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      R Released Sep 10, 1986 1 hr. 30 min. Comedy List
      Reviews 80% 500+ Ratings Audience Score Fired from a religious-artifacts factory, Ernie (Keith Gordon) invents a TV to bring in a live show from heaven. Read More Read Less

      Audience Reviews

      View All (34) audience reviews
      Audience Member Actor-turned director, Keith Gordon, gives a mesmerising performance in this film, which also features Amanda Plumer. Although the story was full of promise, in the end it was unable to deliver a satisfying conclusion. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Audience Member Odd little film with good performances. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member This film reminded me of a number of quirky independent films of the 80s, like "Earth Girls are Easy," "Bagdad Cafe," or "Six String Samurai," though unfortunately this one was nowhere as good. The film boasts a strong director in Mark Romanek, who disowned the film and would later go on to make "One Hour Photo" and the brilliant "Never Let Me Go," and also a strong co-writer/star, Keith Gordon, who'd follow this film up with his directorial debut "The Chocolate War," then "A Midnight Clear," and the very underrated "Mother Night." Despite that pedigree, this oddballs story of Gordon inventing a machine that is supposed to allow people to see picture of heaven, although most people only see static except for Gordon. The quirky story is complimented with a quirky cast that includes Amanda Plummer and Bob Gunton, but the story seems pretentious, obvious in it's metaphor, and simply not all that entertaining. I did like the soundtrack though, which featured Elvis, to Johnny Cash, to OMD, to Brian Eno, to the film's especially good kickoff playing The The's "This is the Day." Not much to recommend here outside of some 80s nostalgia, which I'll admit was enough to hold my interest. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/31/23 Full Review Audience Member was drawn to this movie b/c i like 80s movies in general. overrall a interesting movie. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/23/23 Full Review guillaume h This is a deep story (that i just cant reveal) and an interesting visual composition, with a casting that nails exactly waht these caracters has to do. The main flaw is in the rythm; not all the time, but some times, it draws itself out at the wrong moments.but I do understand that the desert feel is important to how these caracter vibrates, and it has to be established. Apart from that, this is good drama with some cynical but tender laughter, The whole bus sequence is surreal and pretty unforgettable. I like that this movie tells a very unusual stroy, and treats it respect. And kookiness too. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review jack c A most intriguing and heartfelt quirky dramedy, the kind that is almost like, I dunno, maybe an odd 80's new-wave cross between Herzog (the dreams and ambitions of someone who may be insane, or just lost) with the idiosyncrasies of a Wes Anderson or something. But really it's still all Romanek - see his 2nd film, which I now mistakenly thought was his first, One Hour Photo, for another display of a story of a man who is really screwed up, but we know why and it makes it all the more painfully awkward and awful. In this case Keith Gordon isn't quite the actor that Robin Williams was there, but he fits for such a character who is genuinely likable and can get someone to believe him - until they see his invention, with their own eyes. What makes his story so heartbreaking, and this is taking aside the climax (or the resolution of it) which takes a turn into a WTF moment that I'm still not sure how to process as good or bad for the film, is that this character has genuine talent, after all he spent two years making a specialized antenna with a TV set. But it's all due to trauma that no one around him - certainly not bug-fuck crazy cousin Bob Gunton (Warden Norton from Shawshank Redemption, a fantastically nutty performance if one-note), or even his very understanding and warm girlfriend Julie (who has an odd moment at the very start of the film where she quits a new-wave band for... what reason, I guess to go back to Ernie, but it seems so sudden as to not really be necessary, despite being well-shot and musically interesting). It's at its most compelling as a study of this guy who has never fully processed his loss... or maybe he has, and is using this invention as a way of finding his way of getting back. Or, with this invention that projects on TV heaven, it's the Herzogian line: these are not just my dreams, they are yours as well. Is heaven a place on Earth, or just a bunch of white noise? It's an odd little marvel, imperfect but charming because of them (like that whole sequence on the bus, which is so absurd it's hard not to laugh, even if it's difficult to not see the old ladies as anything but genteel types, why not one old lady on the bus who is like 'oh gimme a break'?) If you want to find something truly obscure but sweetly deranged with a backbeat of Elvis and Brian Eno, look no further - as if most of us are looking for those things anyway. That it should have received a DVD release already is a major understatement, if only due to the at least known quantity of Keith Gordon and Amanda Plummer, or Romanek, who (somewhat) sadly remains the more underappreciated filmmakers from the music-video pack that came from the 90's (i.e. Fincher, Jonze, Gondry, etc). Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Movie Info

      Synopsis Fired from a religious-artifacts factory, Ernie (Keith Gordon) invents a TV to bring in a live show from heaven.
      Mark Romanek
      Original Language
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Sep 10, 1986, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 30, 2016