Episode #70: Company Business
Updated: Sep 11
Listen to Episode 70 of the Podcast here while you enjoy the show notes.
SUMMARY - In Company Business, former CIA Agent Sam Boyd (played by Gene Hackman) is brought back in to handle one last job. He’s being asked to orchestrate a prisoner exchange that would send Pyotr Grushenko (played by Mikhail Baryshnikov) back to Russia and bring an American agent home. During the hand-off, Sam notices something is terribly wrong and escapes with Pyotr. Now the two are on the run and trying to elude both countries.
Screenplay by Nicholas Meyer; Directed by Nicholas Meyer, and released on September 6, 1991.
This is intended to be something of a spy comedy. It starts off with an espionage heist and chase.
Then the next scene is the big reveal to show it was for a cosmetic company. Clever, but not paced well enough to be funny.
Getting into the main thread, the spy stuff is explained well enough but it's not hard to figure out that the guy in the shadows is likely not their friend.
The chemistry between the two leads is not established very well and they don't play off each other all that much.
Learning that the movie went into production without a finished script explains a lot.
The story is smart, but it's boring. Even though events happen pretty quickly, the movie drags.
There's plenty of style in the directing.
And interesting places to go.
But what they are doing is rarely that fascinating. It's the typical stuff that happens when you see people in movies on the run.
There are a couple gun fights and one explosion to add to the action.
The political references largely went over our heads as they expect the viewer to be up to date on the current events of the day and only allude to things.
The final, climactic scene at the Eiffel Tower wasn't bad, but it was too little, too late and the abrupt stop in the restaurant afterwards had us scratching our heads a bit.
Awards Talk: None to speak of this time.
TRUE CRIME & POP CULTURE
This week, for our true crime segment we talk about serial killer Donald Henry “Pee Wee” Gaskins who was executed by electric chair on this day. There's a lot that we do not cover, so here are a couple of resources if you want to know more.
Moving on to TV, here's what you may have been watching that day, since virtually no one went to see this.
Lastly, for music, here are your Billboard 100 Bottom 5 songs as of September 7, 1991
100. Love on A Rooftop - Desmond Child
99. I Wanna Sex You Up - Color Me Badd
98. Piece of My Heart - Tara Kemp
97. I Wonder Why - Curtis Stigers
96. Wishing On The Same Star - Keedy
RANKINGS & RATINGS
Nikki 1-5 star scale - 2 out of 5
Jon 0-4 star scale - 1 out of 4
Would you watch it again? - The production values and directing were solid, but when the movie starts production without a finished script, you get a really boring story that doesn't take advantage of the great locations and set pieces, so no. We will move on to other business.
If you want to watch Company Business, as of this recording in June 2022, it’s available on HBO Max, Digital Rental, VHS, DVD. Check your local listings.
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