Review of Wired

Wired (1989)
4/10
What a bad joke! This 1989 biographical film of comedian and actor John Belushi is too blue. It's depressing awful!
20 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Blues Brother, Musician, Confidant, and Comedic Legend, John Belushi deserves better than this tasteless movie, loosely based on the 1984 non-fiction book of the same name by American journalist, Bob Woodward. While, many friends and relatives of Belushi, including his widow Judith Belushi Pisano, Dan Aykroyd and James Belushi, agreed to be interviewed at length for the book, they later felt the final product was exploitative and not representative of the John Belushi they knew. The movie version written by screenwriter, Earl Mac Rauch only made things, worst, by taking took much liberties from the book, and turned it into a non-linear fantasy drama about torturing, berating, and ripping apart Belushi's corpse, played by Michael Chiklis like it was sushi, while showing gloom & doom flashbacks. However, the film doesn't end it there, oh no, while the soul of John is playing a fantasy game for his life with Judith (Lucinda Jenney) on a Blue's Brothers ping-ball machine with his enigmatic, guardian angel, Angel Velasquez (Ray Sharkey). The actor that plays, Bob Woodward (J. T Walsh) goes to the place that John died, Château Marmont, and has a surrealist conversation with the ghost on his death bed, belittled him. This was all, done with real-life Bob Woodward permission and none, from the friends & family of the comedian whom chose to instead, boycott the movie. Honestly, I don't blame them. Other offensive fantasy scenes like the autopsy and the airplane moment, made this movie hard to watch. It no way, matches the original request from John Belushi's family or his manager, Bernie Brillstein. They wanted a fun, but factual book about the actor to counter the speculation and rumors that had arisen after his death. Instead, the book and film spent more time, kicking the man while he's down, without a shred of dignity than praising anything about him, when he was alive. They don't show, much of anything about the guy. No scenes of Belushi upbringings, how he got into comedy, how he met his wife & friends, and most of all, his time in SNL. It only focus on the negative things about him. Hints, why the characters and events of Wired are a mixture of real-life people and obvious facsimiles. Nearly nobody wanted to their depiction or name in the film at all. They all threatened to sue the film for invasion of privacy, if they did. Even, if they could get the film rights to use all of the characters and locations that Belushi belong to, in his life. I still think this movie still would be as offensive as it was. Honestly, I really don't get, what the film's message, was besides being over sensationalized exploitation with a vast ocean of awkward humorless slapstick, and postmodern mindfuckery. I can only guess, that the film directed by Larry Peerce was going for a Frank Capra aura like 'It's a Wonderful Life', or worse, Charles Dickens reworking of 'A Christmas Carol', but they fail badly with the confusing time sequence and mystical scenes. It doesn't help, that this movie also has supporting characters appearing & disappearing, unannounced. It also jarring to see, actors like Ray Sharkey, lecturing to a dead Belushi about the dangers of drugs abuse. Does nobody else, see the weird irony of that!? Yes, I get that John Belushi was a drug addict and made a lot of bad decisions, however, that doesn't give the right for writers to over scrutiny his life like this. He was a human being with good things, about him. Just because, he did drugs, doesn't make him, the worst person in the world. It felt like a mean-spirited one-sided after school special. A miserable PSA. No wonder, why this movie had a hard time, finding a distributor for it. Nobody wanted a movie that exposed the dark side of Hollywood in the late 1980s. The only good thing to come out of this movie was Michael Chiklis. Unlike the other critics, I found his performance to be great. He really gave the role, everything, he has. You see it, with the singing and dancing scenes, the intense drug abuse moments, and the made up SNL skits. He does a bang up job of capturing John's mannerisms and deportment in any of the scenes that he's is. It's sad that he got blacklist in Hollywood for the longest time, after making this movie. It wasn't until, television shows 'The Commish' (1991-1996) & 'The Shield' (2002-2008) kinda save this career. He was a good actor. I can't say, the same with his co-stars. Gary Groomes looks and acts, nothing like Dan Aykroyd & Lucinda Jenney whom, I nearly forgot, was in this movie. For the movie about a comedian that supposed to be funny. It felt a little too dark & serious. In the end, the story of one man's excesses was just a miserable watch. I really can't recommended, watching this awful blue screen of death.
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