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Wonderland (2003)

Wonderland (2003)

Val KilmerLisa KudrowKate BosworthChristina Applegate
James Cox


Wonderland (2003) is a English movie. James Cox has directed this movie. Val Kilmer,Lisa Kudrow,Kate Bosworth,Christina Applegate are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2003. Wonderland (2003) is considered one of the best Crime,Drama,Mystery,Thriller movie in India and around the world.

John Holmes was a legend of the porn industry and revered in circles as a stud. But in 1981, years after his successful career and star fading, Holmes was a desperate man with his own internal demons to live up to. He's estranged from his wife, holding onto a relationship with his teenage mistress, and living as a junkie in search of his next fix. But one fateful night left four people dead and John as a key suspect in one of the most grisly murders in Los Angeles. Was he partly responsible for what happened at Wonderland Avenue?


Wonderland (2003) Reviews

  • One of the best of the 2003!


    I found "Wonderland" to be an excellent movie. What it does so well is place a marker on the people who were involved in that massacre (both the victims and the murderers). It also illustrates the slow and fatal decline of John Holmes from his post-porno world to the beginning of his death from AIDS, and this was the best role I ever saw Val Kilmer play. Eric Bogosian also plays his part well, and this is the best I have seen him since "Talk Radio". This movie also has a soul for the period, and made me remember that time of my life (I was away in college at the time). It is rare that this good a movie comes out. Needless to say, I highly recommend this movie.

  • Sam Peckinpah-like version of Boogie Nights


    John Holmes is so famous, he's infamous (as the Three Amigos would say). This is a Rashomon-like story about the events surrounding the Wonderland Murders of the early 1980's, in Los Angeles. The story is pieced together from the retelling of a few of the participants. There is story from the friend's perspective, namely David Lind (played by Dylan McDermott). He is a participant in the robbery assault at Eddie Nash's place (Eddie Nash is a infamous drug dealer - and is the suppose to be the same character Alfred Molina played in Boogie Nights) and is heavily into the drug scene. There is John Holmes' perspective (played by Val Kilmer), which makes him out to be a pawn stuck between two kings (with a severe case of cocaine cravings). There is also the patchwork recollections of John's wife (Sharon - played by Lisa Kudrow) and his girlfriend (Dawn - played by Kate Bosworth) that fill in the spaces between the two stories. It is basically the same time frame that we are looking at, just each character's version. The only thing that is missing is the perspective from the dead people. Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights portrays John Holmes as a slightly heroic character, with a tragic yet comedic karma. He is a caricature of a real person. He was more of less, a mixed up kid that got what he got through his "large" endowment. Director James Cox turns the comedy off and makes this episode in John's life into a nightmare for all of us watching. The details of the real life murders make this movie even more eerie. Val Kilmer took what he learned of Jim Morrison, from the Doors, enhanced the performance for the Salton Sea, and then further enhanced that to bring us the deterioration of John Holmes through cocaine. All of the actors pull off very realistic looking portrayal's of cocaine junkies. Josh Lucas' performance stands out as one of the best in the movie. He plays Ron Launius (I think this character is suppose to be the same as the Thomas Jane character from Boogie Nights). Ron was the leader of the gang, loved having John Holmes around as a novelty and had a cocaine craving like sharks enjoy blood. The cocaine use seems so realistic as to make one think. Did they really use Splenda ?? Where Boogie Nights has a bubblegum pop feel to it (lots of color and 70's nostalgia), Wonderland is dark. The action is fast and furious, with a lot of jumps. It is twitchy and grainy. There is no comedy, just a never ending pace, as if the director is trying to put us into the nervous, fast paced, edgy cocaine high to make us feel what the characters are feeling. This is a graphic movie. It has one of the most intensely violent scenes I have ever seen in a movie. It actually shows the murders themselves (through the eyes of John Holmes at first and then from a third person perspective). It is so graphic, it looks like police evidence of a crime. I had to pause after this scene and remind myself this was just a movie. This movie is definitely not recommended for everyone. I recommend it as a good alternative to Boogie Nights, for those interested in the other sides of John Holmes. -Celluloid Rehab

  • The closest dramatisation of the Wonderland Avenue massacre


    WONDERLAND is the story of classic "jazz film" star Johnny "The Wadd" Holmes and his involvement in the Wonderland Avenue massacre in Los Angeles' Laurel Canyon in 1981. The film starts with Holmes career already on the down slope that ended with his descent into drug addiction. When he was washed-up, Holmes befriended a cadre of iffy characters to help support his habit. His glory in the porn industry had long passed and he reached a stage where he was willing to abuse, double-cross, exploit and betray absolutely anyone to feed his addiction. WONDERLAND tells its story from this point of his life from several viewpoints; Holmes the man; the victims; and their killers. What marks WONDERLAND as standing above the standard film biopic is its refusal to adhere to the usual "Romance of Redemption" spin that biopic films tend to follow. This could easily have been a ham-fisted, tragic-hero story but instead in WONDERLAND we have a film that pulls no punches and isn't afraid to tell it as truthfully as possible given the available information. I consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable on Holmes' career – after all, what man hasn't watched "those" sort of films and I'm also pretty sure most middle-age guys have heard of John Holmes and what man wouldn't want to be as "equipped" as well as "The Wadd" (minus the arsehole factor)? Having read a whole bunch of stuff about the Wonderland Avenue murders, the movie rings very true to the dismal tale it tells – a rare situation for dramatic biopics that are famous for adding fictional elements for no good reason. WONDERLAND is no morality play and Holmes is presented in anything but the romanticised light that many people were expecting and hoped for. We have two sides of the same story; one from Holmes himself, the other from David Lind, a survivor of the slayings. As expected, both accounts paint very different pictures of each other and how it went down, as well as their mutual enemy, drug-lord Eddie Nash. Cox uses multiple versions of the crime as a clever film device but it's not central to the meaning of the movie, which is nice for a change… one RASHOMON was plenty, thanks, and Cox showboats a tremendous flair rarely seen from directors on their sophomore features. The LAPD labelled the Wonderland slayings as the most gruesome crime scene since the Tate/Labianca slaughter, and here's a spot of trivia for y'all – the sordid and gore-soaked Wonderland house was the first crime scene to be filmed by a video camera (brand new technology back then) by police as a means to collect visual evidence. Incredibly, this uncensored crime scene video appears as an extra on the DVD! After watching it, I was torn between wondering if what I had sat through was in incredibly poor taste or if it's the best damn extra I've ever seen on any DVD. MARRIED WITH CHILDREN's Christina Applegate grew up a couple of blocks from the murders and remembers the blood-soaked mattresses dumped in the streets – a memory that influenced her decision to agree in taking the small role of Susan Launius. The filmmakers tracked down Holmes' teenage girlfriend, Dawn Schiller and his wife Sharon, both of whom served as consultants on the movie, sharing their insights of Holmes' character and the era. Seeing her past relived proved to be a very interesting experience for Schiller and she stated how impressed she was with the boner-load research the filmmakers made and stated, " I really felt that it was going to be an honest portrayal and that the truth was finally going to be told." To the best of my knowledge, she stands by that statement. I had reservations about the choice of casting Val Kilmer in the role of Holmes (Matt Dillon was originally slated for the role but dropped out to direct CITY OF GHOSTS). How wrong I was; Kilmer's performance is spot-on, pitch-perfect and impeccably nails Holmes' physical mannerisms and personality so accurately, I almost forgot I wasn't watching the 13½ inch original portraying himself. In spite of being notoriously "difficult" an actor, Kilmer delivers the goods and I hope that one day he'll get full recognition for what he "pulled off" here (wink). Initially, Kilmer was totally disinterested in playing the character of Holmes – even pleas from his agent and Cox to read the script were met with point blank refusal but his agent eventually tricked him into reading the script by asking him to consider the grittier role of Eddie Nash. Once Kilmer started reading it was a done deal. He changed his mind, signed on for the lead and ended up getting so into research for the role, he spent the night at the Wonderland Avenue crime scene during an anniversary of the horrific killings. On its release, WONDERLAND was harshly dismissed by critics and totally overlooked come Oscar-time. In my opinion and that of the growing audience discovering it, WONDERLAND is easily one of the most underrated films of its decade. There's no doubting Holmes was a scumbag. To quote Rodger Jacobs, co-writer and co-producer of WADD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JOHN C. HOLMES, "John Holmes was the epitome of a sociopath, and an antisocial personality in the most broad and extreme definition of the word. He saw other people as 'things' to be manipulated to further his own needs, nothing less, nothing more." Quite an indictment, eh. No matter how you feel about him, Holmes is a true pop culture icon and at last here's a film that tells it as accurately as anyone could ever hope to and I'm pretty sure no one's going to be remaking this one in a hurry, in spite of the fact several Holmes' biopics were in the pipeline… thankfully Cox's mini-masterpiece beat them to it. A classic in the making!

  • Not too Bad..


    I've read many negative reviews of this movie and finally got a chance to see it on DVD. To be honest I really don't know what the problem with it is. It's a decent murder mystery thriller, shown from various points of view, from an eccentric cast of often drugged out potential killers/suspects, including the late porn king, John Holmes. Please read the plot synopsis for the exact details of the movie's plot - I wish to contribute more to a review than a synopsis. Many reviewers went so far to give this movie their lowest rating due to violence but I really don't see it. MANY modern movies were worse - Saving Private Ryan was ultimately more violent than this movie, which often relies on implied blood stains than actual brutal slayings (the murders depicted in this film were done with lead pipes, afterall). I was enthralled with both halves of the movie - the first showing John Holmes as a hopeless cash hungry drug addict, and the second half showing his side as a minor conspirator in a senseless bloodbath. The movie has excellent acting, even though Dylan McDemorant looks more than a bit out of place in his biker-esque personia and goatee'ed bad boy personality. The soundtrack was also awesome - a fantastic mix of 70's B-side rock and obscure pop, spread out over a couple of hours in all the right places ala Boogie Nights.

  • brilliant


    May 2004, Wonderland is fairly new in the UK. Brilliant film of a brutal true story. If you know LA from the early 80's, you will appreciate how well it is captured. The use of the elements which make up its gritty cinematic style is original, amplifying the experience and bringing the viewer very close to actually being there. The use of a disjointed 'Pulp Fiction' style time line allows exploration of the uncertainty concerning what really happened, while the direction and performances of the cast command attention, especially Val Kilmer as John Holmes; an Oscar for sure if I were handing them out.


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