BLUE VELVET (David Lynch)
After the setback of DUNE, David Lynch looked within, which for Lynch meant to get a bit twisted. BLUE VELVET is all Lynch, pure Lynch, maybe the ultimate David Lynch movie. Love him or hate him or just feel mystified by him, the sheer force of his vision is undeniable. And when you’re clicking on all cylinders, the ones that you gather around you rise to the top, too. Dennis Hopper, anyone?
BLUE VELVET was a success, critically and commercially (especially for its modest budget). Lynch was even nominated for an Oscar. It was a rare and welcome endorsement for artists outside of the mainstream. And a definite encouragement for David Lynch to keep on being David Lynch.
PLATOON (Oliver Stone)
By 1986, we had already been given THE DEER HUNTER and APOCALYPSE NOW. Kubrick would soon weigh in with FULL METAL JACKET. De Palma would offer CASUALTIES OF WAR. Could there be yet another attempt at the ultimate Vietnam war movie? It turns out there could.
As problematic as Oliver Stone can be in his handling of hotbed subjects, it’s hard to quibble with his handling of this one. PLATOON is a masterful blending of recollection, dramatic structuring, poetic license and technical expertise. Everything comes together. Willem Defoe, Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger head the ensemble. An actor’s dream. In the end, there are no words…..only Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” to convey the sorrow, the horror.
THE FLY (David Cronenberg)
David Cronenberg’s body obsessions found the perfect vehicle in this remake of a man who discovers that he is slowly turning into a fly. Yes, I have a prejudice for the sci-fi/horror genre, but even if you’re not so inclined when one this good comes along, one simply must take notice. Jeff Goldblum got the role of his career. Nice, messy prosthetics and effects are paired with some pointed dialogue to keep things moving. Goldblum makes us feel for the agony and strange ecstasy of his transformation.
THE RIVER’S EDGE (Tim Hunter)
There are guilty pleasures awaiting those who wish to venture to the dark side. There you can watch Dennis Hopper and Crispin Glover give a master class in acting creepy and eccentric. Hard to turn away.