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Archive for February, 2009

Of course you do, who doesn’t?

And of course, tagging along with me would just be the cherry on the top, correct?

If you live in Dallas and you’re willing to spend February 21 (that’s a Saturday) locked in the icy confines of AMC Northpark with me watching every Best Picture Winner, then by all means, please e-mail me ASAP.   I’ve already put a post on the LAMB about this – LAMB members, just consider it a reminder – and you’ll need to get with me as soon as possible so I can notify the nice people at AMC, who are making it possible for me as a LAMB rep to take a very nice person along with me.

My e-mail’s 1416andcounting@gmail.com.

And in other news, I promise I’m back on the reviewing treadmill, but tonight is someone’s birthday so you’ll have to wait a day longer or so, my dearests.

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THANKS, QUENTIN.  You really are going to get this movie out right on time, aren’t you?

A few notes:

I do not know how I feel about that accent of Brad Pitt’s or his line delivery.   This may be something where it’s better in the context of the film than ripped out in a trailer, but my emotions seem to be on a teeter-totter regarding Pitt at the moment.

Also, this looks different from what I imagined but nonetheless cool.   I still want to see it.

What I’m dreading is the numbing feeling that I may have to issue a certified Internet apology to Eli Roth.   That man is fucking creepy in that trailer, man.   Between the baseball bat, the smirk and the lurking behind Pitt, I’m kind of afraid that I’m going to have to admit that um…Eli Roth might have been a good fit for this film.

And now my dearests, I turn it over to you – what do you think?   Does QT practically have $10 of your money already or what?

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You know, I kind of have a love/hate relationship with Arnold Schwarzenegger.    It’s the predictability factor; you can count on any Arnold Schwarzenegger movie having some bad puns and the requisite “I’ll be back” quote but there’s something comforting in that.   He’s like Old Reliable; you can watch almost any Schwarzenegger movie and feel like you’ll be somewhat entertained and there’s no nasty surprises headed your way.

The Running Man was the first Schwarzenegger movie I have any memory of seeing; I still love it as much as I love Terminator 2.  Of course, T2 is the far superior film as The Running Man is pretty much a piece of ’80’s glitzy crap that remains at the bottom of Schwarzenegger’s resume.   It’s a movie that’s often forgotten.

As an adult, I’d probably mock this one to no end.   You know, your childhood days have a funny way of affecting your views on movies though.  I remember watching this one on cable with Older Sister when we first got cable – when cable seemed like something so new and fancy that my sisters and I nearly died when my parents signed up for cable service.   I estimate that Older Sister and I ran through several hundred viewings of The Running Man over the years either on lazy weekend afternoons or sugar-fueled late nights.   It’s funny, because we never mocked The Running Man but yet Older Sister and I made running cracks out of every other Schwarzenegger movie.

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These graphics were totally sophisticated. Er, for 1987. Can you tell?

The first thing you should know about The Running Man is that it’s based on a Stephen King book.   Granted, King wrote under his pseudonym Richard Bachman, but in my humble opinion, King starts out with a really good “What if?” kind of situation and gives it a great fleshing out.   Having a Stephen King story as your basis is a strong point.   It’s probably the best point of the movie, I think.

Of course, they changed it up from the original source material but… hey.

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Okay, so basic plot outline time.   Think of your typical dystopian future and add in Schwarzenegger as Ben Richards, an Army type who refuses to fire on civilians during a food riot and is relieved of command, but not before his subordinates carry out orders to kill the rioters, which include innocent women and children.   Richards is carefully portrayed to be the rogue soldier who caused all this and he is thrown in prison.

While in prison, Richards meets up with Weiss, a techy type who’s a part of The Resistance (they’re resisting lots of things, but mainly it seems to be ICS, the main television network) and Laughlin, a hardened fighter.  The three escape prison and Richards takes a woman hostage and forces her to travel with him to Hawaii to complete his escape.   Unluckily for him, she manages to rat him out – but not before a TV producer and host notices the escape footage of Richards.  The TV host is Damon Killian, the face of the world’s most popular television show, The Running Man, and he’ll stop at nothing to get Richards on the show.

(more…)

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John Cusack, ladies and gents.

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I throw myself upon your mercies; it wasn’t until I was scrolling through the archives that I remembered – holy shit! – I had completely forgotten February’s hot old man and here we are, eight days into the month.   Somehow I have a feeling that Mr. Cusack could care less, but you know.

And I know everyone loves High Fidelity more than anything else in Cusack’s body of work, but me, myself and I?  I’m a Grosse Pointe Blank kind of girl, you know.

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I had heard of the awful aspects of Superman IV in vague generalizations before, but man – oh man – it was far worse than I expected.   While real life events in Caitlinland have left me unable to review many movies lately, I kept putting this one off… and I wasn’t disappointed by what I got, in a sense.

The basic plot is that it’s Supes versus a character named Nuclear Man, who is created in the most obscene, ridiculous way humanly possible.   Nuclear Man wears a lot of spandex and has pretty, fake nails and seems to be very intense all the time.    There’s a Dynasty joke in there somewhere that I just can’t find.

More than anything, the movie looks kind of slapdash – like someone cared enough to make this one but not make it well. Christopher Reeve looks like he constantly wants to slink out of frame with embarrassment at every opportunity and really, you can’t blame him.   Cheesy, stilted dialogue and hopeless, awful sets probably don’t engender much faith in an actor, especially when there’s an epic moon battle between the nuclear lord of synthetic clothing and The Great American Hero that looks like it belongs in a cheap, made for TV film.

It’s a depressing end to Reeve’s run in the franchise; it’s even sadder based on the fact that the movie is so boring you have to resist the urge to pass out from sheer inanity all the way through.   It’s disappointing.   Superman – both the movie and the comic book – is really something a lot of people take very seriously and while Superman is not “serious business” to some extent, it’s very disheartening to watch it casually turned into a big joke.

Thank god I’m not a huge fan of Superman…because then, I might cry.

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#1509: Taken

AH OMG YES THANK YOU JESUS I FINALLY SAW IT YES:

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I have to say Pierre Morel really knows how to do an action movie for folks who love action movies.   Taken has about thirty minutes of non-action in order to set up the story and justify Liam Neeson’s actions in the rest of the movie, but they’re effectively and smartly used minutes.   The rest of the movie?   Is just Liam Neeson ripping Paris up from one end to the other while kicking ass, taking names and delivering well placed blows to the neck of human traffickers in a serious, effective manner.   No funny puns or snide quips here; Taken is a bit more realistic than your average action movie.   It won’t be forever remembered as one of the greats, but I loved it.   It gives what it promised and it duly entertains; you get bang for your buck, if you’ll allow the phrase and you’re never cheated.

Now that the regular criticism is over?

OH GOOD GOD, did I ever adore it.   Oh, it’s going right up there with Speed, y’all, mainly because of Liam Neeson.   I know that I spout off endlessly about how much I adore the man, but he actually did a really good job here and not just in the asskickery (although he excelled at that).   Really, I promise I’m not totally shallow although I won’t fail to point out how nice that man looks in a suit – really, really nice – but he makes every second good.   For one, I was astonished that Famke Janssen took the nasty ex-wife role and made her a little more palatable and sympathetic than most movies would dare to try, so that was nice.

But Liam?   He is the reason to see this, hands down.   Liam Neeson going kung-fu crazy ass (or is it Krav Maga crazy ass, these days?) on Albanian sex traffickers might be some pure, unadulterated movie heroin in Caitlinworld; it’s a very good thing.

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