111. Primal Fear (1996)

Primal_Fear_(1996_film)_poster

*The Warlock opens the door to his lair. He’s wearing a gray wife-beater with white sneakers, blue jeans, NCIS hat, and black gargoyle shades. He’s holding a mug of Pepsi*

Warlock: Welcome to my lair….welcome I don’t think so, but enter. Enter my lair if you dare. I’m your host The Warlock.

*Warlock shoots fire into the sky and walks inside*

Warlock: NCIS Appreciation Month continues with Primal Fear. A movie about an altar-boy who goes berserk and murders a catholic priest.

*Neyzor Blades is in the recliner wearing standard attire*

Neyz: And what does that have to do with NCIS?

Warlock: Joe Spano is in it.

Neyz: Who?

Warlock: You’ll see.

*Warlock takes his seat in the middle of the couch*

Warlock: So let’s get this started shall we? Primal Fear!

 

*Warlock reads the tag-line*

Warlock: “An altar boy is accused of murdering a priest, and the truth is buried several layers deep.”

Neyz: Oh boy.

 

*Martin (Richard Gere) tells Jack (Reg Rogers) “If you want justice go to a whorehouse, if you want to get fucked, go to court.” Ten tells Naomi (Maura Tierney) says he doesn’t care about the justice system.

Warlock: Pretty jaded.

 

*Opening credits to choir theme*

Warlock: Between this and Casino, they loved the opera openings at the time.

 

*Martin walks into a benefit with choirboys performing*

Neyz: Hallejula.

 

*MC (Christopher Carroll) says a photo session will now take place*

Warlock: Only 5 bucks a shot.

 

*John Shaughnessy (John Mahoney) asks how much Martin costs.  Meanwhile the bartender (Lenny Wilson) asks Janet (Laura Linney) says “Its a bar for christsakes”

Neyz: They’re at a catholic function and she says that?

 

*Martin hits on Janet and she laughs with him. Shaughnessy makes a speech as Martin wants to take Janet out. She tells him she’s not into one night stands. She said they had one, but lasted for six months*

Neyz: Poor Richard.

 

*Martin says Joey Pinero (Steven Bauer) costs 1.5 million to leave the state. Bud (Terry O’Quinn) says Martin is worse than the thugs he represents.*

Warlock: That’s harsh.

 

*Archbishop Rushman (Stanley Anderson) has his fingers cut off by an unknown assailant while a mailman (Kyle Colerider-Krug) looks on*

Neyz: Oh really? C’monnnnn.

Warlock: Ohhhh yeahhhhh!

 

*Martin visits Pinero at a seedy bar*

Warlock: Its Manny from Scarface.

Neyz: He look like a lizard.

 

*Pinero says he’s asked to testify against Martinez (Tony Plana) but he refuses. Meanwhile the cops investigate the home of Archibishop Rushman. Captain Abel Stenner (Joe Spano) is on the scene. Warlock stands and shouts*

Warlock: CIA LIASON TOBIAS FORNELL IN THE HOUSEEEEEEEEE

Neyz: Will you stop that and start the movie?

 

*The cops chase Aaron (Edward Norton) through train tracks as the CSI dudes see that Rushman’s eyes are cut out. Aaron runs past the train as the cops train*

Neyz: So much for getting smushed.

 

*Martin watches the chase on TV with Jack. They share character development*

Neyz: I have no idea what’s going on.

 

*The cops corner Aaron*

Warlock: He gives up!

 

*Jack asks if Martin had the case and Martin says since day 1*

Warlock: Confidence.

 

*Martin sees Aaron on TV and calls Naomi, he wants the case*

Warlock: What a humanitarian.

 

*The sergeant (Mike Bacarella) lets Martin to see Aaron. Martin wants to represent him for free*

Warlock: What’s the catch?

 

*Aaron says he’s from Kentucky and he’s been in Chicago for 2 years. Never been arrested. Aaron says he was begging on the street and brought him in to work as an altar-boy. He was supposed to leave when he was 18 but Rushman let him stay on for a year after. Martin asks why Rushman was killed and Aaron says he didn’t do it. He claims he saw the person who did it. He claims he blacked out when the killer attacked. It happens to him sometimes*

Warlock: A likely story.

 

*Aaron wants Martin to believe him and Martin says he doesn’t give a shit. He just wants to win. He asks what Aaron’s shoe size is, Aaron doesn’t know. Later on Martin watches the news coverage on tv*

Warlock: Front page news.

 

*Shaughnessy says Aaron was the only suspect on TV. Later on Martin hits up his office where Naiomi and Tommy (Andre Braugher) are there. Martin’s secretary (Sigrid Zahner) brings them coffee*

Warlock: How bout a beer?

 

*Martin discusses the case. They all think he’s guilty but they have to establish reasonable doubt to win it*

Warlock: Wow.

 

*Martin says to write down B32.156 because it was carved into Rushman’s chest*

Warlock: Sounds like a serial number.

 

*Bud and Janet will be the prosecuting attorneys. They want the death penalty and Janet says if the PD is working the case, its slam dunk. Bud tells Janet its not slam dunk because Martin is working the defense. Martin and Janet confront each other. They go over the graphic pictures together*

Warlock: Mind if I eat?

 

*Martin walks around Rushman’s house to look at evidence. He then visits Aaron in jail as mean looking fellas look on*

Warlock: Who are they?

Neyz: Mean looking fellas.

 

*Martin says he’ll do all the talking and Aaron should sit there and look innocent. Now its time for court*

Warlock: Judge Judy on?

Neyz: No, Judge Mathis.

 

*Shaughnessy says the case in the bag. Judge Shoat (Alfre Woodard) asks how the client pleads. Martin BSes her and says he needs time for a psychiatric evaluation. Meanwhile Tommy looks for Aaron’s room. Someone attacks him and Tommy rips his earring out*

Warlock: Ohhhh yeah.

 

*Martin tosses Aaron the earring and he says its Alex’s (John Seda). Aaron claims he has no idea why Alex was in his room*

Warlock: Something’s fishy Neyz.

Neyz: Something stinks.

 

*Martin asks if it was Alex who killed Rushman and Aaron doesn’t know*

Warlock: He doesn’t know anything.

 

*Martin brings in Dr. Molly Arrington (Frances McDormand) to analyze Aaron. He stutters and says his mother was dead and his father was abusive as a kid*

Warlock: Starting to dig deeper.

 

*Martin pulls Janet aside and says Shaughnessey is using her to win the case. Janet “Pleading the fifth on the charges was brilliant.” Martin “It was wasn’t it.”

Warlock: Wow what an asshole.

 

*Martin says if she loses, she takes the fall and not Shaughnessy. Janet asks if he really believes he did it and he says no. Janet can’t believe it. Later on they argue in front of the judge. Janet taunts him outside*

Warlock: Good one.

 

*Martin tells Molly about his girlfriend Linda (Azalea Davila) and he claims he wanted to marry her. He only slept with her, no one else. Molly asks if she’s been to see him and he says no. Aaron says she probably has no idea this happened*

Warlock: Uh oh.

 

*Martin “Thomas Jefferson? I don’t think he did it”

Warlock: Front page news. Thomas Jefferson didn’t do it.

 

*Martin and Naoimi discover one of Rushman’s charities operated out of Pinero’s neighborhood. He smells a rat. Alderman admits Rushman and Shaughnessy were in on it. Martin talks to Shaughnessy next. Martin asks how much money he lost when he pulled the plug from South River and Shaughnessy threatens him*

Warlock: Something real bad is going down.

 

*Martin used to be the lead prosecutor but quit and became a defender. Janet took his place*

Warlock: Good character development.

 

*Janet and Martin give their opening statements in a montage. Janet says Aaron is the killer and Martin says it wasn’t him.*

Warlock: Who’s telling the truth? Isn’t it exciting?

 

*Martin stuns everyone by attacking Rushman’s personal character and financial situation. Then Inspector Woodside (Brian Reddy) says the shoes and footprints belong to Aaron. Martin says a third person was involved. Dr. Weil (Kenneth Tigar) says a left handed person was using the knife and Aaron is left-handed. Martin says Aaron was framed*

Warlock: Back and forth, back and forth.

 

*Stenner says the code carved into the chest is The Scarlett Letter. An underlined passage says “No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself.”  Stenner says the killer thought his victim was two-faced*

Warlock: We already figured that out.

 

*Aaron says he had nothing to do with the Scarlett Letter and Martin leaves*

Warlock: House of Seven Gables.

 

*Martin blames Naiomi for the code fuck up. Martin yells at Tommy next for botching the private reading room. Martin goes berserk and Naomi tries to talk him out of it*

Neyz: What a dick.

 

*Molly continues to pester Aaron about Linda and he’s visibly upset. Molly “You know what I can do with this thing?” Aaron snaps in perfect English “How the fuck do I know? Jesus Christ”

Neyz: Woahhhh, the plot sickens.

Warlock: Stutter problem my ass.

Neyz: No, he blacked out.

 

*Tommy and Aaron find Alex and chase him. Alex takes a swipe at Aaron with a knife and Tommy pulls a gun on him*

Warlock: HE’S GOT A GUN!!!!

Neyz: I don’t know too many lawyers that chase their own criminals down dark alleys.

 

*Alex was looking for a videotape. A sex stuff tape*

Neyz: Hahaha.

 

*Alex says he and Linda were fucking with Aaron filming. Alex claims Rushman liked to film that kind of thing. Martin asks where Linda is and Alex says she split*

Warlock: Now you know why he doesn’t want to talk about Linda.

 

*Alex “You can’t arrest me, you’re not a cop.” Tommy “I used to be.”

Warlock: Hahaha

 

*Martin goes back to Rushman’s house. He switches out the tape Alex was talking about with one he brought*

Warlock: That’s highly illegal but a lot of fun to watch.

 

*Martin watches the tape with his team. Turns out it was Rushman filming Alex and Aaron raping Linda. Alex drops his pants*

Neyz: Nice butt.

 

*Rushman orders Aaron to take her from behind. Tommy “Heeeeeere’s motive” Martin “Jesus Christ”

Warlock: Tampered evidence, this won’t fly in court without a warrant.

Neyz: So they can’t submit the tape?

Warlock: Nope.

 

*Martin walks in on Molly and Aaron. Martin gives him a tongue lashing and asks for the truth because he saw the tape. Aaron snaps and turns into his alter-ego, Roy. He says in perfect English with a southern accent Aaron is crying in a corner and threatens Martin to leave him alone. He says Aaron didn’t kill him, he did. Martin smiles*

Warlock: What’s that called?

Neyz: Multiple personality disorder.

 

*Martin “So your name is Roy?” Aaron/Roy “Oh jesus I’m sorry. Yes, my name is Roy” They shake hands*

Warlock: Hahahahaha

 

*Martin asks Roy about Linda. Roy says she was a tramp that broke Aaron’s heart. Martin asks about the tape and Roy snaps, slapping him around and saying not to tell anyone about the tape. Molly walks in and Roy reverts back to Aaron*

Neyz: He’s been so traumatized that the only way he can cope is to displace his psyche somewhere else.

Warlock: So get that folks? He killed him…but he didn’t. He also got none of that on tape meaning they can’t submit that as evidence.

 

*Jack finds Martin at the bar. Martin drunkenly “How can you defend someone when they know he did it?”

Neyz: That’s what I want to know.

 

*Martin spills his guts to Jack. He loves being on TV but that’s not why he defends. He believes in the notion people are innocent until proven guilty. Some very good people do very bad things*

Neyz: That’s very interesting.

 

*Martin says when he was working for Shaughnessy he slept with Janet and had to leave the office. He settles the tab and says “You print any of this, I’ll sue your fuckin ass.”

Neyz: He’s drunk.

Warlock: Noooooo.

 

*Martin walks in on Naiomi and Tommy and they grill him. Martin has no idea how to get him off. Tommy “This kid doesn’t need a lawyer, he needs an exorcist”

Warlock: Hahahahha

 

*Martin says they need to find a way to pin it on Roy, not Aaron without changing plea mid-trial. He says to use the tape*

Warlock: I thought they couldn’t submit it.

 

*Martin says they’re not going to submit it….he looks at Tommy who says “Ohhhhh fuck”

Neyz: Alex.

Warlock: Janet. She’s gonna submit for the prosecution so he doesn’t have to.

 

*Right on cue Janet gets a package, calls up Martin and says to meet at the bar. She has his entire plan figured out. Martin says “Don’t use it then.” Janet gives him a tongue lashing and asks how he hurt his head. Martin says he hit his head on a medicine cabinet*

Warlock: Natural born bullshitter.

 

*Martin asks her out after the trial. Janet “How can your timing be so good in a courtroom but so bad in real life?”

Warlock: At least he didn’t ask her to marry him.

 

*Next day Janet walks into Shaughnessy’s office and they ask about the tape. They blame Martin but they can’t prove it. Shaughnessy says to destroy the tape like he did and Janet argues that he’d be an idiot if he sent the only copy he had. Next day the Bailiff (Pete Schreiner) says all rise as Judge Shoat enters. Janet wants to call Tommy to testify and its up to Martin. Martin lets him do it. Tommy admits that he sent Janet the tape on orders from Martin. He spills the beans on what’s on the tape. Janet says the jury must watch the tape*

Warlock: Oh great, we get to watch free porn.

Neyz: Why is Janet pissed at Shaughnessy?

Warlock: Because he’s trying to cover up the Catholic church. This was 1996, before the shit it the fan on all the priests.

 

*Martin watches the tape of Aaron talking about Linda to Molly. Martin gets a call and a body was found. Tommy and Martin find Pinero dead in the water*

Neyz: So much for the lizard.

 

*Martin at the court calls Shaughnessy to the witness stand. Janet objects but Martin bullshits his way to do it. He’s the chairman of the Rushman Foundation. Martin gets him to admit he lost 60 million dollars in the failed investment. Martin basically points the finger at him for covering up Rushman all along. He brings up a sexual abuse case from 11 years ago that Shaughnessy vetoed to protect Rushman. Martin now has the court convinced Shaughnessy is a scumbag. Shaughnessy calls Martin a cocksucker and Shoat orders him off the stand. Martin “That’s for Joey Pinero you little shithead”

Warlock: Slam dunk!!!

 

*Bud tells Janet to look for a job*

Neyz: What a dick.

 

*Shoat gives him a tongue lashing, saying Shaughnessy’s testimony is stricken from the record and he’s being held in contempt for 10 grand. She says not to use her courtroom for personal vendetta*

Warlock: Wonderful….

 

*Martin watches Molly’s tape and spots when Roy appears*

Warlock: A clue!

 

*Janet objects to the plea change mid-trial and Martin goes along bullshitting. Molly in court admits that Aaron has multiple personality disorder. Molly says Aaron couldn’t have killed Rushman but his alter-ego Roy did. Janet objects and Shoat says no more questions. Janet cross examines and tries to tear Molly apart. They have no visual evidence of Roy’s attack on Martin. Janet uses it to end her questions. Martin is stunned for the first time all movie and orders a recess*

Warlock: Gotta love the legal process.

 

*Finally, Martin has Aaron on the stand*

Neyz: He’s gotta get Roy out of him.

 

*Martin starts digging Aaron to get to Roy. He asks if he killed Rushman and Aaron says no. Janet cross examines and Aaron denies water*

Warlock: He’ll have a beer.

Neyz: Fuckin cigarette…bitch!

Warlock: Hahaha

 

*Janet cross-examines Aaron. He denies the book passage, killing Rushman and every thing. Janet unknowingly triggers Roy by getting Aaron to admit that Rushman used him for his sexual pleasure. Aaron turns into Roy and snaps. He punches out Janet, takes her hostage and punches out Martin. The police take him down and into custody*

Warlock: Brilliant!

 

*Janet goes to light a cigarette in the judge’s chambers. Shoat “I hope you don’t think you’re going to actually light that cigarette in here.”

Warlock: Hahahaha

 

*Shaugnessy called Shoat and says he wants a mistrial. Janet says hell no, no mistrial. Shoat says they will re-trial Aaron on insanity. Martin has won*

Warlock: Hahaha

 

*Janet can'[t get her cigarette lit but Martin helps her*

Neyz: She pops in with a gun “I told ya not to light that cigarette!”

 

*Janet confronts Martin about the whole case. Martin calls himself arrogant*

Warlock: At least he admits it.

Neyz: Weird, here comes the touchy feels. “I’m vulnerable, back off bub!”

 

*Martin visits Aaron in jail*

Warlock: I like Roy better personally.

Neyz: Of course you would.

 

*Martin says Aaron is no longer on trial and he’s gonna get help. He’s got a very good chance of getting out. Aaron is thankful for Martin saving his life. Aaron gives him a hug and thanks him as he leaves*

Warlock: Watch, he turns into Roy and snaps his neck.

 

*Aaron says to tell Janet he’s sorry and hopes her neck is okay*

Warlock: A real humanitarian.

 

*Martin has an epiphany. He grills Aaron who turns into Roy. The whole time Aaron was playing him. He admits to killing Linda and laughs about cutting up Rushman. Martin “So there never was a Roy.” Aaron “No, there never was an Aaron.” Aaron taunts him as he leaves*

Warlock: Best acting job ever.

Neyz: And they can’t convict him of the same crime twice.

Warlock: Double jeopardy

 

*Martin walks out of the court dejected. He stands in the middle of the street and the credits roll*

Warlock: Wow…that was good.

 

Neyzor Blades Assessment: 8 out of 10 – Very good but can’t watch it twice.

Warlock’s Assessment: 8 out of 10 – I agree that’s its 8 out of 10 but it is watchable over and over again.

Final Grade: 8 out of 10

 

*The Warlock rises from the couch*

Warlock: Thay was pretty damn good. That was an incredible story, incredible cast and a shocking twist that I loved. There, a good movie, you happy now?

Neyz: Yes, its a true miracle.

Warlock: Well that about wraps up another goodtastic adventure. Habe a pleasant evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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