Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

Harvey Takes a Stretch

February 12th, 2010 · 2 Comments

For the record, we think Harvey Keitel’s performance in Bad Lieutenant is one of the most awesome acting jobs in cinematic history. It’s such a grandiose villainous turn, in fact, that we have a tough time seeing him as anything other than a crack-smoking, sexually deviant New York City cop. And so we get a feeling we’d have a tough time sitting through all of Monkey Trouble, the 1994 family film he did with none other than a very young Thora Birch (currently residing in the “Where Are They Now?” file, alas). True, The New York Times sorta dug the flicks, as did the great Rogert Ebert. But when your trailer needs to dredge up The Monkees’ awful flagship song to create some measure of excitement—not to mention a rather crude Indian-storekeeper caricature—we think we’ll pass and just pop in the legendary traffic-stop scene from Bad Lieutenant once more. If only that genius filmmaker Robert Vince had been at the Monkey Trouble helm, instead of the far less accomplished Franco Amurri.

By the way, an unmissable compendium of non-human primate media can be found here. We initially wanted to make this edition of Bad Movie Friday about the 1971 Kurt Russell/chimpanzee vehicle The Barefoot Executive, but we couldn’t find a decent clip. Anyone wanna do a VHS-to-YouTube transfer on our behalf? There’s a free Microkhan mesh hat in it for you.


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2 Comments so far ↓

  • PubbyPab

    Villain, you say? No sympathy for the poor bad lieutenant?

  • Brendan I. Koerner

    @PubbyPab: Fair point. What makes that film so interesting is the weird redemption twist at the end–Keitel spends 9/10ths of the movie in the muck, then engages in this bizarre act of forgiveness when things seem most desperate. I can’t say I actually sympathize with his plight–shouldn’t have bet on the Dodgers!–but he’s definitely a more complex character than your typical H’wood villain.