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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Patrick’

The Protege

Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

I don’t know if Maggie Q thinks of herself as an action star. She’s a good actress, and in recent years she’s been in horror movies and thrillers and on Designated Survivor, and she has a new sitcom coming soon. Maybe one of her best known roles was the title character in Nikita, where I assume she kicked a multitude of asses every week, but it’s not like anybody puts the original TV Nikita Peta Wilson or the original movie Nikita Anne Parillaud or the second movie version Bridget Fonda in a category with Jean-Claude Van Damme and those guys. They’re just actors without much association to the genre.

But I respect that Q specifically came out of Hong Kong martial arts films. She’s American, but as a young woman she worked as a model in Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong, where she was discovered and trained by Jackie Chan. Some of her Hong Kong films were Benny Chan’s GEN-X COPS 2, Ching Siu Tung’s NAKED WEAPON and Daniel Lee’s Seagal-produced DRAGON SQUAD, before coming to Hollywood for cool supporting parts in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE III and LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. She’s been in a bunch of stuff since then, including the DIVERGENT series. A lesser known one I thought she was cool in was PRIEST. But I kinda thought she’d moved on from that, so as an action fan I was so thrilled when I first saw the trailer for THE PROTÉGÉ and realized she not only had a legit starring role action vehicle, but one that was made to be released in theaters! And it really happened! I saw it in one!

This was a few weeks ago, many of the reviews I saw were negative, and it’s probly pretty much gone already, but it’s on VOD now and on disc soon. So I want to put in a good word for it. (read the rest of this shit…)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (30th anniversary revisit)

Thursday, July 1st, 2021

July 3, 1991

There are a few interesting summer of ’91 movies – STONE COLD, THE ROCKETEER, HARLEY DAVIDSON & THE MARLBORO MAN – that I skipped in this series because I’d already reviewed them in a form I felt satisfied with. If I had more time I would’ve like to revisit them for completism, but you know how it is.

TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY is one I wrote about in 2007 (with a pretty good comparison to E.T.) and more definitively in 2017 on the occasion of its 3D re-release. But when I decided to do a summer of ’91 series I knew it was the summer of T2 and it had to be included. So this is meant as a supplemental review about its place in 1991, but I think I’ve come up with some pretty meaty stuff to discuss (in addition to silly stuff about toys and video games and crap if you’re more interested in that).


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Double Dragon

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

DOUBLE DRAGON (1994), loosely based on the video game series, is a sci-fi fantasy action kids movie from the director of THE RETURN OF BRUNO and the producers of NATURAL BORN KILLERS. I do not personally consider it to be a good movie, but upon this rewatch I found it somewhat enjoyable on the strength of its specific only-in-the-‘90s strain of complete inexplicability.

It stars Mark Dacascos (a year after ONLY THE STRONG, a year before KICKBOXER 5 and CRYING FREEMAN) and Scott Wolf (the same year Party of Five started) as martial artist brothers, Alyssa Milano (in the window between Who’s the Boss? and EMBRACE OF THE VAMPIRE) as the leader of a vigilante group, and Robert Patrick (who had only done FIRE IN THE SKY and two T-1000 cameos since T2) as an evil gang leader/businessman obsessed with obtaining an ancient Chinese medallion that would give him super powers. It takes place in the cyberpunky post-The-Big-Quake New Angeles in the futuristic year of 2007, with all the satirical billboards and colorful street gangs that implies. (read the rest of this shit…)

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

In the part of my brain dedicated to Favorite Movies, James Cameron’s TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY sits on the top shelf with all the best and strongest. It was the definition of knock-you-through-the-back-of-the-theater summer blockbuster when it arrived in 1991, and my love for it has only deepened in the intervening quarter century.

Some big budget FX movies arguably get by on technological gimmicks that lose power as years pass, but not this one. It matters nothing that the groundbreaking, reality melting digital effects of the liquid metal T-1000 (Robert Patrick, THE MARINE) no longer cause jaws to drop, because in fact T2 is more impressive as a document of the time before computer imagery largely replaced old school stunts and sets and locations. No matter how many times and ways people and vehicles and buildings and cities and countries and planets have been elaborately destroyed by computers in the summers since, the thrill of T2 is not gone. For example the semi vs. motorcycles, helicopter vs. truck and other attempts to quash the relentless pursuit of the T-1000 are still exhilarating.

Rewatching every few years doesn’t wear out T2’s spectacle. Instead it amplifies the themes that animate the movie’s soul. (read the rest of this shit…)

Eye See You

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013

tn_eyeseeyouaka D-TOX

Here’s a movie that brings a new angle to my Badass Auteur Theory. If this starred Ben Affleck or Ewan McGregor or somebody it would just be a mediocre stalker thriller from the director of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. But since it stars Sylvester Stallone we can only see it in the context of his body of work. It forces us to look at it as a Sylvester Stallone vehicle and compare it to CLIFFHANGER and stuff. So it has the advantage of being an interesting tangent in his filmography.

Stallone plays Jake Malloy, former city cop turned FBI agent. The wikipedia entry makes me think he was supposed to be a Seattle cop, but I didn’t pick up on that from the movie and it wasn’t filmed here. Anyway, he’s on the trail of a serial killer who targets cops. He’s been chasing this guy for 6 months but he’s not in so deep he doesn’t have a personal life. He buys an expensive ring so he can propose to his girl (Dina Meyer), so I think you know what that means. He better own a black suit. (read the rest of this shit…)

Trouble With the Curve

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

tn_troublewiththecurveI don’t know if this is true but I heard it’s good luck for movie critics to start a year with a Clint Eastwood review. So I saved TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE for the occasion.

It’s a pretty standard mainstream feel-good-about-everything-at-the-end father-daughter relationship drama, but I couldn’t resist it because Clint plays the stubborn old grump dad and Amy Adams plays the daughter. She’s pissed off and sarcastic through half the movie but I’m still powerless in the face of her charms. I’m sorry.

Here’s the situation: Gus (Clint) is a veteran scout for the Braves baseball team, sent to evaluate some young hot shot out in North Carolina (Scott Eastwood). But Gus is secretly losing his eyesight and openly losing favor in the organization to a young douchebag (Matthew Lillard) who prefers modern methods involving computers and statistics. Gus’s best friend (John Goodman with an impressive mustache) worries they’re gonna drop him if something goes wrong, so he begs Gus’s estranged lawyer daughter Mickey (Adams) to come keep an eye on him. Meanwhile, a young pitching-phenom-turned-scout who Gus likes (Justin Timberlake) helps out and tries to woo Mickey.
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Cop Land

Monday, September 17th, 2012

I always thought COP LAND was a sequel to WESTWORLD, but I guess it’s actually a police drama about a small town in New Jersey set up by the mob to shelter corrupt New York cops outside of the city limits. Could use some out of control robots obviously but otherwise it’s a good movie.

As the movie opens Freddie (Sylvester Stallone) is in a small diner where cops hang out, playing a cop-themed pinball machine. That’s how he spends his birthday. He’s drunk and can’t stop playing, is so into it he takes his sheriff keys to go open up a parking meter and get more quarters. This is him, playing a game at being a cop, watching the city cops talk, they get mad that he’s looking at them. And he can’t even hear what they’re saying anyway because he went deaf in one ear saving a drowning girl when he was young. It keeps him off the NYPD and makes him have to keep having people repeat things to him.
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Vern Reviews FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS!!

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Merrick here…

The fabulous Vern sent in his thoughts on FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS. His reviewis rather long, so I’ll get out of the way and let him speak for himself.

Here’s Vern…

Well, shit. I feel like an asshole giving a room-temperature review to my man Clint Eastwood’s long awaited WWII drama. Because Clint is the best. If there was some reason why the entire human race had to be destroyed except for one movie star, and I had to choose who it would be, I would choose Clint. I don’t care if he’s old, he’s the number one Badass Laureate of all time. He’d make a damn good last representative of our species, and he could still take on the vampires pretty good I think. But despite (and partly because of) my great respect for the man, I gotta be honest: I don’t consider this a great movie. (read the rest of this shit…)

Walk the Line

Saturday, December 31st, 2005

You can’t compare Johnny Cash to anybody, but you can’t help but compare WALK THE LINE to the movie RAY. There aren’t many truly great musician biopics, if any, and they all end up being about the same shit. If you’re a legendary musician it’s pretty much guaranteed that you struggled for a while, got a lucky break, became a superstar, cheated on your wife, then had a drug problem that fucked up your career and relatinships for a while. Then you either died tragically or kicked the drugs. (One exception: small plane crashes.) In the case of both Ray and Johnny they kicked the drugs. But just because they didn’t die young doesn’t mean they had it easy. According to the movies, both had a brother who died when they were kids and were haunted by it for the rest of their lives.

Both RAY and WALK THE LINE benefit from great performances by celebrities playing other celebrities, but in the case of RAY I think without that performance you’d just have a pretty good TV movie. WALK THE LINE is a better movie even if the imitation is not quite as uncanny. (These actors did go the extra mile though and record all the songs themselves. It’s weird because you know it’s not the real John and June but you do know it’s the same John and June you’ve heard talking to each other so it seems to work.) (read the rest of this shit…)

Die Hard 2

Tuesday, December 21st, 1999

MCCLANE. JOHN MCCLANE. THE WORKING MAN’S JAMES BOND

BRUCE WILLIS’S DIE HARD 2

Well hell man I guess for those of you who read the title there’s no point in explaining my premise here. You see I just watched Die Hard part 2 for the first time since you know what and I realized that John McClane is a James bond for OUR people. The people who AREN’T rich and who don’t always get the breaks this motherfucker james gets.

Bond is the ultimate secret agent, who the government agencies go to for help. McClane is just a badass that happens to be there when the shit goes down, and the government agencies try to STOP him from helping but they can’t do it cause like the title says this mother fucker is HARD.

Bond has connections everywhere and can go anywhere and do just about anything he wants, but McClane has to save the whole fucking airport just to get these motherfuckers to let him out of a parking ticket. Bond drives snowmobiles and sports cars provided by the government and jumps off of them and blows them up. McClane steals the snowmobiles he uses but also jumps off of them and blows them up. Even when he drives a car at the beginning, its a piece of shit borrowed from his mother in law, and that one gets impounded.

Bond wears expensive suits and dapper uniforms. McClane wears a dirty maintenance man snow jacket he BORROWS from somebody else. If McClane was EVER in a casino, he’d be wearing a sleeveless undershirt, it would be on the Indian reservation, and he’d be losing. My man john doesn’t know the MEANING of the word dapper. He’s a rough and tumble type dude, and if I didn’t know he was a cop i’d swear he done time, cause this is the type of motherfucker that knows how to bite a guys hand during a fight. thumbs up for that one mcclane. (read the rest of this shit…)