Saturday, June 17, 2017

Drugstore Cowboy

Year 9, Day 168 - 6/17/17 - Movie #2,663

BEFORE: This one's been held on the bottom of the watchlist for a long while, paired with the film I'll watch tomorrow, but collectively they weren't really linked to anything else.  Then when I saw that Kurt Russell (who's in tomorrow's film, with Matt Dillon) was going to appear in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" I got excited, because it was a chance to rescue both films, but then "Drugstore Cowboy" seemed like the end of the chain, and for a while it was.

I found another way to link out of "Guardians 2", so it seemed like a shame to consign both films back to the "unlinkables" section - then along came "Vantage Point", so James Le Gros could carry over from that film to this one.  But then, even though I had the link out of this one to tomorrow's film, then THAT became the dead end.  Ah, but a way out then presented itself, so the chain is still going strong, it just takes careful research and a willingness to change the plan around every few weeks.

THE PLOT: A pharmacy-robbing dope fiend and his crew pop pills and evade the law.

AFTER: You see the problem this presented, right?  I mean, the low-profile indie cast here made it nearly impossible to schedule, at least if I wanted to stick by my own self-imposed rules.  Matt Dillon' just hasn't made that many films that have fallen into my possession, or at least ones that I'm interested in watching, neither has Kelly Lynch.  I mean that's fine, make the kind of films you want to make, they're in charge of their own careers after all, but why not take a part in a blockbuster once in a while, just to help a guy out?  I mean, who wants to see their names in a clickbait article about "Why Hollywood Won't Hire Matt Dillon Any More", I'm just sayin'.

I know this is an acclaimed indie film by acclaimed indie director Gus Van Sant, but I'm sorry, I just don't get it.  Watching people shoot up and get high just doesn't appeal to me, nor is it very cinematic.  People get stoned and become catatonic, and then basically inert, the process doesn't lend itself very well to movies, which are all about action and movement and, you know, talking.  (FUN FACT: movies with sound were once called "talkies", which is a horrible name, but calling them "movies" because they display movement isn't much better.  We shouldn't even call them "films" any more because everything's digital, so we really need to come up with a better name for movies.).

I'll make an exception for comedies, I suppose, like Cheech & Chong or Harold & Kumar films, but in general the only thing more boring to me than watching a movie about people taking drugs is a movie about people getting off of drugs.  Getting sober doesn't really make for a good cinematic story either.  Hey, welcome to the drudgery of reality, with no filter, which means going to work and earning a paycheck and attending meetings.  Yeah, I'll pass.  And "Drugstore Cowboy" gives me both boring non-ideal-for-movies things - taking drugs and then getting sober.

There is some action and excitement with the heists, even more so when they don't go as planned.  Robbing pharmacies makes sense if you're looking for drugs, I suppose.  I mean you can steal money if you're hoping to buy drugs, but why not just cut out the middleman?  And it made sense to steal drugs even before the pharmaceutical price hikes of the last few years.  But pharmacies have increased security since this film was made, as evidenced by the fact that I can't buy the best cold medicine without waiting for a store employee to unlock a cabinet.  Right, I'm a drug dealer, as you can probably tell by my constant sneezing, runny nose and hacking cough.

I wish I could say that things perk up when William S. Burroughs makes an appearance as a former priest and drug-user, but I never found him or his work interesting either, plus I'm still mad at him after watching "Naked Lunch" a few years back.  So this to me is a swing and a miss.  The only consolation is that I can now cross if off from that list of "1,001 Movies To See Before You Die". (My current total: 408 seen.)

Also starring Matt Dillon (last seen in "Girl Most Likely"), Kelly Lynch, Heather Graham (last seen in "Two Girls and a Guy"), James Remar (last seen in "The Warriors"), Max Perlich (last seen in "Maverick"), Grace Zabriskie (last seen in "The Judge"), William S. Burroughs.

RATING: 3 out of 10 superstitions

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