June 7th, 2009

THE U.S. VS. JOHN LENNON (2006) ** ½

<Special Note>  This review is coming from a Stones fan that doesn’t have much love for the Beatles, so be warned.


The U.S. vs. John Lennon is a solid documentary that chronicles how the U.S. government harassed, harangued, and fucked around with John Lennon.  You see, Lennon was very critical of the U.S. involvement in Vietnam so he wrote a bunch of irritating folk songs about it.  Dick Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover didn’t like those songs so they did everything in their power to get the Fab Fuck and his homely mate, Yoko Oh-No out of the States.


You know I’m kinda torn about how exactly to rate The U.S. vs. John Lennon.  I really hated how Lennon could live in our country illegally and have the balls to criticize our government.  His idiotic naiveté towards the war and hippie philosophy got on my nerves real fast, and his protest songs pretty much blew.  It also bugged me that Lennon tried to make himself out to be the “victim” in all this.  Seriously dude, did you honestly think that the American government WOULDN’T follow you around once you started hanging out with people like Abbie Hoffman and Bobby Seale? 


You don’t see Mick Jagger doing that shit do you?


Then again, the film itself is fairly engrossing and moderately entertaining.  I actually learned a lot of interesting factoids from the flick (I didn’t know that Tommy Smothers played on “Give Peace a Chance”) so I can’t hate on it too much.  *** for the documentation aspect of the flick.  ** for the incessant hippie bullstuff.  ** ½ average.


A chick named Julie (Miriam Eliot) escapes from a mental ward with no memory of how she got there.  She thumbs a ride home with some schmo and then calls her boss who takes her to a strip club to refresh her memory.  We eventually learn that Julie actually knows the location of some stolen jewels that’s worth about a million bucks and that some unsavory dudes want to get their grubby hands on the jewels and Julie.  


I think that’s what happened anyway.  Man, this is one muddled and under-plotted skinflick, so it’s kinda hard to tell.  The biggest problem with Kitten in a Cage is that the audience never really knows what the fuck is going on throughout the entire movie.  Sometimes this is a good thing, like if Christopher Nolan or David Lynch is directing the flick, because at the end there’s some sort of payoff.  Since this flick was directed by the no-name never-was Robert MacLeod, none of this remotely works. At one point Julie says, “There are so many loose ends”.  That pretty much sums everything up.


Kitten in a Cage put me to sleep in record time last night and it still took me two more tries tonight to successfully work my way through this turd.  Never in my life would I have thought that a 79 minute movie would be “too long”.  Here’s proof.  The plot is paper thin (although that’s really an insult to paper) and the painful running time is padded with decidedly unsexy footage of horse-faced strippers.  Combine that with the molasses pacing, terrible acting, non-existent production values, and horribly looped dialogued and sound effects; and you’ve got yourself one truly shitty flick.  I did like the lesbian massage scene though.


AKA:  Kitten in the Cage.