Scorpion Releasing // 1970 // 93 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Daryl Loomis // March 15th, 2012
I want to do everything but fall in love.
Jonathon (Jordan Christopher, Star 80) drives a cab in New York. With a Harvard degree and a rich family, he has a lot more options, but his admitted laziness makes him want the easiest, most stress-free job possible. Then he meets Jennifer (Jill O'Hara), a young woman who lives in his building. They connect and start to fall in love a little bit, but soon the idea of commitment starts to weigh heavily on him and he questions whether he wants to accept the responsibility of another person or just jump in his cab and forget about all of it.
It's hard to believe, but The Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker is even worse as a movie than as a title. Where the name reveals nothing about what might be in store for one picking up the disc, the movie reveals that, indeed, it is about absolutely nothing. These few days in the life of an absurdly self-centered character are as pointless and boring as any I have witnessed in some time. Director John Dexter (The Virgin Soldiers) apparently wanted to take all lamest parts from the realist films Paul Morrisey made for Andy Warhol, add an even dumber philosophy, and make some kind of on-the-street vanity film that really could have remained in obscurity.
I'm sure there are people out there like Jonathon, though I don't want to know them. His self-centeredness is the point. He's a smart guy in a cab who looks down on everybody around him, living off his family money, and making smart remarks to squares. Like any teenager, his parents are a drag, but Jonathon is nearing 30, and his arrested development is regarded here as somehow heroic. I guess it was the '70s, man. To their credit, Jordan Christopher and Jill O'Hara are completely believable in their roles; they just aren't people I'd ever want to know.
If there's anything worth watching here, it's the footage of New York City circa 1970. The avenues filled with jammed traffic resemble the chaos I expect that it was and Dexter gets right down at street level. That, and a brief appearance from Elaine Stritch (30 Rock) are really the only reasons to watch The Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker, though I do not at all recommend that you do so.
Pigeon Kicker comes to us in all its glory from Scorpion. Like most releases from the label, this is a bare bones product with an unrestored 1.78:1 print, a cut rate Dolby 1.0 Mono mix, and no extra features. Like much of the product from Scorpion, that it's getting a DVD release at all is surprising enough, but with its higher end price point, I do hope for higher quality than they deliver.
Technically, The Sidelong Glances of a Pigeon Kicker is not the worst movie I've ever seen, but I would take technical ineptitude over spending another second with this boring and stupid character.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Scorpion Releasing
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 1970
MPAA Rating: Not Rated