Browse Author: andy

RECAP: The Last Boy Scout

The Last Boy Scout (1991): Tony Scott

A bunch of action legends at the heights of their powers coalesced into this huge, troubled production. Let’s look at the film’s chief players and the movies they made in the few years before this one.

Director Tony Scott’s run: Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop II, Days of Thunder. Writer Shane Black: Lethal Weapon, an appearance in Predator, and the script for this movie that earned the highest purchase price in history. Producer Joel Silver: Lethal Weapon, Predator, Die Hard, Road House. Star Bruce Willis: Die Hard and Die Hard 2.

Many big spoons stirring a little pot. How would the movie shake out?

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A private eye and a disgraced quarterback are forced together to investigate the murder of the quarterback’s girlfriend and to foil the murder of a US senator.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Live and Let Die

Live and Let Die (1973): Guy Hamilton

Connery, Lazenby, Connery, and introducing Roger Moore. That was the order of four straight James Bonds in the 1960s and ’70s. Turnover should indicate tension, dissension, or fatigue, by the producers or the public, but Roger Moore appeared in seven 007 movies, still the record, across fourteen years.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: James Bond follows the Prime Minister of Caribbean fake nation San Monique and his links to voodoo and the drug trade.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Lethal Weapon 2

Lethal Weapon 2 (1989): Richard Donner

Lethal Weapon was a huge hit. This is the sequel. What do you do with sequels? You up the ante, either with more of everything or with new people. Fortunately, surprisingly, Lethal Weapon 2 chooses new people and eschews more explosions.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Riggs and Murtaugh reunite to counter a South African drug smuggling campaign led by one of its diplomats.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Congo

Congo (1995): Frank Marshall

Diamonds, we are told, are a girl’s best friend. But what if they were also a murderous sub-species of gorilla’s best friend? What if those gorillas were bred by humans to protect central African diamond mines known to an Israelite king thousands of years ago? And what if there was a movie about them, and it also had famed cinematic ham Bruce Campbell in it? Well, you’d have Congo.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Two scientists search the depths of the Congolese jungle, one to find a source of diamonds and the other to return home a talking gorilla, while everyone involved meets the world’s most aggressive gorillas. Continue Reading

RECAP: Diamonds Are Forever

Diamonds Are Forever (1971): Guy Hamilton

George Lazenby had one go at James Bond and said sayonara, welching on a seven-picture deal, which seems insane, but you have to consider he went on to appear in [three bad movies].

Sean Connery decided that maybe Bond wasn’t such a bad character to play, so he came back. Helping sway him was a then-record salary of £1.25 million.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: James Bond battles his arch-nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld, for we swear is the final time, who is at the apex of a diamond smuggling outfit and determined to make the great powers cower with them.   Continue Reading

RECAP: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969): Peter Hunt

In 1967, Sean Connery decided he was over playing James Bond. He stopped speaking to producer Albert Broccoli. The boys and girls at Eon, now United Artists, needed a new 007. They selected an unknown Australian commercial actor named George Lazenby.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: James Bond chases his arch-nemesis Blofeld into the mountain heights of Switzerland, where only he and a new, maybe-permanent lover can stop him.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Darkman

Darkman (1990): Sam Raimi

Scientists experimenting on themselves should know that such experiments often end poorly. And yet they continue, pursuing their ideas to the limits of their feasibility.

Darkman is one such movie. It also has a guy’s face melt off a few times, and someone explode in a helicopter. Rad.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: After a lab explosion that nearly kills him, a scientist uses his skills to infiltrate a local mob crew and avenge his attack. Continue Reading

RECAP: You Only Live Twice

You Only Live Twice (1967): Lewis Gilbert

James Bond spends his fifth jaunt onscreen delving into Asia, especially Japan, portrayed as a sleepy nation with a glitzy capital but still attached to its past. More stuck in the mud than Britain, can’t you tell? Even M, Moneypenny, and company get out in the field, working from a submarine patrolling East and South China Seas and maybe the Sea of Japan.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Bond heads to Japan to investigate a crazy theory that someone, maybe arch nemesis SPECTRE, is launching rockets from there that capture astronauts and cosmonauts and threaten to ignite a world war.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Bandidas

Bandidas (2006): Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg

Are you eager for a comedy western starring two women? I present to you Bandidas.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: American banks buy out Mexican banks to gather land for a railroad passing through Mexico, but two women wronged by the banks rob them for revenge.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018): J. A. Bayona

The massive, unforeseen world-beating Jurassic World success story begged a sequel. The sequel was coming no matter what, really, because CGI dinosaurs are great global business, whether at the movies or in the movies, but fourth all-time worldwide (when released)? Who saw that coming?

Numbers aside, I didn’t like Jurassic World, and I wasn’t excited for a sequel. How did it hold up?

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: With the dinosaur survivors of the Jurassic World disaster at death’s door thanks to the rumbling volcano comprising much of Isla Nublar, several human forces converge to save the dinosaurs, but for different reasons.  Continue Reading