Browse Tag: los angeles

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003): Jonathan Mostow

(Movie trailer voice): After Judgment Day came and went, they tried Y2K. When that didn’t work, they tried going back in time, again, to the future, of the first two times they tried it.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Now an off-the-grid adult, John Connor, future leader of the human resistance against murderous Skynet, faces one more attempt on his life from a future terminator.  Continue Reading

RECAP: Captain Marvel

Captain Marvel (2019): Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck

It took 11 years, but Marvel finally released a female-led stand-alone entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The character alluded to but not mentioned in Avengers: Infinity War needed an introduction before her presumed-essential role in Avengers: Endgame, released later in the year.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: An human-turned-Kree becomes more powerful when she returns to Earth to learn her identity and battle some aliens bent on destroying the home planet she doesn’t remember.  Continue Reading

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: 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: Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon (1987): Richard Donner

The 1980s were fun time to live it up in Los Angeles, and Lethal Weapon captured both the glamorous and deadly sides of that lifestyle. It also paired two actors you wouldn’t expect to work onscreen and made a classic buddy couple.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: Two cops at diametrically opposed moments in their lives team up to stop a team of ex-Special Forces drug dealers in Los Angeles. 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: The Terminator

The Terminator (1984): James Cameron

In the 1970s and ‘80s, James Cameron was a lonely truck driver, crossing the country, hauling our chicken and ball bearings and what not, and dreaming up apocalyptic horror-futures in which cyborgs hunt and kill all humans. Paints a rosy picture of trucking, doesn’t it? Fortunately for us, Cameron turned out to be a pretty good director, so instead of making his future visions real, he made them for the big screen. Oh, I almost forgot: AHNOLD!!!!

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A computer travels through time to kill a childless mother. Continue Reading

RECAP: Die Hard

Die Hard (1988): John McTiernan

In late 1987 Bruce Willis won an Emmy for his role in the ABC series Moonlighting. Little did he know, little did anyone know, that in less than a year he would become the third in a triumvirate of modern action star gods.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A New York City cop travels to a Christmas party in Los Angeles, foils a robbery, has a few laughs. Continue Reading

RECAP: Domino

Domino (2005): Tony Scott

A scene late in Domino shows the main characters imbibe spoonfuls of mescalin. For hours they endure insane hallucinations, emotions, and passions, and survive a horrific RV crash that should have torn their bodies in half.

I bring this up now because I believe the entire movie was made by people on mescaline. An intense, jittery experience for two hours, Domino tells a true story, sort of, about a model-turned-bounty hunter.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: A lithe bounty hunter is caught up in an armored car heist that involves a casino owner, the mob, Jerry Springer, and Beverly Hills 90210. Continue Reading

RECAP: Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976): John Carpenter

John Carpenter’s second feature film, Assault on Precinct 13 set the bar for future films. Carpenter speaks openly about the influence of Rio Bravo and Night of the Living Dead, and the nods to those classics are easy to find.

Don’t let that take away from this movie. Filmed on a $100,000 budget, Assault doesn’t have the time or money to shoot the hell out of its sets and characters. Instead, the movie focuses on its characters, finding the breaking point for each of them. Oh, and it does shoot the hell out of the set.

ONE SENTENCE PLOT SUMMARY: After Los Angeles police kill members of the notorious Street Thunder gang , an about-to-close precinct station finds itself under retaliatory siege.  Continue Reading

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