Hostage Hotel (1999)
Hard Time: Hide and Seek
Hard Time: Hostage Hotel

Nomination Year: 2005
SYNOPSIS:  Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Burt Reynolds, once a heartthrob who could command the highest salaries and best scripts -- reduced to this. He plays Logan McQueen, a renegade, on-the-edge retired cop who has to rescue his bumbling ex-partner (Charles Durning) when a pair of psycho Viet Nam vets takes a congressman and his family hostage in an old hotel. The place is full of booby traps (don't ask me how, since there's no way the bad guys had time to plant them all), so Logan's expertise as a Nam vet himself makes him the only one who can get through. In the end, it turns out the congressman's campaign manager hired the thugs to do the kidnapping so as to drum up sympathetic publicity, but it all went wrong. I especially like that the setting is supposed to be DC. This is clear from the palm trees, beach bunnies, and license-plates-with-palm-trees-on-them that abound in this picture. As Shayne put it, Burt "phoned this one in" for sure.

Deus Ex Machina

This Booby Trap Only Catches Highly-Trained Cops
Burt and his somewhat wet-behind-the-ears buddy have successfully infiltrated the hotel, but now they have to watch out for all the booby traps. The greenhorn brushes away a spider-web *right in front of their faces*. Burt yells "NOO!!!" but it's too late. BOOOOM! Yet they end up without a scratch, even though whole platoons of FBI agents wearing body armor have been wiped out by these same bombs. Go figure.

Inane Dialogue

Did a Two-Story Car Just Backfire?
FBI Dispatcher: "Was that an explosion?"


Maybe They're Metric Seconds
Ah, the old standby crowd pleaser. A countdown mechanism that is WAY, WAY off. Try it--you can reach zero quite a few times before the timer actually goes off.


Kidnappin's Hungry Work
The kidnapper abducts the congressman's family. But first, he has to put a CHICKEN LEG into his pants pocket. WTF?

Worst Acting

The Fat Lady Takes a Dive
We shift into slo-mo and see Burt really strut his stuff as he shoves people out of the way. That grimace! What emoting! What pathos! What rage! This one's worthy of a Shatner Award, if there is such a thing.

Actors/Directors of Note
Actor Claim to Fame
Burt Reynolds yes, that Burt Reynolds 
Charles Durning won a Tony in 1990 for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; played Santa Claus in 5 different films; former professional boxer; survived D-Day assault on Normandy; what the hell is someone like that doing in a movie like this? 
Keith Carradine son of John, brother of Robert, half-brother of David, father of Martha Plimpton 
David Rasche "Sledge Hammer" from the TV series of the same name 
Ja'net DuBois composed and sang the theme song to The Jeffersons television show 
Director Claim to Fame
Hal Needham the first film he directed was The Cannonball Run -- he also directed Cannonball Run II and the first two Smokey and the Bandit movies 

Bryan Cassidy

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