Masked And Anonymous [DVD]
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In a fictitious America caught up in a civil war that is tearing the nation apart, a benefit concert is being organised. A travelling troubadour named Jack Fate is sprung from jail by his scheming former manager, Uncle Sweetheart, to headline a concert with the expectations to bring peace to a country that is entrenched by chaos, lawlessness and pandemonium.
Directed by Larry Charles, with the black humour he brought to Seinfeld and starring Bob Dylan as an aging rock legend. The film also stars John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Jeff Bridges, Mickey Rourke, Luke Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Angela Basett, Giovanni Ribisi, Val Kilmer, Cheech Marin, Ed Harris, Christian Slater and Bruce Dern.
Sometimes surprising, often baffling and occasionally entertaining, Masked and Anonymous is another in the long but not necessarily distinguished line of rock-star movie vehicles. Bob Dylan stars in this BBC Films coproduction as an alter ego of himself, ageing rocker Jack Fate, released from jail to play a benefit concert in an alternative America that is run down and ruled by a military dictator. When not singing he makes little impression, so it's fortunate that director Larry Charles surrounds him with a galaxy of excellent supporting players, including John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Penelope Cruz, Jeff Bridges, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Dern, Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi and Val Kilmer--all of whom gave their services for free.
The screenplay, cowritten by Dylan, is full of the kind of cryptic aphorisms familiar from his song lyrics: "What's bugging me?", remarks Jeff Bridges' character, "The absurdity of a lifetime of human labour, that's what's bugging me." "They have no ideology. They push both Jesus and Judas aside," says an anonymous bus driver, and there are plenty more didactic, speechy comments that even these veteran actors can't make sound natural or spontaneous. Better to focus on the music--both the songs Dylan performs on screen and those on the soundtrack, which consists mostly of foreign-language covers of Dylan classics.
On the DVD: Masked and Anonymous on disc comes with a commentary track from director Larry Charles, who is good on the details of the shooting schedule, but vague about the movie's aspirations. There are some deleted scenes (none of which shed any more light on the plot), another Dylan performance, and a 20-minute "making of" featurette, with the many supporting stars waxing lyrical about the freewheeling shooting style and semi-theatrical staging. The anamorphic widescreen picture is unexceptional, as is the Dolby 5.1 soundtrack, which naturally enough works best with the music. --Mark WalkerSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
To be found in it. I thought it was chaotic but hilarious
Specially the part where val kilmar desperatley tries
To get our bob to open up on where bob was at. All he
Could get were muttering and mumbling from our bob
From underneath a huge 20 gallon hat I was in tucks
Must add too some great music loved dixie track and diamond joe. Lighten up reviewers.
Rahter dull apart from the muic.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great movie for Bobcats, with some great music and fun cameo roles ....Published 9 months ago by Jerapah
Bob Dylan is not always very well inspired these days. To invest his song and music in a fictitious Latin American situation with a dying general dictator, a civil war without any... Read morePublished on 13 July 2007 by Dr Jacques COULARDEAU