Blaze Movie Review and Video (3/10) – CWEB.com
Runtime 127 minutes
I’m not sure why a movie was made about Blaze Foley (Ben Dickey), who was, at best a minor, minor player of Texas Outlaw Music (which is like being a utility player for Ponca City in the Class D league). For some reason Ethan Hawke made this movie (producing and directing) based on Living in the Woods in a Tree: Remembering Blaze Foley, a biographical book about Blaze Foley written by Sybil Rosen (Alia Shawkat), who was Foley’s girlfriend for a while.
According to this film Foley was a drunken, drug-addled hothead who wasn’t even successful singing in dumpy bars in front of people who were less than enthusiastic about his performances. That’s about all he accomplished in life except for three studio albums that never saw the light of day and were lost, and having Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Lyle Lovett each cover one of his songs.
The story is told by someone interviewing two of his friends, one of whom was Townes Van Sandt (Charlie Sexton), another drug-addicted singer, who was as big a loser as Foley (real name Michael David Fuller). Whenever Van Sandt appears on the screen, he sniffs because of his drug addiction and swallows, which probably the most annoying part of this annoying movie.
On the plus side, the acting is quite good. Dickey is a talented singer/guitarist. Sexton looks a lot like the real Van Sandt (who died in 1997). Shawket does the best she can with a role that doesn’t require much. The film never does explain why she, or anyone, would love Foley. Kris Kristofferson is advertised as a co-star, but he’s in only one scene in which he sits on the mattress of a bed and smiles. The music isn’t bad but certainly not enough to make the guy a legend or worthy of a biopic.