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4.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS FILM!
When I ask people if they've ever seen this movie, they all say no. I think this movie has been "slept on" so-to-speak. I've seen it a few times (mostly because I tend to see things the second and third time around that I missed the first time.) Granted, that the idea of the movie is a little twisted. It's basically a story about a man's love and/or obsession...
Published on May 14 2001 by blkasianqn

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2.0 out of 5 stars provocative concept but extremely uneven in every way
Okay. As a huge David Lynch fan (I gather like many folks who went to see the film), I thought I have a look at his daughter's film debut (and only film to date? I wonder why) to see what all the fuss was about. I remember the film when it was in theaters a decade ago. I also recalled the whole controversy over Kim Basinger's departure from the project.
Seeing the...
Published on July 1 2003 by Amazon Customer


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1.0 out of 5 stars Whatever Happened to Julian Sands?, April 25 2004
This review is from: Boxing Helena (Widescreen) (DVD)
Poor guy got stuck in this movie. That's what. After watching A Room With A View I immediately bought Boxing Helena. Big mistake. Even renting it would have been a waste of money. I heard from friends it was a horrid movie but I was going to watch it with an open mind. At least if it was bad I could stare at Julian Sand, hear his wonderful accent ane be content. No....this has got to be the worst movie made. Some of the scenes were downright laughable. When Sherilyn Fenn get her legs run over by the car....the way the scene played out made me and my roomates burst into laughter.
Couldn't control my giggles at Bill Paxton with a mullet overacting in every scene. Julian Sands character was such a wimp. In his case, hamming his performance up might have been better in this movie. Didn't care for him at all, even with his sexy accent. Sherilyn Fenn, I was wishing Julian Sands character would take our her lungs.
(...)
The ending....it could have been ten times better without that silly dream sequence.
And don't get me started on the sex scene. Julian Sands kissing HElena Bonham Carter at the end of A Room With A View was ten times sexier than the scene in Boxing Helena.
If I could give it less than 1 star I would. I wondered why after seeing A Room With A View, how come I haven't seen him in anything else. After watching garbage like Boxing Helena I understand. Must try and find another good Julian Sands movie now, if there is one to be had besides A Room With A View. Boxing Helena was not it.
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2.0 out of 5 stars provocative concept but extremely uneven in every way, July 1 2003
By 
This review is from: Boxing Helena (Widescreen) (DVD)
Okay. As a huge David Lynch fan (I gather like many folks who went to see the film), I thought I have a look at his daughter's film debut (and only film to date? I wonder why) to see what all the fuss was about. I remember the film when it was in theaters a decade ago. I also recalled the whole controversy over Kim Basinger's departure from the project.
Seeing the DVD on the shelf in my favorite video store, I decided to give it a chance. Well, I have to say I don't see what the big hoopla was all about. The film played like a pumped up B movie potboiler melodrama and/or parody of one. Because Jennifer Chambers Lynch couldn't decide on the "tone" of the film, we are left to guess what her intentions were. I agree with other reviewers that the camerawork is extremely pretentious in a bad way and the script leaves much to be desired.
Dr. Nick Cavanagh (Julian Sands) is obsessed with the very chilly and cruel Helena (Sherilyn Fenn) after having a one night stand with her awhile back. She loathes him and wants nothing to do with him. His equally chilly and cruel mom has just passed away and left him the palatial family estate. He moves in and things go downhill for him from there.
I think if this film had been released under more subtle circumstances such as the work of a first-time filmmaker and been thought of as an experimental indie instead of commercial studio fare by the daughter of David Lynch, it would have been received more positively. The controversy may have generated audience interest in the film initially but it certainly didn't sustain it. I would argue it actually hurt the film's reception in general.
I like the idea of exploring the nature of a man's sexual obsession and his enslavement to it but like many others, I don't buy into "Boxing Helena" premise. Set mainly in this mansion of sorts, Cavanagh is Dr. Frankenstein and Helena is his "creation." Is his idealized woman one without arms and legs? Is beauty just skin deep? We never get a sense of "why" Nick is obsessed with her. He has a seemingly understanding girlfriend - why Helena over her. Additionally, Fenn's character of Helena is so underdeveloped and one-dimensional. She does okay in the part nevertheless. Sands' Nick is also at a loss as well. I'm thinking a derivative of a Norman Bates for the 1990s. With all his mother issues, you would think an intelligent man would seek a shrink asap. At least, his colleagues at the hospital should have noticed the doctor's odd behavior and institutionalized him on the spot. Poor Julian Sands - he is not a bad actor but seems to be stuck in some bad movie projects. Also, why is Art Garfunkel in this film!?!? Bill Paxton has a supporting role as Helena's studly, wannabe rocker/musician (?) boyfriend but he is also underutilized in the film except for acting out the macho man that Nick isn't apparently.
Also, one thing I did find hilarious are the extra-textual references to Sands' earlier film, Merchant-Ivory's A Room with a View (1986)in which he played the enigmatic hero George Emerson who romances and wins the young heroine Lucy Honeychurch, played by actress Helena Bonham-Carter! If you watch the film, pay attention to the soundtrack and dialogue.
Is Lynch taking a stab at Merchant-Ivory's polite notion of love's passions? Maybe and may not since there isn't any guiding focus to the film.
Though highly flawed, you may want to have a look and have fun playing the critic.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I love my fellow man too much to recommend this to ANYONE!, Nov. 27 2002
By 
C. K. Ogi (NW MO USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Boxing Helena (Widescreen) (DVD)
Oh...how many ways can the English language convey 'GARBAGE.'? The best two words ever combined to illustrate garbage are 'Boxing Helena.'
Let's just overlook the fact that the premise defies any reasonable suspension of disbelief. (And while I agree that some films stretch that...you can work with said films on said suspension if given half a reason through other attributes of the film...which even THIS can't provide) The story, while great for a short story read, (Stephen King's 'Survivor Type' is far superior in terms of frivolous amputation) just doesn't seem to work for this medium. Although, to be fair, I think the fault for this lies also in the screenwriting, directing, 'special effects,' etc.
The acting is the final nail in this coffin. If the actors were directed to play up the camp nature of this story, it might have worked as a black comedy...but the cast attempts to raise the level of this titantically-sunk piece in a futile attempt at legitimate filmmaking. Bill Paxton has all the prowess in the part of Ray as if he were a first-time soap actor.
Please...please...if you love your DVD player at all...do not taint it with this!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Jennifer is not her father., Jan. 7 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Boxing Helena (Widescreen) (DVD)
Boxing Helena is one of those frustrating movies. For me, they are more painful to watch then outright bad movies, for this is not a terrible movie. It is a mediocre movie that tries with all its might to be great. Unfortunately, it just falls short. The concept makes for an interesting and pretty original story, intended to be a journey into obsessive lust. (Sands plays a man who had a *very* short affair with Helena, and cannot get his mind off of her.) Sherilyn Fenn is beautiful (as always) as Helena, and plays the part wonderfully, but unfortunately even her talent alone cannot save this movie. the script and the rest of the acting is mediocre. it seems like Sands is constantly struggling with his part (although to his credit, he doesn't do a *bad* job), and Bill Paxton and his mediocre "talent" just seem out of place and his character is rather hard to believe. Would beautiful, siren-esque, succubus Helena really date a guy with a mullet? And then there is the ending, which unfortunately was compromised upon release, but Lynch had no other option, apart from the film not being released at all. (The planned ending would have done away with the last scene and its twist. You'll see upon viewing that she had to take the "safe" route.) So, if you're a hardcore David Lynch fan, I might recommend at least one viewing of it, just to see what his daughter is capable of, (which I believe to be much more than this movie shows), but the casual viewer should probably look elswhere. I'll give this film two stars for originality, and Fenn's wonderful performance. It is ashame her talents have been ignored due to The Scarlet "L". Some will know i speak of the phenomenon well known among Lynch fans in which actors who work with him have their talents virtually ignored by Hollywood, no matter how outstanding they may be. (there are a few exceptions, mainly when the performer was already known well, in such cases as Dennis Hopper and Nicholas Cage.) David Lynch fans may also be interested in a little piece of trivia. Jennifer's favorite toy as a child was the "baby" from her father's Eraserhead, which she would play with on the set. Boxing Helena will make a lot more sense with that knowledge in mind. Summing up, I would have to say, proceed with caution. You may enjoy this movie more than I did, and if so, good for you, but just be warned that just because you see the name "Lynch" does not mean you will get the caliber you're used to.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Seen it, love David, but dad didn't make this..., Nov. 21 2001
This review is from: Boxing Helena (Widescreen) (DVD)
I wanted to like this movie because of the sensational way in which it entered the market place -- lawsuits ablazing, etc. AND because of the David Lynch connection. But where dear ol' dad gleefully interjects outrageous violence into strange storylines and seems to tap into the naive nature of humans in strange and frightening circumstances, often bringing those naive humans to a new level of understanding or at least creating an exciting performance, THIS Lynch's debut is awkward, stilted, and not very sexy. Julian Sands' performance is so overwrought and irritatingly mannered it's like watching a 6 hour improve from a bad student actor trying to break some Guiness record for sniffling, sniveling whining. Sands can be good, but this was so artificial feeling and cloying, it has affected my enjoyment (negatively) of every movie with Sands I've seen since. What I remember most about this movie is that I wanted it to end as soon as it began. Gothic moods and a sensational plot idea are not enough to save this piece of drivel.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Sickness Run Rampant, April 13 2001
By 
"kingmuss" (Columbia, PA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Boxing Helena (Widescreen) (DVD)
I had high expectations when I grabbed this film at Blockbuster to view. After about half an hour I realized I had made a terrible mistake. Not only does it transcend all bounds of decency and good taste, it simply is the worst film ever produced. The acting is horrendous. No one seems to know what to do or how to utter their lines. The direction is non-existent. Well, I'm sure she tried to direct it, but the result is amateurish and borish and, most of all, unbelieveable in the truest sense. There have been no films I've ever wanted to destroy after viewing. This one is surely the first. Make all the gags you'd like about the worst film ever made (sci-fi monsters with zipper-showing costumes included), but this piece of nonsense surely is the worst piece of excrement ever created. What a waste of film and processing chemicals. Just being the offspring of a film director ain't a-gonna make you a filmmaker. I suggest management career at Burger King (but don't let her near the meat).
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4.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED THIS FILM!, May 14 2001
By 
"blkasianqn" (Harbor City, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Boxing Helena (Widescreen) (DVD)
When I ask people if they've ever seen this movie, they all say no. I think this movie has been "slept on" so-to-speak. I've seen it a few times (mostly because I tend to see things the second and third time around that I missed the first time.) Granted, that the idea of the movie is a little twisted. It's basically a story about a man's love and/or obsession for a beautiful woman. The object of his desire shows nothing but her loathing towards this simple man and wants nothing to do with him. The only thing he really wants, is for her to love him back (mind you - this is MY interpretation of the movie.) I guess the trip part about this film is how he manipulates the situation and makes it so that she NEEDS him to survive - to feed her, to bathe her, to tend to her. Perhaps I just have a twisted sense of humor, but I thought this film was GREAT! It's old, but if you ever get a chance, pick it up at your local video store. It's definitely worth watching!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Is everyone else [...]?, Aug. 1 2001
By 
"lilylovesphone" (Tacoma, WA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Boxing Helena (Widescreen) (DVD)
I couldn't believe it when I read the reviews that [pepole] have written about this movie. I'm not surprised anymore when people I know say they've never even HEARD of it...but usually when someone has seen it, they agree with me that it's an AMAZING movie.
It's not a movie that can be watched with half of your brain. [....] You have to PAY ATTENTION PEOPLE.
There are undeniably breathtaking scenes in this film. How could someone watch it and not be chilled, thrilled and completely turned on? I'll never hear a song by Enigma again and not think of Julian Sands being watched from the closet....OUTSTANDING!
I've recommended this movie to friends time and time again. Since the day I first saw it, it's occupied a place in my top 10 and I'm sure it always will. Watch and learn about humanity, insanity, sexuality and obsession.
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3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting idea, Dec 13 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Boxing Helena (VHS Tape)
I saw "Boxing Helena" because I'm such a fan of director David Lynch and it had been directed by his daughter Jennifer, plus it stars "Twin Peaks" alum Fenn and the director of photography worked on the series as well. While technically proficient, the film is terribly flawed by occasionally hammy performances by everyone, especially Sands and the inexplicable Bill Paxton (yes, he is in the movie, though he may never admit to it), and additionally by terribly stilted and unoriginal dialogue. On the plus side the film deals with some fascinating ideas, such as the border between love and obsession and the notion of the 'boxes' that we put ourselves in emotionally. The ending will come as a bit of a surprise to most, and it helps if you view the entire thing as a fable rather than a realistic portrayl of a story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "A little party, then MEXICO!!", Sept. 13 2001
By 
This review is from: Boxing Helena (Widescreen) (DVD)
The more people say they hate this movie, the more I love it.
But I must warn you, this is not the uncut version or even the director's cut. To get that you need to find the Laserdisc collection that came with commentary, extra "dirty" scenes(which are great btw) and the package-only 24KT musical score by the wonderful Graeme Revell. I really loved the music composed for this film, and it's terrible that this is the only way you can obtain this great score. The commentary is quite insightful, J Sands pops in for a bit to chat about it with Jennifer. For her 1st film, I thought Jennifer did a superb job handling everything from the actors, to the lush sets, editing, etc. Fenn, Paxton and Sands are all in prime form here, I really couldn't ask for anything more!!
Enjoy, and scream for "HELENNA!!"
DMSR
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Boxing Helena (Widescreen)
Boxing Helena (Widescreen) by Jennifer Chambers Lynch (DVD - 2003)
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