Miracle (2004)

5 Seconds Left in the Game.  Do You Believe in Miracles?

It took so long to finally receive today’s movie that I had almost forgotten that Yimmy requested it.  As best I can remember, this is only the second movie that Yimmy has requested, yet a pattern is already developing.  You want to know what kind of movies my friend Yimmy likes?  The ONLY movies Yimmy likes are inspirational movies about the Olympics.  That’s it.  Today’s inspirational Olympic movie (or as we should start referring to them, Yimovie) is a pretty popular and respected movie based around an extremely popular and inspirational moment in American sports history.  As an über-nerd, I knew next to nothing about the movie or the event.  But now you can view this movie through the eyes of a person who doesn’t know sports, doesn’t know hockey, and did not even know one of the most famous sports moments in history.  What will such a nerd think of the movie Miracle, written by Eric Guggenheim, directed by Gavin O’Connor, and starring Kurt Russell, Noah Emmerich, Kenneth Welsh, Eddie Cahill, Patrick O’Brien Demsey, Michael Mantenuto, Nathan West, Kenneth Mitchel, Patricia Clarkson, Sean McCann, Eric Peter-Kaiser, Bobby Hanson, Joseph Cure, and Billy Schneider?

Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell) interviews with the United States Olympic Committee for the opportunity to coach the 1980 Olympic Men’s hockey team, and gets the job with his philosophy about how to beat the unbeatable Soviet team.  With his assistant coach Craig Patrick (Noah Emmerich), he sets about picking a team not comprised of the best players he can find, but the team he thinks will be able to work as a family.  He picks 26 people with the intention of cutting six by the time they get to the Olympics.  The work begins immediately.  Brooks attempts to find out how to kill a group of 26 with just physical labor on the ice, but at least 20 of them survive by the time they head to the Olympics.  Even with all their hard work and camaraderie, they’ll still need some sort of miracle just to beat the Soviet team, and I’m sure the idea of taking home the gold is completely out of the question.

One of the best compliments that I could probably give a sports movie is that it actually made me interested in watching whatever sport it was based on.  It’s a rarity to be certain, but I would give this movie the ability to say that it accomplished that goal.  It was every bit of the feel good movie that it attempted to be, but I’d say that I’d give next to no credit to the story of the movie.  How could you?  From what I can tell, the movie might as well have been a documentary for the bulk of the movie.  There was some behind the scenes stuff that I’m sure they had to make up, but watching the making of featurettes on the DVD showed me that the hockey – arguably the reason anyone went to see this movie – was choreographed to be identical to what actually happened.  And it certainly wasn’t going to surprise anybody.  I’m sure the greater majority of people know what happened with the Miracle on Ice.  I technically didn’t, but I could’ve guessed.  If someone had asked me before this movie, I would’ve said that it was probably a sports thing, so I’m guessing hockey, and if it’s a miracle then I assume the other team was better, but we won anyway.  It’d be similar to what would happen if people asked me what happened with “The Catch.”  I’d guess it was football because I vaguely remember them talking about it in an episode of Scrubs, and I’m guessing some person caught the ball in some spectacular way, probably in the last seconds of the game and it probably caused them to win.  See?  All you need to figure these things out is some common sense.  The Immaculate Reception is just as obvious.  Someone probably caught the ball in a spectacular way and was rewarded by getting impregnated with the son of God by an angel.  The story was good for what it was.  It’d be more of a compliment to the direction of the movie that this movie worked because he’d be the one responsible for capturing the moments and recreating them, and that’s where the movie gets most of its steam.  It’s able to still make the movie interesting and suspenseful even though most people know where it’s going.  I would say real life boned them on some parts of the movie though.  You would expect the ending to be a little more spectacular, but that’s not how it worked out in real life.  In real life, the US team took the lead early in the third period (and yes, I had to look up that they were called “periods” in hockey) and then just held that lead until the time ran out, giving them the win.  A movie like this would typically end in the way the first period ended, with the guy getting the final point of the period with one second remaining on the clock.  The movie also makes great use of the montage, pulling those out about three times during the movie to show the team training, but it never really became tedious.

The performances were difficult for me.  Kurt Russell and Patricia Clarkson did great jobs, but the hockey players didn’t really do much of anything other than playing hockey.  Kurt Russell had a difficult performance to pull off, but it seemed that he really became the character and did him justice.  He had moments where you felt for him, usually relating to his family situation.  There were other times where you just thought he was an asshole, like when he was having the team sprint up and down the ice after a game until they literally couldn’t stand anymore.  As for the team, I didn’t really care about any of them individually, but that might have been what they were going for since it seemed as if the coach wanted them to be a team rather than individuals.  But most of the team didn’t have much for personalities.  The only ones that had any kind of story were the goaltender who was holding back because his mom had died and the two guys on the team who hated each other in the beginning.  Everyone else was basically the same person as far as I knew.  They also didn’t seem that bright as it took the whole team half of the movie to realize that Brooks wanted them to say that they played for the United States of America instead of their individual colleges when they introduced themselves.  I figured out what the guy wanted the first time he asked.  But they’re hockey players, so I assume they’ve taken a pretty good amount of head trauma.

Yimmy has not let me down yet.  Both of his movies took things that he knows I don’t care about, but I still end up liking them because they’re inspirational movies with feel good themes.  Miracle takes an inspirational underdog story and recreates it, so I give little credit to the story and more credit to the direction that recreates those moments very well.  Those and Kurt Russell’s performance.  It’s a movie worth watching, even for people who aren’t fans of hockey because it can hold your interest even without the benefit of caring about the subject matter.  You can’t stream the movie, but you can get the disk from Netflix.  Miracle gets “This is your time.  Now get out there and take it” out of “To me it looks like two monkeys trying to hump a football.”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook and Twitter.  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Tombstone (1993)

You Tell ‘Em I’m Comin … And Hell’s Comin With Me!

It’s come time for me to say what my favorite movie of all time is.  This has always been a difficult question for me to answer as I usually just have a sliding scale of “Like” or “Dislike” for movies, but don’t usually make the claim of having an actual favorite.  What I determined to do was to just pick a movie that I really like and just say it’s my favorite.  I used to say it was The Crow, but eventually decided that there was at least one movie that I find completely awesome every time I watch it.  It’s never aged for me, it’s in one of my favorite genres, and it has the hands down best performance by more than a few people in the cast.  This movie would become the movie I would say is my favorite ever.  Whether or not it truly is my favorite is debatable, but we’ll see if its awesomeness is when I review Tombstone, written by Kevin Jarre, directed by George P. Cosmatos, and starring Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, Stephen Lang, Thomas Haden Church, Tomas Arana, Dana Delany, Michael Rooker, Buck Taylor, Peter Sherayko, Terry O’Quinn, Jon Tenney, Billy Zane, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, Joanna Pacula, Paula Malcomson, Lisa Collins, Harry Carey Jr., and Billy Bob Thornton.

Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) and his brothers Virgil (Sam Elliott) and Morgan (Bill Paxton) go to Tombstone, Arizona with the hope of finding their fortunes.  Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) is already doing alright for himself with gambling and shooting, but he goes to Tombstone as well to hang out with his buddy Wyatt.  Even though he’s married to Mattie Blaylock (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson), Wyatt starts developing feelings for a travelling actress named Josephine Marcus (Dana Delany).  Wyatt takes a job as a dealer at a saloon and gets some friction from a band of outlaws called the Cowboys, and more specifically their leader “Curly Bill” Brocious (Powers Boothe), Johnny Ringo (Michael Biehn), Ike Clanton (Stephen Lang), and Billy Clanton (Thomas Haden Church), but the Cowboys are somewhat comforted by the fact that Wyatt is retired as a peace officer and has no interest in taking the law into his own hands.  That being the case, when Curly Bill kills Marshal Fred White (Harry Carey Jr.) while high on opium, Wyatt pistol whips him and takes him into custody.  Ike and Billy try to get Wyatt to release Curly Bill, but find themselves out-awesomed and leave.  Tensions continue to mount and, if you’ve read your awesome history of the West, you know some shit’s about to go down at the O.K. Corral.

I am still perfectly comfortable saying this movie is my favorite movie of all time.  There are definite contenders for the title, but this movie is definitely up there.  You probably can’t give a whole lot of credit to the story as it seems to mostly stick to what actually happened, or at least what is said happened around then.  Watching this movie always makes me start looking up information about what happened in Tombstone and it’s apparently hard to find solid information about it because most people in the town were biased either towards the Cowboys or the Earps.  This movie obviously takes the side of the Earps, and I’m okay with that.  It turns out very awesome, so I wouldn’t dare complain.  I’m sure it’s not 100% historically accurate, but I don’t watch this movie for a history lesson.  As it pertains to the movie, they show what they need to when they need to, and I like that.  They even do something to show the character’s personality right in their introduction to save time.  Wyatt Earp starts off by hitting a guy for whipping his horse, showing that he’s hardcore and big into justice.  Doc Holliday starts off coughing and being hilarious and awesome at a poker table.  Johnny Ringo shoots a priest in the head soon after we meet him.  Now we know who we’re dealing with.  The story is pretty damned solid too.  It starts off with just the tension building between the Earps and the Cowboys, and the Earps’ sense of justice leading them to feel they should get involved.  And the first good portion of the movie – assuming you know about Wyatt Earp and the others – is just building up for the most famous gunfight in American history: the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.  And it does not disappoint.  From what I’ve read, it’s around 90% accurate to what actually happened, which adds weight to the scene.  It’s not only awesome because it’s awesome; it’s also awesome because it feels like we’re time-travelling to watch it.  And the last big chunk of the movie is watching Earp’s Vendetta Ride, which is also very awesome.  All of the action in the movie was great.  They only went for the classic tension building before a quick draw contest twice and the rest of the action was regular shootouts and fist fights, but they were all awesome.  The Vendetta Ride was mostly just a series of montages, displaying any random images of people looking awesome while shooting guns, but it was great and time-saving.  Some of the “action” in the movie was even hilarious, and I’m mainly referring to the part where Johnny Ringo is showing off by twirling his gun around and Doc Holliday responds by doing the same with his cup.  I would say that the dialogue in the movie was great, but I think I mainly mean that Doc Holliday’s dialogue was great.  Everyone else only got to occasionally say something awesome, but almost everything Doc said was fantastic.  I think one of my favorite lines in cinema history is Doc Holliday saying, “I’ve got two guns, one for each of ya.”

I also loved every performance in this movie.  Almost every male character in the movie was a stone cold badass.  But let’s face facts: Val Kilmer steals this movie.  Val Kilmer looks like the Devil in the greater majority of this movie.  Pale skin, red around the eyes, often bleeding from the mouth, and even has that goatee goin’ on.  He was fucking awesome in this movie.  He’s hilarious and badass in equal measure.  Kurt Russell is also a bona fide badass in this movie.  He took care of the majority of his problems in this movie with sheer intimidation, not even requiring that he use a gun.  He made a little bitch out of Billy Bob Thornton and Stephen Lang on more than one occasion.  Michael Biehn was also epically badass.  The way he talked always made me think there was something supernatural about him as most people talked as if he sold his soul to the devil for his killing prowess.  I believed it.  Sam Elliott is also entirely enjoyable, and that’s not something that surprised me.  Not only is he usually great, but he seems to be made for westerns.  I think I would’ve found more conflict if Wyatt’s wife, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, was ever a likeable character.  I didn’t really care that she got left behind.  She was a drug addict and a bit of a bitch, whereas Dana Delany was fun-loving and free-spirited.  Seems like an easy decision to me.

Tombstone may not be the smartest movie you’ve ever seen, but it will probably be at least a contender for the most awesome.  The story is easy enough because it’s based on historical data, but it’s also based on some of the most awesome historical data in American history.  It’s compelling, it’s exciting, and I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but it’s pretty awesome as well.  All of the people in this movie perform greatly, but I think we can all agree that Val Kilmer steals the show.  I love this movie, and you should as well.  Tombstone gets “Make no mistake, it’s not revenge he’s after.  It’s a reckoning” out of “In Pace Requiescat.”

Who here’s shocked to hear that Chris won this one again?  Fuck this guy, am I right?

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

I’m a Reasonable Guy, But I’ve Just Experienced Some Very Unreasonable Things

Today’s movie is one that I guess I’ve seen before.  I’m basing that mainly on the fact that I already reviewed it on Netflix.  But, if it’s true that I’ve seen this movie before, I could tell you nothing about it.  So when Jake was trying to get a handle on my movie tastes and suggested it, I was more than happy to oblige.  It took me a little bit of time to finally receive the movie from Netflix, but now I have and I can see what I actually think of Big Trouble in Little China, written by W.D. Richter, Gary Goldman, and David Z. Weinstein, directed by John Carpenter, and starring Kurt Russell, Dennis Dun, Kim Cattrall, Suzee Pai, James Hong, Carter Wong, Peter Kwong, James Pax, Victor Wong, Donald Li, Kate Burton, Al Leong, Gerald Okamura, and Jerry Hardin.

Truck driver Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) arrives in San Francisco to gamble with his friend Wang Chi (Dennis Dun).  He then accompanies him to the airport to pick up his fiancée Miao Yin (Suzee Pai).  While at the airport, he also meets Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall) who is there to pick up her friend.  Even though she shuts down his advances, he still jumps in to help when Gracie’s friend is attacked by a Chinese street gang called the Lords of Death.  Unable to take Gracie’s friend, they take Miao Yin instead, with the intention of selling her as a sex slave.  Jack and Wang go to find her and get caught in the middle of a turf war that is then interrupted by 4 Mortal Kombat characters: three Raiden lookalikes named Thunder (Carter Wong), Rain (Peter Kwong), and Lightning (James Pax), and a Shang Tsung lookalike named Lo Pan (James Hong).  They take Miao Yin because her green eyes mean that she can be sacrificed to break Lo Pan’s curse and give him physical form again.

I’m charmed by this movie.  It’s aged, to be sure, but it’s aged fairly well.  The story of the movie is equal parts goofy and fun, but at least it’s intentional on both counts.  It includes many familiar parts, but it’s really hard to call this movie very typical.  We’ve seen the damsel in distress movies before, we’ve seen the hapless hero triumphing over the ancient evil, and we’ve seen martial arts movies.  Put them all together and they can become extremely silly and campy, but make themselves an entertaining little cult hit.  Most of the moments that were intended to be funny were kind of slapsticky in action scenes, but they never felt like they were trying too hard.  I thought a couple of the lines in the movie were pretty clever too.  There was one part in the movie when Gracie said that she couldn’t go into a location because her face was too recognizable to the bad people and later, when she was saying she couldn’t come into another location, Jack said, “I know.  There’s something wrong with your face.”  Some of the dialogue didn’t work for me, just because a lot of them seemed to throw exposition in rather bluntly.  Some of the characters actually decided it would save time to throw their personality profile from eHarmony in with their introduction, like when Gracie said, “You know I’m always sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong,” just to get it out of the way.  It’s nice to be able to figure out the characters quickly, but it makes the dialogue clunky.  It didn’t happen that often though, and the rest of the dialogue was fine.  And the look of the movie actually holds up pretty well.  The visual effects would be lackluster by today’s standards, but this movie was made in 1986, and they’re pretty interesting by those standards.  There was a lot of magic going on in the movie from lightning that characters would ride into a scene to light coming out of people’s eyes to two wizards battling by shooting light at each other that clashes and then turns into a scene of avatars doing battle for them.  All of it worked pretty well.  The supernatural creatures they created were pretty interesting as well.  There was a floating ball of eyes that seemed right out of Dungeons and Dragons, and some troll creature that looked like Rahzar from the Ninja Turtles movie.  I don’t know how they allowed the close ups on Gracie’s eyes through.  She was supposed to have green eyes for the role and Kim Cattrall has brown eyes.  Being no particular Kim Cattrall fan, there’s only one way that I would have that information: the really obvious contacts.  Computer graphics probably weren’t good enough or cheap enough at the time to fix that in post, but there’s another option: not showing a close up on her eyes!  I wasn’t paying that close of attention until you forced me to.  The action was kind of hit and miss with me.  There were plenty of action scenes in the movie, but the actual fist fight parts weren’t that convincing or interesting.

None of the performances in the movie really seemed to require too much out of the actors, but they were performed well.  Kurt Russell did an acceptable job as the cocky but none too bright hero.  Dennis Dun did a fine enough job delivering some humor and a good deal of the martial arts for the movie.  James Hong did a good job as the bad guy in the movie, but I just can’t hear his voice anymore and not think of Po’s father from Kung Fu Panda.  And it’s hard to be scary when you’re saying, “Noodle, don’t noodle.”

Big Trouble in Little China isn’t what I’d call a good movie.  Its story is a combination of basic ideas, it features aging graphics, and some of the dialogue is a little blunt.  But the movie still manages to be fun with a good amount of action, some clever dialogue, and overall silly fun mood.  I’m comfortable saying this movie is worth a watch.  It’s a classic cult movie and it holds up fairly well.  Big Trouble in Little China gets “May the wings of liberty never lose a feather” out of “Ol’ Jack always says … what the hell?”

Let’s get these reviews more attention, people.  Post reviews on your webpages, tell your friends, do some of them crazy Pinterest nonsense.  Whatever you can do to help my reviews get more attention would be greatly appreciated.  You can also add me on FaceBook (Robert T. Bicket) and Twitter (iSizzle).  Don’t forget to leave me some comments.  Your opinions and constructive criticisms are always appreciated.

Escape from LA (1996)

I decided to keep the Kurt Russell love going by watching Escape from LA next. Snake Plissken (Russell) is back, this time rescuing the President’s daughter from LA because she’s carrying a device that will can set an Electromagnetic Pulse loose that will turn the world back to the Dark Ages.

Time is still a major gripe of mine in this movie, just as it was in Escape from New York. The movie came out in 1996, and it makes the claim that 4 years after the movie came out, LA has turned into a squalid city of sin and vice that, in 2000, is separated from California by a giant earthquake. Okay, I give you that, even in 96, that was an apt description of LA from my experience, but you gave God 4 years to sink that bitch. Suffice to say that didn’t happen. The movie itself takes place in 2 years, so I guess it still has some time for Snake Plissken to get down there and start some shit. At least they realized that CGI would evolve. So we have 2 years to get full holographic recordings. We’re actually on our way there from what I’ve seen. We’ve got that lame 3D nonsense already, and I’ve seen those holographic newscasts on some station before. It’s a dumb gimmick, but a plausible one!

So Snake is again arrested, his status as badass not affected by the fact that he’s not that great at eluding the police. His help is needed again because the President’s daughter stole the EMP device – which I am ashamed to admit I kept trying to type EVP because I watch Ghost Adventures too much – and went into LA to take it to her boyfriend, Cuervo Jones. He of course, is not down like a clown, not even for Charlie Brown, but they entice him by scratching his hand and giving him a virus, which is TOTALLY different than the last movie where almost everything else happened exactly like this but it was an explosive in his neck. He gets in to LA and almost immediately gets close to getting the device from Cuervo by stealing a motorcycle and traversing his motorcade and beating ass on most of his men. Cuervo sees him running up on him with a shotgun and Cuervo takes him down with bolas. Now, if you’re not all weapon nerdy like I am, you may not know what bolas are. Bolas are a snare device dating back to the 1600’s or earlier that are basically a set of weighted balls connected by a string that you throw at something to wrap it up. Badass status slightly diminished there, Snake. You now those shotguns shoot bullets, right? Another thing you learn from this section is that when a motorcycle falls onto it’s side, it explodes into a giant ball of flame. Can’t say you didn’t learn anything, eh?

Along his way to the end of the movie, Snake meets up with a colorful cavalcade of characters. He meets “Map to the Stars” Eddy, played by Steve Buscemi, who is a nervous, shifty, sheister that Buscemi is so good at playing. He comes across the hot chick from Hot Shots Part Deux Valerina Golino, who promptly dies. He escapes from a hospital where – my favorite – Bruce Campbell plays a doctor who trades in body parts to people whose plastic surgery is failing because they’ve had too much and they need it replaced daily, a fair enough commentary on the fakeness of LA. And last but not least, Pam Grier as a transsexual named Hershey, who is so good at playing one that I originally thought she was actually a man before I knew who Pam Grier was. Not to say she’s not hot, but they messed with her voice so I thought she was a dude. I never said I was a smart kid.

So, there were some problems to this movie, the most glaring of which is that it is basically Escape from New York in LA with a better budget. I think people would’ve liked the movie better if they released it as a re-imagining and not a sequel. In the middle of the movie, after being captured by Cuervo, Snake must fight for his life in a win-or-die game of … basketball … so there THAT is. Also, being as LA was split from the world by an earthquake, the city is semi-regularly ravaged by aftershocks, which would be fine if it was actually random and not only when it advanced the plot. It seems like the writer would write himself into a corner and say “How do we get Snake out of this? Oh yes, random earthquake, someone falls down, Snake runs away”.

That all being said, I actually preferred this movie and I seemed to be one of the few. The movie got a 53% on Rotten Tomatoes and Escape from New York got 80 something. I think a lot of that probably comes from the fact that it was basically the same movie, but I don’t see why that wouldn’t make someone just think it’s like the first one with better graphics and more explosions. For a brief time I tried to find out what people’s problem was with this movie, then I realized I don’t care. I give this movie a “Fuck you guys, it’s better than the first” out of 27.

Escape from New York (1981)

In lieu of any Netflix movies and with nothing good at RedBox, I decided to dip into my own library and start reviewing movies I already own.  The movie I watched today was the old action classic Escape from New York, starring Kurt Russell and Isaac Hayes.

Escape from New York is the story of Snake Plissken (Russell) who has been arrested in the distant future year of 1997.  The world has fallen into disrepair and crime has run so rampant that they’ve had to turn the entire island of Manhattan into a prison colony.  I’m sure we all remember this happening 14 years back, right?  My biggest problem is the same problem I have with about 90% of future movies: if you’re going to make a movie in the future, set that shit back a few years.  I understand that we can’t predict the future, but if you’re going to make a movie in the future, your motto should be “Set it to a year where, if this doesn’t turn out to be true, at least everyone involved with the movie will be dead”.  Take the cue from the original Planet of the Apes.  That movie, though granted started in 2006, the majority was set in 3978.  2010 years from when the movie was made!  No one could hold it against them for trying.  But this movie assumes that 14 years ago, the world has fallen very far.  I can only hope that in 4 years we’ll have hoverboards and flying cars so I have nothing to hold against Back to the Future 2.  Also, Spielberg better pick it up with the Jaws movies.  I think they were on Jaws 14 in that movie.  Also, in Escape from New York, the computer layouts are roughly what they were at from a quality standpoint in 1987.  This is supposed to be 20 + years in the future for you guys, and we know you have the technology to put moving images on a screen because how else would we be watching you guys underestimate technological advancements.  Throw some of that up there.  Heck, I literally watched your movie on my computer.  Just do that!

Anyways, Snake is arrested conveniently at the time that the President’s plane goes down in Manhattan (and survives, one can only assume it was Captain Sully in the cockpit).  He gets put on the task of rescuing him and some tape that’s handcuffed to his wrist within 24 hours or these explosive charges they put into his neck will blow and kill him.  Why is Plissken picked?  Why it’s ’cause he’s the baddest of the badass (which is much better than being the ass-est of the badass).  Snake used to be in a special military branch that trained people into badassdom; teaching them how to talk raspy and smoke thin cigars.  So Snake reluctantly agrees and goes in a souped up hang glider, lands on top of the World Trade Center (Never Forget), and gets to work.  It’s at this point that we see a dystopian, run down New York City, which is pretty much what I envision REAL New York City looking like.  While looking for the President, Snake meets Ernest Borgnine (who, if you’re like me, may know from Merlin’s Shop of Mystical Wonders), who tells him the Duke of New York (None other than Chef himself, Isaac Hayes) has taken the President and intends to use him to get all the prisoners of Manhattan out of the city.  Also, he drives a car with chandeliers for headlights.

The first thing one must do when watching a movie from back then is to try to put yourself in the mindset of you back in the day it came out.  So I tried to watch it as if I were semen in my fathers balls.  At the time, I’m sure this was the best they could do, but there are things I just can’t get over.  First, the super-80s, Casio keyboard theme to the movie.  I’d rather you hit me with some Europe or Survivor.  After that, the fact that their Fischer Price Walkee Talkee’s with the super long telescoping antenna that can reach from Manhattan to the mainland.  Also, the tracking radar that was a Pong-style flashing light on a garage door opener.  There was also one point when Snake, now running from a bunch of crazy people they called … what was it again … Oh yes, the Crazies.  Anyway, he’s running from them, shoots a circle in the wall and bursts through it, I’m sure realizing shortly after he should’ve just run into it because it was Styrofoam.  I cannot allow this.  Mythbusters proved that was not possible.  And the last continuity problem?  At the end when driving across the mine-covered bridge, the car is sheered clean in half by a mine explosion and the only injury whatsoever was the person in the passenger seat was killed.  Good aim on that mine, right?

These problems notwithstanding, if you watch the movie from the mindset of the time (Which I clearly didn’t), the movie is pretty good.  I would say the idea of the movie far surpassed the actual writing of the movie, but it’s far from terrible.  The movie, as far as I know, is the start of plenty of plot devices that are overused by today’s standards.  The injection of explosive devices automatically reminded me of Mission Impossible 3 and the goofy face Keri Russell made when it went off in her brain.  The anarchic antihero, of course.  The genre blending of a Western-style movie with sci-fi setting.  Plenty of things in this movie helped define the action genre, and it should be applauded for that.  Heck, the critically dispised (but preferred by me) movie Escape from LA was practically the same movie.

So, if you choose to watch this movie, you would enjoy it more if you tried to keep the fact that it was made in 1981 in mind.  On a scale of 1 to 5, I give it a “Better back then, but watchable today”.