Welcome to my weekly guide of what and what not to watch of the films littering the schedules of the 6 billion channels I never watch (I’ve got one channel, the almighty Sky+ – the holy grail of distilled convenience, yours for the one off price of your eternal soul, SOLD!). It’ll appear once I get around to buying the weekly TV guide and set aside a good couple of hours quality time in the bathroom with a highlighter pen. I’ve got six categories of film distinction into which I’ll place one film from the guide that hits the mark. If you find my advice to be in any way tainted I could care less, but feel free to vent your spleen in the comments until I wade in there to put you in your place. Here we go, this week the focus is on ACTION FILMS
THE DYED IN THE WOOL CLASSIC
Really good films. No shit.
BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986)
WHEN: Friday 16th November
WHY?: Bit of an action/sci-fi/fantasy hybrid we’ve got here, but 100% classic Carpenter in my opinion. There is this unrelenting pace and singular aura to this film, aided by the predictably ‘oriental meets Escape From New York’ Carpenter score and the quick and quirky patter of the protagonists. Kurt Russell turns the John Wayne dial up to 11 as he tears up Chinatown battling straw-boatered refugees from Zu Warriors alongside a green eyed reported (Kim Cattrall) and a pre-Graboid-bait Victor Wong (who almost puts you in mind of an oriental Donald Pleasance). This could also go down as a Saturday Night Special for the pure enjoyment factor of the seeing a comedy death by self-inflation, you’re not getting that with Brokeback Mountain now, are you ?
THE HIDDEN GEM
Be it a cult classic or something good on at 3am.
THE LONG KISS GOODNIGHT (1996)
WHEN: Saturday 17th November
WHY?: I know this isn’t a cult classic or anything but it just seems to be one of those big action films that noone seems to remember. At the time I believe the script by Shane Black (Hawkins-Predator) was bought for like,er, lots of money(NOTE:Remember to check facts later before publishing). You’ve got the trademark Black quick wit and banter coupled with some spectacular action sequences, Samuel.L.Jackson(“That’s right! You can’t kill me, motherfuckers!”) and Geena Davis (“Die screaming, motherfucker!”) saying “motherfucker” a lot (which is always a plus in my book) and a grown woman causing a child to piss his pants. I think I’m going to have to set up a special Shane Black triple bill (when my DIY schedule calms down in 2009) of this, The Last Boy Scout and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Then be careful not to go around calling everyone “motherfucker”.
THE COLONIAL MARINE MOVIE OF THE WEEK
Whatever I can find with Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton or the like in it. Bound to be something.
LETHAL WEAPON 2 (1989)
WHERE: Sky Movies Modern Greats
WHEN: Sunday 18th November
LETHAL WEAPON VS STAR WARS
WHY?: You get two for the price of one this week as both Jenette Goldstein (Vasquez) and Mark Rolston (Drake) put in appearances here, albeit on different sides of the law. They both maintain the low mortality rate for colonial marines in outside projects with Rolston not recognizing the significance of the plastic sheeting he’s standing on and Goldstein earning a 9.4 from the judges for her explosion aided high dive. Before the advent of DVD and two subsequent (slightly) inferior films I owned this and the first film on a double bill VHS tape. I couldn’t tell you of one occasion where I was able to watch one without the other (because I didn’t,not because I’m sworn to secrecy or anything). This entry in the series saw the introduction of Joe Pesci as added comic relief, something which could have tipped the scales in the action stakes but instead provides a number of laugh out loud lines that I quote regularly to this day (“But..but, you’re blick”). You also get a surf board death scene that is worked out as intricately as a game of Mousetrap and shows a respect and dedication to the decent despatch of bad guys in action films that is sorely missing in the majority of generic copycat actioneers.
THE SATURDAY NIGHT SPECIAL
Could be the best film in the world or the cheesiest, but nevertheless a good companion piece to takeout pizza and a few bevvys. Doesn’t have to be on Saturday.
WHERE: Sky Movies Action/Thriller
WHEN: Wednesday 21st November
WHY?: I don’t think Ray Liotta has ever lived up to the promise he showed in the magnificent Goodfellas, but I always think he gives good value. No more so than here in this batshit-crazy plane actioneer. Here, Ray turns on the crazy as a psychopath in custody being transported somewhere or other by Brendan Gleeson on a passenger free plane stewardessed by Lauren Holly and whale lover Catherine Hicks. I think it’s also set at Christmas, but I don’t remember this having any particular relevance but I might be wrong, if any of you guys give this a shot be sure and let me know (like if Liotta drops out of the plane and down a chimney or he gets twatted by an oversized candy cane and Lauren Holly says “Ho ho ho, motherfucker!”, but Shane Black didn’t write this one so I’m not seeing that happening)
THE BOG OF ETERNAL STENCH
Utter tripe. Not even so bad that it’s good
STOP! OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT (1992)
WHEN: Monday 19th November
WHY?: I can’t believe I expended the time and energy, not to mention my hard earned (pocket) money going to the cinema to see this. I think this came out in a period of “Hey, what the hell else can we partner with a cop and mine some of that buddy picture gold, hmm? I’ve got it! That sassy old broad from The Golden Girls! Bea Arthur? Getthefuckouttahere!” That was the first and last time I saw this , so you never know, it might be a grower, it’s been 15 years – a decent Malt length. It was one of those weird late eighties / early nineties family comedy/action blends that only meted out a few successes (Kindergarten Cop, Turner & Hooch) Yes, that’s right, I just called Turner and Hooch a success, it’s almost as goos as K9 and definately has the edge on K9:PI, in my opinion.
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
Films that I’ve heard good things about but have never got around to watching, like Gone With The Wind. Maybe this week.
THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)
WHEN: Wednesday 21st November
WHY?: I am a huge Bogart fan and it is a major cause of unrest in my soul that I haven’t managed to see this film all the way through. It’s one of those where you seem to be jinxed into never seeig it for a variety of reasons. I’ve seen Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon and The African Queen countless times but not this one. I’m going to Sky+ this one for sure and have myself a Bogart move review week sometime in the future. Ah, the plans I have.