Another Bad Movie

Number 10 in the Series

Sundays I try to post a bad movie, but not often this bad. This has got to be about the worst ever. It’s Inside the Law from 1942, and Wikipedia doesn’t have much about it, except this cast of characters:

It’s from Producers Releasing Company, whom we have seen before. They released a bunch of Philo Vance movies.

This starts off innocently enough—the audience doesn’t see what’s coming. There is an auction, and people crowd in to pick up some pricey imports. Up comes a Ming vase, and the bidding gets started.

The price begins to climb, and exchanges become heated. A donnybrook ensues, after which the offenders are ejected.

Things settle down, and the bidding continues. But soon customers realize they have been robbed. The squabblers were actually a gang of pickpockets creating a disturbance to distract their victims.

And to answer the question on everybody’s mind, yes, the Ming vase is ultimately broken.

Back at their hotel room the crooks count their swag. They decide to head for California.

Everybody needs to remember how things were driving to California before the Interstate.

They stop beside the road at the Los Angeles city limit sign, and presently a drunk driver pulls up close by, followed by a highway patrol officer. While the officer is preparing to arrest the offender, the gang helps him get his bearings. They also pick his pockets.

It turns out the unfortunate was on his way to take over as manager of a bank. They gang figures to substitute Billy in place of the jailed new-hire. The bank is in Walnut Valley, and a small-time outfit it is. We see a local farmer in desperate straits. He points a pistol at the bank president, Judge Mortimer Gibbs, demanding a loan to forestall foreclosure on his mortgage.

This is a friendly bank, and Judge Gibbs disarms the man and sends him on his way.

The phony bank manager arrives and is given charge of the bank. He immediately dismisses the current staff and populates the bank with members of the outlaw tribe. They inspect the vault, figuring to make a quick haul. To their surprise, the bank has no cash. This is a bank in trouble.

They figure they need to get money into the bank before they can take money out, so they cook up a scheme to get new depositors. They run a campaign that convinces town’s people to put their money in the bank. If they think their home safe is secure, the gang’s master safe cracker shows them otherwise.

Presently the bank has $70,000+ in the vault, and the new manager is feeling magnanimous. He offers a $5000 loan to the desperate farmer.

Things go swimmingly for the crooks, and they begin to think about going straight and finishing out their careers running a small town bank. But Jim has always had a crooked streak, and he has plans to take the 70K and scoot for Mexico. Billy and Luana catch him in the act. There is a scuffle, and Jim comes out on top. Luana figures to tag along with Jim, but she leaves the phone off-hook to alert the others.

Jim and Luana get stalled at the Mexican border, and there is a lengthy comedy skit involving the Mexican customs official, who has been alerted to expect them.

Then somebody arrives to keep Jim from making it across the border with the money. Meanwhile the local chief of police figures out the imposture, and he is rushing around to corral the gang members. And the bank examiner arrives, but there is no money in the vault, so everybody stalls. The money is supposed to be in Jim’s satchel, and that arrives abut the time the bank examiner finds no money in the vault.

Of course, there is no money in the vault, because Mom Cobb always takes it home at night. Then Jim comes in with the shotgun, and demands the money. They tell him the shotgun is not loaded, so he test fires it into the ceiling. A slab of plaster falls on his head, and the end that’s the end of the movie.

The movie was slated for an hour and two minutes, but the end comes at 56 minutes and some change. Everything goes black, and “The End” shows on the screen. If there is more to resolve, we never see it.

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Palais-des-Congrès Furnished Suites

Here is a nice place we came across unexpectedly. The plan was to take the train from Quebec City to Montreal and stay there overnight before our flight back to San Antonio. Barbara Jean checked on-line and found this place. The address is 345 Rue de la Gauchettere Ouest, and it’s a short walk from the train station. Barbara obtained the booking through and received the following instructions:

The check in time starts at 4pm and the check out time is 11am.

When you arrive please dial 00002 on the intercom and you will be buzzed in. The access code is for your check in only. There is a mailbox room in the lobby, find mailbox 301, use the code xxx to open it, the keys will be inside. There is a white access card or a fob with the keys you can use it to scan on the intercom to access the building.

I’ve x’ed out the access code in case the owner reuses it. The rate was about $150 a night, and we were sort of keen on finding out whether it would be worth it. Turns out it was. Here are a few photos.

It’s a two-story with the bedroom in the upstairs loft.

Kitchen is first rate, with a full-size refrigerator, microwave oven, stove top, and convection oven. Double kitchen sink and a dishwasher.

The living area is spacious, with a dining table, large and comfortable couch, coffee table, computer-work table, and flat-screen TV. Those panels are doors that open to storage shelves.

Hah! There is another full bathroom with tub-shower downstairs next to the kitchen.

Upstairs a king-size bed next to a spacious bathroom. Much closet space in the alcove at the top of the stairs.

We can’t promise you will have the same adventure we had getting there. We arrived at the train station about 1 p.m. Check-in time was advertised for 4 p.m. It was raining. Nobody wanted to wander over to Rue de la Gauchettere Ouest in the rain and not be able to check in, so we kicked back at the train station until after 3, then started out. Believe it when you are told that summer is the time Montreal does street repairs. The few blocks to the apartment were a constant detour around barricades.

But, everything at check-in worked as advertised, thanks to Barbara Jean. She received the email from the owner and converted it to a PDF, saved it to her tablet while were still on-line in Quebec City. Then it was a matter of brining up the instructions and stepping through the entry process.

Don’t know if we will ever make it back to Montreal, but this place will receive a major consideration.

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Wednesday Bad Movie

Number 10 of a series

Ask, and you will receive. I needed a Wednesday movie review to post while I was out of town, and Amazon Prime Video came through. This is Hondo, from 1953 and starring John Wayne. And, yes! I did see this when it came out, and some of the scenes stuck with me all this time. This is from Warner Brothers. But first you have to see that Paramount has acquired the rights.

Finally from the film, itself. However, please note that John Wayne produced this through his own company after reading “The Gift of Cochise” by Louis l’Amour in Colliers.

Details are from Wikipedia. Here is the cast.

So, that’s not really Big John Wayne in the opening scene, but immediately after this horse and rider just about smash into the camera the screen displays “John Wayne” in big letters. And, yes. I did recognize James Arness as Lennie. This was two years after he played the title role in The Thing from Another World  and two years before he began his decades-long run as Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke.

The story inspired the movie, and that inspired l’Amour to right the book, which pretty much follows the movie script, unlike the short story. Actually, “A Gift from Cochise,” which is available in The Collected Short Stories of Louis L’Amour, Volume 1: Frontier Stories Kindle Edition, does not include the word “Hondo” anywhere, except in reference to the novel by Louis l’Amour.

Anyhow, what I remember most is this opening scene, which shows a lone honcho trekking across the barren landscape toward a ranch house, where a woman and her son are living alone.

They observe his approach with trepidation. He is Hondo Lane.

She is Angie Lowe, and her  husband has been away for more than a month, but that’s not what she tells Hondo. Hondo tells her about trouble with the local Apaches. He is part Apache, himself, and he works as a scout for the U.S. Army. He sees that her ax needs sharpening, and the dialog is right out of the book.

“I’m sorry my husband isn’t here to help you. He’s up in the hills working some cattle. He would pick this day to be away when we have a visitor.”

L’Amour, Louis. Hondo (p. 11). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

The grindstone was a heavy, old-fashioned type and turned heavily. He started the stone turning and the rasping whine of steel against stone cut into the clear, still air of the afternoon. He paused in the turning and poured water in the funnel-shaped can that allowed slow drops to fall on the turning stone. “You were raised here on the ranch, Mrs. Lowe?” “Yes, I was born here. My husband was raised here on the ranch, too.”

L’Amour, Louis. Hondo (p. 17). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Yikes! I’ve used a grind stone just like that one.

And this part I recall well.

“You baked this morning.” His voice was matter of fact. “I can smell fresh bread on you. Sometime today you cooked salt pork. I can smell that on you. And I can smell soap all over you. You took a bath. On top of that, you smell all over like a woman. A woman’s got a different smell from a man. Not salty and sharp, but kinda soft and rich and warm. I could find you in the dark, Mrs. Lowe, and I’m only part Indian.”

L’Amour, Louis. Hondo (pp. 31-32). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

Young as I was the first time I watched the movie, I caught the significance of “I could find you in the dark.”

But her husband is never coming back. Hondo goes into town, and the Apache’s arrive at the ranch. The ranch has long been protected by agreement with the Apache’s, but recent fractures of the agreement have eroded the agreement. Vittoro, leader of the warring party, takes a liking to little Johnny Lowe, who has the temerity to pull a pistol and let loose a shot. He makes Johnny a blood brother, and promises Angie Lowe to one of his party if her husband does not return.

But her husband will not return. In town, Hondo spots Ed Lowe, swilling it up in a saloon. Ed takes a dislike to Hondo, and it almost comes to gun play.

When Hondo leaves town to return to the ranch, Ed and a cohort follow and make an attempt at bushwhack. But the Apaches intervene, and shortly the cohort is dead. When Ed makes his play, he winds up dead, as well. Now Angie is a widow. How convenient.

But the Apaches are after Hondo, and he races for his life. I am quite sure John Wayne did not do this stunt, and I am sure no ordinary horse could have been coaxed into doing it.

But the Apaches catch up to Hondo, and the confrontation comes down to a duel. Two knives in the dirt, and only one man leaving alive. Hondo defeats his opponent but lets him live. He is allowed to go about his business.

Back at the ranch Hondo has to tell Angie about Ed. She is not sorry to see him gone. He only married her to get control of the ranch.

Here is another scene I well recall. Johnny is fishing. Hondo tells him he needs to fish on the other bank. Johnny says he can’t swim. Hondo gives him a swimming lesson. Aaker did not have much of a film career after he matured, but to this day he should be able to tell of the time John Wayne threw him into the creek.

The Army arrives. All settlers need to be evacuated. Angie and Johnny evacuate the ranch and join the wagons heading out under Army protection. Of course the Apaches attack, and there is the standard wagon train siege with circling Indians. But Vitorro has been killed in a previous battle, causing the Apaches to draw down and regroup. A new leader is in charge.

The plot reaches its climax as the wagons make their last dash to elude the Apaches. Hondo, unhorsed, takes on the new leader, and kills him. The Apaches again draw down to regroup, and the wagon train makes its escape.

Angie and Johnny will join Hondo at his California ranch.

Contrast between the short story and the novel is striking. The plot of the short story reflects the title.

Angie and Ed have two children, a boy and a younger girl. Ed is a sincere, hard-working husband. He goes into town on business and when Lane (not Hondo Lane) faces three armed gunmen, Ed steps into help, and he is killed. Lane sets off to find Angie as payback to Ed.

Cochise notes that Angie is all alone in the wilderness, and he admires her spunk. He and Angie come to an agreement. The Indians get use of water on the ranch and free run, and on occasion Angie finds a quarter of pronghorn left overnight.

Lane, crisscrossing the dessert, searching for Ed’s ranch continues to encounter and to do battle with the Apaches, winning every deadly encounter, except the last. He is captured in bad physical condition, and Cochise admires his spunk. He takes Lane to the ranch and presents him to Angie as a gift. Lane gives Angie the bad news about Ed, and the story concludes with Lane figuring he’s going to like it on the ranch.

Now you know the story.

The role of Angie called for a woman of plain looks, and they definitely did put the doll on Page up for her closeups. She had a highly successful career on stage and in movies, earning an Oscar for her role in The Trip to Bountiful.

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Another Bad Movie

Number 9 in the Series

Amazon Prime Video is the go-to place for old Charlie Chan movies. This is one from 1946, starring English actor Sidney Toler as Chines detective Charlie Chan. It’s The Trap out of Monogram Pictures, which produced a bunch of these films from 1931 to 1953.

The Charlie Chan character was introduced by Earl Derr Biggers in a series of novels starting in the 1920s. Various actors played the role, with Toler appearing in 22 episodes. This was his last movie ever. At the time of production he was dying of cancer and barely able to perform.

Details are from Wikipedia. Here is the cast:

Although originally cast as a detective of the Honolulu police, few of the films show him there. Most often he is seen in San Francisco, which has been notable for its Chinese immigrant population But this takes place entirely in Malibu, California. The opening scene is a motorcycle cop stationing himself beside the Pacific Coast Highway.

He spots a car going by, loaded with Hollywood actresses and much to fast. He cautions the driver to ease up on the pedal.

The car arrives at a beach bungalow, where the young women and some production officials debark and take up residence. The housekeeper, Miss Weebles, looks menacing.

There is bickering among the women as they compete for social position and favoritism. Lois is under age, and Adelaide knows it. She uses this knowledge as leverage. She has Lois go steal damaging letters from Brandt’s luggage.

Lois gets some letters, but somebody is watching, somebody with a garrote, preparing to strangle her. She turns. She sees the person. It’s her final scene in the movie.

They find Lois’ body in the room, but now Marcia is missing. She is found dead on the beach. Charlie Chan is summoned, and Birmingham drives him out to the bungalow.

Jimmy Chan finds the note left by Birmingham, and he comes to help solve the crime. Also, he is sweet on one of the actresses. The motorcycle cop is enlisted to work the case.

No more people are murdered. There is much skulking around, false accusations, hidden compartments, noises in the walls. The housekeeper says the noises are mice.

Charlie sets a trap, hence the title. Jimmy’s girlfriend is the bait. But when Jimmy and Birmingham find the sought-after box, they rush in and foil Charlie’s surprise. The murderer makes a getaway. We can see those are woman’s legs under the disguise.

Charlie and Jimmy give chase. The murder’s car crashes. It is the wardrobe woman as I always suspected. She dies.

There were mice in the wall. This is the final scene.

Mantan Moreland received top billing in this movie. He had a long career, beginning as a teenager and creating a great comic persona, playing the bumbling Birmingham in several of these films. When this portrayal went out of fashion his career dwindled.

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Wednesday Bad Movie

Number 9 of a series

Never read the book, never saw the movie until it streamed on Amazon Prime Video. I figured it was about time. From 1970 it’s Catch-22. Details are from Wikipedia. Here is the cast.

That’s a powerhouse roster of players, especially Art Garfunkel, recognizable by a select few of us who came of age during the 1960s.

The movie is, of course, based on the novel of the same name by Joseph Heller. It’s from Paramount.

I’m not going to recap the plot. From Wikipedia:

… it uses a distinctive non-chronological third-person omniscient narration, describing events from the points of view of different characters. The separate storylines are out of sequence so the timeline develops along with the plot.

Yeah, there’s no point. This movie is a sequence of beyond-the-pale comedy skits, funny even when people are dying. But, here’s the start. The sun rises above the beautiful island of Pianosa, set in the sparkling Mediterranean off the coast of Italy. But, as Wikipedia points out, Pianosa is nothing like this.

See the map from Google.

Yeah, it’s flat, and it’s about four square miles. Not enough real estate for what goes on in this movie. Historically, the Allies never used this as a military base. The Germans occupied it after Italy surrendered in 1943.

On 19 March 1944 French commandos landed on the island, and after a short firefight left taking away 40 prison guards as hostages. The following month an allied bomber attacked the island, killing six people.

That last line comes closest to describing this island’s association with the plot, which I now get to.

As the sun comes up we see B-25 bombers taking off on a raid on the Italian mainland. These bombers actually did these raids, but from the French island of Corsica, just east of Pianosa and much larger.

Anyhow, principal character Captain John Yossarian, bombardier for one of these planes, watches the flight take off without him. He is pensive.

He leaves the bombed-out structure pictured above and strolls away as bombers continue their roll toward takeoff. A G.I. grunt, who has been mindlessly raking dirt upon dirt, turns and knifes Yossarian in the back. I never figured out why.

Time shift. Yossarian confers with Dr. Daneeka. Yossarian wants the doctor to give him a chit excusing him from flying, alleging his is crazy. The good doctor explains the title of the movie by pointing out people who do not want to fly more deadly missions are in perfect command of their mental facilities and therefore not crazy. This is known as “catch-22.”

There is too much wacky for me to cite, so here are a few highlights. First, Lt. Milo Minderbinder and Colonel Cathcart nonchalantly discuss schemes to get rich bootlegging government supplies as they walk past the evidence of destruction wrought by the war.

As they continue their stroll a bomber streaming smoke comes in for a crash landing, barely missing them beside the runway.

They finish their talk, paying no attention to the crashed plane and the rescue vehicles arriving.

A recurring theme, an icon of the movie, is this conversation between Yossarian and his pilot during a mission:

“The bombardier, the bombardier,” Dobbs answered in a cry when Yossarian spoke. “He doesn’t answer, he doesn’t answer. Help the bombardier, help the bombardier.”

“I’m the bombardier,” Yossarian cried back at him. “I’m the bombardier. I’m all right. I’m all right.”

“Then help him, help him,” Dobbs begged. “Help him, help him.”

And Snowden lay dying in back.

Heller, Joseph. Catch-22: 50th Anniversary Edition (p. 57). Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

I’m not going to attempt a deeper explanation. Yossarian has a dream. He’s swimming in the sea. A woman on a float takes off her thin covering and throws it to him, leaving her quite nude. He grabs the piece of fabric and sinks into the sea.

His flight has been sent to bomb an Italian coastal town that has no significance in the war. Yossarian learns of this as the flight enters the final run, and he releases his bombs, causing the remainder of the flight to release theirs. The bombs fall harmlessly (not considering the fish) into the sea. The entire flight is awarded a medal for heroism. Yossarian shows up at the awards ceremony nude except for his cap. He explains his uniform has not come back from the laundry.

A man stands waving from a float near the beach. A single-engine plane makes repeated passes as the man waves. Finally the plane flies so low the propeller lops off the upper half of the man, which half falls into the sea. Then the remainder of the man topples over. Then the pilot cuts the engine and plows the plane into the side of a mountain.

In town Yossarian comes across a crowd in the street standing around the body of a murdered woman. He races up to the the room above to find the murderer is a soldier.

The soldier tells Yossarian he had to murder the woman, because he had raped her, and he did not want her to go around telling people. We hear the sirens of the M.P. squad, but they come to arrest Yossarian for being off base without leave.

Yossarian discovers the crewman who was thought dead in a sea ditching is really alive. The man faked the accident and rowed to neutral Sweden in his survival raft. Yossarian, realizing this would be possible (not really) seizes a raft and heads for the beach in a dead run, passing by a full military assembly at the airstrip. He launches the raft and paddles away from the island.

And that is the end of the movie.

Author Joseph Heller flew “60 combat missions as a B-25 bombardier.”

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Another Bad Movie

Number 8 in the Series

Amazon Prime Video runs a reliable stream of old movies. By “old movies” I mean movies that came out before or just after I was born. This is The Golden Eye from 1948, featuring Roland Winters as Honolulu detective Charlie Chan. Details are from Wikipedia. Here is the cast.

Here it is.

The film rolls. We see a San Francisco street at night. We see two pairs of shoes, one brown and one black. The black pair is hesitant. Somebody stops, half turns. Somebody is following the man wearing the shoes.

He’s Mr. Manning, and he stops in at a curio shop run by Wong Fai. He doesn’t want to purchase anything, but he knows the owner. He wants to meet Mr. Fai’s acquaintance, Detective Charlie Chan. Mr. Fai goes to get some tea for Mr. Manning.

Mr. black shoes notices Mr. Manning is alone, and he makes his move. We are all thinking he should not attempt the shot through that plate glass window, because the glass is going to deflect the bullet, and the shot will miss.

And that’s what happens. Mr. Manning is only wounded, and he meets up with Chan. He explains he owns a gold mine in Arizona. The name of the mine is The Golden Eye, hence the title of the movie. Some strange stuff is going on at the mine. The gold output does not agree with the mining reports. Chan will go to check out the situation, but he will stay at a dude ranch so as not to arouse suspicion about his visit. Chan arranges for his chauffeur Birmingham and his son Tommy to come along.

The next shot is Birmingham trying on his new western duds. Get a load of those spurs and also those woolly chaps.

The movie runs slightly more than an hour, but director William Beaudine decided there was plenty of time for some low-grade humor. Tommy and Birmingham spend five minutes on a gag involving Birmingham’s suitcase.

At the resort we see guest Vincent O’Brien getting drunk and making an ass of himself. Here he takes a swat at the rear end of a bathing beauty, and misses.

But he’s really San Francisco Detective Lieutenant Mike Ruark in disguise, and he spots Chan when he comes in and sits by the pool. Ruark is out in Arizona to investigate the strange influx of gold from The Golden Eye.

Bad news. Mr. Manning has taken a tumble down a mine shaft, and we will never see him for the remainder of the movie. His pretty daughter Evelyn worries as the doctor examines the bandaged Manning.

She goes into town to confer with the hunky Talbot Bartlett, who runs an essay office. They discuss a possible dinner date and also the state of the ore from the Manning mine.

Mine boss Jim Driscoll has insisted on hiring a nurse from the nearby nunnery to attend to Manning. Things are beginning to look suspicious.

Chan notices the nurse does recognize the word “tetanus” as a disease. In a ruse, Chan drops a bottle of opioid, and he gets a look at the nun’s shoes as she kneels to pick it up. Where have we seen this plot device before?

That’s right! Exactly ten years before this movie was made, director Alfred Hitchcock used the same device to discover the phony nun aboard the train in The Lady Vanishes.

There is a bunch of snooping around inside the mine, discovering multiple dead bodies, including that of Mr. Manning. Here we see how movies in those days portrayed black people. Birmingham is your comic darkie, afraid of strange things and reliably showing the whites of his eyes.

Much later than one would expect, Chan draws the curtain aside on the evil plot. The phony nun is defrocked, the phony Mr. Manning under the bandages is disclosed to be Margaret Driscoll. When the jig is up, the phony nun pulls a handgun, and attempts to turn the tables. Evelyn comes up from behind, and while Chan watches nonchalantly, she fights the fake nun for the deadly weapon. Yes, I find this hard to believe, as well.

Jim Driscoll attempts to make a run for it, and Bartlett, waiting outside, shoots him dead. It turns out Bartlett is behind the whole business, planning to marry Evelyn for her stake in the mine.

Scott Darling wrote the script, which is not up to a typical Earl Derr Biggers mystery. For example:

Hayley nodded. “The chap from Hawaii. Sergeant Chan–was that the name?”

“Charlie Chan–yes. But he’s an inspector now, in Honolulu.” “You hear from him then?”

At long intervals, yes.” Duff lighted his pipe. “Busy as I am, I’ve kept up a correspondence. Can’t get Charlie out of my mind, somehow. I wrote him a couple of months ago, asking for news of himself.”

“And he answered?”

“Yes–the reply came only this morning.” Duff took a letter from his pocket. “There are, it appears, no news,” he added, smiling.

Hayley leaned back in his chair. “None the less, let’s hear the letter,” he suggested.

Biggers, Earl Derr. Charlie Chan Carries On (pp. 2-3). Kindle Edition.

Any movie fan watching this is going to notice multiple anomalies. For example, Chan figures out the nun is phony. Yet he allows the ruse to continue the ruse for another day or so, all the while not investigating the condition of Mr. Manning under all those bandages, or even whether it is Manning under those bandages. In the meantime the unfortunate Manning dies. Not much serious police work going to waste.

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Wednesday Bad Movie

Number 8 of a series

Lately I’ve been watching a bunch of movies that don’t make sense to me. My practice is to only review movies I don’t already have, so everything is either borrowed from a friend or else streaming on Amazon Prime Video or Hulu.

Which brings us to this one. It’s Destroyer from 2018 on Hulu. Details are from Wikipedia, which lists the cast.

What makes this difficulty to follow, for the uninitiated, is the convoluted timeline. The movie begins with the final scene (above) and winds its way back and forth over the 16-year period of the story. Above we see LAPD Detective Erin Bell, sitting in her car, apparently zoned out, sun streaming in. She gets out and examines a crime scene, where other detectives tell her they already have the situation in hand, and she should go get some rest. She tells them she already knows who did the murder, and we will later learn why she is so sure.

Bell is one tough cookie, and we are going to see her go one-on-one with some mean dudes. But first we have to set the scene of the original crime somewhere in the Palm Springs area. Those who have ever driven back to Texas from Los Angeles along I-10 will recognize the wind farm.

Anyhow, Bell and her FBI collaborator named Chris years ago embedded themselves with a dangerous bank gang. We see them passing themselves off as lovers, which they eventually become, Bell becoming pregnant. We see the nihilistic nature of the gangsters, here one playing Russian roulette with three empty chambers.

Back in the present time we see Bell with whom we think is the father of her teenage daughter, and she is discussing problems with their teenage daughter. The girl is hanging with a really bad character, and Bell needs help in unhooking her.

At the original shooting scene the cops picked up some stained bills from a robbery the gang committed those years ago. Bell starts on a hunt for the gang members. While tracking a woman she recognizes from the gang, she observes a convergence at a Los Angeles bank and calls in a robbery in progress. Backed up by uniform cops, she goes in with an assault rifle and makes waste of some of the perps.

The time shifts back to the original robbery. Bell convinced Chris they should let the crime go forward so they could scoop up their share of the loot. They were supposed to stop the robbery, but they concocted a story about being unable to get the word out, and the gang suited up and went in.

When the leader came out of the bank with a bag of cash, a dye packet went off, and he went back into the bank to murder the clerk responsible.

When Chris went in to stop the murder, the gang leader got off the first shot, leaving Chris dying on the floor.

Then he executed the clerk and shot Chris again on his way out of the bank.

Bell was driving one of the getaway vans, and she drove away with a bag of the money and one of the gang. The gang member suspected she was a cop and threatened her. She crashed the van and stashed her bag of the loot in a trash bin.

Come present time, and she needs some of the money to buy off the punk who is dragging her daughter down. She goes to a storage rental.

But most of the cash is stained. She can only retrieve about $11,000. That’s all the punk will get.

By now the end is coming, and Bell is dying from her recent violent encounters. She sits in her car and considers how she has so screwed things up. Symbolically, a coyote trots across the road.

The final shot is some kids doing skate board tricks under the bridge where she is parked and dying.

And that’s all I’m going to tell about the movie, except for this character. Bell is at the home of Dennis DiFranco, and she is strong-arming him into giving up information. In the course of this his bodyguard comes in and punchers her out. Then she goes to the bathroom to recover, and when she comes out she cold-cocks the guard and fixes DiFranco’s clock. And all the while I’m thinking, “That guy acts just like Josh Lyman from seven seasons of The West Wing.


Yes, 20 years can make a big difference in outer appearance but cannot disguise that signature brashness and self importance.

If you are like me you wonder how the bank out in the sticks came to have so much cash. You also see Bell stash the bag of cash in a dumpster next to the crashed van. How come the cops never looked into the dumpster and found the cash? How did Bell get the cash from the dumpster and into the storage rental? Comments, please.

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