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Showing posts from April, 2020

Iron Sky: The Coming Race (2019)

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One thing I have learned is that when everything falls into place - a perfect night, a perfect drive, a perfect anything - is never to try to duplicate it.  Iron Skywas far from perfect, but it provided what was promised and more: Nazis, hiding on the far side of the moon after escaping Earth in the last days of World War II, take an opportunity to invade.  The 2012 movie, set in 2018, was a fun take on current world politics, old-fashioned conspiracy theories and a revival of interest in b-movies.

It also was revolutionary in that, to get it over the hump, the movie was partially funded by contributors to a campaign on Indie-Go-Go.  The campaign was successful and the movie made money - enough that a sequel was quickly announced.  This time producer Tero Kaukomaa and director Timo Vuorensola decided, since the experiment worked, to do it again.  We got interesting trailers, with the President escaping Washington, D.C. as the nuclear bombs go off due to the conflict on Earth set off …

The Mack (1973)

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I am obviously not African-American.  That does make it hard when reviewing some movies that were never specifically made for mainstream distribution.  While movies like Shaft and Superfly were definitely written and directed with a black gaze, in the end they were still traditionally filled with good guys, bad guys or, at the very least, anti-heroes one could cheer for.  Two different audiences would get two different experiences, but either way it was largely what the makers of the movie wanted to do.

That's why blaxploitation is such a weird word to use for an entire genre of black film making in the early 1970s.  What may on the surface appear as exploitation of some of the more negative aspects of black American culture was, in some ways, trying to explain why these negative influences were somehow twisted into positives for many in the urban community.  It is something that, even though my background is certainly not affluent, is still way beyond my experience or understand…

Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

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Spider-Man went through so many reboots in such a short time that it was ridiculous to expect audiences to stay around for each iteration.  The ironic part is that it took years to get one of the most popular superheroes on the big screen, finally arriving with the 2002 Sam Raimi film.  After Raimi's trio of films a new shot at the franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man, when down in flames after the second movie.  It was to the credit of everyone involved in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that when they brought him back it was in Captain America: Civil War, and not a standalone film.

When that standalone film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, did arrive, it was an enjoyable surprise.  We were treated to a film where the makers correctly estimated that everyone already knew the origin story and, in a twist many of the Marvel films, gave us a human villain for Peter Parker to deal with rather than some giant worldwide threat.  The humor worked, the characters (even Parker's friend Ned and po…

GoldenEye (1995)

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While I had intended to see Licence to Kill when it came out in the theater, for reasons outlined under my review for that movie it didn't come to be.  GoldenEye, however, came out at a time in my life where I spent a lot of time at the movies, so there was virtually no way I was going to miss it.  Besides, although my mom had really been the one who was the Remington Steele fan, I liked Pierce Brosnan in most movies he was in, and when I heard he would be the next James Bond I was ecstatic.  It seemed he was a natural choice.

Keep in mind at the time I didn't know the behind-the-scenes problems that arose after Licence to Kill.  Since there had been a huge gap it was easy to assume that maybe James Bond had been put to rest; I didn't know that Timothy Dalton, rather than being fired or bolting after his last movie, had been patiently waiting to do the third movie, tentatively called The Property of a Lady.  Between lawsuits regarding the rights to the characters and MGM …