Another Day in Paradise (1998)

Directed by Larry Clark. Unfortunately the DVD copy I had of this film was a full screen pan and scan version! Fortunately, the film was so good that the incorrect framing wasn’t an issue (I had pretty low expectations).

The cast of this film is great. James Woods was born to play his role as a small-time thief. He liked the role so much that he signed on as a producer.

Melanie Griffith is perfect as Woods’ junkie girlfriend with too many Botox injections. I haven’t seen Vincent Kartheiser since he played the lead in The Indian in the Cupboard (1995). He plays a young junkie that Woods and Griffith befriend to pull a few robberies.

Then there is Natasha Gregson Wagner who plays Kartheiser’s druggie girlfriend. She is Natalie Wood’s daughter and Robert Wagner’s step-daughter. Lou Diamond Phillips does an uncredited performance that will make you do a double-take.

I saw Larry Clark’s first film, Kids (1995) and didn’t think very much of it. I was surprised by how much I liked Another Day in Paradise (1998), mainly because all of characters in the film are low-life drug addicts. They do a couple of robberies hoping to get rich and lay low but each time disaster strikes and things go from bad to hopeless.

It’s too bad that James Woods has drifted into obscure TV roles and voiceover work because he’s a lot of fun to watch onscreen. This is probably the best film he’s done in the last seven years. Now if only somebody would release this film in its proper aspect ration of 1.85:1. It deserves at least that much.

Posted in DVD Reviews at 8:11 PM