Pin It Share on Tumblr


Drunkboat Movie Review

Posted by bsimon On July - 17 - 2012 0 Comment

Title: Drunkboat

Director: Bob Meyer

Starring: John Malkovich, John Goodman, Dana Delaney, Jim Ortlieb, Jacob Zachar

It’s perhaps something of a nautically-titled coincidence, the meandering nature and theatrical roots that “Drunkboat” share with “Jack Goes Boating,” Philip Seymour Hoffman’s 2010 directorial debut. But both movies represent personal passion projects ill suited to cinematic adaptation, or at least sludgy, unresolved, mannered and grating in their realized incarnations.

“Drunkboat” centers around a down-and-out Vietnam veteran and drunkard, Mort (John Malkovich), who has an epiphany of sorts when he glimpses a relative while in a stupor. He subsequently returns to his childhood home in the Chicago suburbs, where his sister Eileen (Dana Delaney) still lives with her son and Mort’s other nephew, Abe (Jacob Zachar). She’s at first distrustful and suspicious of his newfound and fragile sobriety, but eventually leaves him in charge of Abe to go on a date out of town. With dreams of busting out of this sleepy one-horse burgh, teenager Abe has dreams of… buying a boat? Yep. And his desires dovetail with the latest scheme of con man and salvage dealer Fletcher (John Goodman), who’s puttied and painted up a heap of wooden maritime garbage with an eye on unloading it for a couple hundred bucks. Abe is interested, but needs an adult signature on the bill of sale.

“Drunkboat” is directed by Bob Meyer, and co-adapted from his own (apparently semi-autobiographical) stageplay of the same name. Its music occasionally seems to posit that the movie is some sort of vaudevillian comedy, and Fletcher is written as a comedic figure as well. But the movie is a stilted, tonal mishmash, and its insights are spare. “Drunkboat” toggles listlessly between the conceptual and specific, never successfully translating to screen ideas that might connect more readily on stage, in the abstract.

As an alcoholic ex-poet teetering on the edge of self-destruction, Malkovich is great — his performance is a showcase for what Robert Abele aptly calls the actor’s “louche intensity” in his review for the “Los Angeles Times” — lost in a boozy self-reflection laced with notes of pained regret. Naturalistic and reactive, Zachar is also good. But Goodman grates, and the movie invests a regrettable amount of time in his pointless shenanigans.

Many other films assay the slippery qualities of drunkenness and repentance in far more arresting fashion. “Drunkboat” unfortunately just ambles along, in languid fashion.

Technical: C+

Acting: B-

Story: D

Overall: D+

Written by: Brent Simon

Drunkboat Movie

Processing your request, Please wait....

Do you like this story?

Create an email alert for Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Shockya on Facebook


Latest Movie Reviews

Kate Plays Christine – Movie

Kate Plays Christine Reviewed by: Tami Smith, Film Reviewer for Shockya Grade: B+ Director: Robert Greene Written by: Robert ...


The Intervention Movie Review

THE INTERVENTION Samuel Goldwyn Films Reviewed by: Harvey Karten, Showbiz Grade: B Director:  Clea DuVall Written by: Clea DuVall Cast: Clea ...

A Tale of Love And Darkness Movie Review

A Tale of Love And Darkness Mo

Title: A Tale of Love And Darkness Director: Natalie Portman Starring: Natalie Portman, Gilad Kahana, Amir Tessler, ...

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

Title: Imperium Director: Daniel Ragussis Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Toni Collette, Tracy Letts, Nestor Carbonell and Sam Trammell. ‘Imperium’ ...


Imperium Movie Review

IMPERIUM Lionsgate Premiere/Grindstone Entertainment Group Reviewed by: Harvey Karten, Shockya Grade: C Director:  Daniel Ragussis Written by: Daniel Ragussis from ...