Thirty years ago this month, a little movie was released starring Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin.
It was about a washed-up ex-police officer from Chicago named Jack Walsh, who’s now a bounty hunter in Los Angeles. He gets an assignment to find and bring home Jonathan Mardukas, a former Mafia accountant who stole millions from the mob and is now in hiding somewhere.
At first glance, maybe you didn’t notice “Midnight Run.” Yeah it was DeNiro, who was in the middle of a streak of incredible movies. And Grodin is good. And the supporting cast (Joe Pantoliano, Dennis Farina, Yaphet Kotto) was solid. But still, there were so many “buddy cop” type movies back then, that few expected “Midnight Run” to be amazing.
But oh my God, is it amazing. Absolutely, completely wonderful. One of my all-time favorite movies (when I made a list on this blog a few years back on my Top 10 flicks of all time, “Midnight Run” was honorable mention and I hated leaving it off.)
I’m writing about it today because there’s actually been a lot of press about the movie lately, it being the 30th anniversary at all. Bill Simmons did a great podcast at The Ringer about “Midnight Run,” and the best TV critic alive, Alan Sepinwall at Rolling Stone, wrote a tribute to the film as well. (He calls it the “Casablanca” of buddy movies.)
It’s funny. It’s warm (the scene at Jack’s ex-wife’s house, with his daughter? Beautiful). It’s actually wise, and it is written and directed beautifully. De Niro had never played comedy before, and he does it perfectly. Grodin is a wonderful foil, and so many lines are committed to my memory because they’re so damn hilarious. (“Why aren’t you popular with the Chicago Police Dept.”)
“Midnight Run” is available to stream on Amazon for $3.99. If you haven’t seen it, instead of getting another latte at Starbucks, spend two hours with a classic. If you don’t love it, I’ll send you the four bucks back.
**Next up today, I have no idea why this video is suddenly showing up in my social media feeds since it happened a few months ago, but I’m thrilled that it did.
This is Katelyn Ohashi, a UCLA nationally-ranked gymnast, doing a routine to Michael Jackson music at the PAC-12 championships in March. So freaking good.
I don’t have any idea how elite gymnasts do this, but what an incredible performance.
**Finally today, feeling a little wistful coming across this new Michelle Obama video, where she and some celebrity friends like Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tom Hanks urge everyone to get out and register to vote (I’m not a celebrity but if you know anyone who’s not registered, good God, get them registered!).
I miss Michelle Obama. I miss her grace, I miss her class, I miss her intelligence and most of all, I just miss seeing her. She was such a wonderful First Lady, so smart and funny and compassionate, that I feel like going back now to watch her amazing Convention speech (still blows me away) from 2016.
Anyway, just seeing this little video made me miss her. And appreciate how good we had it. And makes me wish so much that she’d run for public office.