The Metal Files

My Life. My Music. Your Voyeurism.

Factotum vs. Barlfy

with 9 comments

So I’ve been a fan of Barfly for years and years and when I found out that another interprtation of Bukoski’s Henry Chinaski was made with Matt Dillon, I was rather intrigued by it. I’ve never read any of Bukowski’s books and probably never will, but the movie Barfly is incredible.

My expectations were pretty high as I like Matt Dillon quite a bit, especially when he plays offbeat roles ala Drugstore Cowboy. This movie had Chinaski acting more as a psychopath than a sociopath. Mickey Rourke was much better. Let’s not forget Barlfy was a Coppola film.

But in general this movie sucked. It was dull and uninteresting. Even seeing Marisa Tomei topless didn’t help it. To be honest, I couldn’t even watch it all. The only redeeming quality was some of the camera angles.

Better luck next time.

Written by The Metal Files

January 12, 2009 at 6:00 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Okay. I understand. You’ve never read any of his books. That makes things much clearer. I think Dillon does a much better job portraying Bukowski (or Chinaski, his alter ego). Mickey is great. I’m not contesting that, but Bukowski himself expressed his dissatisfaction with Barfly and how he was portrayed.
    Do you even read these comments anyway?


    January 12, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    • I just read your comment 11 years later, and that’s because I just watched these two film, consecutively, and I totally agree with you. I think that in order to express a fair opinion about these two films, somehow you have to be familiar with Charles Bukowski’s work. I like Matt Dillon’s Chinaski a lot better, though I think that Factotum missed to address some important points about Chinaski. Anyway, I hope that you are still alive and kicking despite COVID-19.

      Wilf Colombo

      October 11, 2020 at 7:06 pm

  2. Of course I read them. Having not read the book has no bearing whether it was a good movie or not. Typically if I read the book I don’t see the movie and if I see the movie, I don’t read the book.

    I did see an interview or 2 with Bukowski stating his dissatisfaction with Barfly.

    I stand by my comments. I comepletely prefer Barfly.


    January 12, 2009 at 8:52 pm

  3. Noted, and thankyou for replying. I completely agree on your point about having (or not) read the book having no bearing on the film’s quality, but let’s not forget the magic of “moving pictures” and how they compare to the pictures in your head.
    That said, I enjoy your posts, and check for new ones regularly.
    Are you as excited for the Wrestler as I am? What’s your opinion on the Pope of Greenwich Village?


    January 13, 2009 at 7:55 pm

  4. It’s been so long since I have seen that movie I can’t really remember anything about it.

    And yes, I am stoked on seeing the Wrestler. Hopefully one night this week.


    January 14, 2009 at 1:52 am

  5. Damn. This is the greatest batch of comments ever. I can’t believe some people have the audacity to write blogs about what they ate for dinner or how much they spent on gutters for their house.

    Okay so, I’m not gonna needle you too much Sean. I understand where you’re coming from – you’re simply stating you’re preference between two movies that portray the same dude from his somewhat fictitious literary works.

    However,…dude please, please, please do yourself a favor and read some of his books. Movies aside, just pick one up. Shit man, I’ll even send you one of mine. Don’t worry about settling the argument between flicks, just read one. He’s my absolute favorite author for a reason.

    I like Micky Rourke as an actor. I think he did a fine job in Barfly. But having already gotten to know the “real” Bukowski beforehand I am somewhat biased. Matt Dillon did do a better job of portraying the actual man. Tomato Tommata.

    The first Bukowski novel I read was actually “Hollywood”, which talks about the time around the making of Barfly. And speaking of Factotum/Marisa Tomei/Mickey Rourke,..yeah. Cannot fucking WAIT to see The Wrestler.


    January 14, 2009 at 11:22 am

    • I totally agree with your opinion. I know it’s a late reply to your comment because I just read it in 2020, but I think that it’s still relevant.

      Wilf Colombo

      October 11, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    • I’ve since bought and read them all! They hooked me hard. I gained a better appreciation for Factotum as it relates to his works but still prefer Barfly as a movie. :)

      The Metal Files

      March 2, 2022 at 10:03 am

  6. SEan,Do yourself a favor and read any of his prose books,, good stuff..

    Steve Athey

    April 2, 2009 at 10:29 am

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