NOTE: Welcome, Faith and Family readers! The following post is a new feature on I HAVE TO SIT DOWN. You may find it somewhat less edifying than my article on Faith and Family Live today. That’s because it’s written by my new co-contributer, who is a much less edifying person than I am. Beyond that, there really isn’t any explanation for what you are about to read.
Hi, I’m The Jerk. You may remember me from such blog comments as “Shut Up You Stupid Face,” or “Jews A-Poppin!” I have been a semi-regular commentator on this blog going back to when it was just Simcha scribbling desperate notes asking for help with her escape plans in the margins of baby books. Anyhoo, Simcha has asked me to provide some movie reviews.
I love movies, but not necessarily good ones. Sure, I can argue the meaning of art house fare (I think the car crash at the start of the movie was all in the character’s mind, pointing to the uncontrollable violence to come), allude to the way certain scenes are reminiscent of particular directors (the overlapping conversations are really a tip to Altman), the way dialogue flows, or halts precisely, to reveal the true emotional and spiritual state of the characters (he said ‘Balls!’), or the way an actress held her purse.
But I really like the cheap movies that you can get at Walmart for $5 or less. In fact, until I had my bank card taken away by concerned family members, I amassed quite a collection of movies that I seemed to remember were pretty good even though I only saw them once, on TBS, back when I was 17, I swear.
Here’s the deal: I’m gonna start with reviewing from my massive collection of crud, but if any of you readers has a suggestion, I will review that movie. The rules are simple. I have to be able to buy this thing at Walmart for $5 or less, or it has to be on the Watch Instantly menu on Netflix. Oh, and no Nick Nolte movies. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you put your suggestion in the comments box, not only will I not review that movie, I’m gonna find a way to make this happen.
Before you read any further, please keep in mind: if your favorites include blogs with the word “Musings” in the title, skip this. Stop reading. Go check out those sob sisters at some ladies blog, like National Review.
Oh Boy. Director Rowdy Herrington’s masterpiece is one of those Swayzessential movies, by which I mean, it has everything you could ask for in a Patrick Swayze movie, including extra Swayze. Let’s run down the list:
1. Swayze? You better believe that’s a Check
2. The beautiful lady-doctor who takes her clothes off for Swayze? Check.
3. Ben Gazzara as a Chicago gangster (named Brad Wesley!) who runs a small southern town? Check.
4. Sam Elliott’s mustache? Check.
5. Villains who run stake out surveillance from their monster truck? Check.
6. That blind guy playing the blues? Check.
7. Boobage? That’s a big double Check, good buddy.
8. Extra Swayze? Oh yes, Check.
9. Great Swayzetastic dialogue? Checkaroo.
10. Keanu Reeves? Sadly, no.
As you can see, when you have a list like that going, the script practically writes itself. That’s a good an explanation as any for this movie, so let’s stick with that.
This is the story of Dalton, a world-famous (in bars and honky-tonk dives below the Mason Dixon Line) “cooler.” That’s the guy in charge of all the bouncers at your favorite skeevy bar, where they play the blues (or a country-fried approximation thereof) and serve bourbon, and all the ladies are not ladies, if ya git my drift. (No, not trannies. That would be the remake starring Eddie Murphy.)
Dalton is first seen in a bar he supposedly made safe, where he battles with knife wielding drunks. This display is enough for some guy who specializes in playing creeps to recruit Dalton to turn around the troubled Double Deuce (anybody ever use the phrase ‘Drop a Deuce’? Just wondering.)
If I were looking to hire a cooler. I would want the guy from the place that has no knife wielding drunks, but that’s just me.
The owner wants to turn the DD from a slaughterhouse where violent D-bags get drunk into a profitable, swinging night spot where a slightly better class of D-bags get drunk. Dalton does this by fighting the staff and laying down the law: “It’s my way or the highway.” I love this scene.
Dalton rubs up against the local gangster, falls in love with the lady-doctor, spouts off some Eastern nonsense, and beats the snot out of gangster/hillbillies with the help of his mentor, Sam Elliot’s mustache.
That’s the movie in a nutshell. There may be more (or less) to the goings-on, but that is about it. Basically, it’s Shane, but with boobs. Now, there are a lot worse things you could say about a movie than that. Such as, “It’s like Road House, but without any boobs.”
None of this explains the presence of Ben Gazzara as the lead villain. I mean, this man is a solid character actor with decades of experience, a real screen icon. He turned down the guest star role in T.J. Hooker! He’s better than this. Right?
Favorite Scene: where Dalton gets staples to close up a wound. “Pain don’t hurt.” The lady-doctor reads Dalton’s medical transcript, which includes his educational transcripts as well, for some reason. It’s in this scene we learn Dalton studied philosophy. So yeah, having a character going from reading Kant to being a bar bouncer may be the most realistic aspect of this whole movie.
Best Line: “You’re too stupid to have a good time.”
You can’t have a movie like this, without a scene like this. Wouldn’t be right.
I guess that about wraps this up. Couple of things to keep in mind:
1. Patrick Swayze is not the same person as Kurt Russell.
2. I do close my eyes during the naughty bits of the movies I watch, mostly.
3. No joke, you need to watch this. It is the greatest Christmas Carol ever.
Next review: I’m gonna plan to write-up Enter The Dragon, starring Bruce Lee and John Saxon’s slacks.
I hope to get together a list of recommendations I can check out between now and then. Remember, please send suggestions to email@example.com. You can also follow me on The Twitter @thejerknottlikeu. Unlike some people, I will be Tweeting more than just my blog posts.