Time for my second installment of quick and painless movie reviews. Saw a group of varied films this week. Check them out below:
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans – Director Werner Herzog teams up with original writer Victor Argo for a sequel to 1991’s Bad Lieutenant starring Harvey Keitel. This time around we follow Nicolas Cage as Terance McDonagh, a faulted (and faulty) cop who’s earning professional accolades while resorting to some drastic measures to conceal his deranged methods and debilitating addictions. Cage plays pretty much the same character he does in every movie, but here, it works. Watch out for Eva Mendes, who aside from looking gorgeous, helps to provide a sense of depth and even purity (despite playing a prostitute). I was a big fan of this film and would recommend this to anyone who loves gritty crime dramas.
Silent Night, Deadly Night – This is a delightfully awful movie, and is really fun in spite of its 80’s cheesiness. It’s hard to believe how much controversy this film caused in it’s initial release. This was the first film to introduce a weekly series from Theatre Downtown beginning in January.
Overnight – The story of Troy Duffy, a Boston bartender who wrote (and went on to direct) Boondock Saints in a bizarre case of rags to riches, back to rags (if you’ll pardon the bad expression). I hated Boondock Saints, and after seeing Duffy in action, I think I hated Boondock Saints even more. Duffy is an over-confident blowhard who focuses most of his time telling people how great he is while slamming anyone with any real experience in the film business. On display in this doc is Duffy treating his friends and family badly, and essentially throwing away an amazing film/record deal basically by behaving like an ass at every turn. Duffy makes it easy to dislike him, and while this documentary seems a bit uneven and pieced together, it’s interesting to see his inevitable downfall.
Alpha Dog – Directed by Nick Cassavetes, Alpha Dog tells the story of a young drug dealer (Emile Hirsch) who builds a small empire before kidnapping an adversary’s 15 year old brother. I’m a big fan of Hirsch, but don’t feel this is one of his more impressive performances. It’s an interesting story, but has a few over-the-top scenes that interrupt the flow of the film. The most notable example of this is a scene where Ben Foster launches into a kung fu tirade in the middle of a house party that is so excessive and out of place, it may as well be animated.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch – Here we have the story of a transexual punk rock singer who leaves East Berlin to pursue a career and love in the US. Much of Hedwig’s story is told in song through her band’s performances, but I felt like at times story was sacrificed to make room for a song that didn’t have enough function. Regardless, the characters are likable and their story is engaging.