What in the world is this movie? If a viewer is like me, then they have never heard of Eye See You, or D-Tox, or The Outpost, or whatever title producers attached to this redheaded stepchild of a movie. From 2002, but filmed in 1999, Eye See You was a film beset by reshoots and plagued by unhappy men in suits, resulting in a film that trickled out into the public without fanfare or wide release. Continue reading “Stallone Month: Eye See You, aka D-Tox”
Thief, the debut feature film from writer/director Michael Mann, is a bit of a relic. The 1980s were a weird time, when the progressions of style were suddenly upended and everything went day-glo. Even music changed, utilizing the cost-effective yet grating sound of synthesizers. Michael Mann embraced this decade with gusto, finding a ready home in all the glitz and glamour. His style of filmmaking is so intertwined with the 1980s that I can’t figure out which informed the other. The style is a distinctive one that viewers can readily recognize. But it all had to start somewhere. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Thief”
What a weird fucking movie. I’m glad I watched it.
The Keep, from 1983, was Michael Mann’s second directorial effort, coming two years after Thief. The film tells the story of a unit of German soldiers who occupy a remote castle keep in Romania during World War II. But, this is no normal keep. The walls are inset throughout with over two hundred crosses made of nickel. The battlements appear designed not to keep an invading army outside of the walls, but rather to keep something in. There’s even a creepy caretaker on site to make sure that anyone who crosses the threshold knows the story of all those before who tried to spend a single night in THE KEEP. Spooky. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Keep”
Is it an homage? Is it a parody? Last Action Hero is both. It is also a film whose idea was better than its execution. From 1993, Last Action Hero was released two years after Terminator 2. In the interregnum, Arnold directed a TV movie, Christmas in Connecticut (which I will NOT be watching), did a little voiceover work, became a restaurateur, appeared as himself in Dave (another film I’m choosing to skip), and slept on a mattress filled with Krugerrands. I’m not totally sure that last bit is true, as, sometimes, facts which we find on the internet turn out to be less than truthful. What I do know is that two years was an awful long time to wait for Arnold to build on the success of Terminator 2. I’m also not convinced that Arnold’s sabbatical from starring roles was unrelated to the decline of the American action star. Continue reading “Schwarzenegger Month: Last Action Hero”
Hey, Hollywood. Cut Netflix some slack. The other day I was on Netflix’s streaming service looking for a horror flick about a haunting to watch, and the best I could come up with was The Skeptic, a movie I had no idea even existed. In fact, most of the movies in Netflix’s streaming horror queue are a complete mystery to me. This particular flick was just about the highest-rated there was for what I was looking for, and it barely cracked two stars. I did a little more research, and found that it raked in a grand total of six thousand bucks at the box office. That is just pathetic. Someone, somewhere, please sit down in a room and don’t leave until you figure out how to deliver me more than Hollywood leftovers in on demand service. I’ll pay a few more bucks a month, I swear. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Skeptic”
A general rule: films that are adaptations of books are not as good as the book. Why should they be? A film removes all the grace of prose, and by necessity compresses the story. Sometimes, though, films are better than their source material, and the rule is reversed. Jaws, Wolfen, Die Hard (aka Nothing Lasts Forever), Full Metal Jacket (aka The Short-Timers)...a list like this could go on and on. It’s strangely satisfying to watch a film that’s better than the book. But also confusing. All those films I cited above come from mediocre books. Yet the mind of a filmmaker was able to read them and think, “Yeah, this would make a good movie.” Okay. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Christine”