Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Hot Rock

Day 323 - 11/19/09 - Movie #323

BEFORE: I think I might have seen most of this one before - at one point my ex was trying to see every Redford film - but I don't recall most of the details, except that it involves the theft of a gem from the Brooklyn Museum.

THE PLOT: Dortmunder and his pals plan to steal a huge diamond from a museum. But this turns out to be only the first time they have to steal it...

AFTER: Yeah, I'm glad I (re)watched this one, since I forgot much more than I remembered about it. This film shows how twisty a good caper film should be - even with the best planner, the best locksmith, the best explosives expert and best getaway driver, things can still go wrong during a heist. Such as when one team member gets caught by museum guards, and his only way of hiding the gem is to swallow it.

The other crooks get away, but then have to break their teammate out of prison - this is just the first of several plot twists, and I don't want to spoil the rest if you haven't seen the film. But seeing a helicopter land on a police station sure made me want to start playing "Grand Theft Auto" again.

Redford plays Dortmunder, one of the best named characters ever, with George Segal as Kelp and Ron Liebman as Murch, the driver, and there's a great scene-stealing performance by Zero Mostel as a shady lawyer. Also a quick cameo from future "Facts of Life" star Charlotte Rae...

Speaking of capers, I finally started watching "The Amazing Race" from this season - thanks to my jobs and my movie-watching, I generally run about 3 months behind on most episodic TV (with exceptions made for "Top Chef", "Survivor" and "American Idol", of course) so I tend to just dub shows like "Amazing Race" to VHS so my DVR doesn't get too filled up. I just don't have time for viewing more than 2 hours of TV on a weeknight - and as the season winds down, I'm in a race of my own to catch up before the winning team is announced in the news. So I've watched the first 4 hours, and I'll watch another 2 hours on Thurs. so I'll only be 3 or 4 episodes behind. I'm rooting for the team from Salem, MA - they've got the best Bah-ston accents and the best chance for an on-screen relationship meltdown - but for all I know, they've already been eliminated on a show that aired but I haven't watched yet. Please, if you know, don't tell me...

RATING: 6 out of 10 molotov cocktails (could have been a 7, but I'm deducting 1 for a very outlandish plot device in the final act)

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