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Where's Marlowe?

Rated [R], 110 minutes
Starring John Livingston, Mos Def, Miguel Ferrer, John Slattery
Screenplay by Daniel Pyne and John Mankiewicz
Directed by Daniel Pyne
website: www.paramountclassics.com/marlowe

IN SHORT: Like spaghetti that doesn't stick to the wall, this thing ain't finished.

A.J. Edison (John Livingston) and Wilton Crawley (Mos Def) are documentarians whose first film, the 3 hour 20 minute epic Watering the Apple: How New Yorkers Get Their Water played at one film festival in Utica, New York and put all sixteen patrons to sleep. It didn't stop the film critics from praising the inner meaning of the flick, while they scarfed down their free Cheez Whiz on Ritz crackers and wine. That in joke that opens Where's Marlowe? and it's a gag which would have served the film better if it had been left in the edit bins.

This flick, about the pair's second film making try, Where's Marlowe? (Examining the Private Investigator in Late 20th Century America) is everything that mockumentaries should not be. It is bloated and desperately needs another pass at the edit machine. It packs so much crap into it's first hour that by the time the few very funny moments hit at the end, you will probably have walked out of the theater, as many of the critics in the screening room with Cranky did.

Not me. I'm a glutton for punishment.

In a style that looks like COPS without the cops or the action, this "film" about private P.I.'s Joe Boone (Miguel Ferrer) and Kevin Murphy (John Slattery), forces the pair cross the fourth wall into their own movie when Murphy quits the biz and Boone tells the pair to look for another subject. With too much money invested in the project, both Edison and Crawley sub as Boone's partner as he continues to investigate what, on the surface, appear to be rather ordinary cases. One, about a husband who suspects his wife of cheating, leads to the murder of Murphy. After Boone drops out of sight with grief and with cameras still rolling, the pair take on the investigation full time.

Boy, that makes this stinker sound far more intriguing than it is. Once the fourth wall is broken, we are "treated" to additional scenes of the pair discussing how to edit the film and other minutia of filmmaking. Once the fourth wall is broken, the film loses any semblance of focus and the only really interesting story, that of the cheating wife and the murdered partner, fails to have the impact that it could have.

This project began as an ABC TV pilot which was never picked up. If the end result -- this movie -- is any indication, it was with good reason.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Where's Marlowe?, he would have paid...

$0.00

I meant it about the walk-outs.

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The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is  Copyright © 1995-2008 by, Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, T their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy AwardT(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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The Cranky Critic® is a Registered Trademark of, and his website is  Copyright © 1995  -  2013 by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.