Happy Mid-May everyone! Memorial Day is just around the corner which means summer is just around that corner and hopefully more and more people get vaccinated against Covid-19 so that as an entire society we can turn the corner completely on this pandemic that has messed up so many things for so many. With all the word play going on already you’d think I was doing a review of the 1940 Jimmy Stewart film The Shop Around The Corner. Not so fast Vertigo. Jimmy Stewart was great but he’s just one star. This Random Movie Review film has a plethora of Hollywood’s constellations all mixed together in a fun silly film. This film is kind of like what hopefully everyone’s summer will be like…getting together with all types of friends and just having a good time.
The last two RMRs took us back to the year 2000. This time we slowly creep towards modern times with a star-studded film from 2003. June 2003 to be exact. While the world was in awe of Spirit Rover’s first mission to Mars yet trying to come to terms with the end of The Concorde (Now how are we going to travel back and forth to Paris? Oh poo!), Harrison Ford was trying to land another What Lies Beneath or maybe capture the action packed magic of Air Force One. Not yet knowing that the future held more Indiana Jones and Han Solo in store for him, what’s a Hollywood superstar to do? How about sign on to a big cast, easy paycheck movie??? And so we have this week’s Random Movie Review of Hollywood Homicide!
Hollywood Homicide is totally one of those movies you watch and you’re constantly saying “Oh he’s in this?! Oh she’s in this?!”. Written and directed by Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump, Tin Cup), Hollywood Homicide is pretty much his last decent film. I’m not counting 2017’s Just Getting Started(https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5721088/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0) no matter how much I respect Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones and Rene Russo. Talk about a paycheck film! Now back to OUR paycheck film. The big star in Hollywood Homicide(HH) is the aforementioned Harrison Ford(Star Wars, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of The Lost Ark, Patriot Games, The Fugitive). HH falls in a weird spot in the Harrison Ford resume as its about ten years removed from a run of big action, big box office hits that includes Patriots Games, The Fugitive & Clear and Present Danger and about ten years before the return of Han Solo in The Force Awakens along with other big films like 42 and Ender’s Game. I guess you can say HH was some kind of 10 year itch film for Ford. Honestly, I’m a sucker for anything Harrison Ford is in. I mean, I think I’ve watched Sabrina about 30 times.
The rest of the cast includes a few personal crushes, a long time Hollywood staple, a young buck on the rise and a handful of well known peeps from the music industry.
Sharing the marquee with Ford is, at the time, young Hollywood heart throb Josh Hartnett (The Virgin Suicides, Black Hawk Down, The Black Dahlia). Ford and Hartnett are cop partners in HH trying to solve the murder of an up and coming rap group. The twist…Ford’s character moonlights as a wannabe heavy hitting real estate agent while Hartnett’s dreams of being the next young Marlon Brando. Fun, right?
As I’ve mentioned there’s a big cast joining Ford & Hartnett and I’ve got to lead with a name that somehow is left off the “cast” part of the HH IMDb homepage. The late great Martin Landau (North By Northwest, Crimes and Misdemeanors, The X Files, Ed Wood) plays a long time movie producer who Ford’s character has an exclusive short-term listing with to sell his mansion. Landau, who passed in 2017 at 89, is one of those actors that goes back to the very early days of American television with appearances on shows like Maverick(’58), Rawhide(’59), Bonanza(’61) and The Rifleman(’61). Younger fans may best remember Landau for his run on the hit HBO series Entourage.
I’m breaking up the rest of the cast into a few groups.
Crushes. If you’ve been reading the Random Movie Review series so far you know that I’ve got a lot of crushes. Hey, I love women. Hollywood Homicide has two longtime movie crushes of mine. Although never huge stars, I’ve always loved Lena Olin and Lolita Davidovich. Olin (Alias, Chocolat, Romeo Is Bleeding) got her acting chops in her home country of Sweden under the legendary Ingmar Bergman before going to Hollywood. A classic beauty with the acting chops to boot she perfectly plays all her roles with a classy sultriness that will make anybody weak in the knees. She is wonderful in Chocolat and a big reason I’ll stop and watch it if its on. As for Lolita (Blaze, The Longest Ride, Intersection), she always gives off an attractively playful vibe even when playing a strong character. Two quick notes on Davidovich: she’s married to director Ron Shelton and she shows her fabulously fun breasts in Intersection!
Actors, Actors, Actors. Yes, every movie has actors but some have more recognizable ones than others and HH surely has its share of those. Isaiah Washington (Romeo Must Die, Ghost Ship, Grey’s Anatomy) plays music mogul Antoine Sartain and a key figure in the murder investigation. I’ve always seen Washington as a guy from the silver screen but his TV credits are super impressive. Along with Grey’s Anatomy he’s gotten panties wet in shows like The 100, Ally McBeal, Living Single and Loving over the past few decades. His latest series on STARZ, P-Valley, is really good and worth peeping. Bruce Greenwood (Star Trek-the recent flicks, Thirteen Days, i,Robot) has been in some of my all-time favorite shows like The Larry Sanders Show, St. Elsewhere and The Hitchhiker. Mad Men fans will recognize Greenwood from his role as Richard Burghoff and he was also in Knots Landing which was highlighted in the Hallow Man RMR. Greenwood is also excellent in Gerald’s Game with the gorgeous Carla Gugino. Rounding out this portion of the cast are some longtime faves in Emmy Award winning Keith David (The Thing-1982 original, There’s Something About Mary, Requiem For A Dream), Lou Diamond Phillips (La Bamba, Young Guns, Courage Under Fire) and Clyde Kusatsu. “Clyde who?” you may be asking yourself. Clyde Kusatsu is one of those character actors that if you’ve been alive since 1970 you’ve seen him in just about everything. Kusatsu (Midway-1976 version, Paradise Road, The Interpreter) is one of those actors who when I see him I just feel good. Kusatsu is another guy who’s been in some real classics from yesteryear like Mannix, Alice, the original Hawaii Five-O, The Rockford Files, Taxi, All In The Family, Quincy, KNOTS LANDING, M*A*S*H, Webster, Dallas, Cagney & Lacey, Three’s A Crowd, TJ Hooker, The Fall Guy, Trapper John MD, MacGyver, Dynasty, LA Law, Magnum P.I., Thirtysomething, Murder She Wrote, Designing Women, Family Matters, Touched By An Angel, Party of Five, Beverly Hills 90210 and The Practice. Wow. What a career and the guy is still at it. You go Clyde!
A few quick notes before I get into the next set of the cast. Rick and Morty fans will recognize Keith David by voice as The President and Reverse Giraffe from the mega multi character “Total Rickall” episode. Also, Lou Diamond Phillips is pretty solid in Longmire.
Ok, so here’s the final set of the cast and these are the musicians. These actors have all achieved huge success in the music world and their talents work just as well on the silver screen. First and foremost you have one of the QUEENS of Motown, the one and only Empress of Soul Gladys Knight, as in Gladys Knight and The Pips. Certainly not Gladys’ first acting role but a rare one where she doesn’t play herself. Joining Knight are Master P (Moesha, I Got The Hook Up, Cellular), Dwight Yoakam (Sling Blade, Panic Room, Crank) who’s always so good when acting I forget he’s a musician, Andre 3000(Be Cool, Four Brothers) from Outkast and finally Kurupt. Who? You know, Kurupt from Half Past Dead and Big Momma’s House. Not ringing a bell? Allow me to throw down some of his lyrics I’m sure you’ll be familiar with. From Snoop Dogg’s 1993 Album Doggystyle here’s Kurupt on “Ain’t No Fun”. Many of you I’m sure can sing along pretty well…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GMwZ4dScBU
Well, if Kurupt gave a fuck about a bitch I’d always be broke
I’d never have no motherfuckin indo to smoke
I gets loced and looney, bitch you can’t Do Me
Do we look like BBD, you hoochie groupie?
I have no love for hoes
That’s somethin I learned in the pound
So how the fuck am I supposed
To pay this hoe, just to lay this hoe
I know the pussy’s mines, I’ma fuck a couple more times
And then I’m through with it, there’s nothing else to do with it
Pass it to the homie, now you hit it
Cause she ain’t nuthin but a bitch to me
And y’all know, that bitches ain’t shit to me
I gives a fuck, why don’t y’all pay attention
Approach it with a different proposition, I’m Kurupt
Hoe you’ll never be my only one, trick ass beeeitch!
It ain’t no fun, if the homies can’t have none
It ain’t no fun, if the homies can’t have none
Told ya! Now wasn’t that fun?! I realize it took a while to get through the cast but all long journeys are worth it. Right? So, did Hollywood Homicide win any awards? No. Should it have? No. HH is the kind of film where you shut your brain off and look at all the pretty people having fun collecting a good size paycheck. I mean where else are you going to see Harrison Ford, Martin Landau and Master P in the same scene. The cast is the allure for me. If you’re looking for a film that keeps it light then this just might be the movie for you. If you need more on the sales pitch, Smokey Robinson has a cameo and a young Anthony Mackie (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) is also in it.
OK, that’s it. Hollywood Homicide can currently be seen on STARZ. ENJOY!