Tuesday, February 28, 2012


In case anyone was wondering I did watch some of the Oscars but quit about halfway through to watch Bloodfist

Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson stars in his breakout role as some fighting guy that avenges his brother’s death.  To be fair his brother did have it coming because he reneged on a deal to take a dive in a kickboxing match and ended up killing his opponent.  So really this death is avenged first by the bad guys which would make things even.  In fact I’m glad they killed the brother because he was gloating like an asshole after he beat that other guy to death.  But The Dragon still wants to dish out a comeuppance so he flies to the Philippines and enters a tournament to find out who the killer is.

Now I know why Don Wilson never caught on and became an A list action star.  He has no presence.  He’s not physically intimidating or has an interesting face or a fierce looking fighting style or anything.  Wilson just looks like some average guy and has a bland personality to match.  I didn’t ever believe that Wilson could kick major ass or that he was a formidable hero.  It feels like he wins because that’s what’s supposed to happen in the film and not because he really does look that much better at martial arting than his opponents.  Sure he’s won something like eleven championship titles in kickboxing in real life and that’s incredibly impressive but he doesn’t translate well onto film.  As far as Wilson’s acting ability goes it’s fine for a B action picture.  He shows some drive to find his brother’s killer and some tenderness when he falls for the love interest.  I couldn’t really ask for more.   

But for a movie that’s all about kickboxing and fighting in general it doesn’t deliver.  I mean there’s plenty of it but it’s staged poorly, not shot particularly well and just unexciting overall.  It’s nice that they got real championship fighters to be in this (we know this because when their names come up in the credits their real life credentials are listed, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before) like Rob Kaman, Billy Blanks and Kris Aguilar.  But I feel like all of these guys’ talents are wasted because the fights are so weakly put together.  You can tell that they’re holding back their kicks and punches most of the time which obviously doesn’t make the fights very convincing.

There was one element that I thought was pretty cool that has to do with Wilson’s fighting coach but it’ll give shit away if I go into it.  It’s also another thing that I don’t think I’ve seen before in a tournament movie.

Who would’ve thought that this one movie would’ve generated eight sequels.  Although I think Bloodfist II is the only one that has a direct connection with this one while the rest have nothing to do with anything except that it stars The Dragon.  And there may be blood on fists, there was in this.

Unless tournament pictures are your favorite type of movie there’s no need to see it.  Although if you guys know if any of the sequels are better let me know and I’ll check it out.  Anyway, there are much better versions of the same film out there like Lionheart.  Yeah, see that.  It dishes out some fucking great Van Damme.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

North Face

Ok, one more mountain climbing movie for ya.  I think this’ll be the last one for a while.  I’ve gotten my fill.

So it’s 1936 and the Olympics are coming up in Germany.  No one has reached the summit of the Eiger before and the country thinks it would be a nice thing to have done in time for the games.  So blah blah blah two teams, a German and an Austrian, attempt the climb and shit happens along the way.

And I mean serious shit.  These four guys end up banding together pretty early on because they know this is gonna be tough.  They come up against one obstacle after another and things get worse the higher they climb.  It’s all really exciting because each new problem changes their plans and how they deal with the mountain.  Also each new turn brings them closer to death.

The thing I was not prepared for was how sad this movie is.  You think things are gonna eventually turnaround for these guys but they just keep getting the shit kicked out of them.  Like one guy looses a glove so his hand freezes and another gets his head bashed by a falling rock.  It’s gets a little nasty to watch.  We get to know the German team pretty well because they’re supposed to be our heroes so that means the Austrians are kind of the bad guys.  Well it’s really only one of the Austrians that keeps making asinine comments about how they’re so much better than the German team.  And every time he makes one of those remarks his climbing partner looks at him like, “why are you such a dick?”  But like I said before they’re all in it together so you feel for all of them, even that one Austrian wiener.

The director, Philipp Stolzl, said he didn’t want to portray the Eiger as a villain with lots of low angles ‘n shit but rather shoot it in more of a documentary style.  And that was a cool move because in other mountain climbing pictures the mountain is talked about like it’s a living thing and/or a demon.  People are scared of it, curse it and create a mystique for it.  Like if only the thing wasn’t so mean and let people scale it easily then we could all get along and invite the mountain over for tea and cookies.  In this one there’s hardly any of that so I didn’t feel like the Eiger was to blame for the climber’s troubles.  They knew what they were getting themselves into and getting caught in a snowstorm and having rocks fall on you comes with the territory.  The mountain is just there.  It’s not evil.  If you try to climb it and get fucked up it’s your own fault not the giant rock’s.   

The photography of the scaling and of the mountain itself is beautiful.  While I was watching this I thought to myself, “either they found the perfect and most breathtaking stand in or this is some of the best CGI I’ve ever seen”.  Well on the DVD they show how they shot it all on a set and filled the rest in with computers later.  I was shocked because it’s seamless.  Why can’t all movies look this good?  When these guys are hanging there by their ropes and when they’re hiking through the ice fields their surroundings don’t look like glossy, shiny crap that a computer shat out.  They have texture and match the fake rocks that the actors are on real well.  So kudos to the filmmakers for making that shit work.

Just to let you know this is based on a true story but much of what’s in the picture didn’t actually happen.  The major points are true (four people really did attempt to climb the Eiger in 1936) but a lot of the details are made up for your cinematic pleasure.  It’s not a big problem in this case because the focus is on the scaling of the mountain and not on some other bullshit.  Sure they throw in a love story but I think it’s handled well and defiantly doesn’t take precedence over the adventure of a race to the summit.  

I guess all of these mountain climbing movies are kinda the same.  People climb, shit happens (somebody gets sick or injured, a storm moves in, supplies run out, etc.), a decision needs to be made whether to continue to the summit or head back down and whichever move they make their situation only gets worse.  But like anything there are varying degrees and I would say this is one of the best of the genre.  It portrays the feat realistically if not totally historically accurate with respect to character and circumstance.  But once again we have another picture that makes this shit look insane.  It’s just incredible that people climb these things in real life and almost kill themselves (or kill themselves) in the process.

One last thing, some versions of the poster have a swastika on it but this film doesn’t really have anything to do with Nazis, World War II or even Germany in the 30’s.  It’s purely about climbing a mountain.  Some clown must’ve put it on there to get people to stop and look at it to generate interest.  Well I can’t say it didn’t work for me but now you guys know better.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Woman

Here’s what one guy said about this movie at the beginning of the “making of” extra on the DVD: “This is not art.  This is bullshit.  This is degradation of women…you know, I would say this film ought to be confiscated, burned.  There’s no value showing this to anyone.”  

Ok, so I liked this one but what laid the groundwork was not knowing anything about it.  I think if you go in oblivious to what you’re about to experience this one pays off pretty well.  I do have one complaint and it’s kinda major.  The hipster score undercuts the impact of this picture.  I don’t know if it was meant to lighten/balance the material or if the director just thought it sounded cool but it damages the mood and hurts the film.  Other than that it can drag a little but overall I had a good time…I guess.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Seven-Ups

Who here remembers that show Dinner for Five?  You know, that talk show hosted by Jon Favreau (back before he became some fuckin’ summer blockbuster director and when he was Mr. Independent Film) where he would have dinner with four people in the entertainment industry (mostly) and they would be candid and say that they hate everyone in show business except for the people they were dining with.  Well there was this one episode with Dennis Farina (Out of Sight, Little Big League) where he mentioned that the two cop movies that he thought were the most authentic were The Seven-Ups and some other one I can’t remember.   This man is a former member of the force and I figured he must know what he’s talking about and have been meaning to check it out ever since. 

To get to the point it has the same look and feel as other 70’s cop dramas.  Farina says that this movie captured the humor of being a cop which is what most pictures on the subject lack.  But there wasn’t a helluva lot of humor in this one.  I don’t quite get what Farina was talking about but maybe you just need to be a cop to get it and this picture really is more accurate than most others.  I guess I’ll never really know that.

Stepping back from Farina’s comment and looking at it from my ol’ regular perspective I thought the film was pretty good but nothing spectacular.  The plot is confusing for a long while and things take time to develop.  Once I finally figured out what was happening I got invested a little more but by then all I could think about was the car chase.

And this is what makes the movie.  It’s long and thrilling as shit.  Roy Scheider (Jaws, All That Jazz) is after the bad guys and they go through a ton of New York City constantly dodging cars and people.  There’s even one part where the villains turn down a street and it’s filled with a mess of children playing and the bad guys have this terrified look on their faces like even they can’t believe this shit is in the film.  Scheider on the other hand keeps a cooler head and wears a pissed off expression like he’s being inconvenienced.  It’s great the way it ends too with Scheider crashing into the back of a fucking truck.  It looks so terrifying because the car is going so fast when it happens.  When he climbs out slowly he’s speechless and it’s his turn to have a completely stunned expression like he can’t believe he went on that incredible chase and he didn’t die just then.

Philip D’Antoni has produced three of the greatest car chases ever filmed: Bullitt, The French Connection and this.  Now that I know that they’re all related if I were to rank them I would say that Bullitt and The Seven-Ups are tied for first.  Alright I know that’s a copout.  Both are very similar but if I had to choose I would say The Seven-Ups one is a little better.  The Bullitt chase feels faster (as it should since it was filmed at speed (meaning they actually went 75-110 mph)) and it’s impressive that Steve McQueen did a bunch of the stunt driving himself.  But The Seven-Ups one feels more dangerous and I think the somewhat panicked expressions that Scheider and co. exhibit help to promote that.  Plus the way it ends has surprisingly more impact than the explosion seen in BullittThe French Connection one gets second/third.  It’s cool ‘n all but it’s a car chasing a train so it doesn’t really have the same feel as the other two.  It comes off a little disjointed because Gene Hackman is kinda racing by himself.  I love that the car gets all smashed up but the other two are better chases not only in execution but also in spirit (one car chases another car) in my opinion.   

You know car chases seem to be a lost art.  I mean there are the Fast and Furious’ that do a descent to good job (especially Fast Five) and Drive put out a great albeit short chase, but for the most part it’s not something you see in pictures anymore.  And I’m talking about a gritty fucking pursuit not goddamn transformers doing some fancy fucking CGI shit while they ride.  Actually, come to think of it the car chase in Universal Soldier: Regeneration was amazing.  So maybe there’s hope that this specialized type of action will return with a vengeance.

Getting back to the film, D’Antoni also directed this (his only effort) and does a damn fine job.  Things could’ve been clearer from the get go but overall it’s a nice piece of work.  The high energy soundtrack that’s more reminiscent of a horror movie is especially good.

The reason to see this is the car chase.  Everything else is just alright.  Although I dig the title.  It means that the scumbags this elite team busts do a minimum of seven years in the joint.  So in other words they only go after the big fish that are doing some serious crime. 

If gritty 70’s New York cop dramas and car chases ain’t your thang then there’s no harm in skipping it.  But you should totally YouTube that chase scene I promise you’ll like it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


K2 is the second tallest mountain on Earth and it’s also one of the most dangerous to climb.  In fact depending on the stats you look at it is the most treacherous thing to attempt to ascend…or rather descend.  According to the well respected statistician Xavier Eguskitza: “If we consider the number of deaths coming down from the summit, K2 is by far the most dangerous, about 3 times more so than Annapurna. The problem on K2 is that if you reach the top, your chances of returning are significantly reduced” (K2climb.net, just giving credit where credit is due).  Shit man it sounds like that mountain is playing dirty.  It may not be the tallest one out there and only like the third most dangerous thing to climb (‘cause who cares about second and third place finishers?) but if you make it to the top there’s a really good chance that you won’t come down alive.  It’s like the mountain is saying, “ok, I’ll let you see my summit but then I’m gonna have to kill you.”  That’s not cool, fuck you K2.

So it’s ironic that a movie called K2 is actually about the Kansas highway where they show how it’s all fucked up and lawless with supercharged cars pimped to the hilt with guns and spikes ‘n shit like Mad Max or something.  Nah, I’m just kidding it’s totally about the second tallest thing on the planet.

Michael Biehn (Bereavement, The Abyss) is Taylor, a hotshot climber, lawyer and ladies man.  We know he’s hot for the chicks because he scales an apartment building, like he’s climbing a mountain, to get to some.  Anyway, he nags this billionaire (Raymond J. Barry (Rapid Fire, Falling Down)) to take him and his bff Harold (Matt Craven (Crimson Tide, Jacob’s Ladder)) on his expedition to K2.  Barry refuses at first but after a friendly reminder from Taylor that he saved his life once he concedes.

Harold is less experienced than Taylor but definitely has a passion for climbing.  He would probably do it a lot more and be on par with Taylor if his wife didn’t stand in his way.  She comes off as a cold person but really she’s just worried that he won’t come back one day from one of his trips.  You can tell that Harold loves her and reassures her that he’s not going to die and that this K2 expedition is a once in a lifetime opportunity, etc.  So after that scene you know some shit’s gonna go down.  It’s always the guy that’s totally in love and happy with his life that runs into trouble. 

As for the rest of the picture there isn’t a whole lot to tell.  They go to K2 and attempt to climb it.  
There isn’t a lot of action with people falling off the mountain or avalanches or anything.  Well I mean some of that happens but there aren’t any explosions or fist fights.  For the most part it’s a serious mountain climbing movie with some cheesy Hollywood type stuff thrown in for good measure.  Like there’s another pretentious climber in the group that Taylor clashes with and the Sherpas (although here they’re called porters) are afraid of the mountain and run away when they get near it.  Shit like that.

Recently I saw the IMAX film Everest and I think it was a good introduction to this picture.  K2 sorta seemed like the fictionalized version of what would happen in that movie (the events in Everest occurred 5 years later).  Some of the same shit happens in both including people getting killed.  So with that foundation of knowledge K2 seems like a pretty realistic and accurate portrayal of high altitude mountain climbing.

Now for some other things that I noticed:

1. The soundtrack is fucking great with a wailing guitar solo over a droning synth.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you feel about this kind of thing) there was a different soundtrack put together by Hans Zimmer for the UK release that lacks the wanking guitar.

2. The reveal shot of K2 is sorta underwhelming.  It’s hidden too much behind clouds and doesn’t have the impact I’m sure they were going for.  There are other shots of it later that are beautiful which makes me wonder why they didn’t use one of those.

3. Michael Biehn’s haircut makes him not look like Michael Biehn.  Once you hear his voice you know it’s him but he looks different in this movie and I’m pretty sure the haircut is the reason.

4. This one has a spoiler in it.  Whatever mountain they used as the stand in for when they reach the summit of K2 looks pretty goddamn spectacular.  The view is gorgeous.  I wonder how hard that one was to climb.

5. Taylor calls Harold “H” for most of the film which I’ve never heard before and it sounds kinda funny (strange) to me.

6. Isn’t it ironic that the second tallest mountain is called K2?  Like, it has its rank right in the name.  After doing a quick check it’s not because of its status among mountains but rather the locals didn’t have a name for it and K2 is just what some geological survey guy sketched down one day when he observed two prominent peaks in the range (K1 had a local name already).  Apparently it also goes by the name Savage Mountain which is something I can get behind.  But K2 does sound badass.  It’s like it’s a synthetic robot mountain and not something natural.

7. This movie was based on a play of the same name.  They must have changed things quite a bit when they brought it to the silver screen because this piece doesn’t feel like a play at all.  Man, that sounds like a helluva challenge to put on a play about mountain climbing.  I’m usually not one for plays but I’d be curious to see how this would be pulled off.

That's a really cool shot for the poster.
As corny as it can be at times I think this is a pretty cool movie overall.  Aside from the stunning photography of the mountain and surrounding area it was really the last half hour that got to me.  I actually didn’t have a whole lot of interest up until that point but things get fucking dire real quick.  It had me on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen to these people.  I guess I didn’t realize that I liked these characters and was surprised to find myself caring about them as much as I did.

Even if you’re not a climber (I’m not) this type of extreme activity is interesting for the simple fact that there’s a high portability that you’re gonna die if you attempt it.  That’s the main reason why I haven’t tried my hand at Everest or any mountain for that matter.  

This one isn’t as good as Cliffhanger (especially if you’re looking for Michael Rooker who is not in K2) or The Eiger Sanction (it’s fuckin’ Clint Eastwood as a fuckin’ secret agent hit man) but it’s way better than Vertical Limit (from what I can remember that movie was total shit but it’s been a while).

Friday, February 10, 2012

Passenger 57

This one is a strange and interesting Die Hard rip off for several reasons and you know what?  It’s pretty goddamn good.

Snipes plays John Cutter (that’s a perfect action movie name by the way), an airline anti-terrorist instructor guy turned head of security for a major airline.  He happens to be on the same flight that gets hijacked by Charles Rane (Bruce Payne (I’ve never seen anything else he’s been in)), a psychopath that likes to bomb public places.  And the two of them go at it.

Cutter is one of those haunted cops (well, ex-cop) because his wife was killed during a convenience store robbery.  The bad guy took his wife hostage and Cutter maybe could’ve stopped him but decided to lay down his gun.  And then in a moment of action movie bliss the robber says to him, “you shouldn’t have tried to stop me the first time” and shoots Cutter’s wife in the head.  It’s great because it makes no fucking sense.  It’s like the dude meant to go in the store and kill someone in cold blood.  Also by shooting his hostage he has nothing left to bargain with so that was kinda stupid.  And that line that he says, again, it’s like he planned it out or these two had met before but it’s never explained.  In my opinion this is the kind of stuff that makes an action movie an action movie.  The filmmakers needed Cutter to be tormented by his past so they came up with this over the top and clumsy scenario.  I love that shit.

Ok, so because of the convenience store incident Cutter has a no nonsense attitude and feels sorry for himself.  We know this because while he’s working out he thinks about that fateful night and begins to punch the punching bag harder and harder.  But the whole plane hijacking thing makes him believe in himself again.  This is confirmed when we see Cutter get with the girl at the end signaling that he’s ready to give up his dead wife.

Charles Rane on the other hand is completely inhuman.  I mean I like that he’s evil ‘n all but we don’t get a range of emotions from Bruce Payne.  It’s not like Pipes shows much more than grief and anger but Payne plays it a little stiff.  He’s certainly good in the role and believably and appropriately crazy it’s just that I wish we got to know him better.  The main thing we do know is that he’s a mad bomber and that he likes (or can at least take) pain.  For instance the opening scene is Rane on the verge of getting his face surgically altered so the cops won’t recognize him.  As the nurse goes to give him an anesthetic he stops her which prompts the doctor to ask, “I have to give you something for the pain” and Rane replies, “there will be no pain”.  Now, that is a classic action movie line because it’s so utterly stupid yet so supremely badass.  It reminds me a lot of Swayze’s line from Road House, “pain don’t hurt”. 

There’s also another part where Rane-takes-the-pain and it’s during the final fight with Cutter where he gets punched in the balls like three times.  You can see that some pain wants to get through but Rane successfully suppresses it.  So all I’m sayin’ is that it couldn’t have hurt to make Rane a little more human.  But I still think he’s a pretty cool villain with how cutthroat, vicious and to-the-point he is.

The action in this piece is top notch.  There are two foot chases, a shootout and several hand to hand fights which is Snipes’ forte.  A smart move was to have a whole middle section of the movie off of the plane so we don’t get tired of it.  In fact the last fight is the best one and that’s in part because there’s the risk of our hero getting sucked out of the plane.              

As for the Die Hard comparison there’s a bunch of sneaking around on the plane and taking down bad guys one by one.  Cutter also starts out like John McClane where he’s been thrown into a terrorist situation and can’t believe what’s happening.  That quickly fades away though when he gets into the underbelly of the plane and tells his love interest that he’s the best at takin’ motherfuckers down.  Well he doesn’t actually say it like that but you get the gist.  Another point is that Cutter and Rane don’t know each other like McClane and Gruber but both bad guys realize at some point later that they’ve encountered a worthy adversary.  Cutter has a friend on the ground that’s helping him out (Tom Sizemore (Heat, The Relic)) like McClane and Powell.  However, the major difference between the films is that this one is a prison break while Die Hard is about a robbery. 

Everyone takes a hostage at some point,
even Elizabeth Hurley gets in on the act.
And you know, there’s something about this film that sorta nags at me even though it’s executed well.  And this last time watching it I think I figured it out.  It’s a nonstop barrage of action movie clichés.  You have a monster of a villain to the point that he comes off cheesy as hell, a haunted-by-his-past cop that seems to be on the upswing when some serious shit goes down, incompetent henchmen with ponytails, an absurd terrorist scheme, a classic action movie soundtrack with eerie and suspenseful string arrangements, one liners (which include almost all of Rane’s lines and the infamous “always bet on black” said by Cutter) and it’s only 80 mins long.  Alright, that last one isn’t necessarily a cliché (Face/Off and Terminator 2 are both 2 ½ hours long) but I think it helps my argument.  While most or all of these clichés appear in many other pictures this one seems a bit more B movie-ish or rather it shows a somewhat lack of confidence and/or interest.  Kevin Hooks directed this and this was only his second feature (not counting TV movies).  In fact he doesn’t really do features at all but a ton of TV.  I think that’s why this one has a cheap feel to it.  It’s strange to say that though because all the elements are there and pulled off well.  I can’t put my finger on it but you can tell that this film wasn’t done by either a veteran action director or by someone that’s either really into action or has studied the genre.  It feels more like a person read a book about what’s supposed to be in an action movie and then made this.  It’s an action picture in terms of mechanics but I wouldn’t say it’s from the heart.  For instance if you watch Hard Boiled or Predator you know that these guys are totally into what they’re making.  The passion (or maybe that’s testosterone) oozes off the screen and into your mind and heart.  Passenger 57 is more like an assignment or exercise.  It’s step by step without offering anything new to the field.

With all of that said I still think it’s a really fun movie and I definitely recommend it.  It’s one of Snipes’ best really.

Here’s a clip of Bruce Payne at a Ludacris after party.  Apparently he loves rap, like a lot. And the host totally has no idea what Payne’s talking about when he drops all of those movie titles towards the beginning.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Mish Mash (T2, Independence Day, RoboCop, Cliffhanger, Rampart)

Time for a couple of miscellaneous items that I thought were worth mentioning and decided for no good reason to combine them into one post.  Here a goes:

1. Ok, not to harp on the topic of T2 but there’s one more thing I forgot to bring up in Judgment thoughts, we see the T-1000’s breath when he talks.  As best as I can remember this only happens once and only with the T-1000 (let me know if it comes up again in other parts of the movie).  It’s when he says, “say, that’s a nice bike”.  Now depending on how you look at it this breath thing either makes perfect sense or absolutely no sense.  The T-1000 is a walking computer and therefore would give off some sort of heat.  So when we see his breath in the cold night air we could assume that this is just part of this thing being a machine.  I mean we have fans in our computers to help keep them from overheating, right?  But at the same time we also have things like iphones and ipads ‘n shit that don’t require fans to cool them down (or they don’t get hot in the first place?  I don’t fuckin’ know how that shit works).  Technology in the future could progress to the point where machines don’t need bulky, loud fans to help keep them cool.  If the T-1000 is like this then we shouldn’t see his breath.  Of course you could also say that the terminator manufactured his own breath to make it appear more human.  Personally I think that’s a copout and I want to say that the whole breath thing makes no sense.  And I know this is real nitpicky but I’m sure this has run through some of your guys’ minds out there.   

2. Next, Independence Day is a pretty fucking terrible film but goddamn it the alien autopsy scene is kinda cool.  I don’t know why I ended up watching most of this when it was on about a week ago.  It’s seriously up there as one of the fakest and cheesiest fucking movies ever.  And that description goes for all of Roland Emmerich’s pictures by the way. 

When I say it’s fake I mean that nothing about the premise, characters, emotions or actions feels like it could ever possibly exist outside of a film set.  Everyone speaks and acts in clichés.  Like when Jeff Goldblum is explaining the countdown clock to one of his coworkers the coworker asks what’ll happen when time runs out and Goldblum answers, “checkmate”.  It even takes his colleague a second to realize what he’s saying.  Goldblum should’ve just said, “they’re going to attack us and we’re going to fucking die”.  Another one is when President Bill Pullman is asked what happens if the aliens become hostile and he responds, “then god help us”.  Almost every line or at least the last line of every scene is the fakest most movie-ish thing you’ve ever heard. 

Then there’s the part where Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith fly an alien spaceship.  Ok, putting aside that the humans were somehow able to tap into this alien piece of technology and give it a virus (which makes absolutely no fucking sense), these two guys actually fly the thing!  The spacecraft was designed for a totally different anatomical makeup so how Will Smith is able to just get in there and start cruising it around is beyond me.  He also looks like he flies the ship as good as the aliens if not better.  I guess those space creatures should’ve put some safety features on their shit so this kinda thing wouldn’t happen.  After all they do go from planet to planet destroying all life in its path.  I'm not even going to get into that these two guys fly into outer space and back to Earth with no space suits, source of oxygen, etc.  

And when Goldblum and Smith are walking in the desert at the end smoking cigars trying to look all cool, badass and sexy is another one of those fake things.  First of all Jeff Goldblum is not sexy, badass or very cool.  In Independence Day he plays a nerd and he doesn’t do anything badass in the whole movie.  All the flying, dog fighting, missile firing and alien punching is done by Will Smith.  And I don’t think Will Smith is particularly badass either but next to Goldblum he’s fucking Jules from Pulp Fiction.  With the cigar smoking desert swagger Emmerich is trying real hard to convince us that these guys are our ass kicking heroes but it’s just so hard to swallow.     

The last point I want to make about this film is in the form of a question, where the fuck is…the world?  It annoys me that the U.S. seems to be the only one to fight back and destroy mother ships.  It’s like the movie’s saying, “don’t worry guys America’s on the case and we’re the fucking best at everything, figuring out this countdown clock, flying alien spaceships and knowing how to take down all the aliens with one blow”.  Do you remember the end of 2012 when there was some dispute with letting people onto the arks (I think) and no one would do it until the U.S. went first?  Then when the U.S. did take action the other countries followed suit as if they couldn’t think for themselves and needed America to decide for all of them?  Yea, that’s fucking stupid.  Don’t get me wrong I love my country but I can’t stand this type of overblown dick sucking.  

There are many, many movies out there that are very “Hollywood” but this one in particular irritates me to no end.        

3. Moving on to Robocop there was a part at the end that I completely forgot about.  It’s when one of the bad guys crashes a truck into a vat of toxic waste and he comes out all mutated and fucked up.  It just seems like such a funny fucking thing to throw in there because the movie isn’t very cartoony or comic booky.  They went for a fairly realistic approach with how the thing looks and how it was shot.  And this is what I love about Verhoeven man.  If he wants a toxic waste creature at the end of his picture then he’s gonna make sure it gets in there, that it works and he’s gonna tell everyone else to go fuck themselves. 

And just to talk about the ending in general, it’s epic.  I mean there’s a shootout, explosions, a car chase, a toxic waste mutant and it’s all set in an abandoned factory (classic choice).  The final fight between Robocop and Clarence is awesome because Clarence actually stands a chance with Robocop pinned down under a pile of scrap metal (by the way isn’t it great that one of the henchmen knows how to operate the crane so he can dump it on Robocop even though there’s no context for it?  He just knows man).  And the battle gets so intense and even scary when Robocop gets stabbed in the chest with a giant metal rod and he cries out culminating the return of his human side.  It’s a great ending to a great picture.  

4. Do you guys remember the fight in Cliffhanger where Stallone goes toe to toe with one of Lithgow’s henchmen in a cave?  I had forgotten about this part of the movie myself.  And when I saw it this last time I was surprised to see how gruesome the bad guy’s death is.  So Stallone is getting his ass handed to him for the whole fight by Leon (The Temptations, Little Richard, Oz).  He can’t even get one punch in.  Then as Leon is about to go in for the kill he tells Stallone that he’s going to rape his girlfriend which gives Sly the boost that he needs to grab Leon by the balls, lift him up over his head and impale him through the abdomen on a stalactite.  Goddamn is that a nasty way to go.  Stallone must be incredibly strong to be able to not only pick up a guy over his head but also force the man’s body through a not terribly sharp shaft hanging down from the ceiling.  What gives this death extra impact is that it’s over an hour into the film and the first that Stallone directly dishes out.  The other couple of guys that die in the vicinity of him really occur by happenstance.  The stalactite death is also the most horrible way someone gets killed in the movie (in my opinion).  Probably the second nastiest is when Stallone shoots his rock climbing gun at Rex Linn (Breakdown, Cutthroat Island) and he falls into the icy cold hypothermic inducing water.    

5. This last item is one that a buddy pointed out to me and it’s a film called Rampart.  It looks like Woody Harrelson did a Bad Lieutenant rip off which of course I have to check out.  The trailer looks like it could be pretty good too.  But I’m a little skeptical because it was written by James Ellroy and I’ve never been that enthused with his body of work.  Cop is boring and not very good.  People seemed to love L.A. Confidential when it came out but I saw it recently (maybe a year ago) and it doesn’t hold up.  It’s really cheesy and the ending is anti-climactic.  Dark Blue I remember being pretty damn good actually but I haven’t seen it since it was out in theaters so who knows.  The Black Dahlia is a film I know I saw but have no recollection of it.  I always get it mixed up with Hollywoodland too because they’re both neo noir thrillers about famous real life Hollywood deaths and they came out one week apart.  And Street Kings wasn’t terrible but pretty forgettable overall.  I really hope Rampart is good though.  It would be nice to have another Bad Lieutenant type movie to watch if I don’t feel like seeing either of the actual Bad Lieutenants.