“You have wisdom. You have kindness. There is depth here. It’s obvious you have much to offer a man. And yet, you’re single. So we were all wondering: What are your real feelings on the smash-hit 1987 blockbuster movie From the Hip with Judd Nelson?”
WELL, LET ME TELL YOU.
I am SO happy you all wanted to hear my review of this film! Let’s get lost in this world together. Alright, so we already know this movie’s going to be good. Why? Because cursive font means “classy film”. It’s the Law.
Speaking of the Law, Judd Nelson plays a Boston defense lawyer in this movie. And is he ever the scamp! And his name is Stormy Weathers. And you’re supposed to believe all that, just like you’re supposed to believe that his Boston apartment isn’t a studio set with fake birds.
Before we go any further, I’ll warn you now: when it comes to my film reviews, you won’t necessarily be getting a concise recap of the narrative. I’m more about character. Character is story, too, people. Hey! Look at that giant red bird floating in the corner! I’ll bet he has a story, too.
But not today. Today we focus on Stormy.
Stormy lives with his girlfriend Jo Ann, played by Elizabeth Perkins. They have a great rapport because she is asleep/unconscious most of the time. Also, sometimes Stormy pours icewater on her and leaves.
And now it’s off to work!
For the first half of the movie, Stormy argues his first big case in court with a Muppet and Mr. Hand from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Stormy wins big and gets famous. And it turns out he staged the whole trial with the prosecutor! So they’d both get famous! And then there’s a celebration scene that I can’t deal with very well.
So…yeah. Let’s all collectively forget that. Anyway, Stormy’s a big deal, now. But his stuffy law firm resents his zany antics. So they give him their toughest, most unwinnable case ever. And whatever, can we please get to the point of why I am reviewing this?
John Hurt. Stormy Weathers has to defend JOHN HURT, people. A man who in 5 seconds, takes ownership of an entire film by simply showing us the BACK OF HIS HEAD.
Stormy must defend John Hurt (playing a professor named Douglas Benoit, but whatever, it’s John Hurt and that’s what I’m calling him) in a murder trial. Not good for Stormy because, A) He knows that he basically faked his way through the other trial and is now in way over his head and B) Um, it’s John Hurt.
And if you’ve got John Hurt in a murder mystery…well… chances are that he probably did kill that prostitute mistress with a hammer. So yeah. I’m thinking “mystery solved” here.
Or is it?
I mean, he says he didn’t do it. And maybe he’s just misunderstood and was simply at the scene of the crime with the murder weapon due to ironic happenstance. And beyond that aloof, inscrutable countenance lies a wounded, gentle spirit that…um…
Yeah, he did it.
Well, this sure is a pickle for Stormy!
So even though Stormy suspects what we all know, he’s taking John Hurt’s case. Because he has no choice. But he kinda does. Because he loves the limelight. So he doesn’t want to, but will. We learn this all in yet another scene where he talks to Jo Ann, who’s passed out and therefore supportive.
On to the trial!
Stormy makes his opening statement to the jury by bashing a hammer on a desk and running at them with the hammer. Then he tells us that this is exactly what John Hurt did not do when he didn’t kill someone.
You know, I’ll bet Matlock wouldn’t conduct himself in this way. Matlock would just tell the jury a nice story about a rainstorm or bass fishing or something. And then maybe John Hurt would just apologize and confess. But this is reality so you’re gonna have to suck it up and deal, Audience!
Well, we knew this was coming: In the privacy of Stormy’s office, John Hurt delivers a truly creepy speech that’s basically a thinly veiled confession of how he killed and killed again. But he doesn’t confess outright. Oh, John Hurt! That is so You! I can’t stay mad at him. Maybe I should call him…
And now, even Stormy can’t deny John Hurt did it because John Hurt has an evil red gel light on his face.
So now what?
I’ll tell you what. It’s time for this!
That’s right. John Hurt has decided to take a break from being evil and whisk us off to a picnic wearing this jaunty chapeau. Why yes, we’d love to!
Oh, great. Stormy Buzzkill’s back to tell John Hurt not to testify. But John Hurt is SO going to testify. And it’s on now, because John Hurt knows that Stormy’s going try to take him down. Even though Stormy won’t say that. And Stormy knows that John Hurt knows that Stormy knows he killed people and WE ALL KNEW THAT ALREADY AND THE PICNIC IS RUINED. THANKS.
Fine. WHATEVER. And now, back to court for the final showdown.
Stormy’s no match for John Hurt, who plays all sympathetic and contrite on the stand. The more Stormy grills him, the more John Hurt looks like a gentle rabbit wearing a tweed suit with elbow patches. Then John Hurt reminds the jury that he was the star of Jim Henson’s delightful series The Storyteller. Well, who didn’t love that series? There’s no way they’ll convict him, now. Looks like John Hurt is going to get away with the crime. Of being fantastic.
What’s happening? A dramatic turnaround is what’s happening! Stormy, in a sneaky attempt to get John Hurt to confess, tells the jury VERY LOUDLY that his client could have never commited the crime….because he’s weak, pathetic, and impotent! Daaaang.
Then, in a moment of outrageous and misguided cruelty, Stormy crosses the line and crazily declares Jim Henson’s The Storyteller to be not only vastly overrated, but also slow in parts. And that the series didn’t actually come out until a year after this film.
And that is IT. John Hurt cannot let this stand. He CANNOT!
Then Martin Short shows up. Oh wait, no, it’s John Hurt grabbing the murder weapon! Hey, who left that lying around? Hey, where’s the script supervisor- oh wait! I get it! Dude! Wait! You’re being set up!!!! Stormy wants you to grab that hammer to show that you’re capable of-
Well, this is awkward.
And now, for a short break. WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK!
I’m sorry for interrupting this recap, but does anyone know where I can get a Lambchop Puppet in LA?
I want to go as Shari Lewis for Halloween, but of course I thought of the idea last minute, and instead of ordering one online like a normal person, I’m going to have to make one out of an old rag. I’m so annoyed with myself. Anyway, if anyone has a lambchop puppet, lemme know! Thanks!
And we’re back….
But ladies, come on. You know we’re all thinking what that woman on the lower right is thinking. “I can change him. With enough love, I can rescue him from his inner chaos. And we’ll fall in love and everything will be OK!” Write me from jail, John Hurt! Ok? Or…I can write you…if you want…
I don’t think he hears me.
Then his girlfriend shows up and hires him for a case her company wants to file against the government! All while she’s asleep.
So what have we learned here? Well, we’ve learned that winning is losing, that hats are fun, and that John Hurt is awesome. And that Jim Henson’s The Storyteller is awesome. And in a twist of irony, I think I’ve also inadvertantly answered your original question as to why I’m still single. I think I’ve unfortunately answered the question in too many ways to count.
To think, all this time I was trying to deflect that question! With a lengthy review of From the Hip. Which, by the way, I quite enjoyed. How’s all that for a confession? The Defense Mechanism rests.
PS: Hey, everybody! Don’t worry about my costume! As I was writing this, I ordered a Lambchop puppet onlline and it’s on it’s way in overnight mail! It’s all gonna be OK.
PPS: Also, THIS guy was in the movie.
I could have spent the whole review talking about his awesome perm, but I didn’t. You have to give me credit for that. Hello? Anyone still here?