Sunday, June 12, 2016


Year 8, Day 164 - 6/12/16 - Movie #2,364

BEFORE: I forgot yesterday to rant about the people who sat behind us at the Richard Cheese concert, who talked very loudly, louder than the band even, which leads me to conclude that (I can't say this without sounding like an old fart, but so it goes...) the younger generation just has no idea how to act in public.  Even at a concert, where the music is loud and people are expected to cheer and go "Woo-Hoo!" or what have you, this is not an acceptable place for people to have loud conversations.  I paid for three tickets for people to hear music, not learn intimate details about how the day went for the people sitting behind me.  I told the people off after the show, which I felt was a lot nicer than dragging one outside and beating $135 worth of fun out of one of their faces.  

Perhaps I should have bought tickets for the last row, this would have avoided the situation neatly, but one of the tickets was a gift for my brother-in-law's birthday, and I felt that maybe a last-row ticket would have sent the wrong message.  As is, I could say, "Well, at least I didn't buy you the worst possible ticket..."  

Generally speaking, people now act in public the way they do in their living rooms - loud talking, talking on the phone about the meaningless details of their lives - or worse, medical details about their family members surgeries, things other people just do NOT want to hear.  What happened?  Did we raise a generation of people used to yelling at each other over 4-way skype while they play an exciting video-game?  Did a bunch of parents forget to tell their kids to use their "inside voices"?  Or was everything so touchy-feely during the early new-agey 1990's that the whole concept of discipline went out the window, and common politeness went with it?  

Think about it - a small child cries, gets comforted by its parent(s) with a hug, or a snack or a juice-box, and in essence he's being rewarded for crying.  Things can then escalate to the point where the kid demands more and more attention, and before long he's throwing a tantrum or a fit in a public place, and the parent just says that he's "expressing himself".  There has to come a time when a child screams or cries and learns that this will not get him anything, or else the behavior will continue.  And then you get teens who have never been disciplined for bad behavior, so they end up being rude at concerts, they think it's OK to talk loudly in public.  Nobody ever disciplined those kids for causing a scene in public, I'm sure of it.  

Continuing the Burt Reynolds films that ran on the Encore Channel in a tribute a few months ago, in conjunction with Burt's 80th birthday in February.

THE PLOT: At the instigation of a grieving father, a Los Angeles cop investigates the suspicious circumstances of a girl's apparent suicide.  

AFTER: The itinerary for the Burt Reynolds Pan-American tour is now set, we started in New York and Boston with "Starting Over", went down to Florida for "Stick" and the "Hard Time" movies, then over to Las Vegas for "Heat" and now we're in Los Angeles for a few films.  After this, we'll be stopping in Texas and then ending the journey in Mexico.  Man, Burt got around...

It's also one week until Father's Day, and in a way this film is all about fathers - Burt plays police Lt. Phil Gaines, who is divorced and being kept away from his own daughter, and he's working on a case where the father of a dead girl keeps demanding answers about what happened to her, and who did it.  Gaines and his partner then have to decide whether to tell this father the truth about his daughter, what she did for a living and what exactly happened on the night of her death.  There are things people think they want to know, but that they're probably better off not knowing.  

Gaines lives with a hooker, and tries to maintain a relationship, while wearing similar blinders about what she does and who she does it with.  She does some phone-sex work, which I think was probably a technology that was in its infancy in 1975.  Apparently 1975 was also a time when a man could still smack a woman around if she disagreed with him. Feminism still had a long way to go. 

But in a shocking coincidence, the man who hosted the party where the dead girl was on the night she died is also the main client of Gaines' girlfriend.  This is at the very least awkward and at most, a conflict of interest. But I guess that's what you're going to get if you're a cop who dates a hooker.  The other cops all use this information to make fun of him, with his c.o. even threatening to bust her for Christmas and throw her in lock-up with a "bunch of bull-dykes".  Yeah, LGBT sensitivity also had a long way to go. 

For the second night in a row, Burt Reynolds' character dreams of going to Italy - in "Heat" it was Venice, and in this film, it's Rome.  Is this a common theme in Burt's movies, or just a small coincidence? 

But it feels like there are an awful lot of loose threads here - like what exactly did an L.A. councilman have to do with that bombing in Akron (the hotbed of mob activity, I know...)?  And what happened with the guy that Gaines and his partner were supposed to follow from the airport, wasn't he a terrorist or something?  Did he end up running loose in L.A.?  And what about the guy who stole women's shoes as some kind of fetish thing, whatever happened to him?  A lot of unresolved questions.

Also starring Catherine Deneuve (last seen in "The Musketeer"), Ben Johnson (last seen in "The Train Robbers"), Paul Winfield (last seen in "Cliffhanger"), Eileen Brennan (last seen in "The Cheap Detective"), Eddie Albert (last seen in "The Big Picture"), Ernest Borgnine (last seen in "Gattaca"), Catherine Bach (last seen in "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot"), Jack Carter, with cameos from Fred Willard (last seen in "The Wedding Planner"), Robert Englund, James Hampton (last seen in "The China Syndrome"), and porn star Colleen Brennan.

RATING: 5 out of 10 shots of Bushmill's

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