Browse Tag: los angeles

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: 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: Battle: Los Angeles

Battle: Los Angeles (2011): Jonathan Liebesman

Only Hollywood execs would make a movie with “Los Angeles” in its title and set it in Santa Monica. In their defense, most people in the world have never heard of Santa Monica, not so the titular city. Point taken. Title passes.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A Marine squadron is the last gasp for humanity against an alien invasion off the coast of southern California. Continue Reading

RECAP: Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016): Roland Emmerich

If 1996’s Independence Day is the Titanic, the 2016 sequel Independence Day: Resurgence, is the iceberg that sank it. Despite 20 years of buildup and inflated ticket prices, the sequel, which cost twice the original, is on track to make less than one-third of the original’s total.

Resurgence is a half-hour shorter than its predecessor while trying to pack in more characters than a Game of Thrones season.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The aliens come back. Continue Reading

RECAP: Independence Day

Independence Day (1996): Roland Emmerich

Today, we celebrate, Independence Day, not because it is a good movie, but because it is an AWESOME movie. Director Roland Emmerich has given us hits and misses, but the 1996 popcorn flick about an alien invasion starred Will Smith at the height of his powers and Jeff Goldblum at the apex of his, er, Goldblumness. Every eight-year-old boy’s fantasies of alien invasions were brought to the screen in theaters that July.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Belligerent space aliens are “welcomed” to Earth.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Heat

Heat (1995): Michael Mann

More than 20 years after appearing in The Godfather: Part II, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro finally appeared together on screen. To drive home the point, both were credited on screen in the opening titles.

Heat hit theaters between Mann’s The Last of the Mohicans and The Insider. Each film is memorable for its uniqueness and Mann’s particular brand of camera work.

And yes, this movie nearly reaches three hours, but three compelling hours, wrapped around an all-time great gun fight.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A cop and robber find themselves more alike than not, try to kill each other anyway.  Continue Reading

Terminator: Genisys

Terminator: Genisys (2015): Alan Taylor

We’ve waited 12 years for Arnold to return to his signature role. We’ve mostly forgotten that there was a Terminator movie between this summer’s Terminator: Genisys and Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. That movie, Terminator: Salvation is by far more famous for the recorded on-set tirade of ‘roided-up Christian Bale. If you remember anything about the finished product, good for you. T5 is meant to be Paramount’s major film franchise in a cinematic world full of film franchises. 

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator!!!!!!!! Continue Reading

San Andreas

San Andreas (2015): Brad Peyton

When caught between a Rock and a hard place, the Rock might hug you. So I gathered as I watched San Andreas, the first Hollywood movie to set fire to San Francisco in years, as in 1.04 years, since Godzilla and Mothra gave it a shot in 2014. Brad Peyton reunites with his Grace Kelly–Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. (Aside: How can you be named The Rock and decide to go by Dwayne Johnson?)

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: The San Andreas fault pops The Big One, wrecking much of Los Angeles and San Francisco. Continue Reading