River Phoenix Was Our Robert Pattinson: Discuss

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Perhaps some of you are too young to remember the beauty and heartbreaking talent of River Phoenix. Back in the day, he was like Robert Pattinson x10,000 to some of us. And when I heard that he died of drug-induced heart failure in 1993 — it was on Channel One News in homeroom — I broke down and cried like I never have for a celebrity. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the director of Dark Blood, the movie he was making when he died, has for some reason decided to finish the movie, 18 years later. Director George Sluizer said he’s going to hire River’s younger brother Joaquin Phoenix to do voice over to complete some scenes. River stars as a man who lives by himself on a nuclear testing site, waiting for the end of the world, when a “Hollywood jet-set couple” intrude on his solitude.

I’m not sure if I need my memory of River messed with, though. Depends on how well it’s done. And here is where I could run a poll asking for your favorite River Phoenix movie. Instead, I’m just going to say this: No argument, it’s Running on Empty. He plays a piano prodigy who’s grown up in a family that’s been on the lam since his hippie parents bombed a napalm lab. But when he falls in love with Martha Plimpton, he starts to think about a different kind of life for himself. Netflix it now. Or argue with me in the comments. /nostalgia off.

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