Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Everything you know is wrong... about California

Well, I saw the damn thing, so I might as well review it! How I happen upon these cinematic treasures, I'll never know. But I guess it's true what William Goldman said about movie stars: that they're totally worthless and absolutely essential. Something cute and contradictory like that. For if anyone other than Presdient Bartlet were in this, who would want to return to it again and again? Not necessarily for the car, even though it is arguably pretty cherry. It just gets a mild workout, as The California Kid himself says, and not a whole lot more than that.
But to elaborate a bit more on plot. Now me myself, I'm like most people nowadays, and I just can't handle an old-fashioned movie with a plot you can get on the first viewing of a movie. Spoiler alert! But it's a basic story: boy comes to small town, boy gets speeding ticket, boy pays speeding ticket, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy is told to get out of town, boy races with local sheriff in a race to the death. On the plus side, this is a historical drama, chronicling that dark time in American history when towns had to make do without federal assistance by charging way too much for speeding tickets. Got greedy, didn'tcha, all you small city slickers? No, this is far from the fun speed traps of Smokey and the Bandit or A Civil Action. This is serious, life or death kinda stuff. The actors take it all as seriously as they can. Especially that Vic Morrow. A fine performance. There but for the grace of God go all of us, that's for sure. I'll leave this at three stars, although technically it should get less since a vote was called to abandon the viewing prematurely, I must report.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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