Browse Month: September 2016

RECAP: The Magnificent Seven (2016)

The Magnificent Seven (2016): Antoine Fuqua

Fifty-six years after the original American adaptation of Seven Samurai, Antoine Fuqua reteams with Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, the pair he directed in Training Day.

Fuqua takes the tale of American gunslingers and moves it north of the Mexican border, to a beleaguered town called Rose Creek.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Seven gunslingers gather to guard a western town from a dastardly, so dastardly villain. Continue Reading

RECAP: Jarhead

Jarhead (2005): Sam Mendes

I’m trying something new here at The Exploder: reviewing an inaction action movie. Jarhead tells the story of Anthony Swofford, eventual private, in the US Marin Corps during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

It’s a long story for a short war, as it kicks off at Camp Pendleton in 1989, two years before the fight against Saddam “Insane,” as one character refers to him.

Strange thing is, Jarhead is perhaps the only war movie in which the main character doesn’t fire a shot.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A young Marine sniper survives the Gulf War without sniping anyone.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Red Heat

Red Heat (1988): Walter Hill

Buddy cops were all the rage in the 1980s. Beverly Hills Cop, 48 Hrs., and Lethal Weapon are three examples of genre-defining hits that resonate today.

Red Heat is decidedly in a second tier. It grossed $35 million, less than half of cop parody movie The Naked Gun.

The film has one iconic moment, a shot in which Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body is loving filmed from the ground up. Only the great statues receive better filming.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A Soviet cop tracks a Soviet drug dealer through Chicago while a local cop attempts to ruin the investigation.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park (1993): Steven Spielberg

Once in a blue moon, actually much rarer than that, a movie comes along and rampages through the American landscape, a film engineered to terrorize and delight, which evolves moviemaking forever. Jurassic Park was one such movie.

Michael Crichton’s most famous novel was his most popular, and if such things were possible I’d tell you it sold best, too. But publishers withhold such information like they’re nuclear launch codes, so unless radioactive warheads start falling around us, I’ll just say it and we’ll assume it’s true.

ONE-SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Dinosaurs rule the Earth again, and chomp on humans.  Continue Reading