A Movie A Day #241: Distant Justice (1992, directed by Tôru Murakawa)

Inspector Rio (Bunta Sugawara) is visiting Boston for the first time.  When his wife accidentally photographs a drug deal in process, his family his attacked.  Rio’s wife is killed.  His daughter is kidnapped. When Rio goes to the local police, he gets no help.  It does not matter that Chief Bradfield (George Kenendy!) is an old friend of his.  Bradfield is on the verge of retirement and he knows that almost every cop in his precinct is corrupt.  The drug syndicate is so powerful that even the local politicians (represented by David Carradine in the role of Joe Foley) are in their back pocket.  Rio is told to go back to Japan but instead, Rio wages war on the Boston syndicate himself.  With the help of one of Boston’s only honest cops (Eric Lutes) and Bradfield, Rio sets out to rescue his daughter and get justice!  Distant justice!

Distant Justice is a typical low-budget 90s action film.  Bystanders get shot, bad guys get blown up, and there’s a shot of someone screaming as he plunges to his death.  The problem with Distant Justice is that it totally wastes David Carradine in a nothing role as a crooked politician.  If Carradine is in a movie about a cop seeking vengeance on a drug lord, Carradine either has to play the cop or he has to be play the drug lord.  If he is cast in any role other than that, the movie has to be considered a failure.  George Kennedy is his usual likable self (Kennedy built one of the longest careers in the movie on pure likability) but even that cannot make up for not taking advantage of having David Carradine as a member of the cast.  Distant Justice is a missed opportunity.

Little Tin God: SHIELD FOR MURDER (United Artists 1954)

cracked rear viewer

Edmond O’Brien  is big, burly, and brutal in 1954’s SHIELD FOR MURDER, a grim film noir about a killer cop trapped in that ol’ inevitable downward spiral. It’s a good (though not great) crime drama that gave the actor a seat in the director’s chair, sharing credit with another first timer, Howard W. Koch. The film, coming at the end of the first noir cycle, strives for realism, but almost blows it in the very first scene when the shadow of a boom mike appears on an alley fence! Chalk it up to first-timer’s jitters, and a budget that probably couldn’t afford retakes.

O’Brien, noted for such noir thrillers as THE KILLERS , WHITE HEAT, and DOA, stars as crooked cop Barney Nolan, who murders a bookie in that alley I just mentioned and rips him off for 25 grand. Apartently, this isn’t the first time Nolan’s killed, with the…

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Music Video of the Day: Amber by 311 (2002, dir. The Malloys)

i like blood recently told me to put on Amber by 311 because it would make me vomit. How could I not take that challenge?

I didn’t vomit. It is a song I can honestly say that I forgot existed. I’m not sure what memories this conjures up. I wanna say, sitting in a car in a parking lot outside of Togo’s. That’s all I’ve got.

The video, I’m almost 100% certain, I didn’t see it until I sat down to write this post.

What can I say about it?
You can say it’s not very good and you’ll forget it the instant it’s over.
We’re doing a question and answer post again?

Q: Why doesn’t the camera just go through the beads at the start?
A: Because the video is obsessed with fade transitions. It probably saved them money as well.

Q: Why is he lifting his hand in the air? He does it several times during the video.
A: It’s because melismas were popular at the time. There were a lot of artists who moved their hands around like that.

Q: Why is his face out of focus?
A: They probably screwed up.

Q: Did you notice the 311 St. sign?
A: In between the annoying jump cuts? Yes, I did.

Q: I guess that’s a street known for streaking, right?
A: Congratulations. You looked up that 311 is the police code for indecent exposure. Anything else?

Q: Umm…he has a hole in his T-Shirt.
A: He sure does. Also, we should be listening to Bad Brains instead of this.

Q: Aren’t you going to show some screenshots of stuff that happens outside that room?
A: Nothing happens out there.

Q: Very true, but there is one person people might recognize.
A: Fine. If you look at the scenes where lead-singer Nick Hexum is in the water, then you’ll notice that the woman he is with is Nicole Scherzinger. She was his fiancee at the time, a member of Eden’s Crush, and would go on to do things such as The Pussycat Dolls. The song is about her.

Q: I think that’s it. That is unless you want to make a joke about the campfire bit by trying to tie it to Cabin Fever (2002) and Doctor Dog.
A: I’ll pass. The rest of the video, campfire included, is just a group of people doing things at the beach. It’s as calming as watching other people have fun at the beach. That is to say, it’s really boring.

Q: Wait a second. I forgot to ask who made this thing?
A: The Malloys directed it. They are actually Emmett Malloy and Brendan Malloy who have somewhere between 40-50 music video credits to their names. The video’s first assistant director was John Downer. He has worked as such on around 83 music videos. They’ve all done other work.

Q: Gonna end this with your stupid catchphrase?
A: No. I’ll just end it with their drummer apparently having discovering the language from Arrival (2016) seeing as I only enjoyed that film a little more than this video.