The Brunching Shuttlecocks Features

One wonders just how much police brutality is enough.

I mean we all saw the Rodney King thing, and that seemed a bit excessive. We've all heard about the guy in New York with the plunger up his bum. That too seems to be over the top.

But sometimes you really need to pummel the bad guys senseless. Where do you draw the line?

This is one of the questions put to the test in the gripping 50's crime drama, L.A. Confidential. Other questions in the film include: "Just how important is the truth?", "How did all these big names get into this gripping 50's crime drama?", and "When did gripping 50's crime drama become its own genre of film?"

But I don't want to talk about any of those questions. I want to talk about the appalling lack of skin in this film.

The movie stars one of the great babes of our time, Kim Basinger. She has a lot of sex scenes. We never get to see diddly! What's up with that? I mean there's all kinds of violence and people getting shot a bunch of times until some of them even die, but no nudity! Except for one girl, who's dead. That's right, dead nudity at a morgue is the best we get.

I want my skin vibrant, alive and giggling! Puh-lease!


The story is about these cops in 50's LA and they get dirty and they get clean and a lot of people start turning up dead. You know, your basic gripping 50's crime drama. No big whup.

The acting is great. But then come on, who wouldn't get into some of these juicy roles? You're a cop, you get to shoot people, you're having breakdowns of your faith in what you believe, you're hot, you're hip, you're happening. A role to die for.

Who's in it? Kevin Spacey -- from Usual Suspects; Russel Crowe -- from Virtuosity; Guy Pierce -- from I have no idea what; Farmer Hoggit -- he will always be Farmer Hoggit, no matter what else he ever does in his life; Danny DeVito -- the short guy; Kim Basinger -- the first Batman babe; and the list goes on. Most of the rest of the names on the list are unknowns, but the list itself goes on.

How did this film make me feel? Well, quite frankly, it made me feel dirty. I haven't actually ever been that violent, but I've thought about it, and if these guys, who are obviously thinking about it, act out their passions, well then so might I. It is only a modicum of restraint that holds me back. Thank God.

Otherwise I would have had to smash the heads of the noisy group of drunks two rows behind me. They didn't like the movie. They let everyone know. They drank some more.

Come on people, how long will it take before legislation is passed which will allow random beatings to disruptions in the theater? Write your congresspeople now!

Aside from that, the movie is really quite watchable, although it disgraces itself at the end by falling for an old Hollywood trick that it just didn't need.

I give L.A. Confidential 3 2/5 Babylons. I boosted it up a bit because I love any movie that uses punctuation in the title. Good job.

Editor's note:

People, put the pens down. Don't write anybody. The last time The Self-Made Critic told you all to write someone, we got a nasty letter from Al Gore. You haven't seen nasty until you're on the wrong side of an Al Gore tirade.

L.A. Confidential
Rated: R
Directed by: Curtis Hanson
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, Kim Basinger, Danny DeVito, David Strathairn and it would seem the rest of Hollywood.

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