Alone in the Dark – Videogames are bad for you week

Well I hated to see last week’s ‘Don’t Get on That Boat week’ end but it’s time to move to a new topic. This week is ‘Videogames are bad for you week’. All of the movies will be about videogames or are based on videgames. Alone in the Dark is currently available on instant Netflix.

Alone in the Dark

AVOID: Alone in the Dark (2004) – Rated R for violence and language

“Private sleuth Edward Carnby (Christian Slater) specializes in weird supernatural phenomena, and he’ll be forced to work with his archaeologist ex-girlfriend (Tara Reid) to defeat the demonic ancient Abskani tribe, which is set to wreak havoc on Earth. But Carnby already has experience with the evil beings, which also attempt to infiltrate his mind. Stephen Dorff co-stars in this sci-fi thriller based on the popular video game series.”

Ha ha ha – I hardly know where to start. Let’s begin by revising Netflix’ information. All of the above is wrong. The Alone in the Dark they have on instant play is Alone in the Dark II not the film listed above even though that’s the information they have for it. The corrected listing is below.

Alone in the Dark 2

AVOID: Alone in the Dark II (labeled Alone in the Dark) – Rated PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, and brief drug content.

“When a 100-year-old witch (Allison Lange) hatches a horrid plot to sacrifice a young girl with a mystical dagger, a team of witch hunters led by Edward Carnby (Rick Yune) set out to stop the killing and retrieve the terrible blade. But soon they discover that anyone who touches the knife falls under the power of the witch’s vengeful bloodlust. Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer direct this horror film that co-stars Lance Henriksen.”

“This is radioactive solution…makes you invisible to the other side. It cancels out the aura.”

I’m not sure whether to be pleased or disappointed that I won’t have to watch Uwe Boll’s original film. This direct to video sequel replaces Christian Slater with Rick Yune as Edward Carnby. It is written and directed by Michael Roesch and Peter Scheerer.

First off I have to say that I’m glad this wasn’t a theatrical release. The combination of shaky cam, jump cuts, shifting camera angles and out of focus photography would probably have made me very ill. It is still almost headache-inducing to watch.

It really has no connection to the first film except that one character is called Edward Carnby. The film revolves around a group of hapless Ghosthunter-wannabes. They might as well be wearing red shirts or bullseyes.

The film is ridiculously heavy-handed. You see everyone hiding in an electrified cage so you know the power is going to go out. It does so almost immediately. You see a device with a large spike so you know someone will get impaled on it. Lo and behold, moments later someone is impaled on it.

Hilariously there is a door that opens partway up from the ground. Clearly Carnby can crawl through but Natalie (Rachel Specter) declares only she can squeeze through. Later on the door closes and the heroes spike it to keep it from closing completely. When it opens to about the same height as before, Carnby removes the block (even though he could go through and leave it there) and crawls through. The door promptly tries to shut on his foot. Then another character says that they’ll go get the car jack – something that would have made the whole sequence moot.

It is a shame that this movie isn’t any good. They assembled a genre fan’s dream cast which is surprising for a direct to video feature. It is not surprising that these people would be in a DTV movie – it is just surprising that so many of them are in the same one.

In addition to the always wonderful Lance Henriksen, Michael Pare (Bad Moon, Gargoyles) pops up briefly as Willson. Danny Trejo (Grindhouse, From Dusk til Dawn) and Ralf Moeller (best known as the giant German from Gladiator). Also putting in appearances are Zack Ward (Freddy vs. Jason, Transformers), Bill Moseley (Grindhouse, The Devil’s Rejects), Natassia Malthe (DOA, Elektra) and Jason Connery (son of Sean).

In spite of the ineptitude the film almost ends well and then we have a cheap cop-out. After the cheap cop-out, we have an obligatory second cheap cop-out which makes absolutely no sense given what went on throughout the entire film. Sorry to keep that vague but I hate spoiling even the bad films.

People Watch: Who should pop up as Lance Henriksen’s wife but P.J. (Carrie, Halloween) Soles.

Donkey Punch – Don’t Get on That Boat! week

We’re wrapping up Don’t Get on That Boat week with Donkey Punch. Donkey Punch is currently available on instant Netflix.

Donkey Punch

PASS: Donkey Punch (2008) – UR – Unrated

“In a coastal Mediterranean paradise, seven people take their nonstop party from a nightclub to a luxury yacht far out to sea. When one of them mysteriously dies in a freak accident, the others come to blows over how to deal with the situation. As tensions rise, betrayal and anger emerge, and the six passengers turn against one another in a desperate battle of wills.”

WARNING: This is the Unrated version which is presumably stronger than the R version

WARNING: The R rating from the MPAA is “for a scene of strong sexual content involving an aberrant violent act, graphic nudity, violence, language and drug use.”

WARNING: You seriously may not want to know what the phrase ‘Donkey Punch” means.

WARNING: There are other terms described in the first act that you may not want to know. Once you hear something, you cannot unhear it.

I really don’t know how many warnings to give regarding this film. Netflix only lists it as Unrated so I translated that. Their description of the movie is just as coy.

WARNING: There is no “mysteriously dies in a freak accident”. There is a “dies from a mistake in an aberrant sexual practice” – one I had never heard of prior to hearing about this film.

Oliver Blackburn cowrote and directed this film. He plays this from the perspective of ‘let’s make the characters so repugnant that you’ll want to see them die’. In a normal horror movie there would be one of these characters. In this film it is most of them.

WARNING: This film is not flattering to young Britons.

WARNING: The setup is ridiculous and somewhat nauseating.

Three young British ladies on holiday spend their entire time getting drunk. They then meet a rough group of boys and go out with the four of them on a boat. They drink some more, take some drugs, drink even more, take even more drugs and then engage in essentially anonymous sex with multiple partners while filming it.

WARNING: The film is quite gory and there is a scene involving torture.

It is quite clear that director Blackburn wanted to make an extreme mark here. This is a very unfortunate trend in modern horror especially French. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean that you should do something.

The first act concludes with the aforementioned ‘accident’. In spite of all I’ve just written, the rest of the film is a pretty decent thriller as the characters attempt to deal with the consequences in various conflicting ways.

The girls are gorgeous. There is a wonderful flare gun scene (all boat movies should have one). The film is shot well and the tension is handled well although there is no humor to offset the tension. The last two shots in the film are very nice.

Unfortunately there is too much wrong with this film to recommend it. The first act is head-bangingly bad as they try desperately to manufacture the circumstances for the setup and to show how ‘proper hardcore’ the director is. I did enjoy the last two-thirds of the movie though.

People Watch: Jaime Winstone, who plays Kim, is the daughter of Ray (Edge of Darkness, The Departed) Winstone.

Lifeboat – Don’t Get on That Boat! week

This is Don’t Get on That Boat! week. Lifeboat is currently available on instant Netflix.

Lifeboat

WATCH: Lifeboat (1944) – NR – Not Rated.

“Using a story by John Steinbeck as inspiration, Alfred Hitchcock stages a gripping World War II drama by cramming eight survivors of a German torpedo attack into the hull of a tiny lifeboat — among them, a magazine writer (Tallulah Bankhead), a radio operator (Hume Cronyn) and a crazy woman (Heather Angel) clutching the corpse of her dead baby. But the real trouble starts when one of the survivors (Walter Slezak) reveals he’s a Nazi.”

“Dying together is even more personal than living together.”

This movie begins excellently. The credits happen while we are looking at a smokestack. Immediately after the credits, we watch the smokestack sink into the sea. Hitchcock then pans over the flotsam from the Allied ship as well as a German sailor face-down.

There is another marvelous scene where an impromptu operation has to be performed. Obviously the particulars couldn’t be shown. Hitchcock shows the preparation and everyone gathers around blocking the view. The shot then shows an empty boot being tossed onto a plank.

Lifeboat was nominated (but did not win) for three Oscars. Hitchcock received one of his many nominations for director. Glen MacWilliams was nominated for Best Cinematography, Black and White.

John Steinbeck (yes THAT John Steinbeck) was nominated for Best Writing, Original Story. He wrote this story specifically for Hitchcock. Steinbeck was very upset with the finished product.

A number of elements were changed from his story. In particular was some rather shameful racism. Joe (Canada Lee) was called Charcoal a number of times early in the film and his character is often treated with condescension.

Hitchcock loves to match an every-man type with a glamorous woman in his films. Tallulah Bankhead fits the glamorous role brilliantly. Her initial hairdo should win an award. The gradual disintegration of her looks and wardrobe is fun to watch. Tallulah herself caught pneumonia twice while filming this.

When Alfred Hitchcock was informed that Tallulah Bankhead wasn’t wearing any underwear, he famously said “I don’t know if this is a matter for the costume department, makeup, or hairdressing.”

The rest of the ensemble cast is quite good but are clearly overshadowed by Tallulah. John Kodiak plays the everyman Kovac (usually the focus of a Hitchcock picture but not here). A very young Hume (Cocoon, The World According to Garp) Cronyn plays Sparks. Henry Hull has a lot of fun with his role as Rittenhouse as does William Bendix as Gus.

Aside from the unfortunate racism, this is an excellent film and well worth watching. It is in black and white and is certainly a bit jingoistic. Keep in mind that this was released while we were still at war with those nasty Nazis. There is even a brief war bond ad at the end of the film before it abruptly cuts off.

People Watch: Hitchcock’s ubiquitous cameo occurs on a newspaper ad on the boat.

Tales of the Black Freighter – Don’t Get on That Boat! week

This is Don’t Get on That Boat! week. Tales of the Black Freighter is currently available on instant Netflix.

Tales of the Black Freighter

WATCH: Tales of the Black Freighter (2009) – Rated R for violent and grisly images

“This animated short — based on the story-within-a-story in the graphic novel Watchmen — follows a shipwrecked sailor as he endures ghastly horrors to get home and protect his family from an attack by the evil pirate vessel Black Freighter. But as he sails a raft made from the bloated corpses of his former crew, the young mariner descends into delusion, madness and worse. Gerard Butler narrates this companion to 2009’s live-action film Watchmen.”

“One of my crew lay ahead. Birds were eating his thoughts and memories.”

First a word of warning – this is indeed an R-rated cartoon. It is violent, grisly, and disgusting. Of course that should be obvious from Netflix’s description and my choice of quote.

In Watchmen, Alan Moore envisioned that in a world where superheroes were real, ordinary people would read comic books about pirates and horror stories like the old EC comics (Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror). His comic within a comic reflects the descent into madness of one of his characters as well as the world in which they live.

This movie is short – only 25 minutes long. The animation is done in a good clean, albeit direct to video, style. The visuals are of course based on Dave Gibbon’s original drawings. Gerard Butler’s narration is excellent and fits the tone of the story well.

My recommendation is a little bit mixed.

If you read and enjoyed Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen then I absolutely highly recommend this even though the story is taken out of its proper context. Instant Netflix also has Under the Hood available which is a faux documentary interviewing the original Nite Owl and Silk Spectre. Under the Hood is not as entertaining but is free.

If you have not read the classic that is Watchmen, YOU SHOULD DO SO NOW! Barring that, this cartoon can be enjoyed on a Tales from the Crypt (minus the snarky Cryptkeeper) level. Keep in mind while watching it that this was written well before Castaway (before you notice a number of similarities especially Wilson).

People Watch: Jared Harris is the voice of Ridley. He is also David Robert Jones on Fringe and Lane Pryce on Mad Men. The song playing over the end credits is performed by Nina Simone.

Titanic (1953) – Don’t Get on That Boat! week

This is Don’t Get on That Boat! week. Titanic is currently available on instant Netflix.

Titanic

WATCH: Titanic (1953) – NR – Not rated

“An unhappily married couple, Julia and Richard Sturges (Barbara Stanwyck and Clifton Webb), board the Titanic, while one of their daughters falls in love with a boy from the underclass. Once they set sail, Richard never allows Julia out of his sight, and unsuccessfully begs for reconciliation. But when the iceberg looms and disaster strikes, the Sturges must set their differences aside … for themselves and for the sake of their children.”

“May I bone your kipper, Mademoiselle?”

Okay wait – that quote makes the film seem like a sex comedy. Let me try again.

“If you get a good omelette, who cares whether the chicken likes you or not?”

Hrrrm. That’s not much better. One last try:

“Twenty years ago I made the unpardonable error of thinking I could civilize a girl who bought her hats out of a Sears-Roebuck catalog.”

The story of the Titanic is almost perfect. It contains pride, hubris, tragedy, cowardice and heroism by its very nature. It is also easy to serve as a backdrop for romance and/or an examination of our class system. A bygone way of life can also be researched and examined.

James Cameron successfully did all of this in the first half of his epic version of Titanic (1997). He then grafted an entire action film into the second half. His meticulous research helped make every detail of the film authentic. This is not that film.

This version of Titanic is still quite good for its time. It won an Oscar for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay. It has strong dialogue in a number of places as witnessed by the final two quotes. The first quote is not an innuendo – it is literal. Titanic was also nominated for Best Art Direction – Set Direction, Blank and White.

Factually it is a mixed bag. As noted in the beginning of the film, “All navigational details of this film – conversations, incidents and general data – are taken verbatim from the published reports of inquiries held in 1912 by the Congress of the United States and the British Board of Trade.” The lack of a traditional music score also lends some authenticity to the proceedings.

On the other hand, there are innumerable factual mistakes regarding the ship and incident. These range from inconsequential things (no shuffleboard on Titanic) to oddities such as the ship being sold out and the White Star chairman indicating that he wouldn’t be going with them on the voyage. The central characters are fictional as well.

Jean Negulesco directed this film and did a very good job. There is one wonderful foreshadowing shot where a character tosses his hat overboard. The hat is followed into the ocean where it lands next to some ice.

Acting is quite good. Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck play our central couple, the Sturges. The Sturges used to be in love but now a vast emotional chasm exists between them. Their daughter Annette (Audrey Dalton) is pursued by a very young and energetic Robert Wagner as Gifford Rogers.

One of the highlights of the Titanic story is of course ‘Unsinkable’ Molly Brown. Here, apparently due to legal issues, her name is changed to Maude Young. Thankfully her character is as brash as ever and is played very well by Thelma Ritter.

This is a very good film and well worth a watch recommendation. On the other hand if you have watched James Cameron’s Titanic (1997) or Roy Ward Baker’s A Night to Remember (1958) then there isn’t much here that you haven’t already seen.

People Watch: Michael Rennie (The Day the Earth Stood Still) is the narrator at the end of the film. Richard Basehart (ironically best known as Admiral Nelson in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) plays a defrocked priest in a minor subplot.

The Poseidon Adventure – Don’t Get on That Boat! week

This week is Don’t Get on That Boat! week. The Poseidon Adventure is currently available on instant Netflix.

WARNING: This movie is only available through January 31

The Poseidon Adventure

WATCH: The Poseidon Adventure (1972) – Rated PG.

“As the luxury liner Poseidon charts its course on New Year’s Eve, disaster strikes when an undersea earthquake causes a titanic tidal wave and capsizes the vessel, leaving just 10 survivors. Led by a no-nonsense reverend (Gene Hackman), the group must maneuver through airshafts, electrical cables and a burning engine room to the boat’s hull, which is their lone chance for escape. The film scored an Oscar for Best Song (“The Morning After”).”

“The Andrea Doria stayed afloat 10 hours before she sank.”

The granddaddy of the disaster genre, The Poseidon Adventure still holds up pretty well after 38 years. In spite of the above quote, the circumstances behind the disaster are clearly patterned on Titanic lore. The Captain is urged, cajoled, and threatened to move his ship at top speed in spite of his better judgment by the owners.

One of the perks of the disaster genre is the cornucopia of stars parading through the film. The real star here is Gene Hackman who appears to take the material entirely too seriously but is a treat nonetheless. While he could hold a film by himself, he does have ample support.

Shelley Winters takes her role very seriously as well. She was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her juicy role. Jack Albertson plays her loving husband.

Ernest Borgnine is Hackman’s counterpart, the opposite that a buddy cop movie would demand – in fact Borgnine plays a detective. Stella Stevens is his wife, a former prostitute.

Rounding out the cast are Red Buttons, Roddy McDowall, Arthur O’Connell, Carol Lynley and a pre-Nancy Drew Pamela Sue Martin. Carol Lynley sings the Oscar-winning song, “The Morning After” somewhat ironically before disaster strikes.

Characters are well-established prior to the rogue wave. After that the film has a number of wonderful action setpieces as the survivors try to work their way through the ship. Director Ronald Neame and reportedly producer Irwin Allen make the epic trek very exciting. An Oscar Special Achievement award was given for visual effects.

In addition to the aforementioned Oscar nods, The Poseidon Adventure was nominated for many others. Best Art Direction – Set Decoration seems an obvious one for the wonderful upside-down sets. It was also nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Music, and Best Sound.

In the film our main group (headed for the engine room) briefly encounters a group led by the Doctor heading for the bow. Believe it or not a poorly-regarded sequel was made in 1979, “Beyond the Poseidon Adventure” starring Michael Caine. This film deals, at least partially, with that bow group that is only glimpsed in the original.

I highly recommend this journey into “Hell, Upside Down” (the film’s tag line) but Netflix has it listed as only available until 1/31.

Wolfgang Petersen remade the original as “Poseidon” in 2006 while a quickly-made TV movie “The Poseidon Adventure” premiered in 2005.

People Watch: Long before he spoofed himself in Airplane, Leslie Nielsen (Don’t call me Shirley!) played serious roles. Here he is the Captain of the doomed ship. Irwin Allen’s wife, Sheila, appears as a nurse.

Dead Calm – Don’t Get on That Boat week

Sometimes it seems too easy to do a particular week on a genre or a particular star or director. This week is Don’t Get on That Boat! week. Dead Calm is currently available on instant Netflix.

Dead Calm

WATCH: Dead Calm (1989) – Rated R.

“The Ingrams — John (Sam Neill) and Rae (Nicole Kidman) — set off for an extended sailing trip after their young son dies tragically in a car crash. When they come across another seafarer (Billy Zane) feverishly paddling away from a sinking schooner, they bring him aboard — and quickly realize he’s a murderous sociopath. Masterfully directed by Phillip Noyce, this violent, psychological thriller helped launch Kidman’s film career.”

The beginning of this movie shows a wonderful economy of storytelling. We meet John on a railroad platform presumably waiting for Rae to arrive. Within the next few minutes the tragic circumstances setting the scene have occurred and we’re on the extended sailing trip. By the ten minute mark, we have already spotted the schooner.

There are other characters in this movie but this is essentially a three-person story. Nicole Kidman’s and Billy Zane’s careers were launched with this taut thriller. They had been on other films but this one put them on the map. Sam Neill’s career was in full swing when he made this. All three give wonderful, complex performances.

There are major gaping plotholes but the story is told so well by director Phillip Noyce that we aren’t left to linger on them for more than a moment. For instance why does John take the dinghy to the schooner instead of simply piloting his boat to the schooner?

I highly recommend this fast-paced thriller.

People Watch: Lisa Collins (Billy Zane’s ex-wife) plays one of the Orpheus Cruise girls. Sam Neill met his wife, makeup artist Noriko Watanabe, on the set of this film.

Ghost Ship – Don’t Get on That Boat Week!

Sometimes it seems too easy to do a particular week on a genre or a particular star or director. This week is Don’t Get on That Boat! week. Ghost Ship is currently available on instant Netflix.

Ghost Ship

PASS: Ghost Ship (2002) – Rated R for strong violence, gore, language and sexuality.

“Dispatched to recover a long-lost passenger ship found floating lifeless on the Bering Sea, the crew of the Arctic Warrior salvage tug soon becomes trapped inside the mysterious vessel — which they quickly realize is far from abandoned. But just who — or what — is on board remains to be seen. Gabriel Byrne, Isaiah Washington and Julianna Margulies lead the cast in this high-seas horror film directed by Steve Beck.”

“Congratulations. You found a boat. In the middle of the ocean of all places.”

*Sniff* What’s that I smell? It smells good yet rotten at the same time. Yes indeed it smells like wasted potential.

The idea of a cursed or haunted ship is a good one all by itself. Watching the first scene in the movie, while heavy-handed, is very entertaining. Later flashbacks to events surrounding the first scene gave me the impression that the movie might have been much better if it had been about the original cruise and not the salvor’s voyage.

The story is written by Mark Hanlon and the screenplay is written by Mark Hanlon and John Pogue. The story is a good one with a fair number of really nice touches. The dialogue is almost jaw-droppingly awful. I’d quote some to show you but sadly this comes from the school of ‘let’s show how hip we are by dropping profanity in every other sentence’ screenwriting.

The cast is pretty good for a horror movie. Gabriel Byrne is largely wasted as the salvage captain. Julianna Margulies capably plays the tough heroine. Bizarrely out of place is Isaiah Washington whose character doesn’t seem to fit in at all with the rest of the crew. Ron Eldard, Desmond Harrington and Alex Dimitriades round out the crew.

While the opening sequence is almost a reason to recommend this film, the rest of the film doesn’t measure up. It’s not that the film is particularly bad (except the dialogue), it just isn’t very good either.

People Watch: Look for Karl Urban (Bones on the new Star Trek movie) as a crew member and Emily Browning (Violet from Lemony Snicket) as a young passenger.

Bronco Billy – Clint Eastwood week

Well I just couldn’t end Eastwood week with that stinker Pink Cadillac. Thank goodness there was one instant Eastwood I had not reviewed. Bronco Billy is currently available on instant Netflix.

Bronco Billy

WATCH: Bronco Billy (1980) – Rated PG.

“A ragtag troupe of misfits led by Bronco Billy (Clint Eastwood) perform their hearts out as members of a fly-by-night Wild West show. Billy inspires his entertainers, including Doc Lynch (Scatman Crothers) and Lefty LeBow (Bill McKinney), as they wow crowds with lassos, knife throwing and sharpshooting. Then stranded heiress Antoinette Lilly (Sondra Locke) becomes Billy’s assistant, and soon the two are squabbling, scuffling and falling in love.”

“He’s like all men. A big kid in a man’s body.”

Okay charming was how Netflix described Pink Cadillac. Unlike that film, Bronco Billy is actually charming. This was part of Eastwood’s late 70s/early 80s attempt to move from Western star to Country Western star.

Eastwood attempts to contrast the fullness of Billy’s penniless existence with the hollowness of rich heiress Antoinette Lilly’s life. No one likes Lilly (who is in fact quite unlikeable) and she is abandoned by the people around her. Billy who has no money and doesn’t pay his staff but puts on free shows for the orphanage is surrounded by people who love him.

This comes across as naive and pedantic. It wouldn’t work except for two things. First it seems genuinely heartfelt. Second the wonderful details of life in a rundown Wild West show are very amusing. The audiences that consist of a few families, the ramshackle tents, the accidents, and such all bring a smile.

All of the performers of Billy’s show do a wonderful job. Scatman Crothers is great as the barker. Bill McKinney is a hoot as Lefty (I told you that shotgun trick wouldn’t work). Sam Bottoms, Dan Vadis, and Sierra Pecheur do a good job of rounding out the troupe.

There are several throwbacks to screwball comedies of the 30s and not just the heiress and the poor man plot. Some of these work well and others fall a bit flat. The explanation of Billy’s origins is absolutely wonderful and fits the film well.

This film is deeply flawed but I have to recommend it simply because I know of no other films that cover the trials and travails of a rundown Wild West show.

People Watch: Merle Haggard appears as himself and Clint’s children, Alison and Kyle, are children at the orphanage.

Pink Cadillac – Clint Eastwood week

Well I guess it’s time to wrap up Clint Eastwood week. Pink Cadillac is currently available on instant Netflix.

Pink Cadillac

AVOID: Pink Cadillac (1989) – Rated PG-13

“Clint Eastwood and Bernadette Peters star in this charming film about a guy who makes a living hunting down people who’ve skipped bail. All is smooth sailing until he meets a woman who’s just left her husband — and has her baby and her husband’s pink Cadillac in tow. Unbeknownst to both of them, there’s a stash of cash in the vehicle, and soon, everyone is after them.”

“Your skin is so soft – like Velveeta.”

Stuntman Buddy Van Horn directed three movies. All of them starred Clint Eastwood. Unfortunately they are pretty much Clint’s worst three films (Any Which Way You Can, The Dead Pool, and this one).

Have I described Clint as likable enough this week? Well darn it he is. Unfortunately that doesn’t save this movie.

This is from his 80s period where Clint was apparently trying to get away from his gruff no-nonsense persona. None of these movies were particularly well-done (Every Which Way But Loose, Bronco Billy, Any Which Way You Can). City Heat even spoofs his image a bit.

I think the real problem is that Clint appears to be having fun in these movies. Just because Clint is having fun does not make it a good movie. That appears to be all there is to the movie so the conclusion has to be that someone thought that’s all it took to make a movie.

Actions have no grounding. Clint’s character leaves the keys in the car so that Bernadette Peters can drive off with it. Never mind the part where that doesn’t make any sense.

This film has it all. Racism, domestic violence, child endangerment, drug abuse and kidnapping all play a part in this feel good comedy.

In addition to the other faults this movie has, Netflix has broadcast it in fullscreen. Really just watch ANY other Clint Eastwood film.

People Watch: Look for James Cromwell as a motel desk clerk and Jim Carrey as a lounge entertainer.