Archive for February, 2009

John Cusack, ladies and gents.


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



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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