Browse Tag: shotgun

RECAP: Miami Vice

Miami Vice (2006): Michael Mann

Crockett and Tubbs, Tubbs and Crockett. Try finding a cooler, more decade-defining duo than those two Miami Vice detectives in the 1980s. They made Miami cool (cooler), pastels cool, and they made it possible to wear t-shirts with sport jackets.

What better way to adapt this hyper-cool TV series than a gritty filmmaker like Michael Mann? OK, a lot better. Mann makes a different movie, a Mann movie, but a good one. And yes, this Crockett and Tubbs are cooler.

Don’t shoot me!

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: When a federal drug sting goes awry, the FBI calls Miami’s top undercover detectives to bust a worldwide cartel operating in Miami.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Assault on Precinct 13 (2005)

Assault on Precinct 13 (2005): Jean-Francois Richet

Remaking any movie is a troublesome prospect. Assault on Precinct 13 is a good choice, if you’re going to remake a classic. The original is well liked, at least a generation old, and made on a tiny budget.

The 2005 remake upgrades everything. Cast, production budget, cameras, even the besieged precinct station gets a second floor. The movie landed with a thud at the box office, but its cast put in a solid effort.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: It’s New Year’s Eve, and some very bad, very well armed dudes, mad at Detroit cops, surround a decommissioned police station and try to kill the eight cops, criminals, and civilians stuck inside. 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: The Wild Bunch

The Wild Bunch (1969): Sam Peckinpah

Sam Peckinpah made a career antagonizing his actors and bludgeoning the public over their heads with messages an imagery. In his 1969 masterpiece, the man who would consider himself an outlaw director made a film about the low down, most rootin’-est, tootin’-est cowboys seen in American cinema.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A wild bunch of thieves and do-no-gooders robs a railroad company, a train, and a Mexican general, outruns the US Army and bounty hunters, and all for the fun of it.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman (2017): Patty Jenkins

It took 76 years, but in June of 2017 Wonder Woman, a canon comic book character, finally got a feature film to call her own.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Formed from clay, on an island of immortal women, Diana Prince leaves her world to fight the last war against Ares, the last god.  Continue Reading

RECAP: The Kingdom

The Kingdom (2007): Peter Berg

Saudi Arabia is the kingdom. Let’s get that out of the way. In case you were wondering.

What happens when local terrorists kill dozens of Americans in Saudi Arabia? You get…Jamie Foxx Investigates.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Homegrown Saudi terrorists attack a compound of American oil workers and their families, and the FBI flies in to investigate against the will of many in the Saudi government.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Frank Miller’s Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For

Frank Miller’s Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (2014): Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller

A rant: Let’s stop the trend(?) of enshrining a director’s name to a movie’s title. Frank Miller did it here. Lee Daniels tried the same trick with The Butler. We’ve already succummed to auteur theory; why hammer the nail further?

A Dame to Kill For uses the same storytelling technique as its predecessor: interconnected stories of down-and-out folks in Sin City. This time around, some of the characters we know, and some we don’t.

There’s also a time-skip. For some characters this film is a sequel, for others a prequel. Sounds confusing, but the aspect actually works.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Sin City is full of a lot of bad people, and they do bad things to each other, and it’s mostly black and white, and there’s nudity and murders and stuff, and some of the colors pop out, and there’s a lot of scenes.  Continue Reading

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: Stagecoach

Stagecoach (1939): John Ford

Hollywood history is riddled with years high and low. No year soared higher than 1939. As Stagecoach is probably the only action movie still possible to watch from 1939, it’s The Exploder’s best chance to discuss the year.

The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Stagecoach are not simply classic films, they are Best Picture Winners in nearly every other year. But they went up against Gone with the Wind, arguably the most successful film ever made, and lost.

An absolute classic of the genre, Stagecoach was the only Oscar loss for director John Ford. He won four other times the Best Director statue, a feat unequaled so far.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A brazen group of stagecoach passengers brave Apache territory to ride to Lordsburg.  Continue Reading

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