Thursday, 19 January 2012

Auto Focus (2002)

Bone Town
At a glance:
Memorable improvised biopic about sex addict TV actor Bob Crane, star of the American 60s hit comedy series Hogan's Heroes. Movie starts off cheerfully enough with Bob (played by Greg Kinnear) leadin a healthy, successful life then he met and made friends with a video technician (Willem Dafoe) who would form a sexploitative relationship with him as they became obsessed with filmin themselves boinkin women and keepin records of their conquests.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Some will say it's offbeat, uninspirin and trivial. It can be rather depressin due to the gloomy texture of the film in the last act or so and I wouldn't recommend it to viewers lookin for a feel-good film. This is a film about a man who destroyed himself and did not have the chance for redemption.
Perennial wonderment:
Why has Greg Kinnear never gone to the next level of Hollywood stardom? I've always felt that Greg Kinnear is an under-rated actor who really deserves more roles in Hollywood A-List movies. He has an amazin intensity to him which permeates and ebbs well with the flow of this film. His portrayal of Bob Crane here is impressive and there are many scenes where the bleakness of his life just spoke through his eyes, behind those 70s tinted glasses.
No white shirt ever looked better on a woman
since Alex Menesis in Auto Focus (2012).
Watch out for:
Willem Defoe playin Crane's sex-crazed sidekick. He's always done well with twisted, destructive characters, hasn't he? However I must confess that the only reason why I first bought this film was to catch a glimpse of the adorably dirty Maria Bello (Coyote Ugly fame) as Crane's on-set lover and later wife.
I can't remember if I cried:
As this is not a thriller by any account I will tell you that Bob Crane met an unexpected end at the hands of a an unknown murderer in his room as he was sleepin and this remains one of Hollywood's most perseverin unsolved homicides. Did some readin and it appears that the events that are shown on the film are mostly improvisational and that Crane's second family had dismissed it altogether. In any case, Paul Schraeder (writer of Taxi Driver and director of Affliction and Raging Bull) has made a very interestin account on his life here.

Most memorable line:
A day without sex is a day wasted.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Great that it wasn't overdone. Love the bits of video entertainment history. Useful sleaze. ★★★1/2
Trailer for the curious: