Friday, July 20, 2012

Affliction (1998)

Oops – this is embarrassing. I WAS going to review all three “Crocodile” Dundee films, but the Croc II tape wouldn’t play in my VHS machine. I own Croc III, and I’ll review it as soon as I pick up a copy of the first sequel. (Quite honestly, I’m not a big fan of those movies, and I wasn’t exactly looking forward to reviewing them).

Synopsis: Nick Nolte and James Coburn get drunk and growl at each other.

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “When events shatter the quiet of his small town life, divorced father Wade Whitehouse (Nick Nolte) is forced to confront his abusive past and re-examine his life. Determined to fill the emptiness, he must either stand tall against his childhood demons or fall victim to his father’s abusive ways.”

What Did I Learn?: If your brother is hitting the sauce pretty hard and obviously descending into some sort of mental breakdown, it might not be a great idea to feed his paranoia by validating his conspiracy theories about people in town. Just sayin’, Willem Dafoe...

Really?: 1) If I found out my Mom had frozen to death because Dad was constantly plastered and never got around to fixing the furnace, I’m pretty sure that a fist or two would fly,. afterwards. 2) Wow...does New Hampshire get that much snow around Halloween?!?!

Rating: James Coburn won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of an old, abusive drunk in Affliction, but Nolte should have taken home the Best Actor statuette. Somehow, the audience continues to sympathize and identify with Wade, even when it becomes obvious he’s losing it. Affliction is a rather slow-moving, but good movie when it finally gets going. 8/10 stars.

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