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Cloud 9 (2006)

In Reviews on February 16, 2012 at 12:14 am

Little known fact, Burt Reynolds has a sailor costume written into each and every contract.

One of the major talking points of the buzz surrounding Boogie Nights upon release was that Paul Thomas Anderson had pulled Burt Reynolds from his career doldrums and shown the world that, yes, Burt was still alive. When you actually look at the arc of Burt’s career, though, it looks a little more like Anderson fucked it forever. Sure, Reynolds was no longer the A-list star he had once been, but few 60-year-olds are. He’d been racking up credits in critically-acclaimed indies (Citizen Ruth), television shows that have yet to enter the pop-cultural subconscious (Evening Shade) and critically-panned, though mainstream Hollywood films (Striptease, Bean). Compare this stagnating-though-decent output with everything that came after it: when the highest profile roles you can get are a supporting role in a remake of your own movie and playing Boss Hogg in a highly-inessential Dukes of Hazzard movie, it looks more like life-support than a resurrection.

It’s in this period that one predictably finds the most inexplicable work of Burt’s career. From last week’s incomprehensible Not Another Not Another Movie to the Uwe Boll juggernaut In the Name of the King, Burt’s post-1997 career offers some real gems but a curious absence of real Burt movies, ones where he plays swaggering macho men who are equal parts Casanova and rapscallion. As its Wikipedia entry helpfully points out, however, Cloud 9 happens to be ‘the last comedy in which Reynolds reprised and updated his role as the charming rascal made legendary in films like The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit.’ Those who thought that Burt has been reduced to the wheezing, sputtering King of In the Name of the King can finally rejoice! Also important to mention that, for all intents and purposes, Cloud 9 is a movie about strippers playing beach volleyball. With Burt Reynolds in it. Read the rest of this entry »