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1 rating: -1.0
A movie directed by James Cox

Fast cars, fast women, sex, drugs, and rock and roll, with guns and ammo thrown in for good measure--that was the world of porn star John Holmes in Los Angeles in the 1970s. But everything came tumbling down in June 1981 when he was accused of taking … see full wiki

Tags: Movies, Dramas
Director: James Cox
Release Date: 2003
MPAA Rating: R
1 review about Wonderland

Wonderland lacks focus

  • Jul 2, 2004
Pros: Val Kilmer - compelling story - visually compelling

Cons: bad pacing, overdone scenes, overtly graphic drug and violence scenes, disturbing to watch

The Bottom Line: Not recommend. Too overdone, over produced, too manufactured. Could have been great.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot.

Having moved to LA, I have heard about the Wonderland murders and how they rival the brutal Manson killings in terms of sheer carnage and savagery. I had also heard of the infamous John Holmes! This combination should make a great movie - right? Wrong!

This could have been a great movie but missed on several key points, dialogue, overdone songs, overdone pacing. The main focus of this film, drugs and sex were slammed into the audience faces over and over again until they became meaningless and trite. What was good was the visual style and feel - interesting effects that helped to illusrate the story. It was relied on too much and it felt as if the film's focus was lost in the details.

The movie could be told as "Story of Hollywood junkies path to murder". Not to say that the story itself wasn't compelling just the telling of it in this movie was overdone. For example, practically every spoken line in the film is through a exhaled cigarette/pot smoke. This may be a "cool" effect once or twice but not overcooked.
The same effect is felt with rock and roll songs setting a mood, but not a different song for every scence - again overkill.

Val Kilmer stars as a true to life Holmes and is not sympathetic character. Kate Bosworth, Dylan
McDermott, Josh Lucas, Carrie Fisher and Jeannine Garafelo all put in decent performances. Lisa Kudrow does an excellent job as John's long suffering wife.

Could have been great.


Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Not suitable for Children of any age

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