Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Shallow movie review of the week, Heaven's Gate

We finally saw "Heaven's Gate" (now more famous as a bizarre suicide cult) which has a Tomatometer splat reading of 47%. I've always been curious about it, wondering how it could really be all that bad, and we wanted to get a look at local musician Stephen Bruton in it. During the filming, Michael Cimino's budget virtually put United Artists out of business. It's loaded with great actors, cinematography is good, "The Deer Hunter" is one of my favorite movies ever, what went wrong with this?

First of all, it needs English subtitles -- for the English language. Accents are sometimes very heavy, and entire conversations happened while I was just wishing I knew what they were saying. (Wow! That's a pretty good Irish accent... Huh? What?)

To us it was hard to tell who some of these people were and why they were there, and I'm sure someone could just explain all that stuff to me but I think the movie is supposed to do that. So we ended up feeling clueless and dumb instead of... whatever we are supposed to be feeling for these characters... which was not much.

Kris Kristofferson's character, which I think was supposed to be a good guy, in the end turns out to be a dick who should have suffered everyone else's fate. And I shouldn't say this, but young John Hurt reminded me a LOT of Queer Eye's Carson. Stephen Bruton played a band member (big stretch!!) and I would never have recognized him in a million years of doing nothing but watch "Heaven's Gate".

In 3 hours, a lot more could have been accomplished. Also watched this week: "Donnie Darko", which we liked much better. Tonight it's "Bush's Brain" and tomorrow our taped season return of "House".

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