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" the world on land -- it's just too big for me . "
starring tim roth , pruitt taylor vince , bill nunn , clarence williams iii .
rated r .
the legend of 1900s is the year's most absurd movie , a rambling , nonsensical piece of seafaring garbage that goes nowhere fast .
it stars thespian extraordinaire tim roth , looking wistful as ever , as a guy named . . .
1900 .
you heard right .
his name is , in all actuality , 1900 .
he was born on an ocean liner on 1/1/1900 ( uh , hence the name ) , abandoned and adopted by danny , a ship crewman .
1900 spends most of his early years hiding in the bowels of the ship because of danny's fear that he might be taken away from him because of " visa matters . "
well , when 1900 is about 9 or so , he starts wondering all around the ship .
one day , he discovers a grand piano .
he sits down and starts playing .
miraculously , what comes out is beautiful .
a group of onlookers gathers to watch this stunning prodigy make such amazing music at such a young age .
when one of the people who knows 1900 tells him that his playing the piano like that without permission is " totally against regulations " 1900 replies " f * ck the regulations ! "
ho ho ho .
1900 grows up never setting foot on dry land .
when he's about 30ish and can play the piano like nobody's business , onboard comes another musician .
his name is max ( pruitt taylor vince ) and he plays the trumpet .
after 1900 catches max barfing everywhere during a storm , he sits him down on the piano next to him , takes the piano's braces off and plays while the piano flies all around the hall , taking them with it .
how the chair they're sitting on and the piano don't separate , i don't know , but this apparently isn't the kind of thing we're supposed to ask .
after that , 1900 and max become friends .
max is determined to get 1900 off the ship and discover what he is missing on land , but 1900 has no intention of doing so .
what's more , he doesn't even want his music to go anywhere without him : when a record company hears about his talents , they come on board to make a record of his music , but after finding out that -- gasp !
-- they're going to make millions of copies , he breaks the record .
the conflict of the movie is that after max , unsuccessful in his endeavor to get 1900 off the ship , gets off himself , he stumbles upon a record of 1900's music in a store .
the record shouldn't exist because a ) 1900 never stepped on dry land and b ) the one record that was made on the ship was broken .
ladies and gentlemen , it's a mystery !
the story itself is ludicrous and uninteresting and so are its elements .
we're supposed to be roused by a climactic . . .
piano duel ?
there isn't anything in this movie with the potential to compel .
1900 comes off as a whiny , brooding , extremely unlikable man : i can't recall a single word he said that was not some sort of depressing pseudo- meditation on life .
ditto for max , who doesn't seem to have a life outside his friendship with 1900 .
tim roth plays 1900 with about as much panache as a fig leaf ; there's no spirit , no gusto to the character .
he insists that he leads a happy life on the ship , but to us he is dead .
pruitt taylor vince is a little more palatable , at least providing a moment of comic relief here and there to liven things up a bit .
the highlight of the movie would have to be the eminently amusing clarence williams the iii as the arrogant , leering " king of jazz " who challenges 1900 to the aforementioned piano duel .
the legend of 1900 was made by giuseppe tornatore , whose 1988 cinema paradiso is considered a masterpiece by many .
this effort is utterly limp and lifeless .
at once ridiculous , boring , narrow-sighted and pointless , this is one movie that should be -- and will be -- quickly forgotten .