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Case Number 00480

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Two Moon Junction

Sony // 1988 // 106 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge David Rogers (Retired) // April 25th, 2000

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All Rise...

The Charge

"You're psychotic. You know what that means? Fundamental mental derangement. You are beyond social redemption."

"Well, it's better than being hysterical."

Opening Statement

Two Moon Junction is a film most recognizable if you look at the novel genre it represents. Two Moon Junction is a bodice ripper straight from the pages of any of the most well known Romance authors. It's fanciful, staged, and full of passion. Rather than being detriments, these aspects actually make it somewhat amusing, and entertaining, to watch the antics of the characters.

The Evidence

Directed by Zalman King (writer/producer 9 1/2 Weeks, The Red Shoe Diaries), who is amply versed in the sexually charged direction category, Two Moon Junction is the story of a "Southern" belle on the verge of her fairy tale marriage. Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks, Boxing Helena, Rude Awakening), cast here two years before she rose to fame as the kittenish Audrey Horne pining away for Special Agent Dale Cooper, plays April DeLongpre. She's the eldest daughter of a powerful Southern family with a long traceable heritage. In the days before her wedding, after college graduation, she finds herself being drawn into the classic "torrid affair" with a roustabout at a carnival. The roustabout, Perry, played by Chippendale hunk Richard Tyson (Kindergarten Cop, There's Something About Mary, Battlefield Earth), is the classic "honorable scoundrel" romance figure. While elements of her family move to block the interference with the marriage, April fights with Perry even as she finds herself irresistibly drawn into repeated passionate episodes with him.

Besides also starring a fourteen year old Milla Jovovich (Dazed and Confused, The Messenger, The Fifth Element), years before she would develop into the lovely young actress we all know now, Two Moon Junction is a guilty pleasure. It's literally a screen transfer of a trashy romance novel, in every detail. The plot is a bit contrived, sometimes uses fantasy sequences, and follows a fairly predictable pattern, but despite this, the casting saves it. Tyson is beefcake all the way, yet despite this, isn't vapid or without charm. He hits his lines, puts the right amount of seductiveness into otherwise straight performances, and perfectly fills the role. Fenn displays the same sexual charm, the inviting innocence, which would bring her to fame in David Lynch's wacky and weird Twin Peaks. Her "girl next door" good looks and demure, smiling eyes play well as the young woman seeking a balance between her wild child impulses and the pressure to slot into her family structure without disruption.

The video is solid; mostly slightly above average with occasional periods of simply average. Some scenes are just a touch too soft, others a tad too sharp. Despite this, the video is certainly above the quality of VHS, and also experiences no major imaging problems with artifacting or color bleed.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

The sound, unfortunately, is only Dolby 2.0. Not that Two Moon Junction is an action or effects heavy film, but there were occasions when a full Dolby 5.1 surround mix could have been put to good use. A missed opportunity. Still, dialogue is very centered, and never indistinct. Music is pleasant and makes an impact, but doesn't overshadow dialogue, which can sometimes be a problem with poorly mixed 2.0 tracks. While the sound is solid, the sound field doesn't have depth, and sometimes comes across a tad hollow. Again, a missed opportunity.

The disc, also, is extremely barebones. It breaks out chapters, has a menu option to turn subtitles on or off, and that's pretty much it. There was a lot of room for some quality extras here; some biographical material on the actors and director King. Perhaps trailers or featurettes on some of the other King material, which certainly seems to fit the genre. Alas, yet another missed opportunity.

On a story note, the accents in this film are downright pathetic. The setting is the "The South," with a capital S, yet most of the characters don't have Southern accents. Some of them wander in and out, and others are patently incorrect. It's a small matter to get the voice acting consistently good, and it would have helped the story credibility to have made the effort to get the region's dialects and intonations correct.

Closing Statement

Two Moon Junction is a solid genre film, but ultimately a somewhat lacking catalog offering. Certainly, owning this film on DVD versus VHS is a good thing; but the disc is soft in a few places. Not overwhelmingly so, but a factor, to be sure.

The Verdict

You know that sound you make when someone asks you something you're mostly indifferent on? "eh" Two Moon Junction gets an "eh," with a following note of slight approval. That's the verdict here.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 73
Audio: 55
Extras: 5
Acting: 70
Story: 77
Judgment: 56

Perp Profile

Studio: Sony
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Subtitles:
• English
• French
• Spanish
Running Time: 106 Minutes
Release Year: 1988
MPAA Rating: Rated R
Genre:
• Drama

Distinguishing Marks

• Theatrical Trailer
• Production Notes

Accomplices

• IMDb








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