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Friday Film Fest: Steve Buscemi

Peter (Adam Nathan) wants Nick (Steve Buscemi) to teach him everything that he can

Peter (Adam Nathan) wants Nick (Steve Buscemi) to teach him everything that he can

Parting Glances- 1986

It seems like whenever I watched this movie it was always on a Sunday night. I'm not sure why, but maybe it was because the characters are up all night partying.

Whatever the reason, this was one of the first movies to address AIDS and the residual effects of the disease based on the character's reactions to musician Nick's (Steve Buscemi) impending death.

Robert and Michael (John Bolger and Richard Ganoung) have been together for seven years and Michael's upset that Robert is leaving for the next two years to go to Africia for work. Even though he's accepted it, he's not happy since he has to watch Nick die.

Even though he's there for Nick, their friendship is a sore subject with Robert, since the two only get along for Michael's sake and he spends a lot of time taking care of Nick.

The day before he leaves, Michael stops at the record store and meets clerk Peter (Adam Nathan) who asks him out. Although Michael's flattered, he tells him that he's in a relationship, but invites him to Robert's going away party that night. Peter tells him that he'll see him there.

Michael goes over to Nick's and prepares "dinner" for him and asks if he's going to come to the party. Nick tells him that he's staying home to wait for MTV to air his video and tries to get Michael to stay with him rather than go to "boring Bob's" party.

Once Michael gets back home, the two get ready to go to dinner at Cecil and Betty's (Patrick Tull and Yolande Bavan) for a farewell for Robert. Michael doesn't like Robert's boss but goes not for Robert's sake, but he likes Betty and the two have in-depth conversations. She also turns a blind eye to the fact that Cecil is gay.

Following dinner, Robert tells Michael that he was the one responsible for his transfer out of the country and when they get home, he tells Joan (Kathy Kinney) that he doubts that they'll be coming over.

Joan convinces him to come and although he's reluctant, Robert agrees to go for a quick visit.

When they get there, Robert's genuinely surprised for his party and spends most of the time with his ex-girlfriend Sarah (Kristin Moneagle).

Most of the guests ask Michael how Nick is doing, and he tells them that they should contact him but just as he tells them Nick comes to the party for a short time and when he leaves, he meets Peter in the stairwell.

He tells Nick that he's crazy for Michael and has his life mapped out with what he plans on doing. Even though he's a few years older, he tells Peter that life doesn't work out like that, and Peter wants him to take him out and show him what life is like.

Terry (Andre Morgan) and Michael carry Robert out of Joan's apartment and continue the party at the Limelight, where Robert breaks away and calls Nick, waking him up. He apologizes to him and tells him that he'll write him a letter once he gets settled and after talking with him, Nick is once again spooked by the ghost of Greg (Daniel Haughey).

This time Greg tells him that heaven is boring and to hang on as long as he can.

With not much time left before his flight, Michael confronts Robert about the real reason why he's leaving the country for work. Robert doesn't deny his intention and now with him leaving, this causes an even bigger strain on their relationship.

After leaving Robert at the airport, Michael gets home and just as he's getting ready to do some writing, he gets a phone call from Nick, who's gone out to Fire Island. He tells Michael that he's had enough and waits for him.

Michael races out of the apartment and gets to the island where Nick's waiting for him and he tells him that he's the only person that he's ever really been in love with, so Nick suggests that they get away for a couple of weeks.

Knowing that he doesn't have any money or clothes (plus he has a deadline looming) Michael tells him that he can't go, but Nick convinces him anyway and the two runaway to parts unknown.

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Switch is jumping at the chance to get at the girl who witnessed a murder, while Jelly (Steven McHattie) takes a more casual approach

Switch is jumping at the chance to get at the girl who witnessed a murder, while Jelly (Steven McHattie) takes a more casual approach

Call Me- 1988

Even though Buscemi has appeared in quite a few movies, I had forgotten about this erotic thriller, and it just so happens that this was another movie that I would watch on a Sunday, rounding out my movie watching before going to bed and facing the Monday blues.

While taking a shower, Anna (Patricia Charbonneau) doesn't hear her phone ring but after getting out the phone rings again and this time she's able to answer it.

It's a playful conversation and she thinks that it's her boyfriend Alex (Sam Freed) wanting her to dress sexy and meet him at a local watering hole The Polish Bar. She thinks that this little game will add some spark to their somewhat strained relationship, so she goes to meet him.

Outside the bar Switch hangs out in the alley while Jelly (Steven McHattie) goes inside and takes a seat next to Anna at the bar after leaving the men's room. He's followed by Nikki (Pi Douglas) who goes across the hall into the women's room.

Anna starts to feel uncomfortable, and she goes to call Alex.

She gets mad at him when he tells her that he didn't call her earlier and she looks into the bar realizing that it could be any of the men who had called her. Before she hangs up with Alex, he agrees to meet her at her apartment and goes into the bathroom, as Nikki hurries into a stall.

Anna goes into the adjoining stall while Nikkie counts the money, she took from the paper towel dispenser and after counting it, she drops it out the window to Switch.

She leaves and runs into a plainclothes cop and they end up back in the bathroom where he kills her, not knowing that Anna is hiding in the stall.

When he leaves, she rushes out of the bathroom and heads home where she tells Alex what happened. She tells him that she can't go to the police since she saw a badge and knows that it was a police officer that killed Nikki.

The next day she tells her friend Cori (Patti D'Arbanville) about the murder, while Jelly goes back to the bar to see if the bartender can give him any information about Anna.

She later gets another call from the strange man and again thinks that it's Alex, only this time she starts to talk to him.

Switch is reading the personal ads and he suggests that they put an ad in the paper in an effort to find Anna since he convinces Jelly that she was the one who took the money and at home, Anna continues to receive calls.

She tells Cori and her friend Bill (Boyd Gaines) about the calls, which gives her an idea for her Street Smarts column about obscene phone calls. After running it by her editor Sam (David Strathairn) he agrees to it.

Jelly sees her and Alex having lunch in the park and once again she gets mad at Alex and as she leaves, a street performer begins to antagonize her and ends up hitting her. She's also confronted by Jelly.

After Jelly sees her picture in the paper, he waits outside The Polish Bar as she leaves with Bill and Cori. She goes up to his car and he tells her that he wants to talk to her, so she tells his to move over from the driver's side and when he does, she takes the keys out of the ignition and runs down the street tossing them aside.

She meets Bill at a restaurant the next day and he invites her to go collect water samples, but they don't know that Jelly and Switch are following them.

In a parking garage Switch tries to run them down and Jelly tells her that he just wants the money and doesn't want to hurt her (even though he doesn't know that Switch took it). Bill invites her to stay at his place and they have sex, since Alex is out of town, and it appears that they've broken up after he walked in on her having phone sex (a staple of the late '80's).

Anna picks a fight with him, and she goes home to find her apartment ransacked as Bill sees from his window Jelly and Switch enter her building.

She manages to escape and runs into Bill on the street as the two hide from Jelly and Switch in a warehouse.

The movie itself isn't bad but as a thriller it's weak and unfortunately, it was hard to find out the other character's names and the credits don't really help when it comes to matching up the actor with the character.

One of the good things about the movie is it will keep you guessing as to who the mysterious caller is, since all of the voices were manipulated to sound the same.

Fred asks Sylvia (Cyndi Lauper) to ask her spirit guide Louise to pick out the winning that he can pay off his debt

Fred asks Sylvia (Cyndi Lauper) to ask her spirit guide Louise to pick out the winning that he can pay off his debt

Vibes- 1988

I'm happy to say that I didn't watch this movie on a Sunday, but I do remember that it was a blustery winter Saturday that I tortured myself in 1989 and hadn't seen this until I wrote this column.

I can't say that I really missed not seeing it over the last few decades.

After a week of psychic studies at New York University, Sylvia Pickel (Cyndi Lauper) and Nick Deezy (Jeff Goldblum) are told by Dr. Harrison Steele (Julian Sands) that they're the "stars" of the study.

Sylvia, who's a trans-medium relies on her spirit guide Louise (who also taught her astral projection while she was in a coma for two weeks) but doesn't always trust her. Especially when it comes to the men in her life, and she tries to seduce Dr. Steele who's only interested in her gift.

She then tries to hit on Nick, a psychometrist, but he tells her that he has a girlfriend (Karen Akers) to which she tells him that she's been unfaithful. He doesn't believe her but later when he touches her underwear, he knows that Sylvia was correct.

Anyway, after an outing with her ex-boyfriend Fred to the track (and hoping for a reconciliation) she comes home to find Harry Buscafusco (Peter Falk) rummaging through her refrigerator. She points a shotgun at him, and he tells her that he wants to hire her for $50,000 to help him find his son, who's gone missing in Ecuador.

She agrees to help him and goes to the museum where Nick works and notices that he's trying to escape from his boss Mr. Van Der Meer (Bill McCutcheon) since he's promised the trustees of the museum psychic readings. Sylvia quickly offers him half the money and he quits his job.

In Ecuador, Harry gives him a shirt and Nick starts to go in the direction that "Harry Junior" was last spotted at, and Harry confesses that there is no son. Nick decides that he's going to leave the next day, but while he and Sylvia are in the hotel restaurant, they see Ingo Swedlin (Googy Gress) one of the other psychics at the study.

Ingo is suspicious of them, and they tell him that the two are dating and came to Ecuador to be alone.

Sylvia later meets Alejandro De La Vivar (Aharon Ipale) and Nick meets Consuelo (Elizabeth Pena) who tries to kill him. She tells him that he and Sylvia aren't the only ones interested in the gold.

And from here the movie continues to go downhill.

There are a lot of things that aren't explained and it's a shame that the talented cast couldn't salvage any of the movie.

It's also cringeworthy since there's no chemistry between Lauper and Goldblum and while they try not to show it, you can pick it up almost immediately.

While this won't be playing in my DVD in the near future, maybe I'll wait another thirty plus years before I attempt to watch this.

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