Thursday, December 1, 2011

Richochet: My Take on the TV movie starring John Corbett (it wasn't good!)


Hmmm. Once upon a time I would have enjoyed watching John Corbett sex it up on screen. But that was way back in the My Big Fat Greek Wedding days. I have to admit I wasn't even a huge fan in the Carrie Bradshaw/Sex and the City days. Tonight, on TNT's Murdery Mystery Movie night, watching Corbett in the tv movie version of Sandra Brown's Richochet, I was mostly bored.
Maybe almost as bored as Corbett himself sounds in the interview he did for the Picayune Times posted below! It sounds like he's an actor who's achieved a certain level of success and he's comfortable with the living he's made and is making as the Applebee's spokesman; isn't really interested in doing a lot of preparation and basically phones it in. Tonight, watching him in Richochet, that's what I thought too. He phoned it in.

Julie Benz & Gary Cole

Corbett plays a hard-ass detective who gets swept away by the wife (Kelly Overton) of a corrupt judge (Gary Cole) who also gives a lackluster, soap opera-ish performance.  Overton is gorgeous but almost cartoonishly seductive at times. Southern accents - the movie is supposed to take place in Savannah but it's actually New Orleans - always throw me. But I've got a hunch hers was fake!
Julie Benz (Dexter) turns in a decent performance as Corbett's partner.Overall, I thought the writing and much of the acting was weak. A little something on the tv to while away the hours, not worth much more than that.
 In the final moment of the movie though, Corbett and Benz share a joke as they get into their car and Corbett smiles. Just then the credits roll. It's probably one of the few genuine moments in the two hour event. I'm sure it was genuine too; the work was done. Corbett was smiling because he could go home.

Here's the Times-Picayune interview with Corbett from Dave Walker
Look, I'm not TV’s tough guy,” he said during a late-summer visit to the film’s set. “I'm the likable boyfriend from ‘Sex and the City’ or ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding.’ I don't get asked to be the tough-guy cop hardly ever.
“I think there are only three or four scenes that I'm not in in this. I get to chase the bad guys down, make love to the pretty girl.
“Bring these along. If I never play another nice-guy boyfriend who falls in love, that's just fine with me. I'm 50 years old now. You do get grumpier--grumpier when you have to leave home. Let's just be honest. I have a really nice house in California. If I have to stay in one more Holiday Inn Express for five weeks in the middle of the country, I just might quit acting again.”
Corbett quit acting for couple of years midway through the last decade to take his Southern-rock band on the road. (He haunted Frenchmen Street during “Ricochet’s” shoot.)
“Bored of it,” he continued. “Sick of playing those characters. I am totally thankful and grateful that I get to do this for a living. I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth. I know how hard it is. I have a lot of buddies who have other jobs. People you know. People you've seen in the movies. They have regular jobs because times are tough.
“I appreciate that. It makes it much more pleasant to come here and grab a guy by the neck and stick a gun to his head and say, ‘Where is she?’”
Corbett said he neither leaned too heavily on Brown’s text nor spent any time shadowing real cops to research Det. Duncan Hatcher. Rather, he said, his cues mostly came from the script.
“This is one of those color-in-the-lines (projects),” he said. “It's a coloring book. It’s not a blank page (on which) you create your own art. This is a very by-the-book (job). These characters are all very defined. There's no need to go out and shadow a real detective to play this character, for me anyway. That's just my approach. Dylan McDermott might do it differently. He happens to be a buddy of mine.
“I don't ever feel the need to go ride around with cops to play a guy who rides around in a cop car.
“They give me these clothes, they cut my hair, the tell me where to stand and what to say. Ultimately it's the director's medium. You are helping him tell the story he wants to tell. I've been told what to do by enough people. I don't search for someone to tell me how to hold a gun the right way. That's the one little thing I can do. I can hold the pistol the way I want. I don't feel a need to put both hands on a gun to shoot a guy. I don't ask for much advice.”
There was enough detail in the “Ricochet” script to entice Corbett to leave his Los Angeles home to travel to New Orleans in the heart of hurricane season, he said.
“I go through this weird thing,” he said. “If I finish reading a script and my first instinct is ‘I don’t wanna. It’s too much work. I don't wanna go to Louisiana. I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna.’ If I have a big list of ‘I don’t wannas,’ I kind of know already I'm going to do it, because I haven't said, ‘This thing sucks.’
“I read a lot of scripts, and halfway through most of them you say, ‘This thing sucks,’ and I don't even finish it. Into the trashcan it goes. But if I finish one and all the ‘I don't wannas’ start coming out, 10 times out of 10 I’m going to go do it. It's kind of a porcupine defense mechanism I have if I have to leave town for six weeks, you know?”

To read Walker's interview with Gary Cole click here

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