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Posts Tagged ‘Piper Laurie’

Matthew McCaughnahey, Richie Merritt

“WHITE BOY RICK” My rating: C+ 

110 minutes | MPAA rating: R

It’s easy to see why the real-life tale depicted in “White Boy Rick” got Hollywood’s attention. Here’s the story of a 15-year-old white Detroit kid who back in the ’80s infiltrated a black drug ring for the FBI, survived an assassination attempt, became a cocaine kingpin and ended up serving a long prison sentence.

It practically screams “Movie!”

Yet “White Boy Rick” is a surprisingly limp affair, perhaps because the screenwriters (Andy Weiss, Logan Miller and Noah Miller) and director Yann Demange cannot decide what to make of their offbeat protagonist.

And if they don’t know, those of us in the audience are even more in the dark.

The basics are these: Back in ’84 Rick Wershe Jr. (Richie Merritt) was helping his bottom-feeding, gun-dealing dad (Matthew McConaughey, in full character actor mode with pot belly and greasy mullet) peddle illegal homemade silencers to Detroit’s gangbangers.

Cornered by a couple of manipulative  and openly amoral FBI agents (Jennifer Jason Leigh, Rory Cochrane), Rick agrees to go undercover if the feds will leave his old man alone. He starts by buying at local drug houses, ostensibly on behalf of his crackhead sister (Bel Powley), and gradually becomes accepted by the crew of a local drug lord (Jonathan Majors).

Before long he’s dropped out of school and is sporting expensive track suits and gold bling (he’s so thick he buys a gaudy Star of David necklace, not realizing it represents Judaism) and doing all sorts of services both for the gang and for his FBI handlers.

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“ANOTHER HARVEST MOON”  My rating: C (Opening June 24 at the Glenwood Arts)

88 minutes | MPAA rating: PG-13

With “Another Harvest Moon” we get about 300 years of acting experience up there on the movie screen.

Too bad that talent is put it to such unremarkable use.

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THE VETERAN ACTOR STARS IN “ANOTHER HARVEST MOON,” OPENING JUNE 24

Ernest Borgnine has longevity.

Ernest Borgnine (with Anne Meara) in "Another Harvest Moon"

At the age of 94 he can look back on an acting career that includes a best actor Oscar (for playing the titular lovesick butcher in 1955‘s “Marty”) and roles in landmark movies like:

“The Wild Bunch,” “Bad Day at Black Rock,” “From Here to Eternity,” “Johnny Guitar,” “The Vikings,” “The Flight of the Phoenix,” “Escape from New York,” “The Dirty Dozen,” “Ice Station Zebra” and “The Poseidon Adventure.”

And those are just a few of the more than 100 films in which he has appeared.

So when he gets recognized on the street (and it happens all the time), what movie do strangers always mention?

“It’s not a movie,” Borgnine said in a recent telephone interview.

“It’s the TV series. ‘McHale’s Navy.’ Everybody knows that show.

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