Bob Dylan, John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Dern, Val Kilmer and more are all featured in the film Masked and Anonymous. Now that’s a hell of a cast, and like I said, there’s more. It even has some really good quotes suck as “All of us are trying to kill time, but when its all said and done time ends up killing us”. That’s good writing. In fact Bob Dylan and Larry Charles wrote this film. If you’re a Bob Dylan fan it’s a dream come true especially for the soundtrack. Well basically just for the soundtrack.
Masked and Anonymous stars Bob Dylan as Jack Fate. He’s a rock superstar who is in prison in either the future or an alternate reality, its never really explained. Whatever world it takes place on things are not great, its essentially like a war torn civil war 3rd world country. Things are so bad that Uncle Sweetheart (John Goodman) is going to do a benefit concert to make things better for the world or something along those lines, but he’s a pretty sleazy guy so he cant really get anyone. Anyone except Jake Fate. And only Jack Fate for that matter. Normally the fact Jack is in prison would put a damper on things but a few strings are pulled and he is let out to perform this big benefit.
That’s pretty much it. Lots a various characters are introduced, some memorable, some not so much. I could not really tell if I was watching a vanity project for Dylan, or an autobiography at times. If you enjoy his music you will more than likely enjoy this as he does perform in it. & or 8 songs are all done during the film, some clipped, some in full and to be honest the camera work on these gigs are very well done. In fact the editing of this film, which is clearly a low budget production is very well done. I have no issues with the cinematography and directing. The acting and writing leave a lot to be desired.
Dylan may be a great musician but he’s a bad actor. Not a single thing he says is done with any type of style or for that matter range or tone. He’s very much reading lines and staring at the camera. Lots of the actors are. Its almost as if they are confused by what they are reading. Only John Goodman really tries to play up his performance and have a bit of fun with it. But in all fairness to the cast this is such a weird surreal film its hard to tell if its comedy, drama, satire, or science fiction from one scene to the next.
Shout Select has picked this up, I would assume due to the large cult following this film has developed. There transfer is impeccable to say the least, and the soundtrack, the most important part of the film sounds immaculate. It blasts through the speakers in a wonderful way that brings everything to life. They even filled it with a nice assortment of extras.
NEW Interview With Director Larry Charles
Commentary By Director Larry Charles
The Making Of Masked And Anonymous
If you’re a Dylan fan this is definitely a must have for your collection. If your into Art House films this may be one you enjoy as well. I truthfully do not fit into either category, so this was a bust for me. Like I stated it had good cinematography and direction it just really lacked any type of story, it just focused on Dylan meeting different characters throughout the close to 2hr run time.
Overall 2 out of 5 Stars!