Sunday, June 21, 2020

last time i went to the movies was like a year ago

I remember only a few specifics about Suspect even though I have seen it many times. One of the things I remember is who actually committed the crime, and who plays him, so I am going in with SPOILERS (which I will not share here, now).


This was the first time I knew who Liam Neeson was, even though I had seen him previously in Krull and Excalibur, of course (and that's directed by Peter Yates, who also directed Suspect. Also of note, Cher would star in Moonstruck just two months later, but I will be skipping that film in this movie life list because I have already written about it. Still, it's interesting that aside from some passing knowledge of Sonny & Cher, there was a one-two punch here of Cher as defense attorney and then romantic lead [Which given the co-star I forgot--mentioned below--I guess she kinda is here, as well].
 
 
 
 
 
By the way, I forgot Dennis Quaid was even in this film. And, since I ended up having very little to say about InnerSpace, I should mention that by this time Quaid was fairly familiar. I'd seen him in Caveman, Stripes, Jaws 3-D, Dreamscape, Enemy Mine, and The Big Easy. Liked him well enough, have seen him in many movies since.

The central setup of the film is interesting in context of my current angle in this blog. Trying to lay the blame for my liberal bent on my experience with films and all that. Raised on jingoistic violence, sex comedies, irreverence, and fantasy. Kathleen Riley (Cher) has to immediately try to connect with her new client, Carl Wayne Anderson (Neeson) on a personal level, see him as a person rather than just the titular suspect, a deaf homeless man who comes in silent, ragged and prone to violence.

As I'm trying to find the exact wording of the longer quote around today's title, I'm surprised that Joe Mantegna is also in this. I mean, I probably had no idea who he was in 1987, but it's interesting. (And, I have not mentioned John Mahoney, who's also in Moonstruck, but his initial role in Suspect is small.)

It hasn't actually been a year since I saw a movie, of course. I saw 2-3 movies a week for the last couple years, and last saw a movie in the theater 8 March 2020. That movie was Onward. And, of course, I've watched on average more than one movie a day since lockdown began. But, what a bit of dialogue from Riley:
I don't know what I'm doing any more. I don't have a life. Last time I went to the movies was like a year ago. The only time I listen to music is in my car. I don't date. I'd like to have a child, but I don't even have a boyfriend, so how can I have a child? I spend all my time with murderers and rapists. And what's really crazy is I actually like them.
The lobbyist stuff--Quaid's juror Eddie is a lobbyist--and even Judge Helms' shot at an appointment to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals (ostensibly his reason for requesting the Anderson case; it will be shorter than his next assigned case... But anyone who knows the film knows that he has other reasons as well) are interesting because I doubt I noticed, and if I did notice, I doubt I cared about the details of the political stuff in this film. Hell, even this time I seem to have missed just what the vote was on that Eddie slept with Senator (?) Comisky (E. Katherine Kerr). I remember the judge's subplot being rather central as the story goes. I don't remember if Eddie's subplot separate from his (reverse-)witness tampering matters.
 
 
 
 
 
And interesting problem arises.

Pauline Kael's New Yorker review of the film, offers this:
The screenwriter, Eric Roth, puts a woman lawyer at the center of the movie, as if this were going to be a switch on older courtroom thrillers, and then he provides a man to do all the thinking and to rescue her when she gets into trouble. You cant' call this feminist backlash, because there's no hostility in it; it doesn't have the nastiness or the kick that hostility would give it.
And, our old friend Roger has this to say about the final courtroom climax:
Cher stand sup and rattles off a long, complicated speech in which the real murderer is revealed - and I began to develop a real case of resentment, because the murderer is a complete dark horse. That's not fair. It's as if an Agatha Christie novel evaluated six suspects in a British country house, and then in the last chapter we discover the killer was a guy from next door.
Interestingly, watching the film again after all these years, knowing who the real killer is, his scenes and his dialogue are much more foreboding. He is a still a dark horse, but if there were a cold open of some sort in which we saw him kill Elizabeth Rose Quinn and all of his interactions later would play very differently, indeed. But, this movie is more concerned with Riley and Eddie and Carl than the actual murder they want solved.

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