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Blogging while intoxicated: Goodbye and Good riddance to Rick Casey and Steven Thomson
September 5, 2024 – 4:09 pm | 24 Comments

By Alex Wukman
Houston media is a small, and always getting smaller, community. It’s not uncommon for Free Press Houston, Houston Press and 29-95 writers to share some words and a drink when we run into …

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Submitted by admin on October 21, 2024 – 11:28 pmNo Comment

Stone jolts its audience because this character driven film changes horses in mid-stream. After a weird prologue set years previously the film proper opens in a prison where Jack (Robert De Niro) works as a counselor. About to retire Jack meets Stone (Edward Norton) a con up for parole and inadvertently Stone’s wife, Lucetta (Milla Jovovich).

Stone’s opening sequence establishes that as a young man Jack threatens to throw their child out the window if his wife, Madylyn (Frances Conroy) leaves him. Even in this auspicious beginning director John Curran has fun with ambient sound, a trait that pops up throughout the movie. Now nearing their golden pond years Jack and Madylyn sit on the porch at night drinking and smoking cigarettes.

From the first reel you feel that Stone will evolve into a stalker genre thriller. Stone gets out of prison and makes life hell for Jack, that kind of thing. But wonderfully Stone the movie starts to spin a cocoon of intrigue and emerges as a butterfly. Nobody appears to be the same person they were when first introduced. What results is more of a psychological drama where each character takes turns manipulating the others.

Truth is, Stone is one of De Niro’s best performances, well, since 1995 and his back to back grand slammers Heat and Casino. Bickle is operating on all cylinders, not unlike karmic payback for the Fockers series. Norton, who worked with Curran on The Painted Veil, matches De Niro for arc and intensity. Jovovich has already established herself as an action star of sorts so it’s amazing to also see her stealing scenes from De Niro at his best and Norton. Her temptress attitude definitely makes this her finest acting role.

- Michael Bergeron

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