Koch Vision // 1998 // 91 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // August 5th, 2005
The Legend Brought to Life!
(as a hairy troll version of Fabio)
This one bored me to tears, even though I love Molière's 1665 play. And I am not bored easily. It sounded like a good idea to get spicy Latina beauty Penelope Cruz (Blow), Barcelona babe Ariadna Gil (The Virgin of Lust), and French femme fatale Emmanuelle Béart (8 Women) to portray the lovestruck women of Don Juan. Trouble comes in the form of the lead, who is also the director and writer. Jacques Weber looks like a fat, over-the-hill Fabio, complete with a visible girdle. Truth is, he looks like a geriatric hairy monster that makes Danny DeVito look like centerfold material in comparison. He's "troll-licious." Jacques Weber has a hard time making me believe anyone would swoon over anything other than the body odor coming out of his dirty foppish finery in this 1998 French adaptation of the famous tale. I kept waiting for Don Juan to ask his sidekick for some Depends. Instead we spend what feels like an eternity watching Mr. Juan woo women in a Spanish fishing village after he runs away from the distraught hot woman he left behind. Ugh! Someone get me out of this flick quickly. At least the production values are high, and the costumes look period perfect.
The soundtrack is fine; it's stereo and sounded good. The transfer comes across alright, but some troubling edge enhancement gets in the way of some of the landscapes. Yes, I was looking at the scenery to avoid having to imagine Jacques Weber having sex. No extras on this one, and that's fine with me. I wouldn't need a commentary to hear how Mr. Weber thinks he makes a freaking fabulous Don Juan. And thank goodness no outtakes of Penelope Cruz holding back tears of laughter as she has to act lovestruck. This one needs no explanation -- it was misguided from the onset.
Don Juan shouldn't interest anyone, except those who love train wrecks and miscasting. Truth is, many of the actors are in fine form, and Weber wouldn't be bad in other roles. I'd still like to see a stylish remake of this classic tale. We'd need a good looking guy who can act, because honestly the script even mentions not only is Don Juan good in bed, but he's also quite handsome. Nowadays it would be a hard role to fill, but certainly we could do better than what's presented here. This was obviously a vanity project that got out of control. What's weird is that Weber is obviously a major Molière fan, because he appeared in a 1994 television production of The Misanthrope. But honestly, the man belongs under a bridge asking billy goats inane questions, as opposed to seducing a trio of hot nubile actresses.
Might I suggest a better movie such as Don Juan DeMarco, or the Don Juan with Bridget Bardot? Hell, you'd be better off watching Average Joe to watch nerds hitting on hot chicks. At least it would be more believable than this gorgeously-costumed mess. And you won't be half as bored either. Skip this one, and save yourself the nightmares of a hairy old Fabio hitting on hot women.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Koch Vision
* 1.85:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Release Year: 1998
MPAA Rating: Not Rated