Year 8, Day 201 - 7/19/16 - Movie #2,401
BEFORE: Lupe Ontiveros carries over from "Cheech and Chong's Next Movie" - she had minor roles in both films, but to me that counts, it's enough to justify the start of a Richard Dreyfuss 3-film chain that will get me to my Comic-Con break and beyond.
THE PLOT: An ex-'60s radical now working as a private eye is hired by an old flame to investigate a political smear campaign. The case becomes more dangerous as it unfolds.
AFTER: One of the first things we see private detective Moses Wine do, besides counting turkeys being loaded into a poultry store (long story), is smoking pot from a bong. Could I have asked for a better follow-up to 4 Cheech & Chong movies? I don't think so. Plus we're still in the seedy underworld of Los Angeles (I think...) where there's a heavily Latino crowd.
Before long, an ex-girlfriend shows up and offers him a case with political overtones, connected to an upcoming election. Let me remind everyone, this film ended up in this exact slot nearly by accident, and it's the second day of the Republican National Convention. (A political convention was also seen in "Meet John Doe", and a couple months back I watched "Man of the Year", with Robin Williams playing a comedian who's convinced to run for President. So I suppose something was bound to line up with current events one of these times, I mean, even a broken clock is correct twice a day.) It's not really a perfect confluence, since the election in this film is not for President, it's for governor of California, but I'll still take it.
A candidate here is being discredited by some flyers that appear to give him the endorsement of a missing 1960's radical, and the flyers seem to be distributed by his opponent, in an attempt to discredit him. I guess it's sort of like how David Duke endorsed Trump, and that sort of thing might gain you a few new voters, but not the kind that you want. I'm sure the Democrats were the ones spreading the news about Duke's endorsement of Trump, assuming it would turn more people off than on. Moses Wine, a former activist himself, seems to be cynical of all politics and politicians, but with child support due, he can't really turn down a paying gig.
I found this plot rather hard to follow, and the ultimate plan, which included something akin to a terrorist plot, was hard to believe. But maybe not, considering recent terrorist events around the world. But in 1978, wasn't it more about hijacking planes than blowing things up with trucks? I know there have been a few attacks lately that I just can't bring myself to read about, it's just too disheartening - but I worry that, like many people, I've become desensitized to reports of mass shootings, terrorist attacks and excessive use of force by the police. Is it enough that I feel guilty about not being able to hear about these things any more? Probably not.
Also starring Richard Dreyfuss (last seen in "The Goodbye Girl"), Susan Anspach (last seen in "Play It Again, Sam"), Bonnie Bedelia (last seen in "Fat Man and Little Boy"), John Lithgow (last seen in "Interstellar"), F. Murray Abraham (last seen in "Inside Llewyn Davis"), Ron Rifkin (last seen in "Dragonfly"), Nicolas Coster (last seen in "Betsy's Wedding"), Fritz Weaver, Sidney Clute (last seen in "The Best Years of Our Lives"), John Cunningham, John Mayo, Ofelia Medina, Rita Karin, with a cameo from Mandy Patinkin.
RATING: 4 out of 10 license plates