A Movie A Day #207: Every Breath (1994, directed by Steve Bing)

Jimmy (Judd Nelson) is an actor, best known for yelling in a toothpaste commercial.  However, Jimmy is a serious actor and his perfectionist attitude makes it difficult for him to even find work in commercials.  When a wealthy but impotent arms dealer named Richard (Patrick Bachau) offers to pay to watch Jimmy have sex with Richard’s wife, Lauren (Joanna Pacula), Jimmy agrees.  When Jimmy meets Lauren at a party, he introduces himself.  She walks away.  He introduces himself again.  She slaps him.  He follows her to a lesbian bar and ends up getting beaten up outside.  After all of that, he finally gets invited to accompany Lauren back to her mansion.  Suddenly, Richard emerges from the shadows, holding a gun.  He fires at Jimmy.  Jimmy screams but then discovers that the gun was full of blanks.  He has been the victim of an elaborate game, one that Richard and Lauren play every night with a constantly changing cast of victims.

At first, Jimmy is upset and humiliated.  He returns home to his clueless girlfriend (Camille Cooper) and tries to sleep it off.  But he can’t stop thinking about Lauren.  The next day, he returns to Richard and Lauren’s mansion and soon finds himself being dragged back into their games.  What Jimmy does not know is that Richard doesn’t just enjoy humiliating people.  He also likes to kill them.

Every Breath was the first and only movie to be directed by Hollywood real estate mogul, film producer, and political donor Steve Bing.  There are enough weird camera angles, dream sequences, and monologues about love and morality that it is obvious that Bing was going for something more artistic than the typical Judd Nelson direct-to-video production.  For a first time director, Bing’s direction is slick but not slick enough to make up for large plot holes and a lot of half-baked philosophical dialogue.  For all of its pretensions towards being something more, Every Breath is a typical 90s neo-noir with little to distinguish it from something like In The Cold of the Night or Body Chemistry.  As Lauren, Joanna Pacula is sultry and sexy while Patrick Bachau does a good job playing a junior grade Marquis de Sade.  As for Judd, he’s Judd Nelson, which means scenes like this:

Whenever I watch a Judd Nelson movie, I wonder what Burt Reynolds, Judd’s co-star from Shattered If Your Kid’s On Drugs, would think.

On the one hand, Every Breath is a pretentious movie about three unlikable people.

On the other hand, Joanna Pacula.


Belatedly, here are the trailers for Thor: Ragnarok and Ready Player One!

I know, I know.  These two trailers dropped in July and I’m late in sharing them.  Trust me, I feel totally guilty.

Anyway, it’s been a good year for comic books movies so far.  Will that trend continue with Thor: Ragnarok?  Traditionally, of all the MCU films, it’s the Thor movies that always have the toughest time with the critics.  I’ll just say that, to me, Jeff Goldblum was born to play an intergalactic villain.

Plus, Tom Hiddleston!  Everyone loves Tom Hiddleston!

Thor: Ragnarok is coming out later this year.  We won’t get to see Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One until 2018 but we can watch this teaser!

Hopefully, after slipping a bit with The BFG, Spielberg will return to quality filmmaking with Ready Player One.

(It’s interesting to note that Spielberg does — in theory — have a film coming out this year.  It’s called The Papers and it was hastily put together to serve as both a historical drama and a rebuke to the Trump administration’s criticism of the press.  The Papers is currently in post-production and there’s some confusion as to whether it will be ready for a 2017 release and Oscar run.  To be honest, Ready Player One sounds like it’ll be more fun than The Papers.)

Here Are The Trailers for LBJ, Suburbicon, Rebel in the Rye, and 9-11!

Here’s four trailer for four films, none of which I have high hopes for.

First off, we’ve got LBJ.  You’d probably expect that I, as a history nerd, would be excited about any presidential biopic and that usually would be the case.  However, LBJ was directed by Rob Reiner and this seems like exactly the type of project that is going to bring out all of his worst tendencies as a filmmaker.  I imagine this film will make Lincoln look subtle.  I also imagine it will get some good review from the “Let’s make every review about Trump” crowd.

LBJ has actually been around for a while.  It was mentioned as an Oscar contender last year.  Then festival and preview audiences were exposed to it and all that LBJ Oscar talk abruptly ended.  No one is mentioning it as an Oscar contender this year.

The good news about Suburbicon is that it was co-written by the Coen Brothers.  The bad news is that it was directed by George Clonoey, a great actor who just happens to be an absolutely lousy director.  Much like LBJ, this is another film that I hope will be good but I just fear the material will bring out all of Clooney’s worst instincts as a filmmaker.

That said, as an actor, Clooney had done some of his best work for the Coens.  (His self-mocking performance in Burn After Reading was absolutely brilliant.)  So, I’m hoping that I’ll be proven wrong and Suburbicon will be great.

Rebel in the Rye is a biopic of writer J.D. Salinger.  The advance word on this one is not good.  Not good at all.

And finally, here’s the trailer for 9-11, which I’m predicting will be one of the worst films of 2017.  Outspoken truther Charlie Sheen plays a man stuck in a elevator September 11th.  Apparently, this was directed by Martin Guigui, who also directed National Lampoon’s Cattle Call.  

Apparently, this will be the first Charlie Sheen film to actually make it into theaters since A Glimpse Into The Mind of Charlie Swan III.  It’ll be released on September 8th and hopefully, it won’t be as annoying as Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.


Here’s The Teaser for Mother!

Here’s the teaser for Mother!  The full trailer drops on the 8th.

No one seems to be really sure what Mother! is about.  It appears to be a horror/thriller sort of thing but, with Darren Aronofsky directing, it’s safe to assume that there will be all sorts of layers of meaning.  Along with starring Jennifer Lawrence (who, after Joy and Passengers, could really use a movie that’s worthy of her talents), Mother! also features Javier Bardem, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Ed Harris.  Judging by how the majority of this teaser goes out of it’s way to portray Jennifer Lawrence as being isolated in a big house, I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that Bardem, Pfieffer, and Harris all plays figments of Lawrence’s imagination.

Who knows?  We’ll find out on September 15th!

Here’s The Trailer For Call Me By Your Name!

Every year, a major Oscar contender emerges from the Sundance Film Festival.  This year, a lot of people think that contender is going to be Mudbound.  Personally, I think it’s going to be Call Me By Our Name.

Mudbound, after all, was bought by Netflix and, judging from what happened to Beasts of No Nation, the Academy is not quite ready to embrace the Netflix brand.

Call Me By Your Name, on the other hand, is a historic drama that not only won’t be streaming until after the award ceremony but which will probably feel especially timely today.  Add to that, Armie Hammer’s in it and every year, film bloggers like me a contractually obligated to announce, ‘This is the year that Armie Hammer gets an Oscar nomination!  It may not have happened for The Social Network!  It may not have happened for J. Edgar!   It definitely didn’t happen for The Lone Ranger or whatever movie he made last year!  It might not happen for Free Fire but this year is still going to be the year of the Hammer!”

Check out the trailer below:

Here’s The Trailer for Eli Roth’s Death Wish!

We all know that Chicago has one of the highest murder rates in the nation.  What is not so clear is what to do about it.

Now, some would argue that perhaps a good first step would be for Chicago voters to stop electing douchebags like Rahm Emanuel, reject the city’s political machine, and actually make the sacrifices necessary for actual reform while taking an honest look at the effects of systemic racism, police corruption, and the bloated municipal government.

You could do all that or you could just give Bruce Willis a gun and send him out on a murder spree.  Guess which solution Death Wish goes for?

This film, from Eli Roth, will be released on November 22nd.  I imagine our resident Charles Bronson experts, Gary Loggins and Jedadiah Leland, will have a lot to say about it.