"One Night at McCool's"
Directed by Harald Zwart.
Written by Stan Seidel.
Starring Liv Tyler, Matt Dillon, Paul Reiser and Michael Douglas.
Release Year: 2001
Review Date: 5/2/01
What up? Long time, no see; although I
thought about catching a couple of flicks over the weekend, the
weather was just too perfect--75 degrees, not a cloud in the sky--to
be caught hanging out in a movie theater.
I actually had the chance to see "One Night
at McCool's" for free last Thursday night--courtesy, once again, of
Tricia "Hot" Ocampo--but my roommate Chuck and I got to see a test
screening of "The Musketeer" (also referred to as "D'Artagnan") last
week, an action-adventure that is not finished yet but due out later
this summer. I won't review this film until it is released, since
what I saw was a rough cut...but, the folks who did the stunts for
"The Matrix" and
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" did the stunts for
"The Musketeer", so I am intrigued to see what the final cut of the
film will look like.
So anyway, I rolled over to the multiplex
after work tonight to see if Liv Tyler and Matt Dillon and Michael
Douglas and Paul Reiser made for anything worthwhile. This black
comedy concerns a hot Susie Homemaker-type named Jewel (Tyler) that
messes up the lives of three different men: a bartender (Dillon), a
lawyer (Reiser) that wouldn't mind cheating on his wife, and a
religious detective (John Goodman). In her quest to find a man that
can provide her with a good homelife, she manipulates everyone she
comes in contact with by putting on the charm...and filling a few
bodybags for good measure. The bartender--Jewel's first victim when
the movie opens--hires a bingo-playing 50-something hitman (Douglas)
to take her out for good.
Although it is pretty dark at times, "One
Night at McCool's" worked as a comedy for me, and most of the laughs
came from the movie's profanity-laced script and its numerous
slow-motion sequences of the principal stars. Tyler is pretty
hot...but, she has always seemed just a little weird to me. She has
one of the clumsiest smiles in the history of movies, but the
filmmakers make up for this by showing her Brockovich-like cleavage
non-stop. And to their credit, it is usually played for laughs,
like in the movie's funniest sequence, when the cop comes out of the
bartender's beat-up house to see Jewel raunchily washing a Honda
Civic; she gives the cop a bunch of these overly-toothy grins that
had my audience (of, ahem, eight people) laughing out loud.
I always love movies that know exactly what
they are, and "One Night at McCool's" is great at playing itself up
for laughs. There are no illusions of grandeur with the
been-there-done-that script, and if you are going to buy that
Douglas is really a hitman, you have to be able to stretch your
imagination *just* a little bit. His greased coif is so
movie-perfect that Douglas must have laughed himself silly while in
the makeup trailer each morning. Reiser--who I despised as he made
paycheck after paycheck for the awful sitcom "Mad About You"--is
great is his role as a dirty scoundrel here, mostly because he is
playing so against type; his bondage scenes late in the movie really
make for a conversation piece. And, pairing his sex scenes in "One
Night at McCool's" and the dirty thriller "Wild Things", Matt Dillon
has my vote for The Man's Man Award...it sometimes seems that no one
in film is having more fun than Dillon, who plays some version of
himself almost every time out, and he is great again here in his
current work. Plus, his hilarious cameo work in "There's Something
About Mary" guarantee his place in movie history.
Besides its bloody finale--a shootout set to
the Village People's "YMCA"--this is a fun and funny flick. Great
cameos by "I thought he was dead!" Andrew Dice Clay and Reba
McIntyre provide the film with great support, and the film is never
boring because it changes perspectives from one guy to the next
every few minutes. A surprise film...but, if you don't see it by
this weekend, it will be out of theaters, since it placed 12th in
its first weekend of release, and with
"The Mummy Returns" kicking
off the summer season this weekend, "One Night at McCool's" doesn't
stand much of a chance.
Rating: $8.25 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard