Boilerplate: “Rambo T. Geezer travels to Mexico to save a friend’s daughter who has been kidnapped by the Mexican cartel.” Sylvester Stallone in the Gibson role; costarring Adriana Barraza, Paz Vega, Yvette Monreal, Sergio Peris-Mencheta. Directed by Adrien Grunberg, cowritten by Stallone and Matt Cirulnick.
Boilerplate: “Assuming he is incapable of winning, all of the members of a prestigious Madison Avenue advertising firm accidentally vote to appoint the company’s only black executive, Putney Swope, as chairman of the board. His unexpected win behind him, Swope changes the company’s name to ‘Truth and Soul, Inc,’ fires nearly all of its elderly white employees, and focuses solely on creating subversive, outlandish, and shocking campaigns.
“As the company is catapulted to new heights of success, Swope finds that he has drawn the ire of the U.S. President, who seeks to declare him and his renegade staff a threat to national security.
“Considered one of the masterpieces of late 60s counterculture cinema, Robert Downey, Sr.‘s Putney Swope remains a vital cinematic satire on race, politics and pop culture. Featuring a supporting performance from Allen Garfield (The Candidate, Nashville) and a cameo from Mel Brooks, Vinegar Syndrome is proud to present the Bluray debut of this landmark 1969 film in a stunning 4K restoration created by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Film Foundation.”
The Swope Bluray pops on 7.2.19.
Am I a huge fan of this film? No. Do parts of it work? Yes. I felt intrigued and diverted during an initial screening. The early Doors music carried me along and the acid-tripping scene in the desert was quite the stand-out. Robert Richardson‘s cinematography accurately recreated the off-center, crystalline, almost spooky atmosphere that a psychedelic adventurer might visually encounter.
But overall the film seemed to weaken and even fall apart upon my second viewing.
The main reason is that I felt more and more alienated by Stone and Val Kilmer‘s portrayal of Jim Morrison as a coarse loutish type (party-animal, screamer, show-off, indelicate). To hear it from Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek and others who knew Morrison well, there was a lot more to the guy than just climbing chain-link fences, whipping his schlong out during a concert or two and acting like a bellicose asshole.
For at least a three-year period (early ’65 to ‘early ’68) Morrison gave every indication of being a solemn poet and spiritual adventurer — a guy who had apparently tasted serious satori. Morrison’s song lyrics from that period clearly indicated he’d broken through to Aldous Huxley‘s “other side”. He was like a new Arthur Rimbaud.
Yes, Morrison allegedly became a dispirited, dissolute alcoholic during the last couple of years (the beard, the weight gain, Morrison Hotel, L.A. Woman, the final few months in Paris before his death at age 27) but I decided after my second viewing that Stone and Kilmer had blown it by dismissing the delicate threads in Morrison’s soul during that ’65 to early ’68 period. Stone encouraged Kilmer to act the part of a rock ‘n’ roll animal and he certainly nailed that aspect, but in so doing they made Morrison into a tiresome figure.
This is the way liars admit the truth, by blurting out words in passing or more precisely a clause within an otherwise lying, agitated, bloviating, diarrhea-mouth denial. In other words, when it comes to sociopaths the truth will only leak out accidentally. As in “oops…uhm, I didn’t mean that.”
This is what happened this morning to Donald Trump, tweeting that Russia had helped get him elected in ’16. An hour later he retracted the statement — “No, Russia did not help me get elected…I got me elected.” But the milk had been spilt.
In a just-posted open letter to Robert “leave me alone” Mueller in the N.Y. Times, Robert DeNiro (who’s been playing Mueller on SNL for several months) begs him to stop behaving like a loyal (i.e., not overly confrontational) Republican and stand up for America. A significant portion of the public is too lazy and mind-scattered to read the Mueller Report, DeNiro has written, but if straight-arrow Mueller is able to man up and explain his findings (and, perhaps more importantly, convey his fully-considered beliefs about the character of Donald Trump) he’ll be doing this once-great nation of ours a favor.