RARA-AVIS: My two cents

Martha Pennigar (msmartha@earthlink.net)
Thu, 16 Sep 1999 08:57:44 -0400

I remember the Marlowe series on HBO and thought it was a bit clean but caught the mood and intent well. Unfortunately, the Washington Post TV critic, Tom Shales, said something in his review that forever colored my enjoyment of Powers Boothe in the role. Shales said he looked like a grapefruit in a hat. Thanks, Tom. That's why they pay you the big bucks. But you know--he did. How can you make a hardboiled period piece and not have the guy's fedora fit?

The discussion on Devil In A Blue Dress has caused me to remember my experience of seeing it in a theater. The movie came out in the fall of 1995, I think. At any rate, it was when every day was an OJ day. The theater was packed with a heavy majority of African American viewers. Everyone was rolling along with the film but, as the mood of the story changed, so did the audience's mood. When the police confronted Easy, took him to headquarters and roughed him up in the interrogation room, the theater grew ominously silent. Suddenly a man stood up and yelled,
"That's where they learned it!" There was a loud murmer of agreement. Fortunately, the scene ended and the story continued, but it seemed to me that a big portion of the audience was no longer with either the story or Easy. Very sad and very unfortunate that this wonderful movie caught such a heavy dose of bad topical karma in my neck of the woods. I've often wondered if there were similar reactions elsewhere in the country and if they had something to do with the film's failure.

Teri, I also liked The Mighty Quinn. It'll never be in anyone's Top 10, I fear, but it has a very real charm of its own. Mawbie!


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