Abel Ferrara puts his characters through a reasonable facsimile of the Spanish
Inquisition in "The Blackout."
If the practice of programming films at midnight relies on the concept that
the audience will be unable to tell whether or not the film is any good,
"The Blackout" is a perfect midnight movie. Films about the ravages
of substance abuse almost always present their characters as most interesting
when loaded, and tedious beyond compare once sober. Matthew Modine plays
the central loadee and it's pretty difficult to care about his compound
He plays a movie star haunted by the nagging sensation that he's done something
rotten. His first girlfriend is played by Beatrice Dalle. His second,
post-drug-and-alcohol-addled lifestyle girlfriend is played by Claudia Schiffer.
Much scenery is chewed and many a half-hearted expletive is uttered by
Dennis Hopper, who is directing a contemporary remake of "Nana"
on video. If these plot components sound a tad random, they are.
As in all of Ferrara's work, doomed souls seek redemption. The resolution
in "The Blackout" is either profound and moving or laughably rank.
If this review isn't terribly helpful, neither is the film.
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