Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Long Kiss Goodnight

The Long Kiss Goodnight was defiantly something else compared to the other movies we have watched so far. It was absolutely far from being my favorite buddy cop film and to describe it as awful would be an understatement. Probably the only goal it accomplished as a film was that it was funny to watch, although humor was not its intention. With quotes like
Charlie: Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Mitch Henessey: I hope not, 'cause I'm thinking how much my balls hurt.


Caitlin Caine: Mommy, am I gonna die? Charlie: Oh, no, baby, no. You're not going to die. They are. Cover your ears. Hey, should we get a dog?

it’s no wonder why Geena Davis’s career as an actress went quickly down hill after this movie.

Other then it having a horrible script I also don’t think it qualified as a buddy cop film. In the first place Samuel L. Jackson’s character as Mitch Henessey isn’t even a cop, he’s a wanna-be private investigator who schemes people out of money. Geena Davis, who plays both Samantha Caine and Charly Baltimore, is the main character who plays the dominant role in almost every scene. The relationship between Baltimore and Hennessey did not seem equal at all but instead like Henessey was Baltimore’s co-captain.

The use of race and gender in the film was prominent but it seemed to be used in a different way. While Geena Davis is a white woman, she played the toughest character and ultimately is shown as being more “masculine” then the men. Even though Henessey is the tag along I don’t think it was because he was a black man. The emphasis is meant to be on Baltimore no matter who or what the other characters look like.

The Long Kiss Goodnight: Oh So Cliché

As was mentioned in previous posts, this film was at times hilariously bad. It’s little surprise that it was a part of the cinematic downfall of Geena Davis. The plot devices were ridiculously cliché, the villains were over-the-top stereotypes, and auxiliary characters had a habit of dying at inopportune times.

Samantha Caine is a sweet, loving suburban housewife, complete with a husband as generic as Ken doll and a wide-eyed daughter. We learn right at the beginning that she is a victim of a specific type of amnesia, which has caused her to forget everything in her life prior to waking up pregnant on a beach eight years ago. The use of amnesia is a little cliché, but at this stage of the movie is forgivable. She mentions that she has hired a number of detectives over the years to investigate her past, and none have been successful. That is, until her current detective, Mitch Hennessey (played by Samuel L. Jackson) stumbles across some useful evidence. Of course, the two must go out to meet some contacts and gain some new information.

It’s not until the details of her past are revealed that we learn just how cliché this film will become. It turns out she was a government assassin during the Cold War. The premise is so ridiculous that even Samantha and Mitch burst out laughing when they hear it. It just goes downhill from there; their contact is killed, the assassin personality takes over, and poor Hennessey constantly displays his uncanny ability to not die no matter what happens around him, all while delivering brilliant smartass remarks.

The villains are evil, but what makes them laughable is that they are ultimately evil for no good reason. The main villain, Timothy, learns that the little girl he has hostage is his biological daughter. He responds to this by getting frustrated and storming off, leaving the little girl to die with her mother in a freezer.

Among the random dead are the man Hennesey and Samantha contacted for information, an unfortunate drunk man who was in the car when Samantha happened to hit a deer, and countless generic thugs employed by the villain.

Ultimately, the best thing about this film is Samuel L. Jackson. The script for this film is worse than that of “Snakes on a Plane.” The difference between that and “The Long Kiss Goodnight” is that only Samuel L. Jackson seems to know just how ridiculous the latter is. His lines are often brilliant wisecracks; when Samantha (in her assassin persona, Charlie) asks him if he bites virgins on the ear when deflowering them to distract them from the pain, Jackson looks her right in the face and says “No, I hit them in the face and say pop goes the weasel.”

the long kiss goodnight

So we were discussing in class who was the “most manly” out of all the main characters in the movies we had watched so far. I think that honestly, Geena Davis could kick all their asses to pieces if she so desired.

The film had pretty much every single expectation in it. Gun fight, car chase, explosions, humor, death, etc. It fit our expectations to a “t” of what a buddy cop film should be.

Honestly though, I’m disappointed in Samuel L. Jackson though. Yea, he tried being this huge badass through out the entire movie, and yet Geena Davis was more than twice the badass he was. He was a very generic Samuel L. character though. Yelled a lot, shot some people, same Samuel L, different movie.

I agree with whoever blogged about the fact that there weren’t a lot of flashbacks even though movie focused so much on the past. It made the film better and a lot more fun to follow. Not only that, but the fact that the humor wasn’t too excessive or too minimal either. The humor isn’t on the same level as Beverly Hills Cop, but I’d say this movie was almost, if not just as funny as Beverly Hills Cop.

I was surprised by the extreme transformation of Geena Davis’ character. Going from frumpy school teacher to sexy female badass whose going to kick your ass before you get a chance to kick her ass, was this huge transformation of character. In other films I’ve seen, this transformation of character does not go as smoothly or come out so cool.

The only problem I had with this film was the fact that it doesn’t quite seem to fit as a cop film. It does according to King, but really, to me, it just really isn’t a cop film. Yea, ok, Samuel L is a detective and Geena Davis is an ex FBI agent, but still, its pushing the genre a little too far.

"May the best of your past, be the worst of your future"

This movie had a great twist between past and present. I liked how a majority of the film focused on the past, but you did not experience many flashbacks, which gave the viewer the opportunity to be a detective and to solve the problem on their own. The movie was enjoyable in this way.

I really like the turn that the movie had when it was revealed that she was an assassin for the U.S. Government. It was a great feeling to see a woman cop, and not only presented as a woman, but a woman of power. She portrayed herself as a mother at first, but her switch up of roles gave the movie an edge. Her alter ego, being Charlie, confused me at first because I feared that she was going to forget the life she left and the family she made. To my suprise, her new character was so bad ass that it was hard to keep my eyes off the screen. Yes, many parts of the movies were over the top and hard to fathom realistic, but as my father always says, "only in the movies".

The music was a bit different I noticed. During action scenes, it did not have a consistent tune. It would be slight beats and then a hard, loud noise every time there was a movement. This is different in comparison to other films we have watched because either the music has completely made the scene or has gone completely unnoticed.

Long Kiss Goodnight

“The Long Kiss Goddnight” was pretty much what I would expect from a buddy cop movie. Geena Davis and Samuel L. portrayed the typical buddy cop relationship, with an added element of sexual tension, this is something we do not see in most buddy cop movies because it is typically a male / male pairing. Geena Davis may be the biggest bad-ass we se in any of the movies we have seen, she shoots to kill and isn’t scared of anyone, even though she is at an obvious disadvantage in terms of size and strength. I do not believe gender plays too much of a role in her character, except for when she mentions “rubbing pelvises” with a target to get information out of him, something a man could not have pulled off, and of course her obvious attraction to Mitch. Other than these instances, the fact that she is woman does not change anything, she is just as good as of killer as anyone else in the movie.
In terms of the actual movie, and the movie – making / cinematography, this movie was absolutely ridiculous. I could not believe some of the scenes were actually taking place in a movie. Some of the earlier fight scenes and gunfights were pretty cool, however, toward the end it got completely out of hand. They were trying to make it seem realistic and make us draw a connection with Charly and her daughter, but it was impossible. The action scenes toward the end were so far fetched that I couldn’t help but laugh at them, the fact that they were able to walk away from the things they went through just made me shake my head and laugh at whatever they were trying to accomplish.

A Long Kiss Goodnight

I cannot believe I sat through this movie in this class. This movie was so incredibly hilarious to me! As lover of action movie, this one totally off the wall! I mean come on, the stunts were so incredibly impossible to achieve in real life! I can see why this movie killed Geena Davis’ career….Well let me start off my analysis by saying I do no think this movie was a buddy cop film in the same way our other films were. Sure, there were the elements of the genre that were sprinkled through but no one in the film was a cop. A small insignificant detail considering the professional relationship that both Charlene and Mitch has together. He was her P. I., helping her to recover facts about her life before she was discovered to have Focal Retrograde Amnesia. She treated him as an equal, forgetting any type of race issue that might separate them. I feel that the most influential impact that strained their relationship as buddies in any way was their differences in gender. Her character’s transformation from the timid and loving mother to the bad ass femme fatale Charlie Baltimore started to bring about a change in both her personality and her sexuality. She was brazen, flashing her breasts and trying to make the moves on her pal Mitch. Here we see the devaluation of both women and their image as a sexual figure in the media. It’s empowering to see women portrayed as strong beings, who will stand up for whatever they believe in and never back down. But in this movie’s case it was just plain ridiculous…..Every time she was captured or tortured she was either half naked or dressed in a white, flattering top, further pushing the stereotypes that women are nothing but sex objects in the media. This both disturbed me and angered me. She was also shown in various states of undress throughout the movie, which seems to be a staple in many cop film. I do not see that her nakedness showed the viewer any type of insecurity, like used in Lethal Weapon with Murtaugh in the tub or with Riggs in his trailer.
Finally a female who is kicking some BUTT! The Long Kiss Goodnight is a movie that I have never seen before until today. Instead of starting off the buddy cop movie with the traditional fight/ chase scene the audience got to see the life of an ordinary women who normally wouldn’t fit the standard picture of cop. Instead we get to see another side of the hero: the suburban homemaker, a mom to her eight year old daughter Caitlin, and a wife to a loving husband, living in the quiet suburbs. However the plot thickens when she hits her head after getting in a car accident causing her to remember that she had once been a CIA agent; it is because she has regained her memory that a group of her old team members are sent out to kill her.

To me this is where I felt the standard buddy cop scenario of scenes took a turn because instead of starting off with the buddy cops meeting each other within the first twenty minutes of the movie; we have them meet only after her character hires him to help her track down facts about her old life. This is where the movie appears to drop back on track in the typical buddy cop genre. Mitch Hennessy (Samuel L. Jackson) is the typical sidekick; he is loud, outspoken, who feels the world owes him something.

However we also get to see a softer side of when we get a glimpse into his family life which allows him to relate to Charlie or shall I say Samantha family life (this may be one of the reasons why he did not want to sleep with her). Before continuing in my analysis of this film I just wanted to point out that the name choice for the leading lady was a masculine name. I was wondering if everyone else thought that this was on purpose because the audience is more used to seeing a male in the hero position. I think that by choosing a masculine named it totally transformed her from Samantha a house wife to an ass kicking assassin.

After seeing this movie for the second time it allowed me to see that even with special editing and special effects the cinematography did not impress me. In fact I found myself laughing during a lot of the fight scenes towards the last twenty minutes of the movie.

Long Kiss Goodnight

It is rare that cop films focus on the life of a woman.  The Long Kiss Goodnight takes on the different dynamic of gender. Usually the women in the films we have watched are merely just the romantic subjects of the cop buddies. Here Geena Davis stars as Charly Baltimore, the main hero in the movie.  She used to be an assassin for the US government until she developed amnesia and now thinks she is Samantha Caine, a normal housewife, an alter ego shes been going by for the past 8 years.  She hires detectives to figure out who she really is.  That is where her side kick, Mitch Hennessy is played by Samuel Jackson comes into play.  Jackson is the typical angry black man who deems his entire life as a failure and doesn’t have the best reputation even with his own family.  Even Charly mentions in the beginning that they had hired expensive detectives, but were now down to the cheap ones.  This insinuates that he isn’t the best at his job. This all changes by the end of the movie, when he is able to save Charly and her daughter. He helps her track down people of her past, who may help them figure out her true identity.  Throughout the movie, different traits of her personality come back to her, and she goes back and forth between the two identities. When she becomes Charly again, she is able to fight off hundreds of men, yet when she is Samantha she can barely cut a carrot.  The movie as a whole failed to keep me interested.  Her personality shifts caused the movie to become humorous rather than intense and thrilling.  

So far in our movie watching we have not dealt with the dynamic of gender between cops. All we have seen is male, male partners who work in male dominated offices. This is not the case of The Long Kiss Goodnight. Charly Baltimore is an assassin working for the United States government, but she forgets who she is because she developed amnesia while attacking a target. Mitch Henessey becomes her stereotypical sidekick while helping her figure out who she use to be. When the government realizes that she is alive they are trying to kill her because of the secret information she knows.

Charly remembers who she is and becomes determined to fight off these people. This is when the idea of gender becomes a very important part of the film. Charly is the only woman we see in the movie, yet she seems to have no problem taking on hundreds of men who are trying to kill her. Since she is a woman there are some twists to the plot that we would not see in an all male cop movie. For example there is some tension between Charly and Mitch. When she wants to forget about her old family she tries to hook up with Mitch. He has to tell her no because he knows that she really does care about them. We also know that she has sex with the villain because they have a daughter together that he never knew about. When there is a sexual tension between cops and their partners or the villains it brings a new plot twist that you do not get when cops only work with men. There were definite buddy cop ideas that were in the movie, but the most important part of Charly’s relationships had to do with the fact that she was a woman.

A Long Kiss Goodnight

Wow. What a movie. I think the issues of this film could turn into a twenty page paper, but focusing on buddy cop film aspect of it, gender is the main thing that comes to mind. Charley Baltimore or Samantha Cain, played by Geena Davis, is the obvious main character and hero. Mitch Hennessy, played by Samuel Jackson, is the typical sidekick throughout the film.
There a couple standard things in this film that you see in many buddy cop films. One comes to the rescue of the other, as Charley did for Mitch on more than one occasion and as Mitch did for Charley in the end. There was a big fight scene between the hero and villain in the end. A family member, Charley’s daughter, was taken hostage. And the enemy tells the hero of their evil plan before killing her. There may be a couple other things, but those are some of the main ones. However, one thing that differs from other films we have viewed is, of course that the main character is a woman, but also that she is the only character to cry for help. She calls for help in the end when she and her daughter are next to the truck with the bomb. Is this because she’s a woman?

Guerrero would have a lot to say about Samuel Jackson’s character. He plays a stereotypical black man who has been in jail, doesn’t have the best background, his wife assumes that he steals, he drinks and he smokes. I’m sure Guerrero would comment on the fact that he is saved by a woman more than once. He even says to her that he’ll be waiting for her to rescue him. I also think that Geena Davis’s character’s names (Charlene- Charley and Samantha- Sam) were not an accident. Both of her nicknames are male names. How different would her character be viewed if she had a girly name like Suzy or Mary?

All in all, it was very hard to take this movie seriously. The ending was humorous, when it wasn’t supposed to be and too many instances were far-fetched. It was difficult to take the scenes and Geena Davis seriously.

A Long Kiss Goodnight

A Long Kiss Goodnight is the prototypical buddy cop movie. Except for the fact that neither is actually a cop. One worked for the US government and Samuel L. is a private detective, which is close enough I guess. A long kiss goodnight fulfilled many of the requirements for this genre, which we wrote down the board yesterday. There was a back story on each character and then they met in an awkward manner. Charlie Baltimore became out of control and showed Samuel L. how to get things done. Throughout the movie she is making all the daring moves and upstaging him; until the very end. Samuel L. Jackson makes up for his life of failure and saves Charlie figuring that if she can do it he can do it.

There is a chase sequence between Samuel L.’s character, Charlie, and the enemies. Cross cutting is used during this scene to heighten the level of excitement, similar to the French Connection. While he is being chased by crazed gunmen in a car she is racing to save the day. Samuel L. although driving at high speeds seems to move slowly, while the opposite is true for Charlie. She moves smoothly on skates and quick, almost superhero like.

I also made a link between this movie genre and the James Bond type films. What made me think of Bond were the elaborate torture scenes, her ability to do almost anything, and the way the bad guys told her their master plan at the end. The opening credits also were sort of “Bondish” credits with the gun barrels and silhouettes. Samuel L. almost plays the love interest but he notes that, that would be racially unheard of between their two characters.

However, there were some key parts of the genre that were changed for this movie. For one, the main character is a woman, which we are not used to. There is no sacrificial woman that dies or a major fight scene between Gena Davis and the Villain. What makes up for these missing areas is the fact that she does have a family to protect, as well as her bonding moments with Samuel L. Jackson.

"The Long Kiss Goodnight"

This was a funny film for all the wrong reasons.

On the issue of race and gender, this film deals with both. Charley Baltimore (Geena Davis) is the clear lead role in this film. Mitch Hennessy (Samuel Jackson) is her sidekick. He has the funny punchlines, the sketchy back story, and he helps save the day in the end (why was he in a car in the back of a truck?). He has all the makings of a classic sidekick.

Racism in this film was dealt with, but only by Samuel Jackson. He makes comments about his race, such as when Charley tries to make out with him and he says something about the rich white woman wanting to fraternize with the black help. He makes the audience aware of his race, but no one else in the film says anything about it.

I think Guerrero would have a field day with this film because Mitch is a very stereotypical "bad" black man. He drinks, he smokes, and he has been known to steal. He is, in a way, reformed when he begins to work with Charley. Guerrero would inevitably have something to say about the fact that the black man becomes submissive to the white woman.

Their are potential issues with gender as well. Charley is a woman and the lead role in this film. She shoots guns, gets shot at, throws knives, and does many things men typically do in cop films. However, as Charley begins to do these "manly" things, she herself becomes more manly. She cuts her hair short and stops wearing the long skirts she wore for most of the film. Her name is even a typical male name. It is as if a woman cannot be the leading, fighting character in a cop film without being slightly portrayed as a man.

Overall, the film was really ridiculous, but the relationship between Mitch and Charley is very interesting to analyze. There is no way this movie would have been the same if there was a black woman as Charley and a white man as Mitch. Has there ever been an action film like this with a black woman in the female lead? I would be interested to know.

Long Kiss Goodnight

In “The Long Kiss Goodnight”, Geena Davis plays the role of a housewife who leads a normal life, until she finds out she is an ex-assassin employed by the CIA. She employs Samuel L. Jackson to find out more about who she really was. This film is different from the previous films that we have seen because the protagonist is woman, which steps away from the stereotype of all “buddy co” films where the main characters are men.

The movie is unfortunately laughable. The scene in the beginning where Geena Davis is driving, and gets in the accident is the beginning of the rest of the film, but it still; it begins the film off on the wrong foot. After being thrown out of the car and sustaining a head injury, she kills the deer that caused the accident. In the hospital, Davis has a mental image of her alter ego, who looks at her in the reflection in the mirror. Also, when she is in the kitchen, she goes into a frenzy with the knife, chopping every vegetable in the house. Davis’s character switches from Samantha Caine to Charlie Baltimore, going from one polar opposite to another. The transition creates faults in the movie that detracts from what could be a well-done film.

However, this film is unfortunately the worst one that I’ve seen so far. The buddy cop genre doesn’t seem to really apply to this film, since only Mitch Hennessey is the “officer” in this case. The unintended humor takes away the seriousness in the film, and Davis’s character, though dramatic, cannot really be taken seriously. Jackson’s character is the more poignant character in the film, even though he was type-casted as the loud, angry detective.

Training Day

I don’t think that Training Day can really be referred to as a buddy cop film, at least not in terms of King’s Heroes in Hard Times. While the film mainly focuses on race I think that this is an important aspect to look at as well. It turns our class’ and the world’s preconceived notion of what the buddy cop film genre is on its head.

First of all, unlike most buddy cop films there is no moment of bonding in this film. Each moment that could be considered a moment of bonding turns out to be yet another opportunity for Alonzo to try and trick and coerce Jake. The tension between the two new partners is never resolved in this film, which is drastically different from the rest of the films we have seen.

Additionally, the enemy in this film is one of the “buddy” cops. This is probably the reason that the two cops never come to an understanding or appreciation of one another. Normally the truce and then friendship results in having to bond together to catch the bad guy. But what happens when the person you’re working with turns out to be the enemy? That’s what the audience is faced with in Training Day.

Also, the families in this film are depicted as figures that could be used by ransom if they fall into the wrong people’s hands. However, the actual employment of this buddy cop technique never comes to fruition. While Alonzo’s wife and child are in the apartment when Jack comes to avenge himself against Alonzo, Jack never uses them as a tool to work against Alonzo.
While there are great action, chase and fight sequences in this film I have to say that it’s hard for me to categorize it as a buddy cop film because the two cops never become buddies. I don’t think that you can classify it in this genre when some of the main elements of this style are missing.

Training Day: Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven?

Training Day serves as an interesting film when viewed from perspectives like Guerrero’s. The film undoubtedly portrays black people as violent and intimidating. Beyond that, the main black character, Alonzo, is ultimately a crooked cop relying on his charisma to take advantage of others. He is also ultimately at the mercy of a trio of powerful white men.

Surely that says volumes about Hollywood’s opinions regarding race? Well, not exactly. The film provides a number of black characters that do not share Alonzo’s manipulative characteristics, such as the members of his neighborhood that turn on him at the end of the film. Beyond that, when judging the violent demeanor of the black people in the film, the depiction of Hispanics acting similarly must be taken into account. This seems to suggest that it is the neighborhood and community, not the racial backgrounds, that lends itself to such an attitude.

On the other hand, the film does have an interesting overall take on white people. The only white characters we see are Jake, one of the main characters, and the “three wise men.” Jake is surely the most moral character in the film, because he focuses on doing what he feels is right without taking advantage of others. He tries to walk the straight and narrow path, resisting the dirtier methods Alonzo tells him are necessary on the streets.

To me, this conflict of philosophies was the crux of the film. Alonzo’s goal was to convince (or in his mind, teach) Jake that the only way to effectively work and live on the streets is to sometimes be a dirty cop. While he does provide a lot of useful lessons for Jake that will probably save his life in the future, Alonzo ultimately becomes drunk with power. His rant at the end of the film proves this, as he feels himself invincible even while surrounded by armed, angry men: “King Kong ain’t got shit on me!” Soon after, he is shot and killed for his actions in Las Vegas, where he killed a man who happened to have very powerful friends.