Walter (Denzel Washington) is a man working for the transit authority who has been busted down to controller when a train is taken over by Ryder (John Travolta) and his crew. What do they want? Will the innocent live or die?
This is your pretty standard eighties action film with a train, only somehow it was twenty years too late (perhaps I should be watching the original from 1974?). It’s ace and there’s all kinds of running and shooting and fun times. Oh, but John Travolta? I don’t know, I’m usually a fan, and I like it when he’s a bad guy, but he just didn’t do it for me in this one.
Watching this film several years ago, I recall thinking it was like watching a really awful car accident. Barry Egan is a very insecure, introverted man who has been tormented by his seven sisters his entire life and is prone to outbreaks of violence against inanimate objects. At the same time as he meets love interest Lena Leonard (Emily Watson), he ends up in a battle with the man running a phone sex line which Barry used once and who is running a scam to extort money.
It’s a tough film for a lot of reasons. It is intensely emotional, with such massive extremes, and Barry Egan is clearly such a broken man who needs a lot of help to get anywhere near being “normal”. Yet, every person in his life (or at least, his family, including his brothers-in-law) seem to be unable to help in any real way. When Lena comes along, there is a sense of hope, but on the other hand, it is totally implausible that a relationship could develop between these two. Perhaps if she’d been seen to be more messed up, or something. If there was some hope that Barry could actually pull it together… I don’t know. Thinking about this reminds me of Silver Linings Playbook that I watched last year. I didn’t like it all that much, and again I think it was the implausibility of the relationship. At lease Silver Linings showed more of the female character and her flaws, but I still found that relationship hard to believe.
Definitely a sadtacular film. But it has reminded me of the admiration I have for the marvelous Emily Watson.
It had been so long since I’d seen the film. All I could remember was that it was fabulous. It did not disappoint – such magnificent performances, excellent scripting, wonderful costume and set designs. It is amazing.
Boogie Nights is the story of the rise of Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) a young and extremely well-endowed man who forged a career in the adult film industry. Led by one of the top producers in the field, Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds in one of the film world’s greatest comeback roles) and taken under the wing of actress Amber Waves (Julianne Moore), Diggler achieves stardom in the porn world. But, for all of the players, the partying, drugs and money have a finite life. Especially when the industry is turned on its head with the introduction of video.
I’m such a whinger about long films – I truly believe that most film stories can be told in ninety to a hundred minutes, and that going above this is rarely worth it. Boogie nights is two-and-a-half hours long, and not a moment is wasted. If every long movie was as good as this, I’d stop complaining. I promise.