Browse Tag: drugs

RECAP: Domino

Domino (2005): Tony Scott

A scene late in Domino shows the main characters imbibe spoonfuls of mescalin. For hours they endure insane hallucinations, emotions, and passions, and survive a horrific RV crash that should have torn their bodies in half.

I bring this up now because I believe the entire movie was made by people on mescaline. An intense, jittery experience for two hours, Domino tells a true story, sort of, about a model-turned-bounty hunter.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A lithe bounty hunter is caught up in an armored car heist that involves a casino owner, the mob, Jerry Springer, and Beverly Hills 90210. Continue Reading

RECAP: Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016): Edward Zwick

Jack Reacher goes forward through a ton of bad dudes to investigate some crimes and stuff. There’s a woman imprisoned for a crime she didn’t commit. There’s a possible daughter situation. You get the idea.

Edward Zwick comes onboard to direct a tightly portrayed character-based thriller, not at all like his epic period pieces such as The Last Samurai (also starring Tom Cruise), Glory, or Defiance.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Jack Reacher defends a colleague for a crime she didn’t commit, and both of them protect a teenage girl for some reason.  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: Sicario

Sicario (2015): Denis Villeneuve

What’s more dangerous, more convoluted than policing the drug trade? That question is raised by the 2015 drug update Sicario. What does “sicario” mean? According to the intro, it’s what the Jews called people who actively opposed Roman leaders. In Mexico, a sicario is a hitman.

Acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins picked up his 13th overall and fourth consecutive Oscar nomination, all of them losses. The visuals were terrific, but I found Johann Johannsson’s Oscar-nominated score the movie’s real star.

Deakins and Josh Brolin both worked on another movie focusing on the drug war around El Paso, 2008’s Best Picture winner No Country for Old Men.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The US wages secret war against the Mexican drug cartels.  Continue Reading

Robocop 2

Robocop 2 (1990): Irvin Kirshner

Robocop was a wonderful gift to Detroit. But in 1990, life is worse, so much worse that a corporation is offering to buy the city. Kirshner, ten years removed from directing another sequel featuring robots, helms the shoot of the second in the vaunted, untouchable Robocop franchise.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Robocop struggles to stay human while hunting a drug-peddling robovillain and its corporate backers.

Hero (5/10)

Robocop has three prime directives: serve the public trust, protect the innocent, and uphold the law. Complex humans struggle to do those things, and have for, say, 15,000 years. How Robocop can navigate obtuse and flexible meanings confounds me, but it does, because Robocop never screws up. He bank shots a bullet into a goon’s head. Using math. Any kid who says they’ll never use math in the real world, show them that scene. Continue Reading