Tuesday, January 19, 2010
8 MILLION WAYS TO DIE, THE BLACK MARBLE: LA COPPER: DRUNKEN DOUBLE FEATURE
Los Angeles goes "Miami Vice style" in 8 WAYS TO DIE, is based on the Lawrence Block novel, featuring his popular print, private eye character Matt Scudder. Jeff Bridges gives yet another slam bam performance, as the former sheriff's detective, who's loses his badge (& his family) due to his hard drinking ways. After Bridges hits bottom after a bad drug bust, that forces him to fatally use his weapon on a suspect at the family dinner table, he joins AA. Now sober (one day at a time), he moonlights as unlicensed a private eye, Bridges suddenly finds himself working for Sunny, a beautiful hooker (the leggy, Alexandra Paul) who's desperate to get out of the business, unfortunately for her, Bridges lets her out of his sight and she soon winds up leaving the business the hard way; dead. Bridges now wrecked with guilt, goes on a black out bender and wakes up in the hospital, barley able to talk or walk. Having failed his client, he knows that he has to get back on the wagon to solve her murder. Bridges, soon finds himself playing a deadly game of chess, with a slick, snow cone loving drug dealer Angel Molonado (in a scene stealing performance by then newcomer Andy Garcia.) Caught in the middle of this 80's noir, is 80's sex symbol Rosanna Arquette, playing another hooker, she's a real tough cookie (or as Bridges calls her "the Pete Rose of the house", because she's what he calls a "player manager.") Bridges and Garcia use Arquette as a ping pong ball that bounces between the two as they try to out smart each other, with her in the middle. The films climax features an intense shootout (reminiscent of the final scene in Howard Hawk's western, RIO BRAVO.) The script was co-written by none other than Oliver Stone and is surprisingly the last film directed (with great zest) by the late, Hal Ashby (who's credits include such 70's classics: Shampoo, Being There, The Last Detail, Bound for Glory, Coming Home and Harold & Maude.) Oddly this great LA crime drama is not yet released on DVD.