Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Night at the Movies Week 24 - Romper Stomper

The lessons I'm learning this week are numerous.  First, taking a weeklong vacation, where I ignore any and all writing, is bound to catch up with me.  From times past I know that getting out of the groove is so much easier than getting back into it.  All week the keyboard and monitor have made eyes at me, deep, angry, hurtful eyes.  They know I've been slacking.  Secondly, the World Cup is so very distacting when I want to get work done.  I'm a morning writer, and part of me keeps saying "write tonight," this tourney only comes about every four years.  So far, that argument keeps winning.   Third, I've been reading nothing but crime for so long, part of me desperately needed to read something from another genre.  But did it have to be Justin Cronin's new, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING  book, The Passage?  I picked it up on the cheap at Bull Moose Music, content that I could read it concurrently with a few Hard Case Crime novels.  Wrong again.  Nothing else will do until I finish it's seemingly 10,000 pages.

But I did have time for a movie, and it's one I hadn't seen in about ten years. 

I initially ignored Romper Stomper years and years ago because it sounded to much like children's programming gone bad.  I'd never seen the case, or a poster, or anything else for that matter other than the silly name and a few strangers telling me I absolutely must see it.  Thankfully at the time, I worked at a video store and it was easy enough to get a copy in.

Imaging my surprise when I saw Russell Crowe on the cover.  By this time he had become familiar to me.  I'd barely noticed him in Virtuosity with Denzel, but his star making turn in L.A. Confidential had given me hope that this film would be more than neo-Nazi fucks running amuck throughout Australia.

He owned this film.  Every so often an actor just nails a part, particularly in crime films, where no matter how despicable his actions are, you just can't help but watch him.  Edward Norton in American History X,  Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange, Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood, etc etc etc.  This was one of those roles for Crowe, and it's easy to see why he became such a hot commodity in the States.  He has since gone on to numerous Academy Award nominations, but to me, this and Bud White are the roles I will always remember him for.

As for the film itself, it's pretty damn good as well.  It was interesting to see a culture I had no previous knowledge of.  (I always think of Neo-Nazis as backwood rednecks here in the states.)  Sadly, writer-director Geoffrey Wright hasn't gone on to do much else since this films release in 1992, other than wisely bail out of the sci-fi mega bomb Supernova.  So he can't be all that bad.

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