March 7, 2022
Kris and Preston find themselves having to work with Patrick Muldoon's hair to break up a diamond heist in Jakarta. Do they ever realize their unstated attraction? Does the US government see rewards for sending a high school teacher as a double agent? Can Richard Norton get his pants higher? No to all.
While Rage and Honor was a bit of a disappointment for its under utilized shenanigans, the sequel manages to go all in. Its not that they turned the amps to 11 because this feels like its own standalone piece that's unrelated in all ways to its predecessor. Tonally different and chock full of nanners, this is an absolute blast from start to finish. It starts with Cynthia Rothrock smashing her co-workers balls and ends with Patrick Muldoon falling off a crane in comedic fashion and never lets off the gas throughout.
While its high nanners, its also a hell of a riffer. This is a great Sunday with the buds movie as the "plot" is paper thin and so requires little attention. When you're not lampooning the film, the film lampoons itself for you. Its like a metronome was running throughout because this thing is on beat. Its tempo is perfect and not a dry second exists.
Rage and Honor 2 is likely Rothrock's best film and belongs on anyone's Year in Review list. Its top notch and shouldn't be missed by any of our fans and their friends.
February 28, 2022
Its a cornball karate team-up in a hunt for a video tape that can clear the name of an Aussie cop who has no reason for being there in the first place. Will they fall in love? Will they save the life of their friend? Can anyone explain Brian Thompson's hair? The answer is no to all.
So things are fairly typical for a DTV karate movie of this era. You've got your standard karate revenge plot. You've got a female/male will they/won't they standard. You've got shirtless dudes punching it out. The pacing is on key with an alarm that rings "karate fight" when its been about 15 minutes of actual plot development. And of course, there are whoosh sounds when ever anyone reaches for a cup of coffee.
What makes Rage and Honor stand out, if you're brave enough to say that, is the leads. All 3 (Rothrock, Norton and Thompson) are pure dorks. None are cool. I wouldn't hang out with any of them. Its like all this drama is happening but no one around it cares because its like "oh, just let those little dorks fight it out". That makes this a fun romp.
It's not amazing (due to its typicalness) but it is a great riffer with some smattering of ridiculousness here and there. Great sunday watch.
February 22, 2022
Gator McClusky is back to punch dudes and kiss ladies. This time he's gotta bust his buddy Roy from the first movie. Oh that's not Roy? That's Jerry Reed? Huh.
So as discussed the primary problem with the first film, White Lightning, is its tonally all over the place. Its a goofy car chase movie. Its a murder revenge against a corrupt elected official. Its a sexy time in the swamp. Gator doesn't suffer from that. Thematically, its much more focused. Jerry Reed's Bama McCall is a bit of a goofy villain more in line with James Bond than a Michael Mann movie. You don't feel too icky about him. He's a low level crook running a protection racket and whooores. He's NOT Ned Beatty who is nuts and murders college kids for political dissent. He just likes doing the crimes. That's the level of villain you want for a goofy car chase movie, where the ladies love the handsome guy and cats go on burglaries.
Hal Needham, of course, knocks the stunts out of the park, including one where he almost died (again) jumping out of a truck. However, this isn't crammed of his craziness. This IS a Burt Reynolds movie so you have to lace the stunts with him being good looking and charming. There might be more good looking and charming than stunts but both are at a 10 when they are on. Now that I think about it I can't remember anything in this movie that isn't one of those two things. Oh yeah, the cats doing burglary.
One can argue that White Lightning is the better of the two films and it does depend on your lens, but I can understand. Reynolds directed Gator and its clear he was learning as he went. The darker tone of White Lightning may also hold some accolades for some. I'm not in that camp. I love Gator for being what it is - an "I'm good looking and charming" Burt Reynolds with Hal Needham stunts. That's what I want my TV to loop constantly for the rest of my life and this fits the bill.
February 15, 2022
Burt Reynolds faces off against Ned Beatty as the most frightening and real villain one can imagine. His method of vengeance? Crashing cars and banging ladies!
White Lightning is a cornerstone of what would happen for the rest of the 70's. Mostly Burt Reynolds in cars and doing his silly laugh. But really its influence goes so much farther than that. It sprinkles into trucking movies, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Walking Tall, and anything that involves cars and bayous moving forward. Some of that is Hal Needham's stunt work, some of it is Burt's charm, but really it seems like it was just the natural filmic direction that matched the post-Civil-Rights-Movement and late Vietnam war culture of America.
Thankfully, White Lightning is low on cringe that a lot of its contemporaries suffer from. Burt's chauvinism is at a minimum (somewhat) and you learn throughout the film that really Burt is taking vengeance against oppression against free speech and political dissent. Its a weird backdrop to a film that has a guy jump a car onto a barge and drink moonshine constantly. I mean there's a lot of silly in a movie about a con/federal rat on a mission to kill a corrupt cop. It makes for a weird dynamic and is either the films greatest weakness or strength. I may be too much of a charlatan to know.
While White Lightning has all the right pieces in place, it does fall a bit in its dinking around. There's just too much hanging out and scenery chewing and not enough getting some ice cold revenge. Still a do for someone new but just barely.
February 7, 2022
The moon is falling! Deploy Operation: Duck and Poo Yourself. Roland Emmerich takes us on another destroy Earth roller coaster, but does he capture the any of his past or is this just another Midway?
So the moon is a big space base and because of rogue nanobotic AI trying to destroy mankind, it sucks up all the moons power supply like a Tesla's battery going uphill and causes it to plummet towards Earth. So with what minimal resources can be mustered, a disgraced astronaut, the director of NASA and Art Bell's nephew must fly to the moon and punch that AI in the mouth! Seems legit. Lets move on.
What works here: the insane visuals. We're very accustomed to seeing Roland Emmerich destroying New York time after time after time. Its become quite stale, right? Well what changes here is that he learned how composition works. The shots are beautiful rather than just visual effects crammed. So expect to see something new, in something old. There's also the right amount of light heart in the adventuring, its not as bleak as Day after Tomorrow nor is at as corny as 2012. The trio of leads work together well. Patrick Wilson won me over finally. Halle Berry didn't piss me off. John Bradley is well, John Bradley.
What doesn't work: Roland has a problem with his writing. He has again made a film with too much front loaded character story. Its not that the movie is too long (it is) but it especially feels that way by his inability to tell about his characters alongside the plot. You have to wait for 30 minutes for the start of the movie, just so you can get to know his characters. Its a shame he still hasn't learned his lesson here and keeps this film from being amazing.
Moonfall is still a great theater experience and is a popcorn-face stuffer. I would love to see the sequel that Emmerich wants to make but probably won't be able to.
January 25, 2022
Samuel L and Robert Carlyle team up in this drug/money caper/heist that looks like a Ritchie/Boyle knock-off/bandwagon romp/joint. We'll be leaving/running away now.
Uh......it sucks. I would love to say that this is an undiscovered gem that the critics harpooned because it was ahead of its time (much in the same manner as they treated Snatch) and that this will become your new favorite movie. I can't say that. The critics got it right. Its vapid, cloney and drivel.
Look, I can't fault anyone here though. I watched Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch back to back in college and thought that I was Bullet-Tooth Tony for about 2 years. I got hit in the face a lot and deserved most of it. So when you see a script that is a British crime caper in 2000, I really can't fault you for wanting to be involved. And everyone involved goes all in on this. I can't pick on anyone. Its just the fault of wanting to do a film like this and having no business doing such a film. Its just the nature of art. I mean, I'm sure there was a lot of Samuel L's seeing The Mona Lisa and saying "I want to do that". Maybe that's why Caravaggio was thrown out of his guild. (Oh that was for murder? Oh...well)
I want to tell you that you're gonna find something worth watching here, even with low expectations, but I just don't think you will. Skip!
January 17, 2022
An aged Charlie Bronson finds himself having to stop a sex-trafficking pimp by giving him a new diet and having a Borderlands boss fight set piece at the end. So its Tuesday!
What I don't enjoy about this film is that has no business existing. This is a perfect example of something that happens far too often in film. Its two movies.
- A dark, horrific look at the world of a Vice officer who struggles to do his job not because he hates the beat but he seems himself so little differently than he sees his perps. He masks all this self-loathing with racism until he finds himself having to find the daughter of a foreign national who molested his own daughter. Do I do the job and save this girl or do I stand by my disgusting self hate?
- The other is a Cannon movie.
This material is too dark and disturbing to be juxtaposed against a Charlie Bronson action movie. When you have material this heavy and dark, you gotta end up with The Deerhunter. You can't lighten it up with some one-liners and some explosions. You can't swing an audience from the lowest feeling possible one second to car chases the next. Its water and oil.
Sadly, if they had done one or the other, I would have really liked it. Option one, wouldn't be on Stinker Madness and wouldn't have ruined my Sunday. Option 2, likely would have had 8 stars as the bad movie shenanigans in this are high level. Its really a great tragedy.
January 10, 2022
Horny scientists in space! Everything in this movie is gross sex! Everyone has messy pants including the aliens! Ever wanted to see a xenomorphs vagina? You can now! What a pitch...
Essentially, scientists want to cure disease and they think that making a human/xenomorph combo will give them the answers which has its own set of problems. BUT, instead they make some regular xenomorphs too and some Ripley abominations who tear apart a handful of scientists and Michael Wincott too early in the film. This results in the science vessel automatically crashing into the Earth at the speed of 176 million MPH causing an extinction level event and ushering in a nuclear holocaust. Thanks Ripley!
While all this shakes out, we follow the path of a group of space pirates from the mess hall back to their ship. Occasionally they have to escape xenomorphs, but mostly they have hang down contests with Ripley having the biggest of hang downs. Ron Perlman's "Johner" tries his best but has met his match in big dicking by the lady that is part alien and can now dunk it. Winona Ryder's "Call" eyeball rolls behind them, thinking about her sole mission of destroying all xenomorphs and anyone who stands in her way....until she meets a guy SHE helped kidnap who has one inside of him. She's ok with him. Not just ok, vehemently defends saving his life. What?!?!
This thing is one of the dumbest movies and likely in the top 3 of film in the dumbest period of film - the late 90s. When every Tom, Dick and Harry were trying to recreate Jurassic Park and Independence Day, you ended up with this turd, Deep Blue Sea and Event Horizon, with a cavalcade of less notable but equally stupids behind it. Yet Alien Resurrection manages to be as stupid as they come, but then an odd mix of tedium with flashes of moronic hilarity. Its a hard one to recommend but its just so incredibly idiotic that its hard NOT to recommend. Men have trekked to Nepal and sat in silence for decades for lesser doubts and confusion than the quandary of recommending Alien Resurrection or not. I guess you should watch it but realize the film doesn't start until 35 minutes into the movie and then there's about 20 minutes of actual good content throughout.
December 20, 2021
2 down on their luckers attempt to right the course of their financially destiny, but a young Joe Manchin stands in their way and he's serving up deadly coal for breakfast.
What Home Sweet Home Alone manages to do is cause empathy for struggling Americans in a way that MSNBC could never home to imagine. This whole time we only needed Max Mercer to unite the country and feel bad for those less fortunate. Its as if we were Ebenezer Scrooge and Max Mercer is all 3 Ghosts of Christmas who just repeatedly puts poor people in comas with billiard balls. "Take it away, spirit. I can endure no more" said I as little Max stabs Jeff in the heart with a three foot long icicle.
Yes the whole thing is a giant misunderstanding that could have been all avoided if adults would just use their words (so wait, were Jeff and Pam Joe Manchin, then?) or if little Max wasn't such a heavy sleeper in luxury cars (no, he's definitely Joe Manchin), but what frightens me is Max' inability to hesitate to kill people. Sure, Kevin McCallister was likely a megalomaniac with delusions, but Max straight up is ok with killing people. No, the words "Please don't kidnap me" were never uttered from his toothy grin. Or even just "Stop". He wants Jeff and Pam to come at him, bro. If they don't then at no point can he enact his elaborate plan to slowly torture them and culminating with Jeff impaled on ice and Pam's chest caved in from 25lb weights shot at her from a treadmill. Nothing less will satisfy his as yet undiscovered blood lust. That's what frightens me about this film.
But yeah, it stinks and isn't worth viewing by anyone over the age of 10 and parents should have a long discussion with children afterwards about why Joe Manchin isn't a role model.
December 14, 2021
A traitorous group of ex-military hatch a plan to hijack an airport so that they can move a pilot from one plane to another. They only thing they didn't account for was John McClane. Oh, and other airports, radios, emergency vehicles, electrical tape, power lines, and the media. But mostly, John McClane!
I mean...why is this so highly rated? Its sitting at a 7.1 on IMDB as of this writing. That's only 1 star lower than the first one. This movie is seriously only 1 star worse, super fans? Its like at least 3! Why?
Why Die Hard 2 is a 5 star movie
- The Plot
- The Effects
- The Writing
- Bruce Willis
So the plot is incredibly stupid as it purely doesn't need to exist. The terrorists (which they aren't really terrorists) have seized control of an airport (not the airport itself, just control) and are holding flying planes hostage unless an extradited criminal (that at some point they became besties with?) is permitted to hop a board a fully fueled 747 and they all fly to Bolivia or somewhere undeclared. Mid movie though, the criminal (Franco Nero) takes over control of the C130 he's flying on and flies it around. Why does he need these jokers at all? From Esperanza's view, the plan is to free himself and then stop at an airport to pick up some guys he has no business ever having met. Great, thrilling...
The effects have aged poorly. With the rear projection, matte working and green screens this looks about as Renny Harlin as Renny Harlin could do in 1990.
The writing is just a hodgepodge of "well this happened in Die Hard so we should do it here" including a ton of pointing out the obvious by John McClane such as, "Hey I'm in tunnels again" or "Hey this happens every Christmas to me". But also includes Holly punching out (or in this case tasing) Thornberg because he's a skeezy guy who doesn't really contribute to the plot in anyway. Its just so people can remember that this is a Die Hard movie, I guess, by seeing the same things again.
Lastly, Bruce Willis' contribution to the dialogue. He was giving free reign to ad-lib as much as he wanted to and he does so much of it that he had to come back after filming and add in more via ADR. But what we're giving is a 7-3 ratio of groan inducing one liners that leave you eye-rolling more than cheering John's everyman role.
Skip it. It ain't a Xmas movie and its barely a Renny Harlin movie.