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The Bonfire of the Vanities
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Satire on the greed of the 80's. A Wall Street bondsman and his mistress become involved with a scheming journalist when they take a wrong turn one night.Genre: Feature Film-ComedyRating: RRelease Date: 1-JUN-2004Media Type: DVD
The 1980s were wearing thin when Tom Wolfe delivered this biting commentary about the shallowness of an investment banker in a messed-up place called New York City. Sherman McCoy knows how to make a lot of money. But that's about it. He is oblivious to his wife, his daughter, even his mistress, and shows little interest even in the deeper machinations of business. His focus is on the surface, and when he makes a mistake, it seems that all the dark forces he was so ignorant about circle like a pack of wolves. As usual, Wolfe writes ferociously, showing no favorites among the rich, the poor, the black,or the white and painting each with at least one absurd stroke. The novel is both hilarious and telling, delivered in a distinctive voice by Wolfe, one of our top stylists. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This movie is played on the borderline "tragedy and comic" the result, in my opinion, is a very interesting mix of ironic situations. Sherman McCoy (Tom Hanks) is on top of his game and is the top dog in one of the top financial firms in the city. He has money in spades, a socialite wife, a Park Avenue apartment, a mistress and a very nice car. While out with that same mistress Maria (Griffith) in that same expensive car, Sherman takes a wrong turn and ends up in the Bronx where, in a moment of panic at being confronted by crowds of African Americans, Maria suddenly hits a black man and they drive off back to normal white society. Sadly for Sherman, this minor incident escalates when the boy goes into a coma and his car is identified as the one involved, Add to this a DA who desperately needs to win the ethnic vote by prosecuting a rich white person and a journalist who, desperate to get off skid row, talks up the story with a series of sensationalist headlines that twist the truth. As these factors all come into play, Sherman's tidy, rich, world starts to crumble.Read more ›
Firstly, one reviewer stated, "Melanie Griffith is perfect as Maria and the rest of the cast does just fine." Three words: Good... God... no. And another two: Just no. Allow me to explain. Firstly it's not just that Griffith is such a far cry from the rather more refined (if supremely vapid and "no Comp. Lit. scholar") Maria Ruskin of the book (who is described as appearing somewhat Italian), though there certainly is that, rather it's that casting Griffith in any role, in any movie is miscasting, in my humble opinion. It's hard not to be annoyed by her in this movie especially... and of course there's the issue of her rather spontaneous breast enlargement halfway through filming leading to some rather unusual continuity issues.
Another reviewer said it is "funny and tragic at the same time". Much of the tragic - the inexorable decline of Sherman McCoy - in the novel is lost here because of the clear desire to make it more light-hearted and over-the-top than the book was. Whereas in the book the reader feels an almost palpable fear as Sherman lies awake in the long hours of the night before his arrest, all that is gone from the movie, replaced by scenes that can only be described as silly - such as Tom Hanks' rather clumsily executed discussion with Pollard about leaving his apartment wherein he draws a shotgun from the closet and threatens Pollard and the rest of his party guests with it. Utterly ridiculous. Furthermore there's the fact that all the cold, arrogant, pure Wasp mannerisms of Sherman McCoy (not to mention his 'Yale chin') have vanished to be replaced with the altogether different idiosyncrasies of Hanks.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I remembered enjoying this movie when it came out on VHS. Was it worth watching again? Yes, it is entertaining but simplistic and the characters are shallow and poorly developed. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Peter
I picked up this movie for only $1 at a local rummage sale without knowing anything about it. I have since watched my VHS copy so many times that it finally stopped playing. Read morePublished on April 16 2004 by R. Cecil
Next to Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate, David Lynch's Dune, and Francis Ford Coppola's One From the Heart, Brian De Palma's Bonfire of the Vanities is a savagely under-rated film. Read morePublished on March 30 2004
This was, without a doubt, the worst movie I ever suffered all the way through in a movie theater (I walked out on Jodie Foster's "Hotel New Hampshire"). Read morePublished on April 26 2003 by David W. Coleman
Great movie: it is funny and tragic at the same time. All of the bad reviews stem from one fact only, and that is, the brutal, unvarnished portrayal of liberal race politics. Read morePublished on March 18 2003 by unraveler
Make no mistake. If you are thinking about buying this movie, do not think, just buy. It is laughs from start to finish. Read morePublished on Jan. 12 2003 by james j sitterly
It just doesn't work as a film, and it doesn't work as the adaptation of the book. As a film it lacks characterisation - the director doesn't do the work establishing the... Read morePublished on Oct. 28 2002 by Matthew Bain
After all the horrible reviews when this film first came out, I steered clear of it. I recently watched it and I can see where some of the criticisms are well deserved. Read morePublished on Sept. 5 2002