Thursday, January 23, 2014

Flick Picks: 48 Hrs., and Out Of Sight

Tomorrow's pick (1/24/2014)
Out Of Sight
(Universal, 1998)

Long before Danny Ocean came along, Steven Soderbergh teamed with George Clooney to produce a character at the height of cool, coincidentally providing the only cinematic evidence in existence to date that Jennifer Lopez can act, and entwining them, both figuratively and literally, in one of the best cops-and-robbers romances ever made. It also marked the beginning of David Jones doing Soderbergh's soundtracks after a serendipitous pairing by producer Danny DeVito, a collaboration that delights the ear as well as the eye.

Today's Pick (1/23/2014):
48 Hrs.
(Paramount, 1982)

Action comedy that provided the template for every buddy cop movie for the next twenty years, with Nick Nolte's boozy mean brokedown cop providing the action, and introducing to the big screen Eddie Murphy as his convict partner for the comedy, at which he blew the doors off. Paramount then-chief Michael Eisner told Walter Hill that Murphy's character wasn't funny enough, which led to continual script rewrites to the last day of shooting, and studio executives told Hill that the gunfights were so violent he'd killed the comedy, and thus he would never work for Paramount again.

Confirming their (lack of) perspicacity, the film earned over $78M in box office on a $12M budget, just over 6 times its production cost, and Hill only made 2 more films for Paramount, including the sequel Another 48 Hours, which only grossed 5 times its production costs, and he instead spent the bulk of his career putting about a billion dollars into the coffers of Paramount's competitors at 20th Century Fox, Universal, Miramax, and United Artists for movies like Brewster's Millions, Red Heat, and producing Alien and all its sequels. Nice call, geniuses.

1 comment:

Aesop said...

FYI, I moved Out Of Sight because someone had linked the original post to some site that was spam trolling. With that link dead, the problem seems to have stopped.