Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Overlooked Movies: Flesh and Bone

Here's another one that nobody seems to like except me.  Maybe that's because nobody expected a movie with Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan to be a double dark noir tale, which is what this is. 

Quaid is Arlis, a guy who stocks vending machines.  But he has a past, one that he shares with his father, played by James Caan, a man who's never known what a conscience was.  It's not much of a spoiler to tell you that Ryan, a woman Arlis gives a ride to and then becomes attached to, shares in that past.  It's a bloody and violent past, for sure.  And then there's Gwyneth Paltrow in one of her first big roles as Caan's considerably younger female companion.  She's getting lessons in larceny and seems to take to them well.  

You know going in that this one can't possibly end well for everybody, or maybe for anybody.  There will be blood.  I found it suspenseful and well acted by all concerned.  Maybe not a classic, but certainly not a dud.  Check it out.

11 comments:

Henry Melton said...

I can't say I liked it, but it was one of the movies filmed near my house, so I watched it a couple of times, looking for familiar scenes. The house that plays an important role at the first of the movie and then at the end was shot over at Star Ranch, and we watched them age and rebuild that house.

Bill Crider said...

Thanks, Henry. I should've mentioned that it was filmed in Texas.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We really liked this one. And I think Paltrow was very good in it. They all were fine.

Todd Mason said...

I've not caught up with this one yet, but anyone who didn't think Ryan, at least, could work in a tough context hadn't seen WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN, I suspect...and certainly none of these folks has made a career of lighthearted farce.

Rick said...

I'm a big big fan of this one. I think all the actors are sensational in it.

I suspect it has a bad reputation with many because it is slow and brooding, probably to fault for the general public. I suggest that if it had been released in the late 60s or the 70s it would have been much better received and a hit.

This is the film that, having first seen Gwyneth in "Emma", that caused me to I suggest to friends that she might be the heiress to Meryl Streep. Paltrow's disastrous career choices after her father died derailed THAT prediction.

Gerard said...

Quite a good flick. Quaid does well as someone shut down from emotions and contact with others, something he did later in SAVIOR.

Vince said...

Once again, Bill, you and I are simpatico. This goes on the Joe Versus The Volcano list. I'm a huge fan of this movie, so much so I wish Steve Kloves hadn't gone on to spend a decade of his life writing the Harry Potter films. Not when he could have been making movies like this, The Fabulous Baker Boys and Wonder Boys.

Bill Crider said...

I'm a big fan of Baker Boys (Michelle on the piano is reason enough all by itself) and Wonder Boys (which I think is better than the book).

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

You pipped me to the post Bill (literally) as I was thinking of reviewing it too - saw it when it first came out at the cinema and was enormously impressed. Count me as one of the selct few out there showing some love for this slice of dark Noir.

flesh-and-bone said...

You can add me to the list of people who admire Flesh and Bone Bill.
I've been a fan of this film ever since its release back in 1993 and like you I've often felt like I was the only person who appreciated it.
It's sad that Flesh and Bone's failure at the box office effectively ended Steve Kloves' directorial career. I'm glad to see we share a passion for The Fabulous Baker Boys too!

Bill Crider said...

Two good movies, all right. Both overlooked, for the most part, too.