Archives for posts with tag: Harrison Ford

These days, it seems every fading Hollywood star is making a movie about a dog. Many are “family” films full of dopey hijinks. Harrison Ford went for old school, 1960s-Disney-style “family,” in that there’s all kinds of death and violence, but there’s also furry animals to make it OK. It’s been 40 years since I read the “The Call of the Wild” and I won’t quibble with using CG dogs to enliven Jack London’s literary vision. The film does capture the cold lonesomeness of Alaska and the book’s spirit of adventure while also being emotionally manipulative enough for modern audiences.

“Patriot Games” (1992) is one of the few contemporary novels that I read and then saw as a movie. I read it during a week of jury duty back in 1990. I thought Tom Clancy wrote one of the most compelling car chase scenes I had ever read, but I was highly unsatisfied with the ending (Jack Ryan might stand for justice, but not the poetic kind.). The movie comes across as rushed and too actiony for a spy thriller. It’s like a sports highlight reel with no context of how the game was actually played. The ending? Slightly better.

By the time he made “High Road to China” in 1983, Tom Selleck was a TV star. The romantic adventure film set in the 1920s appears to be a test to see if he could do the Indiana Jones thing like Harrison Ford (Selleck was allegedly offered “Raiders of the Lost Ark” before Ford). “High Road” isn’t any less coherent than “Raiders,” but the chemistry between Selleck and another TV person, Bess Armstrong, is awful (and there’s too much yelling). Interestingly, Selleck’s relationship with his trusty mechanic, played by Jack Weston, is more honest as a demonstration of masculine love.