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Friday, May 27, 2016

Another Day In Paradise (1998)

A teenage petty thief and junkie (Vincent Kartheiser, MAD MEN) and his girlfriend (Natasha Gregson Wagner) are befriended by an older couple, a small time thief (James Woods) and his junkie girlfriend (Melanie Griffith). The four of them hit the road with plans to steal drugs from a pharmacy and make a financial killing on the street. But, of course, things go horribly wrong. The director Larry Clark is best known for his debut feature KIDS and this was his follow up film. In spite of having a "seen it all before" patina, it works fairly well for the most part. When your four main characters are drug dealers, junkies, alcoholics and thieves, you know it's not going to end well. The acting is uniformly good though I would have been more impressed with James Woods' out of control psychotic if I didn't know it was a role he could do in his sleep. More impressive were Griffith's maternal junkie and especially Kartheiser's baby faced wannabe tough guy. Clark's direction is often uneven, scenes that should crackle with tension fall flat and his use of music during certain scenes derails the effectiveness. With Peter Sarsgaard, Lou Diamond Phillips and James Otis.

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