Monday, March 21, 2016
'JInxed' BD: Dial the Divine Miss M for Murder
The awesomely non-stop '80s fest by Olive Films continues with the March 22, 2016 Blu-ray release of the 1982 Bette Midler light Hitchcockian drama "Jinxed." The proverbial 25-words-or-less synopsis of this film is that Oscar-nominee Midler puts her well-known persona to good use as brassy lounge singer Bonita, who is the long-term physically and mentally abused girlfriend of low-rent professional gambler Harold, whom Rip Torn plays with his trademark crudeness and aggression. Future television "Wiseguy" Ken Wahl plays the titular cursed blackjack dealer Willie. The nature of that dark cloud is Harold always being able to win big at the table at which Willie is working.
As an aside, "Jinxed" comes on the heels of the Midler classic film "The Rose" during which Midler arguably is at the peak of her career.
The as-of-yet unbroken pattern concerning our trio at the beginning of the film is that Harold making a big score at the expense of the Nevada casino where Willie is working prompts that gambling establishment to free Willie from his employment. Harold then tracks Willie to his new place of employment and essentially threatens to send Bonita to the moon if she does not get a job singing at the same place. The plot purpose of that gig is to allow Bonita to inform Harold of the work schedule of Harold; the real reason is to provide an opportunity for Midler to showcase the singing that is her second biggest asset.
In the spirit of the master who inspires "Jinxed," none of the overlapping nefarious schemes of the leads go off without a hitch, The twists begins n the form of Bomita being a crucial element in the scheme of Willie for a reversal of fortune regarding Harold. This leads to Bonita recruiting Willie to help her with a plot to send Harold to that big casino in the sky. The ensuing (largely unpredictable) events create minimal suspense but showcase the vaudeville style chutzpah for which Midler is famous, the uber-aggressiveness that is associated with Torn, and the hunky dopiness that suits Wahl well.
Memorable scenes include those depicting the hate-hate relationship between Harold and Willie, the final showdown between that pair, Midler visiting a prostitute with whom she shares a bond, and the unexpected ending that is consistent with the Hollywood concept of justice.
All this aforementioned scheming and betraying adds up to a film in which Midler and Wahl provide good campy fun.
Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Jinxed" is encouraged to email me; you also can connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy,