Browse Tag: helicopter

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: Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down (2001): Ridley Scott

October 1993 was a bad time for Somalia. Beset by self-proclaimed president Mohamed Farrah Aidid and, at the time, the world’s worst famine, which he evoked, Somalia, and especially its capital Mogadishu, needed help.

The United Nations sent peacekeepers who were handcuffed to oppose Aidid. The United States sent many of its best soldiers. Those soldiers spent a long period searching for Aidid to no avail. Then, one afternoon, they learned of a meeting of two of Aidid’s top people in the city, and perhaps they could capture them.

That afternoon became one of the worst military results for the US in Africa.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: In a mission to capture a vicious warlord in war-ravaged Mogadishu, an American black hawk helicopter crashes, and American soldiers spend the worst night of their lives trying to save the men trapped inside it.  Continue Reading

RECAP: From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love (1963): Terence Young

Following the modest success of Dr. No, United Artists gave Eon Productions twice the budget for its sequel. The movie barley made it to theaters in time, but the audiences didn’t care. They embraced the movie with glee.

Everything about From Russia with Love is more than its predecessor. More run time, women with more beauty and more women with beauty, more locations, more characterization, more gadgets, more one-liners, and more explosions. And yet, in nearly every way, the movie supersedes the original Bond installment. That’s a feat in and of itself.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Global criminal syndicate SPECTRE, seeking vengeance against James Bond for the death of one of its agents, uses the spy and Britain in a plot to steal a coding machine from the Soviet Union.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Crank

Crank (2006): Mark Neveldine & Brian Taylor

Crank asks viewers to answer one question: if you had one day to live and were a hit man, how would you go out? Jason Statham answers: with lots of bangs, literally and figuratively.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A Los Angeles hitman is poisoned by a rival, and only a constant flood of adrenaline will keep him alive.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3 (2013): Shane Black

Imagine a time in which Marvel let pass an entire year without releasing a movie. It happened, and as recently as 2013, when Iron Man 3 became the first Marvel movie after the enormous hit that was The Avengers. The events in New York weigh greatly on Tony Stark, and will trouble him for most of the film.

Shane Black rvteams with Robert Downey Jr., a pair that made a cult hit in 2006’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. That movie’s modern noir elements creep into this Disney blockbuster. The film opens with a Stark narration. “We create our own demons,” he says, as several Iron Man suits explode. A classic noir trope (the narration, not the exploding flying suits). He wants to tell the story from the beginning, and that means revisiting a famous party night in Bern, Switzerland.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Iron Man gets a blast from the past and present, tries to find proper superhero/life balance, and uncovers a dangerous conspiracy all while trying to overcome PTSD.  Continue Reading

RECAP: War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes (2017): Matt Reeves

The world is fifteen years removed from the spread of the Simian Flu, a disease that wiped out most of the world’s human population, while adding human-level intelligence to apes, at least in the San Francisco area.

The new Planet of the Apes franchise tells the story of what transpired on Earth from normal society to an ape society. Will this movie bridge that gap?

The war between ape and Man has raged for two years. Let’s check and see how that’s going.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Caesar and his super-intelligent apes wage war against the final bastion of human military strength while seeking a new home far from humans. Continue Reading

RECAP: Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island (2017): Jordan Vogt-Roberts

King Kong has a long film tradition of beginning his movies at home and later finding himself climbing some concrete edifice in Lower Manhattan. Poor guy’s endured that a few times.

Rather than bringing the giant to civilization, Kong: Skull Island brings civilization to the giant ape. A detachment of soldiers from the Vietnam war and some scientists from Washington descend on Kong’s native habitat. Many die for it, but does that make Kong the bad guy?

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Many humans die after they discover Skull Island and its 10-story-tall ape protector, Kong.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Lone Survivor

Lone Survivor (2013): Peter Berg

A mission in Afghanistan in 2005 goes terribly wrong, and only one man survives. He writes a book. Peter Berg reads that books. It becomes an early 2014 hit.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: One Navy SEAL survives a mission gone wrong in Afghanistan in 2005.  Continue Reading

RECAP: End of Days

End of Days (1999): Peter Hyams

A movie about people partying in 1999, and not a Prince lyric to be heard. Instead, we were treated to the grunts and wisecracks of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What’s left to do for Arnold? The guy’s fought aliens, fought terrorists, fought Danny Devito, fought labor pains. Well, could it be…SATAN? Why no; he’s the toppest of top dogs.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Satan takes human form to make a baby, is opposed by a New York City ex-cop, doesn’t enjoy New Year’s Eve.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Big Game

Big Game (2014): Jalmari Helander

Finnish writer/director Jalmari Helander cooked up a fun story that evokes Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game.” What if, instead of hunting humans, you hunted the most powerful human in world history–the American president?

That’s the movie Big Game is. What startles most is the price tag: $10 million. Samuel L. Jackson earns at least half that per movie, plus someone had to pay Ray Stevenson, Victor Garber, Jim Broadbent, Felicity Huffman, and the other Finnish actors on screen. And there’s the crew and all that.

Despite the absurdly low sum for shooting the film, Big Game finished its production as the most expensive movie ever produced in Finland. In per capita terms, the movie would equate to a $600 million dollar production in America. No movie has yet cracked half that figure.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A Finnish boy stumbles upon the biggest prey of all time–the President of the United States–and tries to save him so his dad will consider him a man.  Continue Reading

  • 1
  • 2