Tuesday, January 18, 2022

MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969)

A young man with severe mental issues, Joe Buck (Jon Voight), leaves Texas and travels to New York City in hopes of being a long-legged mack daddy. He soon finds out, mainly thanks to his brain having the computing power of 14 Fig Newtons superglued to a half-dead AAA battery, that although he has long legs, he damn sure ain’t no mack daddy! Things happen and before you can say “I should write a YA novel called ‘Donner Party Slumber Party Massacre’ about teens playing a slumber party game where whoever falls asleep first gets eaten.” Ol’ Joe Buck is homeless and starving to death. At the same time, he befriends a predatory street hustler with the confidence building name of Ratso (Dustin Hoffman). Together these two champions go into business capitalizing on Buck’s supposed ability to satisfy women.  Things go about as well as you would expect.

MIDNIGHT COWBOY won three Oscars at the 42nd Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  Looking back on it meow, was MC really the best movie of 1969?  I have no clue.  I haven't seen every movie released in 1969, but I am curious (and will probably update this review in the future) because while it is a good film...I cannot imagine that it was really the absolute best movie of the year.  Then again 1969 was like three or four hundred years ago, so who knows what the fuck was going on back then.  One thing I do know is MIDNIGHT COWBOY is a very interesting time capsule back to a time that looks absolutely foreign as fuck compared to [insert the year you're reading this].  Another interesting tidbit is MIDNIGHT COWBOY is the only X-rated film ever to win Best Picture.  Being "rated X" you're probably expecting to see wall-to-wall big floppy juicy dongs and titties bouncing all over the place, but sadly what little nudity there is was extremely non-erotic and honestly depressing as hell due to (most of) it being in rape flashback nightmares.  Instead, I'm guessing, the X rating was due to overall depressing tone of the film, the homosexual subject matter and the strongly implied sexual abuse Joe suffered as a young child at the hands of his grandmother.

Should you watch MIDNIGHT COWBOY?  Definitely.  100%.  It's still a good film with strong acting, amazing NYC locations and wildly influential on movies and TV shows even still today.  Especially the "I'm walking here!" quote.  That shits been used in everything from FORREST GUMP to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Check it out.

Monday, January 10, 2022

THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE (1970)

Many people probably don’t realize this (thanks to Obummer and the lamestream media), but New York City wasn’t always the crime-free paradise that it is today. No, siree bob. Previous to 1958 there were marijuanas, heroins, curse words and even gangs that rumbled in the park with machetes, knifes, hammers and chains (…yet nobody ever seemed to die). Bravely walking into this cesspool of sin and carnality is “skinny preacher” Pat Boone who ushered in the current age of peace by simply telling people “Jesus loves you.” (No word yet on what the other 900,000 New York City preachers were doing between 1624 and 1958.)

It might be due to the brain injury I got from an especially evil goat kicking me in my handsome brain six hundred threescore-and-six times when I was a baby lying in a manger, but I thought TCATS (meow) was a good film. It’s obviously low-budget and the acting isn't that great and the story is goddamn ridiculous, but as far as entertainment goes...THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE fucking delivers!  Steady pace, passable acting, vintage cars, interesting old clothing...including some random dancing dude wearing a shirt with a giant swastika on it, a fair amount of drug use, police showing up within seconds of fights breaking out, enjoyably funky music, completely un-PC as fuck ethnic slurs, zonked out hippies, some dude getting tossed into an open grave, hilarious dialogue ("...you say you want me to love them honkys?  Yeah, man, I'm gonna love 'em.  I'm gonna love 'em with a sharp blade!"), multiple references to prostitution, cool old NYC locations.

In the right state of mind, THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE is a blast.  I loved how arrogant Boone's character was and how pathetic the gangbangers were.  I think I was rolling my eyes and smiling the entire movie.  The only real disappointment I had was the big salvation scene at the end just wasn't epic or cheesy enough.  I was really hoping for an orgy of sinners having complete mental breakdowns while screaming "Why?  Why?  Why?" with a waterfall of tears flowing down their cheeks, but sadly, Boone's big sermon was weak and the resulting salvations were unconvincing.

Poorly written snarky commentary aside, THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE is a solid 6 out of 10.  The racist language is offensive, but other than that it's harmless enough and an important historical look at when Christian Cinema moved away from Biblical epics like THE TEN COMMANDMENTS or BEN-HUR and more into films carrying the express purpose of communicating a Christian message.

I'd totally be down to watch it again.