Monday, November 03, 2003

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.

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

No comments: