8:15 PM, 13th November, 1999
200 Cigarettes takes place on New Year's Eve, 1981. Monica (Martha Plimpton) is throwing a New Year's Eve party in her New York loft. As we follow the characters heading to the party, we are sent into many subplots. Unfortunately, these subplots make the content of this film very difficult to explain in under 250 words, so I won't even try! Instead, I will just encourage you all to come along and see for yourselves.
Hollywoor casting director Risa Bramon Gareia has kept her feature film directing debut light and bubbly. The cast-including Ben Affleck, Christina Ricci, Courtney Love and Janeane Garofalo-is well chosen with the naturalness of the cast helping to overcome some of the stilted dialogue and those plot co-incidences that are unlikely in a place the size of Manhattan. Other than the cast, the strongest features of this movie are the costumes and the great soundtrack. This soundtrack will give good vibrations to anyone who partied in 1981 - and if you didn't it will certainly give you something to hum on the way home.
8:30 PM, 13th November, 1999
Hurly Burly is an adaptation of an apparently well-known play by David Rabe (call me a Philistine, but I've never even heard of the guy) about the lives of several Hollywood players and wannabes and the bizarre curves their intersecting lives form throughout the process of trying to remain on top in the strangest business in the world. Not knowing the play, I cannot begin to compare the two, but the adaptation is presumably flawless considering the quality of script we get at this end of the process. The humour is dark, blacker than most Hollywood films even consider approaching; it is a little bit of an effort on occasion following the lightning fast script and one-liners, but it is more than worth the effort the viewer puts in. Directed by Anthony Drazan, this film showcases a cast of extraordinary quality. When actors such as Sean Penn; high-powered director, Kevin Spacey; business partner, Robin Wright; two-timing trouble, Meg Ryan; exotic dancer, Anna Paquin; 'care package' and Chazz Palminteri; brutish would-be actor, are thrown into conflict it is hard to imagine an uninteresting result. And while the uninteresting is not impossible, this time, the combination is absolutely riveting.