Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Big Easy

A hotshot New Orleans detective named Remy (Dennis Quaid (Undercover Blues)) falls for the District Attorney, Anne (Ellen Barkin (The Fan)), but Remy isn’t all that he appears to be.  He’s a dirty cop that takes a couple of bills on the side plus he does some other abuse of power type shit like running red lights and parking in handicapped spots.  Can he keep the corruption going while wooing the D.A.?  Well, sorta.

I’m gonna make this short and sweet.  Remy is a dick of a slimeball and I don’t get what we or Anne are supposed to see in this guy.  They do play up the he’s-the-best-damn-cop-there-is angle but that isn’t enough.  He can’t get out of his own way.  For instance, when Remy goes on trial for being caught on tape almost accepting a bribe he has the incriminating video destroyed through a series of illegal actions.  I think this was supposed to come off as clever but it only makes this character seem like more of a jerk.

Maybe the filmmakers intended Remy to be more of a cop-that-plays-by-his-own-rules.  The problem is he’s just doing stupid illegal shit and not being a badass.  The most notable un-badass thing about him is the way he talks.  I guess Quaid was going for a Louisiana accent but he sounds more like someone who’s making fun of the way Louisianans talk.  It’s distracting how put on it sounds.  You throw in a jerry curl and a tacky suit and you got one annoying sonuvabitch.

Oh, and in the beginning every other line he says is “this is New Orleans, the Big Easy!”  This isn’t only to remind Anne of where she is every two minutes but it’s also Remy’s excuse for all of the unsavory stuff that he does.  So this picture plays up the weird seedy part of New Orleans which…seems to be the case for almost every movie set there.  Guys, what the fuck is up with the Big Easy?  And what the hell does “the Big Easy” mean?  The town is big, both physically and metaphorically in terms of personality and culture.  I get that part.  But “easy”?  I got nothin’ for that one fellas.

Anyway, Anne dislikes Remy at first for obvious reasons (he’s sort of an asshole) but eventually she gets into his zydeco groove.  Well, that is until she finds out he’s a dirty fucking cop and then has to take him to court on behalf of the government.  But in typical fashion she falls for him all over again by the end.  That’s pretty dumb.  Remy is not a good person exactly.  Sure, he ultimately sees the errors of his ways but only because he got busted and not because he came to the realization that what he was doing was wrong.

This film relies more on poorly constructed thrills than on sex so this wasn’t the steamy affair I was hoping for based on the cover.  It’s a fairly bad picture really that’s unfocused and lame.  The ending is extremely rushed with a weak showdown too.  This is one of the worst New Orleans based films I’ve seen (the best might be Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans).

But a lot of critics liked this movie apparently and I guess it did pretty well at the box office.  Ten years later they even made a TV show out of it using the same title and premise.  I don’t get it guys.  I wouldn’t recommend seeing this.

I'll tell you what though, this is a helluva trailer.  Much better than the actual film.

Sex Scenes: One.  It’s a little awkward because Anne doesn’t feel comfortable but Remy insists.  Really it almost isn’t a sex scene because the trepidation on Anne’s part leads to them actually having sex for only a brief moment before Remy gets called away to check out a murder.

After Sex Scenes: Two.  One is from the sex scene but there’s another one in there too.

Strange Cameos: John Goodman (King Ralph) plays a cop that’s barely in the movie but he eventually ends up having a huge fucking impact on the story out of nowhere.

Gailard Sartain has a brief appearance as a Cajun chef.  He might be best known for his role as Chuck in the Ernest movies.

Oddly enough another guy from an Ernest movie (Saves Christmas) is in this and that’s Robert Lesser.  He’s been in a bunch of big films (Die Hard, 2010, Godzilla (1998)) but always in minor roles.
"You wanna know the secret to surviving air travel?
After you get where you're going,
take off your shoes and your socks
then walk around on the rug bare foot and
make fists with your toes."

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dressed to Kill

What we have here is a movie that’s too blatant in what it’s ripping off.  Brian de Palma loves Hitchcock, like a whole fuckin’ lot.  So many of his films are Hitchcock-esque that they don’t come off as adoring tributes but rather wide eyed fan boy knock offs.  If you read my Carrie review you know that I don’t care for de Palma that much.  He has some excellent technical chops but his story telling skills are pretty bad for the most part.  The Untouchables and Scarface are cool but they’re also probably the least de Palma-y pictures he’s made.  It felt like he wasn’t trying as hard with those ones and they came off better.  There seemed to be more focus on character and plot than on camera movements. 

But that’s enough digression.  Kate Miller (Angie Dickinson (Rio Bravo)) has some emotional problems.  She’s not terribly happy with her life and decides on a whim to pick up a guy in an art museum.  The thing is this stranger is kind of a weirdo who lures her all over the gallery using her stolen glove as bait.  This piece of work eventually gets Kate into a cab where they make out and he goes down on her.  That’s one smooth operator.  He didn’t even have to say a word.

After they do the dirty Kate leaves in the middle of the night only to get fucking murdered in the elevator.  A high priced hooker named Liz (Nancy Allen (Robocops peoples)) is the only witness and she has to find out who the killer is before she gets put six feet under herself.  Oh, and Kate’s boy genius son (Keith Gordon (Christine)) helps out too.  Wait, hold on.  Dr. Elliott (Michael Caine (On Deadly Ground)) is mixed up in this too because it’s his patient that’s the killer (you’re told that early on so that’s not a spoiler).

Ok, from here on out there’s gonna be spoilers so you’ve been warned.  If you’re a concerned moviegoer then skip to where it says it’s safe to read again.

Mostly this is a Psycho knock off.  Since there are a lot of similarities it would get a little exhausting to go through them all.  So here are the main ones: Dr. Elliott is a guy with a split personality that takes the form of a vengeful woman who kills, he uses a weapon with a blade, the seemingly main character gets killed off in the first half hour and the first half hour doesn’t have anything to do with the rest of the movie.  There are even a couple of shower scenes (including one where Kate (the Janet Leigh equivalent here) gets attacked).  On top of this there are nods to at least two other Hitchcock films that I spotted, Rear Window (Keith Gordon uses binoculars to keep an eye on what’s happening inside Dr. Elliott’s house from across the street) and North by Northwest (Liz picks up the murder weapon by the handle as soon as the killer drops it leaving Liz’s fingerprints all over it).

With the numerous blatant direct lifts I can’t really get behind this movie.  This is beyond “influenced by Psycho” and almost into remake territory.  I’ll admit it wasn’t obvious while I was watching but once I picked up on one thing it then led to another and then another and so on until I realized the entire goddamn thing was a Psycho-fest. 

There is one great (and maybe original) idea here though.  Right before Kate leaves the stranger’s apartment during the night she looks for some paper so she can leave him a note.  While she’s rummaging through a drawer she sees that the guy has been tested positive for a venereal disease.  That actually kinda blew my mind.  It came out of nowhere and was a helluva plot twist.  It wasn’t poetic justice exactly because Kate isn’t a bad person or anything but I couldn’t help but think “well, you did pick up a total stranger that’s kinda creepy so I don’t feel that sorry for you.”  It was really interesting how this person who just wants a little pleasure gets punished for it in such a mean way.  A whole movie could be made on the premise that the first half hour of this thing sets up (and I’m sure one already exists, do you guys know what it is?).

(It’s safe to read from here on if you skipped the spoiler section)

Anywho, this may not be the most apparent sexy thriller but there are several sexual themes taking place.  You have the whole transsexual thing with a guy that murders folks out of frustration over his sexual identity.  You not only have a prostitute as the protagonist but she ends up using sex as a means to set a trap for the finale.  And there’s Kate who desperately wants people to find her attractive, plus she gets off on banging total strangers.  So this picture is actually filled with both sex and thrills which happen to be the two components needed for one of these type of deals.

It’s not very good though.  If you’re a student of sexy thrillers then this is probably one you’re gonna want to check out, simply because the genre isn’t that big.  However, the film is sloppily handled.  It’s really very clear who the killer is as soon as the first body hits the floor.  Back in 1980 the twist ending may have been sorta novel but they did it twenty years earlier with that other movie I won’t mention in case you skipped the spoilers.  It’s just too much of a bad rip off for me to enjoy it all that much.    

Sex Scenes: One and a half.  The half is for the cab scene but the movie does open with Kate…kinda masturbating? the shower.  Whatever.

After Sex Scenes: One.

Strange Cameos: Dennis Franz plays…wait for it…a cop.  The man was born to play them I guess.  He’s one of the (sort of) bright spots in this.  He plays such a hammy bastard with a leather jacket, gold chain, shirt that’s half unbuttoned and he even sports his trademark mustache.  I love his take no bullshit attitude though.  He’s exactly the same character from Die Hard 2 (does he play the same annoyed asshole cop in everything?  Actually, he did play an annoyed asshole pawn broker in the fucking fantastic American Buffalo…I guess that’s a little different).

David Margulies (Kim Basinger’s art gallery friend from 9 ½ Weeks…ok, ok and the mayor of NYC from Ghostbusters) plays a psychiatric doctor.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

3rd Anniversary

Wow, it’s been three years already?  Could’ve fooled me.  Thanks for reading blah blah blah, you’ve heard it before.  You already know I appreciate all you guys and wish you all the best ‘n’ shit so I’ll cut right to the chase:

It’s time for even more sexy ass thrillaz.  There are a good number that I haven’t talked about yet and there’s still some real untapped potential in those steamy, sleazy, fuckin’ sweaty pictures.  Plus I’m cooking up some other shit.

Last anniversary I had absolutely nothin’ and I’m sorry.  That was a raw deal.  Well this year I’m gonna make up for it because I thought up a bunch of projects to take on.  Of course, you’ll have to wait and see what they are.  But sexy thrillers is coming next.  Look out for it.

And thanks folks, really.  Peace, love and all that good shit.