Okay, so you know all those stupid MySpace lists? Name 25 SST bands and everyone chimes in via message board (St. Vitus was ours, natch) until you are down to MinuteFlag and someone slips up and mentions Redd Kross? One going around the other day was for the movies of Christopher Walken, and we got to thinking. Now, don't misunderstand, Big Shot. We love on some Chris Walken. From More Cowbell all the way back to Deer Hunter and shit. But it is our contention, boldly proclaimed and to be expounded on further, that Mr. Walken is not, in fact, the greatest cinematic scenery chewer of all-time. No no. That honor belongs to Powers Boothe.
Recently you would recognize him as Cy from HBO's Deadwood or the bad Senator in Sin City but think back, dear viewer! The sherrif in U-Turn, Curly Bill from Tombstone, the FBI Agent in Frailty, the Rev. Jim Jones from that one TV movie, etc. You know the guy. He doesn't have a whole lot of range. With the only voice we can think of that resembles both a hiss and a croak, he basically has one tonal trick; he is a ceaseless and condescending furnace of menace. That's it. He comes on screen and the film starts to burn in the projector, the popcorn is suddenly black as tar, the scenery melts and your balls jump up from your nutsack into your liver. He's that good. We think of him as one of the finest actors of his time for his work in just one scene from one great film: Nixon.
Now, stop laughing. Noted Conspiracy theorist and crack enthusiast Oliver Stone has a feel for this type of flatly made-up biography picture, and Nixon especially is balls to the walls on the crooked. Filled with camera tricks out the wazoo, fake news clips and endless hoary fabrications on government shenanigans, it is Wacked v 5.0, a pretentious lagoon of portentuous sap. We love it shamelessly, without rancour, and so should you. There are so many great moments in this movie that we don't know where to start. Bob Hoskins as a flaming J. Edgar Hoover, eating cheese out of the mouth of Ricky from My So-Called Life? You did not just imagine that! E. Howard Hunt's (Ed Harris) great speech to John Dean (David Hyde Pierce) regarding said President? May we quote?
(lights his pipe)
John, sooner or later -- sooner, I
think -- you are going to learn the
lesson that has been learned by
everyone who has ever gotten close to
Richard Nixon. That he's the darkness
reaching out for the darkness. And
eventually, it's either you or him.
Look at the landscape of his life and
you'll see a boneyard.
Hunt throws a match into the river.
Now that is some lip-smacking pan-seared goodness! But the best, of course, stars our man Boothe. He plays Nixon's new chief of staff, General Alexander Haig. We see your antennas rising out there. Keep with us. Anyhacks, it is Aug. 1974, the game is almost up, Nixon is in the Lincoln bedroom alternately popping Reds, praying with Kissinger (hammy Paul Sorvino butchering the accent, quite obviously having the time of his life) seeing the ghost of his dead Mom (really) and suddenly in comes Haig with some bad news up in the heezy. Nixon has to resign or face impeachment and certain defeat, and Haig has come with the letter. He is looking for outs, and finding none.
Nixon, silenced, looks down at the paper in his hands and
If you resign, you can keep your tapes
as a private citizen ... You can fight
them for years.
And if I stay?
A long moment.
You have the army.
When we saw that scene for the first time, we literally howled for ten minutes, annoying everyone in the very full theatre. The look on Boothe's face is so fabulous and warped that we longed for the movie to go into this super-deranged direction, which it does not, sadly. But if someone has a blown-up picture of this moment, when Hiag says that last word, please for the love of god send it to us. We will give you 100 bux and a big, wet blow job, because it is capital PR priceless.
The moral of the story: if you need to waste 3 1/2 hours and are tired of sewing or knitting or abusing yourself or whatever it is you skanks out there do all day, give Stone and his zanies a try, or at least go check out the vast ouvere of our good friend Powers Boothe. Beats having a job!