The one thing about Sam Raimi’s movies is that good or bad, very few of them age poorly. Even for a movie made in the early nineties at an age where every studio were seeking to duplicate the success of “Batman,” Raimi makes “Darkman” his own movie. It’s a superhero movie in the horror vein where our masked dark avenger is also a deformed an unhinged Frankenstein monster. Something in the vein of Brundlefly, Liam Neeson really does offer up a wildly unique and off the rails performance.
It’s no secret that I Love “The Warriors.” I’ve loved it for years, and I talk about it constantly. I own a massive poster, the vinyl soundtrack the entire funko pop wave, the PS2 video game, and most of the editions on DVD and Blu-Ray. It’s a movie that’s had an interesting genesis starting out as a novel, transformed in to a notorious feature film, which then became fodder for video stores and was played quite often in syndication on cable and network television. It then evolved in to a cult classic and now a more widely celebrated cult masterpiece. And rightly so.
It’s a movie that works on so many levels as a streamlined, sleek, gritty, and exciting gang picture that Walter Hill directs with pitch perfect efficiency, and it’s garnered another well deserved special release from Arrow Video.
Jason Statham once upon a time was a guy who seemed like he was going to carry the torch and deliver a brand of unique action film roles. And then somewhere around 2010, he kind of backtracked and just reverted to playing the same variation of Jason Statham that we’ve seen well in to fifteen years now. “The Beekeper” is the latest in a line of what the internet are now labeling “Dad movies” where your everyday Joe becomes a bonafide angel of vengeance. This time directed by David Ayer and written by Kurt Wimmer, the pair team to deliver, so far, one of the stupidest action movies of the year.
I had a lot of respect for Joseph Pupello’s desire to deliver a gangster picture that’s less about gangsters and more about our personal lives. It’s rough around the edges, and the screenplay by Peter Panagos isn’t entirely cohesive, but they do manage to concoct an interesting storyline for a central character who is being pulled in all kinds of obligations. The one big goal in his a life involving mobsters, and assassinations, and a pregnant wife is to live as the person he really wants to be, and that makes his struggle pretty turbulent.
America has really done John Woo no favors in regards to his film legacy. And despite kind of hitting some gems in the 1990’s, director Woo has accomplished so much more in his heydays. “Silent Night” is proof positive that he needs a renaissance, as it’s about as basic and disappointing an action movie that you can get. I was cautiously optimistic about “Silent Night” as the premise seemed so interesting. An action movie with no dialogue based around a revenge plot akin “John Wick” seemed like a good time. Throwing in Joel Kinnaman was just the icing on the cake.
I have a long history with the “Police Academy” movie series, as well as a lot of nostalgia attached to it. As a child who was attached to the television, I spent many a day watching the adventures of Mahoney and the Police Academy on WPIX Channel 11 here in New York. I often watched two to six on television and almost always had a blast with it. I was able to see “City Under Siege” in theaters, and stuck with it right through the end where it became a TV show, cartoon, comic series, and then an inevitable pop culture running joke. It’s a very of its time movie series that would be impossible to duplicate today, and that’s why I love it so much. Shout Factory releases a new edition of this series that is stuffed with bells and whistles, but leaves much to be desired.
I plan to review the full movie series in the future.
Take two cups of “Ghost Rider,” one cup of “Spawn,” a dash of “The Crow,” mix it up with only a fraction of the budget, and you have Jose Prendes’ “Headless Horseman.” The Asylum’s newest mockbuster watches like an off brand comic book movie from the late nineties. It feels like something from a studio that couldn’t afford Marvel’s “Ghost Rider,” so they opted for a character from an obscure indie label. If it seems like I’m just mocking “Headless Horseman,” I’m truly not. I was surprised at how much I didn’t hate it, as while the movie borrows from the aforementioned series’ wholesale, it amounts to some cheesy, charming fun.
In a city riddled with poverty and crime, a local corporate boss decides to go political to take control of laws and what is allowed to be built within city limits. At the same time, a gang war seems to be brewing. Soon, a special police unit is put together to investigate.