Other Sellers on Amazon
+ £1.26 UK delivery
+ £1.26 UK delivery
+ £1.26 UK delivery
Running On Empty [DVD]
|Additional DVD options||
|New from||Used from|
|Watch Instantly with||Rent||Buy|
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Sidney Lumet directs this eerie family drama, starring River Phoenix as the musically talented son of two former student radical's from the sixties. Addicted travellers, the boy has grown up living out of suitcases but when he wins a place at a music college, the boy refuses to move again and the family are forced to confront their past and the FBI agents that they have been too long running from.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Top customer reviews
In fact story wise, the only interesting element of the movie is the interaction with the owner / operator of the 57 Chevy happening somewhere in the middle of the film. And the police team looks a bit like being imported straight from the Police Academy [DVD] .
This is nothing like Vanishing Point  [DVD] or Two-Lane Blacktop [DVD]  - it does not have the visual or even automotive enthusiasm impact of either of those movies. On the other hand the somewhat humorous Australian take on the Fast and the Furious theme is slightly endearing and there is the odd moment of a hard charging V8 nirvana in there, too.
So it is a bit like the Falcon's engine displacement - a 3.51 stars, just getting it into the 4 star category in terms of Amazon ratings for me - but definitely a lot lower for someone who will not appreciate cars.
Danny (River Phoenix) and Lorna (Martha Plimpton) have an evening together, they started kissing while he's walking her home, he breaks away, she's angry and stomps home. Next day he tries to talk to her and she won't listen. He goes to find her and explains how his family lives, constantly on the run from the FBI, and why he can't be with her unless she knows this: and how he's never explained this to anybody before. During this scene you go through the journey in her head from being a teenage girl with a crush on a boy to fully comprehending another person's life; from playing games with boyfriends to entering into a relationship that will change her life and his. It's masterfully done.
If you'd read the pitch for this movie, you'd think it could so easily have been instantly forgotten. Foner's script, Sidney Lumet's subtle direction, the performances of perfect cast and an appropriately haunting piano/guitar score by Tony Mottola have ensured that this film will be watched over and over again.
At the beginning we meet the Popes (Hirsh and Lahti) together with there two sons (Pheonix and the young Jonas Abry) in mid west small town america. They would appear to be any ordinary small town blue collar family. Except they are not - the parents have been on the run since the sixities, hunted by the FBI for their involvement in a radical group's bombing. They lead a life on constant watch for the cadillac at the end of the street, the stiff suit prowling the neighbourhood, the unwanted question that will break their false identities. We see closely how the children, born into this life, accept the need to drop everything and run. The sentence they live under is as harsh as time in jail - they can have no friends beyond those they know from the 60's and they can never feel safe.
Pheonix is approaching adolesence; he is begining to realise that he wants roots. In a new town he makes a stumbling friendship with the excellent Martha Plimpton (her quirky good looks are sadly missed from the screen today). He also has developed his mother's talent at the piano and is spotted by Plimton's musical parents. The tensions arise as Pheonix trys to make his place in the world and step away from the protective umbrella of his parent's paranoia. As the drama reaches its conclusion this nuclear family realises it can no longer survive.
The performances are of a depth and understanding that are rarely seen today. Hirsh, as the family leader and still angry radical is supreme in his dealings with Pheonix; he has enough cool left in him to seem hip to the middle class Plimpton whilst at the same time being unable to see how his choices have affected no only his own life but those of his children.
Lahti is formidible. Her character, the rich girl turned radical turned loving mother, is given the greatest scenes in the movie. Meeting her father for the first time in nearly 20 years their conversation is one of the most powerful yet understated pieces of acting in 80s cinema. Steven Hill must take a share of the credit for the emotional turbulence on show but Lahti is note perfect - she is a small girl again in her father's presence trying to find some sense in the insanity she has become entangled in. Really, in a fair world this performance would have been rewarded with many awards.
Pheonix gives one of those performances that marked him out as such a great prospect - he is touchingly awkward with Plimpton, funny with his brother and yet wise to the pitfalls of his situation. The scene where he has to discuss his missing High School records is great to watch.
An actors film then...but all the better for it. The ending is honest, truthful and compelling. Why does nobody in Hollywood recognise there is a need for more work like this.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews