Posts Tagged ‘high school’

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Arliss Howard also pwns! “Plain Clothes”

October 14, 2015

Plain_Clothes_FilmPoster

This is the latest in my “pwns!” series in which I extol the virtues of under-recognized or under-appreciated actors. Previous installments covered Stephen McHattie and Bob Hoskins.

And now for a different Seattle cop story…

I suppose I’ve been seeing Arliss Howard in stuff for decades, but I never really noticed him until his amazing turn as the ice-blooded former spook Kale Ingram in the late, lamented Rubicon. With his laid-back style and flatter-than-the-topography-of-Illinois Midwestern accent, Howard manages to simultaneously anchor and enliven any scene he’s in. So when I discovered he starred in a little-seen 1987 comedy about a detective that goes undercover in a suburban high school, well, I don’t know what deity I need to make a pagan offering to, but this goat’s sure not gonna sacrifice itself.

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Falsely advertised, but still good: “Freaky Faron”

August 24, 2010

Okay, a quick one this time, since the movie I’m reviewing doesn’t really bear a huge amount of analysis–a slight little DIY venture called Freaky Faron. Now, the Netflix description of the movie promises a supernatural thriller about a teenage girl with a violent past fending off an alien invasion. Sounds neat, huh? Yeah, you mostly don’t get that. Still, once you shake off the disappointment of false advertising, you grow to appreciate the movie writer/director John Ross created on a shoestring budget.  He may not have made the X-Files clone the ads promised, but he did deliver a neat ‘tweener mystery. If you’ve ever wondered what a Dashiell Hammett short story would be like if the Continental Op was not a fireplug-shaped bruiser, but instead a red-haired 16 year-old girl (and, really, who hasn’t wondered that from time to time?) then this is your movie.
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I met him…I don’t like him: “Meet Bill”

October 8, 2008

It’s important in these tumultuous times, to look past the petty ephemera—a two-front war, an economic meltdown, an historic Presidential election—and reflect on what is truly important: the mid-life crisis of a white, upper-middle-class man and his sexual insecurities. Yep, this is the subject that should command our attention. Please, Hollywood, can we have more movies about this? And maybe some more family sitcoms wherein the fat, immature husband has the endlessly-tolerant, smoking-hot wife? I never get tired of that little slice of reality. Oh, hey, and thanks for Meet Bill. It’s nice to know when I hit my midlife crisis I’ll have a sentient sex-doll to help me through it.

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Family ties (and spiritual transference, drug use, quasi-incest…): “The Secret”

September 28, 2008

The first thing we should get out of the way when reviewing The Secret is that the movie is not about a secret. At the heart of the film is an unexplained, possibly-supernatural event. But The Unexplained, Possibly-Supernatural Event isn’t as catchy a title. A translation of the French title, Si j’étais toi (If I Were You), would have worked better. The second thing to get out of the way right up front is that this movie takes on a whole different feel since David Duchovny’s recent admission to having a sex-addiction.

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