There simply isn’t a collection of words that can prepare you enough for the cinematic experience that is. Wolf. It was released in the summer of 1994, when America still felt invincible enough after the extreme wealth of the 1980s and a decisive victory at Desert Storm to launch nonsense like The shadow Y The Flintstones in theaters and asking people to pay money to see them. Wolf It falls firmly into the same category of “movies that shouldn’t exist at all and, furthermore, don’t seem to have been made with anyone’s enjoyment in mind.” It’s an exercise in extreme and unbridled arrogance, the cinematic equivalent of receiving a cheeseburger pizza in a motel room with no working toilet. It’s a work of art most people only wish they were bold enough to create, a two-hour cheese wheel that refuses to be entertaining but challenges you to look away from every glorious frame filled with Jack NicholsonThe triumphantly sweaty werewolf face. But it is a trick; you can’t take your eyes off Wolf, the only film in human history about a werewolf cleverly negotiating a promotion at a New York publishing house.

Wolf it feels like a bad dream someone else had about werewolves. It feels like an improv company is making a movie based on the worst possible suggestion from the audience. It’s not witty enough to really be called a satire. Their love story is too strangely chaste and enduring to call it a romance. And it’s too boring and bloodless to be a horror movie. It’s a yuppie goth soap opera, full of corporate vampires, trust fund ghouls, and one (1) genuine werewolf. Consequently, I can safely say that my whole life has been accumulating in two events: me seeing Wolfand me looking Wolf a second time before writing this article.

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Image via Columbia Pictures

The first thing to notice Wolf it’s the incredible amount of talent behind it. Directed by Mike nichols and co-written by longtime contributor Nichols Elaine may, Wolf He also boasted a leading role on Nicholson’s A list and Michelle Pfeiffer. When Wolf hit theaters in 1994, there were 19 Oscar nominations and 3 wins among those four names. (Nicholson and May would enjoy a few more nominations later on, and I think another nod awaits Pfeiffer here soon.) And that’s before you see the legendary Christopher Plummer Explode on screen hosting the finest dinners in your haunted mansion in upstate New York. Wolf is so full of talent that the Oscar nominee Kate nelligan is completely wasted as Nicholson’s frigid wife and Allison janney appears to deliver a single line and is never seen again. Damned Ennio Morricone wrote the score. You didn’t have to try so hard Wolf, but I appreciate that you did. My point is that you will be forgiven for looking at all the people involved with Wolf and come to the conclusion that it is a good movie. Also, the average age of the person who would watch that lineup and buy a ticket in 1994 is around 47 years old, and that just might be my favorite aspect of the movie’s legacy.

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Imagine all the people my parents’ age and older sitting in the audience as the opening credits of Wolf Kicking off is an exercise that I do about three times a day to maintain my spiritual well-being. It’s like meditation, except I’m sitting thinking of older people watching Wolf. If you can make time in your daily schedule to do the same, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Since I started thinking about a captive room of baby boomers paying money to sit and watch 122 minutes of Mike Nichols’ werewolf photo, my credit score has gone up 300 points and I’ve gotten a little higher. Wolf it’s like accidentally pulling a prank, like that video of a police officer shooting himself in the leg while giving a classroom of children a demonstration on gun safety.

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Image via Columbia Pictures

On paper, maybe you can see why all these Hollywood heavyweights would be on board for Wolf. The bones of an interesting satirical metaphor are there: Will (Nicholson) is a member of high society. He is extremely civilized, eloquent, and cultured, having spent decades working as a successful publishing agent. His job is essentially to judge the art and decide what is good enough to sell to other sophisticated people like him. But Will is also restricted by social rules. He avoids confrontation, even when his mentor Raymond (Plummer) ruins him and gives his job to his slimy protégé Stewart (James spader), who incidentally also sleeps with Will’s wife. Wolf He argues that Will, like all of us, is trapped by the arbitrary rules of “civilized behavior,” which force him to smile and be demure with politeness while taking away his career and marriage. He’s an old dog who avoids confrontation altogether, even giving Stewart his blessing as he prepares to depart from his editorial position. But then Will is bitten by a werewolf and all bets are off, babaaay! He begins to defend himself, to be proactive and ruthless to thwart Raymond’s wishes and keep his job, getting Stewart fired in the process. You see, werewolves don’t care about being polite; they simply assert their dominance and take what they want. He even pees on Stewart’s shoe in a truly unforgettable scene that I hope was recreated during at least one Juilliard audition.

The point is, this is not a bad idea for a satirical werewolf movie commenting on the grinning violence of high society – everyone in Will’s circle is as brutal as the literal werewolf, but they hide behind a curtain. smoke of sophistication. They are unprepared for the expensive reality of a million dollar publishing werewolf. Will is here pissing on people’s shoes and they all click their tongues at him. It is exactly the same energy as Rodney Dangerfield infiltrate the snooty country club in Caddyshack, only in Wolf, Rodney’s character has been reinvented as a shapeshifting demon.

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Image via Columbia Pictures

However, as I mentioned earlier, Wolf has an identity crisis and is fascinating. Looking at it, you get the feeling that the script is being pulled in three different directions (it has two credited writers, with May’s work uncredited). It fails as a satire because it never bothers to be really funny or insightful beyond its superficial metaphor, instead offering help after another of inadvertent comedy in the form of Jack Nicholson’s X-Men lamb chops and his trademark werewolf career. who looks like Jack. Nicholson ran to the airport bathroom while trying to move his arms as little as possible. I refuse to describe this action in any other way.

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There’s a clumsy romantic plot between Nicholson and Pfeiffer that produces some decently acted scenes between the two, but no actual sparks (the fact that Jack is visibly several decades older than she strangles much of that potential chemistry to death). Their relationship begins with a scene where they eat peanut butter sandwiches while Nicholson directly tells him that he was bitten by a wolf and now has wolf powers, and this movie was meant to be a serious adult drama. And the idea of ​​watching a VHS of Wolf anywhere near the Horror section on Blockbuster makes me understand why they closed. The most horrifying thing about this movie is when Will discovers two severed fingers in his pocket, ripped from the hand of an assailant he killed off-screen the night before. He saved his fingers for some reason, presumably to snack on, but he faces no consequences for the murder and is never mentioned again. In fact, being a werewolf seems to be wonderful for Will. You get enhanced senses that allow you to hear distant phones ringing and accuse your co-workers of being alcoholics, and a rejuvenated sex drive that grants you the ability to pound butt like you’re 40 years old. It never really causes you any problems until the last ten minutes of the movie, after two hours with virtually no conflict. The lycanthropy aspect that Wolf What worries him most are the restorative powers that the werewolf curse has on Jack Nicholson’s thinning hair. And although the practical makeup effects were handled by the horror icon Rick baker, the completely transformed werewolves in the movie look like characters from Fraggle Rock.

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Image via Columbia Pictures

My mom forbids me to see Wolf while he was in theaters because he assumed it would be loaded with too much violence and sex for me to handle at that age. As it turns out, Wolf features zero sex and some minor firearm violence at the end. My mom was right to prevent me from buying a ticket, because it would have bored me to the core. But after watching him as an adult, I can appreciate how truly disconcerting it must have been to settle in for a morning screening of the director’s latest film. The graduate and to have Wolf unfolds in front of your eyes. The movie begins with Jack Nicholson hitting a motionless stuffed wolf in the middle of the road at about 78 miles per hour, and it only gets more incomprehensible from there. (Yes, Jack’s character receives the werewolf curse by literally running you over with his car.) It’s closer to a stream of consciousness manifesto than a true story, a high-concept deconstruction of elitist culture that somehow needed a scene in which a hirsute Jack Nicholson shoves a flailing deer into his hungry jaws before to break his neck like Solid fucking Snake. And you absolutely must look at it.

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