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Bad Company

a survey of summer movies that just didn’t catch on

June 7, 2002

When BATMAN & ROBIN was flung onto 2,934 screens in the summer of ’97, the legend of Joel Schumacher, dependable Hollywood journeyman, blew up like a glitter bomb. The director’s next Batman movie was was cancelled because the studio wanted to go in a different direction – the direction of as-far-away-from-Joel-Schumacher-as-possible. Apparently recognizing his diminished status in the blockbuster arena, Schumacher reinvented himself as an oddball, directing the fucked up 8MM (1999) with Nic Cage, FLAWLESS (1999) with Robert De Niro and Philip Seymour Hoffman (which he also wrote), and TIGERLAND (2000), an acclaimed $10 million Vietnam film that’s Colin Farrell’s American debut. The first one was mostly reviled, but the other two caused some critics to offer cautious respect.

So why not dip his toe in again with an action-comedy star vehicle interracial buddy movie type thing? One that would team him with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who has also made some shameful movies, but seemed to always get away with it?

Well, BAD COMPANY isn’t as “bad” as BATMAN & ROBIN. It’s more within the accepted confines of normal people movies, with a general air of adequacy and professional competence in most areas. Of course, it’s way less memorable or worth your time – or Schumacher’s, for that matter – a movie pretty much any director could’ve made exactly the same or better.

Chris Rock plays CIA agent Kevin Pope, who is killed while undercover setting up a deal to buy a stolen suitcase nuke. But the agency knows about Jake Hayes, Pope’s identical twin brother in Jersey City, long lost due to adoption. They find him and make a deal to train him to pretend to be his brother’s persona, Michael Turner, and go through with the buy.

Obviously this script should’ve gone to Jean-Claude Van Damme. Rock replaces the splits and flying kicks mostly with running away and being terrified. He does sometimes get involved in activities such as high speed car chases and shootouts, but is often screaming while doing it.

Jake is of a completely different class and temperament than his brother. Like Chris Tucker in MONEY TALKS, he’s a fast-talking ticket scalper with a nice, fed up girlfriend (Kerry Washington, DJANGO UNCHAINED) who wants him to grow up. He also plays chess in the park, which equates to a genius mind when he has to defuse a bomb at the end – the only other time it comes up.

His CIA partner is Agent Gaylord Oakes (Anthony Hopkins, TITUS), who luckily gets to be the straight man and doesn’t try to mug or anything. He’s extremely skeptical that this idiot can be trained in time, but also is more sympathetic to him as a human than their boss (John Slattery, ERASER), arguing unsuccessfully for telling him the full truth, not unnecessarily endangering his life, etc.

They make him live in a shitty little dorm room where the bed, lamp, door, etc. are labeled in Czech to help him learn the language. I thought that was kind of a cool idea. Every morning Oakes comes in ridiculously early to start the training, and if Jake’s not awake he picks up the pitcher of water next to his bed and dumps it on him. After a few days of that Jake learns to get up on time and dump the water on Oakes if he’s a minute late. Another thing he could’ve tried is not filling up a pitcher of water and leaving it next to his bed every night.

Then he goes to live in his brother’s lavish Manhattan apartment, where there is comical business of having to pretend to care about the neighbor’s dog and coming home to find his brother’s hot ex (Garcelle Beauvais, hot tub scene, WILD WILD WEST) in his shower. She keeps trying to make moves on him and there is practically a sprooooiiing sound effect coming from his pants, but he has to stay true to his lady back home without blowing his cover.

I have a hard time buying all the shit this guy memorized in a couple days, but we keep seeing him able to call neighbors, doormen, etc. by their names. The idea is “oh no, how is he going to fake his way out of– oh wow, they foresaw that and trained him for it! Bravo!”

But sometimes they didn’t train him for it, and he has to make up some shit. While having to feign knowledge of nuclear bombs he makes references to Dr. Dre and Wu-Tang Clan. Ha ha, this Russian army guy (Peter Stormare, THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK) doesn’t know what that is. I mean, I do respect that this is probly the only major movie with a reference to Professor Griff.

I know Rock is the more brilliant standup, but Chris Tucker is way funnier doing this kind of bullshitting in movies. He sells the lie way harder so you can see why people would be afraid to call him on it. Yes, I’m gonna bring it up again – MONEY TALKS is a better formula interracial buddy movie from a widely hated director.

There are a few laughs though. I like when he goes to the club to DJ after having his heart broken and evacuates the club by playing Air Supply’s “I’m All Out of Love.”

Eventually there are betrayals, shootings, a car chase through a field. They have to keep hitting a guy who breaks through the sun roof, and the guy hangs Oakes’s head out of the door. Kind of small scale as far as big budget action goes, but there are a few good car stunts. Stunt coordinator/second unit director is Ken Bates, who also did a bunch of Michael Bay movies.

This is another one with yellow tinting, but for Prague, not L.A. When it’s in the U.S. it’s more grey looking. When I think “Jerry Bruckheimer action movie” I think of Tony Scott and Michael Bay’s heat trails and sunrises and shit. This does not have that look. The skies are overcast and non-idealized and on second look I kind of like the subtle colors, but it’s kind of bland compared to cinematographer Dariusz Wolski’s other movies like THE CROW, CRIMSON TIDE, DARK CITY, the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN trilogy, PROMETHEUS and ALIEN: COVENANT. I don’t know what happened.

Oh, by the way, Shea Whigham shows up. I always like it when Shea Whigham shows up. Obviously he’s one of a bunch of CIA guys standing around in a room discussing things and watching screens and stuff. Wearing a headset.

Also, like all movies like this, Jake proves he’s a man by shooting a guy at the very end. And he not only gets paid $90 million, but saves millions of lives in front of his girlfriend, so she’ll have to lay off him about his lack of ambition for a while.

It’s kind of novel to see Hopkins in this, but it’s not his first time in a fluffy summer fun times movie. Remember, he’d been the original Zorro in THE MASK OF ZORRO (1998). I should rewatch that. And he was really starting to cash in on the Lecter Circuit, having done HANNIBAL the year before and RED DRAGON right after this. This wouldn’t be his last attempted blockbuster, either – he’d do THE WOLFMAN and the THOR movies and TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT.

This is more dignified than THE LAST KNIGHT, though. It uses him for his acting style rather than just his Respectable Britishness. I wouldn’t say he has a great chemistry with Rock, or that Rock is at his funniest, but the humor is enhanced by Hopkins’ impossibly dry, dead-eyed, mouth open casualness in the face of danger. For example, when he says “Very interesting, he’s being double-crossed by his own men,” and then has this expression while watching a man suddenly get shot in the head right in front of him:

And at the end he lets his hair down by messing with Jake at his wedding, and then does this cute thing where he touches his nose while he laughs.

You could’ve put any big name actor in this role, but none would’ve done it quite the same as Hopkins. So that’s something. Also he wears a baseball cap alot. He doesn’t do that in all his movies.

Rock had done mostly comedies (I’M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA, CB4, BEVERLY HILLS NINJA) but also a little bit of drama (NEW JACK CITY) and one legit action movie (LETHAL WEAPON 4), so this didn’t seem too out of character for him. There’s one part where he’s hassling the CIA about not being able to find Saddam Hussein, and it seems like something out of his act. The movie probly could stand to use more stuff like that. Like most of his movies he’s saddled with this plot and you miss his unfiltered voice.

Speaking of the plot he’s saddled with, it’s credited as story by Gary M. Goodman (director/executive producer, Police Academy: The Series) and David Himmelstein (John Carpenter’s VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED), screenplay by Jason Richman (BANGKOK DANGEROUS) and Michael Browning (SIX DAYS SEVEN NIGHTS).

It may be a little unfair to imply that this was intended for summer blockbuster glory. In fact it was planned for a December, 2001 release, but delayed until the next summer because nobody was gonna want to see a movie about terrorists trying to get a nuclear bomb three months after 9-11. Apparently some scenes were filmed in the World Trade Center, one of the last movies to do so.

There’s actually a song on the soundtrack called “911” by Gorillaz featuring D12, recorded when the latter group was stranded in London after flights were grounded on that day and Damon Albarn had been experimenting with sounds inspired by Middle Eastern music styles.

The release ended up badly timed in a different way. It came out the week after THE SUM OF ALL FEARS, which was also about terrorists with a nuclear bomb, and failed to knock it out of the #1 spot. Another newcomer, DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD also beat BAD COMPANY, as did ATTACK OF THE CLONES in its fourth week. (Good movie, check that one out if you haven’t.)

The reviews were no better. Maybe better than BATMAN & ROBIN.

But it was gonna be overshadowed that year no matter what. The summer was dominated by SPIDER-MAN, EPISODE II, MEN IN BLACK II, SIGNS and MINORITY REPORT. But it’s not like they could’ve waited for Thanksgiving or Christmas, because then they’d be putting it up against the part 2s of LORD OF THE RINGS and HARRY POTTER, plus DIE ANOTHER DAY. This was an “okay, let’s just get it over with” release.

After this experience, Schumacher made his next movie just take place in a phone booth.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

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47 Responses to “Bad Company”

  1. I know I have seen some of it but I’m not sure I ever saw all of it.

  2. Bad Company is probably the worst of the classic rock radio mainstay bands. They have no transcendent tunes, just a bunch of blandly competent midtempo jams you’ve heard so many times you stopped thinking about them entirely. They’re so generic they make Foghat sound like The Residents.

    Also, I’ve never seen this movie.

  3. Hehe, “Lecter circuit”

  4. Robin Bougie of the great Cinema Sewer told a hilarious story recently about working in a video store and being badgered by a customer who wanted a movie called Hopkins’ Rock that no one in the store had heard of. Hours after the guy left it dawned on him that the customer was looking for Bad Company and was just looking at the actors’ names.

  5. As a non-video store employee who has personally done more work to help customers find movies in video stores than any video store employee I ever saw, I have no sympathy for these complaints. Of course you know more about movies than your customers. That’s why you work in a video store and they don’t. Does a hardware store employee get to look down on customers because they ask what type of screws they should use? When I worked in a record store, did I get to shit on the many customers who only knew a tiny snippet of the music they were looking for but were nonetheless thrilled when I tracked it down for them and thus made all the pointless standing around that comes with any retail job worthwhile? No, because it’s called doing your fucking job. Maybe if more video store employees got off their high horses and didn’t act like CLERKS was a tutorial on customer service, there might still be video stores.

  6. Excuse my rant. I loved video stores, but they were also the locations of some of the absolute most dismissive treatment I have ever received at the hands of a stranger who was ostensibly being paid money to help me. Even record stores can’t come close.

  7. I actually liked the Bad Company song “Bad Company”, until I found out it was Timothy McVeigh’s favorite song. Normally I don’t care about stuff like that, but anytime I hear it now it rubs me a little wrong.

  8. That’s interesting. I just used that song in a scene I’m writing (the backdrop of the novel is music-related, so I often make note of what song is playing at any given moment) so I may make use of that factoid.

  9. That Residents simile killed me, too funny. Free was real good though.

  10. This is a “novel” review ;)

  11. I haven’t seen either film in 15 years, but I enjoyed both 8MM and FLAWLESS when they first came out on DVD. He’s a pretty versatile journeyman director.

  12. Majestyk, I’m not that deep into their catalog, but I always thought the song BAD COMPANY was pretty bad-ass (company).

  13. Oh, my bad, onthewall made the same observation. I’m standing by the song. To paraphrase OFFICE SPACE’S Michael Bolton: “Why should I give up the song? McVeigh’s the one who sucks.”

  14. That was a weird rant when the guy didn’t say they were looking down on him. They just didn’t know how to help them when no movie existed with that name. It’s a funny story.

  15. I thought it was a funny story too. Majestyk is right to stand up for not looking down on people, but the humor is in the late realization that THAT was what he was talking about. HOPKINS’ ROCK is probly a more exciting movie.

  16. I worked at Blockbuster and I always tried to never look down on the person. If they were looking for a movie that I, personally, thought was shit, I would help them find it. If they asked my opinion I would try to be fair and balanced because at the end of the day a rental is a sale so I’m trying to make the store money. The only time customers ever bothered me is when there was a huge line on a Friday night and they wait to get to the counter and then they start shuffling for their card. I made sure that I would always yell at the end to make sure they have their card ready before they made their way to check out to help speed up the line. I think most customers appreciate that.

    Fun facts about my time at Blockbuster.
    1. It was always so crazy when I had to go to the over flowing return box (this was the VHS days right before DVDs hit) to look for the needle in the haystack for a movie that might have gotten returned when all the copies were checked out. That was fun on busy Friday and Saturday nights but I always felt cool if I found it quick for a customer.
    2. I used to work at the US largest Blockbuster. It had a playground in it they eventually had to get rid of because a child fell while their parent was somewhere else in the mall.
    3. If you guys hate The Boondock Saints, than it’s my fault. I thought it was awesome and I told everybody about it and we eventually had to get more copies because I kept recommending it to everybody and then suddenly it was a huge thing. I remember when an old website that talked about upcoming movies, around the time of AICN beginning, where I was watching this movie in development because it sounded cool so when it finally came out I was so excited. I kind of miss the days before all the trailers hit the web and some movies just showed up.
    4. I still know my Blockbuster number 21726544826. Technically the 2 was just the number you use so the computer knew to pull it up and the 17265 was the store number.
    5. I used to love looking to see what movies had the longest in between times for rental.
    6. There are three movies I regret never actually renting. They were Black Roses, Blue Monkey, and Ganjasarus Rex.

    Now you know.

  17. Sorry, guys. Maybe I went off the handle. I don’t know the tone of the story in question so I might have been unjustified. I just hate people who take jobs where they’re supposed to use their knowledge to help people and then they use it to make them feel bad. “Use your powers for good” is my motto. I often use my writing powers for evil, though, by going off on rants against people and things that don’t deserve it, so perhaps I should not be so quick to judge.

  18. I remember the big trailer joke was when Hopkins showed Rock the car, Rock kept asking, “Does it have a DVD player?” I’m pretty sure they saw cars with DVD players in The Fast and the Furious, but it always struck me as stupid that a DVD player was considered optimal technology for a luxury car. I know you put screens in the back for kids to keep them occupied, but what grownup wants to watch DVDs in a car?

    I didn’t even see this in theaters. I saw it once on DVD (not in my car) and considered it forgettable. It definitely counts as a summer fling, because even moving it to the summer, there was hope it could catch on as a vehicle for making Rock an action star, or even a movie star. The failure of this was probably all the evidence Hollywood needed not to give him any more vehicles. He developed a few more for himself to direct but even those struggled. I guess Chris Rock was just a star people would rather see on stage.

    I am with Majestyk on the clerks. I didn’t take it that they were ridiculing him, but it is still their job to help him find the movie. Granted, Hopkins Rock is pretty obscure, but I would think if this was around 2002 the movie was current enough to be identifiable. It is funny that the way the marketing pushed the stars was more prominent than the title, which was a generic title also used for the 1995 Laurence Fishburne thriller.

  19. Worked at 2 record stores including the greatest one in NYC history. If anything I looked forward to working in order to not only learn from people myself but put other people on to something they wouldn’t know. It was my pleasure.

  20. Fred when I see BAD COMPANY in the cable listings I always put it on thinking it would be the Larry Fishburne/Ellen Barkin joint. When I realize it’s this one I just proceed to change the channel. Good for Joel Schumacher though. Didn’t just get one movie in thia series he got 2.

  21. “this series” meaning Summer Flings of course. Not BAD COMPANY: THE NON EXISTENT FRANCHISE.

  22. I just started watching the new WET HOT and in the first five minutes they make a joke about snobby clerks contributing to the downfall of the video store industry.

  23. Down but not out apparently, there’s one I know of in my home city and I’ve heard there’s still a few Blockbusters around too. I never recall having a problem with snobby guys behind the counter, me and my brother mainly used them to find wrestling tapes. More wrestling than movies for us, which often meant prowling through the action section. One thing I noticed all that time searching around was that they’d often have all the sequels but never the original. Not just rented out, but not there.

    Since it’s been mentioned in the article and commented on once here, I should bring up my disdain for 8MM. Vern’s summation of it as being “fucked up” makes it sound interesting. It’s just ugly. Not only that but I think it’s ugly for the sake of being ugly, which was kind of a trend in the 90’s to make these hard R thrillers that often went for lurid over telling a good story. It started with the “erotic thrillers” a la BASIC INSTINCT, mixed with SE7EN (Andrew Kevin Walker wrote 8MM, and to my knowledge has never seen it because of fights with Schumacher). It’s a waste of a lot of good talent on-screen, and the mangling of a possibly interesting screenplay.

  24. I don’t imagine Blockbuster was the home of snobby video clerks. It was a pretty mainstream outlet.

  25. “As a non-video store employee who has personally done more work to help customers find movies in video stores than any video store employee I ever saw, I have no sympathy for these complaints. Of course you know more about movies than your customers. That’s why you work in a video store and they don’t. Does a hardware store employee get to look down on customers because they ask what type of screws they should use? When I worked in a record store, did I get to shit on the many customers who only knew a tiny snippet of the music they were looking for but were nonetheless thrilled when I tracked it down for them and thus made all the pointless standing around that comes with any retail job worthwhile? No, because it’s called doing your fucking job. Maybe if more video store employees got off their high horses and didn’t act like CLERKS was a tutorial on customer service, there might still be video stores.”

    Holy fucking shit dude who cares

  26. On the wall, I always rented wrestling tapes. Loved all the coliseum videos and the NWA tapes.

  27. I never worked in a video store, only movie theaters. (And mainstream movie theaters to boot, with barely the occasional art film). But there was only one time when I looked down on somebody for their choice of film. It was Father’s Day, with Billy Crystal and Robin Williams. They came out and were clearly upset about wasting their time on such an awful movie. I remarked how Breakdown (the movie playing next door) was “awesome”. They snickered at my choice of the word “awesome”, and I said “Make fun of me all you want, I’m not the moron who willingly paid to see Father’s Day”.

    There was a begrudging moment of laughter after that.

    On the flip side of this high and mighty coin, when Armageddon would sell out, I took great pain in telling patrons to take a chance on Out Of Sight, and a good deal would come back to the ticket booth and thank me. I would feel like I was helping people discover something they usually would not.

    Regarding this movie, I remember seeing it as it was my job to watch the prints before they screened for the public. But I can’t recall a single detail of it. Though now that I think about it, I do remember one time meeting a guy who was in it. He was very excited and told me to check it out. And he showed up as a European thug, and he got punched out in like 15 seconds. Weird.

  28. I have said this before, but between tenures at a video store I learned through these comment pages that Majestyk had been a customer, and upon returning I always wondered if different people were him.

    I’d hope I was nice to you if we ever crossed paths, Mr. M. Decency and kindness are values that I learned early from Vern. What’s that classic adage? The two commons, sense and courtesy?

  29. I used to work in a video department of a Media Play, and I would always go out of my way to help people. In fact, I relished it. A movie fan is a movie fan, regardless of what KIND of movies. Plus it broke up the monotony of constantly alphabetizing the shelves.

    One guy in particular came in, an older guy and a WWII vet. The manager came to me because he knew I knew a lot about this stuff. He was looking for the most realistic submarine movie, to show his Grandson what his days in the war were like.

    A tall order.

    I thought a bit, and recommended DAS BOOT. With a strict warning…this was a German movie about German soldiers. He perked up, and went on a very long, but very positive tirade about how men were men regardless of what side they were on. The beef was with the leaders, but these were men fighting for their country, just like we were ours. We must never forget that.

    “Well then…this is your movie. This is honestly the most realistic submarine movie I have ever seen.” I also warned him it was like 3 hours long and subtitled. Hr was fine with it.

    He came back the next week. Went right to the manager raving how great I was. Guess he liked it. He came over and again, went on and on about how brave those men were and told stories of how cramped the subs were and how well that movie showed that. He was a great guy. And to my benefit…killed at least an hour and a half of time I was clocked in for, and I didn’t get yelled at for it!

    I got employee of the month that month! Picture in the break room, etc! Didn’t get paid any more though.

    The only time I got close to pretentious was trying to explain the “black bars on the top and bottom” in widescreen DVDs. It was during that cross over time, and had to do it a few times a week, and you could kind of tell they still didn’t get it.

    And one customer came up holding GUMMO and asking bluntly “Is this good?” and I laughed and said I didn’t really know…it was weird. She asked if I liked it and I reluctantly answered “yes…but I like some really weird things. My taste can’t really be recommended.” She didn’t seem to know what I meant…I don’t think she had ever seen a truly weird movie before. She finally asked if it was what they were watching in BELLY with that kid with the rabbit ears. I laughed and said yes.

    She bought it, and came back the next day saying she made it through about ten minutes and wanted her money back. I wasn’t the stores policy to refund because you didn’t like it…but I refunded it no questions asked. Its easier that way.

  30. Oh, and Robin Bougie and CINEMA SEWER are awesome!! Easily my favorite actual print magazine!! In no way could I see him being purposly rude or pretentious to that customer…he seems to “get” the average Joe…but Hopkins Rock is a damn weird request. And then 20 min later it’s staring you in the face!

    I could easily see him recommending something really fucked up though lol!!

    I also have never seen BAD COMPANY. In fact, forgot it existed. And I’m a Joel Schumacher sort of liker. Not hater. LOST BOYS is great and BATMAN AND ROBIN has finally redeemed itself through the sands of time and is really fucking funny. I remember not liking FLATLINERS but think I should revisit it.

  31. 1) Like Broddie, everytime I see “Bad Company” on the cable guide I hope it’s the Laurence Fishburne/Ellen Barkin thriller (and hope their hot sex scene in the chair is on). And then when it turns out to be this one I go “oh yeah, there’s another movie called Bad Company.”

    2) Always found Hannibal Lecter kinda overrated (he’s not even in my Top 20 Movie Villains), and usually find Hopkins either too hammy or too stiff for my taste. However, I’m starting to appreciate his acting more these days. He’s so powerfully low-key in Solace (serial killer movie with Colin Farrell) that I realized “You know what? Sir Anthony Hopkins is a pretty good actor!) Then he goes delightfully MEGA in Collide, which isn’t a great movie but features him and Ben Kingsley in a MEGA-OFF, and also has some incredible action sequences (hot take: The car chases in Collide are better than the car chases in Baby Driver).

  32. Ugh, I envy you so much for your “I worked at a video store” stories. The people who worked at the video store that I frequently visited, were seriously cool and good to talk to. (And in one case: also super hot!) I knew I was a valued customer when one day the boss (the hot one) told me that if I wanna buy any upcoming new release, I should tell her, because then she would order a tape more for me. (It wasn’t flirting, just professional “I know you really are into movies” bonus for customers, who left a lot of money there.) Also I remember one day I was standing in line and the woman before was interested in renting CUBE and asking the clerk if it was any good and instead of answering that, she just pointed at me and said: “Did YOU like it?” and let me answer the customer’s question.

    I was made to be a video store clerk, but it never happened.

  33. I love Baby Driver but even I wouldn’t call the car chases the best car chases ever. It’s entirely possible Collide’s are better.

    I was curious about the DTV Hopkins movies. I do remember now thinking the car chases looked cool in the trailer for this one. Have you seen Welcome to the Punch by the same director?

  34. Saw this about ten years ago; forgettable about covers it. Maybe if it came out now it would seem oddly refreshing in its comfortable 90sesque blandness, much like CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE last year.

    FLAWLESS might be Schumacher’s most consistently enjoyable (and tasteful) film. 8MM kind of sucks, but I will give it this; it isn’t just a movie that happens to be from the writer of SE7EN and the director of BATMAN & ROBIN, it is very much a movie from the writer of SE7EN and the director of BATMAN & ROBIN

  35. Sternshein – i had no idea Welcome to the Punch was by the same director, I may have to finally watch it as it’s been sitting on my Netflix queue forever. There’s 2 or 3 very showoffy action sequences in Collide that I just had to rewind, which I don’t do very often. I also had to rewind alot of Hopkins’ ridiculous line deliveries as well which was a nice bonus.

  36. neal: I read that Hopkins almost took the Ned Logan role in SEXY BEAST, and Kingsley was offered either that role or the one Ray Winstone eventually played. So we almost got those two squaring off in that brilliant film.

  37. Did Collide get a theatrical release in the UK? I keep seeing a whole bunch of good looking action movies featuring British actors and I just assumed they’re all VOD flicks but maybe the UK gets them.

  38. A MEGA-OFF between Hopkins and Kingsley sounds promising, I’ll have to check out COLLIDE. I liked SOLACE in concept – retired psychic FBI agent, haunted by death of daughter he couldn’t save reluctantly helps feds track also-psychic serial killer Colin Farrell (who weirds it up wonderfully like he did in True Detective and has quickly become one of my favorite actors) with a God-complex.

    But the director didn’t quite pull it into a satisfying whole. CRIMINAL did this similar high-concept thing much much better.

  39. Standout scene in SOLACE – awesome car chase toward end of film. The DTV-ing of Hopkins current career is looking good in my opinion, what with SOLACE and COLLIDE. Snarky critics keep dropping “easy paycheck” into their reviews like they do with every Cage DTV, but I will continue to support interesting actors in B-films whatever their motivation for taking a role is.

  40. Colin Farrell’s trajectory to greatness (in my opinion) –

    – MIAMI VICE
    – IN BRUGES
    – FRIGHT NIGHT
    – SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS
    – DEAD MAN DOWN
    – TRUE DETECTIVE
    – SOLACE

    Underrated –

    – THE NEW WORLD
    – THE RECRUIT
    – TIGERLAND

  41. Sternshein- Usually VOD Movies, get a token release in Cinemas here, much like they do in the US, often in literally one or two Cinemas in London. Sometimes you’ll get a story like “new Shia LeBouf movie makes only £51!”, and that’s why.

    COLLIDE hasn’t been released in the UK at all yet, it did actually get a token release in the US; on over 2,000 screens!

  42. COLLIDE was damn inane. Nothing really going for it despite some good actors involved. One of those Hopkins roles where he clearly was only on set for a few days less than a week (think Tommy Lee Jones in THE MECANIC sequel.) I mean shit KIDNAP I enjoyed as a functional, potent enough B-thriller star vehicle (basically Halle Berry’s SPEED with a dash of DUEL) that I’ll forget about in 3 months but it had things going for it. I just don’t get theatrical releases like COLLIDE happen. Nobody involved thought it would make money. Then again, that recent Mandy Moore shark movie did $40+ million and that fucker was suppose to come out LAST YEAR straight to DVD. Life is weird.

    Then NUT JOB 2 this weekend opened in over 4000 screens and you realize some people have no fucks to give. I mean as much as the Internet ridiculed Sony for doing that with the EMOJI MOVIE, at least that cynical exercise you could understand the thought process behind it. But this?

    Speaking of which, one movie not yet released to American theaters (or DVD) despite being released elsewhere? Mike Flanagan’s BEFORE I WAKE. Shot 4 years ago, one of those Relativity movies (like KIDNAP and the lackluster THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM and so forth) held up by the bankruptcy. (Google up Relativity awhile back allegedly trying to pay the bills by allowing porn shoots at their offices.) Anyway Flanagan online told Americans to import the Canadian DVD.

  43. I used to work in the Irish Film Institute Book & DVD shop in Dublin and we got a lot of the same inane customer inquiries/complaints you list above, but because the place had the word “Institute” on the sign outside (and, in fairness, it was – and still is – more of an art-house cinema) there was a weird snootiness from some of the customers; when they made the kind of HOPKINS’ ROCK-type gaff (which I completely understand, btw) and you politely pointed it out (usually after half an hour of searching), they would double-down and make a big scene about it being my fault.

    This didn’t happen often, though. And I really enjoyed working there. Sad to think that kind of job is on the way out, though that shop (by dint of being attached to the cinema) will probably survive for quite a while yet.

    PS – a film I worked on is out in the U.S. this week, so if you happen to see an Irish movie called PILGRIMAGE in your local cinema, take a chance and go see it! (sorry for the shameless self-promotion, Vern, but it’s a small movie and I’m trying to give it a shout out wherever I can).

  44. Learning “lampa”, “dvere”, atd. will not help in actually speaking Czech. Once you have to actually use the words in an utterance, you will find immediately that the words change depending on meaning (highly morphological language). Anyway..

  45. Whenever I see that Bad Company is on TV I immediately think it’s the excellent revisionist Western with Jeff Bridges you plebes!

  46. “The only time I got close to pretentious was trying to explain the “black bars on the top and bottom” in widescreen DVDs. It was during that cross over time, and had to do it a few times a week, and you could kind of tell they still didn’t get it.”

    I worked at a video store in the Midwest for a few years. I’d say at least 75% of the customers didn’t know or understand what widescreen was. It’s fucking weird. Several would get angry that “half the movie was cut off!” and demand Full Screen. Definitely doesn’t make you pretentious for trying to explain that biz.

    Also, on the subject of customer talk, I understand that an employee is getting paid for certain duties. I also understand that you don’t know what’s going on in that person’s life, or what the job entails until you’ve done it. While I had good times there, I’d be a liar if I said I had a smile on my face at all times. Maybe this is a Midwestern thing, but much of the rental job was being cursed out because of a customer’s late fees, as if it was the clerk’s fault. I had a customer threaten to call the cops if I didn’t take the fee off (that one was so ridiculous I had to laugh, though the guy was legit scary at the time). I watched my coworkers go through the same treatment, including my boss who was the sweetest person I’ve ever met.

    Really, people should treat people the way they want to be treated. Unfortunately in a retail setting this is far from the case, and years of this tends to create bitter and angry people in front and behind the counter. I got out before that happened, and now I’m a school teacher. But yeah, no matter what side you’re on, be understanding and don’t be an asshole.

  47. Honestly if you are an unreasonable asshole to an associate you are a terrible human being.

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