It starts off bad enough. As the credits announce the four writer/directors (Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, and Quentin Tarantino), a cartoon sequence plays over them, in the tradition of cinematic masterpieces like Mannequin. This sets the stage: New Year's Eve at Hollywood's Mon Signor Hotel and only one bellhop (Tim Roth), and believe me, it's a rillyrilly wacky place. The film then launches into the first of four 30ish-minute shorts, one by each director.
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No, it isn't high art. It isn't even Lethal Weapon, but the triple-threat of ham-fisted actors makes The Hollywood Sign something of a guilty pleasure.
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13 Moons is another dud from indie director Alexandre Rockwell (he was the one director in Four Rooms who you'd never even heard of; his 1992 film In the Soup remains his sole worthwhile credit). Rockwell is probably better known for his ex-wife (Jennifer Beals, to whom he was married from 1986 to 1996) than for his directing. Perhaps the most curious thing about Moons is that he got Beals to cameo in it six years after their divorce and still found time to romance his leading lady, Karyn Parsons (Hilary on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air). Parsons and Rockwell married in 2003.
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Director/writer/producer Ralph Bakshi first made a name for himself when he created the first X-rated cartoon Fritz the Cat (1972) and its followup, the R-rated Heavy Traffic (1973). Ever since, Bakshi has continued to make seemingly anti-Disney films that offer consenting adults speculative -- although unappetizing -- food for thought. Wizards is rather tame compared to Bakshi's previous animated features, but that's not the say it isn't just as disturbing.
Continue reading: Wizards Review