Friday, March 27, 2015

THE PAPER (1994) - Ron Howard

I missed this Keaton starrer when it came out in the theaters. It's such a time capsule of the '90s. Forget the fact that it's a newspaper movie about a New York Post style print rag as yet untouched by the internet, the 24 hour news cycle. This movie takes place in a time when GREENPOINT WAS A STILL DANGEROUS PLACE. That said, the Rodney King era, wrongfully accused black youth story everyone's chasing in this film could easily be swapped out for today's Ferguson/Eric Garner climate, a depressing reminder that in 20-plus years (plus a black president) some things HAVEN'T changed.

The Paper isn't Broadcast News (the movie it seems to emulate most), but it does cruise along at a enjoyably frenetic pace. Keaton does his controlled mania thing here, his stock-in-trade overworked everyman as a harried news editor with a baby on the way who every once in a while...snaps! The fact that he snaps in such a New York-centric manner is just a bonus. Also a bonus: Robert Duvall, who's the best thing going in this flick. Ron Howard may not be the greatest director in the world, but he may the director who knows how to use Michael Keaton the best.

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