Nothing says “home for the holidays” like a debilitating cold (and I don’t get sick, I am PISSED). And so I’ve had some considerable time to sit around on my stupid ass. Which brings us to:
SAG SCREENER MOVIE WRAP-UP #1:
(Click pics for trailers)
“St. Vincent” – I should NOT have enjoyed this film as much as I did. We’ve seen this one a million times, BELIEVE me. But my wife assured me that, because it had a “two misfits finding each other in a world of shit” theme going on, I would be crying by the end of it. Damn it, she was right! Aaaarrrrgh!!! (Grumpy Old Bill befriends a wimpy little boy caught in a custody battle…)
Bill Murray destroys as usual, but what killed me about this one was how much he was channeling Hunter S. Thompson in old age. Y’know…if Hunter HADN’T blown his brains out. Don’t forget, Bill was our first cinematic HST in “Where the Buffalo Roam”. So to see him driving around drunk in a convertible with big sunglasses, a floppy hat, and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth was very special. OR you could even say it was a geriatric version of his “Meatballs” and “Stripes” guys.
“Nightcrawler” – Whoa. This one gets under your skin. It’s “Taxi Driver” meets “8mm” (kind of) with the creepiest (and best) Jake Gyllenhaal performance yet. Nice to see Rene Russo back in action here, too. This is a story about a guy with a police scanner who shows up to crime/death scenes before the cops do to snag video footage he can then sell to local news networks.
The thing that rubbed me a little raw was just HOW local it was. This thing was mostly shot in and around my side of town, so I’m studying the background during all the late-night driving scenes the whole time going, “hey, that’s not Silverlake! That’s Ventura Boulevard!” But that’s a mild complaint. It was such a treat, also, to see Bill Paxton playing a total douchebag again.
Not nominated for any awards, I also saw “Starry Eyes” on iTunes. Speaking of Hollywood, this is a very well-written, finely acted low-budget film about a young woman who appears to LITERALLY sell her soul for a part in a movie. All the Satan-y, evil people in this one are utterly unsettling. It very much reminded me of “The House of the Devil”. All this and Pat Healy as a mustachioed restaurant manager! Merry Christmas!
WINE PAIRING: Listen, I don’t wanna jinx myself. I’ve gotta get better here so I can enjoy lots of good wine over Christmas. So I leave it up to YOU!