|Title:||Freebie and the Bean|
|03.31.07||Alamo Downtown||This Screening is part of event: Hot Fuzztival|
A couple friends asked me earlier in the day what I'd seen and what I was most looking forward to. Well, no offense to the Hot Fuzz guys but, Freebie, the only movie of the day that i'd seen before, was by far the movie I was most looking forward to seeing. When I saw it for the first time, it was on an old pan&scan VHS copy and, although I liked the movie, I could tell how cropped the full-frame version was. Now I get a chance to watch the film in widescreen at my favorite theater with a packed house full of cop movie lovers??? Well shit.
So it was with great excitement that I sat down for the fourth feature of the day and Edgar introduced (his intros were actually really great. Through his references and his movies, you can tell he's a real movie geek (much like Tarantino without the stand-up comic mannerisms), but he's also got that damn British accent and wit which makes everything sound smart and funny and smartly funny. Not nearly as digressive as QT's, Edgar's intros were mostly short and to the point but also informative and energizing. Especially in the case of Freebie, I got a real sense of how psyched he was to see this with us, which is really great. I think the whole theater picked up on it because this movie got one hell of a reception.
The trailers this time around focused on the buddy and group cop movies. Really Great stuff. Really tied the room together.
So... I don't know if I mentioned this in my previous note but in the commentary track on the In-Laws DVD, Arkin mentioned that that movie came about because the studio wanted to make a sequel to Freebie and the Bean, and since he didn't particularly even want to do the first Freebie, he maneuvered things around so he could eventually make In-Laws instead of another one. Well, regardless of why he didn't want to do it, I really wish and hope he somehow hears of how great a movie it is and how well it holds up today. That movie really plays, and on the big screen it screams. Although i could see the stunt guys a little better on the big screen, it didn't even matter because they stunts they were doing were so amazing. And it seemed like every shot included some pedestrian coming an inch away from getting run over or churned up in motorcycle axle. And when the screen's not filled with "fuck-off car chase scenes" (as Edgar put it), it's undeniably hilarious. The chemistry between Alan Arkin and Jimmy Caan is fluid and comfortable and a little bit destructive. You completely buy that these guys have been working together for a long time, not to mention seeing glimpses of my other favorite partner/ensemble dynamics in their performance (like The Dude/Walter/Donny in The Big Lebowski).
I guess I am rambling now. It's just a pinnacle buddy cop movie. Can't do much better.
Side Note: Someone should REALLY make a movie with three main roles where they constantly talk and bicker and have fun and cast Jimmy Caan, Alan Arkin, and Peter Faulk. Kinda like a Grumpy Old Men thing but make it R-Rated and not so goofball and basically get all of them in a room together and let them go. It'd be so amazing to see those guys re-unite now that they're all old.
|09.03.06||Borrowed|| so Richard Rush will be in town this wednesday to talk to QT's cast about how to act cool in a 70s stunt-heavy way... and since he's here they're showing two of his biggest movies at the Alamo. I'm feeling woefully unprepared, having only seen two of his movies before (both biker flicks). This one has been pretty highly praised in the annals of both The Alamo, QTfest, and with Alan Arkin fans... so it was finally time for me to borrow Eric's VHS copy (thanks anyway, Micah) and watch it.|
What I knew going in: It's sort of like a precursor to Lethal Weapon... actiony cop stuff but they bicker at eachother and it's also funny. While that does basically encapsulate the movie, it doesn't really convey the level of quality it has with each genre. There are some pretty respectable car chases and stunts going on here, a few moments of genuinely touching cop-type stuff, and the humor is very funny. Alan Arkin and Jimmy Caan have some good chemisty I think... which is funny because Alan Arkin seems to have good chemistry with whoever he works with. Maybe it's not really chemistry and just that Arkin is awesome... but Caan does pretty good here too... I really like him when he plays comedy. I'm sure this will sound like the worst idea ever once I type it out, but he should do a dad/son comedy movie with Scott, who has a pretty decent funnybone of his own. Both of them seem made to play tough guys but i dunno, they make me laugh when they act goofy. This makes me really want to see Slither.
but you know what? this is embarassing. It wasn't until like 75% through the movie that I realized that Arkin is supposed to be mexican in this and that's why he's the bean. I guess maybe that's still not true... maybe that's actually his last name so he gets called mexican because of that... I'm really not sure. He has a hot latina woman though... so who knows. either way it's funny but the whole bean thing totally didn't click. I was thinking everything else, like he's small... or he's filled with protein or something. I get that Freebie's Freebie because he insists on a few gratis cop amenities, but putting a racial slur into the title of a movie is awesome.
So... in the commentary track for The In-Laws, they start by saying the studio wanted Arkin to do a sequel to Freebie and the Bean... and Arkin said something snide like he didn't even want to do the first one much less make a second... but as it turns out it made lots of money so they wanted a sequel and that's the seed of what eventually became The In-Laws. So this movie was popular, it had good people behind and in front of the camera (shot by Laslo Kovacs), and holds up over time. So why the hell is this movie a "forgotten gem" and not more well-known? I don't get it. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with DVD unavailability... but still, it seems like it should be mentioned more than it is. Especially since, as far as buddy cop movies go, it's right up there with the best of em. I'd really love to see this in a theater someday... the VHS was pan&scanned so there ended up being a lot of shots of the empty space between Caan and Arkin as they sit in a car, or halves of both of them talking. sigh.
so anyways, yeah i had a lot of fun with this one. Good stuff.