I'm not the movie fan I used to be. As a kid back in the early to mid 1960's, I expressed my new found freedom by going to downtown Cincinnati, on a bus and would go to the majestic theaters that once existed to see a movie. Maybe it was that everything seemed so innocent and new in those days, but seeing movies, at the old RKO theaters was a blast I can still sense. Actors then seemed more like movie stars and my friends and I could see the movies we loved over and over again. Watching Steve McQueen in The Great Escape or Sean Connery as James Bond was a very exciting event.I also fell in love with movie soundtracks back then and began to collect them. Going to the movies today just doesn't quite give me that same thrill, but being young in the 1960s was an experience we baby boomers will never forget. Movies seemed better then. The fact is today-there's very few, if any, actors that would drive me to see a movie like they did back in the old days. The one exception though may have been Philip Seymour Hoffman.
This guy was born to act. He really made watching a film more enjoyable. He was also the type of actor who could save an average film or at least make it worth paying attention to. I read the background on Congressman Charlie Wilson who helped America get involved in Afghanistan when the Soviet Union invaded, and when the role of the CIA character (for the film depicting Wilson)was given to Hoffman, I could instantly see the wisdom in that casting triumph. Anybody who has seen Boogie Nights, may have been surprised by how good the film was and although somewhat creepy, Hoffman again took the role of the geek who was fascinated by Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) and made it his own, without going over the top. Needless to say, he nailed Truman Capote, and I mean that in the sense of completely capturing that odd character many of us remember from all those years ago.
I'm happy that there are quite a few Hoffman films I have yet to see-it's something to look forward to. I didn't realize he had such a powerful addiction problem. It was so great-he also seemed to think he'd never beat it.It's too bad he was right about that. His life was no waste as he made an impact on the film industry, and the major regret is that he had so much more to give. Once you make it to the heights he did, if that satisfaction which should have been there for him wasn't enough, then he was as doomed as he thought. At the end of the day, if its a buzz of some sort that is required, and that high happens to be heroin, then you'd better be worried about your future health. Some people can function as alcoholics or junkies, but so many cannot, and when you're shooting most any drug, one slight mistake and you are dead. In Hoffman's case he had all the money to get all the junk he wanted. In some ways we should be happy he was around long enough to give as much as he did. What ultimately happened to him could have occurred long before the world would have ever known the name of Philip Seymour Hoffman.