Thursday, April 30, 2009

Drop Zone (1994)

My oh my: yet another movie where Steven Seagal was the lead choice and he turned it down for bigger and more succulent fish (eg. Under Siege 2) which is now rotting in locations other than my movie collection. Oh Seagal, how fat and far you've fallen. But let's shine the spotlight o' glory where it truly belongs: on the shiny head of Wesley Snipes. Yes, without Snipes, this movie would just be another Freefall, destined to be completely unrecognizable and mostly regrettable (I speak without credentials in this case; I've never been finagled into watching this beauty). On the other hand, it's hard to blame the poor box office performance of Drop Zone on its concurrent release with other skydiving movies, because Terminal Velocity, starring Charlie Sheen, and released the same year, also couldn't make back its budget. I guess people just weren't jiving with the sky-diving. Well, it's their loss. Because this movie is absolutely watchable. You've got Yancy Butler kicking ass and taking punches, along with Gary Busey being his vile ole self, and Snipes rounding out the team with his cop on a mission shtick. There are other characters as well, including some chick who looks like a melted version of Butler (why was she necessary? and why do they have exactly the same hair?), and my personal favorite, the absolutely loony Swoop (dive on my crazy W-A brother!). All in all, it's a well-rounded team of misfits and miscreants, and a couple of fucked-in-the-faces. Add in sky-diving, murder and mayhem, plus the disgruntled Busey mug, and you've got a real knee-slapping good time.

I deem it: "A seriously tripped out action movie by the little known king John Badham!/A 25+ person sky-diving configuration means the dopest stunts I've seen in ages!/Traditionally tantalizing and tasteful!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Demolition Man (1993)

I hereby proclaim this one of the greatest dystopian action movies of all times. Do you dare deny it? Well, you can think whatever you want, but as the proud owner of literally hundreds of dystopian action movies, I'd take my word over yours (no offense). Believe it or not, Steven Seagal and Jean-Claude were the original choices for this classic. But in hindsight, settling on Stallone and Snipes was clearly the greatest thing to ever happen to the flick. They're fucking iconic! And while Timecop is awesome, it just doesn't have the snarky touch that this great gatsby provides. In fact, I get more than a little irritated when I read reviews (positive ones at that!) that call this "brainless action." Fuck you dude! It seems unlikely that you as a person will ever provoke more thoughts in my brain than this glorious gem did in just the first 15 minutes. And it's obvious that the director/writers thought about it too. For one thing, there are future cars. In my opinion, future cars are the true sign of godliness in a sci-fi piece. It means thinking was involved; not just with the design but the technology itself! And if they're going to think about the cars, lords know they're probably going to think about everything else. The commercial jingles as songs? Taco Bell as the only restaurant in existence? Vir-Sex? Fucking genius. They also use terms like 'MDK (Murder Death Kill)' and 'non-sanctioned life termination.' And there's a huge list of illegal activities (swearing, kissing, alcohol, tobacco, contact sports, meat, non-educational toys, spicy foods, etc.) and generally everybody's just a pretty pansy (that is, until Stallone and Snipes spice up the screen). In fact, all of the dialogue is substantially amazing (see below for my fave). And if you want to check out one of the best scenes a la video, youtube can do what it does best. All in all, I haven't seen something this good since my college film teacher (to his dismay I'm sure) turned me on to the amazingly infamous Johnny Mnemonic (go Gibson!). Did you know they actually had to have Snipes slow his fighting down because he was so fast that he blurred on camera? Superpowers! My only criticism (besides the existence of Rob Schneider) is how they throw in this bullshit at the end about how United States society in its nineties form is the pinnacle of achievement and all that shit. What the fuck? Were they afraid of getting their tires slashed or something? They already cut out the nudity (Tesla pulls through again...)! Oh well, you can't win them all.

Final Judgment: "Thank the stars for the Hunka Chunka!/Any reason to use the term "cryocon" will bring me running!/You have to watch it to believe it!/God Bless the nineties and the good ole US of A!

Edgar Friendly: You see, according to Cocteau's plan I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think; I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I'm the kind of guy likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder - "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?" I WANT high cholesterol. I wanna eat bacon and butter and BUCKETS of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section. I want to run through the streets naked with green Jell-o all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to, okay, pal? I've SEEN the future. Do you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sitting around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake, singing "I'm an Oscar Meyer Wiener".