Koch on film


By Ed Koch

“Alpha Dog” (-)

The title of this movie depicting a sordid lifestyle is misleading.  So far as I am concerned, it should simply be called, “A Dog.” The film, written and directed by Nick Cassavetes, is based on a true incident involving a kidnapping and murder.  A group of rich kids in their 20s in Palm Springs, California, are criminals leading lives that revolve around drugs and quick sex.  Jake Mazursky (Ben Foster) cannot pay the money he owes to drug dealer Johnny Truelove (Emile Hirsch).  Johnny and his gang kidnap Jake’s 15-year-old brother Zack (Anton Yelchin) and hold him hostage.  Johnny’s best buds are Frankie (Justin Timberlake), Tiko (Fernando Vargas) and slave boy Elvis (Shawn Hatosy).  Bruce Willis plays the role of Johnny’s father and Sharon Stone is Zack’s mother.  The acting of everyone is acceptable, but the lifestyle they convey is vile.  

The theater was less than half full when I saw the movie the day it opened.  I advise you to avoid this one.  It is the most degenerate movie I have seen in a long time.

HS said:  “Alpha Dog” is disgusting on many levels.  The only sympathetic character is the victim.  If you like this film, you might also enjoy pulling wings off flies.”

“Inland Empire” (-)

After reading Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review of David Lynch’s latest film, I decided to see it.  She wrote it is “one of the few films I’ve seen this year that deserves to be called art.”

“Inland Empire” is three hours long.  The first movie I saw of that length was “Gone With the Wind,” which had a 15-minute intermission and an increased admission price from 35 to 75 cents.  The admission price for all films at the IFC where I saw Lynch’s film was 11 dollars.  Let me tell you, it isn’t worth 35 cents.  It is awful.

I knew from reading the reviews that it would be a difficult film to follow.  The opening scenes of the movie consist of a greeting by Lynch who in his droll lecture said not to ask him what the movie is about because he would not discuss it.  Let me tell you, he couldn’t explain the plot if he tried. 

The film stars Laura Dern who is an exceptionally good actress.  The story is about a movie star, Nikki Grace/Susan Blue (Laura Dern), and the plot consists of more than a dozen hallucinations involving Nikki.  Several scenes, particularly a very dramatic death scene, are quite interesting and stand on their own.  For the most part, however, I found the scenes to be unrelated and could not determine a single thread binding them together.  When the film ended, I asked PA and PB what they thought of it.  They agreed with my assessment and concluded, as I did, that the movie is a put on by the gifted director who gave us “Blue Velvet.”  This time he gave us garbage.