Thursday, June 13, 2019

Thursday Movie Picks: Undercover


Some weeks, you know - the ones where you get a three day weekend, Tuesday goes undercover as Monday. As soon as you get out of bed, Monday things start happening. All day long, you think it's Monday. Then quitting time rolls around and you realize you have one less day to your work week than you thought you had. Tuesday is brilliant in that way. Thursday gets to pull that trick, too. Sometimes, we get lucky and a holiday falls on Friday. Most times we force it by taking Friday off. Either way, it's never quite as effective an agent as Tuesday. We're all too aware of what's going on. We walk around saying stupid stuff like, "Today is my Friday." While Tuesday goes so deep undercover it tricks us, Thursday is like a kid in a Halloween mask. It's cute, but never fools us. However, this is just a regular Thursday, no mask, none of our inane quips.

Today just have one thing going for it, though. It's time for Thursday Movie Picks, hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves. If you couldn't guess, today's topic is "Undercover." This applies to so many movies I really could take this in a thousand different directions. But I played it fairly straight.


Deep Cover
(1992)
Laurence Fishburne gives a powerhouse performance as Russell Stevens, a detective sent undercover to infiltrate the organization of L.A.'s biggest drug dealer David Jason, played by none other than the inimitable Jeff Goldblum. The story is a fairly typical one where the cop goes so deep undercover he starts to lose himself, but Fishburne is so good, he elevates the entire movie to the level of sublime madness. For us hip hop fans, the theme song to this movie introduced the world to the one and only Snoop Dogg.


In Too Deep
(1999)
This time, it's Omar Epps's turn to take down the biggest drug dealer in the city. The city is Cincinnati, and the drug dealer is God. Yup, I said God, as played by LL Cool J. Epps is rookie cop Jeffrey Cole. His newness to the force is precisely why he gets the gig. No one in God's empire knows him, making it easier for him to slip in with his ties to law enforcement undetected. If you haven't seen it, but it sounds familiar, you might be remembering it from my celebration of Pam Grier's birthday.


Undercover Brother
(2002)
If you've been paying attention to me, you know that I love a good spoof. And so, we have Undercover Brother, a movie that pokes fun at both Blaxploitation flicks and James Bond movies. Eddie Griffin is the titular brother who has been recruited to infiltrate a nefarious organization run by The Man. I'm generally not a fan of Griffin's movies, but this is his best work.



18 comments:

  1. We share a pick with Undercover Brother. I love that film. Especially for NPH and I would not want to call him a sissy. Deep Cover is underrated as it did introduce us to a hip-hop legend in Snoop.

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  2. No way, I had no idea about that bit about Snoop! It sounds like a really good movie to be honest, I think that's going on my watch list :)

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  3. We'd love to go undercover, Have you also heard new single?

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  4. Would you like to enter my Fan Art Competition?

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  5. Replies
    1. And here I was thinking I was being unique and it's showing up everywhere.

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  6. It's been a long time since I saw Deep Cover but I remember it being okay but my memories of it are sketchy. I've seen pieces of Undercover Brother but never the whole thing and none of In Too Deep but they're all good fits.

    I went for one flat out comedy which I liked far more than I expected and two noirs with a couple of my favorite actors-Richard Widmark & Robert Ryan-in them which are reworkings of the same story.

    Spy (2015)-CIA agent Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) is the eyes and ears for dashing agent Bradley Fine (Jude Law) keeping him safe in dangerous situations. But when Bradley is assassinated by Bulgarian arms dealer Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne) Susan convinces agency head Elaine Crocker (Allison Janney) to let her go out into the field to try and basically save the world! McCarthy kicks some serious butt in this ripper of a comic spoof with able help from Miranda Hart as Susan’s goofy friend and a hilarious performance by Jason Statham as a fellow agent who thinks he’s the greatest but is in reality a buffoon.

    The Street with No Name (1948)-FBI Agent Gene Cordell (Mark Stevens) goes undercover to investigate the seedy underworld of Skid Row. Gene joins a gang of vicious thugs who are responsible for recent murders and helps them plan a heist; unbeknownst to the criminals, they'll be playing right into a police set-up. Unfortunately, manic crime boss Alec Stiles (Richard Widmark) knows that one of his underlings is an informer, and it's only a matter of time until he figures out which of his men is the undercover cop. Gritty noir with a fantastic Widmark.

    House of Bamboo (1955)-A reworking of The Street with No Name. US undercover agent Eddie Kenner (Robert Stack) arrives in postwar Tokyo to infiltrate a violent crime ring run by former GI Sandy Dawson (Robert Ryan) and falling into a relationship with Mariko (Shirley Yamaguchi) the widow of one of the gang members. As he gets closer to exposing the organization he risks being exposed himself. Once again it’s the villain this time enacted by the great Ryan who stands out.

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    1. I'm mildly surprised you picked such a recent movie. It's a good one. I'm a big fan of Spy. I haven't seen the others, though The Street with No Name has been on my radar for quite a while.

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    2. Usually I figure most everyone else picks the newer films and I try and shine a little spotlight on older films that I like to raise some awareness of them, don't know if it really works but I try. But I enjoyed Spy so much and it fit so well I had to use it.

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    3. That's as good a reason as any.

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  7. Undercover Brother was popular this week. I haven't seen it in years but now I wouldn't mind watching it again.

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  8. I haven’t seen any of these but love to see the first one because I like both actors. Undercover Brother is popular this week and I have it down on my list to see

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    1. How could you go wrong with Fishburne and Goldblum?

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