Saturday, September 23, 2023

On the Run

The Fugitive
Director: Andrew Davis
Cast: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Joe Pantoliano, Sela Ward, Julianne Moore
Released: August 6, 1993

Oscar nominations:

Best Picture (lost to Schindler's List
Best Supporting Actor - Tommy Lee Jones (won)
Best Cinematography (lost to Schindler's List
Best Sound Effects Editing (lost to Jurassic Park
Best Film Editing (lost to Schindler's List
Best Original Score - James Newton Howard (lost to John Williams for Schindler's List
(I guess this is what happens when two of Spielberg's movies come out in the same year!)

This is a movie where I've seen many bits and pieces in my youth, but I honestly don't think I ever watched the entire thing from start to finish until just recently. I was very familiar with this movie because my it was one of my brother's favorite movies and he had the VHS and whenever he watched it, I sometimes watched parts of it too. There are only two scenes I remember really well: the speech that Tommy Lee Jones gives (you know the one I'm talking about) and when Harrison Ford jumps from the waterfall because that was just insane. 

I also vaguely remembered that this is based on a TV show from the '60s with the same name, but I wasn't familiar with it. I've never seen it and never plan to, so I have no idea how similar it is to the movie. 

The movie moves pretty fast at the beginning because it wants to get to the, you know, fugitive part, but first we need to set up how Harrison Ford becomes The Fugitive. He plays Dr. Richard Kimble, a vascular surgeon at Chicago Memorial Hospital. He's being aggressively interrogated at the police station because his wife has just been murdered. The movie intercuts with him being interrogated to flashbacks of earlier that evening where he and his wife, Helen (Sela Ward) are attending a black-tie fund raiser at the Four Seasons to raise money for the Children's Research Fund. We see a fellow doctor friend come up to Richard and thank him for loaning him his car. When I watched this the first time (the second time is when I took notes), I totally paid this line no attention; heck, I barely paid that guy any attention. Later, when he and his wife are driving back home, Kimble gets a call asking if he can come in to help with an emergency at the hospital. "I'll wait up for you" is the last thing his wife tells him. 

Back at the police station, Kimble tells them it was a one-armed man who killed his wife and he got into a fight with him. It seems like the police are adamant that Richard killed his wife, which I get, it usually it is the husband. At first, I thought the police don't even investigate this claim of a one-armed man, which I thought was odd because that is a pretty specific description and surely they can check records to see how many males have one arm in the Chicago area. Well, it turns out they do because later we'll find out the man who did kill her (spoiler alert: Harrison Ford is indeed innocent) claims the police have already talked to him and he had an alibi. 

The Chicago PD thinks Kimble killed his wife because she comes from a wealthy family and when they ask him if she's insured, he tells them she was and that he was the sole beneficiary. Sure, that doesn't look good, but it's not like this DOCTOR was hard up for money. Unfortunately, that's not the only thing that looks bad for Dr. Kimble. We next jump to the trial where we learn there was no forced entry and nothing was missing. The most damning evidence of all may be Helen's 911 call which they play for the jury. Even though her head has just been bashed in and there's blood coming out of her mouth, she is able to reach for the phone and call 911. Yeah, she's gasping for breath and whispering but she does get a lot of information out. She tells the dispatcher, "He's still here in the house" and "He's trying to kill me" (which she says twice). When the dispatcher asks her if her attacked is still in the house (I guess she didn't hear Helen tell her that), Richard, who heard something, starts walking up the stairs. Helen must have known it was him and starts saying "Richard, Richard", calling for his help. Then the next thing she says is, "He's trying to kill me." Yeah, that doesn't sound good. Then she dies. It's kind of messed up that her last actions would end up sending her innocent husband to prison. Not just prison, but a death sentence. 

Now that I think of it, while I know there is some questionable evidence against him, it is crazy that he was found guilty. Surely they processed the crime scene and found unknown DNA on both Richard and Helen. Unless this was before the time when DNA wasn't as prevalent. I feel like now they wouldn't have enough to convict him. 

The next scene is Richard being transferred to death row in an armored truck with three other inmates, the drive, and two prison guards. Now, by this time, we're probably ten minutes into the movie, but as for real time, I have no clue. It feels like all this has happened in the last twenty-four hours, but obviously that can't be possible. Oh, well, I guess it's not that important. 

All the prisoners are wearing yellow jumpsuits and their hands and feet are shackled. On the way there, one of the prisoners pretends to need medical attention by foaming at the mouth (yuck!) and when the younger guard goes on to check on him, the inmate has a siv and stabs him in the chest. This causes a chain reaction and the old guard gets his shotgun and shoots the inmate. Everything goes to chaos and the driver drives the bus off the road and it rolls several times down a ravine. There's no way anyone should be alive after this, or at the very least, there's no way anyone should be able to walk away from this horrific crash unscathed, but three people do end up walking away unscathed! 

The driver and two of the inmates are dead, but the two prison guards, Kimble, and another inmate are still alive. The guard who was stabbed is unconscious and needs medical help, not to mention help to get him off the bus. The older guard asks Kimble to give the hurt guard medical attention since he knows he's a doctor and Kimble requests to be unlocked. The guard throws the keys at him and he frees his hands. Now I was a little confused by the next scene. I couldn't tell if he accidentally dropped the keys or if it was purposeful because they drop right in front of Copeland, the other inmate who survived, who is able to take the keys and free himself. I fee like this had to be an accident because surely he would unlock the chain around his ankles and why would he let a convict go free. I'm not sure what Copeland was in for, but I'm guessing whatever it was, it can't be good. But whether it was an accident or purposeful that he got those keys, it's a good thing he did because they hear a train in the distance. It just so happened that their bus landed upside down right on a train track. (That's unlucky!) Even though I don't think Kimble would have wanted Copeland to escape, I also don't think he would want him to be killed by a train. 

They all hear the fast approaching train and Kimble firsts ask the older guard to help with with the wounded guard, but he saves his own ass and gets out. Next he asks Copeland to help him, but he (not surprisingly) also escapes. Kimble grabs the unconscious guard and just tosses him out of the bus where we see him flop down a hill. Kimble jumps from the bus literally seconds before the train hits it. After hitting the bus, one of the train cars becomes detached from the rail and starts following Kimble, who, mind you, still has his ankle shackles on, so he's trying to outrun this runaway train while he can barely run. This seems a little....unbelievable. Also, is this a nod to Indiana Jones when he's running away from the huge boulder? Kimble does manage to jump out of the way.

Not long after, U.S. Marshall Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) and his team (which includes Joe Pantoliano; I had no idea he was in this) are called to the site of the crash. Gerard's first words are, "My, my, my, my my. What a mess." The old guard is still there, giving him his statement to the local sheriff. He claims he was the one who saved the young guard (who they will find later and take to the hospital). He tells the sheriff that all the prisoners are dead. I'm not sure why he doesn't admit that Kimble and Copeland are still alive, I guess because it doesn't look good if he admitted he gave one of them the keys, then saw the other one also unlock himself. 

Gerard tells the sheriff he wants to set up checkpoints, but the sheriff doesn't see the need since all the prisoners are dead. Gerard tells him he's taking over the investigation. One of his colleagues finds a leg iron and Gerard questions how a dead man could get out of those and that's when the guard admits he gave the keys to Kimble and that he's still alive. Poole, who is part of Gerard's team, asks the guard if he would care to revises his statement and when he replies with, "What?", Gerard clarifies by asking him, "Do you want to change your bulls*t story?" Heh. This is also the moment when we get the iconic speech from Tommy Lee Jones that everyone knows and is probably one of the first things you think of when this movie comes up: 

The next morning, Kimble is hiding under some bridge and he sees a mechanic by his work truck take off his work jumpsuit. When he walks away, Kimble is able to grab it from the truck (lucky for him that guy left his windows rolled down!) and puts it on. Yeah, he probably doesn't want to be walking around with his prison jumpsuit on. That might give him away! 

Right before the U.S. Marshalls have found the injured young guard and take him to the hospital, we get another iconic Gerard moment where he asks Noah, another member of his team, what he's doing. Noah says he's thinking and Gerard tells him, "Well, think me up a cup of coffee and a chocolate doughnut with sprinkles on top." I don't remember if he ever gets them.

Throughout the film, Kimble sneaks into many places without being detected. And it's not like many of these places are deserted; there's plenty of people swarming around. Sometimes it seems a little farfetched that nobody ever notices him. In this instance, he sneaks into the treatment room of a hospital and stitches himself up. (He had a pretty bad gash on his lower stomach). He then sneaks into the room of an elderly male patient (who is asleep) where he goes into the bathroom to trim and shave his beard. That's something I forgot to mention; he has a beard. I guess it makes sense that he starts the movie with a beard because he will need to change his appearance and shaving off his beard seems like a good way to do that. While he's shaving, he hears a nurse come into the room and comments that the old man must be thirsty since his water bottle is empty. Kimble quickly opens the bathroom door and hides behind it (luckily it opened into the bathroom and not into the room) as the nurse walks in and fills the water bottle. She's chatting to the sleeping patient the entire time. Not once does she look up in the mirror. If she had, she would have for sure seen Richard and gotten quite the surprise! 

After she leaves, Kimble has finished shaving and changed into some new clothes (presumably belonging to the patient). He scarfs down the breakfast left for the old man (poor guy didn't get his breakfast!) and walks out with a cup of coffee. He's also wearing a doctor's coat with a stethoscope around his neck, so he must have found those just laying around. As he's walking towards the exit, he runs into a police officer who stops him and ask him if he's seen the escaped prison from the bus crash. Instead of just hurrying past him, with his head down, and telling him he's busy, Kimble looks at the officer and asks him to describe this escaped prisoner for him which the cop does. Kimble states that he only sees that when he's looking in the mirror, "except for the beard, of course" because the cop has literally just described him. I don't know if this is good strategy to admit you look just like the escaped prisoner, although I guess you can't hide the fact that you DON'T look like him. Also, I'm shocked that the cop didn't two and two together and realize that an escaped convict with a beard would probably shave off said beard. Duh. 

But Kimble, disguised as a doctor, is able to easily walk away without getting detected. Outside, the ambulance is just bringing in the wounded guard and he goes over to check on him. The guard is awake and recognizes Kimble and starts to say something, but Kimble immediately covers his mouth with an oxygen mask. Since he knows his injury, he tells the EMTs to make sure the doctors know he has a puncture in the upper gastric area. The EMTs are confused how he would even know that since the guard is covered with a blanket. Well, gee, he probably knows because he's the escaped convict who also happens to be a doctor. 

The guard is able to report that he saw Kimble and this gets back to the U.S. Marshalls team, who are getting the phones of anybody Kimble might call, starting with his lawyer first, tapped. There's also a report that an ambulance is missing. After the ambulance is spotted, Gerard rides in a helicopter, directing the police cars where to go. They spot him heading towards an aqueduct and when he goes through a tunnel, the helicopter lands at the other end, along with two cop cars, blocking Kimble's exit. He also can't backtrack since there are more cop car coming from that side. In the end, he finds a grate and climbs down there where he finds himself in a tunnel system. Gerard and the others follow him and at one point, Gerard slips and drops his gun which Kimble picks up and points at him, telling him, "I didn't kill my wife!" to which Gerard replies, "I don't care!" Kimble runs off, but he took the wrong turn because he's now overlooking a dam which is at least 1000 feet tall. Now that Gerard has him cornered, he tells Kimble to drop his gun, which he does. He then tells Kimble to put his arms behind his head and turn around, which he also does. But Kimble isn't going to give himself up! He then proceeds to jump off into the waterfall with a very scared look on his face. He should look scared because it's a long-ass fall down to the bottom and there's no way anybody could survive that, let alone walk away from it unhurt, but of course that is exactly what he will do! 

Well, at least the U.S. Marshalls (except for Gerard) agree with me that nobody could survive that. Gerard wants to start a search team and when the others tell him that Kimble is dead, he replies, "That ought to make him easy to catch." 

This is when we see Kimble stumbling out of the water (even if that fall didn't kill him, he should at least have several broken bones). He sleeps outside under a pile of leaves and he has a nightmare about his wife's murder and this time we see the face of the one-armed man who killed his wife, so I guess that's telling us that he remembers more details about him. (Though I think having one arm would be a pretty big detail!) 

The next morning we see him walking along the train tracks and he ends up in a truck station of somewhere where he dyes his hair a darker shade. Where did he even get that dye? Was it already just there? Did I miss it when he went to Wad-Mart and got some essentials? He hitches a ride from a woman who picks him up. Great way to get murdered, lady, just picking up random hitchhikers. Luckily she picked up an escaped convict who has morals. 

We get a fakeout when the U.S. Marshalls have gotten a lead that their escaped convict is with some woman in some shack in the woods. Well, it turns out they're talking about Copeland. You remember him? He's the other escaped convict. His girlfriend is harboring him. They sneak in, but Copeland has grabbed Noah and points a gun to his head. He wants to bargain with Gerard, but, as we'll soon learn, Gerard does not bargain. He ends up shooting Copeland. Well, at least they don't have to worry about him anymore. Noah isn't thrilled with Gerard's decision, saying that if Gerard had missed, he would have killed him. 

So where did Kimble end up, you ask? He's in Chicago where he calls his lawyer who tells him he needs to turn himself in. Kimble asks him for money and his lawyer replies, "You're asking me to harbor and aid a convicted felon. I can't help you that way." When he asks Kimble where he is, Richard lies and tells him he's in St Louis. 

Since the lawyer's phone has bee tapped, Gerard and his team are able to listen to it. Gerard looks like Mr. Rogers on Casual Friday. He's wearing jeans with a blue button up shirt, red sweater vest, and tie. They listen to the recorded call, trying to determine where Kimble is. They don't think he's in St. Louis because they hear a train that sounds like an el, but there are no elevated trains there. They try to come up with cities that have els which include New York, Philly, Milwaukee, and Chicago. I feel like it's so obvious he's in Chicago; that's the city he was the closest to and it's not like he could make it all the way to the East Coast. I supposed he could have gone to Milwaukee, but Chicago seems the most obvious to me. Once they realize they can hear a guy on the P.A. saying, "Next stop, Merchandise Mart", they know for certain he's in Chicago. 

We see his doctor friend who we saw earlier in the movie (the one at the fundraiser who thanked Kimble for loaning him his car) come out of his tennis club and get in his car. His name is Dr. Charles Nichols. When he stops at a red light, a bunch of homeless guys start cleaning his car and asking for money. Kimble, who must have known that Nichols would be going past there, comes up and knocks on his passenger window. Nichols is surprised to see him, but tells him to get in, but Kimble refuses and asks him for some money which Nichols hands over without any qualms. He asks Kimble if he has a place to stay or if there's anything he can to help. At that moment, a police siren sounds and an officer tells Nichols he have a green light and to move on. (Would they really turn on a siren for that?) Kimble tells him he'll call him and strolls off. We next see him renting a spare room in a small house of a Polish woman who lives with her adult son.

Kimble has come back to Chicago because he has unfinished business! He sneaks into Cook Country Hospital and when I say sneak, I mean he just walk right in without anyone giving him a second glance. He does hold up a towel to his forehead, feigning an injury (and probably trying to hide part of his face). However, he no longer bothers hiding his face when he takes the elevator to the floor where the prosthetics  lab is. He just walks right in, seeing people getting fitted for limbs. He then sneaks into a storage area after a janitor comes out and he quickly goes in when the door is still open. It's just amazing that's he able to sneak anywhere without anyone noticing him and it's not like there's nobody around! In a locker room, he sees a janitor hanging up his uniform and when he's in the shower, Kimble sneak in and takes his uniform and ID badge.  

Gerard and Cosmo (that's the guy played by Pantoliano) start interviewing Kimble's friends and colleagues,  starting with Nichols and we learn they went to medical school together. They are shocked when they ask him when was the last time he saw Kimble and he admits he saw him that morning and gave him money. He even confesses he offered to help him, but Kimble wouldn't accept it. Nichols doesn't want to help them catch him because he doesn't want his friend to go back to prison and claims, "Richard is innocent" and that they'll never find him because he's smart.

They continue their interviews and pretty much everyone vouches for Kimble, saying he's a good guy and a good doctor and none of the believe he is guilty of killing his wife. One of these doctors who vouches for Kimble is played by a young Jane Lynch.

In his rented room, Kimble is looking at documents and books about mechanical arms and trying to determine what kind the killer had...I guess. I'm not sure how he would even remember exactly what the mechanical arm looked like, but whatever. And I guess he got these when he pretended to be a janitor? The next day he is awakened by the sound of sirens and he thinks they have found out where he is, but it turns out they're busting the adult son for being a drug dealer. That guy will later tell the cops that Kimble has been staying at his house, but by that time Kimble will already be long gone. 

As a janitor, Kimble goes into the workshop of a woman working on a prosthetic limb under the pretense that needs to clean the blinds in her office where her computer is located. He half-heartedly cleans the blinds (which he makes sure to shut), but also looks up information on the computer. There's a prosthetic arm database where he can type in information and every time he types in something new, the number of matches narrows until he has only five people who fit the description of what he's trying to find. For some reason, he seems to know when the one-armed murderer last got his mechanical arm adjusted. How the hell would he know that?  Even though the woman is wearing headphones, I am surprised she doesn't hear the clickity-clack of the keyboard in her office. The computer Kimble is using is so archaic, it's hilarious. And I thought those candy-colored Mac computers they used on Felicity were old! He prints out the list of five people and puts it in his pocket.

There's been a bus crash and many children are in the hospital as a result of it. Kimble sees a kid on a gurney and he can tell there's something wrong with the kid, but the doctor looking at him thinks he's okay. A female doctor sees Kimble by the kid and, thinking he's the janitor, asks him if he can help them out and take the kid to observation room 2. This female doctor is played by Julianne Moore. I had seen her name in the credits and had no idea she was in this movie. This was before she was really famous. She's not in it very much, but I heard a big chunk of her role was cut. Originally, she was supposed to have a romance with Kimble, but they scratched that. Probably a good idea since basically the whole movie is about Kimble trying to find the guy who, you know, murdered his wife and proving his innocence. Anyway, Dr. Eastman (Moore's character) notices Kimble looking at the kid's X-ray. Kimble takes the kid in the elevator. They're the only people in there, so he's able to cross out what the previous doctor had written on the kid's charts and he writes his own diagnosis, delivering the right department. Doing this, will save the kid's life. 

Back in the lobby, Dr. Eastman is suspicious and asks Kimble why a janitor would be looking at an X-ray and Kimble replies it's a hobby. She doesn't believe him and grabs his ID badge, telling him to stay where he is while she gets it checked out. Of course, he's not staying put! He scrams! 

The U.S. Marshalls are called and Dr. Eastman gives them her statement. Gerard and Cosmo wonder why a fugitive like Kimble would come to a public place such as a hospital and that's when they see a man with arm and follow him to the myoelectric lab. They come up with their own list of 47 males in the age range that Kimble described with one arm and start cross referencing them for criminal records.

At a payphone, Kimble makes calls pretending to be a doctor checking in on the patients from the list he printed. Being that this is 1993, payphone are pretty prominent in this movie, mostly used by Kimble. I think he probably uses one five or six times. You really couldn't make this movie today because it would be so much easier for him if he had a Smartphone. There was a sign on one of the payphone that made me laugh: "Please limit phone calls to five minutes." You know, because other people may need to use the phone! 

Kimble is able to narrow down the list even more and breaks into the home of the last guy. Luckily, that guy isn't home at the moment so he's able to just rummage through his stuff and he finds pictures of the guy who he recognizes as being the one he got into a fight with and he finds a prosthetic arm in his drawer. He also finds pictures of the guy with Dr. Lentz who was at the fundraiser the night of his wife's murder. 

Back at U.S. Marshalls headquarters, Gerard is told he has a phone call from someone claiming to be Richard Kimble. He and his team are talking and joking, but once Gerard realizes he's actually talking to Kimble, he makes a very irritated signal with his hands, telling everybody to shut up. Kimble tells him he's trying to solve the puzzle of who killed his wife and that he "just find a big piece". He gets up and walks away, but leaves the phone off the hook because obviously he wants them to find the murderer's home, which of course they go to right away.

The one-armed man is named Fredrick Sykes and when he returns home, he wants to know what's going on. They tell him he had a break-in and that a fugitive named Richard Kimble made a phone call from his apartment. Sykes denies knowing somebody by that name, but once they show him Kimble's photo, he recognizes him as the man who blamed a one-armed man for killing his wife and asks if he's coming after him. Gerard asks if he has a reason to come after him. This is when we found out that the police have already talked to Sykes and he was cleared because he had an alibi: he was on a business trip with fifteen people. We find out he works in security for the pharmacuetical company, Devlin MacGregor. 

Gerard's team leave because they don't have any hard evidence on this guy yet, but Gerard tasks Noah with finding out who the guy in the picture next to Sykes is. They will soon find out the man is Dr. Lentz. 

That evening, the Hilton is hosting the International Association of Cardiologists where Dr. Nicholes will be the keynote speaker. We see him at the hotel in the afternoon, getting his speech prepared, when his assistant tells him he has a phone call and it's an emergency. Of course, it's Kimble who tells him he found the man who killed Helen. He believes they were after him, not Helen, because "Lentz was supervising the protocol for RDU-90" and he knew Kimble found out it was causing liver damage. Nichols drops a bombshell on Richard and tells him that Lentz is dead, that he died in a car accident last summer. He asks Richard if he can prove this about the drug and Kimble says he can, but he will need his help and tells him to call "Bones" (is that a nickname, I hope) and give him whatever he needs. It's at this scene where I get the feeling that Nichols is behind this, that he's not on Kimble's side, but he's pretending to be. 

Soon after, Gerard and Cosmo arrive at the hotel to talk to Nichols and they show him the picture of Sykes, telling him that Kimble broke into his apartment. When they ask him if he knows either Sykes or the man standing next to him, Nichols says he doesn't but of course we know that's a big fat lie!  

At the same time the U.S. Marshalls find out that the man next to Sykes in the photo is Dr. Lentz and that he has since passed away AND that Nichols lied about knowing him, Kimble makes a visit to Bones at the hospital and takes a liver sample he asked for. He takes it to Jane Lynch who looks at it under a microscope and declares, "Not only did they all come from healthy livers, they all came from the same liver." Lentz was one of the original patent holder on RDU-90 and Kimble was sending him his tissue samples and "he was replacing them with healthy samples, issuing the path reports on them, and sh*t-canning [Kimble's] stuff." Jane Lynch points out that Lentz died on August 21st and "half of the samples he approved were signed the day he died." She believes someone else but have been manipulating this, but who else would have access? It's at this point I believe Kimble knows exactly who it is, but I figured it out before he did, so ha, ha! He's got an enraged look on his face and he tells Jane Lynch he's going "to see a friend."

We get confirmation that it is indeed Nichols when Noah calls Gerard (he had just spoken to Bones) and tells him the release was approved by Dr. Nichols. There's a bunch of cross referencing with phone numbers going on and they find out that Kimble's car phone was used to cal Sykes at 7:30, the night of Helen's murder. Of course, we'll find out it was Nichols who made that call. I'm still a little confused as to why Kimble loaned him his car, but I guess he's just a good friend for him. Unfortunately for him, that was a ploy for Nicholas to get the keys and let Sykes into the Kimble home. But why would Kimble also give him his house keys? If (and that's a pretty big if because it would never happen) I lent my car to a friend, I would only give them my spare car keys, not my house keys. 

They want to talk to Sykes, but he has fled. Both he and Kimble have ended up on the same el train. There's a comical moment where Kimble is siting across the aisle from a man who's reading the paper and on the front page is a picture of Kimble and how he's an escaped fugitive. When the man flips to the front page and sees the picture, he looks up at Kimble, then slowly gets up and walks to the next train where he alerts a police officer about Kimble. This is when it is revealed that Sykes is on the train and he tries to shoot Kimble, but he ends up shooting the officer and they get in a scuffle, but Kimble manages to handcuff Sykes to a seat and gets off the train, but not before telling Sykes, "You missed your stop." Ha, nice zinger, Kimble. 

So now it's time for Dr. Nichols to give his big speech at the Hilton and he is introduced as being appointed director of Devlin MacGregor Pharmaceuticals. While he is talking about the wonder of the new drug, Provasic, he looks up to see Kimble in the back of the room with his arms crossed and glaring at him. Nichols knows now that he's been caught and starts to get nervous and has a Freudian slip when he says "dishonest" instead of "honest" and quickly fixes his mistake. Richard is getting closer to him, so he stops to acknowledge him and tells him he's in the middle of a speech. Richard doesn't care about that and tells Nichols that he thought he got away with it, but he (Richard) knows all about it and that he can prove it. I wonder just how much the audience can hear him? Probably just the people in the front. Nichols asks him to step aside so they can talk. The audience gasps when Kimble accuses Nichols of switching the samples so that RDU-90 could be approved. Basically, at this point, it's obvious that Sykes was hired by Nichols to murder Kimble to cover up that the drug was no good, but obviously Richard wasn't home that night because he was at work and I guess his wife was just collateral damage. Or maybe they went with the intention of killing his wife, then framing the murder on Richard so he would be locked away forever. I'm not really quite sure what the plan was. You would think they would just want to kill him so there would be no chance of something like this happening! Also, with framing someone, you would have to make sure that everything went to plan and it's not like they knew Helen's last actions would accidentally convict her husband of killing her; that certainly wasn't in their plans! 

So, anyway, Kimble and Nichols ends up fighting in the presidential suite that Nichols is staying in and their fight is taken outside where they crash through a glass roof and they both end up in (Nichols) or on top (Kimble) of a service elevator which takes them to the laundry room. At this time, Gerard and his team are on the scene and they also follow them to the laundry room. Nichols knocks out Cosmo with a big lead beam and takes his gun. He sees Gerard and is about to shoot him, but Kimble, who has picked up a metal pipe, knocks out Nichols before he can shoot the U.S. Marshall, so he has saved Gerard's life. By now they all know that Richard is innocent and that's the end of the movie. 

Sometimes I like to guess how old an actor is when I watch a movie and that's what I did with this one. I guessed Tommy Lee Jones to be in the 54-58 range, maybe 52 at the youngest. I thought he would be a good decade older than Harrison Ford, who I guessed was 45-45 when he made that. wrong I was! Tommy Lee Jones was around 46 when he filmed this and Harrison Ford is actually OLDER! Not by very much, just by four years, but still. 

Thursday, September 21, 2023

My Three Dads

Three Men and a Baby
Director: Leonard Nimoy
Cast: Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg, Margaret Colin, Nancy Travis, and two babies! 
Released: November 25, 1987

Three Men and a Little Lady
Director: Emile Ardolino
Cast: Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg, Nancy Travis, Fiona Shaw
Released: November 21, 1990

These are both movies I haven't seen in a long, long time, probably not since the early '90s when I was a kid, so when I watched them recently, it was almost like I was watching them for the first time. I'm pretty sure I saw the sequel in theaters and that was the last time I saw it. 

The first movie is just ludicrous. I don't know if there's a better word to describe it. I have so many questions and I feel like many of my questions don't get answered. 

My first question that never gets answered is why do these three grown-ass men all live together in this fancy penthouse in New York? Yes, it's a penthouse and there's plenty of room, but we never really learn how they all came to live together or why. The place belongs to Peter (Tom Selleck), who is an architect. He either must have his own company that's doing well (he does mention he has built many buildings) or maybe he built the apartment he lives in and as the architect, he was able to live in the penthouse? I don't know how it works! But he is raking in the money! Maybe I wasn't aware that architects make millions of dollars. This penthouse has (at least) four bedrooms and a pool table, jukebox, media room, and a little outside courtyard. I don't think it's his roommates that are making the money. Jack (Ted Danson) is an actor, but he seems to do mostly commercials and TV movies where he's not the lead. And last but not least, Michael (Steve Guttenberg) is a cartoonist. He has a comic or something he draws for the paper. IDK, but it's honestly not that important. They never tell us how old any of them are; the closest they get is when the movie starts with a birthday party (where there's at least 200 people in attendance) for Peter and Michael jokes that he's either in his late 30s or early 40s. If we're going by that, Jack is also in the same age range, but Michael is at least ten years younger. I looked up the actors' ages in real life when they did this movie and found out Selleck was 42, Danson was 40, and Guttenberg was a mere 29! If they had Peter and Michael be brothers, it would make a lot more sense. Maybe Michael is struggling financially and Peter lets him stay at his extravagant home. Then you can just have Jack as his friend who mooches off of him or something. At least then we get an explanation of why they all live together. But they explain nada about how they became friend or roommates. 

Like I mentioned, the movie begins with a huge party for Peter and we get some exposition. We learn that Peter has been in an open relationship for the last five years with a woman named Rebecca. She is played by Margaret Colin who looked really familiar to me, so I looked her up on IMDb and realized I knew her from playing Jeff Goldblu's ex in Independence Day and Blair's mom in Gossip Girl 

We also find out Jack will be leaving the next morning to go to Turkey for ten weeks where he will be filming a movie. A friend of his, who's directed him in a few commercials, asks him for a favor. He says he's having a package delivered tomorrow, but he will be shooting a commercial tomorrow in San Francisco and asks Jack if he can have the package delivered here instead and two guys will pick it up on Thursday. He also calls it a "delicate matter" and tells him not to tell anyone. If someone wants a package that's a "delicate matter" delivered to you, say no. But Jack tells him that's fine. 

At the airport, he realizes he forgot to tell his roommates (well, he just did have a wild party the night before!) and calls them from the airport, leaving a message about it. We see Peter listening to the message and Jack ends it by saying, "Just put it aside, and don't worry about it."

So I'm sure by now you can see we're about to have one big misunderstanding! It's obvious that this package contains drugs or something illegal of that nature. And it just so happens it's going to be delivered on the sane day that they're going to find a baby outside their door. Peter goes out jogging and comes back with the newspaper. He's so busy looking at it that he doesn't even notice the baby in the bassinet that's near his door (which I call bulls*t!). But once he's inside the apartment, he does a double take and checks outside the door, and sure enough, he sees a sleeping baby. He calls Michael to take a look at the baby and Michael finds a note on the baby which reads "Dear Jack, here is our baby. I can't handle this. I don't know where to turn. Someday I hope you can both forgive me. Her name is Mary. Love, Sylvia.

Neither of then know who Sylvia is because "you need a secretary to keep track of all [Jack's] women." So this movie came out when Cheers was in its sixth season and I guess they thought they had to make Ted Danson's character in this just like Sam Malone. 

Peter assume this must be the package that he talked about in the message. He tells Michael, "He said to put it away and not to worry about it" to which Michael astoundingly replies, "He said that about a baby!" It's a little odd that they refer to the baby as an "it" when they know it's a girl, but I guess that's part of the joke since the actual package that Jack and his director friend were referring to is an "it". 

I feel like if a situation happened like this in real life and you couldn't get a hold of either of the baby's guardians, wouldn't you all CPS or the police or some authority figure? Obviously, this is what I would do if some random baby was just outside my doorstep, but if it were a friend's baby, (a friend who didn't know about said baby!) and I wasn't able to get in contact with this friend, then I guess that would be a lot trickier. Luckily, this has never happened to me. *knocks on wood* 

Luckily, this baby has been dropped off at the lavish home of a millionaire, so Peter is able to buy a lot of supplies for the baby. While he's out picking up formula, bottles, food, diapers, and other baby necessities, Michael watches the baby who won't stop crying. Keep in mind neither of these guys have had any experience with babies! I will say that they cast a really cute baby. Or, I should say, babies, as little Mary is played by twins. The character of Mary is seven months old, but I did some research online and found that the twins were four months old when they filmed it. Ha, I wonder if they even remember anything? (Just joking, I know there's no way they can remember being in this movie!) The baby is crying so loud that it does get a little uncomfortable watching it, especially since you know the baby isn't "acting". 

The doorbell rings and it's their landlady, Mrs. Hathaway. She's holding a small, rectangular-shaped package. Hmm, could this be the actual package that they were expecting? Mrs. Hathaway, who loves babies, is delighted when she sees Mary and is asking all kinds of questions and Michael tells her the baby is Jack's. She says the baby needs to be changed and offers to help, but Michael refuses. At first I was confused because you think he'd want help with something he's never done before, but then I realized they didn't have the diapers or other necessities for changing a baby, so he probably didn't want Mrs. Hathaway to know about that. Before she leaves, she gives him the package, and he just absent-mindedly tosses it onto the couch. As far as I know, Michael never heard the message from Jack so he has no idea that this is the actual package that he was talking about. He is also a little distracted with a crying baby to wonder about this package. 

While Michael is unsuccessfully trying to stop Mary crying, Peter isn't having much of his own luck at the store when he's buying formula. He interacts with an employee who knows an awful lot about babies and baby food and formula. She's either very dedicated to her job or maybe she's a mother. When she asks Peter how old his baby is, he says "About that old" and uses his hands to show her. That should send up red flags to the clerk that this man doesn't know how old his own baby is, but she's just aghast more than anything. 

Once Peter returns with all the items, the put her on the couch and change her. Peter insists that since he's an architect and has built fifty-story skyscrapers, he can put on a diaper. He bought these huge diapers that are "ultra absorbers", but once they change her and pick her up, the diaper falls off and she pees on the couch. Obviously, they end up changing many, many diapers and we'll later get a funny scene when the baby needs to be changed (once again) and Peter tells Michael, that he'll give him one thousand dollars if he'll do it and you know he's not joking. Later, there's an amusing moment when the baby is sleeping and they hear a siren, so they quickly get up to close the windows, but why would they have the windows open in the first place? 

Peter calls Rebecca, asking her to come over because there's a "big emergency". When she arrives, she's with a date because they're about to go to a concert (that's gotta be awkward bringing a date to the home of the man you're in an open relationship with!) and is not happy that Peter thinks she should help him with Jack's baby just because she's a woman and should automatically know about these things. Yeah, I agree, that's a little sexist on his part. As she tells him, "That doesn't mean I know about babies." He asks her to stay (in front of her date, mind you) and help take care of the baby, but of course she's not going to stay. 

It's Thursday and just as Jack's director friend told him, two guys are there to pick up the package. Their names are Vince and Satch and it's clear that they aren't the most moral or respectable of citizens. Vince is played by Paul Guilfoyle who played Detective Jim Brass on CSI: and Satch is played by Earl Hindman who played Wilson on Home Improvement. It was weird seeing his face! At first, Vince does all the talking and I thought maybe Satch doesn't speak at all, but he later does have a few lines. Peter says, "I love the way everyone calls it a package." Well, maybe that's because they are expecting to pick up an actual package, and, not, you know, a baby! 

While he goes to retrieve the baby in her bassinet, Michael tells them,"Tell Sylvia she's got a lot of nerve dumping her problems in our laps." Of course they have no idea who Sylvia is and ask him who she is. Michael ignores their question and goes on to say, "When it first got here, we considered calling the cops." They look a little concerned about that, ha! Also, I understand for the sake of the misunderstanding, they call the baby an "it" because it would be weird if he referred to the drugs (yes, there are drugs in that package, are you that surprised?) as a "she", but it's still really weird that Michael and Peter have been taking care of Mary for four days and refer to her as an "it". Michael continues to tell them that they haven't been able to work or sleep and there's shit everywhere (heh). They look thoroughly confused at that! They take this to mean that the package "busted". Peter returns and hands a befuddled Vince the baby in her bassinet and tells him she'll be ready for her next bottle in forty-five minutes. When he tells him that he forgot the powdered milk and goes to retrieve this, Vince assumes that this must be what he's actually there for cuz he's all like, "Oh, yeah, powdered milk, can't forget that." Once the powdered milk has been placed in the bassinet, Vince realizes that they want him to take the baby and they tell him that was the arrangement. Okay, so obviously, Peter and Michael are very clueless about what's going on, but you would think Vince and Satch would know something was up or at least be warned if a baby was involved (and you'd have to be a very special kind of f**ked up person to have a baby involved with drug dealings!) Like, what are they planning on doing with this baby? I doubt they're calling the cops! 

Before they leave, Peter gives them some tips, then adds that maybe they should leave their phone number in case they need advice, but Vince tells him he'll call him if he needs to. 

Now you may be thinking, aren't Peter and Michael a bit concerned about what they just did? Why are they handing over this baby to two strange men who don't give off the best vibe? And yes, they are concerned. Well, at least Peter is. Michael is enjoying the peace and quiet, but Peter tells him he has a "funny feeling" that "something screwy is going on." Yes, Peter, your instincts are right! Michael tells him that he's been tense for the last five days and it it's "just [his] nerves unwinding" and Peter agrees that's probably what it is. After Michael gets up from the couch, Peter leans back and he retrieves the package that Michael had thrown on the couch earlier (you know, the one with the drugs in it; the real package that was to be picked up by Vince and Satch). He asks Michael what it is and he says it's a package that Mrs. Hathaway delivered to him on Sunday and it soon clicks that they made a huge mistake and Peter runs downstairs to try to catch them before they leave. 

The two hoodlums are driving a convertible, a car this is most definitely not equipped for carrying a baby. Satch suggest that Vince put the baby in the trunk (WTF?) and Vince is about to go through with this, but realizes he can't put a baby in the trunk. Peter comes running out of the elevator and trips on a rug in the lobby, making him drop the package and it rips a little and he can sees packets of heroin. (Look, I'm no drug expert, but aren't drug packaged a little more covertly?) I guess this scene is there so the audience (and the protagonists) knows that there are indeed drugs in that package. He puts the package in his pocket and tells Vince that he made a terrible mistake and that he gave him the wrong package. He tries to get the baby back, but for some reason, Vince won't let go of the bassinet. I guess he thinks the drugs are still with the baby, but why not just take the powdered milk and let Peter have the baby? That is what he will do in the end, but it's still a little weird that he wanted to take the baby. Satch, who's sitting in the driver's seat, reaches for a gun that's in the glove compartment, but quickly puts it away when a policeman on horseback comes riding up and asks Vince if he was about to put the baby in the trunk, which he strongly denies. 

The policeman tells Vince he's double parked and wants to see his driver's license and registration. Vince gives Peter the baby in her bassinet, but takes the powered milk. He tells the officer he'll be right back, but as soon as he gets in the car they speeds away. The officer then wants to see Peter's identification, but he doesn't have it with him, so he invites him up to his apartment. The officer wants to search him, but Peter can't let him do that because of the drugs. He tells him he's an architect and he's not going to "spread them" because he has a baby with him. The officer accepts his invitation to go up to his apartment so Peter can show him his ID. Once they get to the front door, Peter invites him in for a cup of coffee, but the officer tells him he's gonna wait by the front door. I'm surprised he didn't insist on following him to be sure there was no funny business (which there will be!). Peter hands over the baby and drugs to Michael, telling him to hide the drugs. which he will do by using an X-acto knife to cut into one of Mary's (clean) diapers and hiding them in there. He then proceeds to put the diaper on Mary who needed to be changed. This will be later used as comedy, but it makes no sense that he would put a drug-laden diaper on a baby.

Before Peter had gone downstairs to get Mary back, the audience is shown an older man in a car, who seems to be keeping an eye on Vince and Satch. Obviously he is aware of their nefarious ways. He has come up to the apartment and tells the policeman he can leave. He introduces himself to Peter as Detective Sergeant Melkowitz (played by Philip Bosco) in Narcotics. He has a few questions for Peter. He asks him about the baby and Peter tells him she belongs to his roommate. He asks him about the two guys he saw talking downstairs and he says they are friends of the mother's and they they were going to take the baby for a ride, but they couldn't because the car had no baby seat. This is a terrible (and obvious) lie. What kind of idiot would take a baby for a ride, but not have a car seat? Also, who is going to let these two take their baby "for a ride"? (And, yes, I realize that Peter and Michael almost let them do that exact thing!) I did wonder why he just didn't tell the Detective the truth, that there had been a misunderstanding, but by that time they were too far in, hiding the drugs and all. They also probably didn't want Jack to get in trouble. Plus we need more plot for the movie! 

Melkowitz asks if he can see the baby, but Peter tells him she's sleeping and as soon as he says that, we hear Mary babbling behind the closed door. He tries to tell him that she doesn't like strangers, but the detective opens the door and luckily the drugs are hidden by that time! In fact, Mary is wearing them. Melkowitz picks her up and calls her "a heavy little girl." This is supposed to be played as a comedic scene because the narcotics officer is literally holding a lot of illegal drugs...but he doesn't even know it! Also, while Mary is a healthy-looking baby, she clearly isn't a chubby baby, so you think he would put two and two together and realize why she was so heavy. He notices the diaper is a bit lumpy and tells them she needs to be changed. Surely people can't be this stupid. Michael quickly takes her and goes back into the room to "change" her, closing the door. 

Melkowitz asks Peter if he knows where Jack is at the moment and he tells him he's "on location doing a TV movie", but lies about telling him he doesn't know where. I feel like that would send up a red flag to me: your friend is doing a TV movie, but they didn't tell you where they would be? That seems fishy! The detective shows him a picture of Jack's director (and druggie, apparently) friend and tells him his name is Paul Milner and that he directs TV commercials and "on the side, he dabbles in heroin smuggling." 

The phone rings then and Peter lets the answering machine get it, but once he hears Jack's voice on the machine, he runs to answer the phone in another room. Now, for some reason, the detective hears the entire conversation. Even though Peter has answered the phone, I guess the detective can still hear the conversation on the answering machine. I would think that once you pick up the phone and answer the call, the machine would stop recording? IDK. I'm sure I've used answering machines before, but I honestly  don't remember the mechanics of them. Thank God those days are over! Anyway, Melkowitz hears this entire conversation which consists of Jack telling Peter he got a message that they've been been trying to reach him. Peter tells him now is not a good time to chat, but Jack doesn't want to call back because it took him an hour to get through. He then proceeds to tell him how he found all this great "stuff" in Turkey and that he may have to "smuggle" it back. He's just joking, but it sure doesn't sound good to the narcotics detective! 

Melkowitz finally does leave and Peter and Michael do wonder if it's possible that Jack is involved with these drug dealers. Michael has moved the drugs to the garbage, under all the dirty diapers because no one will look there. (The sad thing is, there are probably some druggies out there who would still use those drugs even if they've been sitting under a pile of literal sh*t!) 

The next day, both Peter and Michael have places they need to be, so they hire Mrs. Hathaway to baby-sit Mary. When Peter comes back later, the apartment has been completely ransacked and their landlady has been tied up to a chair. Of course, Peter's first concern is Mary, but Mrs. H. doesn't where she is. After tearing through his huge apartment, he's relieved when he finally finds her in a small closet. There's a note attached to her saying that she'll be taken next time. So it's obvious to the audience (and Peter and Michael) that this was Vince and Satch, looking for the drugs. But Mrs. Hathaway doesn't know this. She doesn't seem to have any questions. She doesn't call the police. You think being their landlady, she would have a lot more questions! They just kind of pretend that she forgot about this whole incident. It was odd. We never do see Mrs. Hathaway in the movie again. 

One night, after everyone has gone to bed, Peter sees someone sneaking into the apartment and it's so obvious it's Jack. Thinking it's one of the drug mules, he attacks the intruder and that's when he realizes it's Jack who tells him his part was cut and that's why he's back early. After he asks what's going on, he hears a baby cry. Peter and Michael explain everything to him. Jack remembers meeting Sylvia a year and a half ago when he was in Stratford and they were both performing The Taming of The Shrew. His roommates tell him it's his turn to take care of the baby since they've been doing it for however long how much time has passed. While Jack is trying to figure out how to change her, Peter and Michael are playing pool and ignore his pleas for help, but after half an hour, they help him. Well, they're probably doing it mostly for Mary's benefit. 

I will give Jack credit that he does bond with his daughter and is very attentive to her for someone who just found out he had a kid. Not soon long after he returns home, Peter and Michael are going to a play with their dates and Jack will be left alone with Mary for the first time. It's pretty cute how Peter and Michael act like concerned parents, giving Jack, who they're treating like the baby-sitter, the number where they can be reached if he needs them and that an usher will get then if he needs them to come home. 

So Jack bonds with her daughter and while he's bathing her in the shower, Peter and Michael are at the intermission of their play with the second act about to start in a few minutes. Peter is already worried and decides to call Jack to check up on him and see how things are going. When Jack doesn't answer (because the water is running so he doesn't hear anything), both he and Michael come to the conclusion that he either fell asleep or hit his head and that he's "probably unconscious". They tell their dates there's an emergency and they need to go. They rush home to find that Jack and Mary are both okay. Jack asks them why they're back so soon and Michael tells him they think that they may have left the stove on. Jack says to Mary, "I think that Unlce Peter and Uncle Michael are having a nervous breakdown."

After Peter admits he called him and Jack says he didn't hear the phone in the shower, the next day we get a scene of a guy installing a phone in the shower and asking Michael if he gets many calls in there and Michael replies, "a steady stream." Something tell me that they probably never use that phone. 

Peter checks his mail and finds a newspaper with a headline that reads "Commercial Director Hospitalized After Mugging". Attached is a note that reads "Don't let this happen to you. Be at the phone booth at the corner of 81st and Columbus at 8 tonight." The three men (and a baby!) go to that phone booth and Peter answers it when the bad guys call to tell them their plan on getting the drugs back. Peter tells them that since they are in possession of the drugs, they're going to do it their way or he'll flush their stash down the toilet. We never learn how the bad guys wanted to get their drugs back, but Peter tells them to meet at a construction site (the one he's working at, obviously, but they don't know that). They have worked out a plan where Jack will call Melkowitz from a pay phone while Michael will be hiding with a camcorder so he can record the conversation that Peter will have with the drug dealers. For some reason, they decide they need to take Mary with them. They can't find a baby-sitter while they're out on a drug bust? I get that maybe Mrs. Hathaway might not want to baby-sit again, but can't Rebecca or one of the many women they know baby-sit? While most of the time, these guys are pretty protective of Mary, they really drop the ball with her well-being here! 

So while Jack is right outside the construction site near the car where Mary is, Michael is hiding and ready to record the conversation Peter has with Vince and Satch. He tells them the package is in the elevator, behind the control panel, adding that they had nothing to do with it and they had no idea what was in the package. Like, he's making it so obvious that I'm surprised they didn't realize what he was doing and that this conversation was being recorded. Vince even confirms that Peter had no idea what was going on by saying, "No kidding. I could've figured that out in four seconds." 

Satch retrieves the package from the elevator panel and they are about to leave (the next step would be for Jack to stop the elevator with some controllers he was nearby, then call the police), but things go awry when Michael accidentally reveals himself and they see him with the camcorder. Vince accuses Peter of "abusing his trust." Peter manipulates a bunch of lead pipes to fall on the bad guys and he and Michael jump into an elevator. The bad guys manage to get into a second elevator. Instead of stopping the elevator the bad guys are in, Jack stops the one with his friends. They yell down at him to hit the button on the left. He doesn't hear them, but finally is able to stop the right elevator. The cops arrive and this storyline has concluded at the one hour and fifteen minute mark. Guess them movie's over! Uh, not quite! 

We next see a montage of the three men (and a baby!) at the park with two of them playing with a Frisbee while one of them is holding the baby (they alternate holding the baby). Whoever is holding the baby at the moment has SWARMS of women coming up to him and cooing over the baby. She is a literal chick magnet. Look, Mary is a cute baby, but God, these women look so pathetic. Also, if I saw a man with a baby, I would figure he's probably married or at least already in a relationship. This montage continues with Peter bringing her to the construction site and she's wearing a little pink hardhat which is really cute, but is a construction site the best place to bring a baby? And we see Jack auditioning for a play and when he turns around, it is revealed that Mary is strapped to his back. 

One of the most well-known scenes from this movie, at least one that I even remember is when Mary is crying and can't get to sleep, so they all sing "Goodnight, Sweetheart" to her. 

We get the last act of the movie when Sylvia (Nancy Travis) comes to pick up her daughter the next morning. I'm sorry, but this woman just leaves her baby by a front door and now thinks she can come back and reclaim her? Also, I had no idea she was supposed to be English as Nancy Travis has a terrible English accent and was wondering why she was pronouncing "mommy" as "mummy". (When she sees Mary, she tells her, "Mummy's back!") Why didn't they just cast an English actress? Duh. 

Sylvia talks to Jack and tells him he's taken very good care of Mary and she apologizes, saying she shouldn't have left the way she did and hopes she didn't cause too much trouble. Oh, no, you just abandoned your baby, but luckily her father and two honorary uncles bonded with her and now you're just going to take her away from them and go live in another country across the ocean. You're not causing any trouble at all, Sylvia! Yes, that's right, Sylvia is taking her daughter and going back to London where she plans to move in with her parents so they can help her take care of Mary because she won't be able to work and take care of her on her own. She's leaving that night so she's taking Mary away at the last minute. 

So Sylvia leaves with Mary and the guys are sad. Jack says he feels bad and he has an ache "right here" (he pats his heart). He tells his friends that he misses Mary and wishes there was something he could do. They decide there IS something they can do. They decide to head to the airport to stop them from getting on the flight. When they get to the gate (ah, yes, remember when you didn't need a ticket to go to a gate), the flight has already left. I thought for sure that Sylvia didn't get on the plane and we would see her stepping out of the restroom with Mary, but that doesn't happen. Three rejected men head on home...where they see Sylvia and Mary waiting for them. So they went to the airport for nothing! 

They all go inside and Sylvia tells Jack that she couldn't go because she would be making a mistake if she went to London. To be honest, I'm not really sure why she thought it was a mistake, but obviously they needed some excuse for her to stay in New York. She tells them she wants to work in New York, but there's no way she can work and take care of Mary by herself. It's all too hectic for her and Peter tells her they know how hard it is and Michael tells her,"The three of us could barely manage." She tells them that she needs help and Michael and Jack are more than happy to help and tell her they can leave Mary with them anytime she needs to. Sylvia replies with, "I was hoping you would say that." Why didn't she just ask for their help in the first place? She knows they all love Mary so they would be more than happy to help with her. I don't know, the way Sylvia goes about this, it just seems very manipulative. 

However, Peter doesn't like this idea. He feels like they're just being treated as Mary's baby-sitters and he wants them to be able to see Mary all the time. He then invites Sylvia and Mary to move into the penthouse without even asking his roommates' permission. Of course, they think it's a great idea and Sylvia is more thrilled to move in. Of course she is; she gets to live in a NYC penthouse (and probably doesn't have to pay rent!) with her baby daddy and two extra people to help take care of her daughter. This is the most ludicrous living arrangement ever. Yes, Jack and Sylvia have a baby together, but it's not like they even had that much of a relationship besides being in a play together and sleeping together once. So now it's three men and a baby and the baby's mom (mum?).

The very last scene of the movie is the four adults walking out of the apartment with Mary in her stroller and they extend the handle so they can all push it at the same time. :::Groan:::

This movie is based on a 1985 French comedy called Trois Hommes et un Couffin which translates to "Three Men and a Cradle." 

Before I start discussing Three Men and a Little Lady, let's take a minute to talk about the infamous urban legend scene that you may or may not know about. I first heard about this probably in the mid-2000s and it was probably on some film message board like Fametracker, heh. I did not familiarize myself with the so-called urban legend before I watched the movie because I wanted to see if I could catch it on my own. So from what I thought I remembered, apparently there's a scene in the movie where you can see a dead body because somebody had killed themselves or accidentally died on set. (I know, very morbid and disturbing. Also, a little insane that they would keep filming if someone had died!) So I watch the movie and I'm glad to report no dead bodies were seen, but I did sort of a double take when I think I see a random person in the background when two people are talking in the living room, but it turns out it's just a cardboard cutout of Ted Danson dressed in a tuxedo and a top hat, most likely a prop his character kept because of a commercial he was in. He keeps it in his room and his door is open and you can see into his room when I was watching this particular scene (which I don't even remember who was in it).

So after I watched the movie, I looked up the urban legend to see exactly what it is and it's pretty absurd! First of all, I was mixing up "dead person" with "ghost". Oops, my bad! It's a GHOST we see, heh. Apparently, way back in 1990 (I had no idea this even exited back then!) there was a rumor going on that you can see the GHOST of a young boy who lived in the same apartment where they filmed the movie and he had shot himself (suicide) and haunted the set. Who the f**k started this rumor? First of all, this was filmed on a set, so nobody used to live there because it would be impossible. There's a scene in the movie where Jack is talking to his mother who comes to visit and this is when you see the alleged ghost of a boy standing by the window and I guess it looks like there's a rifle next to him? This is the effing cardboard cutout of Ted Danson in a tuxedo and top hat. Remember, this is before the time of HD, so it makes total sense that people would mistake that for an effing ghost. :::rolls eyes::: I would really love to know how this rumor got started; it has to be one of the stupidest and absurd things I've ever heard about movie lore. Look, I will admit that it sort of surprised me when I see that cutout out of the corner of my eye because you're not expecting it, so I guess people's imaginations just run wild. 

Okay, time to talk about Three Men and a Little Lady, the unnecessary sequel. Even though it came out three years later than the first one, it's set six years later because Mary is now six. I probably don't need to tell you that she isn't played by the twins who portrayed her as babies; instead it's just one little girl who was pretty much only in this and a couple of other things I've never heard of. 

The movie starts with a montage of them moving into a townhouse or some larger living area because apparently that huge penthouse wasn't big enough to accommodate five people. This is around Mary is probably a year old and the montage progresses as she grows older until she's six. It's also stated that Sylvia has become a pretty big Broadway actor, so not really sure why she's still living with Peter, Jack, and Michael. I guess it's nice to have three built-in baby-sitters. 

At one point, Mary calls Jack by his first name and I was wondering if she even knows that he's her biological dad, but she does. I would think that she would refer to Peter and Michael as her Uncles, but she calls them her "honorary daddies".

Rebecca is no longer in the picture which is disappointing because I liked her and Peter together and was hoping they would become exclusive. Instead, the sequel seems to be pointing towards a romantic subplot involving Peter and Sylvia, because, why not. When Sylvia is looking for Jack because she needs him to help her rehearse a scene for the play Rainmaker, he's not home so Peter offers to read his part. They read the scene and at the end, she kisses him and he asks her why she did that and she says it's in the script. He looks at the script and tells her his character is supposed to kiss her and suggests they do the scene again. Gee, like Sylvia didn't know that. It's so obvious she's into him, but he can't seem to take a clue. Well, he does like her, but we'll learn later on in the movie why he's not making a move when she's practically throwing herself at him. So they do the scene again and he kisses her this time, but then he stops and tells her he's not an actor and that he's not believable, but she tells him he was very believable. 

Sylvia also has a somewhat relationship with her director, Edward (who is also British), but they're not involved anymore. I guess he's asked her to marry him before, but she said no. He's been asked to direct A Midsummer Night's Dream at the National Theatre in London and he wants Sylvia to play Helena. She tells him that she would love to do it, but Mary's starting school soon and that she needs to consider her daughter's needs. He asks her, "What about your needs?" and she tells him she'll think about it. 

One evening when Mary is acting up and not going to bed, Sylvia is the one to get her to settle down, then she has a chat with the guys and tells them that she thinks they are "getting a taste of things to come" and asks them how long they think they'll be able to live the way they are in their unorthodox arrangement. She thinks that Mary needs "a more normal environment" and tells them she would like to be married someday and have more kids, but this living arrangement isn't going to cut it. 

Sylvia must really want to get married because when Edward asks her to marry him again, this time she says yes. This means that she and Mary will able be moving to England since Edward will be working there now. This all seems a bit fast. This guy has asked her to marry him in the past and she said no, but now she's saying yes and moving her daughter to a completely different country away from the only home and people she's ever known. Seems a bit extreme, Sylvia. Of course, none of the three men are happy about this arrangement and they don't plan on attending the wedding. After the girls have left, Peter suggest to his two friends that they have a party like the ones the shed to throw and it will be "their return to bachelorhood." They have the party and there are some funny moments such as when Jack asks a woman to dance, but tells her she'll have to keep up with him because he's "one hell of a dancer", but she turns out to be a much better dance and he sprains his leg trying to keep up with her. Also, Peter goes to change the music but accidentally puts in a tape that's Ernie singing "Rubber Duckie". Instead of stopping it immediately, he lets it play for at least a good minute. 

The guys realize they shouldn't even be at their own party and Michael says that when he spoke to Mary on the phone, she didn't sound happy. He thinks they need to be at the wedding for Mary, so he and Peter go to England, but Jack has a movie he's shooting in Brazil and he will come later. 

Edward's family is very wealthy and they're having their wedding at his family's huge estate (or maybe it was HIS estate, hell I don't know, I don't think we ever meet his parents). For some reason, they have a butler who's pushing 90 and he can barely walk. He's also a bit senile because after he takes Peter and Michael to their room, he goes to show them the water closet and goes in himself, then starts to use it without closing the door (Michael quickly closes it when Mary comes into the room), then walks out without any pants. 

Edward introduces Peter to Elspeth Lomax (Fiona Shaw, who I know best as Mrs. Dursley), who is the headmistress of the girls' school, the Pileforth Academy. According to her, they've "been turning out England's finest young ladies since the 18th century." Edward tells her that Peter likes her and that he asked to meet her. He tells her she needs to make it clear that she's attracted to him, but she can't come on too strongly. Obviously he's doing this because he knows that Peter and Sylvia have feelings for each other and he doesn't want them acting on those feelings, though dumping a woman on him that Peter clearly isn't interested in isn't going to work either. 

Elspeth had told Peter that Mary will eventually be attending her school when she's eleven or twelve and Peter wasn't crazy about that, but when he and Michael find out that Mary was being measured for a uniform, they know that Edward plans on sending her much, much sooner. Peter tells Sylvia his concerns, but Edward overhears this and tells them that Mary felt like she was being left out of the wedding preparations so she was being measured for a blazer. Huh? That makes no sense. She's not even going to wear a blazer at the wedding and it's not like a blazer fitted for her would fit anyone else. Of course, Sylvia believes this bulls*t story because she's an idiot. It's moment like these when I really miss Rebecca. Rebecca was an intelligent, attractive, independent woman without a stupid faux accent. 

Privately, Peter tells Sylvia she can't marry Edward and when Sylvia asks him why not, he tells her he can't marry him for Mary's sake. This does not please her because obviously she wants him to tell her that he loves her. If you think about it, she's just marrying Edward to spite Peter. 

By this time, Jack has arrived and he tells Peter that he knows how he feels about Sylvia and the needs to tell her that he does her and the only reason she's marrying Edward is because Peter didn't ask her first. The reason Peter has never acted on his feelings is because he feels weird about it since Sylvia and Jack have a child together, but Jack assures him they're just friends and they don't have any romantic feelings toward each other and he just wants Peter to be happy and encourages Peter to act on his feelings for Sylvia and blah, blah, blah. 

The night before the wedding, Peter decides he's going to sneak into Miss Lomax's office at Pileforth Academy to prove that Mary is being sent there later that year. While he's there, he hears Elspeth coming in, so he has to hide in this huge closet, but she finds him and thinks he has come to profess his love for her or something. She get pretty aggressive and chases him around the office, but he just straight up tells he's not interested in her like that and she easily accepts it. Peter has found proof that Mary will be attending the school soon. The audience already knows that because there was an earlier scene where Edward yells at Mary for goofing around with the butler and yells at her to go to room and adds that she'll learn manners when she's at boarding school.

I can't remember exactly what happens, but Peter isn't able to make it back to Edward's estate that night because his car breaks down and I think he spends the night in his car. The next morning, which is also the day of the wedding, he sees Elspeth in her car (probably on her way to the wedding) and flags her down and she gives him a ride. Wow, she sure takes rejection well! She thinks she knows a short cut, but her car ends up in a mud-filled pond and they end up taking one of those vehicles with a little car attached to it.

During the preparations for the wedding, Michael and Jack are doing everything they can to stall the ceremony until Peter can get there. Michael is distracting the vicar, sending him to the wrong church. 

The night before, before Peter had snuck out to Pileforth, he had told Mary that he loves her mom and Mary tells this to her mother as they're both in a horse carriage on their way to the wedding. After she says this, Sylvia just pats her head, but wouldn't she have more questions. Isn't this what she's been waiting for Peter to say? 

So their actual vicar may be on a wild goose chase, but that's okay because someone else has stepped in. It is Jack, the actor of the group, in old age make up and fake teeth and an old man voice. It is so obvious that it's Ted Danson in a disguise, but nobody knows it's him (well, except for Michael who's in on the ploy with him), not even Mary or Sylvia, who, also as an actor, would realize what was going on. Also, she's lived with this man for the last six years and doesn't know who it is? Mary, I can kind of understand because she's young. What's Sylvia's excuse? 

So Jack performs the ceremony, stalling at any moment he can, but there's still no sign of Peter. He gets to the moment where he asks if anyone can think of any reason why these two shouldn't be together and thinks he sees a woman in the back raising her hand, but its just the really tall hat she's wearing. Finally, he has to pronounce them husband and wife and Sylvia and Edward kiss, thinking they're both married. 

Now, Peter has arrived and proclaims his love for Sylvia. This movie actually reminded me Made of Honor (which I know came out many years after this one) when Patrick Dempsey is attending Michelle Monaghan's wedding in Scotland and he's in love with her, so he rides a horse to the church to stop the wedding. Heh, I wonder if that movie was inspired by this one. 

So Peter professes his love to Sylvia, but Edward is like, Too late pal, we're already married, and this is when Jack reveals he was the vicar, taking off his wig and old age make up and everyone is just so shocked! And since Jack isn't a real vicar, the marriage isn't official, so Edward and Sylvia are NOT married. Peter also proves that Edward was going to send Mary away to boarding school as soon as possible and Sylvia wants to make sure Peter wants to marry her because he loves her and not for Mary's sake and Peter assures her he loves her. I'm still not sure when this romance bloomed; I guess it was off screen when they were living together for the last five years and we're just supposed to believe they fell in love with each other. 

So then end up together and the movie ends with the song "Waiting For a Star to Fall", which, I'm not gonna lie, I totally love.

I presume that either Peter, Sylvia, and Mary moved out or Peter kicked out Jack and Michael. Heh, I feel just the tiniest bit sorry for Michael because now Jack is Marys' biological father and Peter is her stepfather and he's just...there. 

I heard they were supposed to make this into a trilogy with the third movie being called Three Men and a Bride with Mary getting married, but it never took off. I wonder who would have played Mary in that one since the young actress in this one never really did anything else as a teen or an adult. That was back in 2010 when they were talking about it, so I doubt it's ever going to happen. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

More Clues

Directors: Will Merrick and Nick Johnson
Cast: Storm Reid, Nia Long, Ken Leung, Joaquim de Almeida
Released: January 20, 2023

This movie is set in the same universe as Searching and I will forever be getting them mixed-up! They each could be called either title as they're both movies about people who are missing and loved ones searching for said missing person. In Searching, the missing person was a teenage girl and her dad was searching for her; in Missing, a teenage girl is the one searching for her missing mother. Both movies also follow the same format of being told through screens: laptops, iPhones, security cameras, etc. 

This movie is definitely better viewed at home where you can pause it rather than watching it in a movie theater. There's just so many texts, e-mails, posts, etc. that sometimes I had to pause the screen to read everything. Now some of them are important to the movie, and some of them are just fun little asides. When I watched the movie a second time, I was often pausing it to make sure I caught everything. 

It's going to be hard to write the movie without spoilers, so I will tell you when I get to anything spoiler-y, but it would probably be best to watch it before reading this if you don't want to be spoiled about anything! It is also not necessary to watch Searching to know what's going on. They're set in the same universe, but the stories have nothing to do with each other. 

Our protagonist is an eighteen-year-old girl named June (Storm Reid) who easily gets annoyed with her mom, Grace (Nia Long) and basically thinks she treats her like a baby. We get some backstory when the movie starts with a video clip from 2008 where we see a toddler-aged June with her father at "grandpa's house." We're barely five minutes into the movie, but right away, I'm like, I bet it's the dad! I bet he's behind it! Grace comes in the room just when young June notices her father's nose starts to bleed and he claims it's because of the altitude. The video stops and we see that someone is trimming it and making it into a file called "Last family trip". After seeing bookmarked pages such as "brain tumors and aneurysms" and "Helping Your Child Process Grief", it is clear that June's father is dead and there goes my theory about him being behind this whole thing. Obviously this is Grace's computer and we also see her delete her Google account and that they have moved from San Antonio to Los Angeles. 

Cut to the current day and we see teen June is watching a Netflix series called Unfiction (what a terrible name) about true crime cases that have been made into one-hour drama shows. We see she is watching episode 3, titled "The Disappearance of Margot Kim" which is a nice tie-in to Searching. When watching this the second time, I paused my own screen and saw that June had a site pulled up called "Fact vs. Fiction in Unficiton." One of the "facts" says "Real David Kim is [fire emoji]". (Uh, isn't that an opinion?) "Anyone else thinks he looks like that actor from Breakout (2020)?? So I thought this was a John Cho Easter egg, but when I looked at him filmography, he's not in anything from 2020 called Breakout, so I don't get it. The article also talks about how Debbie Massey is the actress who portrays Detective Rosemary Vick which is an obvious nod to Debra messing. Yeah, so it's a fun little moment of the movie if you've seen Searching.

There is some foreshadowing when June pauses the movie and we see a summary of the episode which reads "After his 16-year-old daughter goes missing, a desperate father breaks into her laptop to look for clues to find her" and this is what June will do when her mom goes missing. Perhaps she was inspired by this faux Netflix series?

But before her mom goes missing, the movie sets up a few things: Grace is always using Siri for everything and it annoys June greatly; Grace calls June "Junebug" and it annoys June greatly; and Grace is always asking June to clear her voicemails in case she needs to leave a message. 

Grace has a new boyfriend named Kevin (Ken Leung) and they're going to Cartagena, Colombia together. I don't know, if I were going away together for the first time with someone, I might make it a lot more local. June will be staying by herself, but the overprotective Grace has left a key with her friend and lawyer, Heather, and tells her daughter she's supposed to call Heather if she needs anything. We get some more foreshadowing when Grace tells June, "Do not open the door for strangers. Keep your location service turned on the entire time I'm away." After arguing with her mom about Heather being a "baby-sitter", Grace tells her, "You do not understand the sacrifices I made to get you the life that you have." You think its just a throw-away line, but it's actually not. When you watch the movie a second time, it makes you go, "Aha! I totally get why she said that now!" 

Because of the way this movie is shot, June's laptop camera is always on so we can always see footage if she's talking to anyone in the same room. I don't know how realistic this is, but I guess it's needed for the movie. We see Kevin is there the day of the trip and he tells Grace that he loves her mom and that he planned this trip for a "very special reason", but before he can say anything more, Grace appears and he stops talking. It is June 11th and they will be coming back on the 20th. June is supposed to pick them up at the airport.

During the next week, we get a montage of June partying with her friends and she receives texts and photos from her mom and Kevin. They are both using Kevin's phone because she tells June that her texts aren't going through. This is another thing that makes more sense when you're watching it the second time. This is defiantly a movie that benefits from watching a second time! 

The day before she's supposed to pick up her mom and Kevin at LAX, she has a party at her house. Is she that stupid or did she just forget? The movie explains she's sad because it's Fathers Day and she never got to know her dad and she's having a party to forget about her sad feelings, but you would think she wouldn't have the party at her own house. 

Of course her laptop camera is left on, so you're seeing the party. I still don't buy that people leave their cameras on for absolutely no reason, but they need to give us exposition and foreshadowing, like when we see one of the guests asking people if they've seen his Smartwatch. Believe it or not, this SmartWatch will come back later in the movie. 

Her alarm goes off at eleven the next day and when she signs on to her laptop, she gets a notification about picking up her mom at eleven. Oh, dear. She's already way late. And I don't even know how far the airport is from where she lives, but I'm guessing it's not a simple five-minute drive! And to make matters worse, her house is a MESS. Her mom is gonna be so pissed. And I'm sure from the nightmare June will soon endure, she would rather deal with a pissed-off mother than a missing one! 

June goes to TaskRabbit and hires somebody to clean up for her. She writes, "Key's under the mat. Please don't steal anything haha". I love that she added that "haha"; also I wouldn't trust some rand-o to clean my place, especially if I were gone. Luckily, her mom gave her some emergency money (probably not the kind of emergency she had in mind) so she's able to pay with that. 

When she arrives at the airport, her phone camera is on and thats where we're viewing her from, but c'mon, who leaves their camera on like that? She's gonna waste the battery. I once accidentally had my camera on and was so annoyed because my battery was way low.

She waits and waits, but there is no sign of her mom or Kevin. (Are you surprised?) She calls and texts her mom, but gets no replies. When she tries to FaceTime her, she gets a "FaceTime unavailable" message. She returns home, dejected, but I have to say she does some smart things. The first thing she does is call the hotel where her mom staying. The man she speaks with doesn't know any English, so June pulls up good old Google translate. I don't know how she could translate what he was saying. He does slow down when sh asks, "Que?" She must have a better ear for foreign languages than I do. I'm terrible with understanding a foreign language when it's spoken to me, but I can read it well enough. Of course, this is only if I know a fair amount of a foreign language and in this case, it's French for me. Heh, I was in Quebec City recently and when I was at the reception desk at the hotel, the first thing out of my mouth was, "Parlez-vous anglais?" But, anyway, through what the guy is telling her and Google translate, she finds out that her mom and Kevin left their suitcases at the hotel and nobody saw them leave. She's looking at the Google Maps Street View image of this hotel and sees cameras and ask if he can check them out, but in order to do that, she would need to go in person. He tells her the footage is reordered over every 48 hours. I don't know if this is an actual law, but you would think if this young girl's mom is missing and she's in another country, they could make an exception for her to check out the video (spoiler alert: even though June will eventually get someone to get the tape, it will have been too late by then). 

Even though she is upset, she seems to be pretty calm during this whole thing. She's not missing a beat, doing all the necessary things. She calls Heather who calls the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, but they're closed. They need to fill out a report and the embassy will call them tomorrow when they open. So June does that and the next morning she gets a call from the embassy. While on the phone, asking about the security tapes, she gets a reply back from the missing persons form she filled out saying they are not able to process it because she was missing a signature. That's gotta be so infuriating! 

At this point, they have six hours left before the security cameras override. Detective Park, the detective she's been talking to, tells her the "FBI doesn't have jurisdiction to investigate in Colombia, so it may take some time while [they] work with local authorities." This is another thing that's gotta be infuriating. A woman is missing and this hotel is the last known place her daughter knows where she was...they can't break the rules a little to review the tapes to see if they can find any clues to her whereabouts? 

The detective asks her questions about her mom like if she said or did anything unusual, but June can't think of anything. She tries to get into her mom's Google account, but the passwords she tries don't work. After updating her friend on what's going on, her friend suggests she check out live cameras in Cartagena. She flips through touristy spots and apparently you can go back and look at videos from a previous day. That seems kind of pointless to watch a "live" stream from days ago, but it will play a part in the movie later on. 

She decides to see if she can hire someone in Colombia so they can get the security footage and through GoNinja, which is Colombia's equivalent to TaskRabbit, she hires Javier (Joaquim de Almeida). She doesn't have much money left in her emergency fund and at $8 an hour, Javier is about the only one she can afford. He only has a rating of 2.8
out of five stars and one of the reviews we see made me laugh: "It took five hours to get my tacos, but Javi's a nice guy." 

So it was bugging me when we meet Javi because he looked so familiar. He reminded me of Geoffrey Rush and I remember thinking this of an actor awhile ago and when I looked at his IMDb, I go, "Ohhhh! It's Salazar!" If you watched season 3 of 24, you know what I'm talking about! 

Even though he doesn't do what she's asking of him, he agrees to help her. He gives her the idea to try to get into Kevin's phone since she can't get into her mom's phone. The only problem is how is she going to figure out Kevin's past word? Well, luckily, her friend has come over to help. She can imitate a good deep voice, so they call Kevin's professional website and she pretends to be him and act like "he" lost "his" password. She needs to verify a few thing such as Kevin's date of birth and his mother's maiden name, which is easy enough to find on his Facebook. They also need the name of his elementary school and that proves to be a bit more difficult since it's not on his Facebook profile (I mean, why would it be?) So June quickly googles the name of the town he grew up in (luckily he had that listed) and there are two elementary schools there, so she has a fifty/fifty shot of getting it right, and of course she does. 

Once June gets into Kevin's Google account, she looks at his location history and notices he has none for June 12, which I think is the day they left for Colombia. 

Javi call back to tell her the footage is gone. What a surprise! He talked to the cleaning lady who said she saw two American tourists leave on Friday. They were dressed up and she asks them where they were going and Kevin tells they're going to a hardware store. June looks up Kevins credit card history ( luckily he uses the same password for everything.) When she does that, we get an amusing and very relatable (at least for me!) moment where she hesitates for a second when she's supposed to select all the images with a bus in it. There's one square with the tiniest piece of the bus and she's not sure if she should select it or not. This scenario has happened to me so many times and it's so aggravating when you don't get it right and you have to do it again! 

The only thing on his bank statement from that day is he bought something from Getsemani, which Javi informs her is the name of an area of Cartagena, not a store. (Why wouldn't the store be listed? That seems weird, but I guess it's just for the plot of the movie). She finds all the hardware stores in this location and sends Javi a list of them for him to investigate. When he doe find it later, he will find out that Kevin had bought a lock. 

She next goes through Kevin's emails where she sees one about a security system camera being on its way. This will come back later, but right now she pays no mind to it. She does find an incriminating e-mail where a woman with the username "BunnyCakes310" sent a "sexy pic" to him and he replied with, "You're literally perfect. I'll call you tonight." Her friend gets the idea for June to check his blocked contacts since that's what they do on Unfiction. Honestly, what would they do without that show as a reference guide? 

She finds 27 blocked contacts and there are messages from those people where each one is calling him a different name and it seems he was scamming them and taking their money. After doing some research, she finds out that Kevin Lin is indeed his real name and he was sent to Eastham Federal Penitentiary for 3 years and was released last year. June mentions this to Detective Park who already was aware this. They don't think he's conncected because "he's never been involved in a disappearance" and he's using his real name. Uh, he was the last known person they know she was with and there's a first time for everything! At least he tells her they are looking for him. Park tells her that all the scams he did were before he went to prison and he's never violated his parole. 

June tries to get more information about "BunnyCakes" and goes to her Instagram (she uses the same username) and sees he real name is Rachel and she is an actress and a bartender. She sees a picture of the bar she works at and calls them, but they haven't seen her for two weeks. I would be a little concerned if I hadn't seen a co-worker in that long and they hadn't taken time off. The guy sounds more irritated than worried, but he admits it's not out of character for her. How the hell does this woman still have a job there if she's always bailing on them? Not surprisingly, June sees that Kevin has frequented this bar often. 

There's also another place he's frequented, but it just gives coordinates. She figures out it is five hours from her home and the address is in Mountain Springs, Nevada and is listed as a "private residence." She is able to see the owner is "Jim W." and finds the number to call it. June tells this Jim guy she's calling about Kevin Lin and is pretty accusatory when she asks him why Kevin was at his house. We find out that "it's a reentry program for ex-offenders" and he was paired with him. June puts "Jimmy" in her contacts. It really makes no sense why she would keep this random guy in her contacts, but it does come back later, so it's done for the plot. Also, I guess you want to cover all your bases and keep in contact with anyone who has had any contact with Kevin recently. 

June realizes she doesn't know how her mom met Kevin (that seems surprising to me), so she searches her mom's names in Kevin's emails and this is how she finds out that they met through a dating app called Luvly where you can send video messages or written messages to the other person. Video messages seem like to much work to me, but this is coming from someone who hardly ever uses FaceTime. You have to make sure you look attractive, you might have to do several takes until you get your message just right, etc. But I get why they did it for the movie: it's just more cinematic for one thing. There are some long messages they leave for each other and having to read them wouldn't be the best way to get that across to the audience. June is able to read and watch all the videos they sent to each other. If I had a single parent, I sure wouldn't want to read/watch videos they were exchanging with someone they met on a dating site. That has got to be the most awkward thing. Luckily nothing is too scarring or scandalous! She sees this first started three months ago. Kevin sent her a video message asking who her favorite  '80s band is on 10/23, then sends her a "just checking in" text on 10/25, and sends another video on 10/29 and admits a third message is lame. He sure is persistent! She does eventually send a message back and they strike up a conversation. 

June goes through their messages. They start off light, but get serious as Grace tells him how difficult it can be to a mother and how she worries about June. We see a text in March where Grace asks if she can call Kevin because there's sonething she wants to talk about with him. The next day, we see a text where she tells him "thanks for listening last night" and she's "only ever told one other person about [her] past." and "this has to stay between [them]". Now this possibly couldn't have anything to do with her mysterious disappearance! Even though we have no idea (at this point) what she told him, it doesn't seem like the smartest idea to tell someone you just met something that's obviously very important. But I guess they're just trying to convey that she trusts him.

We see a video message from Kevin telling her about his past, but June already knows about that.

June looks up romantic destinations in Cartagena and finds the Walled City Love Lock Bridge which would make sense with the lock Kevin bought. She tells Javi about it and he finds a lock with their initials on it. He seems to find it in five seconds, but there's no way it was quick because there must be thousands of locks on the bridge. Wasn't this an Amazing Race task one season where someone from each team had to find a specific lock? 

June finds the bridge's camera from the day her mom and Kevin were there. I still don't understand why they would keep that, but again, we need it for the movie. She sees Kevin propose to her mom on the bridge. If anyone proposed to me on a crowded bridge full of tourists, I would be so pissed. But everyone around them is clapping. I've never seen a public proposal (thank God), but I honestly could care less about two people I've never met getting engaged. 

We get a huge lead when Agent Park calls June to tell her they found footage of her mom and Kevin being kidnapped in broad daylight by masked men who put them into a white van. Park thinks they just want money because they "flagged a withdrawal from [Grace's] bank to an encrypted third party account." Who kidnaps somebody in broad daylight? Though this is South America, I suppose. They received this footage from "an anonymous source." 

Something tells June to go back to look at all the pictures Kevin's sent her and while scrolling through them, she notices she never actually sees her mom's face. All the photos are live, so when she activates ones of them, she sees the woman's face and it is definitely not her mom, but rather Rachel Page's (aka BunnyCake) face. She figures Kevin hired Rachel to impersonate her mom, but why? 

The whole movies shifts and now the FBI believes Grace never left L.A. They think that whatever happened, happened on the drive to LAX. Kevin and Grace took an Uber to the airport, but Uber has no record of the trip and the car was using stolen plates. They're trying to find Kevin in Colombia because they know he's the one person who knows what's going on.

Rachel is found and she tells journalists that Kevin told her it was a reality show shot on an iPhone. (Yeah this all happens really quickly!) She says after the "kidnapping" scene she knew something was up, so she made a run for it. Uh, smart move! She cooperates with police and tells them when and where Kevin picked her up and when they check traffic cameras, they see her getting in the car, but Grace wasn't there. 

Detective Park asks June if her mom has gone by any other names, but she tells him no. This is asked because it's been found out that Grace Allen is an alias and that her "real identity lies locked behind a court-ordered seal." June asks Heather (remember, she's her mom's lawyer) if she can do anything, but Heather tells her it would "take at least a week to get a judge to lift it" and adds that she knew nothing about this either. 

This story is all over social media and everyone thinks that Grace staged this and ran away, making June upset and she goes on a rampage of down voting comments or reporting them. I don't even know why she's wasting her time reading these comments, but it's probably just supposed to represent, like no more than ten minutes (hopefully!) 

She does some more sleuthing and discovers through Kevin's google history that he downloaded an encrypted text message program that have the messages disappear after they have been read. I like how the movie takes it time with June finding it, it does't happen in two seconds. She downloads it and types in Kevin's email and password, but the password doesn't work, but all she has to do is reset it. She sees that a message has been sent ten hours ago: "What did you tell June?" There is a reply from "NewUser": "I promise I didn't tell her anything. She still does't know."  

June types a message to NewUser, "Who is this?", but before she sends it, she changes her mind and types, "Are you home?" Smart move since she's on Kevin's log-in and that would raise red flags. She gets a reply that says, "Still at work. Is something wrong?" June, as Kevin, tells the person that "he" lost "his" phone and needs the number. After June gets the number, she cross references it and -plot twist - the number matches the lawyer's! At first, I was sure the lawyer was behind it, but she's kind of the equivalent of the Debra Messing character from Searching and I don't think they would have the same archetype be the culprit. Also, we will find out it was definitely not Heather when June sneaks into her office (using the SmartWatch left at her party) to be the camera for the audience. While there, she finds there are files being deleted from the computer, and, most disturbing of all, she finds Heather's body. She learns from the detective that "based on the autopsy", Heather was killed minutes before she arrived. They sure do move fast in this movie! 

We see the camera pan back and now somebody is watching June on THEIR computer (creepy!) and all of her files she has up are on their computer, so somehow this unknown mystery person has a way of hacking into her account The unknown person gets a message from Kevin telling the mystery person (well to us, I'm pretty sure Kevin knows who he's communicating with!) that he needs help getting out of Colombia and that he "planned all of this just so no one would suspect YOU" and "you couldn't have done this without me." Okay, so now it's confirmed that Kevin was in on this whole thing from the start. The mystery person don't care! 

Kevin won't be long for our story as June watches live footage of the police capturing him in Colombia. Well, shooting him dead would be more accurate because that's what happens, even though he puts his hands up in surrender, so I don't know why they shot him. 

Now that the last hope for finding Grace alive has faded, June is inconsolable, listening to voicemails from her mom as she cries. She realizes that her mom (as always) calls her "Junebug" at the start of every message and tries her mom's Google password again, this time with "Junebug" and it works. You think she would have tried that already because she was aware that her mom always calls her that, even though she hates it. I mean, it's honestly kind of dumb she didn't think of it before. 

She sees her mom has one blocked user and it's from one year ago with a message titled, "Found you Grace". When June clicks to read it, the message says, "She deserves to know." She brings up Kevin's Google account and notices he also has had contact with this same person who's email is "VMyQe12" - that's gotta be the worst email in history, right? Anyway, she notices that the security cameras she saw from Kevin's email and that he bought the cameras for this person. She signs onto the site and sees the different angles of the security camera set up around some random house in the middle of nowhere, it seems. She recognizes a room as the one from the last video of her and her dad before he died.

This might be a good time to put up a spoiler waring. I would definitely recommend to watch the movie before reading any of this, but this is when we're about to go into huge spoiler territory so read at your own risk. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!!!

At this moment "Jimmy" makes another appearance when he calls June, asking her if she's safe and if all the doors are locked. He tells her there's a lot to explain, but he doesn't know if anybody is listening and he doesn't know who to trust. This should be sending up huge red flags for her. She hears a car door slam and on the ring motion detector, she sees Jimmy (who told her it was him) coming up to her door. How the hell did he get there so fast? She tells him she's going to call the police, but he uncover his head and reveals it's...wait for it...her dad. I should mention that her dad's name is James, so he's just going by a nickname of his own name. This guy is not the most stealthy. 

It was at this moment that I knew he was behind this whole thing and I was kicking myself for believing he was actually dead this whole time! Remember, when I first saw him in the first five minutes of the movie, I thought he was the one behind the whole thing, but after the movie told us he was dead, I just sort of accepted it, but all along I was right on who did it all along! 

June still isn't sure if she should open the door. When I watched this movie a second time, Grace's command about not opening the door to strangers stuck out to me. I'm internally willing June to NOT open the door, but technically, this man is not a stranger to June as it is her own father, but she hasn't seen him since she was three or four, so how does she know if she can really trust him? (Spoiler alert (even though I've already put up the spoiler warning): she can't!) 

From behind the door, he tells her she deserves to know what happened and this prompts her to open the door. Maybe she should have gotten a little more information before she let him in? But once he's inside, he tells her his side of the story: that when she was little, he and her mom fought all the time and she never let him take care of June. We also find out her real name is Sarah, so that explains her identity being locked behind a court-ordered seal. He tells June that she doesn't know what her mother is "capable of" and that "she lied to a judge to have [him] put in prison." He then makes the stupid mistake of revealing that he was in Eastham for 12 years and June is quick to put the pieces together and realizes that's where he met Kevin and she knows something fishy is going on. I do wonder if he hadn't mentioned where he was in prison, if she would have believed him. I would hope not! Even though he is her father, she doesn't really know him and shouldn't trust him over her mother. Yes, obviously her mother lied to her about him being dead, but we will soon get the explanation. 

When June questions him being in Eastham, this is when he realizes he's made a mistake. Her FaceTime chimes a few seconds later and June can see it's her friend calling. They both pause for a a few seconds, then she runs to accept the call, but he is quicker and declines. He then takes a struggling June to his car and basically kidnaps her. 

Now we get the real story: her dad was abusive to her mom and she was looking for ways to leave him. He was also a drug user and that was the reason for his bloody nose in the video. Grace found hard-core drugs in the closet and reported them to the police and that's how he ended up in prison. He threatens Grace that he will find her and pretty much implies that he will kill her. This is how Heather, who we find out is with domestic violence and family law, becomes involved in her case and is pretty much the only one who knows Grace's real backstory. As we know, Grace is her new identity and she and her daughter move states as a result of this. There are hints of Grace wanting to tell June the truth, but she can never seem to get through to her daughter. Also, that must have been what she told Kevin (who it turns out she couldn't trust at all!) over the phone while they were talking on that dating app.

So June ends up tied up in a chair in a room that she recognizes as the one from the last video of her and her dad. Obviously, we're watching everything through the security cameras that are set up around this property. James goes to a shed, where, not surprisingly, Grace is being held. After finding out he has June, she hits him with something (I think she was restrained, but was able to get free) and runs to the house where she finds June and unties her. She tells June to call the police but June says her phone is at home (which makes sense...don't think her kidnapper would allow her to have a phone!) She does still have her Apple Watch and uses it to contact Javi. (Random sidetone: I didn't capitalize  either letter of "Apple Watch" and it automatically did it for me, of course it did cause I'm writing this on a MacBook!...also didn't capitalize MacBook and it automatically did it for me.) She asks Javi to go on her Instagram and find the picture of her and her dad when she was younger that was taken outside the house. He repeats the house numbers for her when she asks him for them. Just as she's about to tell him to call the police, the line is disconnected. Her dad comes in the room, asking her if she made any calls, but she denies doing so. He knows she has a watch because he saw her using it on the monitor. He wants June to go with him, but Grace begs him not to take her. After a few more attempts of this and Grace still getting in his way to take their daughter, he shoots her in the leg and she collapses again a wall, breaking a mirror. While James grabs June and starts restraining her, Grace gets up and stabs him in the neck with a piece of broken glass. He manages to stagger out of the room, but dies while trying to type "hospital nearby" at his computer. 

I wonder what his plan was. I assume he planned to take June, hoping she would believe his story about her mom being the bad guy in the story he told her and make her believe that her mom left her while he killed her, but once June realized he was behind her mother's abduction, was he going to kill both of them? 

I guess the message to call 911 didn't get across to Javi and June gets the idea to look into the camera (which she knows is spying on her own computer at home, where her phone is right next to) and says, "Siri, call 911". The inspiration comes from her mother who uses Siri for everything. The police come and they are rescued and June and her mother have a much better relationship now. 

Their story is made into an episode for Unfiction and there's a cute moment where Grace tells June that she has friended Javi on Facebook.