Used Cars

Used cars

There are a few sure receipts to make a nice movie.  One of them is mix lots of cars with some boobs and a cool guy.  Of course, there are some film makers who will still be able to screw it up, but Robert Zemeckis is definitely one of them.  I just watched “Used Cars“, the movie he directed back in 1980, with Kurt Russel playing the main role, and this movie is still as good as it was back then. That’s a sign of good entertainment!

6 out of 10.

Death Proof

Being a great Quentin Tarantino fan, I’ve been sinning a lot in the last couple of years.  I missed a few works of the Master.  One of the films which I failed to catch in the cinema is “Death Proof“.  Gladly, DVD rentals had a copy.

As I said, I am a bit fan of Tarantino’s movies, so there is no way at all that I can be objective or unbiased.  For what it’s worth, here are my thoughts about this particular movie:

  • Excellent!
  • Anyone who saw other Tarantino movies can recognize his writing and directing in this one.  All you need is about 18 seconds from the start of the film.
  • Outstanding soundtrack, as always.  Maybe even better than usual, since large part of the movie happens around a juke box. Film’s trivia page, among other things, has a list of all tracks.
  • Great dialogs.  Dialogs are one of Tarantino’s talents, and this film has plenty of them.  Practically non-stop talking.
  • Great cars!  If you like cars and car racing, this is not the film to miss.  It has some of the best car chases, car wrecks, and car engine sounds.
  • Great girls!  There are a few really hot babes in this movie, and even with no nudity at all, there are a few places where you’d like a bucket of ice just to chill you down a little bit.
  • Kurt Rassel did a great job.
  • Lots of visual pleasure.  I suddenly remembered that story about Robert Rodriguez doing soundtrack for Tarantino’s “Kill Bill vol.2” for $1 and then, later, Tarantino returning the favor by making one of the scenes in Rodriguez’ “Sin City”.  “Sin City” used a lot of digital technologies, while Tarantino is the Master of the actual film.  So, it seemed like after that story (if it was even true), Tarantino went a little deeper into experiments with film (as in media).  Scratches, noise, cuts, and other effects, which can be achieved digitally, look more authentic when done for real.

If I had to pick one thing that wasn’t perfect about this film, it would for sure be duration.  It was too damn short.  I could watch this film for hours and hours.  And just for that, I’ll rate it as 9 out of 10.

Big Trouble in Little China

Someone gave me a copy of “Big Trouble in Little China“. I remember watching it when our family got our first VCR and as far as I could remember I liked the film. I was wondering what would be my reactions now.

Directed by: John Carpenter
Genres: Action, Fantasy, Adventure, Comedy
Cast: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong, Victor Wong, Kate Burton, Donald Li, Carter Wong, Peter Kwong, James Pax, Suzee Pai, Chao Li Chi, Jeff Imada, Rummel Mor, Craig Ng
IMDB raintg: 6.7
My rating: 5.0 [rate 5.0]

Well, the film itself is pretty average. It has a good story that brings ancient Chinese mythology and martial arts into modern United States. The result is a good mix of action, mystery and humor.

The weak sides of the film are acting and dialogues. Actually, I think dialogues are to blame. They are so unnatural and artificial that anyone would have a problem performing them. But acting sucked too. Those few scenes which were natural were delivered very unconvincingly by most of the actors. Kurt Russel was trying though and did a better job than anyone. I also liked two Chinese guys out of the whole crowd. The first one was Victor Wong who played Uncle Egg. I’ve seen him in several movies and he is good everywhere. He has this charm that allows him to mix the look of old and poor with the goodness of the character. The second one was James Hong who played the main bad guy Lo Pan. Hong is a great actor and the one who contributed to a long list of movies (about 150 of them only as an actor).

On the good side, I was surprised by the quality of some special effects. Not all of them, but some. For example, that flying head with lots of eyes looked pretty cool even by today’s standards.

Overall the film was good, minus the dialogues and the acting. If you don’t mind these things much, than watch it – you’ll enjoy it. Otherwise, skip to something else.

Tequila Sunrise

Watched yet another oldie on DVD – “Tequila Sunrise“. While it is a pretty good film, it could have been a billion times better. Just imagine Mel Gibson playing a drug lord, but a lonely father who tries to quit the business, being the best friends with Kurt Russell who is a sneaky narcotics detective trying to bust Mel’s boss. Both of them are in love with Michelle Pfeiffer, who doesn’t even think about choosing one. Ok, she does, but very much closer to the end of the movie. If that was not enough, Mel’s boss is his other best friend, played by Raul Julia, who tries to pull this huge deal with drugs and lots of money. And, of course, there is a crooked policemen played by J.T. Walsh, who is working together with Russell.

With all these plot twisting and complicated relationships, this movie is best described as romance. No suspense what-so-ever. No action. There are about 3 dead people in the whole film with under 20 pistol shots. The only explanation I can find to this is that all the budget went for salaries. No special effects, no S.W.A.T. teams, no car chases, no gun fights, no martial arts, nothing. That’s a disappointment.

I wish there were more to this movie except for the ancient theme of the love triangle between two best friends and a hot babe. 5 out of 10.