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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Forster’

Walking the Edge

Monday, August 16th, 2021

I watched WALKING THE EDGE because it came out on blu-ray from Fun City Editions – who seem to have an eye for ‘80s urban crime movies with a bit of an arty edge – and because it stars Robert Forster. I had just enjoyed him in ALLIGATOR, which is a much better movie to me, but it almost doesn’t matter. This is another one that for all its good qualities is about 85% running on the fuel of Forster’s charisma and acting choices.

It’s a simple story. He plays put-upon L.A. cab driver Jason Walk, who reluctantly picks up a fare one day (the cab is kind of a front – he really working for a mobster called “the Fat Man” [Bernard Erhard, voice of Cy-Kill on GoBots] and tries to avoid actual work), not knowing she’s on a revenge spree. At her first stop Christine (Nancy Kwan, THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG) splatters a guy’s chunky blood across a window while Jason sits in the cab obliviously grooving out to jazz. At the second stop he sees her get in a shootout with some guys at a garage and while the two of them are driving away yelling at each other he realizes she’s been injured (not from a bullet – from a hubcap thrown at her like a Frisbee!), feels bad and brings her to hide out at his apartment. (read the rest of this shit…)

Alligator

Thursday, July 15th, 2021

ALLIGATOR (1980) may not have knocked the world on its ass the way THE TERMINATOR did, but it’s another genre movie made by Roger Corman veterans in the ‘80s that holds up today. People often credit that to an allegedly satirical screenplay by John Sayles, who had already written the Corman classics PIRANHA and BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS and begun his indie auteur career with RETURN OF THE SEACAUCUS SEVEN. (He completely rewrote an earlier script by Frank Ray Perilli [THE DOBERMAN GANG, DRACULA’S DOG, LASERBLAST], who gets a story credit). But let’s not overlook the serious skills of director Lewis Teague. His NYU classmate Martin Scorsese had reportedly recommended him for the job at New World Pictures, where he’d edited COCKFIGHTER and done some second unit and editing on DEATH RACE 2000 and AVALANCHE. ALLIGATOR was his third time directing a feature, after DIRTY O’NEIL and THE LADY IN RED. He was also directing second unit for Sam Fuller’s THE BIG RED ONE around this same time, but I’m not sure if that was right before or right after the gator picture, so I can’t speculate how one gig might’ve informed the other.

ALLIGATOR opens with a teenage girl (Leslie Brown) on a family vacation to Florida watching a guy get mauled at a gator wrestling show. Despite this potentially traumatizing experience she buys a baby gator from the farm and names it Ramon. But when she’s back at home somewhere in Missouri her drunk dad flushes the poor thing down the toilet. Then we cut to 12 years later when Ramon is still alive in the sewer system, and has grown to unusual size and hunger from munching on the clandestinely dumped victims of illegal animal experiments, and is destined to bump heads with police detective David Madison (Robert Forster in his follow up to THE BLACK HOLE).

I would like to note that a news report on the radio places the toilet flushing during the ’68 Democratic National Convention, i.e. the time and place when in real life Forster was filming MEDIUM COOL. (read the rest of this shit…)

Acts of Vengeance

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

Instead of thinking of ACTS OF VENGEANCE as the new one from DTV action master Isaac Florentine, I recommend viwing it as the new Antonio Banderas, and oh shit Isaac Florentine directed this! Held to the standards of Florentine’s amazing UNDISPUTED 2, 3 and 4, NINJA 1 and 2 or other Scott Adkins vehicles it can’t really compete. But for a non-martial artist Banderas has some good fights, and it has a nice, weird revenge story for him to sink his actor teeth into.

He plays Frank Valera, a successful defense attorney who, like all workaholic dads in movies, promises to be at his daughter (Lillian Blankenship, SECURITY)’s talent show where she’s singing a song specifically for him but he stays at work too long and gets there after it’s over and feels like a piece of shit and emotionally watches the cell phone video of her singing and tries to call to apologize to his wife (Cristina Serafini, DAY OF THE DEAD: BLOODLINE) but man did he fuck up, this guy.

(For what it’s worth, most of the delay was caused by gridlock, and he was honking his horn alot. It was mostly out of his control.) (read the rest of this shit…)

London Has Fallen

Monday, March 7th, 2016

tn_londonhasfallenLONDON HAS FALLEN is the sequel to 2013’s OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, that one where Gerard Butler (GODS OF EGYPT) plays Secret Service agent Mike Banning, protecting President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart, I FRANKENSTEIN) when the White House is attacked. It is not to be confused with WHITE HOUSE DOWN, the one where it’s Channing Tatum protecting Jamie Foxx.

Who am I fooling though? I get them confused so much I sincerely mixed up the titles when I wrote the first draft of this review in my notebook, and when I fixed it I started to type OLYMPUS DOWN. I was thinking I’d found the Tatum one to be the more passable 2013 half-assed excuse for a DIE HARD rip-off, but then I went to the tape. My review of that one is a little harsher, and ends by saying “If you see only one UNDER SIEGE IN THE WHITE HOUSE movie this year, see… ah, who gives a shit? Nobody will remember either of these movies a year from now. Of the two I think I preferred OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. I forget why though. Something about Melissa Leo?”

In my day a movie had to excite somebody’s imagination to get a sequel. Now it just hast to be the one of two similar bad movies that gets more money because it came out first. (read the rest of this shit…)

Uncle Sam

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

tn_unclesamwarning: I wanted to get this up in a timely manner so I have to throw it on here without re-reading it. Sorry.

Today is the 4th of July, where we in the United States celebrate our independence day. Partly the movie but mostly the historic event. There are flags and barbecues and shit, and fireworks. It’s not as involved as Christmas, but it’s a thing.

I am a fan of the holiday horror movies, so I’m happy that director William Lustig and writer Larry Cohen made this one for Independence Day back in 1996. Lustig was way past his prime and the movie kinda sucks, but I still like that it exists.

This was of course the same team that made MANIAC COP, and this is basically MANIAC SOLDIER. The maniac is Sam Harper (David ‘Shark’ Fralick), killed in a friendly fire incident during Desert Storm, not found until 3 years later. His burnt corpse is shipped back and sits in a flag-draped coffin at his widow’s house for the memorial service. But when his idolizing nephew Jody (Christopher Ogden) puts his box of medals inside the coffin for some reason that turns him into a vengeful zombie just in time for the town’s 4th of July celebration. (Also he pins the medals into his burnt flesh.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Olympus Has Fallen

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

tn_olympushasfallenOLYMPUS HAS FALLEN is a watchable but instantly forgettable throwback to a subgenre I miss, the glossy ’90s studio action like IN THE LINE OF FIRE and UNDER SIEGE. I mean it’s not a studio movie – it was made by the until-recently-DTV sausage factory Millennium Films – but it sure seems legit with its respectable cast of Aaron Eckhart as the President, Ashley Judd as the First Lady, Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman as the Speaker of the House  (a demotion from DEEP IMPACT), Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett as the Secret Service director, Academy Award winner Melissa Leo as the Secretary of Defense, Golden Globe winner Dylan McDermott as… some other type of White House guy. Lending whatever action movie credibility they can muster are 300’s Gerard Butler as the hero, PITCH BLACK’s Radha Mitchell as the hero’s wife, THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS’s Rick Yune as the villain, and PAPARAZZI’s Cole Hauser reprising his A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD role as Agent Who Gets Killed Early On. (read the rest of this shit…)

Scanners: The Showdown

Monday, June 7th, 2010

tn_scannersshowdownFrom the director of MISSION OF JUSTICE and the writer of EXCESSIVE FORCE II: FORCE ON FORCE comes SCANNERS: THE SHOWDOWN, or SCANNER COP II in some jurisdictions. It’s a follow-up to SCANNER COP, and the first SCANNERS movie to continue with a character from the last one. For some reason I guess they must’ve assumed the characters from SCANNERS II and SCANNERS III were not dear to our hearts.

In this one Scanner Cop (still Daniel Quinn) has a new Scanner Case. He’s gone from we-behind-the-ears rookie to completely-dry-throughout-the-entire-ear-area cocky veteran with long hair and even – and this is how you understand what he’s all about – a brown leather jacket. (read the rest of this shit…)

American Yakuza

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

tn_americanyakuza“Viggo Mortensen is… AMERICAN YAKUZA.” That’s what it says on the trailer. This is a rare early Viggo lead role and it’s pretty much a straight up action/crime movie. In the tradition of AMERICAN NINJA, AMERICAN KICKBOXER, AMERICAN SAMURAI and AMERICAN BEAUTY, Viggo is an American white guy who earns the trust and acceptance of the Yakuza, complementing their traditions and rituals with his own American spirit. When they drink sake he drinks Bud Light or Wild Turkey. But don’t worry man, he’s cool. I’ll explain. (read the rest of this shit…)

Psycho (remake)

Monday, November 9th, 2009

tn_psychoremakeIn Gus Van Sant’s 1998 remake of PSYCHO they tried to recreate Hitchcock’s filmatism, they had Joseph Stefano only slightly re-word his old script, they re-recorded Bernard Herrman’s score and made it sound basically the same. So the success or failure of this version mostly falls to the one element Hitchcock claimed to not give two shits about: the actors.

That’s trouble though because it was easy to predict that nobody could withstand comparison to Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates. It’s interesting to see someone else try to put a different spin on it, but I doubt you could find anyone who prefers Vince Vaughn or even thinks he comes a close second. I’m not sure who the miraculous casting choice who would work as Norman even though he’s not Anthony Perkins would be, but Vaughn ain’t the guy. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vigilante

Tuesday, May 18th, 2004

I don’t know how familiar anybody is with William Lustig. The guy is no genius. He made the MANIAC COP series. He made the picture UNCLE SAM which is a decent holiday slasher picture with subversive Gulf War themes, but it’s kind of a bummer because there is almost no use of stilts after the initial appearance of the Uncle Sam costume in a parade. Anyway after many years of directing bad horror pictures this guy started that company Anchor Bay which put out alot of better ones on video and DVD.

But there are some pretty good ones in his filmography, especially the first one, MANIAC. That was a sleazy, brutal horror picture about a sweaty New York pervert who kills women, staples their scalps to a mannequin, handcuffs himself to the mannequin and cries. Then during the daytime he puts on shades and tries to make it as a hip fashion photographer. It’s a real sick movie with ridiculous gore effects by Mr. Tom Savini. Not recommended for anybody unless they like that kind of crap, which in this case I do. (read the rest of this shit…)