Synopsis: Traumatized veteran experiences hellish ‘nightmare’ of shacking up with Elizabeth Pena in one version of reality, and being married to Patricia Kalember in the other.
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Tim Robbins is Jacob Singer, a man who lives in a nightmare. Wounded in Vietnam, he’s now back at home in New York City. Torn between the memories of his son and terrifying wartime demons, Jacob is slowly losing his grip on reality.”
What Did I Learn?: A good chiropractor will fix your back, illegally bust you out of a filthy hospital, and provide you with brief glimpses of your true reality while quoting 14th Century mystics.
You Might Like This Movie If: You’ve always wanted to throw a party like this one.
Really?: Same critique of Once Upon a Time in America: if this was just a dying man’s hallucination in 1971, Singer did a pretty good job of imagining the future, including mid-1970s hits such as “Lady Marmalade” and James Brown’s “My Thang”.
Rating: Visually stunning, the VHS version of Jacob’s Ladder (I understand that a number of deleted scenes were added to the DVD release) was something of a let-down, in spite of a great performance by Danny Aiello. I was expecting a clever explanation for everything that had happened, and the ending was just an ending. 6.5/10 stars.