Blu-Ray Review: Rumble Fish

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Screenplay: S.E. Hinton & Francis Ford Coppola
Based on the Novel by: S.E. Hinton
Starring: Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper, Vincent Spano, Nicolas Cage
Producer: Doug Claybourne, Fred Roos
Country: USA
Running Time: 94 min
Year: 1983
BBFC Certificate: 18

Francis Ford Coppola is responsible for making four of my all time top 20 or so favourite films of all time, more than any other director. His run of work in the 70’s – The Godfather Parts 1 & 2, The Conversation and Apocalypse Now are all staggeringly great works of cinema in my eyes as well as many others’. However, his name doesn’t spring straight to mind when people ask who my favourite director is. This is largely down to the fact that after this extraordinary foursome, his work ranged from curious, to pretentious, to mediocre to downright baffling (what made him take on Jack?). Rumble Fish, made in 1983, came somewhere in between though for myself and many. I’d not seen it for a long time and with Masters of Cinema releasing a stunningly well restored Blu-Ray edition, what better time to revisit this interesting addition to Coppola’s filmography.

The film follows Rusty James (Matt Dillon), a misguided youth that wants to rule the streets with his gang of friends, much like his older brother ‘Motorcycle Boy’ (Mickey Rourke) who mysteriously disappeared a few years ago. During a violent fight (or ‘rumble’) between Rusty and another gang leader, Motorcycle Boy returns. He’s not quite his usual self though and doesn’t seem to share his younger brother’s enthusiasm for bringing back the gang warfare of old. The film becomes a coming of age tale, with Rusty struggling under the shadow of his legendary sibling and the disappointment of his alcoholic father (Dennis Hopper) and long gone mother. Lacking the intelligence and maturity of his brother, he doesn’t seem to realise that he’s better off without them all.

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Movie Club Podcast #23: Crash and Crash

The FilmJunk crew has bowed out this week; but do not fret. Other exciting guests have entered the fray to help make the Movie Club Podcast go back to what it was originally intended to be: an always rotating panel of movie buffs and bloggers. This go-round sees the likes of RowThree favorites Ryan McNeil of The Matinee and Jim Laczkowski from The Director’s Club Podcast. Which Crash is your crash? Are you a lover of both, dismissive of both or somewhere in between. The sexual nuances of David Cronenberg’s 1996 Cannes award winner are teased out, while the subtleties of Paul Haggis’ Oscar winner are actively searched for. It’s a Thanksgiving Crashtacular, your mileage may vary!


The Movie Club is as much for the listeners as it is the contributors. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section over at the Movie Club Page. (Comments are turned off on this post.) The Next Episode will be recorded probably sometime in January (maybe, but do not hold us to that; regularity is not our strong suit!) and the films on discussion will be Paris, Texas and Southland Tales.

Bone Deep Adds Cast

Hayden ChristensenHow does a production company fuck up a project before it even gets off the ground? Simple. You cast two of the most dry, boring and barely skilled actors in the business.

Screen Gems is currently casting a crime thriller titled Bone Deep about a group of criminals whose $20 million heist goes sideways when a hard-boiled detective starts poking around. Directed by John Luessenhop, the film already has Matt Dillon in the role of the detective and now there are reports that Paul Walker and Hayden Christensen have also been cast in the film. Can you say bomb?

Are the folks at the production company that out of touch that they don’t realize the whole they’re digging themselves into? Christensen is a pretty boy with little talent and his good looks are only going to take him so far – especially when you consider he keeps taking roles that don’t necessarily appeal to his tween fangirl demographic – and Paul Walker…well, he’s had it rough. Fast and Furious looks like it’ll be fun but of everything I’ve seen him in outside of the car-love franchise, the only one in which he displays any talent is the surprisingly good Running Scared and even there he’s stretching himself pretty thin.

It matters little, the project doesn’t sound particularly appealing to me, but I find it oddly funny that a company would shoot themselves in the foot quite this badly. Casting either of these guys would be a mistake but casting them both in the same film is critical (and probably box office) suicide.