[box cover]

The King of Marvin Gardens

Jack Nicholson stars as David Staebler, an uptight and longwinded AM radio philosopher dragged into some shady schemes by his ne'er-do-well brother, Jason (Bruce Dern). Although Nicholson's earlier collaboration with director Bob Rafelson, Five Easy Pieces, established him as a potent leading man, this second partnership wastes Nicholson's charisma in a dour role and exposes Rafelson for the pretender that he is. Although King is full of the loose, idiosyncratic moments Rafelson prizes, they're meaningless in the context and overwhelmed by shrill performances by Dern and Ellen Burstyn, as the latter's aging moll. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and pan & scan, and 2.0 Dolby mono. Includes one original (and oddly chosen) piece of poster art and "bonus" trailers of other Nicholson films. Keep-case.
—Kerry Fall

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