Dave (Jones) is a detective looking into the violent murder of a prostitute when movie star Elrod (Sarsgaard), filming nearby in a swamp, stumbles across the decades-old skeleton of a chained-up black man. In Dave's mind, the murders are linked, and as he questions a local mobster (Goodman), a partying investor (Beatty) and the film's director (Sayles), both cases get increasingly haunting. Dave also imagines that he sees a Confederate general (Helm) roaming the bayou around his house. And within this swirling mist, things start to make sense.
Continue reading: In The Electric Mist Review
Hazel Motes, played by Brad Dourif in a brilliant, physical performance, is a character John Huston would have had to create if O'Conner hadn't already written him. Aggressive and hissing like an angry cobra, Motes slithers his way into town from a stint in the army and begins yelling about a "Church Without Christ" that he will begin. He finds a believer in the young, brainless Enoch Emory (Dan Shor) who tells Hazel about the "wise blood" in his veins that tells him things no one else can hear.
Continue reading: Wise Blood Review
In the Electric Mist -- my nomination for the worst-titled film since Quantum of Solace -- is likely destined to meet a similar fate. Despite star turns from Tommy Lee Jones, John goodman, Mary Steenburgen, and Peter Sarsgaard, Tavernier's rural Louisianan tale of murder, mobsters, and, er, dead Confederate soldiers, is a rocky affair that makes next to no sense at all.
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Playing Conway-as-Kubrick is John Malkovich. He's the main attraction here, and for all of Colour Me Kubrick's considerable flaws, you can't take your eyes off Malkovich's flamboyant take on Conway. Depending on whom Conway's trying to hustle -- whether it's Jasper (Richard E. Grant), a hard-luck restaurateur; Rupert (Luke Mably), a studly would-be fashion designer; or Lee Pratt (Jim Davidson), a cut-rate Tom Jones-wannabe -- we see him adapting wildly different variations on the "Kubrick" persona. He's the sly English fop for the gay scenesters, or a variation on the brash, business-minded American (often with a shrill Brooklyn accent) for the investors and entertainers. Always, though, he dresses with the sensibility of a natty, low-rent hipster -- as if Kubrick must dress dowdily, yet with an impeccable sense of thrift-store chic. Conway's coup de grace involves conning the aforementioned Pratt, the English crooner, into believing he -- Kubrick -- is going to help him score a show in Vegas. After Pratt calls his bluff, the balance of Conway's vodka-loving life is spent in a rehab facility for the fancy rich. What we marvel at, beyond the gullibility of his victims, is how Conway is always playing a role, and getting away with it, right up to the very end.
Continue reading: Colour Me Kubrick: A True...ish Story Review
From the opening shot, where we see the top of Nicholson's half-bald, hair-transplanted head, The Pledge is an exercise in stomaching an ugly truth. Body parts, pony-tailed girls splotched with blood and bruises -- this isn't a film about happy endings and human triumph. Suspected sex perverts lurk down every road in The Pledge, causing Nicholson's character, a retired homicide detective, so much angst that he becomes his own worst enemy.
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For almost five years now, Hollywood studios have beentrying to duplicate the success of "Gladiator"by making the same big-budget historical battle epic over ("TheLast Samurai") and over ("Troy")and over ("KingArthur") and over ("Alexander").
Each movie has re-imagined history from a modern, let's-keep-an-open-mindperspective and hewed to a shopworn formula in which the hero rallies hismen against great odds and for a greater good. He invariably leads theminto the same blood-and-mud war scenes, which are always shot in the samestaccato slow-motion that characterizes the chaos of combat but forgetsthe audience needs to be kept abreast of who is winning. The hero alsoalways finds time to romance a beautiful woman from another culture.
Aside from having different casts, the only significantvariations between these films seem to be 1) whether the hero was of noblebirth or came up from nothing to become a great leader, and 2) whetherthe battlefields are green and forested or brown and sandy. One thing mostof them definitely have in common is that they've bombed at the box office.
Continue reading: Kingdom Of Heaven Review
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For almost five years now, Hollywood studios have beentrying to duplicate the success of "Gladiator"by...