CHICAGO – If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a director and a producer, let “47 Ronin” explain how the hierarchy of creativity hinders the evolution of even the most straightforward-sounding pitches. “47 Ronin” is the type of samurai movie set in Japan that features native actors speaking only English, while Keanu Reeves stars as an outsider clearly plunked into the picture for stateside star power.
Blu-ray Review: Val Kilmer Stars in Coppola’s Bizarre ‘Twixt’
CHICAGO – Francis Ford Coppola’s “Twixt” should have been a momentous occassion. One of the most important directors of the ’70s returning to the world of horror for the first time since the vastly underrated “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.” And yet the film barely got released after a festival run and now comes essentially straight to DVD and Blu-ray for most viewers. It’s a mess. No doubt. But Coppola’s cinematic dream (the film was literally inspired by one that the writer/director had) has some strong visuals and decent performances. It’s more a forgettable footnote than an out-and-out disaster, although the scenes that don’t work and ideas that feel half-baked are bad enough to make me understand why so many hated it at Toronto.
You don’t need to be told via the special features on the Blu-ray of “Twixt” that the film is based on a dream. It feels that way. The saga of a Stephen King wannabe named Hall Baltimore (Val Kilmer) and his journey to the dark underbelly of a small town feels familiar and also outside of Coppola’s skill set. There are echoes of David Lynch, King, direct references to Edgar Allen Poe, and others but none of them come together in a coherent or consistent way. The surreal elements are the strongest because of the great Mihai Malaimare Jr.’s (“The Master”) skill with a camera but then Coppola gets too literally grounded in narrative. The script is often bluntly literal, such as when Baltimore says he’s lost in a dream or comes out and asks Poe (Ben Chaplin), who he dreams about, to show him the way. Visually strong, narratively disastrous. You decide which one is more important before renting.
Twixt was released on Blu-ray and DVD on July 23, 2013
Photo credit: Fox
Val Kilmer and Elle Fanning star in this terrifying horror film written and directed by Academy Award Winner Francis Ford Coppola. Kilmer plays Hall Baltimore, a writer on a book tour who uncovers a disturbing murder that could be source material for his next novel. But as Hall investigates the killing, he finds himself confronted by chilling nightmares, including the ghost of a young girl (Fanning). As he uncovers more horrifying revelations, Hall will discover that the story has more to do with his own life than he could ever have imagined.
o Twixt: A Documentary By Gia Coppola