A debauched Hollywood movie actor tries to piece together one wild night in Miami years earlier which remains a drug-induced blur, and soon finds out that some questions about his past are best left unanswered.
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Matty is a film star who is tired of Hollywood life and moves to Miami, where he makes a proposal to his girlfriend Annie. She is not ready to marry him, and it is revealed that she had an abortion. Depressed because he lost his baby (though it was him who initially asked for abortion), Matty, together with his friend Micky, go on a wild night, they meet a waitress also called Annie and in the end of the night Matty passes out. A year and a half later Matty lives in New York, leads a clean life visiting AA meetings and has a relationship with attractive blonde Susan. He is still obsessed with Annie and returns to Miami, where unexpected news about Annie 2 (the waitress) waits for him. Written by
A mixed bag from America's most interesting director. Half compelling, half an embarrassing failure. Not recommended for newcomers to Abel Ferrara.
Abel Ferrara to me is the most interesting and uncompromising American director working in movies today. He has had a career like no other, and one that even his fans would have to admit has been extremely uneven. For every brilliant movie he has made ('Bad Lieutenant', 'King Of New York') he has made some stinkers ('Fear City', 'Dangerous Game'). 'The Blackout' is somewhere between the two, half compelling, half embarrassing failure. Newcomers to Ferrara's work should probably avoid this one until they have sampled a few of his more successful works. One of my big problems with this movie is the casting of Matthew Modine. Modine is a pretty good actor but doesn't have the acting chops (of say, Harvey Keitel or Christopher Walken, previous Ferrara leading men) to really make his role here totally convincing. Modine plays a young Hollywood star who is out of control on booze, sex and drugs ala the real life escapades of Christian Slater or Robert Downey, Jr. A few of his scenes were excellent, but overall I just didn't believe him. The rest of the cast is a little shaky too. Beatrice Dalle ('Betty Blue') and supermodel Claudia Schiffer are both adequate but not that compelling, and Dennis Hopper, who I am a major fan of, just hams it up in what my friends call a "hey, maaaaaaan!" role. It was good to see Steven Bauer ('Scarface') in this movie, an underrated actor who hasn't received the roles he deserves, but then he is only given a few lines, and then he's gone. I'm also really taken by the beautiful Sarah Lassez who starred in Gregg Araki's weird and wonderful 'Nowhere', released the same year as this. I was hoping she became a major star, but sadly it looks like that isn't going to happen. 'The Blackout' is by no means Ferrara's worst movie but it is also far from his best. As uneven as it is fans will get enough out of it to justify watching it, but he can do so much better than this! A very frustrating movie this one.
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