The Traveler (2010) and Twixt (2011)

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Monday, January 7, 2013

The Traveler (2010) and Twixt (2011)

We have a super very extra special double shot of Val Kilmer for this ICFIFC. 

Val Kilmer at Cannes in 2005Born in Los Angeles, California on December 31, 1959. Studied at Hollywood's Professional's School and, in his teens, entered Juilliard's drama program. His professional acting career began on stage, and he still participates in theater; he played Hamlet at the 1988 Colorado Shakespeare Festival. His film debut was in the 1984 spoof Top Secret! (1984), wherein he starred as blond rock idol Nick Rivers then the cult classic Real Genius (1985), as well as the blockbuster action/fantasy film Willow (1988). He was in a number of films throughout the 1980s, including the 1986 smash Top Gun (1986). Despite his obvious talent and range, it wasn't until his astonishingly believable performance as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's The Doors (1991) that the world sat up and took notice. Kilmer again put his good baritone to use in the movie, performing all of the concert pieces. Since then, he has played two more American legends, Elvis Presley in True Romance (1993) and Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993). In July 1994, it was announced that Kilmer would be taking over the role of Batman/Bruce Wayne from Michael Keaton.

The Traveler (2010)

A mysterious drifter blows into a small town on Christmas Eve, and sets off a string of gruesome events that threaten the lives of six police officers in this thriller starring Val Kilmer. As the townspeople settle in for the holiday and darkness washes over the town, a man (Kilmer) enters the local police station and confesses to committing multiple murders. Now, with each new detail the stranger reveals, it becomes increasingly clear that the real nightmare is only beginning.

The majority of reviews call this Rod Serling’s High Plains Drifter, but if Serling or Eastwood had anything to do with this film it might have been good.  As it stands, it would have to improve to be mediocre.  I wanted to like this film since I like Val Kilmer as an actor and normally I would relish a weird tale about revenge of an innocent(?) man coming back from the grave to pay back those who wronged him but it comes across as a excuse to string six killing scenes together.  A straight to video release and it shows.  At points the plot comes to a complete halt, probably because there is about 40 minutes of material to fill 96 minutes of film.  If you are a true fan of Kilmer you are welcome to watch but if you want a decent movie you should look elsewhere.

Twixt (2011)

A writer with a declining career arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. That night in a dream, he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V. He's unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. Ultimately he is led to the truth of the story, surprised to find that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated.

In an interview with The New York Times, Francis Ford Coppola discussed the origins of the film, which he said "grew out of dream [he] had last year – more of a nightmare" and "seemed to have the imagery of Hawthorne or Poe." He continued:

But as I was having it I realized perhaps it was a gift, as I could make it as a story, perhaps a scary film, I thought even as I was dreaming. But then some loud noise outside woke me up, and I wanted to go back to the dream and get an ending. But I couldn't fall back asleep so I recorded what I remembered right there and then on my phone. I realized that it was a gothic romance setting, so in fact I'd be able to do it all around my home base, rather than have to go to a distant country.

Twixt was filmed at Coppola's estate in Napa County as well as locations in Lake County, California, including downtown Kelseyville and Nice.

Musician Dan Deacon scored the film. The film's name was changed from Twixt Now and Sunrise to Twixt, and scenes from it were played at the July 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International.

Now we’re talking!  Alcohol induced hallucinations, ghosts of little girls, vampire orgies and Edgar Allen Poe making an appearance.  This is where I disagree with other reviewers, I liked this film.  Kilmer owns his character and squeezes every last drop of a writer in decline out of it that he can.   Elle Fanning, who’s acting ability I am starting to pay attention to, plays the little dead girl is the creepiest fashion.  There are points in this film you start questioning whether anything is real or all in Hall (Kilmer) Baltimore’s head and then ten minutes later reverse what you decided.  It is a shame Coppola only did a limited release when it was in theaters which would be the reason it didn’t make any money.  This could have been one of the films Kilmer would have been remembered for.  If you can hunt down a DVD or catch it on Sundance Channel like I did I would highly recommend you take in this film and savor what was created.

Related Articles:

  1. Val Kilmer Page at IMDB
  2. The Traveler Review at
  3. Twixt Page at IMDB
  4. Twixt Page at Wikipedia
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