Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I don't imagine that I'm going to be seeing any new movies anytime soon, let alone picking up X2 on Tuesday, because the Apollo's district manager saw fit to fire me today. Yes, she drove all the way out just to fire me. Apparently, I'm an example to everyone else. "Don't fuck up like this guy, or you're gone, too!"

But, then again, I was planning on taking a sabbatical, and I was going to need to cut back my schedule for going back to school in the spring. So I guess it's all okay.

So, here's the thing. I'm feeling kind of down about all of this (even though I'm laughing my ass off listening to a comedy channel on iTunes radio), and so it'll be a lot easier for me to get back to writing my script, which essentially requires that I be depressed, because the dialogue and such comes out like crap when I'm not. It's like they say, "Happy piano players play the circus." In the end, though, the script's going to get done, and there's about a billion-to-one odds that absolutely none of you are going to ever get to read it.

In cleaning out my car, I found a couple of documents I thought I'd lost that I was going to use for writing a script that I like to call 3,000 Miles To Disneyland. That's the kind of script I'd write if I was given a lot of spare time, some financial security and wasn't more than a little bit pissed off. But, that's not the script that I'm writing right now, because -of those three- all I've really got is a lot of spare time.

Anyway, I've always thought that my life would make a good sitcom, where every job I've ever held would work well as a season on a sitcom. Every season has an ending, though.

AIM: therbmcc71
ICQ, MSN, Yahoo: Yeah, right, like I use those.

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Yes, I know it's been a couple of weeks, but I've been terribly busy, what with throwing money at my car in hopes that it would be permanently fixed, and now I've just got a nice used Sonoma, which is about a billion times better than the rust-bucket that was my car.

So I have no idea where I was going to go after the last post, and so I'm just going to comment on my channel surfing of the day:

Watched forty minutes on the Kennedy Assassination. Am now convinced Lee Harvey Oswald did it. Am also convinced that there was no conspiracy amongst anyone outside of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Watched ER. Nice enough episode, although I have to say that I laughed my ass off at two points, one of which was just obvious and the other one being that Dr. Romano has terrible luck with helicopters. And then I started talking about his role in Robocop, and that his character in that movie died in a very, very bad manner, in which he first got toxic waste dumped on him, began to melt, and then got gibbed by Robocop's car and became windshield-washer fluid.

Watched the end of Patriot Games. Movie features a very young Thora Birch; Samuel L. Jackson, with a very prominent bald spot; Patrick Bergin, who was on last night's episode of Smallville; and finally, it also had Boromir. See, my logic here is, if I said, "It's also got Sean Bean," y'all would be going, "Huh?" But if I say it's got Boromir, then you either know what I'm talking about, or Boromir is just a pricy vitamin that paid for product-placement. "I'm taking Boromir every morning, and I'm feeling much better."

And right now I wish my ex-girlfriend was online, because Mary Reilly is on AMC, which used to mean American Movie Classics, but will now run just about anything, as noted by the fact that Mary fucking Reilly is on right now. Yes, the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde... as told by their/his servant, Mary Reilly. This movie is certainly not a classic. The only thing classic about this movie is the way that the trailer stuck in your head for ten fucking years, to the point where whenever I see anything about this movie, all I hear is John Malkovich whispering, "Mary Reilly", which was always a running joke with my ex-girlfriend, which ties this paragraph together quite nicely. And can I just say that these people are complete and total morons for not being able to tell that Jekyll and Hyde are the same guy. It's simple mathematics: Malkovich = Malkovich. We're not talking rocket science here.

Skipping forward on the cable a few channels, we end up at A&E, which used to stand for Arts & Entertainment... Now it's just some mediocre point in between, as I notice the Ed Harris & Benicio del Toro vehicle, "Huevos de Oro" is on. And that's the best part of the whole movie. Yes, it's called Golden Balls. Or, maybe Golden Eggs, but it's twice as entertaining if you can get a little laugh out of the title Golden Balls. That's really not saying much about the movie, is it? Good, because that's how I wanted it to sound.

Next channel: E! Again, somewhere in the title is the word Entertainment, but right now, I'm watching Corey Feldman trying to sing on the Howard Stern show... and... I'm changing the channel.

And we've got Howie Mandel working at Starbucks in a Tonight Show segment. Trust me, my day at Apollo's is funnier than this. I actually turned into the Coffee Nazi today when a college student said she didn't want a Cappuccino, she wanted a Crappuccino... and I yelled at her, "No coffee, one year!" I've always wanted to do that.

I just saw an ad that just totally missed the reality bus. It said, "The Number One movie in the hearts of critics and audiences is Master & Commander." Now, if I'm not mistaken, box-office dollars determine the Number One status of anything... and I've heard that one done in all kinds of ways, "The Number-One family film in America is Brother Bear!" when it actually only did like five million dollars, which was forty-five million less than Matrix Revolutions did that weekend. But, sure enough, it was the number-one family film. I hate it when they spin it like that, but this Master & Commander one was complete and utter horseshit.

Anyway, I'm going to chill out now (which is exactly what I was doing before, but without the typing) and watch some Law & Order of some variety or another.

AIM: therbmcc71
ICQ, MSN, Yahoo: Yeah, right, like I use those.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Results of a Three-Hour Discussion Upon Hasbro's Marketing Department During the Reagan Administration:

So, after I finished playing video games last night (this week's pick is Kingdom Hearts for the PS2... only twenty bucks), my friend Scott and I somehow started discussing the intricacies of things like, "Now, they killed off Optimus Prime and various Autobots and Decepticons in the Transformers movie, why didn't anyone die in the G.I. Joe movie, other than maybe Burgess Meredith's character?"

Note: This is the only part of this thing that has anything, really, to do with movies, but it does satisfy my need to stay somewhat on topic on this page, so just be happy that I'm not rambling about my personal life. Oh, by the way, did anyone else notice that the Transformers character of Jazz is clearly a black man? I'm serious. He's totally stereotypically black. Go back and watch either Season One or Two, and you'll agree. Or, if you watch the movie, Jazz is voiced by the late great Scatman Crothers.

Anyway, we're talking about death here. I think they were able to kill off loads of Transformers in the movie because the action-figures had run their life cycles. For example, Ironhide dies either first or second in the movie, and it's still kind of a shocking thing, that a cartoon would go and kill off a major secondary character (if that term makes any sense at all). Anyway, I think they basically did this to explain to the kids why they can't get an Ironhide action figure anymore.

Because Ironhide didn't have a head. That's right. His torso was the windshield and front-end of a big mini-van (again, if that makes sense), and the dude just didn't have a head. And neither did Ratchet, when you think about it, since all they did was stick different-colored plastic in the same mold and churn out another character for the kids to spend seven bucks on. And, of course, they also did this with Skywarp, Thundercracker and Starscream, which were so much more fun because they had parts that you could easily lose, such as their fists or their wings.

Now, of all the people that I was sad to see die in the Transformers movie, it had to be Starscream. I often wonder (okay, I've wondered this exactly once in my life) if Starscream had been head of the Decepticons in Megatron's absence, or if Megatron never had a Starscream, would the Decepticons have gotten closer to victory than they did when the two were working together? Because I'm not sure which one was actually inept. Christ, if those two weren't working together, Soundwave (the easily-broken boom-box) probably would've jumped up, slapped the hell out of whichever one was running the show and would've said in his synthesizer-enhanced voice, "Shut the hell up and get more Energon," which is pronounced EN-ur-jon, but is lacking a vowel to make that pronunciation clear to anyone who never watched the show.

So, they killed off characters which had run their life-cycle in the Transformers movie. And, yes, this includes Optimus Prime, whose body they simply injected into a white mold to create the base-unit for Ultra Magnus, the first of many, many Transformers which took five minutes and just short of an allen-wrench to transform. G.I. Joe, on the other hand, well, how the hell are they going to die, except for perhaps by falling down a hole or of old age? The Cobra guys shoot just as badly as the Joes do.

At least, that was true up until what I think was Season Three of G.I. Joe (a series I'm still waiting for on DVD, even though Transformers has three seasons out now). During Season Three, Cobra released these android units called BATs, which is the abbreviation for Battle Action Troopers, if I'm not mistaken. And, as we all know, actronyms are cool (especially ones like FUBAR or BFE). Anyway, they gave the Joes some non-human targets, and lo and behold, the Joes were no longer shooting like B.A. Baracus from the A-Team. But, if I'm not mistaken, the BATs were essentially invincible unless you hit them in this one rather sizable panel on their chests, which made me beg the question, "Who's running the combat-design department at Cobra? Because if you're going to put the sensitive electronics for an otherwise-invincible android anywhere on the robot, wouldn't you put those terribly vulnerable electronics on the BACK?"

So, we wonder why Cobra Commander never won? That's why. Furthermore, he couldn't decide between wearing that cool reflective helmet and that stupid blue cloth, because you know you didn't want the action figure where he was wearing the cloth on his head, which -no doubt- is why they kept pushing that guise on the show. Because it's all about the marketing of toys.

Which reminds me, I think I saw a Unicron action figure on a webpage or a catalog or something. Which is cool in the respect that, "Dude, they finally made a Unicron action figure!" but uncool in the respect that, "Dude, it only took them seventeen fucking years to do it!" Too bad it (1) just doesn't look as cool as Unicron did in the movie, and (2) he's not quite to scale with the other Transformers, given that the dude's supposed to be a fucking planet and the final act of the the movie took place with Transformers running around within his body. I suppose that the scale question would be asking a bit much for $49.99, though.

Finally, we got around to talking about novelty figures, like the Refrigerator Perry G.I. Joe action figure that you had to send away for. Yes, that was the year the Bears won the Superbowl. Now, can someone please tell me how the Fridge got his own action figure? I mean, who the hell is his agent? In any case, we got to talking about Zartan, and how he would change color in sunlight. If memory strikes me correctly, he became darker in sunlight, which was a really cool little novelty, even though he was supposed to be camouflaging himself, which didn't make a lot of sense in the long run. Anyway, I was thinking to myself, "If I was the design genius at Hasbro, I wouldn't have made him do the color change in the light. That would be eat away at profit margins on the figure."

See, if I was this guy, I'd have said, "Zartan becomes COMPLETELY INVISIBLE IN TOTAL DARKNESS!" Because, hey, prove me wrong.

AIM: therbmcc71
ICQ, MSN, Yahoo: Yeah, right, like I use those.

Monday, November 03, 2003

(second overly-long post of the night)

Okay, so I just threw Scream 3 into the old DVD player, and if you've got a problem with spoilers, well... too bad, because the movie's like three or four years old. For example, if I go and do a running commentary on Se7en or The Usual Suspects and I ruin the ending, it's your own damn fault, because you should've seen the movie.

Anyway, we're three minutes into the movie and Liev Schreiber, who played Cotton Weary -the convicted non-killer from the first movie- is rushing home to his girlfriend, who is unknowingly trapped in his house with the masked killer. She's fairly attractive, and in classic 90's style, she changes her clothes with the camera cutting away as she drops the towel. Also in 90's style, bad music by a then-really popular band is playing, and in this case it's Creed. Anyway, the killer finds her, says he's actually Cotton in disguise, Cotton's running up some stairs, she actually thinks he's the killer, and thus falls into the killer's trap. Cotton arms himself with a fireplace poker, which -if you call yourself a fan of movies- is probably the worst weapon in the world. You can't do shit with a fireplace poker, we all know that. It's no match for a butcher knife, or even the nine-iron being wielded by Cotton's girlfriend. And, of course, this being the beginning of a Scream movie, Cotton and the girlfriend die.

Cut to Sidney Prescott (yet another name that you'll only find in movies, sort of like 'Cleopatra Jones'), who's off living in the wilderness of god knows where. She's doing crisis-counseling. And then Gail Weathers is off on the lecture circuit, telling college kids how to be bad journalists. And then we bring in Patrick Dempsey, the classic red-herring kind of "maybe the cop did it!" kind of character. Strangely, I just now notice that I've got Patrick Dempsey hair. I should really just be thankful that I don't look like he did in that pizza-delivery movie.

So, now we go into the set of Stab 3, which is the movie within the movie, where we get into a too-short discussion on violence in movies. And then you've got the cast, which -except for the Token Black Guy- you just don't care if they all die. And then there's Parker Posey... I can't stand Parker Posey. I want her to die sooner than anyone else in this movie. At least her bodyguard is played by Puddy from Seinfeld. And then we've got Dewey, who's now walking with a limp, since he got all fucked-up at the end of the last movie... but lived. I swear, I actually hate all of these characters, and I want them all to die.

Enter Jay & Silent Bob in what's actually the funniest moment in the movie, although I have to say that it's a pretty sad publicity stunt on the part of Miramax/Dimension/Weinstein Empire.

And then we get into this dream sequence where Sidney's mother is coming over a hill, and the camera keeps tracking in on this picture of her mother, and you look at this picture, and -even though she's smiling- Sidney's mother is a VERY scary-looking woman. Anyway, it turns out to be the killer, then it turns out to be just a dream, and then it turns out that I still want Sidney to die.

And now Jenny McCarthy comes to the office looking for the director, who's played by Scott Foley. She looks at his music-video awards, breaks one, and I realize that Scott Foley's character really looks a lot like the real-life video-director Dave Meyers; like shockingly like him. Anyway, she's running lines with the former-Mister Jennifer Garner, and he goes all nuts and goes into killer-mode, and she hangs up, and goes into the wardrobe room, where there's at least thirty killer-costumes. She tries to call security on her cell phone and no one picks up. She goes into the prop room and pulls out a knife, but it's a rubber knife, and that's a cute little laugh. Anyway, to quote my old history teacher, "And then she died."

So we get back to Gail and Dewey. They're both retarded. Gail's still looking for a news story when people around her are getting killed, and Dewey's still looking for Gail... and -shit- they go back to Parker Posey's house, and she just annoys the fuck out of me. This isn't because she's Parker Posey and she's a good actress; it's basically because she's Parker Posey and I've never liked her in anything. But at least Puddy's funny.

So Patrick Dempsey's trying to figure out who did it, and Scott Foley's bitching about his career, and Parker Posey's bitching about her career, and the cops come after Scott Foley. See, the thing is it's a little bit too easy to buy that everything's a red herring in this movie, because everyone's got cloned cell phones and the killer's got a device that could make him sound like Donald Duck if he wanted it to.

So, Scott Foley's been taken away by the cops and Sidney gets a phone call on her private line, and it's her mother, or it's actually the killer. Sidney pulls out her gun and starts carrying it like a girl, rather than like someone who's ready to use it.

Okay, so we've got three of the remaining actors, Puddy, Dewey and Gail at the same place, having some sort of "production's been shut down, so this is the wrap party" kind of thing. Dewey sees a clue that becomes fairly important, and we find out that Sidney's mother went off to Hollywood for two years at some point. And then Puddy gets stabbed in the back, knocked around by a pan, which leaves Dewey and Gail defenseless to the classic "the door suddenly flies open, but no one's there!" gag. Strangely enough, Puddy doesn't actually die until he makes it all the way up to the front porch, and the three actors come out of nowhere, which means it could be any of them.

Now, let's go with a quick little deconstruction of the rest of this scene: They're getting faxed a new copy of the script, which is to say that someone in this world is just all kinds of fucked up. The script says the killer's outside or soemthing, so they all go outside. The lights have gone out, and so the actor kicks on his Zippo, and the house explodes. I mean, it just fucking explodes, like something out of Lethal Weapon or something. Which begs the question, if there was that much gas in the house, how is it that no one smelled it?

Everyone rolls down a hill, and Dewey puts a few bullets into the killer, who rolls under an SUV, and is apparently equipped with a bulletproof vest, which is standard knife-killer issue these days, because if you're going to go out on a murderous rampage and stab people, you'd better be prepared to get shot at. And the killer the killer leaves behind yet another picture of Sidney's mother, which says, "I killed her," and that sort of brings it all back to the beginning of the series.

So Sidney comes back to reality and goes to Hollywood and meets with Patrick Dempsey, and then she's off to a back-lot and then... gah! It's that girl from Welcome to the Dollhouse, who is apparently Randy's sister. So, Randy comes back on VHS, because he's the horror-genius and knew he was going to die in the last movie. So he disregards the rules for horror-movie sequels and sets up the three rules for film-trilogies, most notably the manner in which the past comes back to bite you in the ass.

And Randy mentioned Return of the Jedi a minute ago, and -well look who it is- we get to Carrie Fisher's cameo. But she's not really Carrie Fisher, she's just an unknown-actress who never made it in Hollywood, who bitches about how "the girl who got the part was the one who slept with George Lucas." Turns out that she knows all of the unknowns in the studio archives, and that Sidneys' mother was once Rina Reynolds and acted in several of John Milton's movies. Yes, John Milton. One of the most over-used names in cinema.

Now, if we want to get right down to the name 'John Milton', we have to go back something like five-hundred years to find the blind poet who wrote 'Paradise Lost', which is a profound work of staggering genius, 'Paradise Regained', which isn't nearly as fun, because it lacks the whole Heaven Versus Hell angle, and 'Areopagitica', which just has a really cool title. The name John Milton was also used to much better effect in the movie Devil's Advocate, which is actually a pretty good movie, even though Keanu Reeves should never play a lawyer (wasn't he a lawyer in Hardball? and that one was no good, too). But it had Charlize Theron and Al Pacino, and that's good enough.

I'm just going to interrupt this for a second and talk about how insane the set budget must've been on this movie, in that they managed to rebuild Sidney's house from the first Scream film, both interior and exterior, on a film set. And she dukes it out with the killer, and we're only about halfway through the movie. And Sidney's haunted by the death of her mother, she complains that the killer was trying to get her, blah, blah, blah.

So, Milton. John Milton this time around is played by Lance Henriksen, who is talking to Scott Foley, who has a really hysterical piece of dialogue: "Not only did they kill the film, but they killed my cast! Nobody's going to want to work with me. Variety called me a 'pariah.' I don't even know what a pariah is. Why couldn't someone have killed the cast from Stab 1 or Stab 2?" Lance Henriksen's an interesting person, with a career going all the way back to Dog Day AFternoon. I read in Premiere Magazine once that he didn't even learn to read until he was something like 35 years old. Guy had a rough life. Anyway, I hear he's doing Aliens Versus Predator right now, but I'm not sure about that.

In the next scene, we get into the preponderance of exposition and back-story that Randy warned us about, and Sidney asks Patrick Dempsey what his favorite scary movie is, and he says, "My Life," which I think was an all-too depressing film starring Michael Keaton. Maybe Dempsey meant that his life is scary, but I think that Michael Keaton movie's pretty scary, too, in that sort of way that Dying Young or Showgirls are scary movies.

So we get into the fantastically long sequence in which the killer goes about knocking people off one by one in the house, and I'm hungry, and so I'm just going to cut this commentary right here. My only question is, why the hell is it that these people don't just make an announcement when they find out the killer's in the house that says, "There's a killer in the house! We're going to save ourselves and leave! Nice knowing y'all!"

Anyway, I'm probably one of the few people who was actually totally satisfied with the ending to Scream 3, in that it managed pretty well to bring it all back to the beginning of the original Scream. Actually, quite a bit before the beginning of Scream, and it worked in a nice little piece of backstory that provided Billy Loomis and whatsisnuts with the motivation to kill Sidney Prescott's mother. No, it didn't seem terribly far-fetched to me, and kept the movie from being just a sequel about copycat killers.

AIM: therbmcc71
ICQ, MSN, Yahoo: Yeah, right, like I use those.
Okay. I've been kinda busy, what with about a thousand dollars' worth of car-repair bills, playing Kingdom Hearts, playing Combat Mission II... okay, just playing a shitload of games. And then there's the Indiana Jones trilogy... And Tango & Cash. The following is copied straight out of an email commentary on Tango & Cash, just because I'm busy working on something else, and Justin will explode if I don't update at some point. By the way, my ISP still can't connect to Blogger, or I'd actually be using proper italicization of titles and such.
(begin running commentary)

Stupid DVD wrapper… Stupid “anti-theft security devices” which are actually nothing more than oversized Scotch Tape that’s placed on all three sides of a DVD case that might open, so as to deter thieves, essentially because the thief would get tired of trying to pull these things off before he even gets to the DVD. This, of course, translates directly to the consumer as well, who bought the disc for six bucks and now can’t get the damn thing out without an Exacto knife.

(still trying to get this crap off of his DVD case) I want to see Bubba Ho-Tep. I wonder if it’s playing out at Cantera. (finishes pulling off about a square-yard of this Scotch Tape crap, opens the case and hisses at the side labeled ‘Standard’ before turning the disc over and putting in the non-unholy Widescreen side)

We start on a helicopter and Sylvester Stallone’s circa-1986 LeBaron convertible chasing a tanker truck. Stallone talks to the helicopter on his CB-radio, which makes me question what the hell those guys in the helicopter are hearing, because I can hardly understand a word Stallone is saying. He pulls out his revolver and dumps the bullets out, and puts in fresh bullets, which is common police practice. And the guys in the tanker truck, after having only two shots fired at their windshield decide not to run down Stallone, who I can’t remember whether he’s Tango or Cash, not that it matters. A local cop says to Stallone, “I want your badge, I want your gun, I want your ass!” which is not uncommon amongst the ‘local yokel’ cops who crave the ass of manly city cops.

Jack Palance drives by in his limo with a German and the bad guy from Big Trouble in Little China, but he’s not in his eight-foot-tall or eight-centuries-old mode, so he’s not nearly as entertaining. He’s complaining about Tango & Cash, which makes me think he’s a bad guy who had something to do with the billion dollars of cocaine on the truck.

Enter Kurt Russell, who’s shot repeatedly before shooting at an Asian man with his handy boot-gun, which is built into his heel, which makes me question if he’s got a prosthetic leg or something. Better yet, is that boot-gun standard police issue? He is then nearly run over by a truck, commandeers a car, we get a shot of a topless woman who’s apparently having sex in a car, which is clearly just a gratuitous boobie-shot for the girl who didn’t get Teri Hatcher’s role, who we meet in the next scene in her pre-Lois & Clark days, before she started looking anorexic.

After seeing the slick look of Stallone’s office, we get back to Kurt Russell’s office, which looks sort of like a rejected set from Barney Miller. He complains about how the shirt that got shot through cost him nine bucks. He then goes and tortures the Asian man, who begins speaking English and gives him the same address that’s soon given to Stallone, and the audience is therefore promised an inevitable meeting of the minds.

Jack Palance is clearly a madman, as he’s talking to himself, complaining about Tango & Cash even before the other bad guys get into the room, escorted by Palance’s henchman, played by Brion James, who was one of the androids in Blade Runner. He’s explaining why the bad guys can’t just kill Tango & Cash, in a piece of exposition that’s about three minutes too long, when he could simply say, “Because it’s an action movie, and you’re not allowed to just kill the movie stars.” Next, we prove that he’s truly a criminal mastermind, as he places rats in a maze to demonstrate what he’s going to do with Tango & Cash. After all, what criminal mastermind doesn’t have a rat-maze in his hideout?

So here’s Tango & Cash swaggering through an empty warehouse type place where you know that criminals would hide out at, but it’s empty and they’re so stupid that they don’t realize that it’s empty and that this is all a setup. And they meet up and there’s a dead man in the room, and it’s about sixty seconds before they find out that they’re being set up. Now, of course, they’re at the place by themselves, which makes the whole setup a lot easier, but then if there were thirty bad guys at the deal that’s supposedly going down in this warehouse, I don’t care if either of them happens to be the best cop in Los Angeles… the fact is, they’d be screwed, as quickly noted by the Feds who make Tango & Cash surrender at gunpoint.

Now, I have to question, why is it that Chicago doesn’t have famous cops like this who make the front page of the papers? And why is the drag-queen from The Fisher King playing the guy who did the recording from the wire-tap? So, of course, they end up supposedly going to a minimum-security prison, but they get re-routed to a maximum-security prison, because escaping from a minimum-security prison just isn’t exciting.

(begins eating Cheetos) So they expect to walk into a nice, comfy minimum-security prison, and they’re actually at Shawshank Penitentiary’s bigger brother. And, of course, they’re having a conversation in the shower, which leads to the gratuitous butt-shot and soap-dropping joke. And then there’s the inevitable cellmate humor, during which Stallone’s cellmate is played by Ron Howard’s brother Clint, a convicted murderer who loves playing with his Slinky (after all, when forty year-old men are Slinky-happy, they’re clearly insane and should be in prison). They are then rousted out of their sleep and dumped down the laundry chute, and we all know they’ll be okay because this is only forty minutes into the movie… and because Luke Skywalker got dumped down a garbage chute and eventually blew up the Death Star. Anyway, the two of them meet Jack Palance, who they don’t really know is Jack Palance, because he’s all in silhouette, and then they get hung on meathooks, electrocuted, and eventually get out of jail. They have to get out of jail for script purposes, because Stallone’s got his own full-length prison-film Lock-Up to do yet, which is just a more drawn-out version of this sequence of Tango & Cash.

I swear, this movie was better when I was a kid. Or maybe it’s like so many movies where it’s only good on Saturday afternoons when the Cubs game is rained out.

So here’s Palance being called on a giant video screen by his cronies, who say they’re being threatened by maniacs. Tango & Cash aren’t maniacs… Palance is a maniac. He’s got a fucking rat-maze. And he’s now playing with a rat and telling it that it’s beautiful. And speaking of weird, Kurt Russell walks into a laboratory that looks like a poor man’s lab from a James Bond movie.

My god, you’re right. This movie’s pretty much awful. Maybe if I was thirteen years old again, this would be great, or maybe if either Kurt Russell or Sylvester Stallone were still big-name actors. But in this day and age… Well, it’s awful. Even the Teri Hatcher strip-tease, which is interrupted by her (I shit you not) banging poorly on a pair of electric drums, just goes to show how horrible the Eighties were, and how they pushed the film industry back about twenty or thirty years in terms of quality. Ah, the Eighties back when you can just shrug off a bullet wound and say, “It’s okay, because it passed right through.”

Kurt Russell is getting a back massage from Teri Hatcher. While this movie sucks and the scene does nothing for me, I have to say I wouldn’t mind having a back massage. It wouldn’t have to be from Teri Hatcher or anything, basically because of the fact that it would remind me of how much this movie sucks and the way that she looked anorexic around the third season of Lois & Clark, which eventually became as bad as Tango & Cash. Anyway, I need a back massage. I’d like to thank this movie for reminding me of that, and despise it for reminding me that I need a back massage and don’t have a girlfriend who could give me a back massage, since I’m not about to have a guy give me a back massage, since that entails the familiar laying of hands on another person’s body.

So, now that it’s terribly clear about how right you were about how much Tango & Cash sucks, I’m just going to watch … ooh… THX … Yeah, I’m watching at least the opening to Raiders of the Lost Ark, which I’m pretty sure is one of the great opening sequences of all time, for various reasons, not the least of which is that it’s got Alfred Molina as the “Throw me the idol, I throw you the whip!” guy, who later played the drug-dealing Jesse’s Girl-singing shotgun-wielding lunatic in Boogie Nights.

See, the thing is, about this opening sequence, that we don’t see Harrison Ford’s face until he uses his whip and walks out of shadow. All we see is Indy in silhouette and from behind and from what I’d call the “Elliott View,” after the way the character of Keys was seen for the majority of E.T. The Indiana Jones series has always, in my opinion, been an exercise in stuff that makes people scared. You’ve got darkness, enclosed spaces, bugs, dead things and a bottomless pit, all in the opening sequence. And if you’re afraid of being crushed to death, I guess you can tack the giant boulder onto the list.

Little thing about the idol that Indy picks up in this sequence: In Spy Kids 2, the kids are in this big room with all of this treasure that looks like a cross between the pirate ship from Goonies and an archaeological find. The girl picks up this very statue, looks at it and then shrugs and tosses it aside. I thought it was a cute little reference.

Anyway, that’s about all of that. In the next scene, all of the girls are in Indy’s class are all just staring at him because they’re all in love with him. Meanwhile, there’s only like two guys in the class, one of whom leaves an apple. … I never noticed that before. Oh My God, that’s hysterical.

(at this point, I fell asleep on my keyboard or something, thus ending the email with about five pages that just go, "bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb..." and so on) In summary, when I was a kid, Tango & Cash was good. Today, it's just a way of convincing people that premature euthanasia is the way to go.

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