Movies I Slept Through – Deliverance

“Deliverance” is like going on a date with a lovely lady and halfway through realizing she’s a man, but you still have good time talking about football.

[Reason #2 for Burt Reynolds month: Even without his beautiful mustache, Burt is able to demand attention while on-screen. A sign of a truly great man.]

Lewis, Ed, Bobby and Drew (Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox) are setting out on a canoe trip down the Cahulawasse River. The river, as Lewis puts it, is, “The last unfucked up river in the south.” A dam is being erected in the area and Lewis wants the guys to experience nature in its purest form before the entire area becomes a lake.

Lewis is the only one of the bunch that has any experience, but he’s also a bit of a hot head. At one point he says he doesn’t believe in insurance because there’s no risk. Drew is the guy that just had to bring his guitar on a white water rafting trip, Ed is the one who dresses like he’s trying to find Dr. Livingston and Bobby is the fat one(Way to not be typecast, Ned Beatty). So, what could possibly go wrong in the back hills of Georgia with one kinda crazy and three inexperienced outdoorsmen? Absolutely everything.

There’s a great moment near the beginning of the film where Drew performs “Dueling Banjos” with a local boy they run into. As the battle of banjo and guitar rages on, things  get a little too fast and Drew can no longer keep up. It’s a brilliant scene that sets the tone for the entire film. One of my other favorite moments comee during the early scenes as well, when old school southern curse words pop up like, “God Almighty!” and, my personal favorite, “Shit-Fire!”

“Deliverance” is tough to watch at times. There are uncomfortable scenes of sexual violence that you couldn’t sleep through if you wanted to and, trust me, you will. These scenes, however, create a sense of vulnerability where you feel no one is safe. All of the performances are solid and has two of the most misquoted lines in history. Those being, “I bet you can squeal like a pig,” and, “He got a real pretty mouth, ain’t he?”

[A Note from the Future: This movie was remade in 2014 and those lines were changed to, “Squeal like a pig, bro!” and, “He got a real pretty mouth, ain’t he? No homo.”]

The score has its up and downs. “Dueling Banjos” is used excellently during the beginning, but then it appears in more scenes than a porn star who’s about to be relegated to MILF status. They use it for happy scenes, scary scenes and sad scenes. It works in some of them, but in others it’s almost laughable.

“Deliverance” is often cited as one of the best movies of all time, but I can’t quite see it. It’s a fine movie, and very suspenseful, but the last fifteen minutes were basically useless and the over use of “Dueling Banjos” detracts from certain areas.  “Deliverance” gets a Nap Before, but I won’t blame you if you doze off a little.

Movies I Slept Through – Stroker Ace

“Stroker Ace” is a 1980’s ode to fried chicken, topless dudes and the ultra smooth taste of Winston cigarettes.

[Reason #1 for Burt Reynolds month: Burt Reynolds supposedly turned down a role in “Terms of Endearment”(one that Jack Nicholson won an OSCAR for) to play Stroker Ace.]

Stroker Ace(Burt Reynolds) is the bad boy of the NASCAR circuit. He says and does whatever he wants and wins with almost as much ease, when he has a car that can keep up with him. The only problem is his abrasiveness keeps sponsors away. Stroker’s  pit chief Lugs(Jim Nabors) does what he can to hold things together, but it just isn’t working anymore.

Stroker has no choice but to sign with Clyde Torkle(Ned Beatty) the owner of The Chicken Pit chain of fried chicken restaurants. Mostly through being an idiot, he signs the enormous contract without reading it. Hilarity supposedly ensues when Stroker realizes there were unexpected clauses. He’s forced to do ribbon cutting ceremonies and other brilliantly funny things like wear a chicken suit. Ha. Ha. Classic comedy.

Burt Reynolds is playing his “I’m Burt F’N Reynolds” character that developed after he discovered he could make movies where he plays himself and people will still see them because he’s Burt F’N Reynolds. If you’re down with Burt being Burt, then you’ll be fine with his performance here. Jim Nabors reprises his role as “the guy who’s never been laid” and sings to cement his status as “that guy who people think are really goofy but has a nice singin’ voice.”(Ok… no more “made up names for things” in this review…)

“Stroker Ace”  is really weird when it comes down to it.  Most of the attempts at comedy aren’t successful, but there’s plenty of unintentional comedy and WTF moments. Including seeing how many men in the 1970s/80s didn’t wear shirts and a scene where I’m 95% sure Burt Reynolds rapes the female lead. It does, however, have it’s own theme song written by Charlie Daniels.[Legit Note: Theme songs for crappy movies need to make a come back] Also, keep an eye out for cameos from confederate flags and the “Mistress of the Dark”(I didn’t make that one up) Elvira.

“Stroker Ace” isn’t a groundbreaking piece of cinema. Hell, it isn’t even a decent piece of cinema, but it is the perfect movie to put on for a lazy Saturday and Nap During.