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Jesus' Son [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Billy Crudup, Robert Michael Kelly, Torben Brooks, Dierdre Lewis, Jimmy Moffit
  • Directors: Alison Maclean
  • Format: NTSC
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Umvd
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004YA33
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,175,099 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

FH's narration gives the movie much of its personality.
T.S. Morris
After reading the book and going back... I didn't dislike the film, It just lost its appeal.
Christopher
It's a great movie about drug addiction but takes the road to recovery and not death.
Neo Tron

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 2000
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
"Jesus' Son" barely got a theatrical release, so here's your chance to discover one of the quirkiest and most heartfelt movies to come along since the `70s output of the late, great director Hal Ashby ("Harold & Maude," "Coming Home").
From Denis Johnson's low-key, disjointed short stories about addicts and outcasts, director Alison Maclean and her writers/adapters have distilled a narrative that's both goofy and lucid. The story drifts and meanders, as it should - our protagonist is a survivor who's still trying to comprehend his salvation. Anyone who took drugs in the `70s will be stunned by how familiar and true is the recreation of that era; bigger-budgeted period pieces often settle for easy nostalgia via bad wigs and hit parades, but here, offbeat locations and music selections spark forgotten memories of two-laned interstates, abandoned drive-ins and AM radio.
Unlike flashier but similar-themed junkie laments, "Jesus' Son" is a triumph of substance over style: empathy becomes more crucial than an extended light show. Not to suggest Maclean hasn't made strong stylistic choices - indeed her tone approaches a breaking fever dream. Devices like split screen, chapter cards and black humor are so effective specifically because they're used economically.
Most inspired, however, is the casting. There are no weak performances. Even cameos by well-knowns like Dennis Hopper and Holly Hunter are beautifully modulated. For instance, just when you suspect Hunter might be `phoning in' a loony AA caricature, she floors you with a devastating - and painfully real - emotional outpouring. Likewise, Jack Black and Denis Leary embody larger-than-life characters without going over-the-top.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By T.S. Morris on July 23, 2000
This movie changed the way I look at life. We all take so much for granted and it could all end at any moment. This is one of the main ideas of Jesus' Son. The main character, FH, stumbles through life while many of his friends die, yet he remains unharmed and only gradually begins to change his ways. This movie may be about death and pain, but it is optimistic and hopeful; as long as life continues, something good can happen. There is a surprising amount of humor in the film, all of it compassionate, it doesn't result to mocking the characters or the situations as so many movies these days do.
Some people have complained that Jesus' Son imitates Pulp Fiction in its narrative. This is untrue - the story unfolds as FH tells it, sometimes he doubles back to give more detail or fill in gaps, but for the most part it is linear. FH's narration gives the movie much of its personality.
The acting is astoundingly realistic throughout. Of all the movies I've seen this year, Billy Crudup's performance is the best. Hopefully he will soon achieve the widespread recognition he deserves. The entire cast performs admirably, every actor gets at least one scene to shine, with Crudup providing the link from one to the next. My favorite scene was Dennis Hopper's - his final line speaks volumes about life and death and the human condition.
The direction is self assured and impressive. There is not much self conscious camera trickery, and when it is used, it is to good effect. The soundtrack is another stong point, all of the songs enhance the mood of the scene perfectly.
Jesus' Son reminds me of last year's Bringing Out the Dead in the way it subtly reveals so much about the nature of redemption and the beauty that can be found in life if you just allow yourself to see it. Also, this is one of the few movies that gets better the more you think about it.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
My first take on first viewing was: right, I want to watch a movie about some disgusting, sleazy, young idiots. The sex. The violence. The drugs. And then, you start to pay attention to the narrator's voice, and you begin to understand the intelligence, the attempt at a philosopy of life that lies behind the voice. And you laugh as a dead guy gets beat up in a corn field.
I own two movies--the other is John Huston's "The Dead". I only buy movies that have enough complexity in script, acting, and production, that you can watch over and over and still see new things.
This is a movie that changes gears on you constantly. One viewing will not suffice.
I still scream with laughter when I see it, and I still weep.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Fennessy on July 21, 2000
It's hard to believe "Drugstore Cowboy" was released as long ago as 1989. Just as "Trainspotting" was often described as a "Drugstore Cowboy for the 1990s," it's tempting to describe "Jesus' Son" as a "Drugstore Cowboy for the 2000s".

Like Gus Van Sant's now-classic film, the story revolves around two heroin addicts (Billy Crudup and Samantha Morton, both excellent), it's set in the past (the 1970s instead of the 1960s), and it's based on a pre-existing literary source, in this case, Denis Johnson's story collection of the same name. But despite everything--mostly bad--that F@#khead (Crudup) experiences throughout the course of the film, "Jesus' Son" is more of a character study (FH, as he's known, also serves as narrator).

Like Portland's Gus Van Sant, New Zealand's Alison MacLean refrains from judging her characters. But "Jesus' Son" isn't as concerned with FH's drug use as much as his very character, his nature--his essence, if you will. And if you can't find anything to like about the hapless FH, you'll probably feel the same way about MacLean's darkly comic film (after the well received, but little-seen "Crush").

As in "High Fidelity," Jack Black provides much of the humor, although Crudup proves adept at a few choice moments. The film also features Dennis Hopper, Denis Leary, and Holly Hunter (in a well acted, but not particularly convincing role). Fans of "The Panic in Needle Park" (starring Al Pacino in his first lead performance), Vincent Gallo's loopy "Buffalo 66," and especially--yes--"Drugstore Cowboy" will find much to enjoy.
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