Monday, January 02, 2006

Movies in Black and White

Black and White Pairings:

Lethal Weapon (II, III, IV)
Beverly Hills Cop (II, III)
Training Day
In the Heat of the Night
They Call Me Mr. Tibbs
New Jack City
Kiss the Girls
Murder at 1600
Die Hard with a Vengeance
The Man
Deep Cover
I Spy
The Long Kiss Goodnight

Some quotes to think about:

“Don't you think I realize what's going on here, miss? Who do you think I am, huh? Don't you think I know that if I was some hotshot from out of town that pulled inside here and you guys made a reservation mistake, I'd be the first one to get a room and I'd be upstairs relaxing right now. But I'm not some hotshot from out of town, I'm a small reporter from Rolling Stone magazine that's in town to do an exclusive interview with Michael Jackson that's gonna be picked up by every major magazine in the country. I was gonna call the article ‘Michael Jackson Is Sitting On Top of the World,’ but now I think I might as well just call it ‘Michael Jackson Can Sit On Top of the World Just As Long As He Doesn't Sit in the Beverly Palm Hotel 'Cause There's No Niggers Allowed in There!’”—Axel Foley

Murtaugh: Okay, clown, no bullshit! You wanna kill yourself?
Riggs: Oh, for Chriss-...
Murtaugh: Shut up! Yes or no - you wanna die?
Riggs: Oh, I got the job done! What the hell do you want?
Riggs: Well, what do you wanna hear, man? Do you wanna hear that sometimes I think about eatin' a bullet? Huh? Well, I do! I even got a special bullet for the occasion with a hollow point, look! Make sure it blows the back of my goddamned head out and do the job right! Every single day I wake up and I think of a reason not to do it! Every single day! You know why I don't do it? This is gonna make you laugh! You know why I don't do it? The job! Doin' the job! Now that's the reason!

Thoughts on "Heroes in Hard Times"

While I haven't quite finished the book yet, I am not impressed with the writing style of the author and I believe that the manner in which he wrote the book lacks sufficient credibility, proper research techniques and literary style. What the book is full of, however, is consistency. The author loves to point out one stereotype he believes is widely prevalent, point out four or five examples of it, and consider it proven. He then repeats this throughout the book. Pointing out examples from a few movies does not prove an industry wide stereotype which would have to cover the hundreds, if not thousands, of police movies that have been made.
As far as credibility, I have found at least one large error which is solely the fault of the author and I am only half way through the book and working on memory only. This is his account of a scene in "Die Hard" where he, the author, claims that the hero shoots his sidekick's car with a machine gun in order to get his attention. This is completely false. In the movie, the hero throws the corpse of a terrorist out of a skyscraper which lands on the hood of a police car. The hero does this to draw attention to the fact that there are terrorists in the building. One of the terrorists sees this and shoots at the police car in an attempt to kill the officer and thus prevent him from reporting in. It should be known that I have only seen maybe half of the movies that the author is discussing and that I can't claim to know many of them as well as I know "Die Hard". This suggests that there may be other undiscovered errors.
My comments on literary style are directed at the fact that the book is repetitive and boring. The author points out things which I believe are common knowledge and highlights them with a few examples. Of course the sidekick isn't as knowledgeable as the hero, thats why he/she is called the sidekick. By definition, the sidekick is only there to aid, enhance, or contrast the abilities or characteristics of the hero. Why does it seem that the hero is usually white and male and the sidekick is black and/or female? Maybe because Hollywood's target demographic for action movies is usually white males? Sure, I could be wrong, but it makes sense to me.

Overall, I have found reading this book to be a chore; an exercise in repetition and of common sense.

At least thats my opinion.
-Gordon Kirsch