Random Film of the Week: One Good Cop

one_good_cop_xlgI think it was sometime back in 1990 when I was living in a somewhat crappy apartment building on the corner of 112th Street and Manhattan Avenue in Harlem, NYC when a bunch of people rolled up in a few vehicles and started cleaning up the street directly across from me. Weeds were pulled, the basements in the two or three abandoned buildings on the corner were cleared out and if I recall correctly, there was even some exterior and interior painting done that made it seem as if those buildings were going to be fully renovated at some point. All that work also chased away some of the drug trade on the block (a good thing) and at some point I felt things were looking up for the area.

Not too long afterwards, I was going to work and saw a film crew taking up space in the area and it seemed those buildings were going to be used for a movie shoot and not fully renovated after all. Drat. It turned out that scenes for a film called One Good Cop were being shot and despite the somewhat ratty condition of the area, people started popping up to watch the filming. That was in part due to Micheal Keaton being on the set for a few days filming a key action sequence that required a rat wrangler and a whole lot of rats, a few other actors and stuntmen and a panel truck that was key to the scene’s finale.

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Random Film of the Week: The Straight Story

straight_story_ver2For me, The Straight Story is David Lynch’s best film because it succeeds wholly as the director’s “most experimental” work and manages to be one of those movies that WILL touch you no matter how you feel about his other work. The true story of Alvin Straight’s 200+ mile journey to visit his ailing brother on a riding lawn mower may seem well out of Lynch’s weird wheelhouse, but those of his fans and anyone with a good eye will see plenty of strangeness in the normal here that shows even the simplest of stories can be remarkable when told as well as done here.

Perhaps the most amusing and interesting thing about the movie to some will be it carries the Disney name on it (it was released under the company’s Buena Vista Pictures label back in 1999) and is rated G, usually two death knells for a director know for startling his audiences with bizarre imagery. Lynch keeps things more mundane here, but there are moments in performance and presentation where you can see bits of his trademark style on display and it doesn’t detract from the story at all… Continue reading