Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Payback/Point Blank

Mark Sullivan (
Mon, 2 Aug 1999 12:24:06 -0400 (EDT)

While I do prefer Lee Marvin in the role, if we're employing time machines Mel Gibson might not be so bad after all, as long as it's the Mel Gibson who played Mad Max (in the first two). At that point in his career, he spoke little and had not yet developed the campy attitude that now seems to follow him everywhere. I totally agree with Kevin that Gibson has a dark side, but it has been too long buried.

As for Bruce Willis, I actually prefer him these days to Gibson, at least he can be self-deprecating, as in Fifth Element and, except for its ridiculously overblown ending, the not bad PI film, Last Boy Scout. After becoming totally bored with Willis' self-aggrandizement by the end of Moonlighting, after thinking he was pretty great in the beginning, this movie brought me back. It opens with him sleeping in his car. Three kids see him, pick up a dead rat and place it on his chest. He opens his eyes, but doesn't even blink, it's like this is his usual wake-up call. This was one down-and-out PI. And Willis plays down-and-out very well.

And Kevin, you must admit, Bassinger wears a dress very well. Look at it this way, when you are as bad as she was in movies like The Getaway, a merely half-decent performance like hers in LA Confidential looks pretty damn amazing in comparison.

For the record, I liked LA Confidential specifically for its storytelling. I thought it did a great job of trimming Ellroy's book for the screen (there is way too much there for just one movie).


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