Monday, June 16, 2014

Rum Punch (1992)

IFC recently spent a few weeks running Jackie Brown (1997) with the same frequency AMC airs The Shawshank Redemption (1994). Even so, I never managed to catch the thing from the beginning, and always ended up distracted from the ending. On the other hand, that copy of Rum Punch (1992) lurking on the shelf the past couple years was a lot easier to catch from the beginning.

Stewardess Jackie Burke (Pam Grier, who for some reason Leonard keeps describing as a blonde) has been just down-on-her-luck enough to fall into the snares of gunrunner Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson), acting as mule for his illegal cash during Caribbean hops. Until, that is, she's made by a couple ATF operatives (Michaels Keaton and Bowen, respectively) looking to bust Ordell, and who complicate matters by finding cocaine tucked among the cash bundles in her flight bag. Robbie uses the services of bail bondsman Max Cherry (Robert Forster) to bail her out. By exactly the sort of coincidence that often happens in crime novels, Cherry happens to be the employer of another associate of Ordell, Louis Gara (Robert DeNiro). Forster bails Grier, only to experience sexual tension during the car ride to her apartment, and even more once within the apartment, where she puts some classic soul on the turntable, just so there's no confusion. Tarantino is uncharacteristically coy here, whereas Leonard has no trouble getting down to business, shattered liquor glasses and everything. Anyway, turns out Grier has an idea to double-cross Jackson, give him over to the feds, make away scott-free with the money. Forster isn't so sure, or at least scrunches his face in order to play it that way. DeNiro whiles away the hours with stoned surfer chick Melanie (Bridget Fonda), who has Ordell in her double-cross-hairs as well. It all comes down to a tense shell-game finale -- who's got the money in which bag? -- that allows Leonard to explore the darker edge of a simple modern-day motivation: I'm getting long in the tooth, chances are slimming, how do I get what I really want in life? The book also features a massacre at a compound belonging to a neo-Nazi gun nut that I can't believe Tarantino omitted; maybe he already had Inglourious Basterds (2009) in mind and didn't want the two films to cover the same ground, or something. On the other hand, it's like Leonard wrote his dialogue with Samuel L. Jackson in mind. And since there's another novel (The Switch, 1978) featuring the characters of Ordell Robbie and Louis Gara, I know this won't be my last go-round with ol' Elmore.

But, figures: Since I finished this book, IFC hasn't shown Jackie Brown once.

1 comment:

  1. 이를 비롯해 세계 1위 복합리조트 갤럭시 마카오 마케팅 부사장과 더 스타의 인터내셔널 마케팅 부사장이 합류했다. 롯데관광개발의 자회사인 카지노업체 LT엔터테인먼트가 연매출 다파벳 5000억원을 달성하기 위해 기지개를 켜고 있다. 잇단 투자로 자본잠식에 빠진 후 예상치 못한 코로나19로 위기를 맞았지만 모기업의 자금을 바탕으로 내년부터 본격적인 승부수를 띄울 계획이다. 수많은 카지노사이트와 바카라 사이트 중 어떤사이트 를 이용해야할지 막막하신 회원님들이 많으실 겁니다. 제주 드림타워가 지난 2020년 12월 개장한 이후 일본 단체 관광객이 찾은 것은 이번이 처음이다.