Posts Tagged ‘90s’

There are books that are difficult to translate into movies, and there are books that are more easily translated. I’m not exactly sure where Fear and Loathing fits in there, but it was at least fairly accurately translated. Not 100%, several things prevent it from reaching the full and complete accuracy that fans were hoping for. While some of them are choices made by Gilliam, many of them are just rights and budget concerns. However, as an adaptation of the book, it works. As something to get you interested in the greater works of Hunter S. Thompson, it is an excellent device. How does the movie hold up compared to the book? Let’s find out together, shall we?

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Mobsters (1991/ Universal Pictures/ Dir. Michael Karbelnikoff)

We’ve probably talked about this before, but movies that took place before the fifties and featured guys in hats doing guys in hats things were very cool for about twelve minutes when I was a kid. For reasons I’ve never been quite clear on, I was very VERY into the time era that went from the 20s to the 40s when I was between the ages of 11 and 16. Maybe it was an obsession with old Warner Brothers Cartoons, maybe I got a taste of some really good Film Noir, maybe I just liked fedoras. Who can say? No, it’s probably not just the hats, I think it has to be the time period. You can’t just say “This has guys in hats” and get me interested, but you can say “It takes place in 1935” and I am THERE! Case in point, this movie. I pretty much have to put this thing into context, because without context it almost doesn’t/shouldn’t exist and in many ways it fails to make sense on its own. It’s not a good movie, but it’s too well made to be on any “So bad they’re good” lists, mostly it’s forgotten. Again, without context, you fail to understand why such talent would go to such wretched waste.

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Miller’s Crossing (1990/ 20th Century Fox/ Dir. Joel Coen)

I’m going to open with a controversial statement, I’ve never been a huge Coen Brothers fan. They’re okay, but they always strike me as trying just a little too hard to be quirky, rather than just letting it happen. Even when they’re good, you can see this going on. The deliberate attempt to be quirky works so less well than tings that are just plain quirky. Miller’s Crossing has many an example of them trying to hard, but for the most part it works. I think it tends to work because the movie isn’t supposed to be funny, and as such, the quirky characters can be horrifying, rather than comedic. I’m going to tell you now, I almost never laugh as a Coen Brothers comedy. However, let us look at what is good and not so hot in this movie, shall we?

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Movie Review: Ronin

Posted: May 27, 2011 in Movie Review, Reviews
Tags: , , , ,

You k now what I think? I think they should make the whole plane out of the stuff they make the black box out of. You know what else I think? I think that Ronin is the last great action movie of the 70s. I say that for a few reasons, but the number one is that everything just feels like the 70s here. I should expand it to the late 60s as well, but you get my meaning perhaps. It would fit right in with a night of watching great action/thrillers like The Ipcress File, The Day of the Jackal and The French Connection. You could have made this movie in 1975 and only a few changes in technology would have to be downgraded. Of course, some of those downgrades would change plot points, so lets be glad things are as they are. The point is that this is an old fashioned action movie, the sort they just don’t seem to make anymore. Of course it was old fashioned at the time, which was part of the point, I suspect. Either way, let’s talk about a great action movie…

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Desperado (1995/ Columbia Pictures/ Dir. Robert Rodriguez)

This is an interesting mixture of both varieties of movie that were popular during the mid nineties. Desperado straddles the line between two-fisted action and independent/foreign art house style films. I’m not joking about that second part either, there are a lot of shots and ideas that are far more familiar to the art house scene rather than the action movie of the time. In many ways it feels like it has more in common with the art house, particularly since there was a flavor for low-budget Latin movies at the time this came out. This movie was also like another kind of import, that being the Hong Kong Heroic bloodshed, however as this connection is more obvious I won’t dwell on it.

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Jurassic Park (1993/Universal/Dir. Steven Spielberg)

I decided to re-read the book before watching the movie, which might be considered a mistake by some people. I know people who would have said I should have skipped one or the other of my experiences, but I had my reasons. I wanted to be able to compare the two products, movie and book and see what the differences were. My thoughts can be condensed, and then expanded upon. Jurassic Park: The Book is kind of a dumb diatribe against science, written by a profoundly stupid man. Jurassic Park: The Movie is a fun movie with a few weak spots. I’ll expand on those two statements, but that’s the gist of my feelings.

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Movie Review: Mean Guns


Mean Guns (1997/ Dir. Albert Pyun)

We haven’t talked about a good old fashioned bad movie in a while, and this is close to as bad as they come while still being enjoyable. Oh yes, this movie is enjoyable, but it’s terrible. You don’t watch it for the fine performances or the sparkling dialogue, you watch it because you’re fascinated that this sort of thing got made despite the fact that clearly no one much cared about the end product. It’s also interesting to see how far some people have fallen. This was shown as an HBO original movie, and it’s not even a very good one, but it has some names that people would recognize like Ice T and Christopher Lambert. They’re okay in this movie, but they cover the range of performances for actors who are just picking up a paycheck. Ice is chewing the scenery and Lambert is half asleep. Still, the movie is fun, but for all the wrong reasons.

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