Written by / 11/06/2012 / No comments / , , , , , , , ,

BILOXI BLUES

year: 1988 cast: Matthew Broderick, Christopher Walken, Matt Mulhurn, Corey Parker rating: ***1/2
Perhaps Matthew Broderick’s Pvt. Eugene Morris Jerome has too many one-liners, seeming delivered at a Friar's Club lunch, to make us believe he’s really in a hardnosed boot camp.

Set in 1945, this biopic written by Neil Simon and directed by Mike Nichols works despite jumping awkwardly from comedy to drama. The ensemble cast within the barracks includes Matt Mulhurn as the bullying Pvt. Wykowski, his lughead motormouth cheerleader Selridge (Markus Flanagan) and mild-mannered nice guy Carney (Casey Siemaszko).
Matthew Broderick loses it to Park Overall
Then there’s Arnold (Corey Parker), a prissy/futzy geek who doesn’t back down to the constant taunts, mostly brought on by scene-stealing monolog-laden Christopher Walken as Sgt. Toomey. With a metal plate in his head, Toomey has a kneejerk reaction to all of Eugene’s smartass remarks, and the tension builds onto a suspenseful climax involving both stars at gunpoint. But in-between the tough times harbor the most involving scenes: the boys sitting around the barracks discussing everything from death to the opposite sex. These conversations are not only interesting but bring out the true colors of each eclectic character.

One scene set in a Biloxi brothel during a weekend pass is a standout: Park Overall’s experienced gin-soaked chemistry with the virginal Eugene is funny and endearing. And the taboo (at that time) subject of homosexuality lends quite a shock. Penelope Ann Miller's good girl love interest adds completely nothing to the tale that’s really about Eugene and his pals surviving boot camp whist facing an unknown, and downright scary, future of possibly battling Germans overseas. 
Matt Mulhurn, Matthew Broderick, Markus Flanagan, Casey Siemaszko
The tennis player Ray Liotta pistol-whips in GOODFELLAS with Matthew Broderick
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