Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Two-Lane Blacktop

two-lane

Written by Rudy Wurlitzer and Will Corry.
Directed by Monte Hellman.
1971.

Two-Lane Blacktop is a movie about the greatest of all movie subjects: loneliness — in particular that sense of isolation that comes with and is symbolized by the changing landscape of the road. These characters “can’t get no satisfaction,” as the Girl sings to herself, playing pinball in Arkansas. The loneliest of all is Warren Oates as G.T.O., a magnificent and goofy liar whose fabrications are ultimately woven from the lives of the car-freaks he’s racing. He tells his fantastic lies to the odd hitchhikers he picks up, one of whom, the Oklahoma Hitchhiker, is “H.D. Stanton.” Harry Dean slips his hand onto Oates’ knee. “I’m not into that!” Oates barks. “I thought it might help you to relax,” H.D. says. The joke, of course, is that nothing will. G.T.O. has no time for momentary satisfaction. He wants the pleasure of beating another man in a race and stealing his girl, the sense of personal triumph that wins him loyalty and love. Possibilities not in the road unspooling behind these characters, but rather in the blacktop still before them. “Those satisfactions,” Oates says, “are permanent.”

As genuine and complete a vision as I’ve seen.

You can never go fast enough. — The Driver

5_long

Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Blind Fury

BlindFury

Written by Charles Robert Carner.
Directed by Phillip Noyce.
1989.

How about this: in the movie’s opening scenes, while walking along a Miami roadside, our blind hero encounters an alligator. He taps it with his cane. It growls. “Nice doggy,” our hero says and steps lightly over it and continues on his way. The eighties: what a strange and nimble time for the action genre. Rutger Hauer plays his blind swordsman (blinded in Vietnam and taught to “see” again by an entire village) to the hilt. He knows when to dodder and when to slash, and he earns every laugh he gets. Randall “Tex” Cobb and Noble Willingham are hambone-fisted villains, appropriately as flat as Hauer’s blade. The screenwriters aren’t apologetic for making their bad guys cartoons, nor for letting the kid be a brat, and while it’s all very sentimental and goofy in the end, well, it’s also pretty darn funny.

“Well, well, well! Mr. Blind Man, you’re positively an incredible human being. You’re a walking advertisement for hiring the handicapped!” — MacCready

3_long