Under the Hula Moon
Stephen Baldwin, Emily Lloyd and Chris Penn are all wonderful in this film. Stephen and Emily play a wacky couple- Buzz and Betty Wall- who live in a tiny trailer in the middle of nowhere. Buzz is busy inventing a super-strength sunscreen to make them rich (even though it is green in color) and Betty loves to subscribe to magazines and sends in coupons in the hope of winning a prize from 'Publishers' Clearing House'. Her dream comes true and she wins on the very same day that Buzz's half-brother Turk (Chris Penn) arrives for a visit. He is an evil, vicious escaped convict and wants to take the money. He ties up Buzz and kidnaps Betty so she will go and cash the check. A news reporter (who just happens to be Buzz's ex-girlfriend) finds out about their win and wants to do a story. She finds Buzz and unties him and they go and try to rescue Betty.
This is an indie movie that premiered at the Cannes festival. It has also won an award (see below). Well worth checking out if you like originality. The ending is good too. If you want to check out another Chris Penn/Stephen Baldwin pairing, check out One Tough Cop.
I'm gonna add a huge shout out to a local actor from Hawaii who appears in the film! Ray Bumatai! Aloha, bruddah! Okay...yeah i'm from the Islands.. and so i REALLY enjoyed myself. This film had definite David Lynch elements... wacky cast, dark moments of the plot... heck it's even got the Giant from Twin Peaks! That.. and the back lot of Old Tucson Studios .. Stephen dancing to the 'Hawaii Five-0 Theme'... "Now what would Steve MacGarret do?".... what more can I ask for?
The little side plots of the Giant Pumpkin and the Vortex seekers... were less than i wanted... didn't really seem to fit.. and their tie to the plot was tenuous. I did get a kick out of the vortex thing.. you REALLY have to go to Arizona.. it's a FAB state.. and the cacti in the movie made me 'homesick' for Motion Picture Peak.
I had a blast and REALLY enjoyed the film.. I'd see it again in an instant... yep.. I know what I'll be doing tomorrow!
Let me just warn you that this film is not to everyone's taste. It is wacky, dreamy and quite violent at times. Baldwin and Lloyd (who is actually British but does a mean American accent here) are at their best as the loopy couple who dream of better things. Their eccentricities are a delight to watch and the support cast is amusing also. Penn is always brilliant and here he gives an intense performance. He truly has screen presence and adds a genuinely scary touch to this otherwise hilarious movie. Watch out for the scene when he poses as Buzz to collect the publishers' clearing house check. It's genius.
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