waking into a dream journal 01.19.08

this morning's one last job before i retire for good (i swear it)
direct hit
director: joseph merhi

cinema 4 rating: 3

rated "r" -- i point this out because the plot of this s-t-v dreck involves a hit man protecting a stripper, and there is an early scene where a batch of everyday drooling idiots are watching two women numbingly grind their respective ways through what must be just another soul-crushing dance in just another strip bar -- the lead character is also, it is rumored within the script, a stripper -- she had a boyfriend who forced her to have sex with other men, including a well-connected politician, who pulls some strings with "the agency" (hmmm... wonder which one they mean...?) to have her whacked -- why? well, said politician is being blackmailed with photos of himself with the not-really-a-stripper, and he thinks she is doing the blackmailing -- the non-stripper will eventually fall in love with the hitman who is originally sent to whack her, and they will have one of those slow-motion, shot-in-the-afternoon, woman-on-top love scenes which were (and are) so popular in films (it is surprisingly contracts aren't drawn up to ensure they appear in disney films as well) -- let's recap: we have strippers, we have a woman who is allegedly also a stripper, blackmail sex photos, spouse-forced adultery and the requisite love scene between action hero and his lovestruck charge -- so, where's the nudity? -- it's not that i need to see nudity; i know exactly where to find it if i wish to view it... i'm not twelve, after all -- it's just that i started to watch the film, and i noticed that the strippers didn't really strip -- then i noticed the girl who is supposedly a stripper trying to convince her boss to let her go on stage with more clothing, a request to which he replies with great derision, telling her he is paying her to strip, which struck me as odd since her cohorts that preceded her on stage must not have been paid to do so, since all they did was gyrate and rub themselves through their admittedly scanty clothing, but clothing nonetheless -- then i noticed that in the blackmail photo, the non-stripper is wearing a bra, and then i noticed in the love scene that great care was taken not to show any actually nudity -- in fact, we see more of pug-nosed star william forsythe than we do of the woman -- the woman was the reason i tuned in anyway, so perhaps my interests were totally prurient after all -- she is jo champa, whom i found rather amusing as the randy housekeeper consuela (with the italian accent and the spanish name) in the mesmerist last month -- a striking mid-30s woman there, i thought this would be a chance to see here over a decade earlier than that film -- she couldn't be dowdier if she tried, this character who is supposed to be a stripper, all bundled up in full-length flower dresses, bad footwear and a horribly mangled bob -- strange costuming choices when considering that she was a supermodel in italy for many years before this film was made -- she is also not really all that sound as an actress either, but in this film, she doesn't need to be to come out o.k. -- george segal slums in that manner that he learned to do for a long time until sitcom money came along, and forsythe is his usual tough, dependable self (though he should have perhaps laid off a bit on the running and jumping stunts) -- too bad it's all for naught, as this is dreariest, densest muck to be captured on film since any number of wings hauser films in the '80s -- how come hitmen in movies always seem to be doing that "one last job before retiring" bit, but movie directors never seem to do the same -- since that last job always seem to go haywire in some fashion, sometimes dangerously so, perhaps if director merhi had declared that this film would be his last job, then we would know precisely what went wrong -- but the guy kept going on and on and on, so you know it's not the case -- it's just a shitty movie... without the expected nudity... it's probably why baseball player and noted adulterer steve garvey only shows up ever-so briefly as a television reporter; he knows there's no action to be had in this action movie...


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