Tag Archives: Bruce Dern

Joe Dante – The ‘Burbs (1989)

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An overstressed suburbanite and his neighbors are convinced that the new family on the block are part of a murderous Satanic cult. Read More »

Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre – The Mustang AKA Nevada (2019)

Roman is a man serving a prison sentence of 12 years for committing a violent crime. His rehabilitation options include working at a facility that breaks and trains wild mustang horses. Within a short time, Roman’s work with the horses propels him into an introspective period. He learns about the true origins of his own anger when he befriends a particularly troubled mustang. As his relationship with the mustang grows, Roman begins to deeply consider his actions in relationship to society and his own family. It is still true that some property owners in the southwestern United States consider wild mustangs to be outlaws in the animal kingdom. They can be destructive, yet they can be trained to be magnificent additions to a ranch. Such is the parallel drawn between mustangs and convicted criminals in this movie. With the proper care, all beings can be transformed. Read More »

James Foley – After Dark, My Sweet (1990)

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The movie, based on a novel by Jim Thompson, the poet of circa-1950 pulp noir, has a stubborn, sullen truth to it, focusing on its handful of characters during the course of a particularly incompetent kidnapping. The story is so intimate that everything depends on the performances, and Jason Patric, Rachel Ward and Bruce Dern, and a character actor named George Dickerson, bring a grim, poetic sadness to the story. Film noir, we are reminded, is not about action and victory, but about incompetence and defeat. If it has a happy ending, something went wrong…
“After Dark, My Sweet” is the movie that eluded audiences; it grossed less than $3 million, has been almost forgotten, and remains one of the purest and most uncompromising of modern films noir. It captures above all the lonely, exhausted lives of its characters…
It begins with exhaustion and despair, stirs itself into half-hearted evil, and then in a final desperate sequence finds barely
enough heroism to bring itself to a stop again. I have seen “After Dark, My Sweet” four times, and it only deepens with the retelling.–Roger Ebert
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