Archives for posts with tag: Ron Rifkin

“L.A. Confidential” (1997) is a modern film noir classic that unfortunately has fallen off the radar. So has its star, Guy Pearce, who plays an idealistic cop with a streak of self-promotion. The juicy role failed to ignite the Englishman’s career. Instead, an Aussie, Russell Crowe, became the box office gladiator, so to speak, after his co-starring role as a brutal cop with a streak of idealism. The plot is delightfully stylish and multidimensional without becoming ridiculous. So are the conflicted characters played by Kevin Spacey, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito and David Strathairn’s mustache. The Oscar-nominated score is great, too.

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I feel sorry for the 16-year-old girls who chose to see “The Words” that weekend back in 2012 when “House at the End of the Street” was sold out. (“Let’s just see that thing with Bradley Cooper. OMG! He’s so gorgeous!”) Figuring out this film is a lot harder than any of the politically correct cryptofiction they’re force fed in their high school American lit classes. Hard, but good. It’s a story about a storyteller telling a story about a story. At the end, the movie gives you the finger and sends you off to figure it out for yourself.

There are creative people, and then there are Hollywood People. They, too, are creative, but are so manifestly, psychopathically needy that it drives them to seek attention and adulation in ways others cannot comprehend. Under proper supervision, Hollywood People can make award-winning movies that everyone loves. Left to their own devices, they make movies like “Peep World” (2011), whose only redeeming qualities are its brevity and an abundance of attractive redhead supporting actresses. It’s about a dysfunctional Jewish family. One of them wrote a popular novel based on the family’s dysfunctions. There’s lots of stylishly filmed, self-absorbed kvetching. The end.