Beat (2000)

Directed by Gary Walkow
Starring Courtney Love, Norman Reedus, Ron Livingston and Kiefer Sutherland.
Tagline: Sex and Drugs before Rock and Roll

Wax: There are four movies named Beat, by the way.

Rossetti: Ok, well. I'm going to say that I don't have a great fondness for Courtney. Or the director. Or the costume designer. Or the Director of Photography. Other than that, it wasn't that bad. Except for Keifer. He was attempting an accent that . . . didn't work would be phrasing it nicely.

Well, I rather like Courtney, I'd totally do her. So that part was all good for me. I didn't know what Keifer was going for, but I was in a good mood and prepared to let him get away with it. The movie was no great shakes, but I wasn't nodding off, either. On the other hand, I'm not going to watch it again unless it's to screencap it.

I love Courtney as a rock star, I can't quite get behind her as an actress. But her lips were amazing in this. Norman was really quite the driving force. Norman, and Norman in sepia tone, really did make up for a lot of faults. Part of my problem was that I was in a Film mood. If I hadn't had a friend with me, it would have been . . . Norman! Norman everywhere!

That was my frame of mind. I was really enjoying his sepia-toned presence.

The whole structure of it was a bit like an episode of Alias. Only with far less ass-kicking.

I thought they lost a lot of punch by putting Norman's murderous past in the background. The whole intro scene was rushed.

Yeah, and they cut away from the murder to later show it in dodgy flashback. That did not work. I admit I laughed, Which was probably not what they were going for.

Actually, I need to retract my bit about not liking the Costume Designer. She did bad things for Courtney's body, but she did FANTASTIC things for Norman's.

Ron Livingston as Ginsberg was very sweet. I really enjoyed the scene where he and Courtney discuss the lovely Lucien. The one in Mexico later, about love and stuff.

Ron did a good job of making a fairly bit part into a respectable, rounded character. Also - he wanted Lucien. I can understand wanting Lucien.

Everyone wanted Lucien. I can understand, too. So that way, no credibility issues.

That should've been the center of the movie. Unfortunately, I think the center of the movie was supposed to be the Burroughs' marital strife.

I thought the center of the movie was Joan and Lucien and the chance he offered her. I guess the marital strife figured into that. And, I guess, the whole, d'oh, shoulda gone to NY. What with the whole death thing after.

Yeah, exactly. I think we were supposed to find some type of resolution in that.

Eh. Real life rarely offers resolution. Always a problem when making those pesky based-on-a-true-story things. The official site, btw, is adamant that everything is totally true. I'll just let that one lie.

Well, we got the quote about William finally being able to write after Joan's death. So there could be multiple interpretations.

The quotes from the poets were the best bits of writing in the movie. The script was pretty turgid.

Well, of course. They took from good authors. Some of the script was absolute crap. I was laughing out loud.

Okay, I guess the only reason I enjoyed it was because I was zoning out on the Pretty. I still didn't squirm as much as I did while watching Deuces Wild, but that's neither here nor there.

Evidently, the prose we hear over the long shot to Norman at the end was actually a poem of Lucien's. Which, man, makes that scene a whole lot more powerful, really.

Hey, there was some . . . luscious scenery? Vivid colors?

Yes, the whole trip to the volcano was beautiful. And of course, we shan't forget that Norman takes his clothes off.

Norman took off all of his clothes in the middle-- That was really special. We're focusing on the important parts.

We know what we like. Those being Norman's parts.

Yeah. The Norman shoulders under the blanket - that was a good part.

I liked the bit with the Mexican coppers. "You want the whole hip outfit?"

Oh, hell yeah. I also enjoyed him drinking while driving. In a non-realistic way. Just . . . swigging from a bottle, man.

Lucien was a bad boy.

Oh - and his hair was good in this, in a not-so-greasy way. I guess it's the respectable French appeal, or something. The longer worked well. Although, it also illustrated how fine his hair is. In both senses.

I think this movie worked better if you really knew nothing about the Beat poets and had no emotional investment in them. Cause I'm sure it would be quite painful for those who do. I claim complete ignorance.

That's it! I was ruined for it because I adore Beat poetry. That really could be it. Because I was pretty much wincing at each scene. Also, at Keifer's accent.

What kind of accent was he supposed to have? It sounded bizarre.

Southern, I think. But it just sounded like he was mumbling.

He sounded like he'd just taken a shot of absinthe without sugar.

Also - ok, the whole thing where Kiefer finds the knife Lucien killed Dave with was a stretch. Although, I admire Dave for being obsessed with Lucien. Being, in fact, completely and utterly under Lucien's control. Until he got pushy, of course. Which is the reason Norman has to kill in most of his movies.

Although he was sort of a sweaty creepy stalka freak. I don't really blame Lucien for leading him on. That kind of thing is flattering until it goes too far.

People just shouldn't try to push him around. He kind of proves the rule that it's the quiet ones. Also, if they were all in love with him, he was used to it. He didn't just do it to Dave, but Dave was the most obsessed.

Well, that looked a bit like attempted rape and not just pushing. Maybe they exaggerated.

They never really made it clear enough about the attempted rape, man. It looked like Dave touched him, then he went off the wall. Or maybe I'm repressing.

Well, maybe it's just because Kyle Secor is about a foot taller than Norman. I seem to remember him kind of jumping him. And a bit of rolling around with Lucien going, 'no, no, stop it!' or something.

I bet I'm repressing it. Y'know what piece of symbolism I didn't get? Lucien comes in, admits he killed Dave, gets advice on turning himself in, then gives the bloody pack of cigarettes to Joan (or was it Will?). And then in a different flashback, Will smokes that last cigarette, rips up the pack, and flushes it. I mean, Lucien turns himself in. Why dispose of evidence? I have a feeling that's supposed to be some . . . obvious symbolism or something. But I just don't get it.

Yeah, I was like, what? Okay, whatever. Then I was back to waiting for Norman to show up onscreen again.

Well, yeah. I was also trying to ignore the crushing heat. Maybe I didn't like it because of the crushing heat. Or it was just a bad movie.

Either or.