“Saint John of Las Vegas” Movie Trailer Review

12/06/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Rip Empson

If you, like me, will see a movie simply because Steve Buscemi is finally given a leading-man role, then you have all the motivation you need to see “Saint John of Las Vegas.”

For those of you who require more, fair enough--I think there’s something in this movie for you, too.


Admittedly, the trailer for first time writer/director Hue Rhodes’s new indie comedy starring bug-eyed Buscemi didn’t exactly have me in fits of laughter, but it did succeed in piquing my curiosity.

Buscemi stars as John, a compulsive gambler who has fled Las Vegas in an effort to pursue a more “normal” life. He chooses insurance as his occupation and Albuquerque as the setting for his return to  productive life. But will he be successful? Foreshadowing, my friends, foreshadowing!

So far, so good.

Supporting Buscemi is an excellent cast of talented character and comedic actors. John’s boss, for example, is played by the great Peter Dinklage (“Elf,” “Death at Funeral,” and “The Station Agent”), who makes John his top “fraud debunker” and sends him on a road trip with the suspicious Virgil (Romany Malco of “Weeds” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”) to Las Vegas to investigate a case of potential insurance fraud. Not Las Vegas!

John leaves behind his smiley-face-obsessed co-worker and potential girlfriend (played by the inimitable Sarah Silverman) to return to his Hades. On the road trip, Virgil and John encounter a wheelchair-bound stripper (Emmanuelle Chriqui, known for her role as Eric’s girlfriend on “Entourage”), and a nude militant (Tim Blake Nelson), among other wacky characters. Hilarity ensues. Hopefully.

“Saint John” is produced by Spike Lee and Stanley Tucci, who themselves know a thing or two about well-drawn comedic characters. So, all in all, this assemblage of names seems to say something about the quality and potential of the script and story--and quells any reservations you may have garnered from the trailer with regard to the film feeling as if it’s trying to be too quirky, or that Buscemi’s voice-over and his character appear flat and slightly cliched.

With obvious biblical and mythological references in both names and events--and the writer/director’s admission to basing John’s journey on bits of Dante’s “Inferno”--the film evokes clever allegorical-type works like “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” and “Barton Fink.” The Coen brothers are well known for their stylized mythological/historical pastiches, and I hope Hue Rhodes’s “Saint John of Las Vegas” follows a similar path. It definitely will be interesting to see if the film’s narrative finds a balance, or instead becomes a jangled mash-up of quirky characters. The possibility is evident.

That being said, my expectations are high. So, if in the end, you can’t pass up seeing Dinklage behind a desk with four garish, plastic columns positioned around his desk or a suggestive Sarah Silverman with an obsession for smiley faces, then I recommend going to see the film when it’s released on January 29, 2010. I’ll be there. With plenty of Junior Mints to go around.

View the trailer for "Saint John of Las Vegas" below. Thoughts?

  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • StumbleUpon
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Technorati
  • Facebook
  • TwitThis
  • MySpace
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Google
  • Reddit
  • Sphinn
  • Propeller
  • Slashdot
  • Netvibes


  1. Hue Rhodes said...

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. I am the writer/director of Saint John of Las Vegas, and I appreciate the word-of-mouth. And any mention of the Coen brothers in connection with my film is certainly high praise.

    Saint John will be in theaters Jan. 29th (NY/LA) and Feb. 12th (national). Keep an eye out for it, and thanks again.

    Hue Rhodes
    @huerhodes (twitter)

  2. Rip Empson said...

    First of all, thanks for reading. Secondly, I can appreciate how hard it must be to stir up publicity for a project you put a great deal of time and effort into yet don't necessarily have big-studio-funding for...
    So, with that in mind, I appreciate the unbiased/thoughtful legwork you're doing on blogs and social media -- and am glad that I can play my part. And Mondrian as visual inspiration? That explains everything.
    Best of luck,

  3. Anonymous said...

    Service : Customer support appeared to be remarkable. Woman on the phone possessed a delightful approach moreover My hubby and i have been given hard cash super-quick.
    Value :We received an impressive value due to quick loan fees were definitily surprisingly low cost.
    AAA Vancouver Payday Loans 310-4088 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC V5Z 2X8 (778) 785-2087 payday loans vancouver
    AAA Calgary Payday Loans 1014 Macleod Trail Southeast, Calgary, AB T2G 2M7 (403) 614-4637 payday loans calgary
    AAA Ottawa Payday Loans 503 Avenue Gladstone, Ottawa, ON K1R 5N9 (343) 883-1422 payday loans ottawa
    AAA Edmonton Payday Loans 10223 97 Street Northwest, Edmonton, AB T5J 0L5 (780) 669-1284 payday loans edmonton