Friday, March 23, 2007

Into The Woods

And I’m back! Although I can’t guarantee how lucid this is going to be. The end of a long and very busy week; putting in more hours and getting home later each day until, by the time I stumbled in the door this evening, I was tempted to simply crawl straight into bed and not surface until Monday morning.

Unfortunately there are things to do, like finally have my haircut so Lucy can’t describe me as having “a croissant” on my head. Also, tomorrow evening, there’s a birthday party to go to. The actress I couldn’t meet for drinks over Christmas will be there and hopefully a couple others I need to have words with. And of course the usual suspects, whom I haven’t seen in a while. It all depends if I can decipher the directions through Marylebone.

One of the staffers at the company left midweek to take up a position elsewhere, hence the increased workload all round. Four weeks down and four left to go before I’m done there myself, the boss took me aside the next day and asked if I’d like to work for the company full time. Which was something to think about. Rather than put on an act and pretend to mull it over, so as not to hurt his feelings by turning him down flat, as the afternoon progressed I actually found myself giving it some consideration.

It would certainly be different. But then I’m not sure I’d want to sign up for something which leaves me nodding off watching a Girls Only DVD, given to me by a completely bonkers American actress who insisted I take it home with me, and billed as, “An All Girl Muff Fest”. Which is what happened a couple of nights ago. I mean...

What I did manage to stay awake for was the arrival of Shark on Five, which was programmed directly after the new season of House. Good old five. They must have decided if you like one, you’ll like the other. Both follow a similar format with a curmudgeon tutoring a handful of relatively green assistants. I imagine it would be easy to fall asleep during the former, wake up well into the latter, and only figure out something was different when you come to your senses.

What we really needed in television is another lawyer show. But then the real draw of Shark is, of course, James Woods as lawyer Sebastian Stark. Whether he’s playing outright weasels like Richard Boyle in Oliver Stone’s Salvador or intense characters filled with such balled-up rage you expect them to explode all over the screen, Woods has always good value for money. Having first seen him playing a bit part in Night Moves, I’d forgotten how long he’d been off the screen until he turned up as the guest-star in an episode of ER.

Putting in terrific turns as Haldeman in Stone's under-rated Nixon, Maximilian Bercovicz in Sergio Leone’s magnificent Once Upon a Time in America, the sleazy Max Renn in Videodrome, and an inspired Hades in Disney’s Hercules, one of my favourite Woods roles is the typically intense and hard-boiled Lloyd Hopkins in Cop. Adapted from James Ellroy’s novel Blood on the Moon, it has one of the greatest last lines of any film.

Having finally cornered the man responsible for a slew of brutal attacks on women in Los Angeles, and eager to bypass the legal process and dispense his own brand of justice, Hopkins tells the murderer:

“Well, there's some good and there's some bad news. The good news is you're right - I'm a cop and I've gotta take you in. The bad news is I've been suspended and I don't give a fuck.”

With that the film cuts to black as Hopkins pumps a round into the chamber of his shotgun. Now that's an ending!


Post a Comment

<< Home