An Olympic Review: The Cutting Edge (dir by Paul Michael Glaser)


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Hi everyone!

So, I just watched the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics!  And I have to say that I really enjoyed them but then again, I always enjoy the Olympics and not just the gymnastic stuff that everyone loves.  It’s odd because I’m really not into sports at all.  I guess I just like the idea behind the Olympics.  I like the idea of people from all nations gathered together in one country, linked together in the spirit of fair competition and, most importantly, not killing each other.

Plus, I can’t help but love the spectacle of it all!

I figured that, for the duration of the games, I would attempt to post one Olympic-themed film a day.  Now, I have to admit that this is one of those things that seemed easier when I was thinking about it then it does now that I’m actually trying to do it.  But we’ll see what happens!

Originally, I was going to limit myself to films about the Summer Olympics but then I realized that, by doing that, I wouldn’t be able to write about the 1992 film, The Cutting Edge!  And that would be a shame because I really like The Cutting Edge!

The Cutting Edge tells a story that is both thoroughly predictable and yet thoroughly charming at the same time.  Doug Dorsey (D.B. Sweeney) is a likable and kinda dorky blue collar guy who also happens to be one of the best hockey players in the world.  Kate Moseley (Moira Kelly) is a world-class figure skater who has been totally spoiled by her father (Terry O’Quinn) and whose imperious attitude has managed to alienate every partner that she’s ever had.

At the 1988 Olympics, Doug and Kate run into each other.  Literally, they collide with each other in the arena.  Doug is apologetic.  Kate snaps at him to watch where he’s going.  Later, Doug is injured in a game and is forced to retire from hockey.  Meanwhile, Kate’s latest partner deliberately drops her during their program and Kate is forced to settle for a silver medal.

Two years pass.  Doug is working at a steel mill when he’s approached by a Russian coach named Anton Pamchenko (Roy Dotrice).  Anton explains that Kate needs yet another new partner.  Desperate to return to the Olympics, Doug agrees to skate with her.

And things go about the way you would expect.  At first, Kate hates Doug.  But slowly, Doug starts to win her over and Kate starts to lower her defenses and warm up to him.  Kate teaches Doug how to be a champion figure skater.  Doug teaches Kate how to be nice.  Soon, they’re in love but unfortunately, Kate already has a boyfriend — a lawyer named Stuffy Q. McBorington (Dwier Brown).

(Actually, he might not be a lawyer.  And his name isn’t Stuffy Q. McBorington.  But it might as well be!)

Convincing Kate to leave her boyfriend is actually the easy part.  The hard part is going to be winning the gold!  Doug still has some rough edges and Kate can still be demanding but they love each other and we all know that love conquers all!

The Cutting Edge is one of those movies that used to be on cable all the time when I was growing up and I always loved watching it!  I wanted a boyfriend like Doug and I wanted to wear cute costumes like Kate and I wanted to win a gold medal.

Yes, it’s a totally predictable movie.  Not a single moment or line will surprise you.  But it’s such a likable movie!  Sweeney and Kelly have a really sweet chemistry and the skating action is well-directed and what more can you ask for a romantic comedy about ice skating?

I rewatched The Cutting Edge earlier today.

I still love it!

Enjoy the Olympics, everyone!

 

Cleaning Out The DVR: I Have Your Children


I Have Your Children

After watching 911 Nightmare, I continued to clean out the DVR by watching I Have Your Children.  I Have Your Children originally aired on Lifetime on January 1st.  That’s right — this is the first Lifetime film of the year!

Anyway, I Have Your Children is a film about hostage negotiation and, after reading that, are you still awake?  For whatever reasons, there have been hundreds of movies and TV shows about hostage negotiators and they’re usually pretty boring and predictable.  Some crazy person takes a group of people hostage.  The SWAT team surrounds him.  A hostage negotiator who is haunted by a past failure shows up and does the whole, “Just talk to me” routine.  The SWAT team just wants to shoot the guy and the negotiator does the whole, “You are putting the hostages in danger!” routine.  Usually, it turns out that the guy holding the hostages is doing so because he was screwed over by a bank or health insurance company or maybe he lost all of his money due to a smarmy stockbroker.  There’s usually a scene where the negotiator delivers food to the hostages.

Seriously, a hostage negotiator film just writes itself.  Maybe that’s why there’s so many of them.

Anyway, at first glance, I Have Your Children seems like pretty much your standard hostage negotiator film.  A guy named Calum stops taking his mediation and hijacks a school bus.  It turns out that Calum’s mother is dying but she can’t get the treatment she needs because of the big horrible health insurance company!  Calum is demanding a huge ransom, enough money to be able to pay for his mother’s treatment.  One of the kidnapped kids is the daughter of a claims adjuster at the insurance company!

The SWAT Team just wants to rush in with guns blazing and if that means that all the hostages die, so be it.  Fortunately, Amber Cross (Alaina Huffman) is there to negotiate with Calum.  Amber, of course, has issues of her own.  A hostage died during one of her previous negotiations.  Her ex-husband is planning on marrying a younger woman.  (It’s a Lifetime film, after all.)  Her son is being bullied at school.  Fortunately, Amber’s father-in-law happens to be the chief of police and he’s going to keep Amber employed, even if a snarky reporter and the fascistic SWAT Team leader continue to insist that she’s thoroughly incompetent…

However, towards the end of the film, there’s a big twist and it kind of makes up for how predictable the film has been up to that point.  Obviously, I can’t really reveal the twist without spoiling the film but I will say that it was clever and fairly unexpected and it pretty much saved the entire film from being totally forgettable.  So, if you happen to watch I Have Your Children, the best advice I can give is to stick with the movie and have some faith that it will eventually pay off!

Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with having a little faith.

Shattered Politics #70: The Brady Bunch In The White House (dir by Neal Israel)


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What happens when architect and suburban dad Mike Brady (Gary Cole) is elected Vice President of the United States?  Well, President Randolph (Dave Nichols) ends up having to resign when it turns out that he’s thoroughly corrupt.  Mike Brady is sworn in as the new President and then appoints his wife Carol (Shelley Long) as his new Vice President.  He and his wife run an ethical and determinedly old-fashioned administration.  When Senators argue, Carol suggests that they need a time out.  When Mike is handed a report that indicates trouble for the economy, Mike looks at it, signs it, and says, “We can do better.”  When a racist Senator is seated next to a black nationalist at a White House reception, the two opponents are both served peanut butter on crackers by the Alice, the Brady Family housekeeper and soon, they are bonding over their shared love of peanut butter.

Of course, not everything’s perfect.  For instance, middle daughter Jan (Ashley Drane) is haunted by voices in her head that tell her that she’ll never be better than older sister Marcia (Autumn Reeser).  However, fortunately, Jan discovers a talking portrait of Abraham Lincoln who talks some sense to her.

And then, middle son Peter (Blake Foster) accidentally breaks a priceless Ming vase.  All of the other Brady kids take responsibility for breaking it.  President and Vice President Brady quickly figure out that Peter was responsible and, in order to make him confess, they punish every Brady kid but Peter.  And then…

Okay, are you getting the feeling that Brady Bunch In The White House is a stupid movie?  Well, it is.  This 2002 film was made for television and serves as a sequel to the earlier Brady Bunch Movie and A Very Brady Sequel.  It features the same basic idea as the first two films: the rest of the world is cynical and angry while the Bradys are still trapped in the wholesome world of their old television show.  Mike is still offering up life lessons.  Carol is still smiling and saying, “Your father’s right.”  Marcia is self-centered.  Jan is obsessive.  Cindy has issues with tattling.  Greg thinks every girl that he meets is really happening in a far out way.  Peter is always feeling guilty.  Bobby … well, Bobby doesn’t do much of anything.

The big difference is that the Bradys are in the White House now.  They’re still reliving incidents from their TV show but now they’re doing it in the White House.  And, some of it is kinda cute.  Well, I take that back.  Most of it is really stupid but the part about the vase made me smile despite myself.

So there’s that.

But, honestly — no, I really can’t think of any clever way to prove that the Brady Bunch In The White House is actually a subversive satire or anything that’s really worth recommending.

Sorry.

However, I did see A Very Brady Sequel on Cinemax last night.  It’s kind of funny and features a lot of pretty Hawaiian scenery.  Go watch that.  Forget about the Brady Bunch In The White House