And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Outland (1981)
At least there's no gigantic clock tower.

At least there’s no gigantic clock tower on Io. That would’ve been too obvious.

is another weird one, neither fish nor fowl. It’s another transitional fossil, from a time when Star Wars had not yet begun to ruin everything. Not that it didn’t do some good. Before the first Death Star’s destruction (spoiler alert), sci-fi films were exclusively B-listers, unfairly ghettoized, not for the content of their character, but for their budget’s relative cheapness.

Then came Spielberg. And then came George Lucus. And then came a whole horde of big budget sci-fi pictures, most long-since forgotten. So when, after taking a figurative dump on The Rock and a literal one on League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, someone requested I review a “good” Sean Connery film, I immediately thought of this one.

No, wait; that’s a lie. At first I thought of Dragonheart. But I’ve already written an intro for Outland and if I start flip-flopping now, terrorists will nerve gas San Francisco. I should know. I’m the guy with the nerve gas. Continue reading

Advertisements


The Rock (1996)
The devout Action Movie worshiper must face west five times a day and sing praise to their great god, the McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F/A-18 Hornet.

The devout Action Movie worshiper must face west five times a day and sing praises to their god: the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet.

Michael Bay didn’t know it at the time, but he made this movie for my mother. She’s an actor junkie who came of age in a time when movie stars were movie stars and the mainstream culture still surrounded them with auras of “respectability.” As such, she prefers her leading men play flawed-but-noble heroes…though she’s not opposed to the occasional flight of hyper-masculine fantasy (after all, she married my dad). So putting Nicholas Cage and Sean Connery in the same film was like ringing her personal dinner bell. And since I was thirteen at the time, I had no choice but to suffer through this at her side.

This was my – and a lot of people’s – real introduction to Michael Bay. Sure, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence might’ve headlined their own TV shows, but neither boasted the box office draw of the original James Bond…or the original Ben Sanderson. Continue reading



The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
March 20, 2004, 7:59 pm
Filed under: Movies, Reviews | Tags: , , ,

"Stop, or my mom will shoot!"The next industry Uncle Tom who calls Alan Moore out for his righteous hatred of Hollywood need only take a peek at this train wreck of a film. Do that, and understand that the pain you feel is nothing compared to what it might be if, say, you’d actually created this “property.” That’s the term they use. Not “story,” not “idea,” but “property.” As if the book were a piece of over-mortgaged real estate.

I have a lot of love for The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and I’ll admit I would never heard of the book if not for this idiotic little film. That alone ameliorates my otherwise-all-encompassing hatred of it, and the system that birthed it. Movies like this make me wish the aliens from Independence Day really would hurry up and destroy Los Angeles with their incredibly slow fireballs.

This film is a throwback to the Golden Age of superhero movies. That was not a happy time, despite my choice of nomenclature. Sure, Richard Donner’s Superman came out, but so did those crappy, made-for-TV Captain America movies. Remember Dolph Lundgren as He-Man. Or The Punisher. Have you forgotten that the era of Tim Burton’s Batman also cursed us Joel Schumacher’s? I haven’t! {More}