Hollywood Homicide

Joe Gavilan: Harrison Ford
K.C. Calden: Josh Hartnett
Lieutenant Fuqua: Keith David
Ruby: Lena Olin
Benne Macko: Bruce Greenwood
Sgt. Bobby Riley: Jamison Jones
Jerry Duran: Martin Landau
Ferre Salesclerk: Lolita Davidovich

Columbia Pictures presents a film directed by Ron Shelton. Written by Robert Souza and Ron Shelton. Running time: 111 minutes. Rated PG-13 (for violence, sexual situations and language).

Central Theme
Hollywood is one big “out of body, out of mind experience” and the inane-ness colors all of life and every profession there.

In Revolution Studios’ fast-paced action comedy Hollywood Homicide, directed by Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump), veteran detective Joe Gavilan (Harrison Ford) is on the biggest case of his career and saddled with a new partner, K.C. Calden (Josh Hartnett), who can’t quite decide between being a cop or an aspiring actor.

Joe Gavilan is complex and multi-faceted, courageous, yet vulnerable, flexible at times, hard headed at others, very capable, but sometimes overwhelmed. Ford approached him as a “man who’s better at work than he is at life. He’s living on the edge, drinking a bit too much, staying up too late and in pretty desperate circumstances. He’s got several hundred dollars worth of dry cleaning in hock. And to top it off, he’s being investigated by his own department at the same time as he’s on a major homicide investigation.”

The character of K.C. Calden is a headache for Gavilan, a young detective who seems to be interested in everything but police work. Hartnett saw K.C. as an opportunity to create a fully rounded, reality-based character. While working as a cop, Calden busily pursues such avocations as teaching yoga and acting. ‚©Columbia Pictures.

The crime to be solved is a murder that takes place at one of LA’s clubs and the absurdity of the music business is but one of the extreme counterpoints in the movie. The age difference of Gavilan and Calden allows for some intergenerational analysis, but overall this is a movie that shows Hollywood thinking Hollywood is funny, when it is really very sad. The search for fame and fortune, the whacky new age and psychic fads, the sex life of both K.C.and Joe, KC’s moonlighting as a yoga instructor who wants to be an actor, Joe’s real estate deals transacted during a homicide investigation, these are people with no “there there” and I suspect only Hollywood types will really find this vacuum amusing.

It was sad that this movie with a contemporary film legend, Harrison Ford, was released the week before a real Hollywood legend died (Gregory Peck). Peck maintained his dignity and took roles that mattered his entire career whereas Harrison Ford took a risk with this one¢â‚¬¦most will agree it was not worth it. I understand that our age is nihilistic and Peck’s was idealistic and I understand there is a certain level of craftsmanship at work in both Ford and Hartnett, but this vehicle is an inferior one thematically and artistically.

Beliefs num
–There is right and wrong, but beyond homocide, in Hollywood it would be difficult to say with certainty what else is wrong.
–New age spirituality is deep and shallow?

Questions Worth Discussing num
–What are the artistic merits of this film?
–What elements common to human experience did you resonate with in this film?
–What elements in word, deed, theme or behavior created a dissonance with who you are or want to be spiritually?
–What does this film tell us abut who God is? Who humans are? What we are seeking in life?

Provocative Quotes byline
–Sometimes I see things. It just comes to me¢â‚¬¦Sometimes I just make shit up.
==Psychic Lena Olin.
–Kind of deep¢â‚¬¦and shallow.
==KC describing the yoga experience.
–If I take the gingko, I can remember where I put the Viagra.
–There is an absurdity to L.A. that I find attractive. Los Angeles isn’t really a city in the normal sense, and movies aren’t really made in Hollywood. That is, if you can even find Hollywood.
==Ron Shelton.
–Hollywood Homicide is the kind of story I’m always looking for but rarely find ¢€œ a great blend of reality, action and humor. The film interweaves several thematic elements, bringing different threads together. The relationships between the characters have pop and sizzle to them.
==Harrison Ford.
–Joe has no idea about K.C.’s alter ego as a yoga instructor. That part of him is really relaxed and cool, spiritual, though the women in his class often get in the way of his spiritual path.
==Josh Hartnett.

Posted in Movies, Staublog in June 17, 2003 by | No Comments »

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