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The flash and the 'stache

The flash and the 'stache

I was first introduced to Danny Glover’s mustache (then worn as part of a goatee) in The Royal Tenenbaums, a movie that, despite walking the edge of the hipster grand canyon, never falls in and stays funny til the last drop.  Glover is so quiet, understated, and calm in that movie that I couldn’t believe he had once been an action hero.  After catching LW2 on cable, though, it’s hard to see Danny otherwise.

This movie (and the rest of the series) hits every buddy-cop cliche, and how!  The first time we see Mel Gibson in LW1, he’s impersonating Kurt Russell from Tango & Cash.  Waking up in a crappy trailer, he lights a cig and washes his mouth out with a Coors while crying into the photo of his dead wife.  (Not that there’s anything believable about these movies, but that always pisses me off.  There’s always some tough-guy cop who eats burgers, smokes butts, and drinks 12 beers a night, yet is ripped.  I think this concept launched a generation of fat white guys.)  Glover, we learn from an awkward scene where his family ambushes him naked in the tub (no bubbles, just a 17-year-old daughter checking out daddy’s junk through the ripples) to sing him happy birthday, has a beautiful family, nice house, boat and lives a clean life.

By LW2, Gibson is clean, and even has a rebound bang with a hot blonde.  Though they make it out alive from the classic bad-guys-shoot-1,563-bullets-and-miss-while-good-guy-kills-them-with-one-shot-each attack, she, too is murdered, apparently by the same guy who offed Wife #1.  20 minutes later, though, it’s all smiles as they’ve shot the last of the bad guys, because who needs due process?

This movie has some great stuff.  South African bad guys who invoke diplomatic immunity, lots of the rolling-and-shooting maneuver, Glover lacking volume control, Mel Gibson’s blow-dried locks, and an amazingly 80s-hot blonde.  I give it 4 rib tips (out of 5).

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Editors Note: I was lazy and wrote this after the movie, so it’s more of a review.

The dark shadows of the evil ultrafags.

The dark shadows of the evil ultrafags.

After a week of fever sweats and hacking on a lung, I was more than ready for movie night.  Add in the anticipation of Al Pacino going undercover as a leatherdaddy, and I was downright pumped.  My 101-degree blood was flowing at record speed as we settled into the couch, everyone’s little hearts aglow.

You see, few movies have come into SBMN with as much upward potential as Cruising.  The homoeroticism of flicks like Point Break and North Dallas Forty have made us laugh ourselves to the brink of tears.  The idea of Michael Corleone going inch by inch into Bravo’s primetime schedule seemed to be the logical end of this aim.  

The problem, of course, is that you don’t want the logical end of a good thing.  A little (or a lot of) homoeroticism is good in an overly macho movie; it keeps things relaxed, it’s funny, and, above all, you don’t have to watch anal fisting scenes.  In Cruising, you do, and there are some things you just can’t unsee. (That link is not tubgirl. Promise.)  It’s like a David Lynch movie: all the things that should be bubbling under the surface creating tension are being shoved directly into your face.  And there are some things you just don’t want in your face.  

Even if this movie weren’t so incredibly offensive (the main conclusion is that pretty much any gay man could be a killer or a rapist, none of them have any morals), it would still be terrible.  It’s 45 minutes of material stretched out to 102 minutes, Al Pacino just walks around and looks depressed the whole time, and the only redeeming thing is the mysterious 7-foot-tall-black-guy-in-a-jock-strap the police use to beat suspects.

Do not watch this movie.

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Keanu Capulet meets Patrick Montague.  

 

 

Keanu Capulet meets Patrick Montague.

The word “bromance” gets thrown around an awful lot these days.  Apparently, some out there think it means just any ol’ friendship that is pretty close.  This is a mistake.  For it to be a true bromance, there has to be some ambiguity.  There have to be awkward moments.  The bubbling undercurrent of homoerotic tension has to be ever-present.  Without it, you’ve just got bros, no mance.

Which brings me to this week’s pick, Point Break.  Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze really pushed the established limits in 1995 of hetero-hetero love in this one.  Keanu goes undercover to infiltrate Swayze’s surfing/skydiving/bank-robbing ring.  He gets in, but perhaps too deep, and feelings get in the way.  Sure, there’s probably some ’90s-hot love interest, but we all know what’s going on here.  A cop and a criminal.  Forbidden love.  And plenty of Gary Busey.

SD

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Get running, meathead.  

 

 

Get running, meathead.

When “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” hit the airwaves, any dystopia became less far fetched.  Who are we as a generation when a live act that can make nerds dance decides to back the worst SNL cast member since Jim Breuer (and to do it on their own dime!).

As far as dystopias go, The Running Man doesn’t disappoint.  In an unexpected twist for an action movie, Arnold is framed. He has the choice between life improsonment and a sick, depraved game show where he will likely be murdered on live television by any number of washed up American Gladiators.

I think the episodic, stage-by-stage, video game-esque progression is an underused format in movies.  It sure as hell worked for The Warriors, and I have an inkling it’s gonna work for Arnold.

SD

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2/26/09: Invasion U.S.A.

Chuck goes to work.

Chuck goes to work.

Better batten down the hatches, cuz Chuck Norris is coming, and you don’t wanna be caught off guard.  While I definitely enjoyed Red Dawn, especially its metaphor for Big Ten sports, I think we can all agree that there was some room for improvement, perhaps most of all in acting.    

Enter the 1997 winner of the prestigious Lone Star Film & Television Awards© Texas Legend® Award.  We jammed with him in Code of Silence.  We had that special feeling about The Octagon.  And now, we stop some god damn terrorists with him in Invasion USA.  Oh yeah, I went there.
Enjoy.
–SD

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crimson_tideHow much money would it take today to bring together Royal TenenbaumJohn CreasyAragorn, and Tony Soprano, all under the helm of the guy who made a certain masterpiece of cinema?  Oh, and don’t forget the composer, who, out of the hundreds who’ve tried, is probably the greatest at ripping off Wagner.*  It really doesn’t matter, though, because we know that it was affordable in 1995, and now we get to reap the benefits.  The only thing I don’t understand is how Ed Harris didn’t make it in there somehow.  Oh, well. 

This was the first R-rated movie I saw in theaters, and after watching the trailer, I think it holds up pretty well.  I discourage you from watching said trailer if you haven’t seen the movie, because like every action movie trailer from the ’90s, it gives away the entire plot.  Hal Douglas does bring his A-game, though.
–SD

 

*If that Wagner joke threw you off, go here, skip to 1:27, and compare with the “Crimson Tide” Melody.  That horn call plays every time the character Siegfried appears in the Ring cycle of operas, 18 hours of music that is either among the most inspiring achievements in human history, a preemptive justification for the holocaust, or just a very, very large amount of boring music, depending on your point of view.

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"No! It's too sexy!""But I must." 

 

"No, Antonio! It's too sexy!" "But I must."

This week’s pick was for a long while shrouded in mystery, but that should be no reason for frustration.  Smug Bastard transcends individual movies; it is the glow that we bask in, a light emanating from fundamental principles that can never get dated.  Power.  Skill.  Manship.  Mild Sauce.

As anyone who’s tried to procure a movie at a south side rental store knows, the selection can be very frustrating.  That I avoided both Ice Cube and Raven Symone was an admirable feat.  And now, the movie.

Let me get the first criticism out of the way: Desperado is a good movie.  Robert Rodriguez has made some stinkers, but this one is legit.  However, there’s plenty to enjoy that wasn’t intended: Tarantino trying to act, some terrible mustaches, Cheech, and a bad guy-second in command relationship that brings more sexual tension than a Bruce Pearl interview.  We also get Salma Hayek, who–while certainly no slouch today–nearly caused my 17-year-old head to explode when I first saw the sex scene that will have smug bastards everywhere crossing their legs to avoid showing their broners.

I, on the other hand, will be wearing sweatpants.

SD

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