Movies I’ve recently seen: Deep Cover ֍ Arabesque ֍ Weird: The Al Yankovic Story ֍ Schizopolis

Drug smuggling, espionage, music parodies, and…um…well, whatever it is. Here are four films I’ve watchaed recently, from the best to the worst.

Click the film’s title to see how you can watch it.

A Deep Cover (1992)

Here’s an extraordinary film noir from the early 1990s. Laurence Fishburne stars as a police officer who goes undercover to get rid of the drugs being smuggled into Los Angeles. He wants to clean up the bad neighborhoods, but as he becomes a major cog in the drug scene, he begins to realize that he’s just making things worse, and he’s not sure if he’s a cop or a criminal? Jeff Goldblum plays a Jewish mobster who becomes one of his best friends.

B Arabesque (not sure this will work, 1966)

Here’s another ’60s espionage flick, but this time, the hero (Gregory Peck) isn’t a spy, but a college professor. He gets hold of the film’s MacGuffin, and now a lot of people want him dead. Sophia Loren may or may not be one of the villains. At one point, Peck is wanted for murder, but then everyone, including the police, don’t seem to care. The movie is fun, but not all that much.

B- Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022)

What a great way to parody rock ‘n’ roll biopics – do a ridiculously fictional biopic of the king of rock ‘n’ roll parodies. Daniel Radcliffe does a great performance playing Al, and I have to say that he’s become quite ripped since his Harry Potter days. But as the movie goes along, it gets crazier and crazier to the point where it’s no longer funny. Also, the movie needed more music (parodied, of course).

As I write this, Weird is streaming on Roku, free, but with commercials. I don’t know where it will be available later.

D+ Schizopolis (1996)

This very strange film from Steven Soderbergh provides a few funny moments, but not much else. The writer/director plays two identical people, neither of them noteworthy. The only interesting character is a philandering wife and mother, but you don’t get much of her (Betsy Brantley). The other plots carry even less interest. At one point it seems that it will become a crime story, but that bit disappears. Much of the dialog is out of sync, and I suspect it was intentional.