I’ve been seesawing with myself on Street Kings since… well, since I was sitting in the screening room watching it. It’s not an easy movie to recommend — I can’t honestly be totally gung-ho on it — but it’s not an easy movie to dismiss, either.
So, Go’s three interconnected tales follow a diverse group of Los Angeles twentysomethings as their lives bang up against one another in a scenario that’s the 90s in a nutshell, from the Xer point of view: sex and danger that’s both exciting and terrifying (the clever script uses the word ‘go’ both in the imperative, let’s-get-out-of-here sense and also in the imperative, orgasmic sense, as a synonym for ‘come’). And is if to demonstrate typical Xer cynicism, it all happens while holly jolly Christmas passes by practically unnoticed in the background.
I was not looking forward to watching Paulie, expecting the usual sitcomish antics that seem to pass for family viewing these days, so I was delighted to find an old-fashioned — in the best way — kind of movie. Disney used to make movies like this: uncynical but with a bit of an edge, wholesome without making you want to gag, sweet without sending you into a diabetic coma. Before Disney’s live action movies sunk to the level of a UPN sitcom, you could count on family films like Paulie (a Dreamworks release) to allow the bad guy (here, the lab director played by Bruce Davison) to be redeemed simply by witnessing an unselfish act, and to let you bawl your eyes out without feeling silly as only sentiment animal stories can.