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The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight Review

As much as I like Hervé Villechaize, it's pretty impossible to like much about The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight, a mob slapstick comedy that features Tattoo is one of a bunch of hapless thugs who want to get rid of the local heavy (Lionel Stander) so they can take over in his stead. Too bad the crew, you know, can't shoot straight... and though they try endlessly to get rid of him, they just can't manage to do it.

That's pretty much the story, with rising star Robert De Niro strangely inserted into the movie to take advantage of his upcoming celebrity (he's a bicycle racer that falls for the gang leader's (Jerry Orbach) kid sister (Leigh Taylor-Young, completely lost here). The bulk of the film has Orbach and co. scheming endlessly to off Stander's Baccala, and over and over it fails to amuse us, even when a live lion is thrown into the mix. That's the film. If it weren't for Villechaize, there'd be nary a laugh in the whole movie, and even that kind of comedy is hardly highbrow.

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Serpico Review

Damn dirty cops! It's gonna take Frank Serpico to clean up this town!!!

Based on a true story of rampant corruption and internal affairs in New York City (where else?), Serpico stands as the consummate cop movie, right up there with The French Connection. But while The French Connection is a standard cops-and-robbers movie, Serpico is pretty much cops-and-cops, as Al Pacino's title character hunts out corruption inside the department even though it means all but signing his death warrant.

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Midnight Cowboy Review

Joe Buck (Jon Voight), in what may be the boldest and most naive move in movie history, heads from west Texas to New York City via bus, to strike it rich as a male prostitute. He encounters a diminutive con man named Ratso (Dustin Hoffman), who takes him under his wing as his "manager." Sadly, it soon becomes apparent that neither of these characters can take care of themselves, much less one another. Depressing and nearly hopeless, this classic and infamous film (originally X-rated in 1969, it still won Best Picture), Midnight Cowboy has analogues in countless films from later years, all the way through American Beauty. Highly recommended.
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