Sunday, March 24, 2024

THE FIRM (1993)

Law student Tom Cruise is a big ol’ dummy.  He might be smart enough to graduate from Harvard Law School, but he must have just got off last night’s bus from Stupidsville when he decided to take a job at an evil law firm populated by “all white, all male, all married” nerds who look like they just stepped out of THE STEPFORD WIVES.  Things go peachy for a few days, but then before you can say “I wish a hyped-up black church choir would cover Boston’s ‘Let Me Take You Home Tonight’.” ol’ Tommy Cruise is running super fast all over the joint, sweatin’ up a storm, with none other than a long-haired, albino Jigsaw economically jogging behind him with a surprisingly smooth gait.

I’m by no means an expert (on anything) on legal thrillers from the 1990’s, but THE FIRM seemed fine to me.  The 154-minute runtime passed by quickly enough and I was entertained from beginning to end.  Also, the cast was very impressive!  If I had to make some complaints, it would be that the evil law firm wasn’t evil enough.  Also, the Memphis setting was dull and unattractive to look at.  And that piano-heavy soundtrack!  Oh my god, I love the piano, but that was too goddamn much!

Overall, THE FIRM is too safe for its own good, but still watchable thanks to an outstanding cast.

Friday, March 22, 2024

THAT DARN CAT! (1965)

Not to be confused with That Darn Human Centipede!, THAT DARN CAT! is the occasionally funny and surprisingly dark story of an indoor-outdoor cat who accidentally crosses path with a kidnap victim who is about to be murdered!  During their brief moments together, the poor woman scratches the letters HEL on the back of her watch and slips it on the cat’s neck.  The cat’s owner (Hayley Mills) notices the message and before you know it, there is a pack of FBI agents following that darn motherfucking cat all over town.

THAT DARN CAT! is a fun film.  I got a few laughs out of it and was especially blown away by the impressive supporting cast.  You’ve got everybody from the Bride of Frankenstein (Elsa Lanchester) and vampire hunter Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall) to the Riddler (Frank Gorshin) and Trudy Kockenlocker’s dad (William Demarest) up n dis bish!  As far as the leads go, I always enjoy seeing Hayley Mills and Dean Jones during their Disney years and they are both great here, as usual.

Medium pace, great vintage fashions (especially on Hayley), solid acting by a fantastic cast, okay story that should have been sillier and not as dark, vintage cars, zero nudity, zero gore, a few genuine smiles, not enough cat action, zero cheerleaders, not enough wide shots of the Disney backlot, a bus from “Stupidsville”, a bizarre drive-in movie theater that is showing footage of people surfing with no apparent story.

For what it is, THAT DARN CAT! is totally worth watching for anybody interested in such things.  I'd be down to watch it again.  Fun fact: according to Wikipedia, THAT DARN CAT! was the 5th highest-grossing film for the year.

Remake - That Darn Cat (1997)