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I saw the Jack Reacher title among the new books in the library. I gave it a glance, quickly bailed out: smug, self-satisfied reader-pandering. When Netflix put it under my nose as a Tom Cruise vehicle, I didn’t order it, two or more days wasted mail time: I’ve already seen Tom Cruise be smug, pander to the audience. Ah, but when it came up as streamable, that’s different: I can take a quick glance, junk it at any moment.
I hated it, as expected; but then I loved it! Not expected. The supporting cast had some terrific-looking characters.
I want to say more than one thing: so I’ll string, in my scrapbook fashion:
One thing despicable about how the movie sets its stage is its utter absence of self-aware irony. This is a world where the map matches the territory: the police actually serve order, the order is actually beneficial … God is God, the church is honest: things are what they seem, the advertising is true. Yuck, I can’t stand it: I want theater to be more intelligent than the NYT, more honest than the schools; not a clone of the schools.
The movie did feature some things I’ve long been fond of: one guy putting five attackers on the ground: Reacher says It’s three against one: the thug says “Five,” Reacher affirms three: Put the main thug down, the two lieutenants will step forward, put them down, the other two will always run away. Good bravado. Kurasawa cinema. And I’ve actually known guys like that: and I’ve written a couple such scenes, thirty-odd years ago. (Had I been paid, not sabotaged, I actually might have gotten good at it.
Solo, Tom Cruise is horseshit. The pretty blond English lawyer actress is hardly better. Ah, but the thugs are wonderful. Werner Herzog is a treat. And Robert Duval, old and fat, has never been better.
Map in Phase
Of course the opposite is simultansously apparent: the cops are good, but one or two cops have been bought. Still the map / territory discrepancies are entirely conventional. This is Pollyanna; not Dostoyevsky.
One conceit was so preposterous I enjoyed it: Tom Cruise’s bullshit tough guy reverses by tough guy gender tole: the blond forever thinks he’s about to proposition her: he does not! Finally she’s about to proposition him, take him home, drag him into an alley, pop out her boob and feed it to his face: he turns her down! Cold!
If she weren’t cute, it would be another So what? Yawn.
Segue: mucho macho dreck
2014 08 14 Last night I watched another bullshit tough guy flick: this one I enjoyed the hell out of, from the beginning: Parker, Jason Stratham, Jennifer Lopez. There the gender role reversals work wonderfully. He tells her to strip. She’s used to being in control, what went wrong here? She thinks better of opposing him when she sees he means busines: and that business with him is commonly fatal … But all he’s doing is check her, includin gunder her fair, to she is she’s wired: very sensible. She’s ready to open her ass, her pussy, whatever he want: but he’s all business.
Jason Statham is 100% designed the way the studios use him. So is Tom Cruise, so is JLo … But: Jason really gets to me. Tom Cruise’ $1,000 haircut makes me want to puke; Jason’s $1,000 haircut makes me applaud!
There! This is a different movie: but look how he turns his back on this “model” type!
I knew he was a diver, a “real” athlete before he got employed as a model: now I learn that he’s a real marial artist as well, does his own stunts: may help design them for all I know: wouldn’t surprise me. The dude looks tough, may actually be tough.
(I hear Errol Flynn really was tough, ditto Russell Crowe …
You wanna see a tough early movie star, watch old footage of Douglas Fairbanks. And Houdini!)
JLo Real Deal
Speaking of posing, JLo, whom Roger Ebert long ago hailed as “the real deal,” has known how to pose from the beginning. Namely, she poses her ass! and had the plastic surgeons make sure in the first place that it was worth posing: spectacularly worth posing.
It was her outsized ass that I first noticed about her: in Anaconda: buttocks in profile. What a profile! Carama. Then ditto in Out of Sight: worthy with George Clooney.
Etc. The whole world knows. But now here (JLo looking very female all the time in a gray skirt, perfect beam: Jason tells JLo to take off her clothes. She stands before him in her skivies: in shape: shape shape shape: ship shape! Jason is only looking to see if she’s wired. But not us! We’re looking, first at her pussy pouch: then into her B-Hind! Omg, all that silly putty, all that voluntary silicone!
But we ain’t done: in another scene she’s wearing toreador pants, she bends over: and over, and the camera comes right up: and almost penetrtes.
Now in this flick JLo is past her Shirley Temple period. She’s got a mile on her, and another.
It doesn’t matter: Jesus! She can pose that bod.
A pun at the end made me chuckle. Jason has promised JLo to mail her her commission, after a while, Don’t put it in a bank, Don’t spend it all at once. Yeah, yeah, she’s forever getting promised commissions. Time passes, a package comes, she opens it, out tumble huge bundles of cash: thousands and thousands of $100 bills. What’s that? calls mom from upstairs. “The mail came.” She looks at the millions in hundreds: “It’s all just bills,” she says.
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