Tuesday, June 1, 2021

A VIEW TO A KILL (1985)

When the opening moments of a film has a 57-year-old man standing at a complete standstill and then, seconds later, snowboarding up a snow-covered mountain so fast that he kicks two soldiers in the face and then escapes in a submarine disguised as an iceberg…you know you’re in for a good time. As far as older James Bond films goes, I actually enjoyed this one. It was goofy as hell, but highly entertaining.

After teaching some Siberian soldiers the gentle art of snowboard2face fu, Bond is back in London where he learns that a wealthy industrialist, Max Zorin (Christopher Walken), might be up to some nefarious shit.  Which probably isn't a surprise considering his shockingly dark origin story.  Holy shit!  Anyway, to get to the bottom of all of this bullshit, Bond is gonna have to sling some serious ding-a-ling and maybe even jump a stolen fire engine over a drawbridge.

Quick pace, multiple things that were later spoofed in the Austin Power series, the world's most inept drawbridge operator, Q once again peeping on Bond fucking, awesome vintage electronics, dope older hair styles and fashions, old cars, a reference to THE DEER HUNTER (?), "a double earthquake", cool locations, overly complicated ways of killing people, a brief Dolph Lundgren sighting, a bad guy who already has more money than god...risking his life to get even more money, a random Beach Boys cover song, a wet t-shirt, cool theme song by Duran Duran, not enough screentime for Grace Jones, a complete disregard for mental trauma, explosions, mass murder, impressive stunts, a woman getting snuck up on in a large open area by...a fucking blimp!

Roger Moore might have been too elderly to realistically be believable as a super spy jumping all over top of the Golden Gate Bridge, but who gives a fuck?  I just want to be entertained and Roger Moore was a great 1980's James Bond.

Three and a half thunderballs out of five.

Part 1 - Dr. No (1962)
Part 2 - From Russia With Love (1963)
Part 3 - Goldfinger (1964)
Part 4 - Thunderball (1965)
Part 5 - You Only Live Twice (1967)
Part 6 - On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
Part 7 - Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
Part 8 - Live and Let Die (1973)
Part 9 - The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)
Part 10 - The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
Part 11 - Moonraker (1979)
Part 12 - For Your Eyes Only (1981)
Part 13 - Octopussy (1983)
Part 15 - The Living Daylights (1987)
Part 16 - License to Kill (1989)
Part 17 - GoldenEye (1995)
Part 18 - Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
Part 19 - The World Is Not Enough (1999)
Part 20 - Die Another Day (2002)
Part 21 - Casino Royale (2006)
Part 22 - Quantum of Solace (2008)
Part 23 - Skyfall (2012)
Part 24 - Spectre (2015)
Part 25 - No Time to Die (2021)

Non-Eon James Bond films:
Casino Royale (1967)
Never Say Never (1983)

Sunday, May 23, 2021

TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016)

Forty-five minutes of interesting, WORLD WAR Z-inspired zombie action and over an hour of predictable, emotional bullshit that I didn’t give one single zombie fart about.

Office worker Seo Seok-woo is separated from his wife. Their daughter, who lives with him, wants to visit her mother for her birthday, so Seo and his daughter take the…train to Busan!!! Before they leave, anybody with even an ounce of observational skills would notice that things are starting to get out of control, but no, not this guy. Example: while driving to the train station, Seo notices that a skyscraper is literally engulfed in flames, he calmly states “Looks like something's happening.” Wow…ya think?! Once on the train, despite a riot breaking out on the platform as they leave, Seo decides the best course of action is to take a nap. He wakes up with his daughter missing and a full on zombie death metal circle pit breaking out on the train.  That sounds cool, and it is...kinda, for a few minutes, but not really.

Hit or miss special effects, highly predictable story, twitchy zombies that look like they got ants in their pants, lots of people way too dumb to live, annoying kid, disjointed social commentary that distracted from the story, easily 30 minutes of talking that could have been cut or even better yet…replaced with zombie action, mild blood, a cheerleader, zero gore, all of the zombies fully dressed, alternating fast / slow pacing, a lot of smartphone use, terrible musical score that didn't even match the events onscreen, zero interesting characters, zombie deer, stupid ending that made me want to dropkick my TV through the fucking wall.

Despite its many flaws, TRAIN TO BUSAN is still worth watching for zombie fans.  The action scenes themselves (while nothing new) are still fun. I also liked that the majority of the action took place in the daytime. I’d totally be down to watch a TV show based in this film’s world…as long as they replaced the sappy, slow-moving, emotional garbage with zombies ripping out necks. And more cheerleaders.

[Not really part of the review, but as an experiment, I went back and watched the majority of the film in 2x speed with the subtitles on and it was fine. I watched the action scenes at normal speed and the talking stuff in 2x and it was more enjoyable. Hell, if you were really pressed for time, you could start the film at 11:02 minutes in. Absolutely nothing in the scenes leading up to that was worth a fuck. And then, to save a fisthole in your TV, just skip the sappy ending completely.]

Prequel - Seoul Station (2016)
Part 2 - Peninsula (2020)