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IN SHORT: A warped and twisted comedy [Rated R, 133 minutes]
From Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson, the creative minds who brought us Bottle Rocket, the Thai-stick required comedy of two years back, now comes Rushmore, considerably more funny movie that just as lightweight. This time the cannibis is unnecessary. Rushmore was seen in December, as the releasing company was busy pushing Bill Murray for a Supporting Actor nod. Murray is very funny, but he's doing the Bill Murray we've come to know and (assumedly) love from years of movie work, and his internment on Saturday Night Live.
The find is new actor Jason Schwartzman, who plays 15-year old Max Fischer. Max is President or Founder (or both) of just about every club at the exclusive Rushmore Academy. He wears pins denoting Perfect Attendance and Punctuality proudly on his uniform lapel. He's been at the Academy since the second grade, when he wrote a play This boy is beyond nerd, he is a self-defined brown-nose in the latter stages of development. He's the type who'll grow up, in his dreams perhaps, to the high levels of corporate sharkdom. Max would just as soon compliment you on your tie as he would gut you and feed your entrails to the birds. He's an annoying little git and, as such, is followed around by another little git in training, Dirk Calloway, whose mom is pretty hot stuff. While mom is the stuff of fantasy, Max has lost his little heart to Miss Cross (Olivia Williams), a first grade teacher. Miss Cross likes fish, so Max befriends Herman Blume, a very rich alumnus of the school (Murray) to finance the deal. Max doesn't tell anyone about this so, when construction crews come to rip up the baseball diamond, Max finds himself demoted to public school. What's worse, Herman falls for Miss Cross, and Max is determined to win back the woman he never loved.
Rushmore is character development with truly twisted humor. It's also so lightweight that less than an hour later, as Cranky slathered over his PC, he couldn't put any of the gags down on paper from memory. [ . . . then again, I couldn't remember anything back when I was smoking dope either so now that I'm clean, guess there's been no great improvement <g>] Here's the catch to Rushmore, either you get the humor, in which case it's funnier than toast, or you don't. In that case you are most likely to be part of the stream of yuppies who walked out of the theater. Cranky got enough of it to remain, but this old sould could've watched the flick on pay per view
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Rushmore ,he would have paid...
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