"KEEP BUSTIN'."

Posts Tagged ‘Joe Pantoliano’

The Matrix

Monday, December 13th, 2021

THE MATRIX is, I continue to believe, one of The Great Movies. It absolutely holds up today, and also it reminds me so much of then. I will always remember what it felt like when this was a new movie, and our entire understanding of the MATRIX story. When we all imagined where it would go next, and then we we had a couple years enjoying or rolling our eyes at all the movies obviously influenced by it, whether that means corny outfits and techno music or that brief, glorious window when Hollywood actors could be convinced to spend months preparing for action scenes with the great Hong Kong choreographers. But mostly I like to remember what it felt like to be surprised by it. Going in wondering if it would be good and then coming out knowing it was this.

I did have hopes. I had come to respect Keanu Reeves’ taste in movies after SPEED and, say what you will, JOHNNY MNEMONIC. I liked BOUND and it was exciting to see directors like that doing a sci-fi movie. And then a day or two before it came out I heard something about there being kung fu in it? So it wasn’t completely out of the blue that it was good. But I don’t think I was expecting something that a couple decades later would still be thought as highly of as the fucking MATRIX is. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Goonies

Monday, June 8th, 2020

June 7, 1985

I have long held a stance on THE GOONIES that was highly controversial: I found it annoying. I don’t think I’m alone on that anymore, but it used to get me into trouble because of how many people of a particular age group hold that movie as a sacred relic of childhood.

For most of my writing career I’ve had a policy of being ambiguous about my age, because I wanted to seem like a crusty old man, regardless of how little that seemed to fit with the particular things I was knowledgeable about. As I get closer to being authentically old and crusty I’m starting to be more lax about that, so at last the truth can be told: I am exactly the right age to have grown up loving this movie. In fact, I did grow up loving this movie. And I’ll even go you one further: I saw it twice in one day. My mom took me and my friends to see it on my birthday, and since there wasn’t room in the car for my siblings, she brought them to see it later in the day, and I went that time too.

But when I saw it again as an adult I learned something disappointing: those fucking goonies never fucking shut up! This despite one character putting their hand over another character’s mouth to shut them up being a major motif. It’s a movie starring a group of pre-teen boys, and though they’re not quite as naturalistic as the kids in E.T. (which I think they were deliberately modeled after) they do have an accurate 12-year-old-boy energy, which means they’re constantly joking and giggling and bickering and yelling over each other and telling each other to be quiet. I was less patient with them than my mom must’ve been with my carload of friends, so for years after that viewing I would say that GOONIES feels like being tricked into chaperoning somebody else’s kids at Chuck E. Cheese. I didn’t remember that Martha Plimpton’s slightly older character actually sums up the movie well when she says something similar: “I feel like I’m babysitting except I’m not getting paid.”

Fast forward to today. The futuristic year of 2020. That figurative trip to Chuck E. Cheese was considerably longer ago than the double-screening birthday party had been at that time. Since then I’ve learned things. I’ve been through things. My tastes have changed. The world has turned more goonie. I was kind of excited to see it again and find out if I still hated it. I had no idea if I would. (read the rest of this shit…)

Empire of the Sun

Monday, January 16th, 2012

tn_empireofthesunspielberg“Excuse me everyone – I surrender!”

Wow – for some reason I never had any interest in EMPIRE OF THE SUN before. Turns out it’s great and sort of a beginning for alot of things. It’s Spielberg’s first WWII drama. One of Christian Bale’s first movies. The one that gave Ben Stiller the idea for TROPIC THUNDER. etc. (read the rest of this shit…)

Striking Distance

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

In this one Bruce plays a cop from a long line of cops. Which of course means his uncle is played by Dennis Farina. You also got John Mahoney as his dad and Tom Sizemore and Robert Pastorelli as his knucklehead cousins. All cops. Sarah Jessica Parker is the love interest, also a cop but not related, so they can fuck in one part. The movie takes place in Pittsburgh and I guess they even got local people to work on the movie, because I recognized the editor’s name, Pasquale Buba, from watching DAWN OF THE DEAD a thousand times. The director also has a familiar name, Mr. Rowdy Herrington of ROADHOUSE fame.

Unfortunately the bad guy is a serial killer – always a bummer. Terrorists and robbers and CIA agents are a good time a the movies, but some asshole that gets a boner tying up women? Not really as fun, in my opinion. Anyway they keep getting real close to catching the fucker, even chase him in a good over-the-top car chase at the beginning. I mean there’s a pretty serious maneuver the killer pulls when completely surrounded. Excellent use of the extreme Y-turn.(The new rule is, always put the best action scene at the very beginning.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Bound

Tuesday, January 1st, 2002

disclaimer from the future: Back in ’96 when BOUND came out and then in 2002 when I wrote this I really believed the movie to be the work of two men who were horny to watch lesbian sex and trying to pass it off as enlightenment. This turned out to be not so accurate! But I will leave this review as-is for the historical record.

 

Well I saw this picture a long time ago, but now with all of America waiting anxiously for THE MATRIX PART 2: RETURN OF THE MATRIX and THE MATRIX PART 3: BEYOND MATRIXDOME, I thought it would be a good time to go back and take another look at the Wachowski brothers first picture, this stylish neo-noir with a side of lesbians.

It’s funny to think that these guys have now done 3 MATRIX movies in a row, and the only other movie was this one, which they made only to prove to the studio that they could direct THE MATRIX. At the time nobody knew what the fuck the Matrix was so they just thought they were trying to be like the Coen Brothers when they made their first movie BLOOD SIMPLE or the Dahl brothers when they made their first movie RED ROCK WEST but really they were just being the Matrix Brothers doing a demo reel. (read the rest of this shit…)