Aug. 22nd, 2010

zustifer: (Beetlejuice: Otho is Very Upset)
Gone With the Wind (1939), Victor Fleming. Aug 7, 4pm. View count: One.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Don Siegel. Aug 7, 10:30pm. View count: One.

The Expendables (2010), Sylvester Stallone. Aug 19, 9:45pm. View count: One.

McBain (1991), James Glickenhaus. Aug 21, 8pm. View count: One.

Gone With the Wind: This movie did not agree with me. The best I can say for it is that perhaps the book portrayed a strong lady protagonist the best way it could, and the movie production just had no idea how to make that come across. They seemed to think, and I've heard this elsewhere, too, that Scarlett was likeable because she got along via, apparently, sheer force of will. The problem with this theory is that she was conniving and entitled and stupid, too, and so was Rhett Butler. Two unlikeable people having problems and sometimes solving them, often in ways that were due to coincidence. The ending that this movie needed to have would have had Scarlett wiping her face and marching off to secure another sucker with money, but instead we're to believe that she has somehow reformed, for no real reason.
It's just foolish. The Alf comic book version, as I've stated elsewhere, was better. I wish I could find that thing. (I also recall a nice job by Cracked, casting Roseanne Barr as Scarlett and Chevy Chase as Ashley. "Assley," to be accurate.)

Body Snatchers was plenty fun. There's something about how the 50s handled horror that is right up my alley. It never ended up being really clear what happened to the original person once he/she was duped, but I'm willing to let that slide.

Expendables was strangely terrible. There's no real reason for this to have been as bad as it was, and yet here we are. Someone, perhaps several someones, fell down on the job and did not do their 80s action flick research. It wasn't clear enough, gory enough, or FX-ful enough to be a real 80s pastiche, and it wasn't actually good enough to be a fun action movie with the 80s as a stylistic touchstone. It was pretty stupid (the audience was not trusted to get any gags on its own), not too funny (although we often got a close-up of a sign reading "TOOLS" as an establishing shot before going indoors to look at the tools inside, the stars of the picture), and not that impressive fighting-wise. Knives go into throats, no arterial spray. Jet Li kicks a stunt double a lot, guy doesn't go down. Explosions are about half as believable/well-done as they should be. It's all just sort of a shame. Van Damme should probably be pleased that he stayed out of it. Also Bruce Willis looks like a bad 3d model of himself.

McBain on the other hand, was hilarious, and everything the Expendables should have been. Bunch of guys get sick of doing whatever it is they're doing and decide to "casually," as Ruthless Reviews puts it (found apparently by someone at work), "invade[...] and liberate[...] Columbia." Many of the deaths in this movie are totally preposterous, which was sadly lacking in Expendables. Really, the whole thing was great/terrible, which is generally what I'm after when it comes to 80s action. Early 90s action. Whichever is necessary.

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Karla Z

February 2012

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