Sunday, March 02, 2008

Obscure Movie Of The Week: Touch And Go (1986)

Maybe the true test of whether or not something is an "obscure" movie or not is to check and see whether or not the fucking thing is even available on DVD, let alone Blue Ray or DVD-HD. Turns out this little gem of a film called Touch and Go aint on any DVD you can get anywhere (at least legally) and doesn't appear to be anytime soon. Which says something, because it's actually a decent movie that got great reviews (Siskel & Ebert both gave it "Two Thumbs Up", although it should be noted not "Two Enthusiastic Thumbs Up", and it really seems they only liked it because it was filmed in Chicago).

At any rate, it's a wonder the movie even got released, and turns out only did so because of star

Michael Keaton's stock rising so fast at time. But hell, if it wasn't going to come out in 1986, don't you think that after something like Beetle Juice or I don't know, Batman, it would have had some sort of shelf life? Which I have a theory of: If this movie HAD come out a few years later, it might not be so obscure.

The gist of the film has Keaton playing a pro hockey player who gets mugged outside a rough Chicago stadium after a game. He runs down one of the kids, who's such a con artist he convinces Keaton's character to throw back cheeseburgers with him and come home and meet Mom, who happens to be single and played by a little hottie named Maria Conchita Alonso, who I'm sure Quentin Tarantino jerks off to every other night.

So there's your story line, and you can pretty much guess where things go. Keaton falls for the kid's mom and oh by the way gets back at the gang of thugs who mugged him and teaches the kid a lesson on staying away from the crips and bloods and such. But the movie really serves as Exhibit A as to why Keaton was such a big deal, and leaves a lot of us wondering why he never became even bigger. It seems that Keaton and Tom Hanks both made the scene around the same time. Both made successful Ron Howard movies, and for a while it looked like Keaton was going to have the brilliant career.

And frankly, I can't figure out where Keaton went wrong. Other than maybe Hanks can suck the corporate tit better, there's no reason he isn't having a Jack Nicholson-esque sort of career now.

But alas, it seemed stardom seemed to freak Keaton out whereas Hanks was drawn to it. Keaton was Tim Burton's go-to guy before Johnny Depp. It seemed like Keaton was really drawn the Burton's world, and had some major hits along the way. Then the shit hit the fan. Burton and Johnny Depp became joined at the penis, and bowed out after the second Batman movie, replaced by that flaming fag Joel Schumacher as director, and Keaton decided to punt on doing anymore Batman flicks. Which turned out to be the right move, but it evidently gave Hollywood pause, because frankly Keaton hasn't done anything since.

While Hanks is looked upon as some risk taker for playing a gay lawyer or a retarded guy who gets to fuck Robin Wright Penn, Keaton has stuck to formula films where he's basically the only thing in the movie worth watching. The Dream Team was a light-hearted Cuckoo's nest wannabe. Pacific Heights thinks it's a Fatal Attraction update of some sort. Hell, My Life is a Ghost rip-off (even written by the same guy who wrote Ghost) and Keaton probably thought Multiplicity was his Groundhog Day (because, like Groundhog, Multiplicty was Directed by Harold Ramis and co-starred Andie MacDowell). Even when Keaton tried to stretch and jump in bed with Tarantino, he winds up in QT's worst received film (although Jackie Brown is still a great movie and Keaton is very good in it). A few years ago, because I was tired of tossing dollar bills out of my car to flow freely in the wind, I ordered a movie called Game 6 on in-demand because the story was somewhat intriguing and it looked like Keaton was going to do a great but small independent film. It's an alright movie, forever destined to be a future Obscure Movie of the Week, but again Michael Keaton is the best thing going for it. Just as it is for Touch and Go.


notorious DEK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
notorious DEK said...

Road trip anyone?

if the dude abides...

Dirtylaundry said...

Daddy loves him some Lebowski.

And of course, daddy is probably too drunk to enter his own password, so please have fun...