A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Billy Bob Thornton,
Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case.
In long flashbacks, David Owen looks back to when he lived in Manhattan with his wife and baby. The unnecessary noises of the city interrupt his life to the point that he takes a baseball bat to the windshield of cars whose alarms are blaring. After a few arrests, his wife kicks him out. On his own, he learns to avoid arrest and leaves a calling card as "The Rectifier" when he breaks into an offending car. Gruska, an enterprising young reporter, tracks him down. He tells her his story, they become lovers, and she organizes a petition drive for a ballot initiative to ban car alarms. The mayor becomes the Rectifier's bête noire. Can David fight City Hall and win? Written by
Henry Bean based David Owen on himself. In real life, Bean broke into people's cars to disable their noisy alarms. He was eventually arrested and jailed. See more »
See this guy? I know this guy. He's a car thief. He knows that most car alarms operate by a simple electric sensor. Jiggle the door, you complete a circuit, and trigger the siren.
I've been stealing cars since I was 14, and the truth is, alarms make my job easier not harder. Say somebody is walking by and sees me fiddling with the ignition.
[in car with alarm going off]
So sorry ma'am. These stupid alarms, ya know?
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Yes it's a movie about a man's frustration with urban noise, but you don't have to be noise sensitive to be engaged by his frustration with something over which he has little control or power. The movie is about how a man works through his rage at feeling powerless, exploring different modes -- impulsive, destructive, productive, etc. So if you've ever been up against anything, you can feel for the guy. Its also clever, funny, playful, quirky and very, very refreshing. It's an urban parable and a bit of a cartoon -- think of your next door neighbor as a slightly deranged hooded avenger -- but has a feeling of truth.
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