Posts Tagged ‘Michael Madsen’
Tuesday, May 30th, 2023
June 3, 1983
A mere three weeks after John Badham’s BLUE THUNDER, he came out with another movie that is in awe of, but also a cautionary tale about, then-newfangled technology that (as one would assume) seems very crude from the perspective of 40 years later. This one is WARGAMES, and the technology is computers – both home computers used by high school hacker prodigy David Lightman (Matthew Broderick in his second film, after MAX DUGAN RETURNS) and a more fantastical experimental A.I. (though that’s not the term they use) created by eccentric genius Dr. Stephen Falken (John Wood, later in LADYHAWKE with Broderick).
David is well known to the vice principal due to his “attitude problem.” He gets kicked out of class for an actually very high quality smart ass response to the teacher, who writes “ASEXUAL” on the board and asks who came up with the idea of reproducing without sex. He hears the class laughing at something David whispers, and asks him to repeat it.
“Your wife,” David says. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Ally Sheedy, Dabney Coleman, hackers, John Badham, John Wood, Martin Brest, Matthew Broderick, Michael Madsen, set in Seattle, Walter F. Parkes
Posted in Reviews | 15 Comments »
Monday, May 24th, 2021
“Check the booty, yo it’s kinda soft an’ / If you touch it you’re livin in a coffin / I’m in the ‘90s, you’re still in the ‘80s, right / I rock the mic, they say I’m not ladylike”
—“You Can’t Play With My Yo-Yo” by Yo-Yo
On May 24, 1991 – exactly as the above-quoted song debuted on the Billboard charts at #87 – a parallel but more wide-reaching pop culture event arrived. Ridley Scott’s THELMA & LOUISE isn’t the type of movie we normally think of as a summer blockbuster, but it was a phenomenon arguably bigger than most of the t-shirt and Slurpee selling spectacles I love to document in these retrospectives. A surprise hit, an Oscar winner, a capturer of the zeitgeist, it inspired months of back-and-forth editorials and feature articles, and was soon declared a watershed moment for women in movies. A genuine cultural moment.
But I hadn’t re-watched it since that moment, and I really wasn’t sure how it would play now. It turns out when you remove it from any newness or perceived importance, it only emphasizes what an effective piece of entertainment it is. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Brad Pitt, Callie Khouri, Christopher McDonald, Geena Davis, Hans Zimmer, Harvey Keitel, Michael Madsen, Ridley Scott, Sonny Carl Davis, Summer of 1991, Susan Sarandon
Posted in Crime, Drama, Reviews | 12 Comments »
Wednesday, December 30th, 2015
(SPOILERS. This is a don’t-read-before-seeing-the-movie review.)
Quentin Tarantino tries out a couple new tricks in his new one, THE HATEFUL EIGHT: he shot in extra-wide 65mm Cinemascope, and helped hook up a bunch of theaters with 70mm projectors (and projectionists, I assume) to show an early, longer version of the movie complete with an overture, intermission and program. He got Ennio Morricone to compose and orchestrate some new music for it (Tarantino’s only previous original scoring was some bits by RZA and Robert Rodriguez for the KILL BILLs). But it also feels pretty familiar: his second extreme-racism western in a row, with chapter titles like KILL BILL, full of conversation suspense scenes like INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, mostly one location like RESERVOIR DOGS, some non-linear jumps like most of his movies, and a cast with plenty of his regulars (Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, James Parks, Zoe Bell, Waltong Goggins [I almost forgot he was in DJANGO UNCHAINED). Just as INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS got away with some out-of-the-blue, seemingly incongruous narration by Jackson, HATEFUL EIGHT follows up its intermission with some omniscient narration that you suddenly realize is Tarantino himself. I can see why some people would hate that, but I loved it. I mean, who are we fooling, we all know it’s this guy talking to us through this movie anyway. And it helps kick off the second half with an energy the first was lacking.
Here’s something brand new for a Tarantino movie: I didn’t immediately love it. I’m honestly still trying to figure out how I feel about it. I’m not sure I get it. I remember that with both INGLOURIOUS and DJANGO I had misgivings on the first viewings that later seemed completely irrelevant. With the former it was thinking that Brad Pitt seemed like Brad Pitt playing a funny character, he didn’t inhabit the character the way previous Tarantino leads had. With the latter it was that Tarantino had never done a movie that followed one character chronologically, and it seemed kinda too simple for him. Both of those seem like dumb complaints to me now, and I loved both movies without reservations on subsequent viewings. Even so, their first times I liked better than this first time. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bruce Dern, Demian Bichir, Ennio Morricone, James Parks, Michael Madsen, Quentin Tarantino, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Walton Goggins, Zoe Bell
Posted in Reviews, Western | 133 Comments »
Wednesday, September 30th, 2015
Oh shit. What if instead of a female alien killing people in a SPECIES movie, it was a male alien? That would change everything. I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THIS.
No, actually I’m making it sound stupid, but I honestly think this is a good premise for part 2. I talked in my review of the first one about how much I liked the gender subtext there, even if they didn’t do as much with it as I’d like. This one continues the exploration by giving us a male-alien-sex-rampage to compare and contrast with the female one.
Men are from Mars, you know, so that’s where it starts. America’s first manned mission to Mars (co-financed by Pepsi, Sprint, Reebok and Bud Lite) ends up getting the crew infected by Species DNA, which speaks to either how bad their luck is or what a toxic shithole Mars is, because I swear they were there for like five minutes total. I kind of feel bad for Reebok on this, it doesn’t seem like they got their money’s worth. One of the astronauts goes down on the lander, plants the flag, makes a brief speech, digs up three soil samples and flies back to the shuttle. They don’t notice that the samples are steaming and dripping slime as they high five and get ready to be “Homeward bound, bay-bay!” (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Chris Brancato, James Cromwell, Justin Lazard, Marg Helgenberger, Michael Madsen, Natasha Henstridge, Peter Medak, Richard Belzer
Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 18 Comments »
Wednesday, October 15th, 2014
“Don’t go. Please! I want a baby.”
SPECIES is one of these movies of the ’90s that isn’t very good but that represents a weird enough collision of influences to be interesting. It’s a studio genre movie so it has an all-star cast. Ben Kingsley (PRINCE OF PERSIA, BLOODRAYNE) leads the government monster hunt, and his team of specialists is Forest Whitaker (BLOODSPORT), Michael Madsen (BLOODRAYNE), Alfred Molina (PRINCE OF PERSIA) and Marg Helgenberger (FIRE DOWN BELOW).
Behind the scenes they got a couple of legit horror technicians in the mix: composer Christopher Young, whose eerie score is very similar to what he did for HELLRAISER, and monster designer H.R. Giger does his biomechanical thing like in ALIEN, but this time with bonus eyes and boobs. This was the first time his creatures got the computer animation treatment, an exciting development in those days. It was only two years after JURASSIC PARK and just doing everything digitally was still in the future, they had to put in some effort to do it so it was usually a big deal. The digital parts look almost charmingly crude now, but luckily they got puppets and costumes in there too, like you did back then. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Alfred Molina, Ben Kingsley, Forest Whitaker, H.R. Giger, Marg Helgenberger, Michael Madsen, Michelle Williams, Natasha Henstridge, Roger Donaldson
Posted in Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 20 Comments »
Wednesday, September 26th, 2012
I remember the first time I saw RESERVOIR DOGS it was with a bunch of dudes that had seen it a bunch of times and knew all the dialogue and shit. I thought it was great but I didn’t really get those guys, I didn’t think I would end up watching it over and over again.
Since then we’ve seen Quentin Tarantino go through the hip hop arc of exciting new thing, “it’s only a fad,” a decade later it’s obviously here to stay and still growing so quit your grumblin ya old grouch. In fact I did the math wrong when I was watching this, I was thinking it was turning 18 this year, it would be old enough to vote. And let’s be honest, it’s not voting for Obama, ’cause it’s kinda racist and also it probly thinks any Democrat wants to take its guns away.
(read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Chris Penn, Eddie Bunker, Harvey Keitel, Kirk Baltz, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen, Quentin Tarantino, Randy Brooks, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth
Posted in Crime, Reviews | 67 Comments »
Friday, April 16th, 2004
(another unused one for the ain’t it cool news.)
Harry and associates,
I am writing to inform you of an exciting new picture called KILL BILL VOLUME 2. Please forgive me if you already know about this one or have covered it already. Or if you have travelled to China to visit the set. I don’t usually read your sight except when my reviews are on it.
Just jerkin your chain bud but seriously here’s the deal. This has been coming on for a while but after seeing this movie I think today is the day. I would like to officially endorse the works of Mr. Tarantino as an important chapter in the history of Badass Cinema. VOLUME 2 is a very satisfying conclusion to that exciting saga of revenge we began oh those several months ago with The Bride. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Darryl Hannah, David Carradine, Gordon Liu, Michael Madsen, Michael Parks, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, RZA, Uma Thurman
Posted in Action, Reviews, Thriller | 62 Comments »
Tuesday, September 24th, 2002
Yeah I know, this Iraq deal is getting even worse but let’s just take one fuckin column to talk about what I used to talk about, the movies.
This month has been hard on the wallet not just because of the economy but also because of numerous high quality dvd releases of important films of Badass Cinema. Today I will take some time to review a few of those dvds.
First of all we got my pick for the best movie of the year so far, BLADE II. I feel I have already written enough about the many fine qualities of this picture so I will focus this review only on the many fine dvd extras brought to you by one of our best directors, Mr. Guillermo del Toro. This is a part of the “New Line Platinum Series” which I have come to know and trust as a series of dvds with extra material above and beyond your “theatrical trailer” or your “chapter stops” or even your “weblinks.” (Does anybody really have a DVD-ROM drive? And if so, do they really need a dvd to figure out how to find the web site for BONES?) BLADE II is no exception, in fact it has even better extras than BLADE I. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bridget Fonda, Chris Penn, David S. Goyer, Don Gordon, Guillermo Del Toro, Harvey Keitel, Michael Campus, Michael Madsen, Pam Grier, Quentin Tarantino, Richard Pryor, Robert DeNiro, Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, vampires
Posted in Crime, Drama, Mystery, Reviews, Thriller, Vern Tells It Like It Is | 2 Comments »