Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Coogan’s Bluff

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

Ive talked about Clint Eastwood here before, a couple of times in fact and its not that I’m obsessed with him or nothing but he has made a lot of movies ain’t he and in different styles. So now I’m looking at my favourite non-cowboy one Coogan’s Bluff. I could of gone for Play Misty For Me cos that’s good too but Coogan’s is the one I always go back to.

Its about a law man in Arizona who takes time off from tracking villains in the desert to go to New York City to bring back this guy Jimmy Ringerman whose on the run. Clint plays Coogan who wears the old cowboy stuff pointy toed boots and  hat maybe a Stetson I don’t know. And people keep calling him Tex because he looks like he’s from Texas.

He gets ripped off by a taxi driver who takes him all round the houses to get where he’s going and Coogan spots that they pass Bloomingdales twice (big department store). And the guy charges him extra for luggage because he’s got this little briefcase with him.

Nice lines here: the guy on hotel reception charges him extra because he hasn’t got luggage and Coogan goes “there’s a taxi driver in this town that’d give you and argument”.

We know, Clint, it’s Arizona. But blimey, don’t you look young.

Coogan has no patience with the slower NY way of justice and just wants to get Ringerman without waiting for the court to authorise it so he pees off the detective he’s dealing with (Lee J. Cobb nice performance). And he meets a probation officer Julie played by Susan Clark who never really made it but must have been only inches away cos she’s good and really pretty. She just couldn’t get past actresses like Katharine Ross I guess still she done a few things.

And Ringerman’s girlfriend is this tiny little thing Linny Raven (Tisha Sterling) and she fancies Coogan and it’s like his duty in those days to doink her just because she’s there and he does and she tells Julie all about it.

This was 1968 and there was cycle delick music around then and the scenes in clubs and parties are full of weird music and stoned people.

There’s a motorbike chase which might a peel to some people blokes I guess but what I like about the film is its quite funny and Clint’s so cool.

I guess its just personal preference I know there’s nothing here that makes the film a mantelpiece but it’s a nice way to spend an hour and a half and that’s the name of the game as they say what game I don’t know the game of life maybe the game of what am I going to do tonight when I ain’t going out.

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – El Gringo

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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This is like a spaghetti western made by Quentin Tarantino you know he makes strange stuff and you don’t know whether to take it serious or not. But its not a western and its not Quentin I came across it by accident one night on the TV I think it was in a hotel you know when your in a  different country you don’t know whats on the channels so you just flick through and your not really expecting to find nothing but instead of a documentary about goat racing in Tobago you find something you could of seen at home.

What grabbed my attention with El Gringo was that the colours seemed all wrong but I think they did it on purpose it’s very bright all the time which is understandable because it’s set in Mexico where the weather is usually hot I think but on top of that it’s a sort of washed out colour as if they took all the blue out of it or something. They do that sort of thing sometimes for some reason. The soundtrack is very effective too with sharp bits dropped in to emphasise things I suppose.

Anyways that’s my technical assessment for now so its very hot and sweaty in this Mexican town and there’s this guy with a big holdall full of money and we don’t know who he is except he’s Scott Adkins which is a surprise because he used to be in Holby City which is a TV drama in a hospital in England. So if your British your thinking what is this guy doing with an American accent playing some sort of cop on the run. Cos that’s what it seems to be about maybe I wasn’t concentrating at the start I don’t know but of course everybody’s trying to steal the money it seems nobody likes him and he can’t get a glass of water even when he offers them 50 dollars. Even the nice woman who runs the local bar at first she won’t help him because she’s suspicious where the money come from.

Everybody’s out to get the poor guy including some of his own cops (such as Christian Slater) and a gang that paint their faces white and gradually you find out it’s drug money that ain’t his and should of been handed over to the authorities but that’s not going to happen in this town where the sheriff or whatever is more interested in shooting stray dogs than law and order.

The guy (who I suppose is El Gringo) wants to get out of town but the bus ticket woman won’t sell him a ticket and tells him there is no bus to Acapulco but she’s lying there’s one every day they just want to keep strangers in town so they spend some money and of course boy has he got some money to spend.

The bar woman comes round in the end and they have a little romp that in real life you’d tell him to go and have a shower first but this is a film so a few days of sweat don’t matter at all.

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Progress in their relationship? Yes, she’s sitting on him, but isn’t that a knife in her hand?

There is a lot of shooting in this film and it’s like a Clint Eastwood as I said because he’s always better than the other guys and ready when you don’t think he’s even noticed eyes in the back of his head like.

Scott Adkins don’t have the charisma of Clint and I don’t think he’s going to be a big star but he’s done a few biggish films now he’s a martial arts expert maybe this will go down as his best film I don’t know it’s pretty good and very different.

 

 

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Leaving Las Vegas

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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This was Nicholas Cage before he started going for the action-film big bucks and you got the feeling he was trying to be original and different. I don’t know maybe that’s just what he’s like he’s a strange guy a bit like Jack Nicholson in a way you could have fun with him but you wouldn’t necessarily want to invite him to your Mum’s for Christmas dinner in case he did something unperdictable.

This is a real grownup film it’s about him an alcoholic whose wife left him and he gets fired from his job with an advertising agency and he goes to Las Vegas to drink himself to death which is an interesting way to do it I suppose. There he meets Elizabeth Shue (the only roll I really know her in) and she’s a hooker and they get together he doesn’t shag her cos he’s too out of it all the time but they grow to like each other I guess what makes it work is he can’t complain about her being what she is because of what he is a bum out of his skull all the time and she can’t complain about him because she’s a prostitute which is nothing to be proud of. (Sorry girls if there’s any of you reading this no offence you know what I mean.)

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This is either just before or just after a cop on a motorbike slows down alongside and looks in his car

So Nick and Elizabeth have a good time in their weird way and he makes her promise never to ask him to stop drinking. He’s really funny and he goes to this bar and a young girl hits on him it’s the dippy office girl from Becker the doctor TV comedy with Ted Danson Shawnee Smith her name is. Her boyfriend is there and he fights Nick and Elizabeth’s all loving and concerned when he gets home with blood all over his shirt.

There’s this line which I don’t think was in the script he made it up himself when he’s asked how he feels he says he’s “the kling klang king of the rim ram room”.

Then it’s the hookers turn to get in trouble she goes to a hotel room with a bunch of young guys and she’s cheeky to one of them and they all turn on her I won’t tell you what happened but she gets a taxi and the driver sees her walking awkward like and he says “What’s the matter? You get a back door delivery you weren’t expecting?”

Lots of good lines see I like a good script and the music’s good too sort of jazzy instrumentals and Michael McDonald singing an old rock’n’roll song Lonely Teardrops. This is not the sort of movie everyone will like but like I say it’s an adult film in more ways than one there’s no happy ending most directors would of made him give up drinking and her give up prozzying and they move to the suburbs and run a bed and breakfast but this director Mike Figgis he’s an English guy he’s like Cage he wants to do a proper film not just try to get a hit. I suppose if you make enough money and your more into your art or whatever than just being famous that’s a good way of doing it but not many people think like that.

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – The Bridges of Madison County

Siobhan Kennedy-Clarke’s classic film reviews
Our fictitious reviewer Siobhan (KayCee) didn't have much of an education but she's passionate about films

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How can you go wrong with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep there both always good aren’t they? Well this is a great example both getting on a bit even when it was made 1995 but life ain’t just for kids is it. Clint is a photographer who is doing a job for a magazine taking pictures of bridges in you guessed it Madison County I don’t know where that is but it doesn’t matter America somewhere and Meryl is a housewife around there whose husband and kids are away for the weekend. Clint turns up and she shows him the bridges there covered which apparently makes them interesting.

Sounds like a recipe for hanky panky don’t it and your right even though there both middle aged she’s bored rigid with her life in the sticks and he’s a red blooded male and honestly any man who finds himself in that situation with a woman like her and any woman with a man like him there bound to do it aren’t they.

What makes this a bit different is that the relationship is a sort of flashback because the Meryl character is dead and her son and daughter are going through her things and come across a diary and other stuff that tells about the affair.

Honestly its as romantic as hell you know its wrong but its a little glimpse of happiness for both of them and you can’t hold it against them I reckon.

Clint directed it and I wonder if he’d always wanted to get his hands on Meryl and this was a way to do it. I suppose you shouldn’t think like that but it’s a possibility isn’t it. Just perfect casting though I suppose and anyway that’s by the by it’s the film we’re looking at not real life.

Its sort of peaceful and it keeps going back to the son and daughter and your thinking go on give her a break she was a good mother and so what if she had a bit of a private episode it didn’t do no one no harm did it.

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This was virginally a book and after the film they made it into a musical which might be okay I suppose if you like musicals I don’t find them very realistic myself.

One critic described the film as “total eroticism within perfect virtue” and I’m glad he did because I would never have found the words to say that but its true. There is nothing really explicit in it but they fall for each other so hard that you can bet they did some exploring and yet after a bath and a cup of tea their back to normal.

The touching thing is that they decided not to ruin her life or her family’s life so they just put their relationship in a kind of memory box and just thought about it and how things might of been I suppose. Sometimes things are better left like that because the magic could wear off pretty quick if reality gets involved but it must take some self discipline and I don’t know if I could do it personal.

 

 

 

Kaycee’s Klasic Films – Spaghetti Westerns

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You know you can watch one of these and you’re not sure which one it is because Clint Eastwood’s in it being as cool as a cucumber even though he’s been on his horse for 10 days and must smell horrible.

He rides into town and has his way with some woman – doesn’t really matter who because he’s not going to come back for seconds anyway its often quite rough the sex in these things. You don’t actually see much but it’s dodgy circumstances they’re often reluctant and rape wasn’t taken serious in the 60s and 70s like it is now so if you’re going to watch these you have to realize it’s from another time there was racism and sexism in them days like you wouldn’t believe now.

Anyways there is Clint being cool but a good guy as only he can and Lee Van Cleef being cool but a bad guy and the funny little loser what’s his name Eli Wallach. Like I said sometimes you can’t tell one film from the other but you still enjoy it it’s the atmosphere they create you just want to be there because you know Clint would look after you he’s upstairs with his gun in pieces cleaning it and the bad guy comes in the door downstairs and you think he’ll never get it back together in time but of course he does because it’s a film.

But you wouldn’t like it really no future especially for a woman they’re all either housewives or teachers or prostitutes nobody works on the perfume counter like I do because there are no department stores in little one-horse towns called Tombstone and stuff like that.

Lots of open country but there’s always a gunman shooting somebody or a lynch mob stringing somebody up from a tree.

I wonder if that’s what made westerns so popular because in the 1950s they made millions of them but if that’s true why did they stop being so popular you don’t see hardly any nowadays?

These films are called Spaghetti Westerns because they were directed by Italians like Sergio Leone it’s funny to think that happened because you think of cowboy films as American because they’re all set in America but I suppose there’s nothing to stop an Italian from doing it even though they didn’t have that sort of lifestyle if that’s what you call it.

Their all good escapist entertainment I know I’ve swallowed a dixtionary today I’m getting all fancy with my words but I’m still me really and I do love watching one of these on a Sunday afternoon preferably with my boyfriend (if I’ve got one at the time you never know but there’s plenty of fish in the sea I always say even if most of them are no good). I’ll make us a cup of tea and get a few slices of fruit cake and we might even get fruity are selves with a bit of luck and you get crumbs everywhere but its worth it and if the film’s on DVD you can watch the bits you missed but you’ve seen it three times already so.