In The Garage
I went to see Road To Perdition this afternoon. I'd taken a bus downtown to have lunch in Old Oakland and then walk to Jack London Square to have a Latté overlooking the harbor at the Starbuck's in Barnes and Noble. How, um, civilized. Walking back I thought, well, the day is hot, why not catch the air conditioning at the Grand Lake and watch a nice dark noir flick out of the sun? Which I did.
The gangster flick, like the western, is well travelled turf and Tom Hanks, who grew up here in Oakland, the Jimmy Stewart of this age (I guess) plays the bad guy. I thought of Henry Fonda in one of his bad guy roles. Henry, cuddly, politically correct Henry, was one hell of a bad guy. He could scare you. Maybe Hanks could do the same, maybe he couldn't, either way who cares? I wanted to see the film.
It isn't the Coen brothers Miller's Crossing, although it has surrealistic scenes that tap a similar vein. Tom Hanks is not Henry Fonda (which is fine, neither is anyone else) and the film is an interesting stylized walk through the genre, a series of scenes that are strung together into a story line that ultimately works, I guess, if you can believe a father and son movie done with Tommy guns. Tommy gun Hanks. Noir is noir. I've seen my share of noir and although this one even delivers a properly ghoulish killer camera freak who gets his rocks off shooting pictures of stiffs, his own bullet riddled creations, others, more democratically dead, an interesting touch, I was not quite with the father and son concept. I liked the movie, although I'm not sure this description makes any sense, even to me, and maybe that's the way the movie works, a tasty series of scenes, a shadow play without dialogue, that somehow seems, I don't know, anemic, unfinished, a first draft that needs another write, another coat of paint, another more perceptive viewer, another viewing, better popcorn, something.
Oh, well. I should skip mentioning movies. I'm not sure anyone reading could garner a clue about the film, good, bad, indifferent. Some films you need to see without reading about them, some films you need to see and say not a word. Hard to keep a journal without saying a word, although that's where we all end eventually. (And, one hopes, refreshed, clear headed, ready for the world again, all of this greasy kid stuff left on a hard disk up on a shelf in the garage.)