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Apparently this guy is a neurosurgeon on Grey’s Anatomy. “Run” (1991) Starring Patrick Dempsey.

I have never seen this “Grey’s Anatomy” show but I understand it is (or at least was) quite popular.  I also can’t remember Patrick Dempsey as anything other than an awkward and annoying (in my opinion) teen in such 80’s films as Can’t Buy Me Love (1987) and Loverboy (1989) (also staring Kirstie Allie).  The movie Run (1991) seems to be a mere continuation of those rigidly formulaic 1980’s teen coming of age type of movies except this film is nothing more than a “chase” movie pure and simple.  This one is so bad it shines in the “you have to watch it because it sucks” category.

 

I’ve seen porno movies with more complex plots that Run, but here we go anyway:  Dempsey plays Charlie Farrow, a Boston law student, part-time mechanic and of course never can lose poker player who is asked by his boss to drive a new Porsche 911 from Boston to Atlantic City.  The car, however, breaks down—those damn Germans–and while Farrow waits for the car to be repaired, a cab driver (who mistakes him for an Atlantic City card shark) takes him to an underground casino run by the mob to get something to eat.

 

While waiting for his return ride to the garage, Farrow decides to play a couple of hands of poker.  He ends up soundly beating Denny Halloran (Alan C. Peterson), who is really pissed off and embarrassed this kid took him to poker school.  Of course there is a resulting fight where Denny corners Farrow but trips over a potted palm, and accidentally hits his head on the sharp corner of a counter, and dies.  To add an exciting element (sarcasm) (I really need to invent a ‘sarcastic’ font) Denny happens to be the son of mob boss Matt Halloran (Ken Pogue), who not only owns the casino but most of the law enforcement in the area. 

 

Farrow finds himself on the “Run” (very clever) from cops and the mob henchmen, all of whom want to collect a $50,000 dollar bounty the boss has placed on his head.  He finds Kelly Preston, yes, that is right, Kelly Preston wife of Travolta and even better, the 1990 former fiancé of Charlie Sheen’s but she had to end the relationship shortly after he accidentally shot her in the arm.  She plays Karen Landers, Farrow’s only friend who, and you are never going to believe this, gets shot in the arm (I’ll bet she wasn’t even acting having some “real world” experience with it only the year before).  Like every “B” film, the bodies start to pile up as the couple dodge flying bullets, bowling pins, explosions from a nice selection of military grade assault weapons and other shrapnel and twisted auto parts and oh yeah, the Porsche didn’t make it more than 15 minutes into the film.  The chase takes him through racetracks, amusement parks, bowling alleys and a shopping mall.  Dempsey certainly covered a lot of ground in this one. 

 

Farrow and the mob boss go head to head at a dog track and here is the best part, the mob boss gets impaled by the mechanical pace-rabbit that was speeding around the track and was now circling back toward him.  I could not believe it!  He got impaled by the rabbit the dogs chase at the track!  Wow!  I sure didn’t see that coming.  I was on the edge of the couch for that thriller.

 

Well, they sure don’t make them like Run anymore and I believe they should to give guys like me something to bitch about.  Be that as it may, I am glad to see at least one Hollywood type who pulled himself together and changed the direction of his career.

 

All hail Dr. H for recommending this one.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2011 in Movie Reviews

 

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How can one properly review Smokey and the Bandit? I’m not sure but let’s try.

Smokey and the Bandit is a 1977 film starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Jerry Reed, Pat McCormick, Paul Williams, and Mike Henry and except for Star Wars was the highest grossing film of 1977.  The film was so popular that Trans Am sales increased from 68,745 cars in 1977 to 117,108 by 1979 leading to the joke that director Hal Needham sold more cars than the entire Pontiac sales force combined.  I mean, for goodness’ sake, my younger brother has been looking for a “Smokey and the Bandit” 1977 Trans Am for years because of the movie.  Now that’s fan loyalty.

The movie starts with a couple of nouveau riche Texans named Big Enos Burdette and his son Little Enos looking for a truck driver to run 400 cases of Coors beer from Texarkana Texas to a rodeo in Georgia in 28 hours or less totaling 1324 miles.  As we know from the opening scene, however, selling or shipping liquor east of the Mississippi River was considered bootlegging and other truck drivers who had tried making this run before were arrested for violating federal and state laws.  Big and Little Enos search a local truck rodeo for the legendary Bo “Bandit” Darville (Burt Reynolds).  Big and Little Enos offer to pay the Bandit $80,000.00 to make the Coors run — a deal Bandit can’t turn down.

Bandit enlists his friend Cledus “Snowman” Snow (Jerry Reed) to drive the truck (with his dog “Fred”).  After demanding an advance from the Burdettes for a “speedy car,” the Bandit get the now infamous 1977 Black Pontiac Trans Am to run as the blocking vehicle to distract the authorities from the truck and its illegal cargo.

Bandit and Snowman pick up the beer in Texas with time to spare.  Bandit, however, picks up Carrie (Sally Field) who is wearing a wedding dress.  We come to find out that she jilted the groom (“Junior”) at the altar and that her would be father in law Sheriff Buford T. Justice (Jackie Gleason) is on the hunt to drag her back to town.  Since the Bandit has Carrie, Buford T. Justice now wants the Bandit.  The rest of the movie is Buford T. Justice in “hot pursuit” of the Bandit through several states and Bandit evading him and other authorities with his now famous Trans Am.

Yes, eventually Bandit and Snowman barely win the bet and are not captured by the law, but it is the journey, not the destination, that matters.

Yes, Burt Reynolds is great in this movie, making it one of his signature parts, but my thinking here is that Jackie Gleason puts on the best performance of the show.  He portrays the quintessential Texas law man perfectly embodying every stereotype possible throughout the film making one outrageous statement after the other.  Apparently, a significant portion of Gleason’s screen time was improvised, which only illustrates (at least to me) just how talented he was.  Mr. Gleason’s performance creates one of the greatest comic characters in film history and demonstrates that he was one of the greatest American comic actors of all time.  If by some perverted twist of fate you have not seen Smokey and the Bandit, watch it and I think you’ll agree with me. And if you don’t, you have no sense of humor.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2011 in Movie Reviews

 

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