I’ve always found that it’s harder to write about the things you like – because it’s more fun to come out and dog a piece of work for being a piece of shit – and, I suppose for me, it’s rare to come across something I actually do like any more. This is one of those movies that exists in a place in the world where I am accustomed to being – the southwest, some small towns, real people that aren’t a bunch of fucking Greeks rubbing themselves with stinking oils and wading around in some fountain. I also like Ben Foster. I don’t think he’s some sort of excellent actor who’s going to go down in history as the next Spencer Tracy or something but I like the guy. I also figure most of his time on a movie shoot goes something like this – for this example we use the film Alpha Dog:
Foster (enters location shoot, INT residence): Ok boss!! I’m ready!! Let’s do this mother fucker!!
Director: Fantastic, Ben. This afternoon we’re going do that part of the script where we smash around this guy’s house and you take a shit on the floor.
Foster: YOU GOT IT BOSS!!!! (Snuffs unfiltered Camel on his kneecap) I’M FUCKING READY!!
Assistant to Director (whispering): How much sugar do you think he’s had today??”
Director (watches Foster eat a light bulb): I… I…
Foster: COME ON BOSS!! i’M READY!!! I’M PACKING HEAT!!!
Director: OK… let’s go. Scene 26, take 1!
Foster: (Drops pants to ankles) NNNNNN!! NNNNNNNNNAAAAHHHHHHH! NNN!!! NNNNNNNNNNN MMMMMMMMM AAAAAHHHH! (Dumps turd on Property carpet) I’M SHITTING!!!!!
Director: Looks… great, Ben. Well done. Cut!
Foster runs off shoot, pants off: WHO WANTS SOME OF ME CABBAGE AND LINKS???
Here we find a much more subdued Foster – less yelling and shitting – and I quite liked him. This is also very Film Noir-y which is a genre I like: a guy gets involved with a girl he doesn’t want to get involved with, he starts to like her and things go to shit. In this case, it’s a young call girl he (kind of) accidentally saves and they try and get out of trouble, hiding out in Galveston. I don’t normally look at these things or even pick up on them but I really bought in to the acting of the girl whose character didn’t know much else besides using her body for sex and hoping to trust in this good guy who might make things better. It also turns out that she’s played by Elle Fanning and that was a surprise.
Something else in here kind of got me – and I won’t ever look to this place for personal shit but there’s this sequence later on in the movie where Foster and Fanning are actually doing OK and (even though we all know better) things might turn out all right. They’re at this bar on the Gulf and they’re almost even happy and there’s this band playing in the background and they even cut loose and do some dancing and the song really resonated with me. When I was watching the credits (yep – I’m a guy who looks at credits) I noticed the song was by a band called “Bootless” with no album or studio or management information listed. Being the amazing and not fucking lazy detective that I am, I found out that it is a song by The Marshall Tucker Band called “Fire on the Mountain” and, when I listened to it again it reminded me of the 70s and it reminded me of my time in California and it reminded me of the times when my Aunt and Uncle would go out country dancing in their yolk shirts and boots and it made me happy. And then it actually made me sad because he had died the day before and maybe that’s why it resonated with me so much or some shit like that but I think I would have liked this movie anyway.
That’s me in the glasses and him behind the wheel. I don’t remember exactly what was happening when this picture was taken but he was a good man and we lost a good one that night.
As for Galveston – yeah, I sure do like movies with Blood and Boobs but I also like this kind of thing. Others that come to mind are After Dark, My Sweet, Red Rock West, Bad Turn Worse and Cut Bank, even though those last two don’t follow the Noir ‘formula’. Even my favorite movie – The Professional – has to do with a guy who just wants to mind his own fucking business and someone comes in to his life that he wants to help, even though that surely means bad fucking news for him. There’s even a line from Red Rock West that I’ve been quoting almost half my life: “That’s the fucking story of my life.” You know, when you drive 45 minutes out of your fucking way to get some chili dogs at this chili dog place and you wait in line for however long it takes and then your order three chili dogs and they’re out of hot dogs. That’s the fucking story of my life. I could go an and on there.
To finish this up, they probably could have wrapped this thing to end better – I get the ending but – sigh, shrug, oh well. After my last sentence I ‘ll drop in the song I like because I am that lazy of a fucker – I could do without the flute or piccolo number in the middle of it but I can get over myself.
Filed under: THEY ALMOST MADE IT TO THE HAPPY FINISH