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Paris, Texas Review


Extraordinary
There is a mysticism that enshrouds Paris. The grand cityscape of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe situated on the River Seine gives the city of lights its romanticism. But in Paris, Texas, there is only a desolate plot of land that holds the dreams of Travis Henderson. And though the earth is scorched and he has never seen the lot, except in a picture he carries with him, it is no less important. It's this dichotomy between the universal, romantic reminiscence of Paris, France, and Travis' Paris that drives him to reconnect with his 10-year-old son and estranged girlfriend.

Wim Wender's film opens with Travis wandering in a Texas desert. Lost for four years, Travis' brother, Walt, travels to Texas to claim him and takes him back to Los Angeles where Walt lives with his wife and Travis' son. Given Travis' absence, his son has all but forgotten about him -- causing Travis to clean up his act and get his life back in order. Given that Travis doesn't say a word for the first 20 minutes of the film, it's a little bizarre when the film focuses solely on him in the second and third acts -- turning a blind eye to Walt and his wife, who have been moving the story along for the first half.

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At Close Range Review


OK
Christopher Walken's hair and bushy mustache almost make the maudlin At Close Range worth watching, but not quite. Sean Penn plays Walken Jr. here in what ought to be a meeting of great Method actors but turns out to be a stillborn dud. Dad's a gangster, son wants to work for pa (and doesn't know he's a crook), and slowly gets pulled into his increasingly violent world. A real mess ensues (as occured in the real-life story on which the film is based), and in the end we all leave the film feeling so depressed we're ready to commit suicide.

Blue Collar Review


Very Good
Funny and depressing look at infighting and conspiracy in a fictional American auto union. A cult classic from the writer of Taxi Driver.
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