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C'mon Hollywood #25


...let's remember River Phoenix! (2/2)
by Indiana Sev

A couple of days ago, I wrote about how Hollywood needed to pay tribute to River Phoenix and how a boxed set of some of his films would be a great way to get that started. Seeing as we’re only a couple of weeks away from the 11th anniversary of his death, which was October 31st, 1993, I decided to extend this column into two parts. If you haven’t read the first part, click here, otherwise, read on to Part II


I saw this one in film class right out of high school and it’s stayed with me since. It’s an original and smart indie film with memorable performances by River Phoenix and yes, even Keanu Reeves. It’s also, in my opinion, the best film of Gus Van Sant’s filmography.


This would be my nostalgic pick. He’s made better movies that deserve to be here instead, sure, but I treasured this movie in my teens and its all-star cast and spy-themed storyline have both made it age very well over the years. Besides, we need a bit of levity in this boxed set, don’t we?


This is worth it for his performance alone. It was also the film that earned him his one and only Oscar nomination in 1988. He lost out to Kevin Kline for A FISH CALLED WANDA. He later starred with Kline in I LOVE YOU TO DEATH.

There you have it, a trip down memory lane and a great River Phoenix boxed set that I’d kill to see on the shelves one day. Add some commentary tracks from the filmmakers, his friends and family and I’d pay top dollar to make it part of my collection some day. It would even be a novel approach to have some fans of his on some alternate commentary tracks, reminiscing, discussing, etc… Oh, and what's the hold-up on getting his name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Blasphemy! Something is seriously wrong in the world when Suzanne Somers has her own star and River Phoenix does not!

It’s strange, I know, that I left out one of my favorites, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE, especially considering my nickname is not only taken from those movies, but it’s also one of the most famous characters he’s played (Young Indiana Jones), but believe me, his limited screen time is the only reason it was omitted. I often think that had he lived, he might’ve played the older version of Indy in future films, maybe even turned it into a franchise. Instead, we’re more likely to see an “earring'd” Harrison Ford still lashing his whip and flirting with blonde Nazi bombshells at a ripe ole 84-years of age. Still, we can take comfort in the fact that River’s sister Summer, named her son Indiana, after one of her late brother’s most famous portrayals…

So, this Halloween, I think I’ll skip the apple-bobbing and usual toilet-papering of JoBlo’s garage, and go to the video store and rent one of the few River Phoenix movies that I have yet to see: THE EXPLORERS. I might even finally give A NIGHT IN THE LIFE OF JIMMY REARDON a go…

I think the comparison made between River Phoenix and James Dean is a just one; they lived fast, died young and they were both tremendously gifted and acclaimed actors. Which is why I think Phoenix is just as deserving to be remembered, decades from now, in the same manner Dean is today - 49 years after his death in a tragic car accident.

And I have no doubt in my mind that he will…


River Phoenix (1970-1993)


...let's remember River Phoenix! (October 13, 2004)
...pay Hewitt for nude scene! (October 8, 2004)
...stop the Costner bashing! (October 6, 2004)
...don't pull a Kubrick, Anderson! (September 30, 2004)
...gimme a 3rd Airplane movie! (September 22, 2004)
...keep a close eye on the Mick! (September 17, 2004)
...gimme a release date for 2046! (September 10, 2004)
...Kudrow is a one-trick pony...I said it (September 3, 2004)
...keep the status quo on Oscar night! (September 1, 2004)
...find a substitute for '555' already! (August 27, 2004)
...gimme less Murphy and more Sly! (August 25, 2004)
...gimme the Wonder Years on DVD! (August 20, 2004)
...gimme a one-on-one with Elisha! (August 18, 2004)
...more hockey movies, dammit! (August 13, 2004)
...put a fork in Chan, he's done! (August 11, 2004)
...where the f*ck is Chris Tucker? (August 5, 2004)
...gimme Leah Remini on the big screen! (August 3, 2004)
...I found your new bad boy! (July 20, 2004)
...check out the Trailer Park Boys! (July 16, 2004)
...gimme an Archie movie! (July 8, 2004)
...gimme more Hollywood bad boys! (July 2, 2004)
...gimme more money shots! (June 30, 2004)
...gimme dead dogs on film! (June 25, 2004)
...gimme more Timothy Hutton! (June 23, 2004)

Source: JoBlo.com
Tags: Hollywood



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