Tuesday, February 11, 2020

MISSING IN ACTION (1984)

Former prisoner of war, Col. James Braddock (Chuck Norris) is positive that there are still American POW's being held in Vietnam.  He's become a political activist and as so, accompanies an American senator to Vietnam for a conference.  While there, he sneaks off for a little personal one-on-one face time with a certain Vietnamese general.  Stuff happens and the general ends up with a knife in his chest.  Now armed with the location of a POW camp, Braddock teams up with an old war buddy (M. Emmet Walsh) to kick some ass. 

Satisfying pace, above average direction (by 80's action movie standards) by Joseph Zito, not as much action as you would expect, good acting, abrupt ending.  Overall, MISSING IN ACTION is an enjoyable film, but nothing amazing.  It's just kinda...there.  Norris and Zito would team up again the next year with the kick ass INVASION U.S.A.  Hell yeah!

Worthless observation: While watching MISSING IN ACTION for this review, I could not stop thinking about James Hong and David Tress.  Now we all know James Hong as David Lo Pan in John Carpenter's awesome BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA and David Tress as "The Whip" in the badass STONE COLD, but I couldn't stop thinking about James Hong and David Tress...together.  My handsome brain was clinking and clacking like an old riding lawnmower going down a gravel road.  Then it hits me!  They were both onscreen together on Seinfeld!  They were in "The Chinese Restaurant" episode together!

Part 2 (prequel) - Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985)
Part 3 - Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988)

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES (2015)

I'm not sure how I feel about this one.  While I'm always grateful for an update to the Tremors universe, I was not a fan of the new edgy look or the aggressive attitude of this film.  Everybody just seemed so goddamn pissed off for the entire movie.  I enjoy the Tremors series because it's a light-hearted and exciting throwback to the awesome monster movies of the 1950's.  Not because I wanna see cranky, dingy dudes doing tricks on dirt bikes and drinking their own urine...not at the same time mind you.  That would have been fucking awesome!!!  Can you imagine that?  "Oi, crikey!  I'm gonna distract that Graboid by launching over it with me dirt bike while drinking me own pee-pee!"

Anyway, back to TREMORS 5.  It's okay.  Burt is now some kind of annoying survivalist huckster who makes videos of himself running around the desert eating snakes.  Word comes along about Graboid trouble in South Africa, so Burt and his annoying new cameraman (Jamie Kennedy) go check it out.  Once there, they talk a lot of shit and quickly find out that things are worse than they imagined.  It's mildly entertaining and seems to have more in common with a Sharknado movie than the original TREMORS.

Medium pace, lots of stupid dialogue, annoying camera shenanigans to make it look like a shitty TV show, dumb as hell end boss fight, a flying corkscrew Graboid, a lot of people that look like they need a bath.  Overall, it's watchable, but forgettable.  If this had been the very first Tremors film, nobody would have asked for a second.

Part 1 - Tremors (1990)
Part 2 - Tremors II: Aftershocks (1996)
Part 3 - Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001)
Part 4 (prequel) - Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004)
Part 6 - Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell (2018)

Sunday, February 2, 2020

MIDSOMMAR (2019)

Dani is not having a good time.  Some serious family drama puts her in a very bad place emotionally and her dingus boyfriend is beyond worthless.  While in this fragile state, she makes the fateful decision to join her college student boyfriend and his buddies on a trip to a remote area in Sweden to study a midsummer celebration put on by a commune.  Once there, it quickly become obvious to the viewer that these people have watched Herschell Gordon Lewis' TWO THOUSAND MANIACS! way too many times, but our heroes don't realize this and continue on as things get more and more sinister.  It's great.

MIDSOMMAR is an awesome movie experience. I saw it in the theater four times.  The story itself is very good, but the thing that I enjoyed most is the feel and construction of the movie.  It's hard to explain, but the whole thing just felt ominous and hateful.  I loved it!  Beautiful photography, outstanding acting, perfect pacing, unnerving stuff going on in the background, Florence Pugh looking absolutely gorgeous, synchronized screaming, synchronized hypermourning, synchronized sex moaning, suicide, a hammer smashed face, an Austin Powers reference, a celebration of death, people who you don't want to see naked...naked, a woman with an unexplained fresh cut on her face, a bear and so much more.  Including a badass ending that left me wanting more.  It honestly felt like the movie was just revving up to the perfect speed and...it ends!  I loved it.  Ari Aster is quickly becoming one of my favorite modern directors.

Not sure why, but I think MIDSOMMAR would make an interesting double feature with SOCIETY.