Twenty Bucks (1992)

by | Jul 28, 2005 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

Twenty Bucks (1992)

Starring: Linda Hunt, Brendan Fraser, Elisabeth Shue, Steve Buscemi, Christopher Lloyd, Spalding Gray, William H. Macy
Studio: Triton Pictures/Sony Pictures
Video: 1.85:1 widescreen
Audio: PCM 2.0
Subtitles: Japanese, Closed captions: English
Extras: Director & Cast commentary, Filmmaker’s commentary,
Featurette on writing, casting & preproduction, Featurette on
filming & editing
Length: 91 minutes
Rating: ****:

This film started as a script written by the father of the film’s
producer when he worked at one of the Hollywood studios in the 30s and
40s.  Back then movies which followed something like a ring or a
coat thru many different adventures were made to order for studios with
dozens of actors under contract who they wanted to feature on the
screen. After many rewrites and updatings, the final script for Twenty
Bucks was approved for this low-budget film. The producers (who also
did Spinal Tap) had great freedom in casting, and all those involved
seem absolutely perfect for their roles in the film. The first three
listed above keep returning during the film due to odd coincidences,
but most of the others have fairly extensive on-screen time. Buscemi,
as his usual loser type, makes a perfect foil for Lloyd in their
blighted partnership.

The story follows a $20 bill from its spewing out of an ATM machine
(that’s an update that wasn’t around in the 30s!) to its final
shredding at a bank and the gripping events and people it touches along
the way. It is billed as a comedy, but it has a murder and a robbery
spree in it as well as some very moving scenes. Linda Hunt’s role is
terrific, reminding one a bit of Lilly Tomlin’s Trudi the Bag Lady, and
singer Gladys Knight is fine as a New Age potion and spells dispenser.
The extras are more informative and interesting than many provided with
DVDs today. Twenty Bucks is a delightful departure from your usual
feature film; I’m surprised I hadn’t heard about it until now. I think
it’s a classic.

– John Sunier

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