Sponsored Content
« Citing Guidelines Against "Abusive" Behavior, Twitter Permanently Suspends Alex Jones and InfoWars After Jones Confronts CNN's Deplatforming Crusader Oliver Darcy | Main | Coming to America ONT »
September 06, 2018

Burt Reynolds Dead at 82

Another 70s icon passes.

My three favorite Burt Reynolds movies are...

(The first two are kind of obvious, the last one, maybe less so.)

1. The Longest Yard -- a very cynical movie about sports and prison and dirty, dirty criminals. Also funny. I always felt weird watching this as a kid, because it made you root for killers and rapists. I'll never forget the lightbulb trap.

2. Deliverance. Obviously. They pull a Rian Johnson Subvert-Your-Expectations thing with the Burt Reynolds character but he's good in it and the film, obviously, is legendary. Primal and potent.

3. My absolute favorite movie from the early eighties -- Sharky's Machine. Man, I was just thinking about this movie the other day. I wonder if it holds up. All I know is I watched it about 300 times as a kid and it held up through all of those watchings.

Apparently he directed it.

If you don't know the movie: It's a gritty, realistic crime drama with little of the usual Burt Reynolds swagger or silly humor (though there is some more restrained humor here).

Reynolds plays a Narcotics cop named Sharky who causes a civilian to be shot during a drug bust and gets demoted to the shittiest department in the Atlanta police force, Vice, which is where, apparently, all the oddballs and incompetents are assigned.

But he gets interested in a case involving a nasty pimp and trafficker in underaged sex slaves, and he leads the Bad News Bears of law enforcement into becoming a halfway decent unit -- the "Sharky's Machine" of the title.

Rachel Ward's in it and there is some Brief Nudity of highest quality. And note: Brief Nudity isn't brief if you just pause the videotape for half an hour or so.

Also, you know when action movies have a torture scene and it's always the sort of bullshit like electric shocks that cause no permanent damage or even damage that can't be shaken off by the next scene?

Yeah, Sharky's Machine doesn't play that way. This movie's idea of torture is actual torture, the kind that makes you turn away.

Also: Great, moody final confrontation.

Also: Henry Silva as a deranged psychotic assassin. But playing it really well here.

Also: The "Bad News Bears" of the Vice squad are actually pretty funny and there are some really good character actors in there, giving them all a lot of presence despite not giving them that many lines.

Also: I'm 99% sure that Shane Black was directly inspired to write Lethal Weapon by Sharky's Machine. There are a lot points of similarity.

A lot of people might remember Bernie Casey's passion for Zen meditation and his belief he can "ghost" out of bad situations just by emptying his mind. Beware, past the first clip, the video jumps right to the ending scenes with lots of spoiler material.

I'm definitely going to have to rent this one again.

Early Open Thread.

You guys have any favorite Reynolds movies?

Bonus: Although Stick wasn't a great movie, it had one of the most innovative stunts ever.

That was pre-CGI. The beginning of the stunt is real. He really falls without a net. (Later they switch to a dummy.)

How they did it:

Dar Robinson, a major stuntman (who also did the stunts in Sharky's Machine), was cast as the albino villain, so he could do the stunt in character, and you could see his face as he fell.

Robinson invented a special piece of equipment for the gag, a decelerator with a thin steel cable attached to his ankle I think, which let him fall at normal g-force acceleration for 30 or 40 feet before it began slowly and safely decelerating him to slower speeds and finally to a safe stop.

One of the problems with the stunt is that you kinda can't believe it's real so you just assume there's a greenscreen or some other fakery being used. But no, it's mostly real.

digg this
posted by Ace of Spades at 06:41 PM

| Access Comments

Recent Comments
BignJames: "I just moved back to SC from Wyoming. Forgot that ..."

Piper : "@Ace from the bottom of my heart, thank you for th ..."

screaming in digital: "About 10 miles back you left a granny still standi ..."

screaming in digital: "I left SC to go to western NY to help a friend cle ..."

bill in arkansas, not gonna comply with nuttin, waiting for the 0300 knock on the door : "214 Tonypete, are you in Cleveland for the wife's ..."

Fen: "Wow. That awkward moment when you think you're cle ..."

Diogenes: "Spring was 5:24 EDT....we missed it. Posted by: B ..."

Javems: " I tell ya it was a hell of a show. Posted by: ..."

nurse ratched : "My older brother put 3 Goody powders together and ..."

Tonypete: "Snorted them up his nose and went to choke-puking ..."

BignJames: "Waiting for Spring and getting impatient. You? P ..."

Chatterbox Mouse: "Springtime? I left SC to go to western NY to he ..."

Recent Entries

Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64