A non-pro wrote the following on Friday night: “FIRST MASTERPIECE OF 2019!! COP FILM ON THE LEVEL OF HEAT!!! where do I start?! WHY WASN’T THIS FILM RELEASED WIDE IN THEATERS?!! PERFECT SCREENPLAY. HIGHLY ENGAGED THE WHOLE FILM. EVERY SCENE AMAZING! I WAS SWEATING THE LAST HOUR OF THE FILM FROM SUSPENSE! WATCH THIS FILM ASAP! WORTH EVERY PENNY, TRUE CINEMATIC EXPERIENCE! I AM NOW OBSESSED WITH THIS WRITER/DIRECTOR!”
Two and a half hours of sitting-up “sleep” on Saturday morning’s LAX-to-JFK flight, which left around midnight and arrived just after 8 am. Everyone had to walk a mile and a half to get to the baggage carousels. Alas, my suitcase was missing. The Delta guys knew it was somewhere in the terminal but alas, they knew not where. I filled out the forms and took the Air Train to Howard Beach, and then waited over 20 minutes for the miserable Manhattan-bound A train to arrive. The NYC subway system is pathetic — the worst anywhere.
I didn’t get to Grand Central until 11:15 am. I was so whipped from the flight that I slumped over and crashed on the NYC-to-Westport train. Good friend Jody scooped me up, drove to the Southport automotive garage where the Yamaha Majesty and the Nissan Maxima beater have been sitting all winter. In 38-degree weather I drove the Yamaha back to Wilton — delightful icy wind cutting into my cheekbones.
I crashed on Jody’s living room couch, and did so, mind, while sitting up with a remote in my hand. Jody drove me back to Southport to pick up the Nissan. Movers are arriving Monday morning to take stuff back to Los Angeles (Yamaha, big TV, Blurays, clothing, shoes, framed art) so I drove to a local mall to buy cardboard shipping boxes, bubble wrap and packing tape. Again I crashed on the couch. Woke up, had some dinner, watched some TV.
The missing suitcase was finally delivered to Jody’s home by a Delta subcontractor at 12:10 am. I had filed a couple of stories this evening but I need to wake up early tomorrow. Face facts — today was a wash.
I’ve always felt that Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (’89) is the most satisfying of the four Indys. Because it’s the funniest and most serial-like (a series of amusing, thrilling, well-choreographed skits that deliver on their own terms and don’t rely on any kind of feature-length narrative cohesion). It’s also the most nimble and assured effort within the realm. Director Steven Spielberg seems more relaxed with the comedic-romp aspects here than he was with the other three (Raiders, Temple of Doom, Crystal Skull).
Crusade is the only one of the four that I own on Bluray. That means something.
From “In Praise of Jason Clarke, Hollywood’s Go-to Cuckold,” posted by Vulture‘s Nate Jones on 3.21.19: “Every decade gets the Ralph Bellamy it deserves. In the ’90s, snarky Greg Kinnear habitually lost the girl to Hanksian nice guys. In the aughts, clean-cut James Marsden found himself overshadowed by sensitive brooders like Ryan Gosling and Wolverine.
“Recently, a new face of romantic failure has emerged: Australian actor Jason Clarke, who’s managed to carve out a healthy sideline playing some of the most disappointing husbands in contemporary cinema. Clarke’s presence is almost a walking spoiler alert at this point: If our heroine is married to him in the first act, by the end of the third you can almost guarantee that she’ll wind up having sex with another man.”
From “Stop Casting Clarke As Glum and Dismissable Types“, posted on 11.27.18: “I’ve met Jason Clarke socially two or three times, and there’s no correlation between his dinner table persona — loose, casual, funny, kind-hearted — and the glum, dismissable guys he’s always being hired to play in films.
“Clarke has had four interesting roles over the last decade — John ‘Red’ Hamilton in Public Enemies, the CIA torturer guy in Zero Dark Thirty, Ted Kennedy in Chappaquiddick and “Malcom” in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Otherwise he’s always getting cast as cuckolds (in Mudbound, The Great Gatsby, All I See Is You, The Aftermath) or guys who end up dead (First Man, Everest) or as villains.
“The real-life Clarke is bathed in charm and alpha vibes, but put him before a movie camera and he turns into a downhearted gloomhead who’s always coping with the shitty end of the stick. Not right, unfair, reboot required.”
Until this evening and after a lifetime of movie worship, I’d somehow overlooked the fact that Bellamy’s performance as “Oklahoma” Dan Leeson in The Awful Truth (’37) resulted in a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination. Three years later Bellamy played almost the exact same character in His Girl Friday. And both times opposite Cary Grant.
After this one-two punch Bellamy was typecast for years as a slow-witted bumpkin and amiable dolt. He finally overcame this when he played FDR in Sunrise at Campobello (on stage in ’58, and in the ’60 film version).