16. Twixt (C+)
: Francis Ford Coppola's latest effort (which he wrote and directed) is in some respects the best film he's made in the past twenty years, and in other respects the worst film he's made in that same period. Visually, it is at times very interesting (the film makes great use of isolated objects of a particular color in otherwise black and white sequences), but at other times (often, in the most basic of scenes, such as dialogue between two characters) it is framed and edited in a way that is positively amateurish. I found this a little bewildering, since Coppola has had such a wonderful eye in the past, and his cinematographer on the film previously photographed the beautiful (if bewildering) Youth Without Youth
Val Kilmer, playing an alcoholic, bottom-shelf horror writer, certainly looks the part. Also, the scenes where he fights with his wife who hates him (played by Kilmer's real life ex-wife) mustn't have been hard to play. Bruce Dern really chews the scenery (in a good way), too.
When the movie recognizes that it's a bit silly, it works. When it recognizes that it's essentially a home movie for Coppola, mainly one that deals with the death of his son -- thinly disguised in the movie -- it works (when Kilmer's character, an obvious surrogate for Coppola, comes to terms with the event, it strikes a chord). When it tries to be scary, or artful, it doesn't work -- at all. This is not 1970s Francis Ford Coppola; this is not even 2000s Francis Ford Coppola. Don't expect it to be either of those things or the movie will likely be unwatchable.
Also, when it decides to be in 3D for about seven minutes (half of those the end credits), I was just confused. The only explanation I can come up with is that Coppola ran out of money to convert the entire film into 3D.
Theatres: 6 +1
Home Video: 9