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Mainstream - Looking To Get OUt - A Hal Ashby Film

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Looking to Get Out
Jon Voight, Ann-Margret, Burt Young
Directed by Hal Ashby
Originally released 1982
Warner Home Video 2009
115 minutes

Looking To Get Out is a long lost Hal Ashby film finally available on DVD in its original director’s version. Ashby, who directed great films like Being There, Harold and Maude, and Coming Home, does not deliver in this particular movie about a couple of guys who try to scam a casino (or something like that).

This DVD features a somewhat restored 115 minute version based on a recently found complete print of the movie. The print itself is certainly not flawless and little seems to have been done in terms of restoration.

Even in its full length director’s cut version Looking To Get Out does not quite work. For example in the scene where Alex (Voight) tells Jerry (Burt Young) he lost 10 grand the pause after that is supposed to be the sound of a car braking and crashing into another one. This is barely audible. So much for that effect.

Ashby bases a lot of his movie on the story’s quirky characters and unfortunately they are not that interesting. The story itself takes a while to take off. Basically, smooth talker Alex owes mobsters 10 grand and goes to Vegas with Jerry to win the money; the mobsters follow. A choppy, hard to follow and figure out story follows.

Another flaw is Looking to Get Out does not give the viewer an in so it is hard to connect to anything happening on screen. Voight is out of control as Alex. Burt Young (Pauly in Rocky) is Burt Young. Ann-Margret plays a Vegas dame somehow connected to Alex.

Looking To Get Out is really for Hal Ashby fans only.


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