Double Feature

April 2006 - Last month, if you recall, I came clean about my crush on Greg Kinnear. Well, there's room for more than one man in my life. So, move over Greg and make way for Michael Keaton. I mean, who doesn't love the original stay-at-home dad? And, he looks pretty good in a cape, too. This month, we'll take a look at two of Keaton's other films.

In 1994's The Paper, directed by Ron Howard, Keaton plays Henry Hackett, metro editor of The New York Sun. The Sun is a tabloid newspaper that favors splashy headlines like "Gotcha!" Marisa Tomei is Hackett's wife, a former reporter at the paper, who's very, very pregnant. Glenn Close is the paper's managing editor and Robert Duvall plays some kind of other editor type.

There are lots of subplots going on here concerning the personal lives of the characters. But, the main plot centers around the paper's coverage of a news story. Two white men have been found shot to death in a black neighborhood. It may be retaliation for a shooting the day before, but when police arrest two black teens for the crime, scanner chatter has even the cops saying the bust is bogus.

On this busy news day, Hackett happens to have an interview at a rival newspaper. While there, he sneaks a look at some notes on the editor's desk. Based on this information and on the scanner chatter, Hackett is convinced the teens are being railroaded. Now all he has to do is get the story before the paper goes to print.

Overall review: Ehhh, it was OK. The movie is about 1:45 long. I was with it for about the first 1:15. After that, I felt it went over the top so much that it jumped the shark.

The Paper is rated R. You should be able to find it on DVD.

Between Batman and Batman Returns, Keaton found time to star in One Good Cop, a 1991 drama which also features Rene Russo, Anthony LaPaglia and a very young Benjamin Bratt.

Keaton plays Artie Lewis, an NYPD detective married to Rene Russo. LaPaglia is his partner, Steve, a widower with three young daughters. One day, during a standoff with a drug fiend, Steve is killed. Artie becomes legal guardian to his three daughters and vows to take down the drug kingpin he blames for Steve's death.

Overall review: Ehhh, it was OK. Seems to me that I saw this movie several years ago and liked it. But, seeing it again, I'm not so impressed. It's pretty good for about the first 20 minutes, up until Steve dies. After that, the movie can't decide whether it wants to be a story about vengeance or a story about a cop raising his partner's kids. It tries to be both and it doesn't work.

One Good Cop is rated R. It should also be available on DVD.