In keeping with my Michael Winterbottom habit, I watched Wonderland. Well, it was definitely better than Jude ... yuck. What does this guy have with adapting Thomas Hardy novels. Well, Wonderland had a Trainspotting vibe to it. I didn't understand a darn thing that was going on. It moved from story to story, lots of characters, not quite sure how they all fit together and I feel like an idiot when I write this, but I didn't get it until the very end when I pushed the "info" button to see the plot synopsis ... Ohhhhhhhhh, those women are sisssssssssters!!! Now I get it. I liked seeing the guy who played Don Konkey in Dirt was in the movie ... real accent and all. Couldn't understand a word he said. Also, the woman who plays the googley eyed mom in Swingtown was in it, only for some reason, she didn't look so googley eyed in this movie. Was it good? Yea, I guess so ... just hard to follow.
And wouldn't you know it .. SOMEONE SMOKED IN SWINGTOWN!!! I can't believe I was happy to see it, but it just made things a little more authentic. The episode wasn't terribly remarkable, just good enough to keep me watching.
Stumbled on World Trade Center. Usually, I'm opposed to Oliver Stone movies. I will never forgive him for what he did to Natural Born Killers and I'm hoping that someday Quentin Tarantino will remake the film the way it was intended. I liked JFK for the most part, Kevin Bacon stole the show. Platoon .. ugh, one of the worst, no, the worst 'nam film. Stone makes sledgehammer movies ... he beats you over the head over and over and by the time you're done, you're saying "enough oliver stone, enough!!!". Wall Street was pretty good, but became such a cliche film. I am looking forward to seeing his film about Wonderboy, W. Josh Brolin as W will be interesting to see.
Nicholas Cage frustrates me. One of my favorite guilty pleasure movies is Valley Girl. I could watch that movie over and over again. He was great in Leaving Las Vegas, deserved the Oscar, but he seems to have become a parody of himself after that. In WTC, he was very good, albeit he didn't move around a whole lot as he spent half the movie wedged in the wreckage of the World Trade Center. What was amazing about the movie was the buildup and the special effects. Gave me the chills. I saw a documentary about a year after 9-11 made by some European filmmakers who were in the WTC the day of the attack. The thing that haunted me the most about the documentary was the thud after thud after thud of the jumpers hitting the ground. Stone made that very prominent, which was depressing to hear. But the most moving scene was the scene at Bellvue hospital with the wife of Cage's character standing with the mother of an elevator operator, waiting to get word about her son. She knew he was dead, but she was just waiting for confirmation. This woman gave the most realistic cry of agony and despair I've seen on film. All in all, it was a very good film. It teetered on the border of consipracy, like most of Stone's films, but I didn't feel the sledgehammer like I normally feel.
After WTC, I flipped onto the very beginning of Eastern Promises. Viggo Mortensen plays a Russian mobster ... he's one of the scariest actors alive. Watching him in A History of Violence was amazing. Plus he was married to Exene Cervenka from X, so his cool cred is off the charts. Granted, he dumped her and their son, but oh well, I'll give him a pass because he's a stinking weird actor/artist, kind of like I do with Bob Dylan. I didn't watch Eastern Promises ... it was almost 2am. I have it on the tivo, will report back after I watch.