Thursday, April 2, 2009

Overlooked: Jacob's Ladder

Long before his most famous role*, Tim Robbins starred in a moody, atmospheric 1990 war(ish) drama called Jacob's Ladder -- which largely was overlooked at the time, but has something of a cult following nowadays.

*In this film.

It's about a guy (Robbins) who returns from Vietnam and is seeing ... weird things. He's not quite as fixated on the war as, say, this guy, but he still wants to know why he's seeing horned things at parties.

An oh, does he find out, in mesmerizing fashion.

Additionally, The Ladder seems to have influenced a lot of other gloomy, psychological mystery-type flicks. The 2004 Christian Bale-goes-anorexic film The Machinist comes to mind, although there's one from five years earlier that has major ending-related parallels ... although I won't reveal the film's name here, because doing so -- to paraphrase a highly NSFW motivational speaker -- would be just ... giving it away.

I won't review it further. These guys will:

Not to pick on the late Siskel, but I agree with Ebert. The Ladder's not quite a masterpiece, but there's a reason it has a solid 7.5 IMDB user rating*.

*Bonus points for appearances by George Costanza, Rick at Whammyburger, the heir to the Soul Glo fortune and K.G.

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