5.0 out of 5 stars UNFORGETABLE!!! - 20 YEARS LATER
I am in my early forties and when I look back at all of the movies I have seen in my life, a few stand out as unforgetable. Rumble Fish is one of them. It was a perfect role for Dillon who works with Rourke and Hopper in an amazingly trippy mood-fest!! The way Coppola filmed this one is rather unique and amazing - far from reality. But if you've been where the...
Published on Oct 18 2004 by B. Robyn Donison
3.0 out of 5 stars Overblown, top-heavy pomposity-- but interesting.
Coppola obviously is setting out to make the mythical American teen picture, set in the midwest, a modern gothic Rebel Without a Cause replete with Dennis Hopper as the drunken paterfamilias. The story in this film is very very weak. Essentially, it is a slave to the visual poetry of Coppola, which is at times breathtaking, but at others, painfully "innovative"...
Published on April 18 2004 by C.J. Hustwick
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5.0 out of 5 stars UNFORGETABLE!!! - 20 YEARS LATER,
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Francis Ford Coppola's finest!,
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent casting !,
This review is from: Rumble Fish (VHS Tape)Dennis Hopper, Mickey Rourke and Matt Dillon are well cast as an alcoholic father and his two misfit sons down and out in an urban setting. Story centers around the frustrations of feeling trapped in a city with little hope of a better life. Matt Dillon's character, "Rusty James", idealizes the days when gangs battled often and his older brother, "Motorcycle Boy" (Mickey Rourke), was a gang leader and was considered the main problem by the police. "Motorcycle Boy" is an uninspired genius whose sanity is slipping away. He is fascinated by the Siamese fighting fish. They apparently symbolize inner city youth who fight for little or no reason at all. He believes the fish would not fight if they were in the river. Maybe the gangs wouldn't fight if they were out in the country? Nicholas Cage, Lawrence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Christopher Penn and Vincent Spano are an excellent supporting cast. Tom Waits has a small part and S.E. Hinton, who wrote the novel the film is based on, appears briefly.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a great Film!,
This film, based on S.E. Hinton's novel of the same name, is a take on radically disaffected youth without direction. There can be no sequel to this story, because as the film ends, it becomes obvious that there's nowhere left for the protagonist, Rusty James (Matt Dillon), to go.
Mickey Rourke gives a particularly good performance as the Motorcycle Boy. It's too bad that he was never really able to reach the same level of intensity in a lot of his other subsequent work. Diane Lane and Dennis Hopper also give standout performances.
The film's soundtrack works excellently, without being a distraction, yet it is strong enough to stand alone on its own merit.
"Rumble Fish" is one of my favorites. The film might be pretentious, but so what? Pretentiousness doesn't always detract from any message inherent in a good work of art. Why hold this film up to some phony standard?
This film is easily one of Coppola's best, and one of the twenty-five best films of the eighties.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid film, maybe Coppola's best,
This movie is to be hailed for Coppola's great direction, for the magnificent photo in black and white - with a few symbolic appearances of color - and for the first important appearance of a genius newcoming young actor: Mickey Rourke. Besides the black and white photo is for his color-blind character, who can't hardly see the colors. After some cameos in "Heaven's Gate", "Body Heat" and "Diner", he plays the Motorcycle Boy, an ex-gang leader who became a legendary figure, coming back in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after two months away, and tries to put his little brother, Rusty James (Matt Dillon, in his greatest role), now a gang leader in his turn, back on the right track. But, at the age of only 21, he's already a worn, tired young man, with his shape haunting the streets. With this role, Rourke starts a series of losing characters which will end up by sealing his reputation and making him undesirable to producers. Whatever, Rourke is already a cult actor. The way the Motorcycle Boy ends, shot by an angry cop with him having no weapon, may be compared with Billy the Kid's. Rusty James will finally take his place, rolling away on a motorcycle to the sea, symbol of individual freedom (see the birds flying around with no interference). This is the main, universal message of this film. Around Dillon and Rourke, a great supporting cast including musician Tom Waits (a regular in Coppola's world) as a rambling bartender, Dennis Hopper and his acute perception, Nicolas Cage (Coppola's nephew), beautiful Diane Lane, Larry Fishburne, Christopher Penn (Sean's little brother) and the too rare, dark-haired Vincent Spano, who in this film is hardly recognizable with his blond hair and glasses. S.E. Hinton herself makes a short appearance as a street girl. We'll notice that the great, haunting soundtrack was composed by Stewart Copeland, the drummer of the Police band.
"Rumble Fish" is certainly the best film ever made about juvenile distress. We're far away from teenage film produced today, where the young characters are usually described as brainless, totally uninteresting people thinking about nothing else but having sex. Very underrated in Coppola's career and insufficiently reviewed, this is a great film, maybe Coppola's best one. The penultimate take, a long right travelling - from the Motorcycle Boy's dead body to the sign 'The Motorcycle Boy reigns' -, is astounding. Even if the cover doesn't respect the black and white photo of the film, this DVD edition is to be bought right away (at least for Mickey Rourke's voice) and kept for ever.
One last remark about Lorelei's discussable review: first, yes, the dialog is maybe vulgar but it's not shocking because it's the one we use every day, in life as well as in films; second point, mister Hinton is a woman.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "He's like royalty in exile...",
Rumble Fish curiously remains one of Coppola's often overlooked films. It refuses to conform to mainstream tastes and stubbornly challenges the Hollywood system with its moody black and white cinematography and non-narrative approach.
It was a movie clearly ahead of its time: a stylish masterpiece that is obsessed with the notion of time, loyalty, and family. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of Coppola's film is that it presents a world that refers to the past, present, and future while remaining timeless in nature.
Right from the first image, Rumble Fish is a film that exudes style and ambience. It opens on a beautiful shot of wispy clouds rushing overhead, captured via time lapse photography to the experimental, percussive soundtrack that envelopes the whole film. This creates the feeling of not only time running out, but also a sense of timelessness.
As always, Coppola assembled an impressive ensemble cast for his film. From The Outsiders, he kept Matt Dillon, Diane Lane, Glenn Withrow, William Smith and Tom Waits, while casting actors like Mickey Rourke and Vincent Spano, who were overlooked for roles in the film for one reason or another. They all fill out their roles admirably, but Mickey Rourke in particular is mesmerizing as the Motorcycle Boy. He portrays the character as a calm, low key figure that seems to be constantly distracted as if he is in another world or reality.
Every scene is filled with dreamy imagery that never gets too abstract but, instead, draws the viewer into this strange world. Coppola uses colour to emphasize certain images, like the Siamese fighting fish in the pet store--some of the only colour in the film--to create additional layers in this complex, detailed world.
5.0 out of 5 stars You either get it or you don't,
This review is from: Rumble Fish (Special Edition) (DVD)This is one of those movies that I've had some friends say they love and some say they hate. To me, it's the atmosphere that makes it... Copeland's amazing soundtrack, Coppola's amazing camera work. And call me crazy, but I like Mickey Rourke's character in this. People say it's nothing like the book.. okay, fine. But as a work of art, it's pretty cool. You should see it at least once, then make your judgement on it. I dig it.
3.0 out of 5 stars Overblown, top-heavy pomposity-- but interesting.,
1.0 out of 5 stars what a surprise!,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie Rocks!,
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Rumble Fish (Special Edition) by Francis Ford Coppola (DVD - 2005)