Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hustle (1975)

Although we have only just obtained a copy of 1969's "Impasse" we are growing weary of's ongoing Burt Reynold's project, in which we attempt to try to figure out when the famous Playgirl model (December, 1974) lost his mind, and are beginning to wonder if perhaps the project could cause us to lose ours.

Although we remain committed to seeing 1977s "Semi-Tough" since the disc is rented and sitting around the house. Also, the rare nature of "Impasse" appeals to our warped, natural attraction toward anything not popular enough to be in print. This same backward logic applies to 1975's "W.W. and the Dixie Dance Kings."

None of these films are likely to beat "Hustle," which includes all of the wooden-headed elements of the contemporary cop/crime/action genre practically founded by Reynolds by dumbing down a formula introduced by Clint Eastwood with "Dirty Harry" in 1971.

I don't remember anyone mentioning a hustle in "Hustle," though I do recall Christ being referred to by his full name twice, and by full name I mean with his middle initial, H., which made me finally decide what his middle name was. I have often wondered what the H. stands for (Henry? Horatio? Horace?) and have decided it may stand for Hustle. Or at least that might be what this film is suggesting. I can't quite tell.

If you think that's ridiculous, see this movie because that's nothing. A girl who eventually dies (I'm not ruining anything) strips at a club called -- I'm not making this up -- the Scanty Clad Club. Then, in an actual scene Burt Reynolds' character, this Lieutenant Phil Gaines, he yells at Catherine Deneuve's character, "Bitch, you goddamn bitch," as he slaps her around the room. Then he forces himself on her. She tries to get away, but his passion and sheer L.A. cop-fullness is way too much for her. Instead her passion blooms and she tears her blouse open for him, totally aroused. I'm gonna try that sweet-talk myself and see how it goes ("Relax baby, I saw this in a movie once...".

Meanwhile, the father of the murdered dancer at the Scanty Clad Club seems sort of frustrated that nobody is interested in looking into who may have killed her. The reason? He's a nobody. Well let me tell you something, that's not the kind of local government Lieutenant Phil Gaines is part of! He took an oath to protect and to serve and damn it, he's going to bring that killer to justice.

Basically you got a movie here about a cop considered a hero because he does what he's supposed to do even though he's stressed out because his girlfriend's a hooker.

By the way, you know a guy has gone insane in a movie when the sound cuts out while they're showing him. I think it's to show that he's disconnected from everyone and reality. It's one of those movie universals, like when a swing is shown swinging without a child it means a kid has been abducted, or when a lit match or cigarette drops in slow motion it's about to explode something flammable, like a gas leak.

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