Buy “Breakfast of Champions Bruce Willis, Nick Nolte, Albert Finney, Barbara Hershey, Glenne Headly, Lukas Haas, Omar Epps, Vicki Lewis, Buck Henry, Ken Hudson Campbell, Jake Johannsen, Will Patton, Alan Rudolph, David Blocker, David Willis, Sandra Tomita, Stephen J. Eads, W. Mark McNair, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Movies & TV” Online
The owner (Bruce Willis) of a huge car dealership and a local celebrity because of his TV commercials is having a midlife crisis. As his world falls apart around him, a relatively obscure writer (Albert Finney) hitchhikes his way to the same city where he is to be honored. The two men will eventually meet and precipitate a violent rampage due to a misunderstanding. Based on the Kurt Vonnegut novel and directed by the maverick Alan Rudolph (CHOOSE ME) who also did the screenplay, the film’s first half hour or so is near incomprehensible until it gets its rhythm going and even then it takes the patience of Job to follow the narrative. I’ve not read the Vonnegut novel but I understand it’s one of those novels whose unique writing style makes it difficult to translate to film and Rudolph isn’t entirely successful in his efforts. The film’s fragmented surrealism is often confusing and incoherent. Vonnegut himself (no surprise) wasn’t pleased with the film. The film’s ultimate message of “Until death, it’s life so make the best of it” seems rather cliched and trite. Still, there are some minor pleasures to be had thanks principally to some of the actors. Notably Nick Nolte who I wouldn’t have thought had a funny bone in his entire body but manages to steal the film with a marvelous performance as a paranoid cross dressing car salesman. Also in the cast: Barbara Hershey, Owen Wilson, Glenne Headly, Lukas Haas, Michael Clarke Duncan, Omar Epps, Buck Henry, Will Patton, Chip Zien, Shawnee Smith and Alison Eastwood. The Dutch region 2 import is a nice anamorphic (unlike the region 1 which is not anamorphic) 1. 85 transfer. Check it out!
Superstar Bruce Willis (THE SIXTH SENSE) stars in this critically acclaimed, offbeat comedy about a man who’s having a hard time getting a grip on his life! A millionaire car salesman who runs the biggest dealership in Midland City, Dwayne Hoover (Willis) is a celebrity, loved and trusted by everyone. Then one day, he wakes up and realizes that his life is a total mess! But between the headaches posed by his pill-popping wife (Barbara Hershey — FALLING DOWN), a mistress (Glenne Headly — MR. HOLLAND’S OPUS) who won’t leave him alone, and a cross-dressing sales manager (Nick Nolte — THE THIN RED LINE), Dwayne has picked a bad week for a midlife crisis! Based on the best-selling novel by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., this hilarious comedy and its incredible all-star cast will keep you laughing as Dwayne tries to keep from losing his mind!
Breakfast of Champions Review
This surreal adaptation of the Kurt Vonnegut novel hasn’t a single sane person in it!Willis is the suicidal high-profile owner of a Midland City car dealership who seeks the meaning of life when he doesn’t have a pistol barrel in his mouth. Hershey is his zoned-out-on-TV wife, Haas their fey and glittery lounge lizard organist son. Willis is having an affair with Headly, an oversexed secretary who’s only in it for money: she wants to borrow from him the capital needed to open a fried chicken franchise. Nolte is Bruce’s conservatively dressed sales manager who feels guilty about wearing women’s lingerie at home. Epps is the recently paroled prisoner with a name similar to Willis’; he takes up residence in a purple car on Willis’ lot, a place he calls “Fairyland. “Finney is a spacey, philsophizing sci-fi author whose stories only appeared in cheap-o 1950s skin mags. Campbell is the eccentric millionaire who thinks Finney’s the greatest writer of all time; he invites the reclusive author to Midland City for an honorarium. One of the the most underappreciated movies of all time. I love everything about it, especially Martin Denny’s Exotica cocktail music (remember “Quiet Village”?). (An ANNIE V. TOP 20 FILM. )Parenthetical number preceding title is a 1 to 10 imdb viewer poll rating. (4. 3) Breakfast of Champions (1999) – Bruce Willis/Albert Finney/Nick Nolte/Barbara Hershey/Glenne Headly/Lucas Haas/Omar Epps/Vicki Lewis/Buck Henry/Ken Hudson Campbell/Owen Wilson/Shawnee Smith/Kurt Vonnegut Jr. -Read Reviews-
Certain of the films Bruce Willis has appeared in definitely cross the line between tongue-in-cheek and out and out surrealism, in the sense of Salvatore Dali or Heironymous Bosch. The most well known of these is certainly “The Fifth Element” – a wonderfully droll comedy of ultimate destruction! It is only recently that I encountered “Breakfast of Champions” as a film although I had been through Kurt Vonnegut’s novel previously. There is the tired argument about how film adaptations of literary works are either too literal or too liberal. Film making is not novel writing, and even though the latter may be based on the former, it has to stand on its own merits irrespective of its origins. In this case, however loose the adaptation of the novel, the film works on so many levels. The clue, of course, if the title which, for those of you old enough to remember, was the advertising phrase for the breakfast cereal, Wheaties. That’s enough of a clue – the crass fantasy world of television advertising, the brittle surface veneer covering a maelstrom of emotional angst, the absurd juxtapositions, the reversal of character where the seemingly crazy loner becomes the hero, the tragic ending where release brings resolution in the mental hospital lockup for one character, and death by dissolution into the running fantasy notion of paradise for the other. The ending of the film is terribly jarring – even if you expect it. Insanity is like that, I guess. For my money, it’s a brilliant bit of film making. Perhaps the most jarring part of the illusion is Willis with a head of hair and thin, steel framed glasses!This is not one for people who can only think in linear fashion – no fantasy, especially surrealism, operates that way. Too many people complained, for example about the third “Pirates of the Caribbean” – it was too complex, went in too many directions, had too much detail. Nonsense. Too much of our pop culture is single tracked hip-hop sterile. Just as in music there are more meters than 2 or 3, so too in literature, the visual arts and in cinema as well. Bravo. Well done.
Tags: Absurd Comedy, Adult Language, Alan Rudolph, Albert Finney, Barbara Hershey, Breakfast of Champions, Bruce Willis, Buck Henry, Comedies, Comedy, Comedy Drama, David Blocker, David Willis, English, Feature, Feature Film-comedy, Glenne Headly, Jake Johannsen, Ken Hudson Campbell, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Lukas Haas, Movie, Nick Nolte, Omar Epps, Sandra Tomita, Satire, Sexual Situations, Stephen J. Eads, Tragi-comedy, USA, Vicki Lewis, W. Mark McNair, Walt Disney Video, Will Patton