Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dragnet (1987)

Yes, it's true; I've been on a little bit of an Aykroyd kick these past few months. While I've been slowing watching his evolution (terrible joke intended) from a glorious comic master of the absurd to a fat fur wearing governor, and now, sinking to a new low in that Cusackian vessel that came out earlier this year (and I thought he was sad and pathetic before!; now we have to watch him dole out his dryness while taking a shit?!), I have just now, with the imbibing of the masterpiece, discovered the root of all his jokes. Suddenly, his schtick has an origin, and everything makes sense (I so totally have to re-watch Ghostbusters now!)! It's the Dragnet (tv), 50's cop, post-noir, don't-believe-in-masturbation-or-casual-sex mentality that really defines just about every enunciation out of Aykroyd's mouth, and I'm proud to have witnessed its origin. Ok, enough about the genius that is vintage Aykroyd (can anyone find a picture of him in his youth? does such a thing exist?) for, lo and behold, the almost-glorious Tom Hanks is also in this fine feature! And despite every indication that Hanks has some sort of knotted tree limb up his ass, they cast him as the reckless one (do I smell Lethal?). In addition to the straight-faced technical jargon provided by the ever ironic Aykroyd (see below!) and the lewd suggestions so kindly provided by Hanks, we have a Satan-worshipping cult that's giving lions mohawks, stealing bats and boas, attempting to sacrifice virgins (or at least until Aykroyd works his charm...), and all-round being douchebags. We also have the almighty smut-king (oh the teasing!!! [and I'm not talking about the girls' hair]), some disgruntled public officials, pill-popping pansies, Goat-headed gangsters and generally a good time. And what could be better than all that?: The boys sing for the credit song!; could I be any more blessed right now (try to ignore the quality and instead appreciate the amazing dance choreography and overall absurdity of this music video masterpiece!/watch closely and you'll get to see titties after all!)?

Final Judgment: "Don't worry, you don't have to swear off the inappropriate cop violence in order to enjoy this delicious dozy/Ridiculous scripting, a ridiculous plot and the ridiculously awesome Dan Aykroyd can only mean one thing.....Virgins!!!!/Ahhh, the eighties.

Friday: Can you tell me how much a monthly run of your "magazine" is worth?
Jerry Caesar: Well, let's just say it's more money than you'll ever see in your life. And I do that every month.
Friday: At least my money is clean.
Jerry Caesar: Tell you what you can do, Friday, before you go home and start polishing your pennies. Why don't you go out there and get my magazines back on the stands where they belong?
Friday: Listen, hotshot. I'm gonna tell you something right now. I don't care for you or for the putrid sludge you're troweling out. But until they change the laws and put you sleaze kings out of business, my job is to help you get back your stench ridden boxes of smut. And since I'll be doing it holding my nose, I'll be doing it with one hand.

Pep Streebeck: Are you crazy? Silvia Wiss wanted you.
Friday: Now let me tell you something, Streebeck. There are two things that clearly differentiate the human species from animals. One, we use cutlery. Two, we're capable of controlling our sexual urges. Now, you might be an exception, but don't drag me down into your private Hell.
Pep Streebeck: You've got a lot of repressed feelings, don't you, Friday? That must be what keeps your hair up.

Joe Friday: Ah, sure, but just like every other foaming, rabid psycho in this city with a foolproof plan, you've forgotten you're facing the single finest fighting force ever assembled.
Reverend Jonathan Whirley: The Israelis?

Joe Friday: Hold it right there, Whirley. Police officer, you're under arrest.
Reverend Jonathan Whirley: I beg your pardon, what is this? Some kind of a feeble joke?
Joe Friday: Oh, it's a real knee-slapper, friend, if you consider California Penal Code section 4A, 4207A, 597 and 217 Theft, Kidnapping, Cruelty to Animals and Attempted Murder something to laugh about.
Reverend Jonathan Whirley: I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about.
Joe Friday: My partner and I witnessed that little torchlight picnic you threw last night, we're gonna put you where your kind always ends up - in a seven by seven foot grey-green metal cage in the fifteenth floor of some hundred-year-old penitentiary, with damp, stinking walls and a wooden plank for a bed. Sure, this city isn't perfect, we need a smut-free life for all of our citizens; cleaner streets, better schools, and good hockey team. But the big difference between you and me, mister, is you made the promise, and I'm going to keep it.
[everyone applauds] ---including me.

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