Browse Month: July 2017

RECAP: Predator

Predator (1987): John McTiernan

Arnold, the jungle, muscles, aliens, grenade launchers: it gets no better than Predator.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An alien hunter haunts the jungle tracking America’s finest soldiers. Continue Reading

RECAP: Judge Dredd

Judge Dredd (1995): Danny Cannon

Judge Dredd was a comic book first. It never reached the cultural cache of Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, or the X-Men, much less the cultural icons Batman and Superman. However, the helmeted judge patrolling the streets of Mega City One still made it to the big screen before those first three characters I mentioned.

The character calls for a subdued but principled man to play the by-the-book character. Instead, he got Sylvester Stallone at his hammiest and steroid-est. The movie suffers for it.

In this future megalopolis, 65 million people are policed by judges. Men and women are trained to be cop, judge, jury, and, sometimes, executioner.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: I AM THE LAW. Continue Reading

RECAP: Baby Driver

Baby Driver (2017): Edgar Wright

Edgar Wright made his career directing Simon Pegg movies. He almost got Ant-Man and he almost got the fourth Mission: Impossible film. He helped write The Adventures of Tin Tin, a movie with so much Oscar weight behind it that the film barely made it to out.

All these experiences helped create the wholly Wright project of Baby Driver. A “kind of musical,” Baby Driver surprised box office prognosticators for succeeding, because it’s an original idea and who has the energy to see original movies these days?

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A hearing-challenged young man drives getaway cars for Atlanta bank robbers to a fantastic score.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976): John Carpenter

John Carpenter’s second feature film, Assault on Precinct 13 set the bar for future films. Carpenter speaks openly about the influence of Rio Bravo and Night of the Living Dead, and the nods to those classics are easy to find.

Don’t let that take away from this movie. Filmed on a $100,000 budget, Assault doesn’t have the time or money to shoot the hell out of its sets and characters. Instead, the movie focuses on its characters, finding the breaking point for each of them. Oh, and it does shoot the hell out of the set.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: After Los Angeles police kill members of the notorious Street Thunder gang , an about-to-close precinct station finds itself under retaliatory siege.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Thor

Thor (2011): Kenneth Branagh

What happens when you mix Norse mythology, Marvel, and and Shakespearean fanboy director?

Thor. Sam Raimi and Matthew Vaughn nearly made a Thor movie, but that’s the biz; it doesn’t always work out. They sound weird for this film. But who wouldn’t? Norse gods living in the same world as the Incredible Hulk and Tony Stark.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Heir to the throne of Asgard, Thor is banished to Earth to learn some humility before he is worthy to rule.  Continue Reading