Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beverly Hills Cop Retrospective: COBRA!!!!

Director: George P. Cosmatos
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Brigitte Nielsen, Andrew Robinson, Brian Thompson, Lee Garlington
Rated: R

I don't deal with psychos.  I put 'em away.
                ~Marion Cobretti

Oh helllll yes I found a way to work Cobra into a retrospective!  I was pretty happy when i realized I could pull this off.  Cobra came out of the script Stallone was wanting to use for Beverly Hills Cop and took with him when he walked away.  We discussed it last time and I didn't go much further on it, wanted to leave it as a tease.  He used an adaption of the novel Fair Game (which was also made into another movie with that title starring Cindy Crawford and Billy Baldwin - I won't be covering that one).  Stallone may have dropped many story elements that coincided with Beverly Hills Cop, but a few characters, story elements and sequences remained the same.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Cinematic Relationship Of Wolverine & Jean Grey Is Silly

Next to Batman, the X-Men franchise is probably my favorite comic book/superhero film series.  When I was younger I not only read the comic books, but watched the animated series that ran on Fox religiously (my son's name is Logan, mind you haha).  A common character thread through all that is a love triangle between the characters of Jean Grey, Cyclops and Wolverine.  It was always entertaining and Wolverine and Jean Grey just seemed like they were never going to happen, but we wanted them to cuz Wolverine was "cool" and Scott Summers was a douchebag most of the time.  The cinematic universe of the X-Men kinda goes of the deep end with the Wolverine/Jean Grey matchup that isn't earned, is completely forced and very silly when you break it down.

Monday, July 29, 2013

By Request, Beverly Hills Cop Retrospective: Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly Hills Cop
Director: Martin Brest
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher, Steven Berkoff, James Russo, Jonathan Banks (!)
Rated: R

Tell Victor that Ramon - -the fella he met about a week ago? - -tell him that Ramon went to the clinic today, and I found out that I have, um, herpes simplex 10, and I think Victor should go check himself out with his physician to make sure everything is fine before things start falling off on the man. 
                                ~Axel Foley

How long did it take you to have the theme song playing in your head after you started reading this?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

del Ranko: Ranking The Films of Guillermo del Toro

So here we are, another retrospective in the can.  And I must say...the most challenging of all to finish.  It wasn't because I didn't like the films, no no no.  It just caught me at a busy time.  But as promised I finished.  And there's a little surprise in here, too.  Guillermo del Toro loves monsters and creatures and his whole filmography celebrates them.  He doesn't have interest in getting away from that and I'm glad.  Most directors will use horror and sci fi as a launching pad to "prestigious" films, but Guillermo has no desire.  I love that we have a director who enjoys playing in the sandbox and perfecting it.  Of all the directors out there, not one pays as much detail to every ounce of a creature's being or supernatural mechanics being used in a film.  You'll never utter "how does that work" leaving a del Toro movie.  Its surprising to thing he's been making films for around 20 years.  Hats off to your future endeavors, Mr. del Toro!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Guillermo del Toro Retrospective: HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY

Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Seth MacFarlane, Luke Goss, Anna Walton, Jeffrey Tambor
Rated: PG-13

And after Pan's Labyrinth we're right back to Hellboy.  This sequel was commissioned shortly after the first's release and supposed to be put out in 2006, but Revolution Studios went out of business, putting the sequel on hold.  Universal studios picked up a backdeal on Revolution's films and put this one forward.  del Toro always wanted to at least craft a trilogy out of the Hellboy character and here was a second stab at it.  The film expands upon and improves the universe set in the first film.  It feels more comfortable with itself and makes for a much better film than the first go-round.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Guillermo del Toro Retrospective: PAN'S LABYRINTH

Pan's Labyrinth
Starring: Ivan Baquero, Maribel Verdu, Doug Jones, Sergi Lopez, Ariadna Gil
Rated: R

Guillermo del Toro followed Hellboy by once again returning to Mexico and delivering another fairy tale.  Of all 3 stories (yeah, I'd count Cronos), Pan's Labyrinth really accomplishes being fully realized that of a new modern fairy tale.  This is del Toro's biggest passion project of his career and one he sacrificed all he possibly could (and lost 45 lbs according to him) to see fully realized as he intended it to be.  The result works, as Pan's Labyrinth is a masterpiece of modern cinema.

Guillermo del Toro Retrospective: HELLBOY

Starring: Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, Doug Jones, Karel Roden, John Hurt, Jeffrey Tambor, Biddy Hodson
Rated: PG-13

So, yeah, I didn't finish this series before Pacific Rim came out last weekend.  Last week was a bit crazy for me and I had to end up putting this retrospective on hold.  Time was not something that was available for me to have to complete it.  I could have written about the last 3 entries in this series without viewing them, yes.  But to be true to my restrospective format, I like to enter each essay coming off a fresh viewing of the film I'm discussing.  I don't ever want to get away from that.  And being that the last 3 films in this series are kinda lengthy, I needed the time to A) watch them and B) write about them.  Lots of things piled up last week and I had to prioritize and I wasn't able to fit them in.  But, alas, I'm back and hopefully can finish this off this week.  I don't plan on something like this happening again, but you never know.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


You all know the Drill.  I LOVE doing this show.  I hope you all enjoy listening just as much.  This time we're talking WHITE HOUSE DOWN.  And just in time for 4th of July.  Also guesting with me is Christian Spicer.  We discuss the movie, play games and talk the ESCAPE PLAN and ANCHOR MAN: THE LEGEND CONTINUES trailers.  Like I said, a lot of fun.  So give a listen!  After the jump is the link to the podcast

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Guillermo del Toro Retrospective: BLADE II

Blade II
Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela, Luke Goss, Norman Reedus, Matt Schulze
Rated: R

Guillermo del Toro was brought back into Hollywood thanks to having a big fan in David Goyer.  When it came sequel time for Blade and Stephen Norrington bowed out, Goyer went with a director he was a big fan of.  And this time, for Guillermo, these guys were going to sit back and let him do his thing.  This was going to be a bit more free reign than his first foray.  He accepted the script provided and didn't really make any major changes.