Thursday, September 22, 2011

Into the Night (1985)

Seen: On dvd on my tv, rented from netflix.

Someone must have recommended this to me and I have no idea who, but it found its way to the top of my netflix queue. So thanks, un-remembered recommender. Sorry. Directed by 80's comedy heavyweight John Landis, Into the Night stars Jeff Goldblum as Ed Okin, a dissatisfied audio engineer who hasn't slept in days and recently found out that his wife is cheating on him. Driving to the airport on a whim, he stumbles upon mysterious damsel-in-distress Diana (Michelle Pfeiffer) and becomes embroiled in a thrilling tale of espionage, theft, and murder as the night drags on (technically it's two nights). Also, every director in the world shows up for about 2 seconds each.

This is maybe actually the most cameo-heavy movie I've ever seen, probably, with no less than 14 appearances from directors (including David Cronenberg, Jim Henson, and Amy Heckerling!), plus small roles for Dan Akroyd, Vera Miles, Richard Farnsworth, and DAVID FUCKING BOWIE. I spent a good chunk of the movie on imdb trying to pinpoint when a famous person would walk by. Of course, the lead pairing of Goldblum and Pfeiffer offers enough for any red-blooded human to keep his or her eyes on the screen. He's jaded but bewildered, she's earnest but untrustworthy. Also she looks really cute in a short haircut and bitchin' red leather jacket. And he looks cute... duh.

The script is so-so, sometimes funny and sometimes thrilling but never enough of either. It's confusing at times and weirdly paced. I like these kinds of movies, in which one character who's unhappy with his/her (usually his) life finds himself turned about by a wily newcomer (usually a beautiful woman) who infuriates him as much as she entices him, and there's crime involved for some reason. Into the Night doesn't really distinguish itself though, aside from its hyper-aware Hollywood setting (I loved the behind-the-scenes moments on a fake movie set) and highly adept cast. Overall it's fun, but sloppy.

3.5/5

Pair This Movie With: Definitely After Hours, which boasts a similar theme but manages to be infinitely weirder. Incidentally, it was my first Scorsese film. Alternately... Who's That Girl. Because, why not. Either way you're getting in some Griffin Dunne.

9 comments:

  1. Hi Alex, wanted to let you know that I just love your site and what you're doing.. couldn't find a place to make a general comment so I'm here. You've inspired me to do more watching and especially check out those ladiiiies, if I can stay away during the day... seem to have insomnia right now! Love Jeff Goldblum and pleased to have seen him turn up in Law and Order this week. Sandy

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  2. sorry.. trying to stay awake not away! Sandy

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  3. Despite its title, this is a perfect late afternoon movie. And totally agree that it pairs well with After Hours.

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  4. Funnily enough I paired this with After Hours for my Midnight Double Feature thread (http://www.top10films.co.uk/archives/1506) - the two films are ideal partners.

    Into The Night does get some pretty poor reviews so I'm glad you liked it at least a little bit Alex. It is one of my favourite films, I think its brilliant - a masterpiece of that little seen genre (the male adventure in self-discovery - http://www.top10films.co.uk/archives/5724).

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  5. Sandy: Hi! Thank you so much for your kind words, they totally made my day. I hope my recommendations don't steer you wrong!

    Alexa: Haha yes late afternoon would be a nice time to watch it. Especially since a good chunk of the film takes place during the day!

    Dan: Oh that's cool we had the same double feature idea! I didn't know much about the film so I hadn't read any reviews, too bad it's not very appreciated. Now I'll go read your thoughts on it!

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  6. I haven't seen this movie in a while but I remember being really underwhelmed by it. I liked seeing all the folks that I really dig in various cameos, but little else. Maybe I'll rewatch it.

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  7. Enjoyed the review and this might be a "mood" film whereby audiences in one mood tend to paint this film always with that first-viewing's mood.

    Like you mentioned, "sloppy" aspects may not be enough to jar an audience's mood from one side to the other - that's what makes me think "first viewing mood" may stick.

    Definitely a great pairing with AFTER HOURS and probably DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN.

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