Customer Reviews: Excess Baggage
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on January 22, 2002
"Excess Baggage" is the type of movie that failed at the box office due to poor marketing. With the combination of Alicia Silverstone in a lead role and a trailer suggesting that this was mostly a comedy, I think a lot of people went into this flick with a wrong impression. I know I did. The first time I saw it I was rather disappointed. There was nothing inherently wrong with any performance or any facet of the movie itself. I think it was more that it wasn't what I expected. Luckily, I decided to let some time pass and view it again. I'm very glad I did because this is actually a solid movie. The role of the bratty rich kid was, of course, perfect for Alicia and she didn't have to stretch much to properly play the part. Benicio Del Toro was simply amazing! His mannerisms for his character are something you simply can't be taught. Del Toro is the real deal and you can't help but fall for his charm...even if he is playing a car thief. It goes without saying that Christopher Walken is flawless as usual. The guy's been around forever because he is one of the best acting talents in Hollywood. The story certainly has some amusing moments and situations. However, this is a story that's actually about love, loyalty and knowing your place in the world. By all appearances, Alicia Silverstone and Benicio Del Toro would make quite the unconvincing couple. As the movie progresses, however, you are truly moved by the bond that they form. "Excess Baggage" is a very special film that deserves an open mind and a keen eye for amazing acting and appreciation of a multi-layered storyline filled with deep moments.
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on August 14, 1999
I don't understand why people hated this movie so much. Ithought it was well written with an amazing cast and some surprisinglycute, funny moments. It's not like anything else I've ever seen, but maybe that's why some people didn't like it. If you're expecting some cute, fluffy formula film this isn't it. Try a Julia Roberts movie (snooze). But Silverstone holds a solid lead role, a crusty cry from her usual material, and Del Toro is definitely a phenomenon waiting to be noticed. He owns every scene he's in, not just because of his looks, but because of his pure talent and unusual line readings. He's one of the most gifted, original actors I've seen in a long time. Nicholas Turturro and Harry Connick, jr. also add a nice surprise to the mix, with Connick's geeky but funny car thief and Turturro's tough guy act. Of course Walken can always be counted upon to add a welcome sense of eerie comedy and I enjoyed this so much I've rented it twice. It's subtle, intelligent humor and that may only appeal to a select crowd, but I'm glad movies like this manage to sneak by and get the green light once in a while. If you have a brain and like understated humor and unconventional romance you should like this film. If nothing else, it offers a chance to watch some enormously talented people strut their stuff. If this is indicative of what she wants to add artistically to the world of film, I welcome her future work.
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on March 2, 2005
Benicio Del Toro is a magnet in this movie, a strong acting force drawing you into that deep, hypnotic voice until you're head over heels in love. There are a handful of male characters that I could easily spend the rest of my life with, and Vincent Roche is one of them. He's a guy that will make you laugh, that you can talk to about anything, that you'd feel safe with, and that you'll lust after as well. Benicio is a leading actor who is too often cast in only supporting roles. Lead the way Benicio!
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on January 18, 1999
Indeed, Leonard Maltin does need new glasses, maybe even a new job, because he is totally unqualified as a film critic if he didn't like this movie. Maybe he has something against Alicia Silverstone, but she isn't the reason to see Excess Baggage anyway, although she does a respectable job. The real stars here are Benicio Del Toro and (surprise?) Christopher Walken, who each give outstanding performances. Del Toro steals the show, portraying a shy, soft-spoken and gentle-natured car thief who gets entangled in Silverstone's world by stealing her expensive BMW (with her in the trunk). She's trying to get the attention of her rich and distant father by faking a kidnapping, and Del Toro spends the rest of the movie with her in tow and on the run, trying to reclaim his upended life without getting caught by the mob, due to a broken deal, or iced by her Uncle Ray, a very dangerous, a very cool cat who can kill in a blink, but one who cares for Silverstone as only an uncle should. We come to care for these two men even more than the girl who has brought them together, although the relationship that develops between Del Toro and Silverstone rings sweet and true. Particularly touching is their scene by the lake after they have spent the night together at a remote alpine lodge. They are almost inaudible as they share their thoughts, seemingly childlike in response to the feelings that have developed, but we truly feel the love that is there as Dave Matthews' beautiful song "Crash" plays beneath their words. And there are many other genuine moments. Excess Baggage is filled with an interesting tension and pacing that is uncommon to romantic comedies and thus a treat. More typical is the ending, where all works out for the best, but it is satisfying nevertheless.
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on January 29, 2004
Won't try to compete with other folks saying good things about this wonderful film, but wanted to confirm that the DVD received from in January 2004 is a superb transfer with full screen on one side and gorgeous Anamorphic 16:9 widescreen on the other. Watching films on a widescreen television is the coolest! Be aware it's necessary to tell your DVD player (in the set-up menu) to format for a 16:9 screen. This automatically outputs any anamorphic DVD as full-screen (without black bars top and bottom). This will look tall & skinny on an old-fashioned 4:3 monitor, but when stretched to fill a wide 16:9 screen it looks glorious!
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on July 13, 2002
I had not seen Benicio Del Toro in anything but "License To Kill" (where he made a real impression in a pretty small role) before I saw this off-beat romantic comedy, but this one turned me into a big fan. The plot here is funny , if not especially clever, but what makes the movie shine is the combination of Del Toro and Silverstone, who have some real on-screen chemistry, along with Christopher Walken, who is terrific as the hit-man uncle with a heart of gold, at least when it comes to his "niece". The nutty ups and downs of the hapless car thief-turned-babysitter (Del Toro) with his fractious, unwanted charge (Silverstone) are really very funny and Del Toro reveals a delightful, unconventional comic talent that came as a real surprise. The scene in the restaurant with Del Toro, Silverstone and uncle Ray (Walken) is a classic, in my opinion, and the romantic relationship that develops with Del Toro and Silverstone is very sweet and touching, especially considering the wildly divergent backgrounds of the principals.( There are also some amusing scenes with Del Toro's partner in crime, played by Harry Connacht, Jr.) Overall, this was one of the most surprisingly entertaining romantic comedies I have seen and has become a family favorite, in addition to turning us all into real Del Toro fans.
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on May 2, 1999
What is the problem with this movie? Why do people hate it so much? I believe that after "Clueless", Alicia Silverstone fans expect her to be some cute little smiley high school girl. Look, this movie is very UNDER RATED! First of all, the plot is engrossing and kept my attention. The script is actually quite good and well executed by the cast. And, oh, that Chrisopher Walken... the perfect touch as uncle Ray! I honestly DO NOT get it? Why do so many folks loathe this film? At least one movie lover gave EXCESS BAGGAGE it's due. Sun-Times Roger Ebert gave it THREE stars out of four! C'mon people WAKE UP! Snap out of it!!!
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on December 23, 2002
This movie is hilarious, witty, intelligent. Del Toro, Silverstone, and Walken are great in their roles. Certainly not for everyone, but this quirky, dark comedy is for those who are looking for something more than the staple romantic comedy.
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on August 29, 1999
Alicia Silverstone picked and awesome role with this movie. It's perfectly funny and turns into a romance movie;people who love to see Alicia Silverstone act will enjoy this comedy.
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on March 14, 2015
i do love this movie. it's a definitely major change from her 'clueless' role lol (another movie i love) but she does it so well, and benicio is awesome as vincent. a few bonus characters like christopher walken and harry connick jr make the movie that much better :) emily (alicia silverstone) decides to try and get her father's attention by arranging her own kidnapping but then she really is 'kidnapped' when vincent steals her car w/ her already in the trunk (by her own doing). of course, at first they hate each other, but start to get used to each other after awhile and you can guess what happens from there lol. so it's kinda predictable but still enjoyable to watch IMO.
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