Clear and Present Danger

“You are such a boy scout!!”

The words, said by a weasel of the highest order, sting, but are dead-on, with Harrison Ford playing a man whose rigid posture owes to his spine being made of the strongest material.

Ensnared in a murky world, acting CIA Deputy Director Jack Ryan finds himself caught between vicious Colombian drug cartels and a compromised US president.

There are three ways out — sacrifice his morals, take a bullet to the temple, or hitch up his big boy pants and go in guns blazing.

This is Harrison Ford. You know which route he’s taking.

 

“Fishing With John” Ep. 4 – Maine with Willem Dafoe

Can I have some cheese crackers with a side of deadpan humor?

Musician John Lurie and actor Willem Dafoe go ice fishing in Maine, with deadly consequences, in this ’90s mockumentary.

Part of a brief six-episode TV show which came, barely rippled the water, but has endured, lurking in the backwaters of the internet, it’s blissfully, surreally unique.

Things quickly go from bad to worse, as extreme cold, poor shelter, and a serious lack of food ruin the lives of two celebrities who probably should have just stayed home.

Things don’t have to be real to be real entertaining.

 

White Sands

Danger lurks in the desert.

Willem Dafoe, doin’ time as a sheriff in a small Southwestern town where nothing much happens, stumbles on his big break, or so he naively thinks.

There’s a dead body and a cool half million just sitting in the dunes, waiting to be claimed.

And nothing bad has ever happened in the movies with that kind of set-up…

A sinister slice of neo-noir, with a cast deep in character actors built for sleazy dealings, like M. Emmet Walsh, this early ’90s thriller strikes just the right tone.

Trust no one, and double-lock all the doors.

The Lighthouse

The transformation continues.

Robert Pattinson became a movie star thanks to teenybopper franchises, with a key supporting role in Harry Potter and one of the leads in Twilight.

Since then, however, the lanky one has proven his mettle with a string of fiercely-crafted independent films, and I couldn’t be happier.

This one, which pits him against a gamy Willem Dafoe, plunges into madness and mayhem from the word go and never looks back.

Tracking two lighthouse tenders, left to stew in unhappiness and anger while camped at the end of the world, it’s bizarre, demanding, and uncompromising.

Good job, boys.

The Florida Project

Can you handle a punch to the heart?

If so, you’re ready for this superb drama, which follows a brilliant troublemaker of a girl, and her wayward mom, as they try to stay a step ahead of crushing reality.

Life isn’t easy, and there aren’t necessarily happy endings waiting, even if the duo camp out a hop and skip away from Disneyworld.

Willem Dafoe, the only “name” actor in the piece, is a motel manager who carefully orbits their world.

He has compassion, and heart, but will not be a sucker, ever.

The best of what low-budget cinema can be.