I pride myself on having watched most of Clint Eastwood’s films. Yet for some reason, I’ve avoided watching The Dead Pool, which was the final installment for the great Dirty Harry franchise, for the longest time.

Until last night.

And it made me wonder why they didn’t make another Dirty Harry movie. Clearly Eastwood was going out on top of his game. Maybe at the spry age of 92, Clint will pull out .44 Magnum and terrorize the streets of San Francisco once more. But until then, we’re left with The Dead Pool, co-starring the delightful Patricia Clarkson and a ponytailed Liam Neeson.

Now Buddy Van Horn does a pretty solid job here. You’re probably wondering ‘who the fuck is Buddy Van Horn?’ And the answer is simple: he was a stunt man who Clint Eastwood inexplicably chose to direct this picture. But he handles the romance between Harry Callahan and Patricia Clarkson, who is 30 years Eastwood’s junior, with a particular delicacy. It’s very easy to understand why a young, attractive, and ambitious journalist would fall for a crabby, old San Francisco cop that everyone is trying to kill.

Not only is Liam Neeson particularly Irish in this picture, we’re also treated to an early performance from Jim Carrey, who, though on the screen for only five minutes, poorly lip synchs to Guns N’Roses and overacts his way through a drug overdose.

Now if Clint Eastwood is good at one thing, it’s engaging in sensitive cultural issues, especially regarding Asian-Americans (see Gran Torino). For this installment, Harry Callahan is paired with Evan C. Kim, an actor born to Korean immigrants, this time playing a Chinese-American. The shootout in a Chinatown restaurant is superbly handled as Callahan fires away after reading from a fortune cookie.

So how does this picture stack up to other San Francisco based action flicks? Pretty good. Especially if you’ve ever wondered how the chase from Bullitt would have looked if it featured a remote controlled toy car. 👍

another round of terrible movies

It was slim pickins this week.

I probably started watching a little over a half dozen of B-movies in my quest to see every horror film on Tubi. And I probably only finished two of them.

These are those two.

The Majorettes (1986)

I love a movie that can’t decide what it wants to be. So instead of choosing, it decides to be every option.

The Majorettes calls itself a “slasher” film. Sure, okay. At times, I think, it flirts with being a supernatural comedy. Then it inexplicably becomes a remake of Rambo.

Your guess is as good as mine.

My favorite part is one villain hangs another villain using a rope that runs through a cheapass hook that’s barely screwed into the ceiling.

While the film was godawful, I am intrigued enough to check out the book that this was based on (which was adapted for the screen by its author). If it’s as random as the movie, it seems like my kind of book.

Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)

I might have to watch this one again.

It has everything that I love: private detectives, Linnea Quigley, and a short running time (boobs too, if you’re into that sort of thing).

The film is absolute trash. And deliberately so. That’s Hollywood, folks.

Honestly, the image above says everything you need to know. It ain’t Citizen Kane, but it will easily kill an hour and 15 minutes.

Remembering ‘Friday Night Lights’

Went on a date for the first time since 2003. With a woman. When she came to my house and noticed the pictures on the wall, a collage of all the important people in my life, she asked “is this your father?”

I said “No, that’s Coach Eric Taylor, molder of men. The greatest coach of high school football in Texas history.”

Puzzled, she then asked “umm, is this your brother?”

I replied “No, that’s Matt Saracen, the quarterback for the Dillon Panthers during their championship run. He was thrusted into action after Jason Street suffered a life altering injury. He wasn’t the most talented quarterback, but he had a lot of heart. Are you fucking stupid?”

Friday Night Lights is the greatest television show of all time. Probably always will be.

I have a lot of regrets. I spend a lot of time thinking about them. And it’s very hard to capture that feeling of reflection…of nostalgia…when you reflect on events in one’s life. Movies and TV definitely have a hard time capturing that that sensation.

This is where FNL excels. Watching it is like reaching back into one’s past. Complimented by its dreamy soundtrack, the cinematography is an achievement in its own right.

Honestly, the cinematography, music, and actors bail out what is occasionally terrible writing. I mean, one season is about how a character murders somebody…and amazingly gets away with it. It’s a misstep that any other television show could never recover from. But FNL did.

Also, after spending three emotionally charged seasons with an outstanding set of characters, we get introduced to a different set of characters that take over the storylines. Few shows can pull that off.

It’s brilliant.

It also changed my life. I couldn’t watch the series finale because I was crying too much because I was REALLY fucking high.

“But James, I don’t like American football.”

That’s horseshit and you know it.

As Coach Taylor says: “Everyone loves football, they just don’t know it yet.”