You know me, I can enjoy a good DIE HARD type movie. Or a bad one. I like SUDDEN DEATH. I love the UNDER SIEGES, of course. And 3 of the 4 official DIE HARD sequels. But this year is trying to knock me off the wagon. We’ve had three mediocre to bad DIE HARD type movies so far and while A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD was obviously the one that was soul-crushingly disappointing, this is the one that I found most boring. I mean, I’m not gonna pretend Roland Emmerich is known for movies that are worth your time to actually watch, because that would be a bold faced lie. But I figured with this good of a cast and a classic template to follow he could make an enjoyably stupid movie. He mostly just got the second part. (read the rest of this shit…)
Archive for June, 2013
Well, Death Is a Motherfucker Part 2. The great Jim Kelly died today at only 67. I’m sure you all know him as the #2 badass in ENTER THE DRAGON. If you haven’t seen it I implore you to watch BLACK BELT JONES, his star vehicle also directed by Robert Clouse. It’s a much sillier movie but to me it’s the pinnacle of that peculiar intersection between martial arts and black culture. It has one of the funkiest theme songs ever, it has freeze frames on the opening credits, it has girls on trampolines, it has a fight in car wash bubbles. It’s awesome and hilarious and you will love it. (read the rest of this shit…)
I don’t always post about every great person that dies, but we lost a bunch of ’em this week so I might as well do one post to reflect on three in particular.
First, of course, the unexpected death of the great James Gandolfini. A real bummer to movie fans since he was still great and very productive. Just last year he was in one of my favorites of the year, ZERO DARK THIRTY and was also the clear highlight of my most frustrating movie of the year, KILLING THEM SOFTLY. Even as a serial TV-misser who has somehow totally missed The Sopranos I was able to enjoy lots of brilliant work by Mr. Gandolfini. Favorite performances I would point you to would be as the voice of the neurotic monster Carol in WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, the victim in the great underrated Coen bros picture THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE, and of course that epic hotel showdown in TRUE ROMANCE. (read the rest of this shit…)
Remember there was gonna be that movie THE TOMB starring both Stallone and Schwarzenegger? Now it’s called ESCAPE PLAN and IGN has the trailer:
What do you think? I think it looks promising. Not humorless but not a corny joke-a-thon like an EXPENDABLES, cool high concept premise, good supporting cast. And Stallone gets to work with 50 Cent after the internet shamed him out of casting him in THE EXPENDABLES, but before he follows Robert DeNiro into a series of gloomy interchangeable DTV thrillers.
ESCAPE PLAN is directed by Mikael Håfström, a Swede who previously did DERAILED (haven’t seen it) and 1408: AN EVIL FUCKIN’ ROOM (pretty good). One of the writers did ROAD HOUSE 2, the other MIRROR MIRROR.
thanks to Jim Newberry for telling me this was up
KICKBOXER 3 is one of the movies I watched for the Super-Kumite but had to turn it into an exhibition match due to its lack of tournament. This is a pretty enjoyable one though with a weird mix of sports movie and violent shootout movie. Also it deals with sex trafficking just like the last movie I reviewed. (Don’t worry – it’s against it.)
check out my review in this week’s OUTLAW VERN PRESENTS over on Daily Grindhouse.
If you trust me to say “Go watch this intense crime drama, I thought it was excellent” without needing me to tell you anything else about it, then go do that. I’m awarding EDEN my controversial The Best Thing I’ve Seen Lately medal to encourage you. It came out on the DVD last week under the title ABDUCTION OF EDEN, but the title on screen and when it was playing film festivals was just EDEN. (I hear they had to change the cover and name for Redbox – artistic decisions now determined by vending machines. Today’s cinematic art must have the same wide appeal as Doritos or Chips Ahoy.)
Because of the new title we know there’s an abduction of some kind, and the movie opens with a girl crying, tied up in the trunk of a car (as crappily photoshopped on the generic DTV-looking cover). If you insist on knowing more than that then read on. (read the rest of this shit…)
In SNITCH, Benjamin Bratt (CATWOMAN) plays El Topo, a notorious ex-military badass who leads a Mexican drug cartel. He’s elusive to the authorities, preferring to stay back in a car and watch his underlings from afar, but when the shit goes down he’s the first to pull out a huge gun that looks like it should be mounted to a jeep. He’s very dangerous, especially to the naive Americans who he convinces to drive his drugs across the border. What they don’t understand is they don’t need to be working on a playlist for the drive back.
The obvious question: is this supposed to be a loose remake of EL TOPO, or a sequel, or what? I gotta go with prequel. At the end of EL TOPO El Topo (originally played by Alejandro Jodorowsky) had achieved enlightenment, gone underground and become a Saint. It just doesn’t follow that he would then become a cartel leader. Instead, SNITCH shows how the El Topo we first met riding through the desert with his young son came from a troubled background. It gives him all the more darkness to be redeemed from, retroactively adding more depth to Jodorowsky’s film. (read the rest of this shit…)
One of our nation’s perennial VHS favorites, NINJA III: THE DOMINATION, has recently made the transition to digital and high definition disc type formats courtesy of the heroes at Shout Factory. Check out my review of the new blu-ray over on Daily Grindhouse. If you also want to read a review I wrote of the movie a couple years ago then you can click here.
I’m kinda late on writing this one up, not sure if it’s even playing anywhere anymore, but what are you gonna do.
THE GREAT GATSBY is the story of this rich guy that’s in love with a gal that’s already married. It turns out he only got rich to try to impress her ’cause when he first fell in love with her 5 years ago she found out he was, as he says, penniless, and married this other asshole, etc. Leonardo DiCaprio (THE QUICK AND THE DEAD) plays the rich guy, Gatsby, Carey Mulligan (DRIVE) plays his love interest Daisy Buchanan, and Joel Edgerton (ANIMAL KINGDOM) plays her husband Tommy. But the main character is actually Tobey Maguire as whatsisdick, Daisy’s weiner of a cousin. (read the rest of this shit…)
JACK REACHER is the latest in a line of movies based on a pulp character using the character’s name as the title and not making enough money to continue as a series like they probly planned (see also JOHN CARTER, ALEX CROSS, PARKER, HITCHCOCK). This one’s specifically from a book called One Shot by Lee Child, ninth in the Reacher series. I don’t know the books, just the complaint by many readers that it’s important for him to be a big intimidating guy and not a little guy in a little leather jacket like Tom Cruise always plays. So this would probly bother me if I had read them. (read the rest of this shit…)