The Italian Job

I had some time to watch an extra movie on a Monday night, so I brought out “The Italian Joe,” the remake with Marky Mark and Charlize Theron.  I liked the opening sequence in Venice, a good setting for these movies, as we’ve seen in the James Bond movies.  The pursuers didn’t make the best decisions, as such a heavy safe couldn’t have been so easily transported.  I find it hard to accept Edward Norton as anything but an actor, whether it is “Fight Club” or this movie.  I couldn’t take his threatening behavior seriously.  There are a lot of action movie clichés that come into play, but what prevents this movie from being too stale are the Mini Coopers and Charlize Theron.  The little cars made it seem that you were in the middle of an amusement park ride, although I don’t know how the drivers could have done all the things they do.  Charlize Theron plays Stella, the daughter of Donald Sutherland.  She was likable in this role because she was almost a regular working person who worked on locks.  When she drives around in the car, it’s like we’re getting a preview of “The Fate of the Furious.”  Jason Statham is also part of the gang.  One of the characters claims to have invented Napster, which shows how long ago this movie was made.  Until I saw this movie again, I had almost forgotten what Napster was.  I think I saw the original movie with Michael Caine years ago, but I can’t recall much about it.  In one shot, Norton’s character is watching “Alfie” on his big screen television.  Apparently, a sequel called “The Brazilian Job” was never made because ticket sales for this one were disappointing.  I found it a fun movie to watch, though it was nothing brilliant, and I imagined what it would have been like with someone like Steve McQueen in it.  I found most of this cast unexciting.  The director was F. Gary Gray, who went on to do “Be Cool,” “Straight Outta Compton,” and “The Fate of the Furious.”  I’m not surprised at the links between “The Italian Job” and “The Fate of the Furious,” seeing that Gray directed both of them.  I heard the news that Dina Merrill had died.  She was in “Desk Set,” “Operation Petticoat,” “Butterfield 8,” “The Sundowners,” “The Young Savages,” “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father,” “I’ll Take Sweden,” “The Player,” and “Mighty Joe Young” with Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron.  In the morning, I heard the news that Roger Moore had died.  Looking over his credits, it seemed that his last significant movie was his last James Bond film, “A View to a Kill,” in 1985.  He was in “The Last Time I Saw Paris” with Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson in 1954.  Eva Gabor and Donna Reed were also in that one.  I remembered “Gold” from 1974.  It gave Roger Ebert the chance to interview Susannah York.  The date of that article was November 25, 1974.  What she had to say about Moore was this: “Roger’s such a funny man.  So funny to work with, such a sense of humor, that when you’re in, um, well, a certain sort of movie, he lends it a bit of style it might not otherwise have had.”  Susannah used the interview to alert people to look out for her next film, which was “The Maids” with Glenda Jackson.  Sean Connery was born three years after Moore, but I couldn’t see Connery playing James Bond up until 1985.  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for May 23, The Who released their rock opera “Tommy” in 1969.  In 1971, Iron Butterfly performed a final show before disbanding.  In 1990, the IRS auctioned off Willie Nelson’s golf course, collecting $230,000 towards his debt.  In 1997, Tim Allen was arrested for drunken driving.

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