Netflix Roulette!

09 Aug

You guys — you know what we haven’t done for a while? NETFLIX ROULETTE

Full disclosure: I may have started this when I housesat for my parents a month ago, and now I’m finishing it at the house of someone else I’m housesitting for. So basically, if you ask me to housesit, and you have Netflix on either a Roku, AppleTV, or a laptop with a bigger screen than my netbook and also more mobile than my laptop, I’m gonna play Netflix Roulette.

Did y’all know that there’s an actual app in the GooglePlay Store called “Netflix Roulette?  And that it’s completely free?  And that I’m COMPLETELY PISSED that I did not copyright that term when I had the chance?

ANYWAY, this is how this is going to work:

– I’m going to open up the Netflix Roulette app on my phone.
– Since this is the movie blog, I’m going to eliminate the TV show selections.
– Because this is “roulette,” I am not limiting myself to a genre. EVERYTHING IS FAIR GAME. EH. VER. REE. THING.

Here we go …




Okay, good to know – the Netflix Roulette app includes everything, not just streaming movies. Dammit.

So to add to the above criteria:
– The first movie that is available to stream will be the movie that I watch.

NOW here we go …


When Chicago mob kingpin Stefan needs a witness eliminated, Lou volunteers for one last big job so that he can retire. The task becomes complicated, however, when younger thugs resent Lou’s interference.

If I find out that a Chicago Overcoat is ANYTHING like a Columbian Necktie, I am going to be SO PISSED OFF.

This movie takes place in Chicago,1986. So there had better be some good references in this thing. The first place we see is – WAIT, IS THIS IN BLACK AND WHITE? The poster’s in color — why is the movie in black and white?! Goddammit!

OKAY, so we open in a film noir strip club… great. (I’d feel bad about using my friend’s Netflix to watch this, but  … I mean, I’m watching Orange is the New Black right now, so I figure everything’s off the table at this point.) One woman gyrates in front of a smoking man (remember – this is 1986), and she takes the cigarette from his mouth, takes a drag, and then blows the smoke right back in his face. Note From the Future: That is the oldest stripper I’ve ever seen. And look, he’s not exactly sitting at the edge of the bar – they’re like, a foot away from each other. He passes her a bill (I was too busy laughing to catch the denomination) and then he gets a lap dance. So, a ten, then? (Remember – this is 1986.)  Note From the Future: She’s also the most underfed stripper I’ve ever seen. Seriously, honey, use that lap dance money for a sandwich; coke doesn’t put any meat on your bones.  

A soulful sax plays in the background while the nameless dude snorts a line of coke in the bathroom. OH RIGHT THIS IS WHY I WAS LAUGHING there’s this dude, sitting in a booth? And he’s wearing a fedora and he’s got the collar of his trenchcoat popped up high and his face is covered? He looks so out of place here. But not in the bathroom, which is where Faceless Dude sneaks up on Cokehead and shoots him in the back.

Oh, great – the blood is red. Meaning they’re going to attempt to be all fancy with the cinematography. Trenchcoat Guy walks out, and the screen fades to red, if that’s possible. Trenchcoat Guy looks familiar.

When the video comes back in, apparently the black and white was just a flashback. OH THANK GOD, I don’t know if I could have taken a Sin City knockoff seriously. Now we meet (I’m assuming) Old Trenchcoat Guy, who’s busy polishing his gun (not a euphemism) and collecting on debts or something. Oh, now he’s winding his watch. That might be a metaphor.

There’s a knock on the door, and before he answers it, he hides the money he collected in a coat in his closet. His … daughter? granddaughter? seems too old to be a granddaughter – anyway, a female person enters carrying a bag of groceries. Apparently she tried to get him to get her out of a ticket, but she can’t get her license back until she sees a judge. Then she complains about taking the bus and working two jobs, and that her son gets shuffled around from latchkey house to latchkey house. Old Trenchcoat Guy (because no one’s been named, yet!) asks her, “Why didn’t you ask me?” So apparently Old Trenchcoat Guy is going to be babysitting soon.

Oh, apparently the woman is Trenchcoat Guy’s daughter. She divorced some dude from the Cicero crew. CICERO?

chicago cicero

Sorry – I just had to watch “Cell Block Tango.” I mean, I didn’t do it – but if I’d done it, how could you tell me that I was wrong?

OKAY so anyway, Overcoat says something about how in this life, you’ve got one family, then your job becomes your family, then another family shows up, and then it cuts to jail and wait, wasn’t I just watching this? Is there a men’s version of the Cell Block Tango? Wait, these are old men in jail. Is there a hot young male criminal version of the Cell Block Tango, perhaps starring a certain handless pirate captain who stars on Once Upon a Time?

Criminal is talking to Lawyer, and apparently Criminal wants to stand trial, but if he loses, he could stay in jail for 25 years to life. Criminal insinuates to Lawyer that he’s going to take care of his witnesses, maybe? It’s all very innuendo-ey and coy, and they are essentially trying extremely too hard to be all tough guy mafia don. Oh, but apparently his name is Stefano! THANK YOU FOR NAMING SOMEONE, MOVIE!

Ew – beer does not wash down Oreos well.

Overcoat goes into an Italian restaurant – as mafia dons do – and apparently now in his old age, he’s playing second fiddle to some dude. I’m not sure who, but Overcoat is clearly the oldest guy in the room. Overcoat complains that he was late because of traffic, and Second Fiddle says, “Only two seasons in this fucking city: winter and construction.” HEY THAT’S MAINE’S LINE.

Some dude who is either Bobby Baccala or Big Pussy from The Sopranos is wearing a tie and conducting bizness. Wait, which one was he? (browses the imdb.) Wait, he was never on The Sopranos? Then where do I know him from? HOLY SHIT he was on Ed! Am I the only one who remembers that show?

Lawyer has met up with Kenny from Ed and wants to have three people killed for $80,000. Jeez, I’m not a contract killer and even I know that’s low. Kenny from Ed would love to help Lawyer out, but he doesn’t have anyone who works for that kind of dough.

Lawyer leaves (apparently), and Kenny leads everyone into the back for collection. He hints that there’s a job that needs doing, and then takes the envelopes from everyone and kicks everyone out. Twelve hours later (I’m assuming, seeing as how in the first scene it was broad daylight and now it’s pitch black), Trenchcoat goes back to the restaurant and finds Kenny all alone counting the money. Trenchcoat – WHOSE NAME IS LOU, THANK YOU, MOVIE! – offers to take the job because he could use the extra cash. Kenny shakes his head and says that Lou hasn’t done a job since 1986, and also, whacking is a young man’s job (PHRASING).

That night, Lou and a young thug go and beat up a mechanic who happens to be working at like, midnight. Seriously? Sign me up for that, I’m afraid I may need new tires. Young thug beats the mechanic with a tire iron (yet manages to avoid the face) while Lou beats up a car that’s on the lift. End scene.

Next day (I’m assuming – we’ve switched back to daytime), Lou’s taking a pill when his friend Whoozits calls him up and just says “Tiger Cage.” Is that code for something?

Oh. Lou goes to meet Whoozits at the tiger cage at the Chicago zoo. There’s a zoo in Chicago? (googles) Oh, Lincoln Park Zoo. Okay, carry on. Anyway, Whoozits hands Lou a manila envelope, because they gave the jobs to Lou. Whoozits wants to know why Lou wants this job all of a sudden, and Lou says that maybe he’s decided he wants a new life in Vegas or somewhere. I’d make a joke, but the story I’m writing actually involves people starting over in Vegas, so maybe I’ll shut up. I’m also a little surprised that they don’t end this scene with a lingering shot of the tiger pacing in its cage at a horrible attempt at metaphor.

Lou parks in front of a bar and narrates, “I need a fucking drink.” I’ll drink to that!  He goes inside and while he waits to hit on the bartendress he watches a news report about his first mark.  The bartendress comes over with a fresh Scotch and Lou greets her as Lorraine. Look at that – we get the name of the character in less than five minutes? That’s amazing. There’s some wicked flirty banter regarding his cigarette lighter being out of fluid and maybe it’s a metaphor for his hydraulics ifyaknowwhaddimean and watching this after the high that was FDR: American Badass, I am attuned to all the ways this movie could be better if it wasn’t so focused on taking itself so godamned seriously.

Anyway, Lou asks Lorraine about a parking spot on Wednesday, and apparently that’s code for something because she stubs out her cigarette and says, “I read somewhere that the person you are at thirty is the person you’re gonna be for the rest of your life.” Jesus, if that’s true, I’m not sure if I like it. Well, that’s not true; I like thirty-year-old me much better than twenty-two-year-old me. Anyway, Lou tells her that she didn’t know him at thirty. I was gonna say, that seems like quite the age difference.

The next day, his grandson’s standing on the couch trying to get the machine gun that just happens to be hanging up above it. He stops his grandson, but then takes it down himself. He calls it a Chicago Typewriter – “the city was written on these machines.” Oooh, poetic. *eyeroll* He lets the grandson hold it, and I’m petrified for all of two seconds before Lou explains that the gun is an antique so it doesn’t work. Thank god; if this were Hobo With a Shotgun, the gun would misfire and the son would kill his mother on accident.

OH NO NETFLIX IS HAVING TROUBLE ACCESSING THIS CONTENT WHAT THE HELL? Oh, thanks for rewinding a few seconds what the fuck how have I watched only twenty-three fucking minutes?! Seriously?!

Later that night, Lou puts on his trenchcoat and heads down into a machine shop and hits up a friend, asking for a piece. It’s all made out to be incredibly epic, what with the sparks from sautering irons and dobermans and the slow walking shit that’s going on. Lou’s friend, Eddie, tries to talk Lou out of returning to the life of hitmanning, but Lou’s determined.

Lou parks his car outside of Lorraine’s bar and waits for his target to arrive.  The target takes a detour past the bar and into an alley and goes to piss behind a dumpster. Lou walks up behind him and shoots him as the El train passes overhead, covering the sound of the gunshots. The victim drops to his knee to avoid bruising, and it’s one of the worst fake deaths I’ve seen in a while.


Then there’s this Asian guy who’s tying a tie in the mirror when there’s a knock on the door. It’s Lou, and they know each other. Apparently the Asian guy is a mortician, because Lou tells him to “flush his ashes down the toilet.” I can tell that the Asian guy is a mortician also because they’re standing in front of an occupied coffin in a viewing room. The Asian confirms what he’s going to do, by insisting that he’ll give the corpse his first taste of hell.  I — what?  What?

Then Lou abandons his car somewhere and blows it up. He comments to himself that maybe he should start appreciating Lorraine more. But then he does nothing about it, and before we know it, we’re seeing the cops arrive at the crime scene after the CSI units. By day, the alley looks like an exact replica of the alley in The Boondock Saints, where Greenly et. al are trying to figure out what happened to the guy who got a toilet dropped on his head, only there is no evidence of a huge friggin guy anywhere, and this is the wrong town. Dammit. It has been at least a year since I’ve watched Boondock Saints. Maybe tomorrow …

So for the cops! We’ve got Stacy Keach playing Angry Cop, and some young guy who’s playing Eager Play It By The Rules Cop. Eager Beaver is trying to find a rhyme or reason for the crime, but Angry Cop isn’t having it. I get the impression that Angry Stacy Keach just wants to get back to his bottle.

Then we cut to Lou and Lorraine hanging out, so apparently instead of going home, he did go upstairs to “appreciate” Lorraine. She’s helping him with his alibi, so clearly she knows what’s up. For a lowly bartendress, she’s got a pretty sweet apartment.

Eager and Angry are interrogating the widow (who doesn’t know she’s a widow yet) because the car the victim was driving was registered to his mother-in-law. The widow is extremely defensive, but mainly she’s pissed off at her husband – she’s not defensive in that she knows anything, because I don’t think she does. She mentions that she didn’t know anything about what her husband was doing, but he must have been in deep, because just that morning he sent her flowers, and he never sent her flowers. Angry Cop gets even angrier (if that’s possible) and storms out.

In the car, Angry Cop tells Eager a story about the Flower Guy. FLOYD?! Apparently in the late 80s, there were tons of murders, and the weird thing was the morning the murder was discovered, the widow would have received a bouquet of flowers from her husband. The majority of the widows admitted that their husbands were never the type to randomly send flowers. DUN DUN DUNNN

With the prosecution’s star witness now missing, Criminal from earlier (apparently his real name is Stefano) has been released, and Lou comes to visit him the restaurant. Stefano comments that they are surrounded by young copies of old friends. This movie picks the strangest times to be poetic.

Then Lou sees someone sitting at the bar and he goes over and makes a stink. Turns out it’s his erstwhile son-in-law. He politely reminds him that he’s got a family, and maybe he should pay attention to them and start paying quicker. Lou’s compatriots assume that he’s trying to start something and calls him off. Kenny from Ed accuses Lou of trying to take over Cicero now that he’s back in the hitman game. Lou asserts that it’s “just family shit.” Apparently where Cicero is concerned, it’s never just family shit. Yeah, no kidding – just ask Velma Kelly.

Oh …. my god. Okay, so we leave the mafia party and head over to the precinct, where Angry Stacy Keach is investigating the dead guy. At one point, he pulls out a flask of whiskey — you know in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, when Eddie Valiant is about to head back into Toontown for the first time since his brother was killed, and he takes out the Toon bullets, and is about to take a swig of his whiskey when he realizes what an epic boozehound he’s been the past few years, so he dumps it, right there in the road in front of Robert Zemeckis’s Favorite Tunnel, and then tosses it up in the air so the Tomahawk Bullet can smash it?  Well, basically, that’s the flask that Angry Stacy Keach is drinking from. Also, he’s using the oldest computer. It’s like the Gateway my parents had when I was in high school. In 1998.

One of Angry Stacy Keach’s friends – maybe an ADA? I’m not sure, THIS MOVIE DOESN’T IDENTIFY PEOPLE WELL – brings him a hearty breakfast of a disgusting, greasy steak sandwich, and as they eat Stacy Keach brings up Flower Guy.

ADA: What’s your gut say?
Angry Stacy Keach: It says, after twenty years of nothing, we got flowers.


Cut to: Angry Stacy Keach and Eager Beaver Cop interrogating a florist.

Angry Stacy Keach: 34 East Schiller.  East Schiller, with an ‘S.’

HOW THE FUCK ELSE WOULD YOU SPELL SCHILLER!? Oh, apparently the florist speaks Spanish and Angry Stacy Keach is a racist in this movie, so Eager Beaver Cop steps in to demonstrate his bilinguilistic tendencies. Eager Beaver Cop learns that the person that placed the flower order to the Widow was …. a thirteen-year-old Latino boy wearing a red hoodie. Eager Beaver Cop is extremely skeptical that a thirteen-year-old boy took down a political-hungry jackass, but Angry Stacy Keach will not be deterred. He leaves Eager Beaver Cop to stop every thirteen-year-old boy wearing a red hoodie. On the corner next to a florist. Yeah, this will end well.

Meanwhile, someone calls Lou and wants to meet. Cut to: big shiny limousine driving on the Loop. What? Who’s so fancy? Oh, apparently it’s Tiger Guy giving Lou his second target. Tiger Guy wants to know how Lou’s doing – is he okay? Cuz he can sit this one out if he wants. OH MY GOD LEAVE LOU ALONE, HE’S HAVING SO MUCH FUN KILLING PEOPLE AGAIN

Angry Stacy Keach runs into one of his retired buddies, and the retired buddy asks Angry Stacy Keach if he wants a beer. OH RIGHT Well, while the buddies are bonding over their Budweisers (yick – it’s Sam Adams or Blue Moon or nothing), the retired buddy tells ASK (what? I’m getting lazy, sue me) that this old case of his was all mobbed up. No kidding. This movie takes place in Chicago, right? ANYWAY, retired buddy tells ASK to keep doing what he’s doing as long as he can, and ASK replies, “Amen, brother.” OH LOOK, PARALLELS

Meanwhile, we jump to that night (I’m guessing – the transitions and time jumps are really fucking weird) and Lou is taking Lorraine out on an honest-to-goodness date. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that Lorraine looks like Velma Kelly.

ASK joins EBC on his stakeout, and (surprise!) there hasn’t been a single sighting of a red hoodie. If I followed the DC universe of characters, I’d make a Jason Todd joke right there. They sleep in the car (but not like that), and then the next morning, EBC actually spies a Latino kid with a red hoodie, and sure enough, this kid was sent on an errand to send a bouquet of flowers. The cops actually pick the kid up and take him in for questioning.

That afternoon (see what I mean about time jumps?), Lou picks his grandson up from school – or, he tries to, but apparently Lou’s grandson likes being a bully.  Hm – I wonder where he picked that up. As a … reward? Lou takes the grandson out for his afternoon snack. But the kid isn’t eating it, because he doesn’t like onions. I know that feel, brother. And instead of doing the “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not in your life all the time, I didn’t realize that you didn’t like onions” thing, he basically tells the kid that that’s a Chicago Dog, and Chicago Dogs come with relish, and ketchup, and mustard, and lettuce and tomato and onions, and by gum, he’s going to eat the whole damn thing or he’s walking home. Jeeez… The grandson takes one bite – reluctantly – and Lou says, “Do you like it?” His face says, “No, old man, I fucking told you, I hate onions,” and for once, a character’s mouth said “no” at the same time.

The conversation actually turns into a conversation about bullying and the fact that the kid doesn’t really have a reason for bullying, and that conversation just emphasizes Lou’s belief that the low-down punk from Cicero is to blame. So what does Lou do? He drives to Cicero and attempts to have a conversation with the Cicero punk, but ends up cold-cocking him with his Old Fashioned. The Cicero crew jumps up, worried that he’s starting something, but Lou waves his gun and declares that this is ‘family shit.’ He threatens to the Cicero punk to step up and be a man, otherwise, next time he comes down here, he’ll kill him.

The next morning, ASK’s friend comes down and reminds ASK to drop the Flower Guy case. I mean, seriously, Floyd’s gotta be hunkered down in Cleveland by now. But ASK proudly proclaims that he’s got a thirteen-year-old kid that’s gonna break this case wide open! ASK’s Friend asks ASK to just fucking retire already, and calls him the “oldest stewed potato on the force.” That is …. whoo, that is some kinda prejudiced right there. Apparently ASK reports to the Friend, and that’s as a courtesy. Basically, ASK’s on thin ice, but he doesn’t give a fuck.

Lou goes to scope out his next target, but finds that the target already has a tail on him. He tells Kenny from Ed, and Kenny from Ed doesn’t give a shit. Then Lou drives over to see Lorraine, who breaks up with him because she wants to be more than just an alibi. I can’t say as I blame her.

Lou’s on his way to murder the target, and we learn that the second tail was put on the target by the cops. The target is recovering from his nightly blowjob from his secretary when he sees the first victim on the news. While the secretary’s doing a line of coke in the bathroom, Lou comes out and suffocates the guy with a plastic bag. The cops see the thrashing from across the street through binoculars, but because the blinds were drawn, they can’t see the aggressor. The coked-up secretary misses the whole thing, and the cops aren’t quick enough to get there to catch Lou in the act.

Lou takes the freight elevator downstairs, then gets stopped by a patrol car because he’s limping. And because he doesn’t have any ID on him, he’s going to get brought into the station. SO MUCH FOR PULLING A CLEAN JOB, LOU

Angry Stacy Keach starts interrogating Lou and oh my god, I wish I had the energy to transcribe this, because it is made of win. And by “made of win,” I of course mean “terrible beyond all reason.” Basically, I’ve only got twenty minutes left and I don’t want to waste time with transcribing anything else. This movie is, by the way, the longest ninety-minute-long movie I’ve ever seen.

ASK brings the kid into the lineup room – so, how many days have they had this kid in lockup? 48 hours? I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. I mean, the kid hasn’t even changed his clothes, so he definitely hasn’t been home. The kid can’t pick out the man from the lineup. Then EBC interrogates Lorraine as to Lou’s whereabouts earlier that night, as well as the previous Wednesday. Their stories match, so Lou is released. ASK is so mad he tosses his half-empty paper cup of water on the floor and stomps like a three-year-old.

Oh, apparently, the Criminal in jail in the beginning was Stefano, but the guy who got released was a different guy. Stefano’s calling his lawyer from a pay phone in the jail yard, and that is a different setup than in Orange is the New Black. I mean, can you imagine Piper calling Larry from the yard? Basically, Stefano orders his Lawyer to order Enzo to get rid of Lou. I’d care, but I totally don’t.

Lou and Tiger Guy meet up in an abandoned parking garage or something. Tiger Guy makes some noise about how times are changing, and when Lou says he wants a smoke, Tiger Guy waves on the assassins as Lou leans over to the cigarette lighter in his Cadillac. Lou grabs the cigarette lighter and burns Tiger Guy’s hand, then smashes his car into that of the assassins, then PULLS OUT HIS MOTHERFUCKING MACHINE GUN and shreds everyone within range.

Apparently Tiger Guy was only burned, and he advances on Lou, telling him that the best thing he can do for his family right now is die clean.

Tiger Guy: Come on out; I promise you an open casket!
[Tiger Guy shoots repeatedly until … he runs out of bullets.]
Alaina: Oops, no bullets!
Lou: Fuck that, I’m going to Vegas! [shoots Tiger Guy IN THE FACE]

Oh man — that was awesome. And by “awesome,” I mean “awesomely bad,” of course, but … you get my drift.

Meanwhile, ASK gets suspended. And true to character, he’s pissed about it. HOW IS THERE STILL TWENTY MINUTES LEFT OF THIS MOVIE

EBC goes to see ASK’s Friend and asks to take over the case. He feels that ASK was close to something, but they need some help cracking the case. EBC gets shut down by the Friend, which tells me that maybe the Friend was supposed to be the third target?

Lou heads over to Kenny from Ed‘s diner, where he shoots someone in the chest with a huge-assed rifle, then goes to kill Kenny from Ed.  Kenny tries to talk him out of it, but Lou’s had it with talk. The only person left standing besides Lou is another old guy, and Lou gives him some money and his gold watch.

ASK is drinking Maker’s Mark in a dive bar, and bitching that everything fell apart because of flowers. Oh Christ on Sale, seriously? Enough.

The next morning, when the diner has a call out on it, the cops – including a reinstated ASK and EBC find the old man wearing Lou’s watch. Except Lou isn’t at his apartment – he’s picking up the money from the Criminal’s lawyer. Then Lou goes over to his daughter’s house to give the money to his daughter, and asks her to take the money and his grandson and leave town.

Grandpa Lou has a heart-to-heart with his grandson: be brave, be smart, and that there’s no room for “I don’t know’s” in his life. Then he makes his grandson promise to never pick up a gun for his entire life, and the kid promises. Well, good for him.

Jesus, one minute the cops are in the apartment and it’s daytime, the next they’re getting a call, and then when they go down to their cars on a tip, it’s the middle of the night. What the fuck, Chicago?


So the third target – who, for those not following along, is ASK’s Friend – called EBC and ASK up to an abandoned rooftop and sure enough, he kills EBC right off, and then is about to finish off ASK when Lou finishes the Friend off from behind. ASK goes barrelling off after Lou, and then EBC gets up because HE WAS WEARING KEVLAR, GOOD FOR YOU EBC, except as Lou’s running away and EBC is chasing him, ASK is aiming without being able to see clearly because not only does he have blood and brains in his eyes, but also he’s perpetually shitfaced, so he’s shooting blindly and OOPS SHOOTS EBC IN THE NECK WHICH IS NOT KEVLAR-PROTECTED, so good job, dude.

Somehow ASK manages to beat Lou down to the street, where it’s Hollywood Raining where it wasn’t before (meaning, the rain is coming down in one location but the water is falling in different directions because no one can set up a rain rig straight enough to replicate real rain). ASK has a cigarette dangling from his mouth, and he’s about to shoot Lou for shooting his partner, except no, that didn’t happen, Drunky McDrunkerson, maybe shut your hole?

ASK keeps yelling at Lou, and finally Lou gives up caring, and he whirls around and blasts a hole in ASK’s forehead. Then he walks off into the rain, narrating about how he’s going to miss the rain, and HOLY SHIT THE MOVIE’S DONE.

Well. Thanks, Netflix Roulette; that was the opposite of illuminating. Normally, I’d end this with some pithy remark, but I really should get to bed before the animals in the house decide to wake me up for their breakfast in about six hours. So … don’t watch Chicago Overcoat, because it’s not nearly as funny as I’d hoped it’d be.

i mean where does the overcoat even fit in they never explained that come on guy you had one job to do

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Posted by on August 9, 2014 in Netflix Roulette


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