Plain Dirty (2003)
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Audience Reviews for Plain Dirty
A Southern Gothic melodrama so deep-fried you can just about feel your arteries hardening, the Virginia-set "Briar Patch" might have worked as a rollicking Tennessee Williams send-up, if only the filmmakers weren't so unwaveringly straight-faced. But no one (except the audience) seems in on the joke.
I've been going through what I hope to be permanent changes lately. This means my priorities have been different and I haven't been going out to rent movies, relying on whatever my cable system serves up. After a few weeks I've discovered that approach doesn't get it. There's some good stuff on cable but precious little of the really way out, bizarro films I enjoy. So I went to Video Americain today and lived up to my profile by getting two movies that have never even been released in this country, Larry Clark's "Ken Park" and Peter Greenaway's "The Baby Of Macon". I saw a real whopper this morning, "Report To The Commissioner". I remember this film coming out with a lot of ballyhoo in the Seventies but nobody remembers it today, and with good reason, it's stupid. It's a bizarre story about undercover work gone horribly wrong and the resultant coverup, but there is a fatal flaw, the wog-boggling lead performance of Michael Moriarity who acts like a pre-Raphaelite flower child when he's supposed to be a rookie cop. It's ludicrous overacting and it's no wonder he spent several years doing Larry Cohen exploitation movies after this. The plot was strange in a couple of ways as well but a better lead actor and director might have worked out of it all. Instead we get two ludicrous chase scenes as padding, one with Moriarity chasing a black guy in boxer shorts over rooftops and one of a legless street beggar careening through Manhattan like a skateboarder! Some good actors here despite all that, Yaphet Kotto, Hector Elizondo, Vic Tayback, William Devane and Richard Gere as a pimp (!). There's an oddconnection knowing that twenty years later Moriarity and Kotto would be working in two excellent TV cop shows, Moriarity inder control as prosecuting attorney Ben Stone in "Law And Order" and Kotto as LT Giardella on "Homicide: Life On The Street".
Unexpectedly good. It won't appeal to everyone, but I liked it. It has a good cast that keeps you watching, and it's interesting enough to keep you, well, interested. Oh, and Henry Thomas (that kid from E.T.) is in it as an abusive husband. Arie Verveen and Dominique Swain are great. This is a modern, southern take on Macbeth.
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