House

tn_houseThat’s a good feeling when you watch a movie that you don’t remember being all that special back in the ’80s but now it seems like a gem. Last Halloween that happened to me with FROM BEYOND, this year it was HOUSE (1986).

All I remembered was haunted house, George Wendt (and/or John Ratzenberger), something about Vietnam. Maybe kinda funny. All those things are true except for Ratzenberger, who is in part 2. But the star is 10-years-after-CARRIE William Katt as Cobb, a Stephen-King-level-popularity novelist who’s going through some troubles. First we think it’s just that his old Auntie who raised him (Susan French, JAWS 2) hung herself. Then we find out he’s still hurt by his divorce from a soap star (Kay Lenz, DEATH WISH 4: THE CRACKDOWN). And writing his memoir is dredging up painful memories of Vietnam (“The war?” a fan asks). And he still hasn’t given up on finding his missing son.

Jesus, that’s alot of problems. (read the rest of this shit…)

Wanted: Dead or Alive

tn_wanteddoaI don’t know about you guys, but I think of Rutger Hauer mainly for playing charismatic villains and weirdos. Of course there’s Roy Batty in BLADE RUNNER and there’s his hitcher guy in THE HITCHER and that sort of thing. But a few times he took a shot at being a star of ’80s action movies, and though they didn’t seem to catch on they were some good ones.

I knew about BLIND FURY but somehow I missed this one until now. In 1987 director Gary Sherman (RAW MEAT, VICE SQUAD, POLTERGEIST III) made this movie that according to the internet is supposed to be connected to the ’50s western TV show starring Steve McQueen. McQueen played a bounty hunter named Josh Randall, Hauer plays circa 1987 bounty hunter Nick Randall. The credits don’t seem to acknowledge the relation though. There’s a part where he has an old timey pistol framed on the wall but I don’t know the show well enough to know if it was a reference. (read the rest of this shit…)

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

tn_sincity2BruceI’m not saying I liked SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR exactly, but it wasn’t as bad as reported. Considering that its two directors’ last films were THE SPIRIT and MACHETE KILLS, which I would consider among the worst things I’ve ever paid to see in theaters, this almost seems like a real movie.

It has all the same problems as the first SIN CITY without the novelty of being a weird new approach to a comic book adaptation, and with very little technological or stylistic advancement considering it was done 9 years later. But I think maybe things bugged me about the first one that people overlooked at the time and now are having a problem with, so they’re being harder on it than me. I don’t know. (read the rest of this shit…)

Capitalism update

Does this Amazon UK search engine show up for you guys? It seems to on my end. It doesn’t work when I add it to the other post but seemingly does on this separate one.

That trailer everyone is excited about

c-htAll over the internet there is only ONE thing anyone is talking about, this highly anticipated trailer. I’m sure you’ve already watched it over and over again and dissected it, but if not here it is. There is alot of mystery around this, it’s alot to live up to to try to continue the saga with a different director, but I for one am excited to see what they’ve come up with.

h/t Mike Leeder

Just putting this out there

First of all, thank you all for reading and participating here, you are the best and this has been a really great year.

Second, this is a polite nudge to remind everybody that IF you participate in capitalism AND you use the “Amazon” type electronical service to do some of it, then you could really help me out by using my links. You pay the same amount you were going to anyway but those slick suckers slice off a little tiny piece of the pie and send it my way. So let’s say you are doing some Christmas shopping, or ordering a TV, or pants, or hundreds of dollars worth of office supplies for your work. Might as well give me a cut, right?

If you refuse to do it I will still like you but come on man help a guy out.

Anyway, thanks again everybody. Hope everybody got some sweet potatoes.

For some reason the Amazon UK search engines are not working on my page anymore. But until I figure that out if you click on one of these titles and then search for your item hopefully it works.

Yellow Hair and the Fortress of Gold

tn_yellowhairI loved that female barbarian movie HUNDRA, and unfortunately there was never a sequel (let alone a James-Bond-style decades-long series like it deserved), but at least star Laurene Landon and director Matt Cimber reunited for this western adventure serial type deal. Landon plays the first-part-of-the-title character, daughter of Grey Cloud (Claudia Gravi) and “half breed” like Billy Jack, but living among the tribe. Unlike Hundra she’s surrounded by men, but like Hundra she doesn’t think they’re worthy of her (rejecting one suitor by defeating him in a wrestling match).

We begin mid-story with Yellow Hair’s buddy The Pecos Kid (Ken Roberson) in jail and with Colonel Torres (Luis Lorenzo) in possession of the fabled deer-horn-carved-into-a-wind-instrument that could help him find the legendary Aztec City of Gold. When the troops come after her tribe in their search for the gold she has personal reasons to find it for herself. (read the rest of this shit…)

Population 436

tn_pop436Yesterday it was officially announced that director Michelle MacLaren will be directing a Wonder Woman movie. She’d been Blogger’s Choice since it got around that Warner Brothers was hoping to get a woman for the job.

It’s a good idea to get some female perspective in some of these super hero pictures, and an interesting challenge. There unfortunately isn’t a very big pool of established female directors to choose from, and zero who’ve been allowed experience in big budget effects or super hero movies. One who came close was Patty Jenkins (MONSTER), who was supposed to do THOR 2, but was fired before filming allegedly for “a lack of overall clarity in her choices.” Women who’ve done medium-sized or small studio genre movies include Karyn Kusama, who did ÆON FLUX; Catherine Hardwicke, who did the first TWILIGHT (then got dumped); Kimberly Peirce, who did the CARRIE remake; and Lexi Alexander, who did the b-movie THE PUNISHER’S WAR ZONE.

To date the biggest budget live action movie directed by a woman is Kathryn Bigelow’s K19 THE WIDOWMAKER. She also happens to be a great action director, but after THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY it’s hard to picture her going super hero. I assume they offered to greenlight six serious contemporary issue dramas if she’d do this, but if so she must not’ve been interested.

So they’re digging into the TV directors. MacLaren got the internet’s eye by directing episodes of Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Obviously they’ve talked to her about what she wants to do, so they have more to go on than the we do. Personally I’m skeptical of counting on the cinematic vision of TV directors. From what I understand TV is usually a totally different gig than movies. They come in and try to follow an established approach, directing a cast and crew already working together as a team who know how it’s supposed to go. It’s the producers and show runners who have the vision. That’s why it’s rare to see one episode of a TV show that stands out filmatistically. (read the rest of this shit…)

The news today

I feel like I can’t just post more of my usual dumb movie reviews without first acknowledging the huge cloud of bummer hanging over the country today. But also I have no words, and I don’t even really want to discuss it. We all know it sucks, and if you don’t know it sucks please don’t come here and tell me about it because nobody deserves to hear from your dumb ass today. Show some respect.

I want to say something like “Let’s all just pledge to do what we can to make things better,” but I have no idea how we would do that. I think back to 20 years ago and the Rodney King verdict. Seems like the only thing that’s changed is that it happens so often that we saw this one coming. And also those guys didn’t kill him and at least had to go on trial.

But I’m not going to get into it. Instead I will turn, as I often do, to Stevie. He knows how to turn anger into something beautiful.

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins

tn_remobtisl“Computer said you were a smartass.”

You know what’s great about movies? Any of us who are reading this who are currently alive were born some time after they were invented. They got a head start on us, and no matter how hard we try we’ll never catch up with all the good ones that already exist. It’s just a beautiful thing to realize that even now there are movies out there as perfectly tuned for me as REMO WILLIAMS: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS that I haven’t gotten around to yet. Thank you, Lord. Good work on that one.

One reason it’s great: it’s an action vehicle for Fred Ward. He’s been a great utility player in SOUTHERN COMFORT, UNCOMMON VALOR, TREMORS, etc. but even playing the lead in the great MIAMI BLUES he has to compete with scene-stealing villain Alec Baldwin. Here he’s the main attraction from beginning to end. It glorifies him as a fit badass in his 40s, and it shares his dry sense of humor.

We first meet him as a tough but lazy cop (with mustache) sitting in his patrol car eating a burger and drinking coffee, being hassled over the radio about gambling money he owes. When some dude gets chased right past him he doesn’t react at first. It doesn’t seem like he’s even gonna bother to intervene. (read the rest of this shit…)