Year 9, Day 141 - 5/21/17 - Movie #2,636
BEFORE: The final of four films with Joseph Gordon-Levitt - but the big news is that "Twin Peaks" returns to TV tonight. By a coincidence, today's film also has Piper Laurie in it, and she was part of the cast of the original show that ran in 1990-92. 25 years later, the show comes back tonight - I was around when the original episodes aired, and I didn't miss one, even when the show got weird. Umm, that is to say, weirder. It started at weird and then got very very weird, and you either bought into the mythology behind it or you didn't, but that was true appointment TV, you HAD to be there to watch it when it aired on ABC, because everybody would be talking about it the next day at work or school, trying to figure it out what it all means.
A lot has changed in my life since then - and a lot has changed in the world at large, and in the world of TV. We've had darker shows air since then - "The Sopranos", "Oz", "Six Feet Under", "Dexter", "Hannibal" and so on. Hundreds of channels where there used to be a couple dozen. And since then I've come to hate David Lynch for his enigmatic movies, like "Eraserhead", "Lost Highway" and "Mulholland Drive". (I watched those last two on Showtime, since apparently they cut a deal with Lynch to run all his movies, if only he'd make more "Twin Peaks" episodes...). Tonight I'm going to let Lynch back into my life because he's bringing back the show I liked - but if it sucks, then he and I are very much over. Fool me four times, Mr. Lynch, and shame on me...
(Last week I recorded "The Straight Story", which is now on the watchlist. Probably the only film ever that opens with "Walt Disney Studios presents...A David Lynch Film". I'm not sure when I can get to that one, though - it looks very hard to link to.).
THE PLOT: A young boy who lost his mother and is losing touch with his father and the world around him meets Hesher, who manages to make his life even more chaotic.
AFTER: I'm late posting today because we just watched the two-hour premiere of "Twin Peaks" (honestly, I never thought I'd say those words again...) Geez, you live long enough and everything comes back - "American Idol", "The X-Files", we're getting all kinds of new "Star Wars" films. It's the franchise culture and the need to make money, they keep dusting off old chestnuts like "The Planet of the Apes" and "The Pink Panther" - but "Twin Peaks" is big, man. It's like the "Star Wars" of TV, and it's back after 25 years, with most of its cast scheduled to show up in one form or another.
But this is a movie blog, not a TV blog - plus I still have to go on the internet tomorrow and figure out what the events seen in the premiere mean, or at least what people THINK they mean. But if you've never seen the original, go and binge-watch it ASAP, it's only like 30 episodes - an enterprising person could watch all of that in a weekend, right? For God's sake, don't jump into the new series without watching the original show first, you'll have even less of an idea what's going on than I do - which is not much.
I had a hard time understanding "Hesher", too, at least at first, because the action was so random - who's that kid, why is he obsessed with that crashed car on the dealer's lot? Why does that other kid want to bully him at school? And where the hell is Joseph Gordon-Levitt?
He eventually shows up, as a squatter in an abandoned house, and he also seems to have an axe to grind with this kid, TJ. But he forces himself into TJ's house, right as TJ and his father are stuck in a grief spiral, and we eventually find out they're still reeling from the loss of TJ's mother. Sure, letting a random stranger who looks and acts like a psycho makes perfect sense if there's tension in your family. You'd think that logically, maybe Hesher would be able to help TJ with his bullying problem, since he's bigger and tougher than the bully, but things just don't work out that way. If anything, Hesher's actions tend to make things worse, but they're also sort of cathartic by default.
There's a difference, however, between an anarchist and someone who just does random things, and to me Hesher seems more like the latter. An anarchist would work toward the purpose of dissolving the government, or at least rebelling against it, and we don't get to see Hesher doing that. He'd rather break into people's backyards, throw their patio furniture into the pool, and set things on fire while he's at it. That's not an anarchist, that's just an asshole.
I remember that the second time I saw Natalie Portman in person at San Diego Comic-Con, she was there promoting "Hesher". (The first time was right after filming "V For Vendetta", because her hair was still super-short.). I bring this up only because she's going to carry over to tomorrow's film.
Also starring Rainn Wilson (last seen in "Super"), Natalie Portman (last seen in "Thor: The Dark World"), Devin Brochu, John Carroll Lynch (last seen in "Hot Pursuit"), Brendan Hill, Monica Staggs, Audrey Wasilewski (last seen in "What Women Want"), Frank Collison, Mary Elizabeth Barrett, Barry Sigismondi (last seen in "XXX: State of the Union").
RATING: 4 out of 10 bowls of cereal