Poolhall Junkies

Are you predator or prey?

Writer/director Mars Callahan plunges us into the world of dank ‘n dark poolhalls, where careers (and lives) can be snuffed out with one well-timed shot.

The lanky filmmaker, who also plays the lead character, seemed primed for a big Hollywood breakout here, but serious medical issues have largely sidelined him the past two decades.

If he never makes it back, he’ll always have this gem, sort of the younger brother to Paul Newman’s The Hustler.

His best move? Letting Christopher Walken saunter into the joint and unleash a verbal tsunami of smack talk.

 

Seven Psychopaths

You don’t have to be crazy, but it helps.

Killers of all shapes and sizes, some a little more coherent than others, populate the whacked-out world director Martin McDonagh concocts in this twisty, darkly-funny tale.

The cast is a who’s-who of great character actors, but Christopher Walken, giving his line readings a divinely-unique spin, once again steals the show.

Sam Rockwell is in there throwing haymakers as a dog napper who ruffles the feathers of crime boss Woody Harrelson, but come on.

Put Walken on the screen, let him do his thing, and you got magic, baby.

 

Blast From the Past

Brendan Fraser is a treasure.

In films like George of the Jungle, and this delightfully-daffy fish-out-of-water comedy, the genial actor delighted in playing likable guys who may not get the joke, but are never the butt of said joke.

Here he’s a dude who has grown up stashed away in a bomb shelter by parents Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek, untouched by the cynicism of modern-day life.

Sprung free into a world he doesn’t recognize, Fraser wins over everyone in sight, including melting the hardened heart of one Alicia Silverstone, by just being himself.

One really likeable lunk.

 

Christopher Walken – Dance Now

“You got the moves! I’ll give you that.”

Zipping along across his entire splendid career as a one-of-a-kind movie star, this video celebrates the man who moves like no other — Mr. Christopher Walken.

He started as a teenage lion tamer, then trained as a dancer before becoming the actor we know today.

Along the way he’s scored an Oscar for The Deer Hunter, informed us “The ice … is gonna BREAK!!” and become a beloved national treasure.

So, take five minutes out of your day, marinate in a proper celebration of Walken Mania, then thank me later.

 

The Deer Hunter

After the blood, the anger, the horror, hope.

Forever scarred by war — one can’t return, another has lost his legs — a group of steelworkers and family and friends reunite for a meal at the end of this Oscar champ.

It starts with a half-stifled sob, as George Dzundza stumbles through preparing food, but then the catch in his voice is replaced with a song.

Lyrics which capture the pride of those gathered, and provide some solace as they struggle to move ahead.

It pierces, it comforts, and, for a moment, all of them, living and dead, are back together.