Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Mark of Distinction

It's not because we share a nickname that I tend to enjoy movies starring Mark Wahlberg, who was known as "Marky Mark" in his rap days.  People have called me that ever since young Wahlberg quit, in this order a) being a New Kid On The Block   b) beating people unmercifully on the streets of Boston c) going to jail over it  and   d) high school.

A checkered past, he has, but you won't walk away from his movies feeling "board" because they are packed with a) action b) laughs and sometimes c) action and laughs.

Which is why, although I feel that last summer's "Ted" was the best of his movies (and what movie wouldn't be great, with a profane talking teddy bear, Wahlberg, and Mila Kunis?) his 1998 picture "The Big Hit" deserves more attention than it gets.  It's on the Starz channel these days, or on my DVD player.

Talk about a casting bonanza!  "The Big Hit" brings you Marky Mark, China Chow, Lou Diamond Phillips, Christina Applegate, Bokeem Woodbine, Antonio Sabato, Jr., Avery Brooks, Lainie Kazan, and Elliott Gould!  It's the best of all worlds!  Lou Diamond Phillips is particularly great in this movie as Cisco, one of the bungling group of hit men with whom Mark (as Melvin Smiley- greatest hit man name EVER!) is associated.  Long before the Sopranos came along and tried to show mobbed-up Tony as sort of Ozzie Nelson with an Uzi, this picture showed Melvin as a killer for hire who gets no respect at home from either his fiance or his girlfriend, and not even much from one of his victims.

For those who miss the 90s, there is a video tape rental place that figures in the story!

I give "The Big Hit" major applause and I don't go that crazy over many movies.  I will watch this a thousand times before any Star Wars or Indiana Jones or Downton Abbey shows.  They don't have Marky Mark in them...or watching them!

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