Monday, 6 October 2008

The Last Detail

Hal Ashby, Otis Young and Jack Nicholson on the set of The Last Detail

bcfilmmaker sent a Twitter today alerting us to The Last Detail screening on television in Vancouver. I really like this film, and was just watching it the other night as a matter of fact. I was introduced to it by a friend of mine who after having had me introduce him to Hal Ashby's classic Being There, returned the favour.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I first saw the cover of The Last Detail but Being There is on my quality list of films - I like under-stated movies that play out like Thelonious Monk tunes. Thing is, I'm in no rush to get through a movie, so I can easily just recline and watch something that engages me at its on relevant pace. If I think it is worthwhile writing that is. The Last Detail is not your typical "war" film, but it resembles closely The Dawn Patrol or The Blockhouse, films outside of war but still tied to the context of army, air-force or navy.

In The Last Detail, Jack and Otis play a couple of navy seamen on shore duty transporting Randy Quaid to prison for a minor misdemeanor, but the trip soon becomes a tangent in drinking, eating and back-chatting the world's misdemeanors.

The Last Detail is a good rambling film, with plenty of re-watchable moments and performances from all three main cast. The script by Robert Burton Towne (Shampoo, Chinatown) is impeccably crass. Sit down with a few long necks and prawn crackers, and you can't go wrong with the The Last Detail. Of course there are very few actors like Jack Nicholson, I would say probably only Dennis Hopper and Willem Defoe have that eccentric air of vice and virtue wrapped in the one brown paper bag. Of course the profanity in The Last Detail detail is used sparingly to achieve maximum impact ...

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