Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Holiday Movies

Now that we've watched it two years in a row, I guess A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas is officially going to be a family holiday tradition.

Another quickly developing tradition: Picking out a couple of movies I expect to be pretty bad and watching them. This year's selections:

Slipstream: I'm not sure why I never noticed this 1989 flick before. It was mentioned in a (very negative) review of the new Star Wars movie as being the previous movie that the reviewer had walked out on (I can't find that review at the moment; when I do I'll come back and link to it -- update, here it is). Somehow the filmmakers managed to get Mark Hamill, Bill Paxton, Ben Kingsley and F. Murray Abraham to appear in this turkey.

Dear God, it's bad. How bad? I can't even begin ...

The premise is that around the turn of the century (almost 17 years ago now), an environmental disaster turned the winds loose, wrecking civilization as we know it, making long-distance ground travel impossible and flying very dicey (it seems to me that it would be the other way around, wouldn't it?) and now everyone is anti-technology and Mark Hamill is a bounty hunter and Bill Paxton is a small-time outlaw, and ... well, it all just goes downhill from there. The only really memorable or good line comes from Paxton, in the background, while two other characters are talking in a museum. If you watch the movie, and I don't recommend that you do, you'll know it when you hear it.

Deadfall: Another star-studded disaster, but the reason for it is, well, reasonable (see below). I found this one in Vudu's digital bargain sale bin for $2.99 and after reading an old Los Angeles Times review decided that it's always worth that price to see "a way-over-the-top Nicolas Cage."

Why star-studded? Well, it was directed by Cage's brother, Christopher Coppola, who, like Nicholas, is the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola. Presumably that name was the reason James Coburn, Henry Fonda, Talia Shire, Michael Biehn, Mickey Dolenz, and Charlie Sheen made themselves available for it.

It's bad, but not in the way that Slipstream is bad. It feels an unsuccessful attempt to turn channel David Lynch for a combination film noir/caper movie. The "way-over-the-top" Cage moments don't save it, but "well here's to Sam F**king Peckinpah!" makes it worth $2.99.

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