Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1997)

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writers: John Berendt, John Lee Hancock

Composer: Lennie Niehaus

Starring: John Cusack, Kevin Spacey, Jack Thompson, Irma P. Hall, Jude Law, Alison Eastwood, Paul Hipp, Lady Chablis, Dorothy Loudon, Anne Haney, Kim Hunter, Geoffrey Lewis, Richard Herd, Leon Rippy, Bob Gunton

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Welcome to Savannah, Georgia. A City Of Hot Nights And Cold Blooded Murder.

Plot:  A visiting city reporter's assignment suddenly revolves around the murder trial of a local millionaire, whom he befriends.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Yeah.

It's been nearly twenty years since I last saw this that I've completely forgotten most of it.  That's how it needs to be the next time I watch it.  Otherwise, the magic of the thriller aspect is gone.  The performances are great, especially from the non-actors that often played their real-life selves.  It's uncanny how much Spacey looks like the real Jim Williams.  Look it up.  There's an interesting story (based in truth, although the movie takes a few liberties) with interesting characters set in an interesting old world city, Savannah, Georgia.  The Voodoo shit is ridiculous but apparently Williams bought into it.  This also plays into the supernatural ending which, while being a lot more poetic and story-like, feels contrived for the sake of showmanship.  I'd rather things just continued on.  It's still a fun picture with some great performances.  I've always wanted to visit Savannah, if for no other reason than to walk through a place that feels stuck in time.  The Warner Bros. DVD has the film in anamorphic widescreen.  The extras are several small (most under a minute) snippets of interviews with the real people involved in the story the film is based on; it's just a pain in the butt to have to click on different map locations to see them.  Why there isn't a 'play all' feature is beyond me.  I won't be watching those again.

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