Friday, January 9, 2009

Siskel & Ebert on ‘Barfly’

Have you seen the TV commercial for “The Wrestler”... the one where the announcer says: “Witness the resurrection of Mickey Rourke”? What a strange tagline that is.

I haven’t seen “The Wrestler” yet, but I intend to. I used to be intrigued by Mickey Rourke’s acting (in films such as “The Pope of Greenwich Village” and “Angel Heart”), even though his style was self-conscious and mannered.

Then he went and became a professional boxer and a plastic-surgery addict. Oh well.

For me, Rourke was resurrected in the 2005 movie “Domino.” His performance was the only good thing in that piece of garbage.

Twenty-one years ago, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert disagreed fiercely on “Barfly,” a film I remember enjoying. Their argument was all about Rourke’s acting choices.

Ebert got hot, boy. He was throwing long-ago bullshit in Siskel’s face like some kind of pissed-off wife. Watch:

16 comments:

Susie said...

OH MY GOD! I miss Siskel and Ebert going at each other like that.

I loved Barfly - at the time there were bars in Hollywood that were exactly like that - my friends and I would go and hang out for hours and meet people just like those characters.

To me, Mickey Rourke sounded more like Snagglepuss than Marlon Brando but he did stay consistent.

Looking forward to the wrestler.

Undercover Black Man said...

To me, Mickey Rourke sounded more like Snagglepuss than Marlon Brando...

Hee-heeee... you right!

Dollar Bill said...

To all my friends!

I worked in places like that,where the regular's lived upstairs and were in from open to close,always planning a big trip or hatching a big scheme,that never happened.

A waking dream,ritual and routine,comfort in the bottle and familiar suroundings.

Mortal enemies made that night,life long friends again the next morning.

The occasional funeral,that nobody would attend,but use as a excuse to drink twice as much in their honor.

That movie is a close to real,as I have seen and a world Siskel had obviously spent no time in.
I wonder what his review of Leaving Las Vegas was like?

TimmyD said...

Bukowski's book "Hollywood" is all about the making of the movie. It's pretty good.
I think Ebert hit the nail on the head when says "what about the humor". That's pretty much the key to Bukowski, and Mickey Roark's performance in the movie. It's funny. I hated the movie of Factotum with Matt Dillon because they sucked all humor out of it and left this cold depressing movie.

must love movies said...

i used to love them

Invisible Woman said...

I must admit, I absolutely HATED everything about Barfly, even Mickey Rourke in it. As a matter of fact, I think it ended my years long crush on him. Better sooner than later, I guess :-)

I will be writing about my take on The Wrestler later today, btw...

SDG said...

Man, I really miss Siskel & Ebert. I really do. I've always had a soft spot for Mickey and find him fascinating to watch. I want to see The Wrestler, but then again, I don't. Sigh.

Undercover Black Man said...

I will be writing about my take on The Wrestler later today, btw...

Looking forward to it, IW.

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Miss Profe said...

Mickey Rourke is one of the best talents going, albeit grossly under-rated, in my opinion. Being one of Hollywood's bad boys, he gets less work than the less talented "stars". I intend to see "The Wrestler".

John B. said...

It's been a while since I've seen "Barfly," but I remember really enjoying it, and I thought Faye Dunaway was good in it, also.

I thought the movie was really true to the spirit of Charles Bukowski's writing, but I hear he hated it.

Thanks for reminding me. I'll have to rent it and look at it again.

Adrean said...

Now I've gotta watch Barfly. I have never seen it. The Wrestler is playing at my favorite indie theater in Denver. I plan to check it out this weekend.

dez said...

I hated "Barfly," too, but I still use the following quote exchange:

"I hate cops, don't you?"
"I don't hate them, I just seem to like it better when they're not around."

Loved loved LOVED Siskbert, though.

Le Cosmonaut B said...

I have Barfly on DVD and always find some little nuance that got overlooked the last time. What's surprising about Rourke is how he just shows up out of nowhere and floors people with brilliance. I didn't see 'Domino' or 'Sin City' but go through his earlier stuff like 'A Prayer For the Dying' or 'Pope of Greenwich Village.'

Bellingham View said...

DM wrote: “Witness the resurrection of Mickey Rourke”? What a strange tagline that is. >>>

DM, FWIW, that comes from David Ansen's review in Newsweek, which Fox Searchlight then happily used in their marketing materials.

Not that it makes it any less awkward to having it actually *voiced* in the TV spots (it looks great on the poster and in ads), but just noting that it comes from a review and isn't a marketing tagline, per se. :)

Movie is fantastic, by the way.

RP

Undercover Black Man said...

DM, FWIW, that comes from David Ansen's review in Newsweek, which Fox Searchlight then happily used in their marketing materials.

Ah, RP. I saw it again last night and saw the direct quotation. I guess originally I just heard the line.