Posts Tagged ‘Sequels are Awesome’

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984/ Lucasfilm/ Dir. Steven Spielberg)

Oh yeah, the first Indy movie I’m going to review and it’s one of the most infamous sequels ever made. Let’s get a statement out of the way straight off, this is a flawed movie. It’s the weakest of the trilogy, and yes I know Crystal Skull exists. We’ll talk about that one some day. It doesn’t work like the others, it doesn’t seem to fit with the others, and there are parts that make even a strong man wince. There is also a woman who spends more time screaming than talking, which I’ll get to. However, there is a lot to defend, or at least understand here, so I won’t just smack it around with a leather strap and call it a day. Besides, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is the Kill Bill of 1984 and most people don’t even know it. Yes, I will explain that statement. Good movies deserve better than that, and while this might not be a great movie, it is a good one, no matter what those wankers on the internet might say.

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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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Creepshow 2 (1987 New World Pictures Dir. Michael Gornick)

How do you follow the success of one of the most popular horror anthology movies ever? You make Tales from the Darkside for TV of course. What if you’re knee deep in that program and someone reminds you that Creepshow was a theatrical release and that they’d like to have another movie? Well, if you make a sort of halfhearted sequel that’s under funded and as a result fails to capture quite the spirit of the original. I place no blame at the feet of director Michael Gornick. I’ve listened to his commentary and it sounds like he made the best product he could with the tools he was given to work with. The problem was that New World Pictures was trying to make the movie on less than half what the first movie cost, which I can’t help but wonder if that frustrated Romero, which caused him to pass on directing duties. As I understand it, Romero was going to write and direct, and then decided to pass the directing duties to Tom Savini, who either because of time or not wanting to deal with what was becoming a cost cutting adventure passed it on to Gornick. Additionally, because of some production problems, the bonding company ended up placing extra pressure on the company asking them to speed up the production. So, there was some frustration in production, and that caused the end product to be less than stellar. It’s not even that this is bad, or not an enjoyable ride. It’s good, it’s fun, it’s just not as good or as fun as the original. It’s worth watching though, so let’s dive in and check it out.

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Movie Review: Graffiti Bridge

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Abandon all hope…

 
Graffiti Bridge (1990 Warner Bros Dir. Prince)

Fancy’s Fun Facts: Technically, this is the end of a trilogy. We began with Purple Rain, continued with Under the Cherry Moon and now we are complete with this.

In 1990, everything started going wrong with Prince. The magic that had charmed him through the 80’s had worn off and he started a long and protracted decline. Between the name thing, the very public feud with Warner Brothers and the fact that the music really wasn’t kickin’ like it used to, the 90’s were a seriously hard time to be a Prince fan. While some may claim that the Batman album is where it all started to go wrong, or that Lovesexy was the signal that we were going down a different path, my own signal was Graffiti Bridge. Depending on who you listen to you’ll get different reasons but the fact is that Prince had a change of heart during the whole Black Album debacle. He trashed an album that was only days away from release and produced Lovesexy as a replacement. It’s at this time that the music and the man went through something of a spiritual shift. While Prince had always had a spiritual side to his music, it started to really shine during this period. Prince also started to resemble a hippy in many ways. He started talking about love and peace and spirituality and all that jazz quite a bit during this period, and it more or less culminated with this movie. Oh this movie…

Before we begin though, I’d like to personally endorse Bombay Sapphire Gin. I’m not sponsored by them*, but I couldn’t have gotten through this movie without their fine product.

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The opening title card!

The Two Jakes (1990 Paramount Dir. Jack Nicholson)

I seem to be doing this a bit lately. Sitting down at my desk with a movie I’ve never seen ready to pound out a review. Strange to relate, I seem to have bought a copy of the movie that originated in Canada. Everything on the packaging is in both English and French. That’s Amazon’s marketplace for you I guess. I’m not complaining or anything, I just find it a little odd. I figure it has to be okay with a movie that has the reputation of this thing. So should we start with a recap of Chinatown? Probably not. As I understand it, this is one of those sequels that’s barely connected to the original. Since this takes place in 1948 and Chinatown took place in 1937, there wouldn’t be a lot of reason for them to be connected to each other. Actually, while eleven years of movie time had passed, sixteen years of real time had passed. I’d like to take this time to point out that The Godfather III also came out in 1990 and it had also been sixteen years since the last installment. I only point this out so that I can tell the Die Hard, Rambo, Rocky, Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Roger Rabbit* people that we knew a long time ago that waiting more than 15 years for a sequel was a bad idea. Although Stallone seems to have done quite well with his.
*Don’t laugh, they’re planning it right now.

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Evil Dead II: Dead by Dawn (1987 Dir. Sam Raimi)
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Mission: Impossible II (2000 Paramount Dir. John Woo)

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