To Live and Die in L.A.
It must have been easy to be cynical about William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A. in 1985. After a blazing hot early 1970s, his critical and popular reputation bottomed out with four straight disappointments. So, it makes sense that someone might think Friedkin’s return to the cop-on-the-edge genre was a purely commercial decision, a hope to rekindle the fire he lit in 1971 with The French Connection. After all, that movie was both a commercial and critical smash. Continue Reading →
If Sorcerer’s sole highlight was Roy Scheider's descent into hallucinatory madness amidst an almost lunar rock field, it would still be a special movie. Scheider is Jackie Scanlon, an American getaway driver turned washed-up exile in the isolated Columbian village of Porvenir. He’s the last survivor of a desperate mission to transport increasingly unstable dynamite to a burning oil well. The blaze is so bad that only controlled explosions to burn off its fuel stand a chance of extinguishing it. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong, including Jackie’s kibashed truck giving out a long walk from the well. Haunted by—or just plain hallucinating—the laughter of his dead co-driver, he stumbles forward. Surrounded by the surreal with nothing but a rickety crate between him and the hair-trigger death, it’s all he can do besides die. Continue Reading →
The Brink's Job
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So I Married an Axe Murderer
If anyone should be ripe for a huge comeback any minute now, it’s Mike Myers. Myers is largely responsible for two of the most iconic comedies of the 90s, Wayne’s World and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. If you weren’t there and cognizant of it then, it’s impossible to explain the grip both movies had on 90s pop culture, particularly Austin Powers. Even now, 25 years later, it’s very likely that you’ll occasionally hear someone say “One hundred…billion…DOLLARS” in the voice of Dr. Evil, or refer to a person’s lookalike child as their “Mini-Me.” Its closest competitor in the zeitgeist is probably Clueless, and Clueless didn’t get two sequels. Continue Reading →