The Search for One-Eye Jimmy

1996, R, 82 min. Directed by Sam Henry Kass. Starring Nicholas Turturro, Steve Buscemi, Holt Mccallany, Michael Badalucco, Ray “boom Boom” Mancini, Anne Meara, Samuel L. Jackson, John Turturro, Jennifer Beals.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Sept. 6, 1996

A curious little independent film straight out of Brooklyn that would have worked better as a 20-minute short than an 80-minute feature, One-Eye Jimmy haphazardly follows a day in the life of several Noo Yawk small-timers as they search for a mysterious, missing comrade. Les (McCallany) is part of the old gang, a leather-jacketed tough guy who's been away at film school for the past few years. When he returns to the old neighborhood with the hope of making a documentary about life in his old stomping grounds, he meets up with assorted characters and joins them in the search for Jimmy, brother of Junior (Nicholas Turturro of NYPD Blue) the car thief, and Ed (Buscemi) the… well, the lazy bum (who apparently makes his living shooting Polaroids of people posing with a life-size cardboard cutout of pro-wrestling local hero Hulk Harrigan). Their search leads them into the slightly wobbly orbit of various oddballs, including the delightfully garrulous Joe Head (Badalucco) and the hilarious/pathetic Bean (John Turturro), a Seventies castaway who practices his disco moves in an abandoned warehouse and still has his polyester pantsuit intact. Director and writer Kass, formerly the head writer on Seinfeld, obviously knows his Brooklyn chops, but, ultimately, The Search for One-Eye Jimmy is a movie in search of a decent ending. When Jimmy finally makes his entrance toward the end of the film, you greet his presence with a genuine sigh of relief, thankful that the grueling quest is finally over. It's not just because so many of the borough gags fall flat, it's also because of the nagging feeling that this is Kass' NYU student project expanded to feature length.

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