I’ve been known to be a bit squeamish about gory horror films and the like, but the only movie I ever completely gave up on watching on video simply because I couldn’t handle the darn thing contained not a speck of blood as far as I know. It was Todd Solodnz’s “Happiness.” While I had enjoyed his earlier “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” this was a whole new level of emotional horror and, at least at that moment near the turn of this century, I simply wasn’t up to the task. Perhaps out of embarrassment or feeling left out of the loop, I’ve skipped the two multistory films the oddball auteur has made since.
However, even though this is said to be some kind of companion piece of quasi sequel (with different actors) to those earlier films, I am now intrigued by his “Life During Wartime.”
Whatever else is true, it’s great to see Charlotte Rampling underperforming her heart out and Allison Janney has got to be the most underrated actress of the millennium. H/t Nikki Finke.
And filmed by Martin Scorsese no less. There are numerous clips available from “The Last Waltz,” but especially since this is still Halloween weekend, I doubt there’s a better choice than the Band’s riveting “Stage Fright,” with the late Rick Danko singing and playing lead and Garth Hudson burning up the keyboards. Remember, this blog post should be played loud.
Although it wasn’t a farewell engagement, the only concert film so far that may have topped Scorsese’s rock and roll masterpiece was Jonathan Demme’s great document of a night with an augmented version of Talking Heads, “Stop Making Sense.” Here are the fabulous foursome at the top of their respective games performing one of their best scary songs, “Life During Wartime,” alongside Brother Johnson’s guitarist Alex Weir and Parliament/Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell, among others. (For some reason this clip starts out a bit oddly — the music begins at about 0:20. Trust me, it’s worth dealing with the brief gap.)
…that Ryan Reynolds will be the Green Lantern. So says such standard bearers of the geek film press as Cinematical (last night) and AICN (also last night).
Personally, this would not have been my choice. I’ve missed several of his movies, but after doing some very good work early on, I’m not convinced that Reynolds is anything much more than the Chevy Chase of our day, though from a ticket sales standpoint I know young women like him, and I’m keeping an open mind. While I was part of the Nathan Fillion contingent on this matter because I simply enjoy seeing the guy doing anything, I was actually willing to go with Justin Timberlake, one of three choices including Reynolds that were floated earlier in the week. Despite being agnostic on his musical talent, I was impressed by his straight forward acting work in “Black Snake Moan” (though Jason Zingale thought otherwise) and in the clips from what I understand was one of the few tolerable sections of “The Love Guru,” and even his soft drink commercials. He’s a reasonably likable presence.
On the other hand, if Reynolds can avoid falling into himself, he has some real potential. At least that’s what I thought about ten years back when I saw him in the indie black comedy “The Alarmist” (aka “Life During Wartime”). The following scene is illuminating, but also NSFW for some humorously over-frank sexuality.