» » Too Much Sleep (1997)

Short summary

While riding the bus one day, night watchman Jack Crawford gets distracted by a beautiful girl and has his gun stolen. To get it back, he enlists the help of local wise guy, Eddie, and their search reveals the bizarre characters lurking in the strange underworld of a sleepy New Jersey suburb.

User reviews

  • comment
    • Author: Diredefender
    The young first-time director, David Maquiling, crafts an unusual journey through the streets and backyards of suburban New Jersey. The film has an ethereal quality driving it as well as a pre-9/11 simplicity. The innocence of the main character clashes with the off-kilter actions and ramblings of the numerous secondary actors. I enjoyed the quirky what-will-happen-next view of the world exhibited by the screenplay. The director also has a deft eye for widescreen composition even though he is not working with the process in this film. One shot in particular, toward the end of the film, has Jack, the hero, chasing the possible perp around a corner and down a leafy street. The frame of the movie is busy but not cluttered. The two men race past a factory building on the right side and the angles and movement achieved in the shot evoke the best of any authentic prior 'Scope process. Kudos to everyone involved for a job well done.
  • comment
    • Author: Todal
    TOO MUCH SLEEP / (2001) *** (out of four)

    By Blake French:

    It's one thing for a movie to depend on metaphors to make its point, but it's another for a movie to depend on metaphors when it has no point. "Too Much Sleep," the directing debut of Asian American filmmaker David Maquiling, propels into a modern tale of misfits, manhood, culture, and finding a stolen gun. The gun serves as a metaphor for a character's searching for manhood, while encountering a bunch of misfits and awakening to the achievements of current culture. There is a story here, and it incorporates a sly, sarcastic sense of humor, but the message Maquiling tries to get across is never really clear. "Too Much Sleep" is actually unsuccessful in more ways than one, but its dark, quirky humor, consistent narrative, and weirdly involving storyline keeps the overall production afloat-even if its target motif is undigested and misunderstood.

    The movie's central character, named Jack Crawford (Marc Palmieri), is 24-years-old and lives in an customary, small suburb town. He works nights as a security guard and spends his sleepy days living home with his nagging mother. While on a bus one sunny afternoon, Jack's gun is stolen. The gun, inherited from his father, is unregistered, so he cannot go to the police for assistance. He goes to the town's "know-it all," Eddie (Pasquale Gaeta), who brags about his immoral doings, spews out almost continuous profanity, and boasts about his job as a deputy county clerk for nearly twenty years. He persuades Jack to search out suspects on his own, which leads him to encounters with a beautiful young woman, an annoying older woman, and even a bouncer in a gay bar.

    Audiences Can connect to Jack because he is the only "normal" character out of the many present in the film. Although never really absorbing, Jack's story is never boring or bland, even though he himself is both boring and bland. It is what he experiences that interests us, and I am going out on a limb by recommending the picture on that merit. Many people will get nothing but a good nap out of this picture. I liked it because of the smartness and spontaneity of the dialogue and situations, the consistent narrative, and an unbiased point of view.

    Many will complain that the characters have zero of concern to say or do, or that the movie lacks a conclusive resolution. I agree with those ideas, and I will be the first to admit "Too Much Sleep" is far from greatness. But there is a kind of novelty here that I found quirky and amusing. In its own way, the film's unusual sense of humor is also effective. It's a close call here, but I recommend the production to fans of independent, low-budget film making and to people who want a break from brainless violence and senseless Hollywood hype.
  • comment
    • Author: Rich Vulture
    TOO MUCH SLEEP borrows a story idea from Kurosawa's, STRAY DOG, and a cinematic approach common to almost all of the films of Hal Hartley. David Maquiling's 'slacker opus' is chiefly a repertory vehicle which highlights a variety of oddball soliloquies and character set-pieces which add little to advance the storyline, but do create a very watchable film. Jack Crawford, played with sleepy earnestness by Marc Palmieri, has his gun lifted on a crosstown bus trip after a long night working as a security guard. He knows that he can't go to the police because he shouldn't have had a gun in the first place, but he thinks that the father of one of his friends might be able to help. Eddie DeLuca, played by Pasquale Gaeta, is a local delicatessen owner and self-styled community leader. Imagine a more affable and less acerbic Joe Pesci, and you will have Gaeta's take on his character. The film meanders and shuffles along, and peaks at an absurd confrontation with a man who might have been the fence for the pistol. And, in the final scene, Eddie offers Jack more insight on the ways of the world, before Jack goes off to interview for a new job. I guess he lost the security guard gig, but it really doesn't matter. TOO MUCH SLEEP is not intended to communicate an elaborate plot or a riveting story, but it does manage to showcase a collection of peculiar characters who inhabit a very mild and suburban section of contemporary New Jersey.
  • comment
    • Author: Mataxe
    Pasquale Gaeta is the highlight of this film. He is a character actor that should be getting far more work. He is better than this film, unfortunately. The concept is okay, and, of course, with the budget constraints of this film, the end product really is not bad. But it drags. It is slow. It lacks driving conflict. It has moments that are good (and, truth be told, it is a better film than movies made with 100 times the budget), but it feels more like a student film than a professional project. Gaeta, though, is worth seeing.
  • Cast overview, first billed only:
    Marc Palmieri Marc Palmieri - Jack Crawford
    Pasquale Gaeta Pasquale Gaeta - Eddie DeLuca
    Nicol Zanzarella Nicol Zanzarella - Kate
    Philip Galinsky Philip Galinsky - Andrew
    Judy Sabo Podinker Judy Sabo Podinker - Judy
    Mary Ann Riel Mary Ann Riel - Sandy
    Jon Steinberg Jon Steinberg - Frankie (as John Stonehill)
    R.G. Rader R.G. Rader - Jonathan
    Ruth Kaye Ruth Kaye - Gert
    Jon Langione Jon Langione - Tom Coffee
    Joan Maquiling Joan Maquiling - Jack's Mother
    Jack Mertz Jack Mertz - Judy's Father
    Glenn Zarr Glenn Zarr - Mel
    Raj Kanithi Raj Kanithi - Mr. Raj
    Peggy Lord Chilton Peggy Lord Chilton - Mrs. Bruner
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