12/03/2016  
Take Me To The River on Blu-ray & DVD Feb 5Phantom From 10,000 Leagues (1956) on Blu-ray & DVD Jan 5Condemned on DVD & Blu-ray Jan 5Broad City: Season 2 on DVD Jan 5McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jennifer Esposito Is Your Newest NCIS Agent in Season 1...
Critics Are Split on Ghostbusters Reboot ...
'Respect is key': The Game, Snoop Dogg lead march to LA...
Kristen Stewart's Sheer Dress At 'Equals' Premiere -- S...
"A Slow Slipping Away"-- Kris Kristofferson's Long-Undi...
Fox News' Roger Ailes Sued for Sexual Harassment by Ous...
Garrison Keillor Retires from 'Prairie Home Companion' ...
Jennifer Aniston is Pregnant: Star Steps Out in Loose D...
Hiddleswift Is One Big Song Promotion -- A Theory...
Elvis Presley's daughter Lisa Marie Presley files for ...





Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Trimark Home Entertainment presents
Love and a .45 (1994)

"Never rob a store with a loaded gun. That way no one gets hurt."
- Watty Watts (Gil Bellows)

Review By: Jeff Rosado  
Published: December 26, 2002

Stars: Gil Bellows, Renee Zellweger
Other Stars: Rory Cochrane, Ann Wedgeworth, Peter Fonda
Director: C.M. Tarkington

Manufacturer: Nimbus/CA
MPAA Rating: R
Run Time: 01h:41m:30s
Release Date: June 08, 1999
UPC: 031398708230
Genre: crime


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B BBB+ B+

DVD Review

Getting your feet wet in any profession requires paying your dues. While ordinary folk like you and me can laugh off memories of initial awkward baby steps in the glow of present day accomplishments, it's not as easy for movie actors. You see, their baby steps are preserved for generations to come via early film roles that they'd like to forget.

More often than not, you find an occasional gem while rummaging through a thespian's back catalog. Such is the case with Rene Zellweger's Love and a .45, a barely released 1994 effort which preceded her breakthrough role in Jerry Maguire. Although it won't make you forget her turn in the Tom Cruise megahit, it's certainly a quantum leap in quality as evidenced by the groan inducing surroundings of her debut as a lead performer: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation.

Directed with zeal by first time filmmaker C.M. Tarkington, Love and a .45 tells the story of gentleman robber Watty Watts (Gil Bellows) who, outwardly, can be more intimidating than Clint Eastwood and Mel Gibson combined. Yet, he doesn't have the heart to carry a loaded gun and endanger his behind-the-counter victims. In the wake of initial threats, Watty makes oddly charming small talk and in addition to letting his potential shooting targets live, often times he leaves behind a part of the loot as a way of saying thanks.

If only his contemporaries were as laid back and bullet free.

Hounded by a pair of redneck loan sharks wolves in Reservoir Dogs-type clothing as well as former fellow jailbird Billy Mack Black (Rory Cochrane)—who just oozes with serial killer potential—Watty is having a hard time settling down with his partner in crime, Starlene (Zellweger), a redneck boy's dream of a halter top queen. She longs for a relationship la Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. But not in a Bonnie and Clyde way; that would be too derivative (at least in her mind).

Any hopes of trailer park domestication are splattered like the blood in a botched robbery attempt that Watty lets Billy Mack tag along on. Following the one-two punch of letting the counter girl take off his mask and stepping into security camera view, Billy violates the unloaded gun code of gentleman robbery, unleashing a hail of bullets. In quick succession, Watty manages to elude the authorities, thwart off Billy Mack and escape death by the hands of crooked probation officers. Before you can say Aloha Bobby and Rose, he's on the lam with Starlene in tow, to seek refuge at his potential in-laws.

Although not exactly brimming with originality and innovation, Love and a .45 is an enthusiastically performed and earnestly delivered piece of movie making. It's unapologetically low rent but that's part of its charm. Although it's been critically linked to films like Natural Born Killers, it reminded me more of mid-1970s drive-in cult classics like Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry and Eat My Dust. While titles like those will never make a coveted American Film Institute clip reel, these cost cutter flicks and others like them have provided a solid training ground from which talent like Jack Nicholson and Harvey Keitel emerged.

Zellweger and Bellows are no exception. As Watty and Starlene, they exhibit more chemistry together than more highly touted movie couples of recent vintage; it's not surprising that both have gone on to more illustrious projects as of late. Zellweger is a comical dixie fried delight in her role and Bellows' laid back yet authoritative portrayal of Watty compliments her perfectly.

Appealing in a totally different vein is Rory Cochrane's over-the-top turn as Billy Mack. There's a fine art to overacting in a relishable way as to not turn off your audience. Cochrane (who was so good as Slater in Dazed and Confused) follows this adage to a "T" taking what could be a complete caricature of a thankless role and having a blast with it.

Nearly stealing the show from the young 'uns are a formidable trio of screen vets: Ann Wedgeworth and Peter Fonda as Starlene's beyond spaced out parents trying to maintain a rose colored 1960s mentality in an unemotional '90s world. Fonda is a riot in a wicked send-up of his Easy Rider persona as a voice-impaired hippy who lost his larynx via an LSD experiment involving the government (don't ask, watch). Wedgeworth's mannerisms and vocal inflections are so in synch with Zellweger's, you wonder if the two might actually be related.

And let's not forget the late, great Jack Nance of Eraserhead and Twin Peaks fame who adds icing on the cake with his turn as a roadside justice of the peace Watty and Starlene encounter in their travels. With just one befuddled trademark facial expression, Nance could incite as much laughter as a dozen Jim Carrey sight gags. Sadly, his role amounts to not much more than a cameo but true to his fashion, it's a piece of work.

Love and a .45 has the kind of appeal that I suspect that Oliver Stone and Terry Gilliam were gunning for in similar projects like the aforementioned Natural Born Killers and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. While those films left me cold with their heavy-handed approaches, feeble scenarios and unnecessary gore, Tarkington's direction goes for a lighter, less violent touch with more colorful characters, resulting in a more satisfying experience. Additionally, I admired the way he slowly darkens the mood in the homestretch, setting up a very tense yet clever finale.



Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.85:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Released in the early days of DVD from the Trimark Home Video folks, the transfer lacks sharpness, and colors are not as vivid as I would have liked in spite of the film's low budget origins. It's a workman-like presentation if anything.



Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Although only a 2.0 mix, it's a vibrant, upbeat and clear aural presentation that serves the film's excellent soundtrack offerings (including music from The Jesus and Mary Chain, Mazzy Star and the Man In Black himself, Johnny Cash) in above average fashion. Dialogue is reproduced extremely well, with great clarity to boot.



Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 29 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French And Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Deleted Scenes
Storyboard
1 Feature/Episode commentary by C.M. Tarkington, Gil Bellows, Darin Scott
Packaging: Alpha
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single
Layers Switch: None

Extra Extras:
  1. Reverend Horton Heat "Do It" Music Video
  2. Full Length Versions Of "Father Pecro" And "Crime Channel" Sequences
Extras Review: Surprisingly jam-packed with extras including the music video Do It by the Reverend Horton Heat, four deleted scenes (which were wisely excised), storyboard comparisons for two key moments in the film, complete video takes of the Father Pecro and Crime Channel sequences and a relaxed yet humorous commentary with Tarkington, Bellows and producer Darin Scott, which serves as a textbook study on how to make a low budget work for a project such as this.



Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

A modern day throwback to enjoyable 1970s drive-in fare, Love and a .45 is a surprisingly fun and effective feature giving us a chance to witness two future stars in Bellows and Zellweger, honing their craft.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, jennifer esposito, blue bloods, ncis, mark harmon. duane henry, wilmer valderrama, michael weatherly, bull, movie, ghostbusters, comedy, chris helmsworth, melissa mcarthy, kristen wiig, celebrity, rap, game, shoop dogg, jayceon terrell taylor, alton sterling, kristen stewart, equals, jonathan simkhal, nicholas hoult, music, kris kristofferson, country music hall of fame, alzheimers, lyme disease, fox news, gretchen carlson, fox and friends, steve doocy, roger ailes, the real story with gretchen carlson, radio, garrison keillor, a prairie home companion, jennifer anniston, baby bump, justin theroux, taylor swift, tom hiddleston, calvin harris, lisa marie presley, michael lockwood, riley and benjamin keough, danny keough, michael jackson, nicolas cage, tom affleck, boston fan, bill simmons, hbo show, any given wednesday, tom brady, deflategate, hamilton, lin-manuel mianda, periscope, heart tweet machine, hamilton mixtape, cable, hbo, curb your enthusiasm, larry david, bernie sanders, saturday night live, maya and marty, christina grimmie, murdered, plaza live, before you exit, marcus grimmie, nashville, cmt, president brian phillips, the tonight show, jimmy fallon, president obama, the roots, hillary clinton, tim mcgraw, faith hill, maggie mcgraw, humble and kind, ellen degeneres show, titi pierce, coldwell banker robbins & free realty, hairspray live!, tracy turnblad, york theatre company, john waters, jennifer hudson, harvey fierstein, martin short, derek hough, j.k. rowling, harry potter and the cursed child, noma dumezweni, emma watson, judd apatow, paul freig, melissa mccarthy, romance, history channel, roots, remake, anika noni rose, t.i., malachi kirby, josh duhamel, transformers, fergie, black eyed peas, axl, double dutchess, abc, music city, grand ole opry, chip esten, lennon stella, the voice, alisan porterm, christina aguilera, ceelo green, ariana grande, sia, the little big town, 2016 billboard music awards, pink, just like fire, pamela neal, warrior princess, send my love (to your new lover), billboard music awards, adele, patrick daughters, bryan cranston, lbj, all the way, melissa leo, frank langella, todd weeks, hard sell, kristin chenoweth, wicked

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store