Tuesday, November 10, 2015

River Rowdies

I don't suppose any of us will forget where we were on July 27, 2012, the day I lost dozens of "twitter followers" by live-tweeting KING RALPH. It was a massacre! Looking back, I can't blame them. How many times since then have I my own self become heavy-hearted at the excessive tweeting rate of some well-meaning wag or another? And that is why I have decided to help everybody out by putting my live-tweeting of STRIKING DISTANCE into the following handy virtual live-tweeting format, rather than clogging up everyone's "timeline" with it. I promise you all the excruciating boredom of the live-tweet experience with half the mess. Before we begin, it occurs to me that not only did Donald Barthelme invent the TV recap, he simultaneously invented the live-tweet. With preliminaries concluded, come with me as I list the things I see in STRIKING DISTANCE. A police car races toward the camera. Lightning strikes! Words say STRIKING DISTANCE!... Boots sloshing in the rain. Dr. Theresa just walked in and saw me furrowing my brow watching STRIKING DISTANCE and said, "Your seriousness is humorous."... Bruce Willis is disgraced... Bruce's dad is Frasier's dad from FRASIER! He's a cop, JUST LIKE IN FRASIER! Frasier's dad says a very Frasier's dad-like thing about Bruce's "mother's side of the family."... All his former cop friends think Bruce Willis is a "rat."... Bruce drives all crazy, like he's in a cop movie!... Frasier's dad is blasé about all the near collisions, making idle chit chat during the near-death experiences. This really IS like a FRASIER episode! Eight minutes in and we have our first action-movie fireball!... I have a feeling Frasier's dad is about to bite it. ... Ten minutes in: SECOND FIREBALL. ... Dr. Theresa says I should comment on the bad guy's driving gloves, which I totally meant to do... Cars hopping in the air like rabbits! Frasier's dad is still alive for the moment... Uh-oh. I take it back. Here's the reliable Dennis Farina as Uncle Nick? Uncle Rick? He's a cop too. ... They "caught the killer" and Bruce deduces in literally half a second they got the wrong man, just by looking at him... but the other cops don't want Bruce to rock the boat. Not even Uncle Nick or Rick! Uncle Rick/Nick's kid is jumping off a bridge! It's Bruce Willis's own cousin he ratted on! Well, there goes Cousin Jimmy. And here comes the rain. Like God himself is crying for Cousin Jimmy!... TWO YEARS LATER... It sure feels like it ha ha! ... Bruce Willis has a cat. A rat with a cat! Get it? ... Alka Seltzer... microwaving a hot towel... that's Bruce's version of breakfast! ... Now he's a boat cop. All the boat cops are standing around in their short pants. Short pants cops! ... I think Bruce Willis just dumped his crabby boss in the river as a prank. He'll never get anywhere with an attitude like that!... Bruce's name is Tom Hardy! Like the depressing novelist!... Everywhere Bruce Willis goes, other cops try to beat him up... Bruce: sensitive, weepy. The thinking man's cop!... Tom Sizemore, another cop cousin... Bruce Willis lives on a houseboat. Hey! Tom Sizemore talks about THE SIMPSONS! Tom Sizemore's brother AND mother jumped in the river. Stay away from the river, everybody. Do they want to make me suspect that Tom Sizemore is the killer? Because it's working. But it's too easy. He says ominous things like "I... I gotta meet a girl." And just when he comes back to town the killings start again. Too easy... Bruce Willis's new boat cop partner is SARAH JESSICA PARKER! She's introduced to him as a "qualified diver." I wonder if that will come into play! [It doesn't. Chekhov would be ashamed. - ed.]... Rowdies in a speedboat!... Oh, I see. Bruce Willis bends the rules and SJP is "by the book." ME: "What's that guy wearing, a neckerchief?" DR. THERESA (sounding sad about my decline): "It's a tattoo, sweetie."... Bruce Willis knocked somebody down a hole. "Down the hole!" shouted Dr. Theresa... Bruce Willis just shot three or four guys, I lost count. SJP helped him by yelling. Now he has grudging respect for her! You can see it in his eyes... I think I'll have some rye. I might miss something... Thinking, those guys Bruce shot were probably pirates, technically!... "There's an old Italian saying: 'Don't scald your tongue on another man's soup.'" Wise words, Dennis Farina. "Hey, Hardy, we're out of our patrol zone," warns by-the-book Sarah Jessica Parker. You really think Bruce Willis cares?... SJP and Bruce are dramatically acting at each other!... Aw, suddenly SJP spies Bruce behaving tenderly when he doesn't know she's looking! Maybe there's something to this gruff boat cop after all... They're really piling on the Tom Sizemore circumstantial evidence. I ain't buying it! No matter how unnervingly he giggles. Dennis Farina just had this line of dialogue: "Go up there. Go up there. GO UP THERE! Go up there."... This movie has a lot of blue language!... Andre Braugher! He's as young as a baby!... Tom Sizemore sure talks about the river a lot... SJP invites Bruce to the Policeman's Ball, which seems like a great place for him to be beaten to a pulp, which he is. Angry cops conveniently tear off his shirt, exposing him sexily. Tom Sizemore drinks heavily while a fireworks display goes off over his head. This one cop who hates Bruce the most is the guy who played the studio head in THE PLAYER.
Can't think of his name. But boy does he hate Bruce Willis. ... SJP pours Bruce's booze down the sink. She doesn't even know him! That's presumptuous. She hasn't even seen him drunk. I don't even think he's BEEN drunk in this movie (?), though the angriest cop calls him a "lush" once. ... Bruce Willis's cat watches as Bruce and SJP express themselves with an intimacy that is usually reserved for the conjugal bower. The cat seems bored. But POV suggests a creepy killer is probably watching too! ... Ha ha, now SJP and Bruce are chasing a car, but they're in a boat! This doesn't seem practical. THIRD FIREBALL. One hour, seven minutes in. ... It is suddenly revealed that Sarah Jessica Parker's character has a daughter... NAMED SARAH. ... Bruce just had the hoary old line, "I don't know how high up this goes." Dennis Farina: "He's been under surveillance for three weeks." Guy from The Player: "CLOSE surveillance?" Ha ha ha, I don't know why that exchange made me laugh so hard. I guess it was the way the guy said "CLOSE surveillance?" But it's clear that SJP has been spying on Bruce! NOW who's the rat? "Thank you very much, detective, you may step down," says Andre Braugher in that super sarcastic way that only Andre Braugher can deliver! He's not thanking the detective at all! Bruce Willis's cat is hungry. "Go catch a rat," says Bruce Willis to his cat. Ironic!... Somebody's "dead in the water." Literally! I can't tell who it is, even though Bruce is saying "NOOOOOOO!!!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!!!" But then again I thought that pirate's tattoo was a neckerchief. ... Bruce Willis thinks Tom Sizemore is the killer. I guess he's not so smart after all. Well! The killer is Cousin Jimmy! He ain't dead! I think Cousin Jimmy is the guy who was in MURPHY BROWN. The killer is the dude from MURPHY BROWN! I think. A guy from MURPHY BROWN killed a guy from FRASIER! What's the world coming to? "Are you too proud to drink with a dead man?" - Cousin Jimmy. I'm going to start saying that at bars. That guy's hair! The guy from MURPHY BROWN. He seriously looks worse than Donald Trump. Plus he's a psychotic murderer. Oh, wait! Dennis Farina killed Frasier's dad. So never mind. Ha ha, SJP just stuck out her foot and tripped the guy from MURPHY BROWN. Boat chase! Foot chase! We're back on the bridge. "You'll never beat me!" screams the guy from MURPHY BROWN at Bruce Willis. So I wonder who's going to win! Underwater fight! Lots of bubbles when you're fighting underwater. ... The angriest cop admits he was wrong. Bruce Willis punches him. SJP runs up. They smooch. Flowers on a grave. We see SJP's alleged daughter for the first time. They're all at the cemetery together like a regular family. THE END.