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Masked and Anonymous

3.8 out of 5 stars 126 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Music legend and Academy Award winner Bob Dylan (Best Song, Wonder Boys, 2000) -- accompanied by Academy Award winner Jessica Lange (Best Actress in a Leading Role, Blue Sky, 1994), Penelope Cruz (Vanilla Sky), Jeff Bridges (Seabiscuit), John Goodman (O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and Luke Wilson (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle) -- takes center stage in the craziest, funniest comedy of the year! Dylan is Jack Fate, a former traveling troubadour who is sprung from jail by his scheming manager toheadline a sketchy and misguided benefit concert. With unforgettable cameo appearances by Angela Bassett, Bruce Dern, Ed Harris, Giovanni Ribisi, Mickey Rourke, and Christian Slater and featuring a sizzling soundtrack with four new Dylan recordings plus performances of Dylan classics from Los Lobos, Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia and more!

Amazon.com

Masked and Anonymous is a mesmerizing experiment in surreal drama with lyrical content, a cinematic approximation of an epic Bob Dylan song on the order of "Desolation Row." Not coincidentally, Dylan is a co-writer and star of this 2003 film, playing an enigmatic folk-rocker named Jack Fate, a political prisoner in an unnamed, civil war-torn country. Set free to headline a benefit concert organized by an unscrupulous promoter (John Goodman) and television executive (Jessica Lange), Jack embarks on a fateful journey through a battle-scarred land. Taken literally, Masked and Anonymous proves bewildering, even exasperating, but as a feverish act of unrestrained political satire the film has a lot to offer, including some of the best recent performances by Goodman, Lange, Jeff Bridges (as a cynical journalist), Val Kilmer (a babbling prophet), Luke Wilson (a musician), and Giovanni Ribisi (a haunted soldier). Dylan himself proves a stiff cipher, but fun to watch. --Tom Keogh

Special Features

  • Deleted scenes
  • The Making of Masked and Anonymous

Product Details

  • Actors: Penelope Cruz, Luke Wilson, John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Bob Dylan
  • Directors: Larry Charles
  • Producers: Larry Charles, Nigel Sinclair, Jeff Rosen
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • DVD Release Date: February 17, 2004
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00000F2L9
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,904 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Masked and Anonymous" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Two things will really add to the appreciation of thid film. 1. An extremely open mind and 2. a working knowledge of Bob Dyaln; his history, his philosophy, his music. This is not a high budget film. Think more surrealist art house film. It does have many stars that most people will recognize, but that isn't the focus, nor point of the movie. This is the highly metaphorical tale of a musician and how he can't control his place in a chaotic society, but can remain true to his own self amid the chaos.
The very loosely woven plot becomes secondary to the individual events which make up the film, each scene revealing a nugget of Dylan's perspevtive. Dylan often delivers comments that make the entire scene seem irrelevant. In this way this is, at times, a very funny film. Dylan seems relaxed, especially compared to the other films he has made. The feeling is much more "Don't Look Back", much less "Hearts of Fire". He does retain his wooden movement and he delivers his short lines as commentary more often than conversation.
The soundtrack is exceptional. The performances are a real treat. All Dylan songs, but unique versions which fit seemlessly into the texture of the movie. The little girl singing "The Times They are A-Changin" will at least choke you up a bit, and possibly help us to remeber exactly how much that song meant 41 years ago, and how much it still means today.
I certainly recommend this to Dylan fans, especially those who respect or admire his perspective on the world. Anyone who enjoys non formulatic surreal films may also find much enjoyment in this movie. There is too much to pick everything up in your first screening when looking for interesting comments or details. I would recommend trying to watch and a get a feel for the film initially. Don't drive yourself crazy trying to make sense of every detail. In that way it is like most of Dylan's music, to be experienced repeatedly.
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Many critics panned this movie simply because they have never really listened to Bob Dylan's words. This was a biography if i've ever seen one. "You can't change the world by singing" was one of John Goodman's lines in the film. "His whole life can be put on trial" was one of Jessica Lange's lines. This is Dylan's commentaries on the media, what they've done to him, and what he would like to do to them. It is also a commentary on the way our country is heading and the world as a whole. The movie had such memorable lines as "we are giving people new identities, and rewriting history books, and we will create a nation of lawbreakers and cash in on the guilt". This movie was took a genius to write, and if you don't get it, read the lyrics to 'My back pages' or Not Dark Yet', and you'll get an idea of what Dylan thinks of his career and the things he has regretably stood for.
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By A Customer on March 12, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It's definitely not for everyone, but "Masked and Anonymous" is one of the most original films I've ever seen, and terrific on a number of levels. Admittedly, Bob Dylan is no actor, but his acting "method" (such as it is) is perfect for this role, that of a legendary, mysterious musical artist with a mysterious past, who has been released from prison (why he's there, we do not know) to perform a "benefit" concert. Dylan is a wraith, a cypher, the proverbial walking, talking mystery wrapped in a riddle wrapped in an enigma.
The picture is an eerie, uncanny look at an America turned into a banana republic, a dictatorship embroiled in civil unrest and civil war, seemingly with no "good guys." (No doubt, this is the America we have to look forward to if we allow the Bush regime to hang on to power much longer, but that's another story for another time.)
The movie is chock full of memorable dialog and images, and outstanding performances by John Goodman, Jessica Lange and a host of others (Val Kilmer has an amazing, out of character cameo appearance). Bonus points for Dylan fans include little inside jokes and references (Dylan's character's name is Jack Fate, and the Jack Fate tribute band he hooks up with is called "Simple Twist of Fate," a song from his classic "Blood on the Tracks" album).
Then there's the music - I hope that this band tours with Dylan someday (they may well already have, I haven't seen him in concert in a number of years). Great, unexpected performances ("Dixie," which doesn't seem like it would be appropriate at all, is very haunting).
I repeat - this movie is not for everyone. For one thing, if you haven't seen or heard Dylan in years, you may be in for a shock. (Though, given that he's now over 60 years old, he doesn't look or sound too bad really.
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Format: DVD
Many professional critics, accustomed to lavishing praise on the latest Hollywood by-the-numbers spectacle, simply didn't *get* this film at all. It certainly helps to be a Bob Dylan fan, but I think it is intrinsically interesting, thoughtful and original on its own merits. Believe it or not, I picked up this movie at the video store without knowing much about it, and I didn't even realize the central character was Bob Dylan until he sang! (call me the Clueless Critic ). My point is, I had been enjoying the film up to that point, and continued to do so. As in other surrealistic movies (e.g. Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, movies by David Lynch or Jim Jarmusch), you have to accept that you aren't going to get a linear plot and open yourself to the experience. I found the satirical manner in which a war and revolution-stricken Third World nation was portrayed darkly hilarious. It is a hellish montage of every poor country on earth. The downtrodden people are, improbably, of all different races and religions. Dylan himself (who was criticized for his lack of acting) plays a stone-faced version of himself named Jack Fate. He has been hired to play a benefit for this unnamed country by a corrupt promoter (John Goodman). It would be almost pointless to try to describe the plot any further. What this film is really about is the bizarre imagery, dialogue and atmosphere (and, of course, music). Characters are constantly having conversations where truisms and conventional thinking are twisted into humorously wise Zenlike nonsense. Although Dylan apparently did not write or direct this film, he seemingly could have. Both promoters and reporters (in the guise of a pestering, gun-toting one played by Jeff Bridges) are portrayed as slimy predators.Read more ›
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