Tag Archives: Burt Reynolds

The Player Review

We live in the land of rejection, but much of The Player is focused on how we adapt to sore losers than an implicit desire to improve upon refusal. Its tale of a studio executive hounded by death threats from an anonymous writer is in pole position to criticise and chastise the Hollywood scenery. With Robert Altman helming a finely-tuned ensemble, it is hard to see where or why he could put a foot wrong when presenting Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) to audiences. As its tracking shot makes the hectic life of a studio producer known, The Player introduces us to the lust, allures and obscenities of star-power, stardom and desire.  

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The Cannonball Run Review

Don’t judge a book by its cover, but judge a film by how similar it feels to the other projects of its director. Hal Needham stormed into the 1980s with the topics and styles that made him so popular just four years prior. The Cannonball Run doesn’t just feel like Smokey and the Bandit, it has the same riffs, gags and protagonists that cajole and connive as they try and achieve the great, modern American Dream, cash. Dragging Burt Reynolds into his piece once again, the bond between Needham and Reynolds is, apparently, inseparable. If only it were, for the two have not, in hindsight, offered us their best works together. An oddly long-winded take on Wacky Races and a sure piece of inspiration for Rat Race, there is no sign of stopping Needham’s desire to find the funny in the American outlaw.  

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Smokey and the Bandit Review

Unfairly, perhaps, but Smokey and the Bandit is still a film I rope into the Dukes of Hazzard style and setting. Burt Reynolds is not the link between the two films, but the country antics and redneck relaxation of the inhabitants. Country music for this Hal Needham film replaces the appearance of country legend Willie Nelson in the Johnny Knoxville comedy vehicle. If there’s one thing these cowboy-hat wearing freaks love more than their country music, it is good old American beer. I’m not sure why that is. I’ve tried American beer, and it is as close to water as the boats in the harbour. American drinking culture is a fascinating avenue worthy of criticism, but now is not the place for it. Smokey and the Bandit, after all, is a PG. 

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The Dukes of Hazzard Review

Opening on the sprawling fields of Georgia, The Dukes of Hazzard hopes the somewhat rugged, historic fields will distract from the absolute nothingness within. Our chirpy narrator tells us that this is where the apple pie may have been invented. Such delicious texture and variety similar to apple pie are nowhere to be found, and I find this claim of invention rather dubious. Redneck comedy with two rather rich gentlemen at the helm of it, The Dukes of Hazzard adapts the mediocrity of the television show with all the cold beers, denim shorts and burnt-out stars it can get its hands on. That explains Burt Reynolds, anyway. Rest his poor soul, his latter days as a performer are filled with these stinkers and duds of the comedy genre, a supremely upsetting segment of twilight years, reserved for hillbilly comedies detailing NASCAR racers and petty feuds.  

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In the Name of the King (2007) Review

Hindsight is a beautiful concept. The ability to look back on statements that you yourself have made in the past and laugh at how wrong or stupid you had been around five or six years ago. In my case, hindsight comes rather rapidly and extremely frequently, and in a review for Fuck You All: The Uwe Boll Story, I defended the director saying I had yet to see a truly terrible movie from him. I have now seen a truly terrible movie from German filmmaker Uwe Boll, and In the Name of the King is just that film.

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Deliverance (1972) Review

I think it goes without saying that you should never canoe through dangerous waters. Whether or not that danger is the water itself or the inhabitants that surround the water, you’re best off just staying away from small bodies of water. That does include rivers, bathtubs, oceans and water bottles, but unlike the leading group we find ourselves saddled with in Deliverance, I don’t like to take chances. Deliverance looks to showcase the disasters at hand when four friends decide to take a weekend break traversing a small river that will soon cease to be when a dam is built, cutting off the water supply and thus making the river completely dry. 

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