Judge Clark Douglas is trying very hard to forget about Forget About It.
The Godfather just got duped by Grandpa.
"Hgarragh…heheagghh…"—Robert Loggia as Carl Campobasso
Facts of the Case
Mobster Angelo Nitti (Michael Paloma, Desert Rose) steals $4 million from the mob, rats on his fellow mobsters, and enters the witness protection program. It's a nice plan, but it makes a lot of people angry. The powerful Don Giovanni (also Paloma) tries to hunt Nitti down, and Nitti decides to hide out at a retirement home in Arizona. While there, he becomes acquainted with three resident old codgers: Retired Marine Sam Lefleur (Burt Reynolds, Smokey and the Bandit), WWII Vet Eddie O'Brien (Charles Durning, The Hudsucker Proxy), and the gruff Carl Campobasso (Robert Loggia, Scarface).
Things take a complicated turn when Sam, Carl, and Eddie happen to come across Nitti's hidden suitcase containing the money. Not realizing that it belongs to a hunted ex-mobster, the three men celebrate and start spending their newfound wealth. Will they become consumed by greed and hatred? Will Anton Chigurh hunt them down? Will there be any consequences whatsoever for any of the protagonists? Forget About It.
Forget About It is a film with a very troubled history. It was shot in 2004, given a very small theatrical release in 2006, and has finally been released on DVD in 2008. There have been complications and legal problems all along the way, which I won't get into here for fear of having director B.J. Davis attempt to sue me (something that evidently happened to another poor DVD reviewer who happened to give the film a bad review). After all the fuss and chaos and battles, the end result is decidedly underwhelming.
We all know that Burt Reynolds has been prostituting himself for a very long time now. Just in the past few years, he's appeared in such very weak films as Randy and the Mob, Broken Bridges, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Cloud 9, Without a Paddle, and The Dukes of Hazzard. I can't really imagine a less appealing recent resume. His participation in this rather terrible little movie is unsurprising, but nonetheless disappointing. The appearances of Charles Durning and Robert Loggia, on the other hand, are a little more inexplicable. Ah well, we've all got to get paid.
Of the three old gentlemen, I think Durning fares the best, but that's probably just because I love Charles Durning. No matter what kind of role he's playing, I always enjoy his performances. He's one of the great character actors, and he manages to underplay this very broad comedy material a little bit. He is also given the funniest line in the movie, which I will not spoil for you in case your Burt Reynolds-obsessed uncle forces you to sit through this. Reynolds is either overacting or looking very bored the majority of the time. Loggia mostly grunts and makes other strange noises, particularly whenever Raquel Welch starts dancing. Speaking of that, did I mention Raquel Welch is in this movie? She exists for two purposes: To dance numerous times (good) and to add some rather annoying plot twists (not good).
I could accept Forget About It as a piece of forgettable but modestly enjoyable entertainment, if only it had been about these three old guys arguing about who gets to have Raquel Welch. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the movie is spent on the very bland stolen money subplot, which is generally centered on the very poor performances of Michael Paloma. Paloma's primary character is boring, and his mob boss character is yet another lame Vito Corleone imitation. While we're speaking of Paloma, he really must have rubbed the people in charge of this film's marketing the wrong way. He has more screen time than anyone else in this movie, yet he is not among the seven characters featured on the DVD packaging.
On the technical end, the film is very unimpressive. Director B.J. Davis proves to be pretty incompetent when it comes to staging action scenes, dramatic scenes, comedic scenes…well, just about any kind of scene. The whole thing looks quite amateurish. The camera placement is generally poor and the editing is very sloppy in a number of scenes. The music by Vincent Tividad and Eddie Baytos is both repetitive and banal, offering up everything from bad country to bad funk to bad synth-orchestra dramatic underscoring. The DVD transfer is fine, though just a little bit grainy at times, and the sound is perfectly acceptable. Extras are limited to trailers for this film and other releases from Allumination Filmworks.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
As many problems as Forget About It may have, it's by no means the most unbearable movie I've seen recently…not even close. I kinda like hanging out with Burt Reynolds, Robert Loggia, Raquel Welch, and Charles Durning, even if they are slumming and giving poor performances. Even so, I simply can't really think of many positive things to say in the film's defense. The best I can come up with is that it's bad in a very genial way, as opposed to abrasively bad.
I'm one of those folks who is always complaining about how too many movies are centered on young people with pretty faces, so I would have liked to embrace a lightweight comedy about a few old codgers who find some money. However, the sad reality is that the film offers very few laughs and spends far too much time on a pointless mob plot. Comic relief supporting characters only serve to distract and pad the brief running time. If a bunch of recycled mob jokes and Viagra gags are your cup of tea, then you might enjoy Forget About It; otherwise, mark this one off as a great big dud.
Forget About It is guilty, and potential viewers are hereby ordered to forget about watching it…at least until it inevitably shows up on Comedy Central some uneventful Tuesday afternoon. Then you may watch one or two segments, come back to this site, and send this Judge an e-mail telling him that he was right to warn you.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Allumination Filmworks
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