Road House

Before I went to sleep, I had to watch Neil Young on the Tonight Show. Jimmy Fallon did his hilarious impression of Neil singing “Old Man.” He also played Password with Ellen DeGeneres, Reese Witherspoon, and Steve Carell. Reese couldn’t get the word “joint.” I would say that Seth Rogen would have gotten it correct. I slept late and got to the office late. I worked on my next lecture and shopped for some groceries. I felt that I should be stocking up on some food because of the coming storm. I watched the DVD of the ridiculous movie “Road House.” Some people complain that movies about comic book heroes glorify the vigilante mentality. The action in this movie, however, are much more disturbing. You’ve got something that is like complete anarchy going on in this town. I guess that’s why this movie is supposed to be modeled on a Western. There was a slight feeling of “High Noon” towards the end, and two of the main characters are named Dalton and Doc. Kevin Tighe, who played a paramedic on television back in the 1970s, hires Patrick Swayze to clean up his business, a bar called the Double Deuce. He arrives in Jasper, a town near Kansas City, and starts firing people. He makes an enemy of the man who runs the town, Ben Gazzara. Gazzara’s thugs clash with Swayze, and the violence escalates to the point of insanity. The action really makes no sense at all. One of the wacky things Gazzara does is weave his way across the lanes as he’s driving and singing songs like “Sh-Boom.” I think maybe he was showing that he owns the road, along with everything else. I don’t remember Ben Gazzara playing many characters who were big jerks. I found it hard to believe that Patrick Swayze could be such a tough guy. Based on “The Outsiders” and “Dirty Dancing,” I wouldn’t be afraid of his punches. He seemed to care too much about his hair. Sam Elliott is around to lend a hand to Patrick, and he looked too old to get into fights. There is unnecessary nudity, which include Swayze’s ass. The house band at the Double Deuce plays songs like “Travelin’ Band,” “Knock On Wood,” and “White Room.” One of the employees who got the sack was John Doe of X. His mustache looked fake, and he was terrible about handling money. He looked like he enjoyed point a shotgun at people. It was incredible how everyone was throwing punches at each other. Swayze seemed to violate his own orders to take all fighting out of the building. How could Tighe stay in business with all the glasses and chair that get destroyed nearly every night? The ending is totally outrageous. People have died, and nobody is going to be punished. The explosions that destroy buildings look exactly alike and seem to reveal that nothing is inside. Most of the women besides Doc are on the screen to bare their breasts, and there were two Playboy Playmates in the credits. Annette Bening was to play Doc before Kelly Lynch came along. I guess it’s just as well, because does anyone really to have claim “Road House” as a credit? I couldn’t help thinking about the deaths of Patrick Swayze and Ben Gazzara, both from pancreatic cancer, as I watched this movie. Swayze redeemed himself with “Ghost,” but didn’t maintain his career momentum. In the final days of 2007, he felt a burning feeling in his stomach, and three weeks later he was diagnosed with cancer. He went to Stanford University for treatment. In January 2009, he told Barbara Walters that he was “kicking it.” In April, doctors told him that the cancer was in his liver. In August, he was hospitalized for a week, and he died on September 14, 2009 at age 57. After “Road House,” Ben Gazzara was in “The Big Lebowski,” but not much else of consequence. He died on February 3, 2012 at age 81. One thing that Swayze and Gazzara had in common was that they smoked too much. You can see Swayze smoking cigarettes in “Road House.” I found the sight rather painful. Kelly Lynch’s breakthrough role was in “Cocktail,” which I have never seen. In her role as Doc, what I remember her doing was putting staples into Swayze. What she and Dalton did that was stupid was having that interlude in plain sight of Wesley. It seems like the highlight of Kelly Lynch’s career was “Drugstore Cowboy.” Gazzara said that acting saved him from a life of crime in his youth. I actually found it hard to believe that Gazzara could punch that hard at his age. Julie Michaels was a gymnast at the University of Washington but suffered an injury. Apparently, she was born in 1967. She has more credits for stunt work than for acting. One of her recent credits was for an episode of The Big Bang Theory called “The Prestidigitation Approximation” in 2011. I will not say that “Road House” was a good bad movie. Two of writer David Lee Henry’s other credits were the Charles Bronson movie “The Evil That Men Do,” and Hal Ashby’s last movie, “8 Million Ways to Die.” The director Rowdy Herrington picked up a Razzie nomination for “Road House,” and one of his other credits was for “Gladiator,” but this movie was a 1992 release, and not the movie with Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix that won the Best Picture Oscar. I wouldn’t want my life’s accomplishment to be “Road House.” Some of the people who died on February 5 include Thelma Ritter (1969), Dean Jagger (1991), Joseph L. Mankiewicz (1993), and Doug McClure (1995). Today is a birthday for Laura Linney (51), Jennifer Jason Leigh (53), Christopher Guest (67), Barbara Hershey (67), and Hank Aaron (81). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for February 5, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded “Tuxedo Junction” for the RCA Victor Bluebird label. In 1966, Petula Clark had her second Number One hit single in the United States, “My Love.” In 1972, Paul Simon released his first single since splitting up with Art Garfunkel, “Mother and Child Reunion.” In 1977, Mary MacGregor had the Number One single, “Torn Between Two Lovers.” Today is the 73rd birthday for Cory Wells of Three Dog Night.

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