Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sperminator, not Spiderman on 42nd

The Basketball Diaries (1995) - Kalvert
Jim Carroll, the Lower Eastside staple, writer, poet, musician and a former heroin addict is played by young Leonardo Dicaprio. It's the late 70s NY which was a completely different world compared to spic and span of Bloomberg's 2011 version. Young catholic schoolboy Carroll with his rabble rousing, little delinquent friends (including Mickey, played remarkably by Mark Wahlberg who shows that he can be great when he's being his meathead self and doesn't act seriously), tears down the night and the city. Soon ether sniffing and fantasizing about shooting up the school slips into burglary and homicide.

Drawing from Carroll's harrowing experience as a junkie, Dicaprio really shines as a once promising high school basketball star to heroin addict who'd do anything to score some dope. Lorraine Bracco as discombobulated but tough working-class mom, Bruno Kirby as a basketball coach with pedophile tendencies make up the great supporting cast. It didn't make much impression when I first saw it years ago and my lady who grew up in NY had never seen the film before. And I'm glad I watched this with her.

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