Just got back from a advance screening of the new Ridley Scott motion picture vehicle, Matchstick Men starring Nicholas Cage, Sam Rockwell, and Alison Lohman. The screenplay is adapted from the book of the same name written by Eric Garcia.
Cage has been playing a lot of neurotic characters of late, but hey, if they get him best actor Oscar Noms such as Adaption, then who am I to complain( I'm just happy that he passed over the roles for both Constantine and Ghost Rider, making them less of a car wreck than what is already predicted for Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves respectfully) ? In this movie, Cage plays Roy, a professional grifter and con artist with a serious obsessive-compulsive disorder- sort of like Cable USA's Monk in reverse. In order to open a door, Roy has to open and close the door three times before he can walk in or out of it, but also suffers from a dysfunction about being outdoors for too long. He's the type of guy that has to bend over and examine each carpet fiber to see if there are any stains on it and that's only the tip of the iceberg. With his partner, Frank, played by Sam Rockwell- they take on big con jobs that nets them a tidy profit such as telemarketing schemes and the good old briefcase/suitcase switcheroos at airports and bars. One day, something seriously goes wrong in Roy's house: he accidently drops his black market obtained perscription bills down the kitchen sink and can't get in contact with the dealer he obtained them from. So this turn of events lead him to go off his affixated time schedule so much that he is afraid to even leave his house until Frank gets him a number of a shrink or therapist who can help him obtain some of those purple candy coated bills. After some uncomfortable coaxing from his new prying therapist (whose office was shot right on the street of where I wait for a bus to take me home from work each day), Roy attempts to make amends with his past and that means the therapist to try and call his ex-wife that he hasn't seen or heard from in fourteen years (and quite coincidentally they still live within a five mile radius from each other). Out of that union, Roy finds out that he has a daughter named Angela (Alison Lohman, who was remarkable in White Orleaner) and gets up the nerve to arrange a meeting to introduce himself to her.
Eventually Angelina makes a move to be in her father's life by running away from her mother and schlepping her way into her dad's home. When Roy goes out on a late night 'business meeting', Angelina snoops around and finds out a lot about her father and his strange quirks such as there being nothing to eat in the house but tuna fish and one tv dinner ,but no tv to watch it with, and before you know it, Angelina wants to follow in her father's footsteps and be a grifter herself and worms her way in being a silent partner in her's daddy's little con game club much to Frank's chagrin.
By first impressions, Ridley Scott seems to be headed for some lighthearted material- there are a lot of comedic moments between Cage and Lohman as well as the aw, gee whiz sappy father/daughter bonding scenes and some drama I took personally as one such as I can relate to since I've just started to keep in contact with my own father on a semi- regular basis ( there's a good line exchanged between Lohman and Cage that seems to sum up a nentire deprived relationship between my dad and I: 'You're not really a bad guy- you're just not really good at being a good one'). This is certainly something incredibly light material for Ridley to tackle considering what he has given us in the past such as Gladiator, Alien, Thelma & Louise, and Bladerunner- so it doesn't overwhelm me with surprise that he would want to add another eclectic notch in his director beltbuckle- all seems turning true to form to the point where Angelina has no choice but to help her father pull off a big score then does Scott takes us on a twisted 180 degree spiral turn downward- the movie all of a sudden gets brutally ugly and downright scary.
And I like that.
Going beyond this point, would spoil many plot hatchings and I don't really want to do that to anyone reading this. The movie doesn't fail to entertain. What I find most admirable, besides some of the good effort that the actors (Cage is the now the undisputed master of face twitches- takes it to a whole new level and puts Michael Gross to shame) put into it, considering that a lot of the script's lines come off as being too placid or contrived in some points- is Scott taking a what appears to be a light hearted romp and giving it a Hitchcockian spin. And I don't think that's ever really been done before.
Also this week, Sony Pictures releases the third in Robert Rodriguez's El Marachi trilogy, Once Upon a Time in Mexico with my favorite hot senorita, Salma Hayek and Lion's Gate is going straight for the gullet in paranoia angst with Cabin Fever. Also, Sofia Coppola who is too freaking gorgeous to be a movie director has a movie out called 'Lost in Translation' with Bill Murray, who I hear is getting rave reviews from critics who are heralding this as his best performance ever in a movie. I don't which studio is releasing it, but I'm sure it's somewhere in the paper.
Went to the studios where Constantine is supposed to be shot, but the set looked like it was closed for the day- but I did post a bill at work for some trash removal a few days ago.
Tuesday- the on going progress of the new Deposit Man book and maybe by then I will have a reasonable printing quote from Brenner. Once more around the studio lot to infilitrate the Constantine set and what I really think of the Jake 2.0.series.