(On VHS, December 1999) This is a study of a small borderline Texas town, and it packs in a lot of stuff in its running time: Murder, corruption, racial tension, broken families, illegal immigration, education, drugs, adultery, violence, gambling… and in two time tracks separated by thirty years, no less. And yet, it does so almost effortlessly, in a way that hooks you in and never seems too far-reaching. Good performances all around, even though some stuff could have easily been taken out of the film (eg; Joe Morton’s speech to the positive-testing recruit) without any ill-effect. The film features a who’s who of “gee-I’ve-seen-that-face-somewhere” actors: Elizabeth Peña (Rush Hour), Chris Cooper (October Sky), Kris Kristofferson (Blade), Matthew McConaughey (Ed TV), Frances McDormand (Fargo), etc… Good film, well worth the rental. The final line is kind of a perverse relief.