Its Monopoly out there. Jason Staebler, The King of Marvin Gardens, has gone directly to jail, lives on the Boardwalk and fronts for the local mob in Atlantic City. He is also a dreamer who asks his brother, David, a radio personality from Philadelphia to help him build a paradise on a Pacific Island - asking him to believe in yet another of his dreams, yet another of his get-rich-quick schemes. But luck is against them both and the game ends badly - real life reduced to radio drama.
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|The King of Marvin Gardens Movie(DVD)||Resolution: 720x528 px||Total Size: 537 Mb|
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In a two sentence summaryGreat Story and Great Acting This Movie is Great, Go Rent It. In more words, When you think about all that Nicholsen's done, This is not up there but itshould be, its a great character piece circling around the great Bruce Dernand also centering on Jack Nicholsen and there quest....But there is oneroadblock, the lovely Ellen Burnstyn who makes this movie a little betterwith each outburst she and Dern have.. Good movie, only problem is someediting errors, good scenary and I love those glasses Jack
Quirky Bob Rafelson/Jack Nicholson collaboration set in Atlantic City withJack playing it low key as Bruce Dern's stolid brother who is constantlyexasperated by his sibling's schemes and delusions.
I must say about this movie that the acting, directing and production are five stars all the way with Jack Nicholson & Bruce Dern turning in unforgettable performances. The film moves along at a slow pace developing the characters intricately and providing a rather somber atmosphere, similar to 5 Easy Pieces. If you gravitate to tragic, disturbing stories then I think you'll find this movie to be outstanding. However, if you're looking for comedy or a feel good movie I think you'll be very dissappointed here. This movie is similar to 5 Easy pieces in its rather moody gloominess on the whole, but at least in the aforementioned there is some comedy and the ending is much easier on the viewer. The King Of Marvin Gardens however came across to me as tragedy for the sake of it...yes, many bad things happen in this world but when I watch a movie I want to forget about such things and enjoy a vacation from the crime on the news! At least in Easy Rider the journey is excellent and the tragic ending there makes a strong statement against prejudice and hatred. With this movie there really is nothing to learn other than people just go crazy sometimes, do terrible things and the rest of us shake our heads and move on...I was very shocked by the way this film ended, and not in a good way...furthermore I found the closing statement by Jack Nicholson's character to raise many very disturbing questions about what human beings may be capable of. So again, 5 stars for those who want to view a tragedy, 1 star for those who want a happy story...thus 3 stars overall.
I read the reviews and comments that seem to indicate a deep andinsightful movie. I guess I am just a simpleton, but I simply don't getit. It seems a quiet character study type of film. It contrasts the twobrothers, played very well by Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern, one as theshady hustler, and one as a semi-realist. It contrasts the two women,also played very well by Ellen Burstyn and Julia Ann Robinson, one ofthem nearing the end of her time wielding sexual power over men, andthe other, the step-daughter, just coming into her time. It seems tocompare the bleak Atlantic City winter with the age of the older woman,and the dreams of the older brother. And what's up with all the blackgangsters? No, I just don't get it.
I have to start off by saying we saw this at the NY Film Festival so it was on the big screen instead of TV, but my wife and I were struck first by the amazing photography. Almost every shot was like a work of art, and the opening soliloquy was incredible. The acting was superb, the plot was a bit surrealistic, the characters were marvelous, and we loved it. Jack Nicholson played an anti-Jack Nicholson. It was a very worthwhile evening in which we came away feeling we had really seen an excellent film.
It's ironically indicative of this movie's theme and the relationshipbetween American culture AND this film that the vast majority of IMDbraters have given this a 6 or 7 (out of 10). Most Americans thatactually watch this film will be confused by it. Very strange, maybe,in that it is a truly American movie: American cast, Americanproduction, American themes, American sets, American problems, Americananswers. But, tell me--how do you rate yourself when you look back atthat nude in the full length mirror right after you get out of theshower? If you're feeling generous (and you're only rating foryourself), you might get a 6 or a 7, right? Rafelson's early(funnier...haha, couldn't resist that), more critically successfulNicholson vehicle, FIVE EASY PIECES, has some really GREAT moments(like the toast-ordering scene), but ultimately, the pacing is off.There's just not enough there, there. Not so with King of MV. WOW, thisis one helluva emotional roller coaster. The much, much underrated andunderutilized Bruce Dern gives one of his best two or threeperformances as Nicholson's manic (American through and through)salesman brother. This riffs on Arthur Miller and all the best dramaticpitchmen roles from the 1st half of the 20th Century. Ellen Burstyn isspot on, as is the other female interest. But the real focus is on theguys. (And just a word about the late, great Scatman Crothers--so soexcellent and iconic in this.) And now we get to Jack... ...I thinkthis is arguably his best performance. It is one of the very very fewwhere his eyebrows were nailed down, anyway. His character is so weary,so defeated, so human, you're tempted to think he's a Russian or a Jewor maybe even a Russian Jew. But no, he is a through and through WillieLoman American. And one we so rarely see on the stage or screen--thoughwe all know/have known them. They are that vast minority of reasonable,intelligent, sensitive, fairly strong and honest and wise individualswho just can't take it or who just don't think it's worth the troublehaving seen too many people taken advantage of or getting their teethknocked out. They are sick of what they've seen; they are sick of notbeing able to toe the mark--even though they know that thoseexpectations are unreasonable. Rare stuff, indeed.BTW, this is NOT a happy movie--fair warning.Bless you, Bob Rafelson--a brilliant, brilliant film that should reston the shelf next to Renoir and the very best of the 50's British AngryYoung Men cinema.
What can I say about this film? I may not have given it 10 out of 10but it is definitely one of Jack's better films. It is so different toanything else he has done before, in my opinion, that some people maynot know how to respond but all in all they should watch it anyway,because, more than anything else, it's impressionable and very, veryinteresting.The character of David Staeblar (Jack Nicholson) comes across as youraverage, slightly middle-class male, seeming settled in his usual dailyroutine of life and living comfortably with his grandfather. When hemeets up with his ambitious older brother, he seems somewhat disdainfulof his pathetic dreams of success in Atlantic City. You never quiteunderstand whether David is dismissing these pipe dreams because hedoesn't believe they can happen or because he is slightly jealous ofhis brother.The film, above all, highlights the relationship between four people,and how they react to each other. The two brothers and the two women.Between the brothers you can sense there is a love there but there isalso an underlying current of bitterness and regret, almost as thoughthey were never that close in childhood.Sally (Ellen Burstyn) is clearly in love with Jason but she is alsoterrified that his 'upcoming success' will leave her out in the coldand, despite coming across as independent and feisty, you can see sheis desperately trying to cling on to a stability she craves with him.She wants people to think she's okay but really she craves security.There is anguish and real suppressed emotion there. She was consideredbeautiful in her day but her looks are fading and she's not getting anyyounger. She's constantly reminded of that when she looks at herstepdaughter Jessie. I think Ellen Burstyn played this role beautifullyand truly think she deserved to win an Oscar.Both the direction and screenplay on this movie were impeccable, and Iwould strongly suggest to anyone who hasn't seen this film that theyrent it or buy it because it is definitely not one to be missed.
Jack is a neighbor of mine Im 1 mile from Neptune NJ so I have looked up to Jack like my classic rock interest. He's like a actor of that genre. From his screen plays of The Trip to his first great performance with Easy Rider to The Shining all of his films of the 1970's are like the Led Zeppelin catalog. Then The postman was made and I shifted a little I didn't like his films as much. By the time he made Batman or more like Hoffa Im like my idol is making crap. Money makers very little substance and thats what the 70's films had substance. I think since The Bucket he's retired which might be the case. A death movie. My idol got old and doesn't look good on screen. I feel bad to say this but Ironweed was the best film he made in the last 30 years and maybe Two Jacks. The one with him with OCD wasn't bad but the rest he's a wolf the devil the joker ... just watch each film from Easy to Kubrick's and throw The Border as a plus. But Prizzi's no... that 1985 bore no...1990's film so so 2000's whatever see what I mean what went wrong. 1970 to 1975/76 really definitive Jack then his director film and Shining and that's where The Genius actor creative innovator awesome man stopped.The FilmsEasy RiderFive easy piecesCarnal KnowledgeThe King of Marvin Gardens!!!!!!!!!!The Last DetailChinaTown/Two JakesThe PassengerOne Flew Over the Cuckoos nextThe Missouri BreaksThe FortuneGoin South The ShiningIronweedAs good as it getsand then the others Witches Batman Wolf pretty Cool not bad...co star films not bad like Terms...Something's got to give...Schmidt Pledge good Few good men alright...Hoffa no...Prizzi's no....Blood and Wine no..... Anger management no.... Bucket list hmm no.... Departed ehhh.....crossing guard cant remember...Heartburn noooooo....Man trouble Ellen's hot...Mars attack God sigh
How can this movie have a 6.5 star rating? It's bloody awful! If itweren't for the talent of the cast it'd be completely unwatchable. I'mdumber for having watched it. Here it is in short: People acting as ifthey're stoned, dialog, dialog, dialog, something dumb happens, dialog,dialog, dialog, someone gets shot, movie over. I don't think it's thedirector's fault. I don't think anyone could have made this disasterscreen worthy. The only reason I watched it in the first place was forresearch of Atlantic City's boardwalk. I can't write enough about thismovie to make the review stick. Who decides a review has to be at leastten lines of text anyway? This is almost as dumb as this movie.
As many others stated here, this a criminally overlooked artistictriumph that deserves a larger reputation. I want to make an observation that I think has passed by almost everyreviewer and critic of this film: There is one moment, and one momentonly, in the film when there is soundtrack music. This occurs as theyride out of the stadium following their mock "Miss America" pageant.Why do you think this occurs? My theory: This is the thematic high-point of the film. The highestlevel of achievement they've managed to make of their dreams. From thenon, a harsher reality intrudes on the fantasy. If you follow this, thenyou begin to see how remarkably constructed the film is as a whole. It's a masterpiece of form.
I can see how many might look at this film in the light of "Five EasyPieces", considering the prior collaboration. But taken on its own merits,this piece is driven by the interesting, passionate, and sometimes manicperformances by Nicholson, Dern and Burstyn. Julie Anne Robinson does acredible job in her only big screen credit, but this vehicle is driven bythe big 3. If you are looking for meaning and logic from this film, youhave come to the wrong place. But if you enjoy a voyeuristic peek into thelives of people who undoubtedly swirl around us daily, unnoticed, thisone'sfor you! Plus the on location shots in "old" Atlantic City P.T.(pre-Trump)add murkiness to the angst we see. All in all, one you'll thinkabout!
With so many surprising and great releases, I've come to take Criterion for granted. But then comes the announcement of "America Lost and Found: The BBS Story" and I'm like an excited kid on Christmas morning. Amazon has done a comprehensive job listing the contents of this impressive set, so I'm going to direct my comments at the eclectic mix of films provided. The BBS story is no less than a film revolution that occurred in the late sixties to try to foster younger artists to the industry and cultivate younger, more adventurous film goers. All films within "America Lost and Found" were produced between 1968 and 1972 and represent a challenge to the conventional film narrative of that period. In retrospect, some of the films have been proclaimed classics while others have become somewhat obsolete. But all are fascinating examples of an artistic rebellion that influenced the film industry for years to come (all the more astounding as much of the company's financing came from the funds generated by the Monkees).My personal favorite within "America Lost and Found" is Peter Bogdanovich's "The Last Picture Show" which has been begging for a better DVD release. An evocative look at a dying small town, this gorgeous black and white film is supremely entertaining and boasts a spectacular cast. Desolate and spare, the film tells the story of Sonny and Duane who as they approach manhood must face the harsh realities of life, love, and friendship. Nominated for eight Oscars including Best Picture, the film won supporting statuettes for Ben Johnson (a career high) and Cloris Leachman. Jeff Bridges and Ellen Burstyn also received nods as did Bogdanovich for Directing and Screenplay (which he co-wrote with the incredible Larry McMurtry).Two other undeniable classics in counterculture are Dennis Hopper's "Easy Rider" and Bob Rafelson's "Five Easy Pieces." "Easy Rider" picked up two Oscar nods (including Jack Nicholson's first) and tells the simple story of two motorcyclists' journey across America. Capturing a specific time so perfectly, the film seems to embrace the anti-establishment freedom of its leads (Hopper and Peter Fonda) while making the compelling argument that ultimate freedom is an illusion and that choosing to challenge societal norms thus becomes the norm. And "Five Easy Pieces," another of my all time favorites, was nominated for 4 Oscars (including Jack Nicholson and Karen Black). Another journey picture (both in physical travels as well as in the spiritual/psychological realm), Rafelson's landmark has one of Nicholson's most iconic performances in a film that is immensely angry and riotously funny by turn. The chicken salad sandwich scene is an undisputed classic in American cinema!Bob Rafelson's well regarded "The King of Marvin Gardens" is also included. An underrated gem set in Atlantic City, this tale of brotherhood and dreaming big casts a realistic light on a get-rich-quick scam gone wrong. Nicholson and Burstyn are on hand, as is Bruce Dern--and this compelling quasi-masterpiece shows the three on disparate (and times desperate) paths toward redemption. Rafelson also supplies this collection with the bizarre "Head," a meandering and psychedelic excursion into the minds of The Monkees. With a documentary feel, the film follows The Monkees on numerous and random musical encounters and celebrates their celebrity while at the same time seeming to indict the culture who embraces such excesses. Jack Nicholson makes his directorial debut on the uneven "Drive, He Said"--noteworthy mostly for the Nicholson credit. Depicting the college experience in the sixties, "Drive" tells the story of a disaffected basketball player. Introducing many plot threads, the film fails to follow an effective through line and is a fairly disjointed (though interesting) effort. And lastly there is Henry Jaglom's "A Safe Place," another oddity of interior monologue with Tuesday Weld descending into a world of fantasy.Many of the films in "America Lost and Found" share a thematic connection. The films eschew conventional plot driven narratives in favor of character study. These directors wanted to present a realistic portrait of the era in which they lived and not an idealized film world. And many of the central characters in all the works are seeking to identify their place in the modern world or, indeed, determine if they have a place at all. The BBC story, through film, is an intriguing and progressive one in that it functioned in the studio system. Independent cinema of today still reflects many of the same ideals. A must have collection for film lovers. KGHarris, 10/10.
This review is from: The King of Marvin Gardens (DVD) A over looked classic, all the cast act their socks off. Nicholson particularly is understated and so more effective. Failed dreams portrayed in a most moving fashion.
This plays like a European art film, with slow action, moody sets, depressive topics and thoughtful acting. This 1972 Jack Nicholson movie came out when he was getting hot after "Easy Rider" and "Five Easy Pieces." The director, Bob Rafaelson, was one leader of a new American cinema movement. I doubt this was much of a hit, but it remains a gem in the filmographies of all concerned. The Atlantic City shot here is gone now, replaced by casinos. The deserted boardwalk, empty grand old hotels and junky stores are captured for eternity. The plot is a family drama. You are never sure who is the craziest one here. It could be any or all of them. Very slow moving story line, but it raises questions and makes you think more than the average Hollywood movie, then and now.
This is a brilliant little character study from the fabulous team thatbrought us the classic "Five Easy Pieces". If this last reviewer didn't getit (and obvious he didn't), than that's his problem. The detail, thebeautiful photography, and the incredible use of Atlantic City locationsmake this film all the more worth while. Shot when Atlantic City was adyingresort town, it is used as a metaphor for this strange symbioticrelationship between two very different brothers. Nicholson as theintelligent David, and Bruce Dern (never better) as the scam artist Jason,out to make a quick buck. Do yourselves a favor, and check out this littlegem.
Directed by Bob Rafelson, "The King of Marvin Gardens" was an experimental movie in which the leads were reversed and they still managed to pull it off effectively. It's a rare film for Jack Nicholson who was in his prime at the time playing a more quieter restrained role than he normally plays. Here the role of the extroverted, far-feteched,idealistic over-the-top performance goes to Bruce Dern as Nicholson's brother. Dern plays Jason Staebler,who asks his brother David (Nicholson), a hotshot DJ in Philadelphia fulfill his dreams to create a paradise on Pacific Island and to lure him into another get rich scheme. But luck would backfire on them. The lady characters in this film shine too as Ellen Burstyn steals every scene she's in as the moody, over-the-top girlfriend of Dern's. Her allie is the one hit wonder actress Julie Ann Robinson who like Nicholson, her personality is quiet but not completely taciturn. Every character portrayed here are estranged from one another, and aside from their sights to go to Atlantic City, a big cloud of nothing comes between them. And then when tragedy hit upon the leads, emotions begin to errupt. Some of the best scenes of the movie come from the studio when Nicholson is on the air along with his listeners and the monologues delivered by Nicholson is truly believable. Overall it's a clever movie but still doesn't measure up to Rafelson's "Five Easy Pieces" but it still measures up the films the Rafelson has done before. But what is amazing is the role reversal between Dern and Nicholson that feels like you're watching an independent film. Look for great cameo performance by Scatman Crothers late in the movie.
Jack, Bruce, & Ellen. How can you go wrong?Here's how: with a script that's made up of actors' 'show' pieces, atreasure-trove of monologues for the self-indulgent, earnest Thespian.The performances can't really be faulted, but performances aren'tenough. The script's not nearly as profound, tragic, or interesting asit thinks it is.During a rambling and aimless movie I often have a dread feeling thatthe action (what there is) will come to a head in violence... That mayin fact be a pitfall of the rambling and aimless, but in drama is oneof the hallmarks of the lazy writer. I had that suspicion here, and themovie delivered on that promise.Supposedly Rafaelson was proud of casting against type. If you've everwanted to see a whole movie of Jack clenching a pencil between hischeeks, by all means enjoy The King of Marvin Gardens.
This review is from: America Lost and Found: The BBS Story (Head / Easy Rider / Five Easy Pieces / Drive, He Said / The Last Picture Show / The King of Marvin Gardens / A Safe Place) (The Criterion Collection)[Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) I love all of the films that are in this great boxset. I really love "A Safe Place" and "Five Easy Pieces."
So far I've only looked at HEAD out of this box and I'm very sorry to report that the new widescreen transfer chops off... heads! If you go to 54 seconds, in the background you'll see the top of a guy's head cut off. At 42 seconds in on the Rhino dvd you'll see that his whole head is in the frame. And there's only a minimal amount of extra information on the sides of the Criterion frame as compared with the Rhino version. There appears to be much more loss to the top and bottom than is gained on the sides. Yes the picture has been cleaned up but the framing is all wrong. It looks like they matted and zoomed in on the frame just to give us widescreen.
This review is from: America Lost and Found: The BBS Story (Head / Easy Rider / Five Easy Pieces / Drive, He Said / The Last Picture Show / The King of Marvin Gardens / A Safe Place) (The Criterion Collection)[Blu-ray] (Blu-ray) Why is it everyone is a film critic? Don't go on about details of what is on the set....how does it look and sound?? Let's get to the fine print, is this blu-ray box set worth 70 bucks? Hell yes!!! If you are a fan of movies from yesterday...not to knock an old expression into the ground, but 'they don't make movies like these anymore'.The prints on these Criterion restorations are spectacular! These masterpieces deserves the restoration they got. Thank you Columbia for giving Criterion the ability to work with these classics. Have been fans of several of these films for years and now they finally shine in brilliant glory! Glad to finally see DRIVE, HE SAID finally on video after all these years. The picture is not the only thing restored, the sound has too! HEAD and EASY RIDER are now in DTS-HD 5.1 and sound great for their age.The discs are loaded with special features (you can read about them on other reviews) and they are on the same discs as the movies...I love how much you can fit on a blu-ray disc!One complaint I have is why is THE LAST PICTURE SHOW the 1991 director's version and not the 1971 version? This seems out of line with the workings of this BBS series that ended in early 70s. Always prefered the theatrical version of this masterpiece instead (but still awesome to have it hi-def anyway!).All in all, Criterion has really out did themselves on this fabulous box set. They need to release more compilations like this one again!! Oh, how I love the films from the 70s!7 movies on 6 blu-rays...great bargain!!