Thursday, April 9th, 2020
I realized tonight talking to Sammy how much goes into picking movies and television programs and other streams of stuff we can watch without grimacing or averting our eyes or just feeling as if the director really wanted you to know how violent violence can be.
I think we’re both of a generation where gratuitous violence is not impossible to get through, it’s just “why are you showing me this? Why does the story have to include this?”
So that lets out pretty much anything that includes zombies or decapitation or eye surgery or bathtubs full of blood, although we’ll make an exception every now and again for (what seems to us) really well written stuff that includes any of the above. There’s really quite a lot of it out there these days! And there’s plenty of post-apocalyptic drama too, and honestly, where we’re at right now, that sort of thing isn’t much of a palate-cleanser.
And then in the case of television shows we tend to look at the life cycle of the show. Is it from a decade or so ago? Did it end well? Did it end at all? There have been series we’ve plowed through that show their internal struggles in the ebb and flow of episodes. Whoa, suddenly half the cast changed! There’s a new producer! The lead character was in LA, now he’s in New York! Is that a good thing? Did they get to end on their own terms or were they yanked off the air without as much as a how-do-you-do? One of us prefers (ahem) to view series in absolute and complete chronological order, from season 1 episode 1 to whenever they stopped doing them. We didn’t have a great candidate for that tonight.
So tonight we (re)watched Big Night, from 1996, directed by Stanley Tucci (and Campbell Scott) and written by Tucci and Joseph Tropiano. It stars the wonderful Tony Shalhoub and Tucci as brothers. So it’s a lot of Tucci, early in his career, and a great supporting cast that, when you scroll way down to the bottom, includes Liev Schreiber in a very brief, early, almost silent role as a doorman. He opened the doors for people with style.
There were no zombies.