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Posts Tagged ‘John Shirley’

The Crow (30th anniversary revisit)

Thursday, May 16th, 2024

On May 13, 1994, Johnny Carson was on Late Show with David Letterman, his final televised appearance. Times were rolling on, guards were changing. That same day Miramax, an indie studio recently purchased by Disney, had their biggest opening ever with a bitter R-rated comic book adaptation. While boomers were preparing to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Woodstock, here was a movie with a soundtrack full of Lollapalooza bands, their names underlined on the poster, above a 1-900 number you could call “for music CD preview.” That particular demographic hadn’t really been cinematically catered to so directly, and they showed up, as did others. It was even well reviewed by critics, who were unlikely to be comic book nerds or Nine Inch Nails fans in those days.

Now THE CROW is 30 years old, further in our past than Woodstock was at the time. Jesus christ, man. I wrote a review of it 15 years ago. Time flies when you’re getting old, I guess. In 1994 this movie seemed amazing and important – it not only felt so new in its style, but was part of a collective mourning and/or discovery of this exciting actor who had lost his life making a movie about losing his life. Maybe I was falling for the ads asking us to “EXPERIENCE THE MOVIE EVENT OF THE YEAR” and “Take the journey. Experience the phenomenon.” But I went solemnly into a dark theater, the movie washed over me, I could just feel it more than think about it. Watching it now it’s more a movie I find interesting than a movie I can love. But I don’t mind that it’s style over substance. That’s why it works. Evocative imagery and effusive, unexamined emotion – that’s what goth is about, as far as I can understand. That’s what being a teenager is about. I used to be one of those. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Specialist

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

THE SPECIALIST was Sylvester Stallone’s 1994 offering, a present-day palate cleanser between the futuristic DEMOLITION MAN and JUDGE DREDD. It even says “present day” onscreen after a prologue taking place in Colombia in ’84.

That was when black ops explosives expert Ray Quick (Stallone) had a falling out with his partner-mentor Ned Trent (James Woods). They were trying to assassinate a drug lord but Quick tried to pull the plug when he saw that a little girl was going to get blown up with him. Trent of course doesn’t care, and he gets his way (drug lord and girl both blown to kingdom come) but then the two of them fight about it.
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