Friday, June 10, 2016

Hard Time: Hostage Hotel

Year 8, Day 162 - 6/10/16 - Movie #2,362

BEFORE: I work two jobs, and for the last few months I've packed a lunchbox with a couple of sandwiches and some chips when I go to the one in Brooklyn, and I usually have a wider variety of lunch choices when I go to the job in Manhattan, which is three times a week.  But the Brooklyn studio I work for recently moved 12 blocks north, still the same neighborhood, Sunset Park, but suddenly I've got access to a couple of Spanish restaurants, some sandwich shops and an entire food court in a nearby complex called Industry City.  Meanwhile it seems like my lunch choices in Manhattan keep dwindling, as various restaurants shut down or undergo renovations, so I feel like I'm just left now with deli sandwiches, Indian food and cheap pizza (99 cents a slice) and I'm getting bored with the same old thing.  There's a salad place around the corner, and pickings have been so slim that I've had to devise a particular combination of salad toppings and dressing (balsamic vinaigrette, plus beets and turkey bacon are absolute musts) that will at least keep me satisfied.  

I could get gourmet fried chicken, or even Cuban food, but those require me to walk an extra 3 blocks, and that's time I don't always have.  And most of the delis around here used to serve hot food platters, (various kinds of meat or stew served over rice, with veggies) but I guess they were losing money on that deal, because most have switched over to serving hot buffet food by the pound, and I always load up the container to the point of it being super-expensive.  Hey, I get hungry.  Two days ago I noticed that one deli sells the buffet food for half-price after 2:30 pm, so I waited until three and then loaded up a container, but it still cost me $11!  Geez, I'd hate to think that if I bought that during the lunch rush, I would have paid $22 for lunch!

What I need to find is a good, cheap hole-in-the-wall lunch place, some place with a counter and some various hot food specials each day.  Just put some meat over rice, maybe a piece of chicken or a couple of ribs, and charge me a reasonable price, like 8 bucks.  Is that too much to ask?  If I can't find that, at this rate I'm going to have to switch things around, and start packing lunches for the days I go in to Manhattan.

Movie #5 in the World of Burt, and I'm wrapping up the "Hard Time" series today... I guess the series got its name from the main character serving time in prison, but they left themselves open to all kinds of jokes - like "I had a hard time enjoying this TV movie!"

THE PLOT:  Logan McQueen has to rescue a congressman's family and Logan's ex-partner from a kidnapper who has taken the group hostage in an old hotel.

AFTER: I swear, it's like the people who were in charge of promoting these three Logan McQueen TV movies couldn't bother to take the time to watch them.  Did the TV audience even care?  The plotline on IMDB says that McQueen has to rescue "a congressman and his family", but the congressman is never, ever in danger in this one, it's just his 2nd wife and his daughter that need rescuing.  Then the poster has this awful tagline: "One night can cost you your life."  But nobody actually STAYS at the hotel in this film, it's a partially renovated hotel, and it's JUST the ballroom that got spiffed up, the rooms of this abandoned hotel weren't cleaned or improved in any way.

(I don't care what kind of a deal you get on Travelocity, do NOT stay at the Hostage Hotel...)

Which, of course, made it a prime location for a disgruntled, disillusioned Vietnam vet to take it over and set up a lot of deathtraps in advance of the Senator's speech there.  He must have had a lot of notice, how did he know the Senator's family was going to be there?  This whole 3-movie series has felt sort of half-ass, with sloppy writing and poorly conceived plots.  Do we ever find out what the crazy veteran's motivation is, who hired him to target the Senator?  Does it even matter?  

Plus, I still don't know what to do with Charles Durning's character, Duffy.  He went from being Logan's partner to being a dirty cop, and then he spent the whole second movie trying to get back on Logan's good side, and then here he and Logan save each other's lives, so I guess they're friends again?  But what about the missing money, he never really gets redeemed for that?  Or did the screenwriter forget to deal with this?  Why not just have him retire from the police force, and waive his pension, which would balance the scales?  Or make a large donation to McQueen's favorite charity?  See, it's easy if you try!

This third film in the series played out like "Die Hard" without any of the fun, and about half the action and suspense.  And the timing is all off, there are long stretches where not much of anything happens, and then everything happens all at once.  Maybe that's just how it feels when you take a 2-hour TV movie and edit out all the commercial breaks?

Also starring Charles Durning (carrying over from "Hard Time: The Premonition"), Michael Buie (ditto), Keith Carradine (last seen in "Cowboys & Aliens")David Rasche (last seen in "The Big Wedding"), Ted McGinley (last seen in "Dick"), Elizabeth Dennehy, Richard Riehle (also carrying over from Hard Time: The Premonition"), Ja'net DuBois (last seen in "Hard Time"), Danielle Harris (last seen in "The Last Boy Scout"), Spencer Garrett, Kevin Durand (last seen in "Winter's Tale"), Debra Christofferson.

RATING: 3 out of 10 FBI jackets

No comments:

Post a Comment