Friday, August 05, 2011

High Ballin'

  • Film: High Ballin' [1978, usa]
  • Date: August 2
  • Where: Tulsa/at home/streamer
  • Who with: David
  • Ratings: Joshua **; David **
  • Rating for Jerry Reed's repeated use of the word "son" while talking to other characters: *****!

I kind of like the format of the short reviews I did in July with the who and where and when I'm going to keep doing them while even adding some sweet bullet points, ha. Don't even try to tell me that the poster for High Ballin' doesn't make this look like a fun time full of truckers, hi-jinks, action and even Jerry Reed. Pure 1970s! I've been mentioning the 1970s a lot lately on CineRobot if you haven't noticed. I'm going to try to use the films title as much as I can in this short review as it pretty much is the perfect name for this sort of movie. High Ballin'. What else could High Ballin' be about if not semi-truckers? Although, it might make for a good title for a bit of pornography now that I think about it.

If there was one actor born to play a truck-driver it has got to be Jerry Reed. High Ballin' came about likely due to the fact that Reed played "Cledus" in the smash-hit 1977 comedy Smokey and the Bandit. Producers must have been scrambling to get Reed into another trucker film as quick as they could. Unfortunately, the great poster, trailer and Reed's presence can't really save High Ballin' from being a disappointment.

It's big problems are not enough action and a woeful script. It could have used much more of the one thing it promotes itself as being--a movie about truckers. While there are truckers in High Ballin', some of the best bits are the scenes where CB handles and slang are thrown back and forth with reckless abandon. Zingers like "I'll be crossin' those hills and poppin' those pills" is pure gold, but sadly a rare treat in High Ballin'. More CB talk and more action scenes involving semis would have done wonders for this. About 45 minutes in, the pace drags to a near stand-still as Reed disappears from the action and Peter Fonda takes over. I'd rather had Reed and his endless use of the word "son" as he talked to the other truckers. I wish I'd counted how many times Reed says "son" in High Ballin', but I'm guessing it was at least fifteen times and it got better every single time he said it.

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