November 9, 2013

Based on a True Story…I LOVE “Based on a True Story.” I love bullshit and nothing is more bullshit than “Based on a True Story.” (Technically, the film opened with “this story is inspired by true events” – but that’s pretty much the same thing.)

Being a local, I’m more than a little familiar with the REAL Texas Killing Fields off I-45. For decades, someone – or more likely, several someones have been killing young girls and dumping the bodies in the marshes between Houston and Galveston. The film fictionalizes two Texas City detectives who become obsessed with the murders and follows their hunt for “the killer.” The film is built like an episode of CSI – every male in town is creepy enough to be a suspect, with most being red herrings. Worst of all, there’s a clear resolution to the “killings,” whereas the families of the real victims haven’t gotten a resolution at all. Pure Hollywood. Fuck Hollywood.

Look on Down from the Bridge by Mazzy Star Plays over a montage near the beginning. I LOVE Mazzy Star – it’s sitting in a bubble bath and crying music. In fact, the whole soundtrack and score is lachrymose. I like lachrymose in small doses.

Chloe Grace Moretz is Ann, the “star” victim. If she can keep a good head on her shoulders, she may end up being the next Scarlett Johansson. They even look quite similar. Laura Palmer Plays Chloe Grace Moretz’s skanky mom. She’s aged well, much better than Sherilyn Fenn or Lara Flynn Boyle.

This film was as confusing as fuck, but not in a Lynchian way. It was confusing because the film focused on interactions that later proved to be insignificant. Even with several marquee stars – Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jessica Chastain – this movie isn’t worth paying for, but not bad enough to deride too much. It would have been better suited as an episode of CSI or NCIS, where everything is supposed to be wrapped up neatly in one or two episodes. It’s a disservice to the real victims to show such a clear resolution to 40+ years of unsolved crimes in the real Texas Killing Fields.


Year – 2011
Rating – R
Runtime – 105 minutes
Genre – Based on a True Story
Director(s) – Ami Canaan Mann
Writer(s) – Don Ferrarone
Actor(s) – Sam Worthington, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Jessica Chastain, Chloë Grace Moretz, Sheryl Lee
BOB Rating – Two BOBs
Favorite Quote – "Next time you don't answer my partner's questions I'm gonna take your peace officer's license, and I'm gonna shove it up your ass. You say hi to Nancy for me..." - Detective Souder (Sam Worthington)