Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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No character development, cliches. Some good stunts.
For someone who grew up in the 70s and 80s like I did, Burt Reynolds was always one of my favorites and this is a good movie. Critics blasting this movie are just being overly critical. This is a very entertaining 80s movie and I recommend!
Ernest "Stick" Stickley (Burt Reynolds), a former car thief, has just been released from prison. He meets up with an old friend, Rainy (Jose Perez), whose "quick stop" near the Florida Everglades before they go home is an illegal drug deal that goes sour. With his friend dead, Stick needs to hide out for a while to elude the killers who must eliminate him as a witness. While lying low, Stick finds himself in the right place at the right time when he helps a wealthy eccentric named Barry (George Segal) get into his locked car. Hired as a driver, he has a comfortable home with a stable job and tries to make up for lost time with Katie, his teen-age daughter. He also finds a new flame in Kyle (Candice Bergen), a financial consultant who acts as a business adviser for Barry, who must decide what of Stick can be salvaged. Before he can move on, however, Stick confronts drug dealer Chucky (Charles Durning) to demand the money owed to his murdered friend. Chucky refuses and sends albino hit-man Moke (Dar Robinson) after the ex-con. Stick can't get on with his new life without cleaning up old business first. He becomes the target of Moke as well as the cartel that employs Chucky, led by the voodoo-obsessed Nestor (Cástulo Guerra). A three-way confrontation on a high-rise balcony ends in Chucky's and Moke's deaths. Stick must then rely on his quick wit and fists to deal with his final enemy, Nestor, who has kidnapped Stick's daughter...
Burt Reynolds "Stick" is somewhat uneven in the storyline. I reckon due to the fact that the movie was originally set for release in August 1984 but Universal Pictures demanded that director Burt Reynolds shoot additional action scenes--at a further cost of $3 million--and cut down the film's humor to make it more commercially viable. I reckon Reynolds was aiming for a character driven piece with Elmore Leonard´s screenplay and book while UP wanted something more simple and easy for the box office. The first half has this intense 80s atmosphere pushing Stick´s revenge for Rainy, while the other half becomes everything on a plate. Thriller, action, love you name it. The editing and direction from director Reynolds could´ve been better, then again we don´t know how Reynolds original cut did look like. Burt Reynolds is ok, but not on top due to his apparent injury from the "City Heat" production, Segal is a pain in the ass, the lovely Candice Bergen ends up as a backdrop, Charles Durning is over the top James Bond villain like while I personally think that the late and great stuntman Dar Robinson is excellent as Moke. The ending is a bit ridiculous and not that good. I reckon "Stick" has it´s moments. The incredible stunt where "Moke" falls to his death from a very high balcony while shooting at Stick, had Dar Robinson rigged to his own invention, a complex wire rig that "deccelerated" his fall, and made the use of an airbag unnecessary is not something you forget. Great scene. But, it´s not "Sharky´s Machine" and you keep on wondering how good it could´ve been. Trivia: "I wanted to make that movie as soon as I read the book," said Reynolds. "I respected Leonard's work. I felt I knew that Florida way of life, having been raised in the state. And I was that guy!" Reynolds recalled "I turned in my cut of the picture and truly thought I had made a good film. Word got back to me quickly that the people in the Black Tower [Universal's head office] wanted a few changes." The studio pulled the movie from its release schedule and asked Reynolds to reshoot the second half of the film. A new writer was brought in along with a subplot involving his character reuniting with his daughter post-prison. Reynolds says his agent advised him to go along with the changes: I gave up on the film. I didn't fight them. I let them get the best of me...Leonard saw the film the day he was interviewed for a Newsweek cover and told them he hated it. After his comment, every critic attacked the film and he wouldn't talk to me. When I reshot the film, I was just going through the motions. I'm not proud of what I did, but I take responsibility for my actions. All I can say--and this is not in way of a defense--is if you liked the first part of 'Stick,' that's what I was trying to achieve throughout. "It's very very theatrical," complained Leonard of the film. "I do everything in my power to make my writing not look like writing, and when it appears on screen you see these actors acting all over the place." "Stick" received negative reviews from critics. Despite opening at No. 1 in its first weekend, the film was a box office flop, grossing just $8.5 million when compared to its $22 million budget. Leonard later said Reynolds "just didn't do it right at all..." "I didn't recognise my screenplay at all in that movie. They even put another writer on it to add more action... Burt had done Sharky's Machine and Gator and I thought he would be good as Stick. But he needed a good director. Directing it himself he just played Burt Reynolds."
A better than average Burt movie. The music score and the
Miami Locations give it a boost.
Even though the end result isn't completely successful and it was quite the box office disappointment at the time, you have to give Burt Reynolds credit for making "Stick" at this particular juncture in his career. For much of the 1980's, the biggest star in the world would play it safe by making a lot of movies that were beneath him simply because they were all guaranteed to make a lot of money.
However, with this film, he tried to make a serious picture with integrity, and even though it's only moderately successful, I give him a lot of credit for trying. It's based on a novel by crime author Elmore Leonard, whose unique writing style made him a favorite for screenwriters to adapt, but frankly the story here is routine and the dialogue isn't up to Elmore's standards despite the fact that he wrote the script himself.
The film reeks of heavy studio interference. Another major problem is the casting. Reynolds is fine in the lead role, even if his stud routine seems silly and outdated now. It's the secondary actors, most notably a ridiculous Charles Durning, not at all convincing as an allegedly terrifying drug dealer. Even worse is Candice Bergin who adds nothing to the picture and seems clueless as to why she's even there. Perhaps the best performance belongs to stuntman Dar Robinson, a menacing assassin who needs very little dialogue to be effective. His death sequence is spectacular and reinforces his status as the best at what he did.
"Stick" is an honest effort that just doesn't quite pan out.
Burt Reynolds is one tough and cool son of a bitch. Elmore Leonard's characters are tough and cool sons of a bitches. So this movie makes sense. Not as good as Get Shorty or Justified but with fun co-stars like Candice Bergern and George Segal and a thoroughly eighties feel, this is a fun flick for anyone a fan of Burt, Elmore or 80s action flicks. If you're a fan of all three, you're in for a treat. Underrated.
A fairly mediocre Elmore Leonard adaptation notable only for some groundbreaking stuntwork and Charles Durning looking like Captain kangaroo. Silly.
He only directed four feature films, but I thought Burt Reynolds could have had a career as a director if he'd chosen to and had kind of a Robert Aldrich style of tough filmmaking. "Stick" is something of a mixed bag, but I do think it's somewhat underrated. Elmore Leonard co-wrote the screenplay adaptation of his own novel, but disowned the end product after the studio forced Burt to reshoot much of the film and eliminate most all of the humor. This story concerns Ernest Stickley begin released from prison, who then quickly gets involved with a Florida drug deal gone wrong. The best Elmore Leonard film adaptations all had a great mix of humar and violence ("Out of Sight," "Jackie Brown" or "Get Shorty") but this film, like most of his film adaptations gone wrong, focus simply on the tough guy aspects of the story. Although this film lacks the quirky humor of Leonard's book, it still has quite a bit to like. Burt is good as the title tough guy. You've also got a good supporting cast that includes Candice Bergen, George Segal, Charles Durning, Alex Rocco and most notably Dar Robinson as the tough albino Moke. Robinson was a Hollywood legend in the stunt community and his role here was his one and old significant role as an actor. He has one spectacular stunt at the end of the film that's considered by many to be one of the greatest movie stunts of all time. Robinson made a very memorable villain here and I'm sure he would have had an acting career ahead of him if it hadn't been for his untimely death a year later. Overall, "Stick" is far from the best Leonard film adaptation, but taken as a gritty 1980s action flick, it holds up and is a quality film.
I am not sure why this gets such a low score. It is a popcorn chomper. Lots of action. Reynold's wry sense of humor. Candice Bergen is brilliant. Some amazing stunt work.
Burt vs. Miami drug lords, which are putty in his ex-con hands. Incredibly, this was written by Elmore Leonard, who also penned Get Shorty, 3:10 To Yuma, and Rum Punch (which became Jackie Brown).