This movie created a lot of buzz around HQ here, since it was being filmed in and around the city. Jessica Alba was caught one night vandalizing some power boxes downtown by putting up some sort of “Don’t Abuse the Sharks” decals here and there, even though, as far as I know, there’s not much a shark processing industry here in the Sooner State. That came and went and then this thing created a lot of buzz in the industry when it was finally screened, with viewers booing during screenings, people leaving during the film festivals and widespread negativity regarding the depiction of violence towards women. Even though it was shot here, I don’t think any local theater ever showed it, and, I recall, on DVD release day it wasn’t even released on DVD, it was offered as Pay Per View regionally (we didn’t get it). The reasons I wanted to see it: I like Casey Affleck, I like Jim Thompson (the author of the book), I like Film Noir and, to be honest to the world, there seemed to be a chance of seeing Alba and Kate Hudson in large degrees of nekkidness.
Here’s how this movie went for me: BORING, APPALLED, BORING, INTRIGUED, APPALLED, BORING, LAME ENDING. “After Dark, My Sweet”, from Jim Thompson, is one of my favorite of all time movies. I even read the book and thought the movie was better. I wonder if the book of this thing is better than the movie.
Synopsis (with spoilers): Nice guy Affleck is a small town Texas deputy who has SERIOUS mommy issues (watch it if you want to know why). Because of this, he has serious girlfriend / fiancé issues. He kills several folks, tries to manipulate the local bad teen, the local alcoholic roamer, the local bad construction guy (a nicely done Ned Beatty) but can’t outwit the new D.A. (Simon Baker). Then there is the ending I could have cared less about. I really wonder if that’s in the book.
So, this gets two top hats for: Casey Affleck’s acting job (even though he plays basically the same demure role as Robert Ford in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”), Bill Pullman kind of steals the last act with his hokey small town lawyer, the opening credits are pretty cool and, despite the “full nekkidness”, the two lead actresses spend a lot of time in two piece lingerie, and with these two, that’s not too bad.
I also want to put in here right now that (as mentioned above) there are two scenes where I had to look away due to the violence Affleck is inflicting. I am surprised they even got through the ratings board with this. During the horror films I watch, the bloodshed and gore are just a part of the deal; you know Jason is going to come up with creative ways to knife someone, you know Michael Myers is going to lurk in the shadows and then impale you, you know that zombies are going to eat your brains and guts, you know what you are getting into. The stuff in here was definitely not bueno