This is basically nothing apart from that one Leni Reifenstahl shot of rows and rows of troops, which of course is a steal from the final scene of Episode 4. And that shot of some red-tinted helmet dude going “stop” like he’s a traffic cop in a ballet? That’s no good, man. Seen this before, that before…it’s Force Awakens jizz whizz. I’m already sick of that shot of Kylo Ren flashing his light sabre in the dark woods. Give me fresh material or give me nothing. Make me wait for the good stuff.
As mentioned I caught two Peter Bogdanovich movies last night — one a nimble, old-fashioned Bogdanovich-directed screwball comedy and the other a documentary that doesn’t feel well-ordered or smooth enough. But despite its faults, the doc — One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich and the Lost American Film — is far more affecting. Because it’s a story about promise, loss and tragedy, and particularly how life can sometimes knock your lights out at the drop of a hat. And the way it’s been made doesn’t get in the way of that.
(l. to.r) They All Laughed costars John Ritter, Dorothy Stratten, director Peter Bogdanovich during filming in the spring of 1980.
In his late ’60s-to-early ’70s directing heyday (Targets, Directed by John Ford, The Last Picture Show, What’s Up Doc, Paper Moon), Bogdanovich had the world at his feet. Plus a cocky swagger thing going on. Every time you saw him on TV (he visited the Dick Cavett Show two or three times if not more) Bogdanovich always seemed dryly amused, a bit smirky…the gifted bon vivant. But since the tragedy of They All Laughed (’81) and more particularly the gruesome murder of poor Dorothy Stratten, the film’s 20 year-old costar for whom Bogdanovich had fallen head over heels, followed by his financially disastrous decision to buy They All Laughed from an unenthusiastic 20th Century Fox in order to save it from being shelved, some essential spark began to slowly drain out of him. Or so it seemed.
Bogdanovich essentially risked all to validate They All Laughed because he needed as much of the world as possible to know what an inspired choice he’d made in hiring Stratten and how good she could be. He did this as a tribute to her memory and what they had together. Understandable but unwise. Bogdanovich admits this in the doc.
Last night I chose to catch an Aero double bill — Peter Bogdanovich‘s She’s Funny That Way and Bill Teck‘s One Day Since Yesterday: Peter Bogdanovich and the Lost American Film, a sad doc about the making of They All Laughed and the marginally delated state of Bogdanovich’s career ever since. That meant not seeing “Omega Station,” the 90-minute finale of True Detective‘s second season. I still haven’t seen it. I’ll watch it sometime later today or tonight, I guess, but as I mentioned last week I don’t really care that much. I know that Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell went down and that Rachel McAdams ended up with a child (sired with Farrell) and — this is really strange — living in Venezuela with Kelly Reilly. I don’t have to see the finale to know this was an ignominious series and that Nic Pizzolatto is definitely a damaged brand. If I was Pizzolatto I wouldn’t drive out to the desert (i.e., the usual HE remedy when something hasn’t worked out) — I would fly to Italy and drive around for at least two or three weeks, just to be safe. If anyone feels like posting reactions to “Omega Station,” feel free. And if you haven’t gotten around to seeing it or saw it and don’t feel much of anything, I understand.
Random impressions of Gabriele Muccino‘s Fathers and Daughters, a decades-spanning relationship drama that apparently has no U.S. distributor as we speak: (1) With A Beautiful Mind lingering in the mind, I’m not sure I’m interested in watching Russell Crowe grapple with another debilitating, career-threatening condition that causes great personal trauma for his character (a writer this time) and a loved one (a daughter); (2) I’m not sure I’m prepared to invest in a relationship drama in which longtime HE nemesis Aaron “tennisball head” Paul portrays the mature but sensitive young suitor of Amanda Seyfried…sorry; (3) the worldwide film industry needs to declare a ten-year moratorium on plots in which a devastating car crash has a significant impact on a major character; (4) Muccino’s two films with Will Smith (’06’s The Pursuit of Happyness, ’08’s Seven Pounds) along with Playing for Keeps (’12) have made his brand synonymous with ungenuine (i.e., mushy, calculating) romantic emotionalism; (5) I can’t forget memories of a younger, thinner Crowe during the 15-year run between Romper Stomper and Cinderella Man, and he really needs to lose 20 pounds with, say, a Billy Bob Thornton vegan diet.