Friday, February 15, 2013

Out Of Sight

Feeling nostalgic for the 90s, and on the back of watching JLo in Parker last night, I downloaded the superlative Out Of Sight, the first film where George Clooney lived up to his post-ER hype.

It's strange to watch something as beautifully stylish as Out Of Sight, with the immaculately groomed Clooney and Lopez seducing one another in a high class hotel, and remember that the first time I watched it was on VHS in a decaying hovel in Oxford, when I had hair down to my backside and looked like a poorly dressed heroin addict. Ah, the glory days of student life.

Out Of Sight has a significantly better cast than Parker; although Parker has the wondrous, careworn visage of the Statham, the loveliness of Lopez and the full-blown horror of Chiklis, the 90s had Don Cheadle, Samuel L Jackson, Michael Keaton (with incredibly silly teeth), and Nancy Allen (Robocop's partner, although why she'd stay in Detroit after that I do not know). Oh, and Ving Rhames, a man whose career has been pretty much in free-fall ever since. For all the excellence of Dawn Of The Dead, once you've starred in Piranha 3D, you're pretty much circling the drain of ruination.

Out Of Sight also has an amazing soundtrack (thanks to this film, I listened to Dave Holmes again and again at the turn of the century) and has more lightness and humour (White Boy Bob's reaction to the trio of toupees is a lovely moment) than Parker contains. On the other hand, nobody in Out Of Sight gets hit on the head with a toilet seat, so it's very much swings and roundabouts.

What I didn't see the first time I watched it, is how much JLo's character, Karen Cisco, seems to actually be a man, or Hollywood's idea of what is a man. She likes watching the Superbowl with her dad, she likes guns, she drinks bourbon straight up. Apart from the clothes she wears there is almost no sense that she's feminine. This is either a brilliant attempt to blow away gender norms, or some odd fantasy about having a girlfriend who really is one of the guys. Which then makes the film a piece of stealth homoerotica - it's got big guys in prison! Or boxing! Or locked in a confined space together!

What went through people's heads? "I'm not gay. I just like looking at George Clooney's abdominal muscles while funk music plays." He's a tricky one, that Soderburgh.

Other than that, an uneventful day. It rained a lot in the afternoon, which made me gloomy. In the evening, I ate cheese. Perhaps that could be my epitaph.


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