Archives for posts with tag: Morgan Freeman

Modern cinema suffers from a disease known as blockbusteritis. Symptoms are cookie-cutter plots in which the hero saves the world and hooks back up with ex-wife/girlfriend, in no particular order. Oh, and helicopters. Lots of helicopters. Experts are trying to track down the host virus, but it dates back at least as far as a 1995 outbreak called… well, it’s called “Outbreak.” Dustin Hoffman saves everyone from a killer disease by making impassioned speeches. Ex-wife Rene Russo might have been better off dead. In an unusual twist, neither of the two black co-stars (Morgan Freeman, Cuba Gooding Jr.), get killed.

Remember when Michael Keaton was a big deal? He went from TV actor to comedy movie star in a flash and then – dun-dun-dun – he started getting serious. Remember when he was Batman? Anyway, right before Batman, he did a movie called “Clean and Sober” (1988). The plot basically took his typical comedy character, turned him into an A-hole with a coke habit, and then had him sort it all out. It’s a romantic comedy with drugs substituted for comedy and minus the “happily ever after.” Meh. Still, co-stars Kathy Baker and Morgan Freeman are enjoyable with their 1980s weird hair.

A good story told poorly. That is the ironic fate of “Street Smart.” This 1987 film was part of the late Christopher Reeve’s canon of cinematic mediocrity prior to his becoming An Inspiration To Us All. Reeve plays a struggling journalist. To please his boss, he makes up a story about a pimp. It turns out that several people think he wrote about an actual pimp. There’s a pimp (early Morgan Freeman), a pimp’s defense attorney, and the DA trying to nail a pimp for murder. Film noir-type hijinks ensue (jazzy background music, dead hookers, double-crosses, stabbings, Mimi Rogers, etc.).