director Francis Ford Coppola
Twixt: Three things.
1) Director/writer Francis Ford Coppola.
When you’ve made The Godfather (1972), The Conversation (1974), The Godfather Part II (1974), and Apocalypse Now (1979), you can kind of have a pass on a lot of other stuff. Coppola’s reputation isn’t built on flimsy stuff (though it has been a long, long time since I’ve seen any of those films). And while he had some decent stuff in the 1980’s, I’ve come to think of him as one of the most over-rated directors in the world.
But now, I realize that my perception has been entirely imbued (and for many years imbued) by his godforsaken film Jack (1996) which starred Robin Williams in one of the most annoying film experiences that I have ever had.
But I’m realizing now that all of my dislike and discredit goes back to that film. It’s probably neither fair nor accurate.
Twixt is a low-budget, self-produced horror story that Coppola filmed largely on his own property in Northern California. It’s pretty bad in its own right. It doesn’t really atone in the least for Jack. But it’s not unenjoyable.
It’s hackneyed and almost goofy but I didn’t hate it.
2) Elle Fanning.
Here she plays a gothy ghost/vampire. Not much of a role really. She’s quite striking. Far less so than in J.J. Abrams Super 8 (2011) in which she utterly stood out. But she’s intriguing, still. Certainly part of what drew me to watch the film.
3) Val Kilmer.
Jeez. Last seen (by me) in The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans (2009), it’s hard not to look at him and think, “Wow. What happened to you?”
I know this is terrible but he’s puffy and bloated, a far cry from the sex symbol he was in his days as Jim Morrison in The Doors (1991) or Batman in Batman Forever (1996). I know, those are all two decades ago and I’m hardly any improved myself, but jeez. He doesn’t look so well.
He’s actually still pretty good as an actor. He plays a hack horror writer who stumbles on a haunted little town on a book tour and becomes enmeshed in things. He gets to do some comedic impersonations, which are kind of superfluous, but still impressive.
He’s pretty good in the film. But yoiks.
P.S. Bruce Dern is always cool.