Stallone Month: Judge Dredd

Judge Dredd, the comic sprung from the minds of writers John Wagner and Alan Grant, has perhaps the most fully realized fictional universe in all of human storytelling. Every week since the late 1970s, with only a single exception, an issue of 2000 AD has been published with a Judge Dredd story inside. Since that time, the titular Judge Dredd and supporting characters have aged along with the rest of us, and the universe has retained the same continuity. Meanwhile, Judge Dredd’s superhero competitors retcon their universes ever time their sales need a punch up. DC recently carried out its 2nd reboot in five years. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Judge Dredd”

Stallone Month: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot

Seriously, this is a trailer for an actual movie.

What a putrid movie. I was going to skip this movie for Stallone Month in favor of one of Sly’s straight action flicks. But, after I saw the trailer, I decided this movie had to be included. Missile Test has a jones for shitty movies, after all. And this might be the shittiest movie Sylvester Stallone has ever appeared in, including Death Race 2000. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot”

October Horrorshow: Predator 2

Predator, the 1987 film from director John McTiernan, is among my favorite action and sci-fi films. It’s one of those dumb 1980s action flicks that it’s easy to turn one’s nose up to, but which is actually pretty damned good. I would like to try making an honest effort at not comparing the sequel unfavorably to the original, but that’s just going to be too hard. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Predator 2”

Schwarzenegger Month: Eraser

Here I am, just a day after publishing a review where I excoriate the film industry for producing anonymous gobbledygook, and the next film in Arnold Schwarzenegger month is more anonymous gobbledygook, action-style. But what makes Eraser such a bland, unoriginal action story as compared to, say, something like Commando? How does Eraser have any less value compared to that film? I think it has everything to do with panache. Commando revels in its cheapness, but it was also designed to be excessive. Its rough edges give it character. Whereas a film like Eraser, which has been polished to within an inch of its life, lacks character in comparison. Continue reading “Schwarzenegger Month: Eraser”

The Empty Balcony: The Avengers, or, the War of the MacGuffin

Dictionary.com defines MacGuffin as “an object or event in a book or film that serves as the impetus for the plot.” Wikipedia goes further, defining it as “a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist (and sometimes the antagonist) is willing to do and sacrifice almost anything to pursue, often with little or no narrative explanation as to why it is considered so desirable (emphasis added).” Alfred Hitchcock is credited with popularizing the term in the movie industry, employing it himself, even turning Cary Grant into a MacGuffin in North by Northwest. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: The Avengers, or, the War of the MacGuffin”