Archives for posts with tag: Willem Dafoe

Wall Street values of the Reagan era are mocked in “American Psycho” (2000), a film that balances on a knife’s edge between satire and horror. While it may have succeeded in its moment, this film has no current purpose. The values of subsequent eras are even more twisted. Therefore, making fun of musical tastes (Huey Lewis, Phil Collins) or competitions over who has the fanciest business card or reservations to the trendiest Manhattan restaurant seem quaint in retrospect. However, this was one of Christian Bale’s first big roles and it’s quite fun watching him learn how to be a star.

I swear, some people would praise David Lynch if he barfed. The problem with “Wild at Heart” (1990) is that he’s trying too hard to be stylish and not nearly hard enough to be good. Summary: Older, crazy, alcoholic rednecks are trying to kill younger, stupid, chain-smoking rednecks. Nicolas Cage plays himself, but with an Elvis accent. Laura Dern stars in her own porn movie within the actual movie. Diane Ladd plays the same character twice – with a Southern accent and without, sometimes in the same scene, sometimes in the same sentence. They’re all surrounded by gross weirdos. And barf.

Pixar films are generally very good. “Finding Nemo” (2003) is a very, very good Pixar movie about persistence and helicopter parenting. But reviews of Pixar films don’t matter. We watch them because we are kids of a certain age or parents of kids of a certain age and all the other kids (and parents) are watching the movie and we’ll be social outcasts if we don’t watch the movie (and buy the action figures). So let’s instead talk about the underlying morbidity of this Disney flick. About a thousand fish embryos and an expectant mother die before the opening sequence.