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"You read 'Treasure Island,' didn't ya?"




TODAY'S RETRO-REVIEW: 1987's "Hot Pursuit," starring the always lovable John Cusack, who sandwiched this flick between 1986's subpar "One Crazy Summer" and signature performances in 1988's "Eight Men Out" and "Tapeheads." Written and directed by Steven Lisberger, who is credited for the story on 1982's "Tron."

THE PLOT: Prep school student Danny (Cusack) is forced to miss spring break with his girlfriend Lori (Wendy Gazelle) to make up a chemistry test. When his teacher lets him off the hook, Danny races to the Caribbean to catch up to Lori and her family, who are in more danger than anyone could have imagined.

MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: Robert Loggia as the salty sailor "Mac," who kidnaps the drunken and despondent Cusack and then helps him on his quest.

SURELY YOU CAN'T FORGET: Ben Stiller makes his feature film debut in "Hot Pursuit" as the deckhand turned pirate. And he's joined for the first time by his father, Jerry Stiller.

THE TUNES: No soundtrack was released -- probably because there are only two songs in the movie: "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by The Nylons and "Lessons in Love" by Level 42.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAID: "From its slow, painful start to its ridiculous, not to mention improbable, ending, Hot Pursuit is tortuously boring." -- Terri Clark, Apollo Movie Guide.

WHY WE LOVE IT ANYWAY: He may not have the greatest dialog to work with, but Cusack's physical comedy is at its very best in "Hot Pursuit." And despite the ups and downs, it's nowhere near the lows of "Must Love Dogs" or "America's Sweethearts" either. Loyal female fans will still feel their hearts flutter when John is on the screen, while guys will enjoy the gymnastic prowess of actress Wendy Gazelle (whose other notable screen appearances were in "The Net" and "The In Crowd.")


5. "The name is Dan. They call me ... Mr. Determined."

4. "Row 10, Seat C. Don't you want to see where you were conceived?"

3.  "Don't forget the first rule of sailing: Never p--s into the wind."

2. "Some of us drink from the fountain of knowledge. Others gargle."

1. "You read 'Treasure Island,' didn't you? ... You'll do."

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:32pm]


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