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Last Time I Commited Suicide [VHS]

4.1 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Thomas Jane, Keanu Reeves, Adrien Brody, John Doe, Claire Forlani
  • Directors: Stephen Kay
  • Writers: Stephen Kay, Neal Cassady
  • Producers: Donald Kushner, Edward Bates, Elizabeth Robinson, Estelle Lasher, J.P. Guerin
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios Ho
  • VHS Release Date: January 16, 2001
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0783222424
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #386,897 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Thomas Jane stars as Beat writer and Jack Kerouac-crony Neal Cassady, in a promising film that quickly flops. Based on a letter Cassady wrote to Kerouac, the highly stylized film by Stephen Kay pretty much follows the former around as he does not much of anything at all. Keanu Reeves is incomprehensible as a friend of Cassady, and Kay's jazzy, angular, colliding style does nothing to illuminate the Beat icon's all-important internal life. If you're new to the whole Kerouac-Cassady-Beat world, this is not a good first stop; slightly better is John Byrum's 1980 Heart Beat, which at least introduces some of the principal figures. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By mirasreviews HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 19, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
"The Last Time I Committed Suicide" was adapted for the screen by director Stephen Kay from a letter written by Beat icon Neal Cassady to his friend, author Jack Kerouac. In this letter, Cassady recounted his youthful adventures in Denver in 1945-1946. During this time, Cassady supported himself working the graveyard shift for a tire company and spent his days chasing women, "borrowing" cars, and hanging out at the pool hall with an older deadbeat acquaintance named Harry. The film's sights and sounds often mimic Cassady's frenetic personality. His skirt-chasing and petty mischief are set to the sounds of bebop, and the film's cinematography sometimes exhibits a hyperactive nervousness. "The Last Time I Committed Suicide" doesn't seem to have a point...or even a focus. It is simply a dramatization of the events of Neal Cassady's life when he was 18-19 years old. He was no more or less aimless than than he was to become, although he did not yet consider aimlessness to be a vocation in itself. Actor Thomas Jane does a nice job as Cassady, although he appears too old for the part. Keanu Reeves put on some weight for his role, and he is convincing as Neal's vaguely creepy and frequently drunk pool hall buddy Harry. Adrien Brody and Gretchen Mol also contribute interesting supporting performances. This is not a bad movie. But the audience's reaction to this film is going to depend entirely upon their attitude toward -and knowledge of- the real Neal Cassady. "The Last Time I Committed Suicide" is simply a slice of his life. There is no attempt to place Cassady's experiences in any larger context, concrete or abstract. So the film doesn't have general appeal. You either find Cassady interesting or you don't. So I'm recommending "The Last Time I Committed Suicide" to fans of Neal Cassady and students of Beat culture. I doubt that anyone else will have much patience for it.
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Format: VHS Tape
They said Seinfeld was a show about nothing, and the mainstream reviewers of this movie give this movie a bum rap! Well folks this is it, loud and clear from the heart. This movie bring light to a generation exploring the few things left in this world untarnished, and the curious natural flow which resides in every human. Neal Cassady was more than an influence and a friend to Kerouac. He was an influence on the every person on that Merry Prankster bus careening down the highway to mystical destinations. He was an influence spanning generations, and will remain that in those to come. In this film, Cassady (Thomas Jane) is pouring heart and expirience out to Jack in letter flash-backs, reliving an episode to an friend while revitalising his spirit. Yes it's true that this was all written in one sitting by Cassady on Dec. 17, 1950 during a benzedrine trip. The free spirit doing what it takes to get by, and as a young heart not knowing, though thinking what is best for himself. A tradgedy of sorts, though self-inflicted through earlier decisions. This movie, as with the original letter, is constant benzedrine flash, movie as the Beats did, in a scatter of emotions and crazy sites. Nothing like something that can get a spark glowing in the restless empty soul searching for release.
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Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
I have always been a big fan of the beat generation, pretty much ever since I could read. Unfortunately, Neal Cassady never got to publish a novel. But he is famous for his long letters to Jack Kerouac. This film is based on a 30-something page letter to Jack from Neal. (A copy of the letter can be found in the "Beat Reader" edited by Ann Charters). Thomas Jane does an excellent job capturing the essence of Cassady. I consider him one of the greatest overlooked actors today. (See him also as Mickey Mantle in "61*") Claire Forlani is also excellent, also overlooked. Keanu Reeves also does well, in his post-Bill-and-Ted, pre-Matrix days. See this movie, because in the immortal words of Neal himself, "Time is now and now is all we have!"
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By A Customer on January 14, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
This is a movie for fans of Jack Kerouac and the Beat ideals charactorised in his novel.His hero and inspiration for every major figure of the Beat generation,Neal Cassady is shown here in postwar Denver struggling to find peace of mind. The moves around its simple plot(based on a letter Cassady sent to kerouac)about Cassadys relationship with a sucidal gildfriend and a lustful schoolgirl.Cassady has two options,to settle down or continue his life of stealing cars,romancing women(and becoming the icon of the Beat generation)The latter is chosen, a failed chance at peace. Thats all well and good but what makes the film stand out is the general aura of Beatness about it.The stylised techniques used by the Director(found annoying by most reviewers)work to show the intranscience or the unimportence of time.this was one element of the Beat lifestyle. Nothing Beat was ever straight forward, nothing Neal cassady ever did was static(ask Kesey and his merry Pranksters).The unsettled nature of the camra work works in line with our protagnest,inconsistent,paradoxical and non linear. The score also plays a major part bin setting the vitally important mode.The jazz score swing and bops to our charactors movements,Cassady moves to his own private score it carrys him(as his explanations of the effects of music in Kerouacs On the Road will no douth be remembered for fans) The actors are mostly excellient with Thomas Jane poetraying Cassadys charm,roburst sexuality and wide eyed innocence with all the humour that I picture of the man himself. Keanu Reeves in a small part of poolhall hanger on carries himself well even attaining sympathy for his overaged lover of a young girl while keeping the neccessary darkness needed to contrast him to the rambling Cassady.Read more ›
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