Submitted by jim on Tue, 02/20/2001 - 09:17
- The Beastmaster (1982) ... Loved it when I was 12. I bet it's awful.
- Blade (1998) ... Wesley Snipes plays a half-vampire vampire-ass-kicker. That should be all you have to know to decide if you'll hate it or not. Oh, you also might need to know that it has Kris Kristofferson in it to fully inform your decision.
- Blade II (2002) ... See above.
- Charlie's Angels (2000) ... It would be a complete waste of time if it weren't so splashy and exuberant. I need a food metaphor: cotton candy almost works for it's garish pink color, its speedly dissolution from substance to nothingness, and its circus-imagery invocation - only the overpowering sweetness keeps it from being the perfect metaphor for this movie.
- Darkman (1994) ... Not one of Liam Neeson's prouder moments, but actually has a great comic book feel about it. Saw this with some college buddies when it first came out, and we thought it was good sick fun.
- Flash Gordon (1980) ... I used to watch this on HBO every time we'd visit my relatives when I was a kid. But I just had a chance to rewatch this, and it was AWFUL! I'm going to leave it on here for nostalia's sake, but OOF. The pinnacle of MST3K fodder. I don't know how Timothy Dalton and Brian Blessed survived (and went on to do Shakespeare with Branagh!). You know you're in trouble when your hero has his name emblazoned across the front of his shirt. Even Superman has enough taste to only use a single initial.
- Godzilla (1998) ... Shameless Jurassic Park one-upmanship. But I liked Broderick's meek worm-scientist action hero, and I'll enjoy Jean Reno in just about anything.
- The Highlander (1986) ... Any movie with Christopher Lambert has to induce guilt. But this is a pretty good modern fantasy, and my best friend and I watched and quoted extensively as kids. I can't help but notice the correlation between guilt-inducing movies and Queen soundtracks.
- Hudson Hawk (1991) ... EVERYBODY I went with hated this movie. I kinda liked it. I have no excuse.
- The Hunted (2003) ... Although I'm sure Friedkin had higher aspirations for this movie, let's tell it like it is: this is a Rambo remake. You can dress it up with better actors, more sweeping vistas, and fewer baby-oiled muscles, but it's still Rambo. Here the damaged-goods unstoppable killing machine is not Stallone, but Benicio Del Toro, and his mentor is Tommy Lee Jones rather than Richard Crenna. A step up in both spots, although one step is significantly higher than the other. The script tries to give us some method to Del Toro's madness--to make him a tortured figure--but ultimately it doesn't work. His various screeds against hunters, the goverment, and the horrors he's seen seem forced. So what we really have is the hunt, and watching our killing machine kill efficiently, and somehow rooting for him AND his mentorly pursuer (Jones in slightly softer Fugitive mode). Why oh why do I get pleasure out of such a movie? It disturbs me that I do, but there ya go; I enjoyed it, I wanted to see how it turned out, and I liked watching Del Toro be an efficient killer.
- Major League (1989) ... I dunno. Maybe I don't feel guilty about this one. I'll have to see it again.
- Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) ... Liked it when I was 15. I bet it's awful.
- Terminator 3: The Rise of the Machines (2003) ... Much better than the godawful trailers suggested, but still easily the weakest of the Terminator movies. Still, it's all here: the spectacular action, the cheesy lines, the portentous voiceover, the Governor himself, some fun little references back to the earlier chapters, etc. And yet it's all just a little too familiar and thus, sadly, lacking a bit in tension. You'd think I'd care that they prevent Judgement Day of all things, but where that worked in T2, I didn't really care here. I was just along to watch the fireworks. Maybe it was the brand new T-X Terminatrix that didn't cut it for me. Not to take anything away from Kristanna Loken who did a fine job, but Robert Patrick was simply perfect as the T-1000 and conveyed such a wonderful sense of *relentlessness* that is missing here. I blame the writer and the director and/or fight choreographer. The T-X is supposed to be an upgrade, and yet the T-1000 was nigh invulnerable being composed entirely of that nifty liquid metal stuff. Shatter him into a million pieces, and he's good as new 30 seconds later. The T-X has all these tiny moving parts! So for an upgrade you're taking something unbreakable and making it breakable? That's a mere quibble, but add to that all those moments when she just stands there and takes lots of "best shots", and then *finally* retaliates, and you just don't get a sense that she's bringing her best game. Why would an invulnerable killing machine ever pause? For the most part they let Patrick nail this relentlessness, but Loken isn't given the same chance. Too bad. Then again, maybe there's just something fundamentally terrifying about a pissed off traffic cop. Still, good action, some laughs, and it was kinda nice to re-visit the world I so enjoyed as an adolescent.Spoiler: Highlight to viewOh, and don't get me started on Arnie taking out his LAST battery to blow her up. How does he keep moving when the battery is disconnected? Would it have been so hard, when he's telling us how many batteries he contains, to add one to the tally?