In 1997, Burt Reynolds seemed on the verge of a credibility comeback with his performance as pornographer Jack Horner in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights.” While that might be the closest Reynolds ever got to adult movies (no, “Deliverance” does not count), the same can’t be said for the titles of his films. In fact, no other actor in cinematic history has made more films with titles that sound like they are dirty pornos than has the great Burt Reynolds.
Here’s just the Top 10.
10. “Striptease” (1996)
9. “Stick” (1985)
8. “City Heat” (1984)
7. “Fuzz” (1972)
6. “The Longest Yard” (2005)
5. TIE: “The End” (1978)/”Semi Tough” (1977)
4. “Lucky Lady” (1975)
3. “Hustle” (1975)
2. “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” (1982)
1. “Stroker Ace” (1983)
Honorable mentions go to “Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)” (1972); “Rough Cut” (1980); “The Man Who Loved Women” (1983); “Heat” (1986); “Rent-a-Cop” (1987); “Physical Evidence” (1989); “Modern Love” (1990); and, of course, “Cop and 1/2” (1993).
“Hootin’ the Blues” (and “When the Saints Go Marching In”) performed by Sonny Terry on harmonica (born in North Carolina, 1911-1986), and Brownie McGhee on guitar (born in Tennessee, 1915-1996). Accompanied by Pete Seeger on guitar (born in New York, 1919-).
Let me start by saying I hate interleague baseball. HATE.
Now, what I really want this season is another World Series title for the Dodgers. Second, another League Championship; third, the NL West title.
No matter what happens, I also want the entire Giants organization to die in a fiery airplane crash, or suck like the suckers they are. Whatever.
But if none of this happens, my consolation prize for this season could have been this weekend’s match up with New York. But, because the Dodgers are the Dodgers and blew a 6-3 lead in the 9th, I will have no such satisfaction.
Dodgers fans–the hardcore ones–keep the rivalry with SF alive and well. It is, in many ways, a sacred obligation, like being a Cardinal in conclave and picking the next Pope. It’s historic. It’s holy. It’s God’s work.
But the Yankees are like the Midgets times 1 quadrillion. They are the Devil. The rivalry with SF is so damn satisfying because they’ve never won a World Series in the Bay. They are the pesky chihuahua to our bulldog. It’s kind of cute, really (unless we lose to them). The Yankees, on the other hand, are the reason we exist. They’ve beat us 8 times in the big show. Eight times! Our eternal quest is to even the score, and to hate them and destroy them as best we can until that glorious day.
1981 World Series
As a small child, I learned very quickly that this was as serious business as there was in the world–like words from a priest or a nun. We were a Dodger family in a Dodger town. The lessons came often, and were clear. In ’81, when we beat them in the series, I almost cried. My mom came home later that night to a husband and son jumping out of their skins. When I told her the news (news she undoubtedly already knew) she told me “Congratulations!” like I had something to do with it. In a way, we all did.
That is why this weekend mattered to me, to us. It could have been one step closer to retribution and eternal salvation.
Instead, this weekend is now another reason for me to refocus on my only real life’s work: to raise two (soon, three) children who know how to be loving, caring, peaceful, and humane people–people who simultaneously despise, with all their powers, the fucking New York Yankees.
What would you say if I used a chainsaw as a paper weight? A waste of a chainsaw, no? Well that is the simplistic reasoning behind this list of the the “Top 5 Worst Nick Nolte Movies” of all-time.
These are not necessarily bad movies. These are not necessarily movies in which Nick Nolte does not act well. They are ONLY, and quite simply, movies which do not offer enough foaming-at-the-mouth, Nick Nolte yelling. That is what Nick Nolte does best. That is why we love Nick Nolte. And, well, you gots to let the big Nolte dog run.
5. Jefferson in Paris (1995)
Perhaps the most important rule in Nolte-land is that you must keep Nick Nolte in the 20th century. If you move him back in time, it MUST be back to place in time when people looked and smelled worse, and related to each other with words covered in tobacco spit. (I couldn’t find a clip of this flick in English, so here’s a photo of Nolte as Jefferson. Notice the lack of grizzled saliva or even the hint of irrational anger.)
4. I’ll Do Anything (1994)
This movie is Nolte-wrong in too many ways to count. He has a cute little girl and he is placed in numerous scenes where his tough-insanity is supposed to be cute. I think sometimes James L. Brooks actually thinks Nolte might be cute. Here’s the trailer, which will looked dated even in 1994.
3. I Love Trouble (1994)
Now, this movie at least cast Nick Nolte for some of the unique skills of frustrated anger that only Nick Nolte can bring to the screen. But they keep it in a box, never letting it verge on this side of crazy, and keeping it tame only to frame him as a credible love interest to Julia Roberts. In a real Nolte film, she should be running from him while clutching a sword. Here’s a clip with a foreign-language voice over, which I can only assume is dissecting all the things that are wrong with this casting.
2. Lorenzo’s Oil (1992)
Oh Lord! This movie is sad. Not bad sad, but melodramatic, tug-at-your-heart-strings sad. It’s a true story of a couple trying to help their dying son find a cure for his rare disease. Nolte plays the father. While it works in pure “cinematic” terms, it fails on the Nolte scale. First off, he plays an accented-character, but he is not dangerous. There are lots of doctors and scientists in this movie, but none of them are played by Nolte, and none of them are torturing or terrorizing others. Finally, while Nolte goes crazy a few times in the film, it is a craziness fueled by love and empathy for his child and wife. Here’s a clip, but BEWARE. Not only is there a sick child, but Nolte makes his wife dinner.
1. Prince of Tides (1991)
I am told there are people who love this movie. I don’t know who they are or who they might be but I do know they don’t include me. In her defense, Barbara Streisand let’s Nolte get somewhat emotional, just not yellingly so, and certainly not enough in Nolte-appropriate contexts (war, basketball, on the city streets with Eddie Murphy). In the end, we have a crying Nolte who is becoming more attune to his feelings as the film progresses–even falling in love! It is a affront too all things holy/Nolte, and as such, tops our list.
I can’t tell you how both happy and sad I feel that HBO’s “Treme” is concluding its first season this weekend. The show, so far, is top notch. Whenever people ask me about it, I keep returning to the same description: “It’s a show written for grown-ups.” That doesn’t mean the themes or topics are more “adult” than other shows; the presentation of the characters and their struggles is just so authentic and paced that I think it really rewards somebody who can take their time with TV and who likes to be respected as a viewer. I’ll miss it until its return for season 2.
The happiness comes from the fact that one of our other favorite shows–“True Blood”–is back for its third season. “True Blood”–which is the opposite of the above description–is a good time, like a roller coaster or a cold Budweiser on a summer day.
Thing is, “True Blood” airs before “Treme” and, frankly, I can’t take that. I had to watch “Treme” on DVR today, a day after it aired. Otherwise, it’s like having my ice cream before dinner. With “Treme” leaving us for awhile (and I assume, “Entourage” coming back to fill its place) it’ll just be like having some cake after my ice cream, or a donut.
“The nation we knew as Dixie survived into the 1950s because it zealously policed its borders. Within those borders, racial oppression reigned supreme, controlling not only public space but public conversation and private conscience and narrowing the political imagination of even its most defiant subjects. Those who openly protested white domination had to leave, one way or another. Once they left, they could no longer be Southerners. Those who did not grow up within the South would always be outsiders, for they could never be Southerners either. I rose and stood for “Dixie” until I was twenty years old, when I finally made the connection between my mythical country and racial oppression.”
Some interesting chatter in the blogosphere today about the spending in yesterday’s primary election in California. I thought I’d connect some of the dots…
Meg Whitman won the Republican nomination for Governor of California yesterday; Jerry Brown did the same for the Democrats. Both immediately began their campaigns against one another, with Whitman calling her opponent a liberal “tax and spend” politician as she celebrated her business acumen. But this “business giant” who claims to know how to get things done, spent roughly $81 million dollars for (thus far) 1,101,528 votes while her opponent spent about $200,000 for 1,478,752 votes.
That means Meg Whitman spend about $74 for every vote she got. Jerry Brown spent less than 14¢ per vote.
I know, I know, apples and oranges and all that. But Brown does have a record of being habitually frugal while Whitman has a record of being habitually rich and able to spend to get what she wants.