Thursday, January 12, 2012

Buffalo 66 (1998)

Synopsis: Boy meets girl. Boy kidnaps girl. Girl meets boy’s dysfunctional family. Boy leaves girl to commit major felony...

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Billy emerges from prison where he’s just done a five year stretch with three missions. The first, and most hilariously pressing, is to take a pee. The next is to find the right gal to show off to mom and dad (Anjelica Huston and Ben Gazzara). The last is to assassinate the Buffalo Bills placekicker whose missed field goal caused him to lose the bet that led him into a life of crime.”

What Did I Learn?: If the Buffalo Bills ever make it back to the Super Bowl, don’t even think about betting money on them.

Really?: 1) Layla (Christina Ricci) has any number of opportunities to escape after Billy kidnaps her, yet instead of fleeing for her life, she sits down to a disgusting meal with him, and actually falls in love? 2) Exactly how long does Billy hold in that pee?

Rating: Filmed on location in Buffalo in the dead of winter, Buffalo 66 actually feels cold, bleak and depressing as you watch it. It’s a very good low-budget, character-driven drama with a lot of strong cameo appearances. The biggest stumbling block I had (and the reason I can’t give it a higher rating) is that I simply didn’t believe Layla would stick around with Billy after the kidnapping. The script should have been re-written so the characters had some prior relationship with each other (sister of a prison buddy?) before the homecoming scene. 7/10 stars.

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