Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

28 November 2008

After Hours

Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Joseph Minion
Released: 1985
Cast: Griffin Dunne, Roseanna Arquette, Linda Fiorentino, John Heard, Teri Garr, Catherine O'Hara, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Dick Miller, Verna Bloom

STEVE says: I'm going to go way out on a limb, here, and say that After Hours is my favorite Scorsese movie.

"What's that?" I hear you say. "Better than Goodfellas? Better than Taxi Driver or Mean Streets? Better even than The Departed?" No, I didn't say that. Better than has nothing to do with it. (And it's a subjective argument, anyway, don't you think?) But if I had to pick one Scorsese movie for my desert island list, it would be After Hours.

The movie's surreal nightmare quality is what appeals to me. It's like a Kafka story set in SoHo, with Griffin Dunne as Josef K. After a date goes from bad to worse to the absolute worst it could possibly get, the guy is just trying to get back home. But the gods or whatever will not allow that to happen. And after having to deal with a sadomasochistic sculptress, a paranoid subway attendant, a crazy waitress, a belligerent Mr. Softee truck operator and a passive aggressive bouncer, among many others, his goal changes from getting home to simply staying alive.

It's a hell of a movie that doesn't get the credit it deserves. And for the record, it's definitely better than Gangs of New York.


NIKKI says:
I should like this movie more than I do. I know I'll get crucified by this movies biggest fans (Steve and Lyndall), but I just don't feel anything for Griffin Dunne. Zip. He comes across to me as a smug prick and I just don't see why I should root for him. Is the movie too subtle in its absurdity for me? Maybe. Maybe I'm looking for connection where I shouldn't be, but no one in this movie compels me to follow their weird paths.

I don't remember disliking it prior as much as I did with this viewing. I just didn't care. I wanted him to get home just so I could go to bed. I like the movie's darkness, I think I appreciate what it wants to do -- Steve mentioned the Kafka aspect to the story -- but it doesn't do much for me.

This and King of Comedy are up there as the Scorsese movies everyone else loves but I could never watch again and be happy.


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