Quick Note/Terrible Movie Line


* Today is Monday, and my head is spinning.  The last few days have been an out-of-control booze nightmare.  My daily routine and my body are completely out of whack.  I suppose that happens sometimes.  It’s been over three days since I wrote anything here on the blog – so instead of putting up a few short posts, I’m going to put up a longer piece sometime later today.  I’m very apprehensive about putting up something of this length (about 2,000 words – my typical posts are 600-900 words and they seem long), but what the heck, right?  Anyways, long posts will be few and far between.  The Internet doesn’t lend itself to them…I apologize in advance!

* Now, more importantly, I must draw attention to what I believe is one of the worst lines in cinema history.  Bored out of my mind Thursday night, I stumbled upon the movie Half Past Dead showing on Korean TV.  Obviously, any movie featuring both Steven Seagal and Ja Rule is worth watching, so I settled in.  Surprisingly, neither of them is responsible for the worst performance in the movie.  That comes from Morris Chestnut, who is abysmal as the evil “49er,” a ruthless kidnapper out to make a fortune.  49er takes a judge hostage…but enough about the plot.  I apologize – I was getting excited thinking about it!  What gives Half Past Dead a special place in my heart is one line 49er says in his dramatic, William Shatner-esque vocal delivery. 

49er is on the phone with the hostage negotiator.  He explains that he has taken a judge hostage, and that the judge is strapped down in an electric chair (don’t ask).  With the camera zoomed in on his face, 49er says:

“All I have to do is flip a switch and, well, she’s dead…Dead by the tool of her own trade.”

Dead by the tool of her own trade.  Ah.  You don’t get lines like that in The King’s Speech.  The wit.  The irony.  The interesting diction.  I’m thankful that there are movies like Half Past Dead; that there was a screenwriter who put a judge in an electric chair and then couldn’t resist pointing out how clever it all was.  Because, see, if I wrote something like – “With lines like that, it isn’t Half Past Dead – it’s a quarter past brilliant!” – I would obviously be doing so in a tongue-in-cheek manner.  “Dead by the tool of her own trade” has real confidence.  It believes in itself.  I will find it incredibly inspiring, as soon as I stop laughing at it.



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