Thursday, July 31, 2014

Best Seller (1987)

James Woods Film Fest Movie #5

Synopsis: Literary cop and hitman-with-a-heart-of-gold form strangest friendship since Fonzie hoisted milkshakes at Arnold's drive-in with Richie Cunningham. 

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “James Woods (Nixon, Casino) and Brian Dennehy (Romeo and Juliet, Presumed Innocent) team up for an unlikely partnership as they face off against a death-dealing financier in this tense, gripping thriller that fascinates with its action, suspense and brutal honesty.” 

What Did I Learn?: If you’re planning to write a tell-all book about working as a professional hitman for a powerful industrialist, you might not want to show up unannounced at one of his swanky cocktail parties and spill the beans. 

You Might Like This Movie If: you appreciate a good best-seller.
Really?: 1) Hold on – why is Dennis doing undercover police work? He’s a best-selling author, for fuck’s sake!! He’s known across America as a cop who writes true-crime books. 2) See: “What Did I Learn?”

Rating: Best Seller is a long-forgotten, low-budget thriller that went straight to video (and the First Choice movie channel, where I first saw it) soon after its release. It’s a bit cheesy in places, but the story is compelling, and I liked both Woods’ performance (you’re never entirely sure if you should sympathize with Cleve or not, which makes him interesting) and the chemistry between him and Dennehy. Best Seller is a solid film. 8/10 stars.

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