1983

October 6, 2018

31 Films of Halloween: One Dark Night


One Dark Night is one letdown of a film. I was looking forward to a cast of Meg Tilly, Elizabeth Daily & Adam West. I had high hopes. The premise is great but the film takes you right to the end to bring out the goods. A missed opportunity that could be improved & released today.
December 18, 2015

Countdown to the Force Awakens (Episode VI) – Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

So it all comes down to this; one final review that literally brings us to the moment people have been clamoring for probably since 1983. Granted, I still love “Revenge of the Sith” despite the reservations of my cohorts at Simplistic Reviews, so I’ve only been waiting for another “Star Wars” movie for ten years. Without further adieu, let’s slide right into “Return of the Jedi” from 1983.

“Jedi” picks up soon after the events of “The Empire Strikes Back.” A rescue mission has brought our cast of characters to the lair of the vile criminal gangster, Jabba the Hutt on Tattoine to free Han Solo, still frozen in carbonite.

All goes well until Leia, disguised as the bounty hunter Boushh, is found freeing Han from his carbonite prison and becomes Jabba’s personal cuddle buddy. However, when all seems lost, enter Luke Skywalker, now a full-blown Jedi Knight to the rescue. But of course, he is captured as well after nearly meeting his demise at the hands of a Rancor.

But like all good plans, there is a third man on the inside; that man is Lando Calrissian, the administrator of this rescue. After traveling out to the Dune Sea of Tattoine; Luke, Han, and Chewbacca all learn their fates that they will be fed to the Sarlacc. Springing into action, Luke is able to free his friends, avoid being eaten, and destroys Jabba’s Sail Barge, but only after Leia offs him herself.

After the daring rescue, Luke decides he needs to head back to Dagobah to pay Yoda a visit while the rest of the crew heads off to plan their next move against The Empire. Han, Leia, Chewbacca receive a briefing from Rebel Leaders that a new Death Star is in the works and that the shield generator is hidden on one of the moons of Endor, where Luke re-joins them after the death of Yoda. The adventure continues…..

While on Endor, the group encounter Stormtroopers on Speeder bikes, but more importantly, they encounter the fuzzy inhabitants of Endor, the Ewoks. Luckily before Han, Luke, and the rest of the team become dinner, Luke makes them see the error of their ways and makes the ever-worried, C-3PO as a golden god which the Ewoks worship.

After being freed, Luke decides it’s time to face his father, Darth Vader, again, while Han, Leia, Chewbacca and the Ewoks assault the shield generator with the rest of the Rebel fleet ready to attack the Death Star.

Captured by Vader, Luke is taken to the Death Star to meet with Emperor Palpatine who tries to tempt him to follow his father’s path to the Dark Side. Luke fights his father in an epic lightsaber duel, but rebuffs The Emperor who tells him to strike Vader down. Finally seeing the error of his says, Vader dispatches Palpatine while saving Luke and redeeming himself in the process.

Meanwhile, on Endor, the shield generator is shutdown and the assault on the Death Star begins as Lando leads the charge in the Millennium Falcon. Needless to say, good prevails and evil is defeated, while Anakin and Luke reconcile in his dying breathe. It all ends with a grand Ewok celebration and Lando clapping his hands.

That’s the film in a nutshell, and if you got through my plot ramblings, I’ll make my thoughts on this film quick.

While “Jedi” isn’t, and will never, eclipse the genius that is “Empire Strikes Back” if you go back and revisit this film over and over there are some incredible things going on. From the relationship between Vader, Luke, and the Emperor, which looking back is such an important part of this film, to Luke’s decision to finally face his father and try to bring him back to the light, and of course the final words of Yoda before he becomes one with The Force, there is some powerful stuff, but on the other hand……

…….Ewoks. Yes, Ewoks. You can certainly tell this was a George Lucas decision to include more bankable and economic-generating creatures in a galaxy far, far away, but of course close enough to a Toys R’ Us. Maybe if I was of an age when this film came out, I’m sure I would have been begging my parents for a stuffed Ewok, but looking at it now from an objective film-goer, the Ewoks rank up there with the Gungans on useless and annoying “Star Wars” creatures. Sure, stone me for comparing Ewoks with Gungans, but in reality it was Chewbacca that got on that AT-ST and helped defeat the Stormtroopers, not the Ewoks.

Ranking as my #3 (current) film in the “Star Wars” film franchise, “Jedi” has it’s share of great scenes and high adventure, but there are just enough quirks and overall annoying creatures that keep this from being #2 on the list.

With that being said, we are here….the moment many have been waiting for for ten long years….The Force has awaken….catch all of you soon.

November 10, 2014

Slaughter Film Presents: Action Movie Time Machine – The Bronx Warriors 2: Escape From the Bronx

ENTERTAINING

We narrowly survived the Bronx. Now, will we be able to “Escape From the Bronx“? Oh yeah, the “Action Movie Time Machine” is synched into the appropriate time stream. All aboard to visit the sequel to “1990: The Bronx Warriors“. Now I don’t want to hear any complaining. This parallel time destination was very difficult to pinpoint since it didn’t take place during any specific time. Just “several years later”. I had to fast-forward through nearly an entire decade before I found it. Even if it’s fast forwarded, a decade is WAY more time than I ever want to spend in the Bronx.

The year is 1983. James Woods grew a tummy vagina in “Videodrome”, Michael Jackson & Vincent Price hit the MTV airwaves in the form of “Thriller”, and NASA’s Challenger space shuttle takes flight for the first time. All this and Henry Silva commits genocide in “Escape From the Bronx”.

THE SKINNY
Picking up where we left off, several years later, the General Construction Corporation is another god sized corporation, much like the Manhattan Corporation of the first film. They have managed to pay off the governor of New York who in turn has granted the GCC permission to forcibly relocate the inhabitants of the Bronx to a cookie cutter suburb in New Mexico. With the people gone, the GCC will build a new, lavish city for the rich on top of the ruins of the old one. It’s like the Delta City from “Robocop”.

The only problem with this is, the people don’t want to move from their urban homes and when they resist they are either shot or set on fire by the “Disinfestation Annihilation Squad“. Oh and one more thing, there is no cookie cutter suburb in New Mexico. That is all just a story to tell the media. As the residence are being relocated, the GCC keeps coming up with clever ways for “accidents” to happen. Accidents that kill everyone.
The gangs of the Bronx have banded together and have found refuge in the underground tunnels of the Bronx. Trash has been keeping busy collecting ammunition for the immanent war against the GCC.

It’s just another day in the hood for Trash, until he returns home to visit his parents and finds their home is being looted. He fights past the looters to find that his mother and father, the people who brought little Trash into this world, the only parents in the world willing to hang a poster of their gang leader son in their living room… So he finds them dead. The DAS set them on fire when Trash’s father fought back against their eviction.
Trash is enraged and flees to the tunnels to gather support from the remaining gangs. Trash is out for blood.
 
Meanwhile, a nosey reporter, Moon Grey, ventures into the Bronx to conduct some hard hitting detective work to expose the GCC killings. Once she finds her way into the tunnels she happens into the underground lair of the Bronx Warriors (the various gangs). Together Moon, Trash and the rest discuss a plan of action. They decide to fortify the tunnels with weapons and booby-traps to protect themselves from the DAS while Trash, Moon and a man named Strike venture to the surface to kidnap the President of the GCC. With President Henry Clark in their grasp they will be able to hold the DAS and the GCC at bay while getting the attention of the media.
The leader of the DAS, Floyd Wrangler, Henry Silva, is one bad dude. He’s the type who isn’t interested in the finer things in life, just killing. He is the one behind all of the so called “accidents”. Wrangler is hip to the underground tunnels and starts to mobilize units for an invasion. Scratch that. It’s not an invasion, it’s an extermination.
While the DAS mobilization begins, Trash, Moon and Strike, who is now accompanied by his nine year old bomb making son, snake their way through the tunnels to a ground breaking ceremony where they grab President Clark. Moon creates a distraction and gets shot in the process. Trash & Strike pull Clark into the tunnels and lead the DAS and police into a maze of bombs cleverly placed by Strike’s son.
After the kidnapping heroes reunite with the Bronx Warriors, they are soon joined by the DAS and police. A battle breaks out and for a while the Warriors seem like they are going to win. This brings Wrangler to call for “the gas”. They begin pumping poison gas into the tunnels and those who survive move above ground where the fight continues.
Now I know your worried about President Clark, wouldn’t the gas get him too? Well he managed to escape during the fighting but when Wrangler finds him his is shot twice in the chest. As it turns out, Wrangler had a side agreement with the Vice-President of GCC. Like I said, Wrangler is one bad dude.
The battle continues and much like the first film, it’s hard to tell who the winner is. Everyone is dead except Trash, Strike and his son. The goals of the Bronx Warriors and the GCC were never reached. The Bronx is all but leveled and burning and then the credits roll. The End.
THE VERDICT
I like that our protagonist and hero is named Trash. He is written off by the police, the government, and the upper class as some gutter rat because, well, that’s more or less what he is. A piece of garbage blowing through the Bronx streets. But this is also what has made him a survivor. Living on the mean streets is has made him tough and has taught to fight and win. He is the victor of the proletariat against the untrustworthy and murderous bourgeoisie. Viva Trash!
In a nut shell, this class warfare concept is the heart of “Escape From the Bronx”. This idea has been done before, but as a sequel to “1990: The Bronx Warriors”, it really stands out. Most sequels offer up little more than “more of the same”, especially when there is a decrease in budget. But this film expands upon the original in a way that makes me want to watch third Bronx movie. If there was one.
Using words like “proletariat” and “bourgeoisie” implies some European philosophy. Don’t forget that these films are Italian, and it shows. While the action in this film is more developed with shootouts and explosions, it still has a somewhat subdued feel. Things explode, but they explode slowly. This isn’t really a fault of the film, but a noticeable cultural difference in the way American and Italian filmmakers work their craft. This is something that is seen quite a bit to those who watch many European films.
Also, the dialogue, again, is dubbed. While it sounds good, there are some bits of dialogue that… aren’t natural. In the scene where the President of the company is kidnapped, a police officer comments on the way Strike runs. “Look at him run…he‘s such a fag!”. LOLWUT?! It’s like if a character, ANY character is on screen the dubbers felt compelled to have them say something. Many laughs can be had at the expense of this mostly good film. Just add a few tasty brews.
 
I have to say, for all the post apocalyptic flicks of the VHS era, there were only a handful that were memorable. And for good reason. I can’t quite wrap my head around why a production studio would even attempt to create such high concept environments that rely so heavily on special effects, props, futuristic vehicles and weapons. They almost always look like such crap. Fortunately the two Bronx Warriors films are better than most. Maybe because they tried to keep it simple. For more on the Bronx Warriors, visit the official website.
There are a LOT of post apocalyptic, straight to video, buckets or boring shit, and most can be found conveniently on YouTube. So to do this action movie sub genre justice we will be paying a visit to whatever no budget, boring, nothing crap that I can dial in on the ol’ “Action Movie Time Machine”. I’ll save the “Terminator” films and others for another time. It’s only fair.
I’m Cory Carr and this concludes another trip on the “Action Movie Time Machine”. Until next time, Semper Fi Punk!
For more from Cory, check out his website slaughterfilm.com, where he and his good friend Forest Taylor record weekly podcasts, reviewing the films that are legendary, even in Hell!
September 25, 2012

Easy Money

Easy Money: Joy
(1983)
Here’s a film that I’ve always liked, why because it always brought me joy. Rodney Dangerfield is funny as hell. The story about Rodney who drinks, gambles and does drugs. His best friend is Joe Pesci…Yeah sounds good right?…It really is! His daughter is about to get married to a guy Rodney doesn’t like. Rodney also doesn’t like his mother in law, who pops in for the wedding. She is very rich and her and Rodney DON’T like each other! One night he gets a call saying the mother in law died. In the will, she states Rodney gets nothing unless he STOPS drinking, loses weight, gambling and doing drugs. Rodney must pick between the life he only knows or all the money a person could want.

“Yeah, well you where the inspiration for twin beds.” 
Im gonna stop there, because some great surprises in the plot come up that you need to see and not read. 

“Why dont you two put your heads together and make an ass outta yourselves.” 

The ending is one of my top 10 endings in movies. As a viewer it hits you and it just works. That’s all I will say on that, watch it because its a good film! Have a Rodney Dangerfield weekend you won’t be disappointed.

                   

August 10, 2012

Terms of Endearment

Terms of Endearment: Classic

I enjoy this film a lot. One reasons is they don’t make these kind of films anymore. So it’s a rare gem. Acting is top notch, Jack Nicholson is great and the directing of James L. Brooks works fantastic.

A great film for a movie lover, Mother and Daughter or a fan of comedy in general.

About
Aurora and Emma are mother and daughter who march to different drummers. Beginning with Emma’s marriage, Aurora shows how difficult and loving she can be. The movie covers several years of their lives as each finds different reasons to go on living and find joy. Aurora’s interludes with Garrett Breedlove, retired astronaut and next door neighbor are quite striking. In the end, different people show their love in very different ways. (from IMDB)

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