Wednesday, July 11, 2012

48 HRS.

Is it strange to watch a movie because your last name happens to be the name of a character in it? That's what made my friends Mark and Jenn sit me down and finally watch the 1982 Walter Hill classic 48 Hrs. If you've read any of my previous blogs, then you know when I was growing up I wasn't allowed to watch R rated movies so that's how Eddie Murphy's debut slipped past my radar, and honestly I never was a huge Murphy fan until my wife introduced me to Raw and Delirious. I mean sure, I'd seen 1988's Coming to America a million times as a kid and loved it (at a friend's house of course), but out of Murphy's catalog I had only really seen movies like The Nutty Professor, Dr. Dolittle, Life, Bowfinger, Daddy Day Care, Norbit and of course Shrek.  So I'll admit, it was my own fault for judging Murphy's early work based solely on his later career movies (never did see The Adventures of Pluto Nash) but 48 Hrs. had a bigger problem for me: Nick Nolte. I don't know what it is about Nolte - maybe it's his garbled drawl, you know how he sort of sounds similar to Jeff Bridges portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in the 2010 version of True Grit? Or the fact he seems like his "acting" always verges on being eerily similar to his 2002 real life experiences, or maybe it's just me, I dunno. Either way, 48 Hrs. wasn't really high on my priority list to see. But then Mark and Jenn began to chant "Kehoe" at me, not something I'm unfamiliar with due to the fact I've been in the military for eleven years now (I'm quite used to be known by my last name) but a personal pet peeve of mine is not getting the joke and I couldn't get the reference because I'd never seen the movie. It was time to rectify this and since Throwback Thursdays are on a temporary hiatus for the summer (can't wait until they're back) we decided to finally do something we've all talked about for a while now: start a movie night.

We've tried this before on several different incarnations, most of them involving holidays and horror movies, and unfortunately for Jenn most of them ended in the movies not being seen because of too many people and too much drinking. But 48 Hrs. was different; it was just going to be the four of us (Jenn and Mark plus Jaclyn and Myself) and this time the movie was going to be the focus. No crazy meals (in the past we made some Epic Meal Time craziness) and no booze (not really a tall order with Jaclyn carrying our first child), just the movie and some pizza. And much to my surprise, keeping it simple (just like my teachers used to say) made the night go off without a hitch. I even got to catch up on some South Park before and after the movie, but that's a different story and this is about 48 Hrs.

I liked the movie more than I had anticipated and not just because of Brion James’ portrayal of my namesake. I liked the fact that it was a hard R action movie and not that surprising coming from the guy that brought us The Warriors, which has to be my favorite movie he directed (Can you dig it?) And it was a nice change of pace to see a cop/criminal team up that didn't seem fake or forced. In the beginning it was more than obvious that Jack Cates and Reggie Hammond didn't even speak the same language let alone inhabit the same world. Without giving too much away (incase like me you grew up under a rock) Cates needs Hammond to help him track down an escaped convict, Albert Ganz, who currently has possession of Cates' gun. It turns out that Hammond used to be in a gang with Ganz and now Hammond and Cates have a similar enemy. The real joy of the movie is watching the relationship between Cates and Hammond turn from adversarial to one of almost mutual respect. I say almost because after all at the end of the day Cates was an alcoholic (pattern?) no nonsense cop and Hammond was a hustler. I guess the thing that really threw me off was this was more of a straight action movie than an action comedy. When I heard Eddie Murphy was in it, I think I automatically assumed it was going to be more slapsticky, but really Murphy only gives his patented guffaw twice in the whole movie, and even though he gives some comedic relief he plays his role pretty straight. I can't say I'll be adding 48 Hrs. to my must buy list anytime soon, but I'm glad that I got to see it and even with my initial reservations about Nolte (I still think he sounds like Rooster Cogburn) I did enjoy it. But more than anything else, I now will know why Mark and Jenn are giggling whenever they yell "Kehoe." Until next time...

After Thoughts: Our next movie night is actually a movie marathon this Friday the 13th where we will reattempt watching as many of the Friday the 13th movies as we can. Follow along on Twitter to keep up to date with what movie we are currently on and stay tuned for the follow up blog.