Thursday, September 10, 2015

Murder at 1600

Year 7, Day 252 - 9/9/15 - Movie #2,144

BEFORE: I'm going to allow myself indirect linking tonight, because that will set up a chain that will take me all the way to Halloween, and also because there don't seem to be any good direct links out of "Seven Psychopaths".  Well, there's Woody Harrelson, who links to "Zombieland" and "EDtv", but I'm not ready to start either the Halloween horror films or the McConnaughey chain yet.  Then there's Colin Farrell, who links to "Winter's Tale", and it's 90 degrees out, so I'm not ready for winter films either.    There's also Harry Dean Stanton, but he links to February films like "Pretty in Pink" and "One from the Heart".  So I'm stuck, no matter which way I turn.

So it's an indirect link from Woody Harrelson to Wesley Snipes (last seen in "Play It to the Bone", one of several films they co-starred together in, like "Wildcats" and "White Men Can't Jump").  

THE PLOT:  D.C. detective Harlan Regis is called to the White House after a young woman is murdered, only to discover the secret service has taken hold of all the evidence for their own investigation.

AFTER: For a long while, this film was on my watchlist next to "White House Down", and I had been planning to watch them back-to-back, and if I had, that wouldn't have been the worst idea, because the two films share some things in common, most notably, someone trying to get the President to resign because he disagreed with his foreign policy.  "White House Down" just did it with more explosions and special effects, so it sort of makes this earlier film seem a little quieter and less flashy by comparison.  

But since this is more of a political thriller/murder mystery hybrid, perhaps it should be judged on different criteria than a big, loud action movie.  What about the case itself, do the pieces come together in a mostly satisfying way?  Umm, not as such - even after the identity of the murderer was revealed, I still had some problems with it, most prominently I still didn't fully understand the WHY of it all.  Don't get me wrong, the WHO is great, love to hear WHO killed her, but I'd love to also hear WHY.

Next up is the fact that our detective hero just happens to be a student of military history (he builds little Civil War dioramas) which enables him to know something about the White House that most people don't know, and that's a wee bit too convenient for my tastes.

Also starring Diane Lane (last seen in "Judge Dredd"), Dennis Miller (last seen in "The Campaign"), Daniel Benzali, Alan Alda (last seen in "California Suite"), Ronny Cox (last seen in "Some Kind of Hero"), Diane Baker, Tate Donovan (last seen in "Argo"), Harris Yulin, Tom Wright, Charles Rocket.

RATING: 4 out of 10 security cameras

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