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Don't Come Knocking back to product details

Shepard, Coasting
written by talltale August 12, 2006 - 5:51 PM PDT
2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
As a writer Sam Shepard continues to coast along, tossing out to us variations on the same tired themes he's been diddling with for decades. In DON'T COME KNOCKING he does it again, with even less success than usual. Aging cowboy actor has an epiphany (which, of course, leaves everyone else in the lurch) and goes searching for roots which lead to offspring and a whole bunch of hugely emotional scenes between him, his ex-lady and newfound kids. He gives actors like Jessica Lange, Gabriel Mann, Fairuza Balk and himself a load of angry/unhappy confrontations in which they can emote to beat the band. And god knows, they do.

Unfortunately, he has written the kind of characters whose reality begins at the beginning of a scene and ends at the end of it. Try imagining these people before or after any of their big to-dos and you'll understand how paltry they are as characters. The actors do a fine in-the-moment job but, interestingly, it's Shepard--always a good less-is-more guy--who comes off best, as do Sarah Polley and Eva Marie Saint, who can also do lots with little.

Director Wim Wenders is clearly taken with some aspects of America (as he was similarly with his and Shepard's "Paris, Texas"), and these seem to fit into this hugely constricted vision. I prefer Wenders in his "Wings of Desire"/"Million Dollar Hotel" mode(s), but if you are a fan of this kind of "loner drivel," by all means, give it a shot. The photography is aces, and the film begins with one of the most charming/pretty bits of landscape legerdemain that I've seen in awhile. It's a gorgeous opening, at least.


(Average 6.00)
21 Votes
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