Tuesday, September 7, 2010

'Midnight Run' Open Thread

How did you like the show?


  1. I checked out the local video store but it was a no-go, so I had to go with netflix. I should be ready to go tomorrow. I am really looking forward to Robert DeNiro's grumpy, tough, street smart, wrongly disgraced ex-cop deal with Charles Grodin's mild-mannered but not quite straight accountant.

  2. Good! I just got my netflix copy , and will be home today so can watch it.

  3. "Why don't you get yourself a new watch?"
    "I'll tell you when I know you better."
    "You know me better? When are you gonna to get to know me better? I'm getting to know you better. You're not gonna get to know me better."
    " 'You shut up?"
    "That's what I mean."

  4. Oh I know, it was so good. Did you happen to watch Grodin's face when DeNiro was trying to purchase bus fair? Too funny. It really was hilarious. The way Grodin would just work DeNiro, with the mild mannered talking and the questions over and over. He was relentless, in the nicest of ways.

    Look, I'm supposed to work. I will comment more upon this later.

  5. OK. I was boycotting DeNiro because of that Machete movie, but since you can stream it on Netflix, I caved.

    Just started watching but I liked how DeNiro always locked his car in NYC--even if he was only going to be away for a few minutes. Realism like that is missing from most movies and TV shows today. I hate that he is younger then than I am now. How'd that happen?

  6. How'd that happen?

    Try not to dwell on it. Just remember how much younger you were when the movie came out than he is now. :)

    I really enjoy this movie. DeNiro and Grodin ar both so good, and I love the interplay between them.

    Oh -- gotta go. More later!

  7. Thoroughly enjoyable movie with a tight plot that keeps you engaged for the full two hours plus. More importantly, Director Martin Brest kept DeNiro and Grodin in check so that their shtick never overwhelmed a scene.

    Now picture Cher as "The Duchess" instead of Grodin's Duke. That's what the original production company, Paramount wanted. Or their second choice, Robin Williams. Universal let Brest go with his gut.

  8. Now picture Cher as "The Duchess" instead of Grodin's Duke.

    Could have made for a good show, but so completely different from the Grodin version! (Robin Williams -- noo.) But with a female character opposite DeNiro you'd get the will they/won't they, which I don't think could have been an improvement over the slow, grudging, friendship between the men. Plus, they would have had to change a lot of the physical comedy, and the physicality between the characters. Interesting!

    But I'm pretty sure I'd prefer the Grodin version; part of what I liked about this was that it felt unusually low-key for the type of movie it is, and I think that is because of the leads. And I really would hate to give up scenes like Grodin trying to persuade DeNiro to "put down the cigarette." Priceless.

    Brest kept DeNiro and Grodin in check so that their shtick never overwhelmed a scene -- yes! ( I was kind of impressed at how un-whiny Grodin was in this.)

  9. I have to say that it really struck home when DeNiro looked over to see his daughter, whom he hadn't seen since she was four. I thought he was very good in that scene.. the quiet, the wanting to say something, not knowing what to say, not really being able to say anything. Wanting to be close, but the fact is you are a thousand miles away, though you both wish it wasn't so. And her running out to try to help him, and him not being able to accept it from her... that all rung true to me.

    But mostly it was a comedy of course, about two guys, who ordinarily never would have been friends, thrown together by circumstance, and they end up helping each other and respecting each other.

    I loved the bondsman too. His yelling and nervousness, the praising and cursing... he added a lot.

    And Grodin. Did you see him in Heaven Can Wait? Or the little known Sunburn? I really enjoy his quiet sense of humor.

    Okay, Darrell, you have honors. What's your pleasure?

  10. I thought the scene with the daughter was one of the more implausible moments. Let's face it, they said it was nine years since he last saw her (or maybe had any contact). Would she even remember him? [She would have been 5 or so.]Would it be fondly? Btw, DeNiro did have a wad of bills in his hand when he entered the car (the ex-wife had only given him two twenties):He did take the money from the daughter. I would have given Grodin an extra punch for not gettting out one of his thousand-dollar bills from his stash, just for that.

    The other scene that didn't really make sense was when Grodin conned that bar manager out of the twenties. He wasn't supposed to be a con man. He was a do-gooder--remember shaming DeNiro for leaving the 13% tip? Wouldn't that be another time to say you had a single thousand dollar bill hidden on you in case of emergency? I know he was still planning to get away, but still? At that moment the mob had already made two bold attacks on them, the last with the helicopter and machine guns. Wouldn't it behoove you get some distance at that point, like buying a car? For your own good?

    I don't know about the next movie. Cathy is woefully behind on her April Book Club viewing obligations--even to the point of some of the material expiring at Hulu. Once that happens it is a major chore to find alternate sources. Perhaps a brief intermission is in order?

  11. Oh, Darrell It's not that bad! I can't say I'm caught up , but I'm through the Eureka episode with all the emotional robots (Momstrosity), I got Annie in yesterday (the Niagara Falls defector episode), and I'm even keeping up (almost) with Lie to Me. But I admit I haven't been doing much commenting since the "conclusion" of Persons Unknown... Bitter, bitter.

    I think you should pick something that you like while you've got Netflix.

  12. Btw, DeNiro did have a wad of bills in his hand when he entered the car

    Oh, now I have to go back and find that part again! It probably just looked like a wad of bills 'cause we were seeing his reflection. ;)

  13. I have Covert Affairs on my netflix queue list, but it is not available yet. I don't really like the viewing on my computer as that means I have to stay late at the office to do it, and I am already staying late at the office. I am considering getting the internet for my apartment, but that is the one place I can escape from it's presence. Hmmm.

    Anyway, it's a movie a week we do here. You do not have to comment, but you can. You are supposed to pick a movie that is well done, or that said something to you, something that you thought was worth sharing. You are supposed to have watched the movie to be commenting on it, as in recently watched the movie. It's all for fun though.

    And yes, she would remember him.

  14. I'm thinking Mulholland Drive or Children of Men. I have seen neither, but I was thinking of seeing them both (and they both made critics' "Films of the Decade" list.) Lots of Left-of-Center stuff there because of the Bush years--but neither fits that category (although I think the people behind 'COM" saw it that way when they were making it.) Instead, I see it as an indictment of the Death Cult of the Left. MD can be streamed;COM can not.

    Before the month is over, I'd like to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo(Män Som Hatar Kvinnor; Millennium: Part 1: Men Who Hate Women)--that flick that April was raving about. It can be streamed at Netflix as well.

  15. Mulholland Drive was a pretty good police verses corrupt thugs film, with the police types not being choir boys, and the thugs being darker and deeper, with a long reach. I thought it was a good story and well done. It's been years since I saw it. The mood and period reminded me of Chinatown. I've never seen Children of Men. I did catch The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, a week or so after April was talking about it. Very dark film, well done.

  16. My oldest daughter was 4 1/2 years old when I last saw her. I remember those last six months or so, her being very happy to see me, but always afraid that would be the last time. I always tried to re-assure her, I wasn't going anywhere, but it turns out she was right. I hear that she often times still speaks of me. She tuned ten last month.

    It's odd, but in a lot of these stories I see myself in certain aspects of certain characters. It seems my own life experience frames my point of view, and the characters playing out the story have something to say to me... about those things that are hard to understand and hard to work through. A lot of hard things were thrust upon me by people I had placed my trust in, and a lot of naivete was shattered. I don't feel very good about a lot of things, but by far the worst of it was losing Hallie.

  17. I knew you were speaking from your own personal experience or reference. I was hoping that your situation was no where near as bad as his. I'm sorry that it is so very close--closer than I would have dared to guess. Parents should never be kept from their children, except where extreme abuse has occured--and I KNOW that does not apply to you. Yes, so much of life is totally beyond our control. I'm sorry that it happened to you and that you can never get that time back.

    I know it's not the same thing, but I dated a woman with three daughters for three years back in the 1980's. I spent quite a lot of time with the kids and I know they changed during that time--becoming more like me (doing home repairs, car work, better students with professional career goals, etc--even cooking and food preferences). Well, I got dumped (out of the blue) and "daters" have absolutely no rights or any say in any matter-as it should be, I agree. The worst part was never seeing the kids again. The kids did call (on their own) later and I had to be adult about it and discourage get togethers and such--except in the case of real emergencies. The calls eventually stopped. I knew that I totally thought of the kids as my own and I still regard those times as some of the brightest in my life. I can reflect on that time knowing still that I did everything right, better than I ever thought I could, without any regrets. And I take pride in that. And I heard years later, meeting the best friend of one of the daughters who stayed in touch, by chance, that the girls continued to do what they picked up from me. And it annoyed their mother greatly.
    Sometimes there is a little justice in this world.

    Any of the three picks is fine with me, then. Your choice, Jim!

  18. Thanks for that. I imagine it would have been fun for them. What a resource. Kids naturally wish to have a dad, though it doesn't always work out that way. Who knows how things will go..

    Anyway, the usual is to recommend a movie you've seen, but in this case I'd like to try Children of Men.

  19. I checked that scene out pretty closely. It is hard to figure. It's like some carny trick. First DeNiro has cash in his right hand, he walks around the car, the girl comes out with cash in her right hand, he refuses the money twice, gives her a hug goodbye, he has something in his left hand as he hugs her, but not a big wad of small bills, he gets into the car, he has a large wad of bills in his left hand, she waves goodbye - no bills in her right hand. What the...?! She slipped him the cash while we were screened from seeing it? Why screen us? Why no word of thanks and a promise to pay her back? Nothing, just "I can't take it honey."

    Perhaps they had problems getting that story boarded right, or they generated some continuity problems in the various takes, but there is no way Jack Walsh would have taken money from his daughter. A stand up guy takes money from a daughter he hasn't seen in nine years because he, the little girl's father, is out on his luck? He takes the money and drives away. No way.

    Plus, he drives from Chicago to Texas and arrives with fifty three cents. He blew two hundred twenty dollars driving from Chicago to Texas? Gas is what, a buck twenty five in 1988? What kinda mileage was that station wagon getting? What's he using to fuel the thing, Jet 1?

    The story and the scene doesn't work if he takes the money. He goes from being a straight guy that got a bum deal to a schmuck who would put the squeeze on his thirteen year old daughter, a daughter whom he has been separated from against his wishes. What would they be saying if they let the scene play that way?

    "I can't take it honey." Damn straight he can't take it.

    I don't know the answer to the images in the scene, but it doesn't fit the story if he leaves with his daughter's baby sitting money.

  20. I personally experienced that sort of thing as a kid, with some relative that was married to an ex-New Yorker. They had to borrow money for food and I has more around than my mom did. He kept saying "I can't take your money" while taking it. Even as a kid, I could see that the important part was the look he gave me in my eye, not what he was saying. My mother told me after they had gone that people do that to preserve their dignity. He did give me the money back in a couple of weeks, btw, with a couple of bucks extra. He told me that having to borrow money from a kid helped him be more aggressive in getting a job. He put it something like "Give me the f**kin' job, for chrissakes! I had to take money from a kid for food. Just give me a try, I always made money for whoever I worked for. I didn't get fired, the f**kin' company went out of business because the owner died and his f**kin' kids took over."

    I didn't see it as a big deal when DeNiro took his daughter's money. He'd give it back to her in a couple of days regardless--and with a lot more than the couple of bucks I got. That would give him a chance to talk with his daughter again as a bonus. You do what you have to do (except taking it by force or deception) and make it right later.

    That station wagon would get 8-10 MPG with a big V-8. Going 1200 miles+ could take 120-150 gallons of gas. Add to that food, drinks, and cigarettes--plus $40 or so for a cheap motel(if they slept). The daughter had what? $120? The mother--$40? $160 seems about right--if not low.

    Cathy should weigh in, but I say Children of God is OK with me.

    Wrd verification: taximdvxq. The Romanian version of Taxi Driver.

  21. Hey, Children of Men is OK by me! April has spoken of the novel a number of times, but I haven't picked it up yet.

  22. It's your choice Darrell. You've got to decide. We will watch whatever it is you want, and we will talk with you about it.

    That The Lady With The Dragon Tattoo was worth looking at. Dark and twisted, certainly, but well done. A clever, persistent, disgraced investigative reporter is asked to look in on a mystery of forty years earlier, the tragic and heartbreaking loss of the niece of a wealthy industrialist. Meanwhile, a dark, troubled young woman who had been asked to investigate the validity of the reporter's earlier claims peaks in on his current area of interest from time to time and begins to provide help from afar in solving some of the more troubling aspects of the riddle. She has very dark eyes and a calm, sad demeanor. When pressed she can be surprisingly... calculating and resourceful. It's creepy, but good.

    Anyway, you have to choose for us Darrell. I'll get to choose the next one.

  23. Let's go with Children of Men, then. So shall it be written, so shall it be done. ;-)

    If somebody picks one of the others for the next round, who am I to complain?

  24. Very good, as it is schedueled to arrive tonight.

  25. That 'Lisbeth' character did have pretty cool hair.