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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Gangster > Forget About It (2006/Allumination DVD)

Forget About It (2006/Allumination DVD)

 

Picture: C+   Sound: C+    Extras: C-   Film: D

 

 

Let me preface what's sure to be a scathing review of the mob/geezer comedy, Forget About It, by admitting I'm a sucker for movies about organized crime (serious or comical) as well as cantankerous Grumpy Old Men-style humor.  Forget About It also has a veteran cast of actors I like, which made me approach it with far more good will than I do most movies these days.  It stars the always-entertaining Burt Reynolds, who I've been rooting for to regain some of his former box-office glory for over 20 years now; Robert Loggia, whose gruff presence is a plus to any movie; World War II hero, D-Day survivor and Reynolds' most frequent co-star, Charles Durning, who's one of the all-time great character actors; and one of the sexiest women to ever grace the screen, Raquel Welch, who was 64 when Forget About It was filmed four years ago and still looks a lot better than most women half her age.

 

I have a feeling, though, the aforementioned actors had no idea what a group of self-involved, amateurish hacks they would be collaborating with when they signed on to appear in Forget About It, one of the most glaringly incompetent films I've seen in a while.  If you're wondering why my rating above is a D, it's because a D is the lowest I'm allowed to rate a DVD release on this website.  Otherwise, this embarrassment would surely get an F.

 

I don't know if Reynolds and Welch, who co-starred together decades ago in 100 Rifles (1969) and Fuzz (1972), will ever see the finished product that is Forget About It, or if they even care, but here's a strange case of a movie downplaying its stars and having them share separate screen time with a bunch of no-names who are clearly acting in another movie where even the footage clearly looks different from the footage shot with Reynolds and company.  It's as if someone used Reynolds and Welch's names to attract investors only to abandon the original idea in favor of making a quasi-home movie showcasing their personal friends intercut with only a portion of the footage shot with the name actors.  But whatever the case, Forget About It is an inept, choppy, painful-to-watch mess that looks like it was thrown together by rank amateurs.  So few films get made today featuring older actors in leading roles that it's a real shame such an opportunity fails so miserably.

 

Reynolds, Loggia and Durning play three old buddies living in a trailer-park retirement community outside of Phoenix, Arizona.  From what little is shown, the highlight of their uneventful days is competing against one another to see who can hit golf balls the farthest out into the desert.  Reynolds' character is raising his rebellious teen-age niece for some reason, but we're never specifically told why.  Like everything else in the movie, it's a plot point given little or no thought.

 

Meanwhile, two new residents arrive in the trailer park enlivening the old guys' empty lives -- a flirtatious former Las Vegas showgirl (Welch) and a former New Jersey Mafioso (Michael Paloma) turned government informant who's hiding out in the Witness Relocation Program with $4.3 million of stolen mob loot.  Now here's how this stinkbomb really becomes odious: Somehow the people who had final cut of the film had the idea that we'd rather see more of this Michael Paloma guy and other subplots about buffoon gangsters and a couple of crooked FBI agents than the quartet of stars.  After seeing the totally disjointed final result, it's easy to see why Forget About It sat on the shelf for a few years tied up in litigation -- it was filmed in early 2004 and got a couple theatrical test bookings in late 2006 before virtually going directly to DVD in the first days of 2008.

 

This is one of those horrible movies, as the late Gene Siskel used to say, where it would have been a lot more interesting to simply watch the stars sitting around talking than anything that ends up on screen.  I know for a fact that if given the same budget a friend of mine with a filmmaking degree and I could make a much better film with Reynolds, Welch, Loggia and Durning.  First, I'd drop the whole stolen mob money part and limit the film's focus to three elderly men who become invigorated when a sexy woman moves into the neighborhood.  With this cast, that angle should be fun.

 

However, Forget About It is such an ungodly mess that it often plays as if it were edited and assembled without the slightest sense of continuity.  The noticeably incongruent footage shot in New Jersey without the stars exhibits the grainy look of having been shot on bad HD, and it often looks as if the director (B.J. Davis is credited) doesn't know where to put the camera -- for instance, watch how sloppily a fight scene outside a strip club between the three old guys and some bikers is put together.  Furthermore, whenever the four veteran actors are center stage it seems as if the "film"-makers can't wait to cut away from them and get back to the no-names.

 

Not only did the far superior Grumpy Old Men come to mind while suffering through 85 minutes of Forget About It, but also an even better film about senior citizens, the wonderful, incredibly underrated and under-seen Wrestling Ernest Hemingway (1993) starring Robert Duvall and Richard Harris. Emphasizing sensitive, well-observed writing and superb acting, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway is a movie with a lot of heart that's about well-defined characters.  Forget About It, on the other hand, could care less about its characters as they aimlessly stumble though an idiotic, senseless plot.  If you have an inclination to watch this film, forget about it and get your hands on a copy of Wrestling Ernest Hemingway instead.  If I can get at least 10 people to see Wrestling Ernest Hemingway from writing about this worthless dud, the time I wasted watching and reviewing Forget About It will have been worth it.

 

The DVD of Forget About It is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen with average picture quality and average Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo-like sound.  The only extras are a trailer for this and four other films distributed by Allumination FilmWorks.

 

 

- Chuck O'Leary


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