Presented by James M. Tate / 3/16/2017 / No comments / action , bernie casey , brian keith , burt reynolds , cop , crime , eighties , henry silva , neo noir , rachel ward , vice
OPAQUE GLIMPSE INTO THE NEON NOIR OF SHARKY'S MACHINE
|Shattering Poster for SHARKY'S MACHINE Year: 1981|
|Source Novel turned Novelization Style|
MACHINE ingenue Rachel Ward would be no stranger to Neo Noir, later replacing Jane Greer in a steamier OUT OF THE PAST titled AGAINST ALL ODDS, and in the Steve Martin archive footage Noir fest, DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID. Meanwhile, Reynolds played in several Neo's including SHAMUS, HUSTLE, FUZZ and as director, SHARKY'S was his chance to go underneath the character — starting out where Quentin Tarantino's JACKIE BROWN would almost-finish-up: a bearded undercover Reynolds as Sharky strolls to Randy Crawford's funky soul track titled Street Life, followed by an action-packed, bloody violent shoot-em-up that's part Western and does in fact resemble Eastwood's HARRY more than any other scene. But Sharky has much less control than Eastwood's icon, quickly being demoted down to Vice inside a grungy basement quarters, where the real story begins...
|Neat Neon Noir Poster|
|Original LP Signed by Earl Holliman|
For fans of his better Hal Needham action flicks like HOOPER, there's good news and bad, and for those weary of Burt's troupe behaving like they're involved in an end credit blooper reel or a improvisational workshop, it's mostly good since, when it counts, the acting is right to the point, sparse like the dialogue and old fashion tough. That's if you don't count motormouth wire man Richard Libertini and grouchy lecturing Vice boss Charles Durning — the latter is usually always great but he goes so over the top, the other actors have to wait until his frantic monologues end.
|Burt, Richard, Bernie and Brian SHARKYScore: ****|
An underrated, forgotten gem, lost within a myriad of Burt Reynolds flicks during his popular peak, and, with only sporadic action sequences, relies mostly on grisly murders... a few bordering on an exploitation body-count horror flick... mostly from the hand of Henry Silva, the gloriously insane, drugged-up hit man brother of the head honcho "gentleman" villain Vittorio Gassman, who's put in his place too quickly for Sharky to fight for his life once the second half shifts from a cop melodrama into high octane bedlam where Burt Reynolds, in front of the screen and behind the camera, sure ain't fooling around this time.