Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Want To Be An Empire Journalist?
Find out how here
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

BOOK DETAILS
Released
06 July 2012
Author
Billy Bob Thornton and Kinky friedman
Publisher
Virgin Books

LATEST BOOK REVIEWS
Consumed
4 Star Empire Rating
Martin Scorsese: A Retrospective
5 Star Empire Rating
Anatomy Of An Actor: Tom Cruise
4 Star Empire Rating
Last Man Standing
4 Star Empire Rating
Joss Whedon: Geek King Of The Universe
5 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Martin Scorsese: A Retrospective
5 Star Empire Rating
Joss Whedon: Geek King Of The Universe
5 Star Empire Rating
Art Of John Alvin, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Making Of The Return Of The Jedi, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Terminator Vault
5 Star Empire Rating

The Billy Bob Tapes: A Cave Full Of Ghosts


submit to reddit

Review
Anyone who’s ever been in the presence of Billy Bob Thornton will tell you of his hypnotic qualities. He moves lazily. He talks in lullaby. The man is human Xanax. Those who still can’t figure out what the hell Angie was ever doing with him just haven’t met him yet.

What so charms in person, though, can be frustrating in print, his stories frequently starting strong and then sort of forgetting where they were going in the first place. He is fascinating on the “geometrical configurations in my head” that fuel the obsessive-compulsive disorder he’s too often ridiculed for. But poor on Hollywood dirt. Most likely down to his bugbear of being labelled an actor-turned musician, “when actually it was always the other way around”, his coverage of each is disproportionate. Things that could fascinate seem maddeningly normal to him — not least his mother’s powers that he turned into his script for The Gift, which he throws away with a simple, “It’s based on my mom, who is a psychic.”

But, as his best movies attest, nostalgia is where Thornton thrives. Ironic, really, but so colourfully drawn are his childhood memories, they practically read in sepia. There’s the “Porky’s incident” where he gets an erection in front of algebra class. The mushrooms. The disastrous dates. The neighbour who “fucked another guy’s turkey to death”. The dad who beat him. The great-great-great uncle who “had his nuts shot off”. The crazy uncle who “was married like six times or something, and he always married chicks who could play base”. Light on detail he may be, but he’s belting on mood, and nothing if not a true enigma. Or, as Jolie herself has it in her warm intro: “He hates Komodo dragons, and even reading this he will shiver at the name. There was one incident... hard to explain. Can’t really.”


Reviewed by Mark Dinning

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Gone Girl Review
Our official verdict on David Fincher's adaptation of the best-selling novel

The Future Of Film: The Streaming Services Will Be Major Studios
(Or how Hollywood will have to start worrying about Netflix)

The Empire Podcast #129: Liam Neeson Interview
Plus Max Irons, Sam Claflin, Douglas Booth, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay drop by to talk The Riot Club

The Future Of Film: We'll Be Watching Films In Virtual Reality
Immerse cinema aims to become the must-have experience for the filmgoers of the future

The Future Of Film: Cinema Will Cross The Uncanny Valley
The future of VFX, from believable digital humans to underwater mocap

The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)