Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Kiss of Death - 1995

A few of these reviews have been unintentional.  They snuck in because I was watching a movie, usually with my wife, and I had the realization that the movie could be fit to this website.  Of course, using my format, pretty much any movie can be on here.  But in general, I like to stick to bizarre/obscure.  Obscure, cult film, grind house, and forgotten.  Those are my usual quantitative features any film on here should have.  Of course I break the rules.  But everyone likes breaking rules...

Unforgettable was one of the first, and there have been a few others.  If I had readers, I'd hold a contest to see who could guess which movies I watched with my wife, if I didn't say so in the actual review of the movie, which I probably did.  The point to all this is that I watched this movie, and in my head I was thinking about if I could review it.  I decided I could.  This movie was truly stupid.

For a 95 film with real actors, and in a time when there was plenty of competition going on, this movie feels really out of place.  It has a weird laid back 80's feel, clashing with hyper violence and extreme unbalance brought on by weird performances and 90's "we have to be cutting edge" thinking.
Long before Nicholas Cage was hamming it up with bizarre performances or yelling about "The Bees", he was in weird, awful little roles like this.  I had the read some of the reviews of this movie right before I wrote this, and he got a lot of praise for this role.  WHY?  This is bad, bad acting.  Yes, he's fun to watch.  But he's fun because he's so fucking nuts, and you never know what he's going to say or do.  That's a good script, but he is not good in it.  He seems like he's fuckin' goofing off most the time.  It's similar to another early Cage movie I should've put on here, Deadfall.  Cage was also a "stand out" in that movie because of how awful he was in it.

Two second plot line here:  David Caruso as Jimmy is an ex-con who gets mixed up with a deal that gets busted.  He was doing the job for Nicholas Cage as crime boss Junior Brown.  Samuel L. Jackson, Stanley Tucci and Ving Rhames are all cops, and basically Jimmy eventually decides he'll give out some names in trade for spending time with his daughter.  Also, his wife dies in a fairly shady way, and he wants to find out what happened.  Jimmy has to get proof that Junior Brown did the crimes, so now he has to jump through a bunch of hoops to get some hard evidence on Junior.

There's several things that made me hate this movie.  One example would be Jimmy's wife, played by Helen Hunt.  She gets a job working for Jimmy's cohort villain Ronnie (Michael Rapaport) and he drugs her or something.  After she wakes up, randomly at Ronnie's house, she gets into a car, crashes, and dies.  That's it.  No explanation, no depth to that - that whole sequence is never explained.  So WTF happened?  Implied date rape there, and Jimmy never finds out WTF went down.  But he doesn't give a fuck.  Why not?  My single most hated thing:  he leaves his daughter under the care of the babysitter Rosie.  He visits a few times and whatevs.  Then randomly when he gets out of prison, Rosie tells Jimmy "you have me too" and the next scene they're fucking getting married?!?!  WHAT?

Okay number one, you need some sort of fucking development in movies.  Things don't just fucking happen.  You cannot just randomly have one character do something, with no reason, and expect the audience to just accept it.  Last we as the audience knew, Rosie was a college student who was watching the daughter cause she was nice.  Sure, she could bond with the girl.  But not enough to fuckin give up on her education, marry some ex con she doesn't know, and throw her life away!  And it wasn't plot important at ALL!  That shit really bugged me.  This isn't 1935, or Japan or something.  You don't just off and marry someone for no fuckin reason.  That almost ruined the movie on it's own.  And it's not like she married him for the girl.  Later we see them naked in bed together.  WTF is not a strong enough phrase.

This movie fuckin sucked, it was slow, and Nick Cage tore up the scenery.  I hated it.

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