Chris Noth

Cold Around the Heart (1997, John Ridley)

From the first few minutes—after lengthy opening titles (if only one knew it’d be Mason Daring’s worst score ever)—it’s immediately clear something is terribly wrong with Cold Around the Heart. David Caruso and Kelly Lynch are awful in the opening scene, followed by a terrible cameo from Richard Kind. Except, during Kind’s atrocious appearance—where it becomes obvious Ridley’s script is going to have some terrible, post-Tarantino dialogue—Caruso is all of a sudden really good.

And Caruso stays good for most of the film. He’s never good with Lynch, who’s astoundingly bad throughout, but he never repeats the awfulness of the first scene.

Stacey Dash shows up as a hitchhiker—Caruso and Lynch are stick-up artists; Lynch betrays Caruso and he’s after her—and she and Caruso form an odd friendship. Dash has a lot of problems, most she has nothing to do with. Ridley cast her, around the age of thirty, as a fifteen year-old. She can’t surmount that one. But she gets good throughout and she and Caruso’s relationship is refreshingly honest.

The best performance in the film is from Chris Noth, who shows up in the second half. John Spencer shows up for a bit and is, unfortunately, lame. Much like Pruitt Taylor Vince, it appears to be Ridley’s fault. He can’t direct actors.

On the whole, Ridley composes shots well and Malik Hassan Sayeed is an excellent cinematographer.

It’s a bad film. It’s got good elements, but it’s quite bad.



Written and directed by John Ridley; director of photography, Malik Hassan Sayeed; edited by Eric L. Beason; music by Mason Daring; production designer, Kara Lindstrom; produced by Craig Baumgarten, Dan Halsted and Adam Merims; released by 20th Century Fox.

Starring David Caruso (Ned), Kelly Lynch (Jude), Stacey Dash (Bec), Chris Noth (T), John Spencer (Uncle Mike), Pruitt Taylor Vince (Johnny Cokebottles), Richard Kind (Nabbish) and Mark Boone Junior (Angry Man).

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010, Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery)

The new wave of superhero cartoons for, ostensibly, adults (because they’re rated PG-13) has turned out a handful of decent pictures. The directors of this one, Montgomery and Liu, separately, directed the entirety of that handful. So I thought I’d try it for them. Plus, this one’s written by Dwayne McDuffie, who’s a comic book writer and produced that “Justice League” cartoon everyone says is so good. After Crisis on Two Earths, I’m doubtful.

The film’s not just lame or poorly plotted (the dialogue isn’t incompetent), it’s stupid. There’s no first act, but there’s a story too big not to have one. It feels like an episode of a cartoon, really. A very special episode of a cartoon, which isn’t worth my giving it the attention of something attempting to be a feature.

And Mark Harmon’s awful as Superman. James Woods’s silly as the evil Batman, but Harmon’s just terrible. He might be the ruining factor, actually. Harmon’s casting seems a result of his being a team leader on a TV show and he’s the team leader here. But his voice is old sounding, so it doesn’t match Superman’s appearance, and it’s really just not forceful enough. He doesn’t sound like Superman.

With the exception of these cartoons actually recommended to me, I only watch them because they’re short and occasionally have good voice acting and I always get some crank leaving negative comments to my negative response to the film.

Sorry, I meant cartoon. In the pejorative sense.



Directed by Sam Liu and Lauren Montgomery; written by Dwayne McDuffie; edited by Margaret Hou; music by James L. Venable; produced by Bobbie Page; released by Warner Premiere.

Starring Mark Harmon (Superman), James Woods (Owlman), Chris Noth (Lex Luthor), William Baldwin (Batman), Josh Keaton (The Flash), Gina Torres (Super Woman), Nolan North (Green Lantern / Power Ring), James Patrick Stuart (Johnny Quick), Brian Bloom (Ultraman), Jonathan Adams (Martian Manhunter) and Bruce Davison (President Slade Wilson).

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