Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Is This Movie About A Country Music Star Or Amphetamines?


3.05 stars.

I hate biopics. Unless your name is Hillary Clinton, a movie about your life probably isn't going to be that interesting. Even then, there's a big gap between October 26, 1947 and, say, January 17, 1998 where Hill's life could be considered - gasp - boring to the general populace. Clearly, I think her entire life is fascinating, especially when she went Commie in law school and then hid it for decades.

So I didn't really want to see this movie, not least of all because I don't like country music, and the only Johnny Cash music I had heard previous to this movie was in a short scene in The Shawshank Redemption and in the trailor for the movie currently under discussion. Why did I go? Firstly, because it's an Oscar contender, and I feel weird if I'm out of the pretentious film loop come February. Secondly, I HEART Reese Witherspoon, even though she was such a cunt in Pleasantville. Thirdly, I was hoping it wouldn't be the redneck version of Ray.

OMG! It's Paul Walker in his only good movie!

To see this movie, I had to make mad sacrifices. The Russian made me go to a fucking SHEEPSHEAD BAY theater, which was scary and looked like a parking garage. I don't know how anyone can even find it. It has no exterior that explains it's a movie theater. I feel, next to having a supply of movies on hand, it's kind of important to let the populace know you're a movie theater. Anyway.

Walk the Line has some of the most badass acting ever, which makes up for the fact that it's a biopic about someone that's not that interesting. For a change, they should make a biopic about a music star that DIDN'T get addicted to meds and bang women all the time. Off the top of my head, I can only think of one person that fits that description.

Definitely NOT banging women all the time, though I suppose the meds thing has yet to be proven out over the long run.

Since most of the movie is about Johnny Cash being addicted to pills, they don't spend a lot of time on the period leading up to his fame, which I liked. That's the problem with so many biopics - they think the audience wants to see a budding musical star turned down repeatedly until finally, after 90 minutes, he gets a recording contract. No. Nobody likes that. Unless you liked Ray. Then you probably like things like that. So within about 20 minutes, Johnny Cash is relatively famous, and he's driving around the South on a country music tour with Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis. I gave this movie a star simply for casting a weird Dawson Leery lookalike with a forehead the size of Angola as Jerry Lewis.

YOU CAN'T EVEN SEE WHERE THE FOREHEAD ENDS.
And he has hair on his shoulders. No thanks.

Both Joaquin and Reese were incredible. They're both getting nominations. (See three posts ago where I explained that I give everyone in every movie nominations.) I may be the only person that thinks Reese was better, and maybe I'm biased, but I feel she had the more difficult role here. Joaquin was practically playing a cultural caricature, which is not to say he wasn't amazing playing it. But you could almost see him thinking about how to approach each scene. "Okay, in this scene, I'm going to look tormented and have sweat pouring off my face...and I should probably throw some meaningful glances over at Reese. Oooh! I should sneer too!"

Sullen bojangles.

Reese's role was infinitely more interesting. They should have done this movie about June Carter Cash. Her emotions are more conflicted because she's actually in her right mind for this entire movie. Why is she attracted to a profusely sweating pill-popper? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe it's the baritone of sex. I thought they kind of glossed over her own issues, like the fact that she has a propensity to marry scum and does it three different times, by my count.



I've always thought the best way to tell if someone was a good actor was to take a look at three or four movies that they've done and see if the people they play are any different. Somehow, Helen Hunt ALWAYS plays Helen Hunt. Helen Hunt as a storm chaser, Helen Hunt as a waitress who has weird sexual tension with Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt as Haley Joel Osment's alcoholic mother. Reese always seems to play someone that's different and just coincidentally looks like her. Annette Hargrove, prudish virginal insanity in Cruel Intentions. Evelyn Williams, soulless, mentally unstable fiancee of Christian Bale in American Psycho. Tracy Flick, evil cunty girl we all knew in high school in Election. The only similarity between them is that they look the same. Go Reese. If this turns into a Reese versus Keira fest come February...

AND...the T-1000 from Terminator 2 is an alcoholic father in this.

Linda Hamilton, shoot me again and I'll cut you...down there.

2 Comments:

At 11:19 PM, Anonymous Karol said...

To see this movie, I had to make mad sacrifices. The Russian made me go to a fucking SHEEPSHEAD BAY theater, which was scary and looked like a parking garage. I don't know how anyone can even find it. It has no exterior that explains it's a movie theater. I feel, next to having a supply of movies on hand, it's kind of important to let the populace know you're a movie theater. Anyway.

Ah yes, 'the' UA. Did you go to TGIF afterward like the Puerto Ricans or smoke blunts on the bay like the Russians?

 
At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Karol said...

Well, ok, sometimes the Russians go to TGIF and sometimes the Puerto Ricans smoke blunts on the Bay. It happens.

Was the bartender at TGIF a black guy with dreads?

 

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