A few quick movie notes. The Missouri Breaks ran on AMC last night. Marlon Brando in the granny dress yelling out "Smoked meat!" after he has torched the horse thieves' shack and burned a couple of them up is one of the stranger movie moments. His stalking and creative murder of the thieves (and his own eventual throat-slitting at the hands of good bad guy Jack Nicholson) looks back to the "weird late '60s/early '70s Western" tradition of Greaser's Palace and forward to the Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger school of meaningless '80s mayhem. Forgot that this was a Thomas McGuane script. God, he had good, short run in moviedom.

Watched The Aviator on the big screen yesterday looking for the tedg independent roving camera eye. You notice it in the scene where Howard Hughes and Katherine Hepburn first have sex. The camera precedes them into the study, has a look around, then turns back to find them already on the sofa langorously making out. The movie could be pitched as "The Carpetbaggers meets A Beautiful Mind." It's folded in the sense that we compare it to those other films and also complete it with our knowledge that Hughes will end as he does in James Ellroy's American Tabloid, an evil behind-the-scenes web spinner. (Webs literally begin appearing in the room in this movie.) Nauseating Hollywood mythmaking mingles with psycho soap opera throughout, but the flying scenes are bravura, especially the one where Hughes crashes the test plane into an upscale Hollywood neighborhood. Spoiler: the last lines--Hughes in a sweaty obsessive/compulsive fugue state, involuntarily mouthing the words "The Wave of the Future...The Wave of the Future..." do much to rescue the film from reassuring Ron Howard Land.

- tom moody 1-16-2005 9:55 pm

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