Friday, April 26, 2013

The January did I just watch?

 The January did I just watch?

PLOT - Nick and Frank Starkey were both policemen. A scandal forced Nick to leave the force, now a serial killer has driven the police to take him back. A web that includes Frank's wife, bribery, and corruption all are in the background as Nick tries to uncover the secret of where the killer will strike next, and finally must lay a trap without the police. 

LOWDOWN - I decided to buy The January Man after I rediscovered my love for actor Alan Rickman after two drunken weekends straight of the Harry Potter movies and Die Hard. Trying to pick up a few movies he had been in for cheap, I came across The January Man and right away my curiously got the best of me. Being made in 1989, this was a year after Rickman made villain history with playing Hans Gruber. Seeing he was in a supporting role, I decided to give this movie a try since it looked like a pretty legit thriller.

Boy was I wrong.

I feel this movie honestly tried to be too many things at once in the small amount of time they had. I mean the plot pretty much sums it all up. There's all this back story that's never fully explained and characters that aren't fleshed out enough. They try to make the lead character this odd ball hero who has this strange talent/skill with working on the police force, but it just falls flat. I nearly died at the scene where he was the fire fighter and crashed through the wall with the little girl in his arms. I feel they tried to capture the same vibe Manhunter had with Will Graham and it just came out as forced and half assed. The subplots are messy and all over the place. Nothing is developed and you really do feel nothing for these characters that are supposed to have all this history.

I feel writing and directing like this is just plain lazy.

Kevin Kline plays his role half asleep which is a shame since he really is a good actor. The mustache seemed to have more life than him. Just didn't feel him as the actor, plus those accents I couldn't keep track! Are you Italian?Also the scene where he cooks for Susan Sarandon had me gagging. That squid or whatever the fuck he made her looked horrible. I felt as if I could smell it coming through the screen.

Speaking of Susan Sarandon, what the hell was she doing in this movie? Used in a sub plot that really didn't further the storyline, I feel she just came on set to collect her paycheck. That goes the same for Harvey Keitel and Rod Steiger. The amount of OVER acting that happened in this movie was cringe worthy. Seriously just scenes of men screaming at each other and saying "fuck" every two seconds really seemed a little out of place. I'm sorry but unless it's Goodfellas it just doesn't feel right.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio I've never been a fan of for some strange unknown reason. Maybe it's because as a kid I was obsessed with the movie The Abyss and her character was the reason Michael Biehn died.

Spoiler alert...

Anyways, she really wasn't my cup of tea. I guess she went on to marry the director which isn't a huge surprise to me since there is a VERY out of place sex scene in this movie which the leadup is pretty laughable. I feel the director/writer just didn't want to waste any more time so he has two characters who have just met pretty much say fuck it and go to a hotel to hook up.


On an interesting note Mary in a few years would go on to be in the HORRIBLE Robin Hood movie with Kevin Costner. Yet again she co-starred with Alan Rickman who yet again stole the show in his very over the top performance.Which he did again in this movie as the lead's best friend/neighbor/artist. Alan was a great addition to this mess of the movie and I just wish he had been in more scenes. That man could read the back of the cereal box to me and I would swoon.

The only little clever/good thing about this movie was the mystery of the murder. For the last year women have been strangled by an unknown killer who strikes every month. The latest being a friend of the mayor's daughter. With one month left to complete the 12 cycle, Nick is hired to try and figure out who the killer is.

Okay...sounds pretty good but trust me they never use the plot the way it's supposed to be. I mean you would have to be a complete idiot not to see the pattern with the killings each month. Then, maybe it's because I had half tuned out by then but Nick sees a pattern with the windows of each floor the victims have been killed on (Um, if it all took place in one building...wouldn't the police notice this?) Well they don't, and Nick somehow figures out the pattern of the windows are music notes which end up being to the tune of "I love, I love, I love my calendar girl."  The scene where Nick is figuring this out and humming the music is beyond laughable.

There's a lot of late 1980's bad computer detective work, Alan Rickman looking adorable, lots of bad acting, and finally the showdown which seemed to be the only interesting part of the whole movie.

Pretty much the love interest, Nick, and Alan Rickman figure out which apartment the next murder will strike. They do a stakeout in a closet across the hall and keep watch (bringing a picnic dinner of course.) What their plan is to stop the woman who lives in the apartment before she comes home and switch her with the love interest who is wearing a steel collar to prevent her from being strangled. I love how Nick's plan is when he hears the struggling on the other side of the door to break it down with a sledgehammer instead of using a gun.


Well of course they see the killer breaking in wearing a really bad curly wig and black grease paint painted all over his face. Alan Rickman remarks they should take him now but Nick brings up a good point. It would just be breaking and entering, they need to catch him in the act. When the woman arrives, right before she opens the door Nick and Alan grab and carry her to the closet before explaining who they are and what their gonna do.

All seems perfect right?


This is when the movie takes a very strange turn. The love interest goes in, begins to get "strangled" and yells for Nick who tries to break down the door with the sledgehammer. That's when the over the top 1980's saxophone music starts blasting and while the love interest is struggling with the killer who can't seem to figure out why she isn't dying, Nick like a complete moron keeps whacking at the door before it breaks down.The killer of course storms at him, knocking him and Alan Rickman down. That's when Kevin Kline legit has a ten minute scene with the killer as he chases after him, latching onto his leg and slowly gets dragged down the stairs with him while all the neighbors watch. I seriously couldn't stop laughing. It seemed like some strange slap stick comedy I was watching instead of a thriller about a serial killer. The stairwell scene goes on forever and with the over the top music and Kevin Kline just being dragged down the stairs telling the killer he's not letting go had me in complete awe.

In the very end the police arrive and Mr. Kline delivers the killer wrapped up in a carpet. Yep, that's right. When they reveal the killer nobody knows who he is. So any mystery or build up is ruined. The killer's grease painted face did remind me a little of the killer from When A Stranger Calls Back though. The movie ends on a very odd note, not tying up any loose ends. Susan Sarandon gives some check back that had something to do with the plot, and Alan Rickman leaves to go mix up paint. I usualy wouldn't spoil an ending like this...but I think I'm saving some people the time.

The January Man is a very over the top badly written movie with a good idea that sadly isn't delivered in the right way. Seriously unless your a big Alan Rickman fan, don't waste you're time.

So...yeah pretty sucked.

1 Star!

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