>>> Click here for the RMC FAQ'N RULES <<<


In the Line of Fire DVD

Your June Unrandom Movie Club Results Are In!

Tagline: An assassin on the loose. A president in danger. Only one man stands between them...

Pizza: Joe Peeps

Preshow Entertainment: SOUTH PARK - Season 1, Episode 5, AN ELEPHANT MAKES LOVE TO A PIG


What's better than a tight thriller, one where you can get inside the mind of the hero and the villain? One that's credible? One that makes you think and gasp and cheer? The answer, of course, is a vanilla soft serve cone with chocolate sprinkles. But we didn't have any of those around so we settled on IN THE LINE OF FIRE.

Way back in 1993, I was sitting at the Loew's 84th Street theaters in NYC. Before whatever movie I was there to see, they ran not a trailer but a teaser for IN THE LINE OF FIRE. When it was over 90 seconds later, I was hooked. Could I see myself passing on this movie? That's not gonna happen. Here, see for yourself: http://tinyurl.com/lldcf3b

IN THE LINE OF FIRE has Clint playing yet another character named Frank (SPACE COWBOYS, ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ, MILLION DOLLAR BABY), this time with the last name Horrigan.

The opening scene is just great. Frank is paired with rookie agent D'Andrea (Dylan McDermott), and together they go undercover to sting a bad guy (SAW's Jigsaw Tobin Bell, who really needs to work more than SAW). What happens next tells us every single thing we need to know about Frank Horrigan.

But Frank's longer in the tooth now, barely able keep from huffing and puffing while trotting alongside the motorcade. He knows his days as a secret service agent are almost over. His comfort zone is a D.C. bar where he can play the piano and drink a Margarita.

And then, one day...he gets the call. It just happens to be from a madman who announces he will kill the President. You see, Frank was assigned to protect Kennedy in Dallas, and he didn't take the bullet. This has haunted him for 30 years, and now that demon has taken human form and the name Mitch Leary (John Malkovich).

John Malkovich and hunter William Peters
One of my favorite scenes from when I first saw ITLOF in the theaters is when two hunters happen by as Leary is testing out a gun that he built himself. Enamored with the piece, one of the hunters asks to "give it a little dance." Leary obliges. We already know what Leary is capable of from an earlier encounter with a couple of roomies he visited, so we kind of know what's coming. Still, it's a suspenseful scene. On a related note, I directed a live show out here in Hollywood right around the time this movie was out and who should audition? One of the hunters (Robert Peters). Pretty cool.

I also like the love story, courtship really, between Frank and fellow agent Lilly Raines (Rene Russo). It's low-key and steady, and even....cute. As she walks away from Frank after telling him he's annoying, he says out loud but to himself, "If she looks back, that means she's interested..." See? It's almost as if he's 12 and a half. And does Lilly look back??? Hey, it's a thriller, I can't tell you everything!

The first thing they did right on IN THE LINE OF FIRE was cast actors with depth. Clint Eastwood vs. John Malkovich. Clint is Clint, and Malkovich is just fabulous. In fact, I'd say it's his best performance. That scene where the tables begin to turn and Frank goads Mitch enough to make him unglued. Man, I've seen people like that. I once told someone my opinion about something and watched this girl's demeanor change before my eyes. Wait, not just demeanor, her whole damn face changed, and it was freakin' scary. I was speechless. Somehow, Malkovich channeled that girl.

Because my finger is always on the pulse of what's hot, I finally sat down to watch THE DARK KNIGHT for the first time. I've heard squawking on how Heath Ledger is so great and how he steals the show and Heath Ledger this and Heath Ledger that and how Heath Ledger cured small pox. I have to say, I had this nagging feeling throughout the movie - why is Heath Ledger's Joker so familiar to me? I kept thinking of Hannibal Lecter, and how, even behind bars, he was always in control of the situation. He was always...comfortable. So I wrote it off thinking sure, there are similarities here. Then, coincidentally, two days later I find myself doing this write-up for IN THE LINE OF FIRE and it hits me. Heath Ledger is doing John Malkovich's Mitch Leary. It probably wasn't intentional. It may even be my imagination. But we've got a villain who is in it not for the cash prize but for how he can mindfuck his adversary. And remain in complete control. He's smart and prepared, and at the same time unpredictable. Am I at least close on this one? And in an absolute moment of coincidence, when paramedics arrive to treat him for a heart attack (someone called it in as a joke), Frank actually says, "Okay, who's the joker who called these guys?"

FIRE is an exciting psychological thriller directed with panache (that's an in-joke if you know the movie) by Wolfgang Petersen, the adept talent behind DAS BOOT, THE PERFECT STORM and guilty pleasure AIR FORCE ONE, and features an Academy Award nominated script by Jeff Maguire. Both outdid themselves because they really don't make many like this. On the outside it's a good vs. evil story, but it's really about two isolated men with demons, one who gets a second chance at cracking the cross he's been bearing for decades over his knee, and the other helping him do it. This is Frank's journey. And who knows? With any luck Lilly will turn around to look at him as she walks away.


We were going to watch the David Bowie episode of EXTRAS, but since all in attendance had recently watched it (have you? It's kinda the funniest thing out there), we chose a SOUTH PARK episode from Season 1 instead.

South Park
Well spank my ass and call me "Charlie," Kyle wants to genetically engineer his mail-order elephant with Cartman's potbellied pig. Taking its roots from THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU (the remake, of course) the boys go to a place where a Brando-y (or Bran-doughy?) character wants to make the world better by making a monkey with four asses (Kyle: "How does THAT make the world better??"). Another screamingly funny episode. Are there any ones that aren't?

Feed Burner Subscribe in a reader

Powered byFeedBlitz

About ...

RMC email address
Old RMC Men

RMC is not affiliated with Rochester Midland Corporation, makers of fine restroom disinfecting fluids and urinal mats since 1888.


Powered by Pizza, Red Vines,
& 6 Different Kinds of Soda



This is a Flickr badge showing public photos from Random Movie Club. Make your own badge here.

((( Contribute to our Popcorn Fund! )))

Best Viewed With Firefox 2

Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to Technorati Favorites!

eXTReMe Tracker