweet.  But the film spends a little too much time getting to the good parts and feels overly long for its 82 minutes.

That said, while I would probably never watch this film again, I do hope it does eventually get a DVD release.  Fans of Aykroyd, Murray and Galligan would definitely find it worth a watch, and a cleaned up version of the film would probably look really nice.  If you're a fan of whimsical modern fantasy, it's worth finding.

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