A Movie A Day #262: Downtown (1990, directed by Richard Benjamin)

Alex (Anthony Edwards) is a patrolman assigned to the nicest neighborhood in Philadelphia but, after he gets in trouble for pulling over a wealthy businessman (David Clennon), he is told that he can either be suspended or he can take a transfer downtown, to the Diamond Street precinct.  Alex takes the transfer, even though everyone on the force says that “not even the Terminator would go to Diamond Street.”  Alex gets assigned to work with seasoned Sgt. Dennis Curren (Forest Whitaker), who is still emotionally scarred by the death of his former partner and does not want to have to babysit a naive white cop from the suburbs, especially one who is obsessed with the Beach Boys.  At first, Alex struggles with his new assignment and his new partner but, when an old friend is murdered by a notorious hitman (Joe Pantoliano), Alex is determined to crack the case and bring the killer to justice.

Downtown is a combination of other, better cop films: Alex’s situation is Beverly Hills Cop in reverse and his partnership with Dennis is lifted straight from Lethal Weapon.  Art Evans is the captain who is always yelling at Alex and Dennis and telling them to drop the case and the character is so familiar that I had to check to make sure that Evans had not played the same role in Lethal Weapon.  As the bad guys, Clennon and Pantoliano could just have easily been replaced by Beverly Hills Cop‘s Steven Berkoff and Jonathan Banks and no one would have noticed.  The only real difference is that Downtown is neither as exciting nor as funny as those two films.  Downtown was directed by Richard Benjamin, who will never be known as a particularly versatile filmmaker and who struggles to balance the fish-out-of-water comedy with some surprisingly brutal violence.  Beverly Hills Cops had Eddie Murphy and Lethal Weapon had Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.  Downtown has Anthony Edwards and Forest Whitaker, who are both good actors but who both seem to be woefully miscast here.  (If Downtown were made today, Whitaker could play Dennis but, in 1990, he was too young to be the cop who was “too old for this shit.”)    Of the many Lethal Weapon ripoffs that came out in late 80s and early 90s, Downtown is one of the most forgettable.


The Main Event: Kirk Douglas in CHAMPION (United Artists 1949)

cracked rear viewer

Kirk Douglas  slugged his way to superstardom in director Mark Robson’s CHAMPION, one of two boxing noirs made in 1949. The other was THE SET-UP , helmed by Robson’s former RKO/Val Lewton stablemate Robert Wise. While that film told of an aging boxer (Robert Ryan) on the way down, CHAMPION is the story of a hungry young fighter who lets nothing stand in his way to the top of the food chain. The movie not only put Douglas on the map, it was a breakthrough for its young independent producer Stanley Kramer .

Douglas is all muscle and sinew as middleweight Midge Kelly, and a thoroughly rotten heel. He’s a magnetic character, a classic narcissist with sociopathic tendencies drawing the people around him into his web with his charm. Midge has no empathy for others, not even his loyal, game-legged brother Connie (Arthur Kennedy in a solid performance), after…

View original post 479 more words

Music Video of the Day: On And On And On by ABBA (1980, dir. Anders Hanser)

That’s exactly how I feel with this retrospective. On and on and on. At least I can take comfort in the fact that some great stuff is coming.


ends up doing a video that is like Fifty Shades Of Grey (2015).


and Björn…

will bring us a rock opera with at least one well-known song.

Finally, we get to see Frida…

become a private detective of sorts to expose the guy that I’m just going to assume is the same one who ends up in the Agnetha video, seeing as both songs were written by the same person.

But before we get to Frida and her panda…

we still have some more ABBA videos made prior to the break up.

The song shares a similarity with Let There Be Rock by AC/DC. You might recall that Bon Scott screwed up and introduced “sound” before “light”. You can hear it that way in the video and on the album. It was intended to be the other way around, which you can hear in live performances. In the case of this video, they used an earlier version of the song that included an extra verse involving Humpty-Dumpty. That one didn’t get a stereo release until 2011.

The photographs used to make up this video were taken from a concert they did in Las Vegas in 1979.

Except for the information above, the Wikipedia article is pretty slim, and I was lucky it had any information in it to begin with or that an article even existed. I guess why they felt the need to reintroduce people to the members of the band will remain a mystery to me for the time being. It doesn’t even kick in with the line, “He said, “Who am I and who are you and who are we?”

For me, this is one of the weakest videos in the ABBA collection so far. I enjoy the song, but like the video, I’ll forget about it pretty quickly.

IMDb lists ABBA’s late-70s photographer Anders Hanser as the director. Mvdbase lists Lasse Hallström. I decided to go with Hanser. It seemed to make the most sense. You can read a bit about him and his relationship with the band here.


ABBA retrospective:

  1. Bald Headed Woman by The Hep Stars (1966, dir. ???)
  2. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  3. Tangokavaljeren by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  4. Vårkänslor (ja, de’ ä våren) by Agnetha & Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  5. Titta in i men lilla kajuta by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  6. Nu Ska Vi Vara Snälla by Björn & Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  7. Finns Det Flickor by Björn & Sten Nilsson (1969, dir. ???)
  8. Nu Ska Vi Opp, Opp, Opp by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  9. Det Kommer En Vår by Agnetha (1969, dir. ???)
  10. Beate-Christine by Björn (1969, dir. ???)
  11. En Stilla Flirt by Agnetha & ??? (1969, dir. ???) + 8 Hootenanny Singers Videos From 1966
  12. Att Älska I Vårens Tid by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  13. Min Soldat by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  14. Söderhavets Sång by Frida (1970, dir. ???)
  15. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  16. Ring, Ring by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  17. Love Isn’t Easy (But It Sure Is Hard Enough) by ABBA (1973, dir. ???)
  18. Waterloo by ABBA (1974, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  19. Honey Honey by ABBA (1974, dir. ???)
  20. Hasta Mañana by ABBA (1974, dir. ???)
  21. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  22. I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do by ABBA (1975, dir. ???)
  23. Bang-A-Boomerang by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  24. SOS by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  25. Mamma Mia by ABBA (1975, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  26. Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  27. Tropical Loveland by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  28. When I Kissed The Teacher by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  29. Tiger by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  30. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. ???)
  31. Money, Money, Money by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  32. Fernando by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström) + Spanish Version
  33. My Love, My Life by ABBA (1976, dir. Per Falkman)
  34. Dancing Queen by ABBA (1976, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  35. That’s Me by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  36. Knowing Me, Knowing You by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  37. The Name Of The Game by ABBA (1977, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  38. Thank You For The Music/Gracias Por La Música by ABBA (1977/1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  39. One Man, One Woman by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  40. Take A Chance On Me by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  41. Eagle by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  42. Summer Night City by ABBA (1978, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  43. Estoy Soñando by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  44. Chiquitia by ABBA (1979, dir. ???)
  45. Does Your Mother Know by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  46. Voulez-Vous by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  47. Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie! (A Man After Midnight) by ABBA (1979, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  48. Conociéndome, Conociéndote by ABBA (1980, dir. Lasse Hallström)
  49. I Have A Dream by ABBA (1980, dir. Urban Lasson)
  50. The Winner Takes It All by ABBA (1980, dir. Lasse Hallström)