Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Friday, February 28, 2014


I tried to watch a movie called "Point Blank" this evening, to clear my head...and turned it off after half an hour, I so disliked it. Lee Marvin's the star. John Boorman's the director. I don't know who wrote it because it's not like it mattered. The whole thing was so stripped of anything human or real, I felt like I was reading a comic book overdosing on ennui and deliberate obfuscation.

The opening five minutes set me wrong, so I doubt even if the film had been perfect from that point on, I'd have cared. The first scenes set this story up -- Lee Marvin's a crook who helps a friend in a heist and is screwed over when the buddy kills two men while stealing $93,000 and is then double-crossed by the "buddy", shot and left for dead. It jumps back and forth from after Marvin's shot to how the buddy begged him to help to the heist going wrong to watching the money men get their dirty cash to Marvin lying on the floor of a dirty cell in Alcatraz after being shot point blank in the gut to the buddy counting the cash and realizing he doesn't have as much as he thought to Marvin's wife sleeping with him to being shot to...hell, who cares?

This is one of those movies that thiks it's being cool when it's really just being lazy and incoherent. I like jumping around in a story -- I think the way "The Limey" does it is cool -- but bad dialogue and illogical characters and actions make it all just plain god-awful. This is one of those movies where somebody breaks into an upscale house, fires off 4-5 very loud gunshots and nobody calls the cops.


So I dropped in "The Queen" and watched how a great cast, good writing, and sharp directing can make a simple story about people making mistakes and coming to terms with the changes in the world exciting and involving. I feel a lot better now.

BTW, you can't blame the fact that "Point Blank" was made in 1967 for its shortcomings. It was just badly done, and I think John Boorman's a good director. Stephen Frears, who directed "The Queen", also did a god-awful movie called "The Hit", that had a brilliant hit man take on a stupid assistant, leave a witness alive even though she knew what he was responsible for a man's death, and stupidly kill off two people out in the open where he could be seen.

Guess nobody's perfect.

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