Friday, June 02, 2006

Short Time

Every so often, a movie comes along that grabs you by your short hairs, points a finger in your face and says “I am here to change your world view.” Today, I have seen such a film. I speak, of course, of Short Time.

Wait a second. You’ve never heard of this film? How is it possible that you haven’t seen a movie starring one of the greatest actors of our time? Dabney Coleman. You know Dabney Coleman. He was in 9 to 5 and the Muppets Take Manhattan (pictured above with Carmela the Chicken). Still not ringing a bell? This makes me very mad. I’m so angry about all of this that I may have to fight you.

As enraged as I am, I still have to tell you about this film. The plot is so subtle and nuanced that I am going to have to choose my words carefully. Coleman plays a cop (named Burt Simpson – really) who is just two weeks from retirement when he learns that, uh oh, he’s going to die within a few days. The good news is that he has a pension. The bad news is that his ex-wife and son won’t see a dime of it unless he gets killed in the line of duty. The rest of the movie follows the adventures of Burt Simpson as he tries to get himself killed.

I don’t want to say anymore, lest I ruin the experience for you. I do want to share one more nugget of fantasmic dominance with you. In the midst of a car chase, Burt Simpson is trying to incite a criminal into shooting him and, as the bad guy starts firing, Simpson shouts to no one in particular:

“This is for you, Dougie. You will go to college.”


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