Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Crew

Year 8, Day 202 7/20/16 - Movie #2,402

BEFORE: I can squeeze one more film in before I have to catch my plane - I usually head to the airport at 4 am for an 8 am flight.  And this is not only because I like to get there early, it's also because the only way I usually am able to be anyplace at 8 am is by staying up all night.  This means flying across the country, getting to my AirBnB host, setting up a Comic-Con booth and working Preview Night at the convention on little or no sleep, but at least it beats oversleeping and missing my plane.  

I've got my annual rituals right before Comic-Con starts - I have to check the cable guide to make sure there aren't any movies I'm looking for that I'm about to miss, and I have to run down my checklist of what to bring.  And this is not because I tend to forget things, just the opposite - I started the checklist a couple years ago when I found I was packing for this trip on auto-pilot, throwing the proper things in my luggage, without being consciously aware of it.  So I was packing correctly, but then I wouldn't be sure about it, so with the checklist, I'm relatively sure.  Now I just need to call for a car service at 4 am to arrive at 4:30, and go and sit out on the porch and listen to the song "Leaving on a Jet Plane" on repeat - the version by Chantal Kreviazuk, the one that played in the movie "Armageddon", because it's so awesome.  

Richard Dreyfuss carries over from "The Big Fix", and Burt Reynolds is in here too, but I think this one came into my possession after I finished the Burt Reynolds chain earlier this year - so the best place for it is between two other Richard Dreyfuss films.  

THE PLOT:  Four retired mobsters plan one last crime to save their retirement home.

AFTER: The contrivance of showing a group of young tough kids, then flashing forward to them as old men - seems similar to that film "Last Vegas", which I watched last year, but this film came first, by about 13 years.  I guess they've also done this with chick flicks, like that horrible one with Rosie O'Donnell and Demi Moore.  It sort of calls "Stand By Me" to mind also, even though we never saw those kids as adults - or maybe it's the fact that both films featured Richard Dreyfuss as the narrator.  

This is a funny-enough, affectionate-enough comedy about four old men who used to be mobsters, but accidentally grew old and moved to Miami - which, unfortunately for them, became a hot-spot for young people, and they can't stand young people.  So to keep the young and hip from moving into their building, they stage a murder in the lobby, by shooting an already-dead corpse and making it look like a mob hit.  Their plan succeeds, but also leads to unforeseen comic circumstances.  

There are also many other contrivances, not just that everyone from the old neighborhood seems to live in the Miami area, but also a lot of characters who have connections to other characters, which are gradually revealed as the story wears on.  You might think there are only a few dozen people living in Miami, what with all these coincidences going on.  But I guess it is what it is.  

Someone did a really good job casting young actors who look a lot like their older counterparts, you could really believe THAT guy could age to look like Richard Dreyfuss, and THAT guy could age to look like Burt Reynolds.  I doubt it's an easy process to pick actors for this sort of thing.  

NITPICK POINT: If you had to revive someone who was unconscious, and you dragged them in to a bathroom, WHY would you stick their head in the toilet?  Jeez, man, the shower is right THERE!  Would you drink out of a toilet bowl?  Worse, after doing this, the person who gives him the swirly performs mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on him - his head was just in the toilet!

Well, now I'm off to join MY crew in San Diego, to pull off another "con" job.  Back in one week.

Also starring Burt Reynolds (last seen in "100 Rifles"), Dan Hedaya (last seen in "Mulholland Dr."), Seymour Cassel (last seen in "Stuck On You"), Carrie-Anne Moss (last seen in "Pompeii"), Jennifer Tilly (last seen in "Play It to the Bone"), Lainie Kazan (last seen in "One From the Heart"), Jeremy Piven (last seen in "Edge of Tomorrow"), Miguel Sandoval (last heard in "The Book of Life"), Casey Siemaszko, Matthew Borlenghi, Billy Jayne, Jeremy Ratchford, Jose Zuniga, with cameos from Louis Lombardi, Frank Vincent (last seen in "Mortal Thoughts"), Fyvush Finkel (last seen in "Brighton Beach Memoirs").

RATING: 5 out of 10 Cuban cigars

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