a decade of zanity

Monday, April 27, 2009

Get away from her you bitch!

Title: Aliens (1986)

I'm glad I got around to reviewing Aliens. It's one of my favorite movies. It's a simple, yet action pack film -- a group of US Space Marines along with Ripley as a private consultant were dispatched to investigate why a corporate colony stopped communicating with planet Earth. Sigourney Weaver reprises her soon-to-be iconic role as Ellen Ripley, the tough as nail survivor of the exploration ship Nostromo.

Hicks shows Ripley how to use a pulse rifle in Aliens
Aliens: Corporal Hicks (Michael Biehn) shows Ellen Ripley how to use a pulse rifle

It's a sequel to the first movie, Alien (1979), which was shot as a sci-fi horror (tagline: "In space, no one can hear you scream"). This one is sci-fi action. Definitely action. Superbly written and directed by James Cameron also known for Terminator, Titanic, etc.

I particularly like the time period. As a deep space movie, it is set before many elements of space exploration have been perfected. So there is no hyperspace travel, there is no beam-me-up technology, and there are no laser guns.

In this time setting, James Cameron excels in giving sci-fi and action fans brute force military technology modernized for a not-too-distant-future space exploration. Some gadgets are the coolest because of the raw power they project. Dropship instead of parachutes and helicopters. APC (Armored Personnel Carrier) instead of humvee. And twenty three years later, the pulse rifle is still the most badass gun in cinema. It's basically American firepower against aliens.

The best scene is when Ripley and the remaining marines were making their last stand. Everytime I watch this movie, I still flinch whenever an alien breaks through the defenses and pops out of nowhere.

Aliens Video Clip: Hudson's death scene

Also, the best character in Aliens is played by Bill Paxton. He gives a very memorable comic relief as Private Hudson, the cocky and loud-mouthed marine who's not as courageous as he sounds. He has the best lines.

Hudsons quotes in Aliens

Aliens memorabilia ripley poster
Aliens Promo Poster
Just what he said. You figure out when he said it.
  • I say we grease this rat-fuck son-of-a-bitch right now.
  • What do you mean, "'They' cut the power?" How could they cut the power, man? They're animals!
  • Hey Vasquez, have you ever been mistaken for a man?
  • Is this gonna be a standup fight, sir, or another bughunt?
  • We're on an express elevator to hell; going down!
  • Let's just bug out and call it even, OK?
  • That's it man, game over man, game over!
  • Seventeen DAYS? Hey man, I don't wanna rain on your parade, but we're not gonna last seventeen HOURS!
  • Why don't you put her in charge?
  • Right, right. Somebody said "alien" she thought they said "illegal alien" and signed up!
  • They're all around us, man. Jesus!
  • We're all gonna die man.
  • It wasn't funny, man.
Netflix, Inc.Lastly, I'm fortunate to have seen Aliens in the big screen. If you haven't had the chance, keep an eye out for a theater around you that would show it. It's an experience you won't forget.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!

Title: Ghostbusters (1984)

Ghostbusters crossing stream with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man looking on

Whoa! It's the 25 year anniversary of Ghostbusters. I wonder why we're not hearing any celebration of this great supernatural comedy. Or is it science fiction? No matter how you view it, it's a classic 80's films.

Ghostbusters is an awesome movie to watch in the big screen. It's a special effects feast for the eyes. New York at night. Nuclear accelerators vs. Sumerian gods. Giant marshmallow man. Floating ghosts. Pretty much top of the line FX arts that hold even today.

Sexy Sigourney Weaver Legs GhostbustersAnd it balances well with the superb comic acting of Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis, and Rick Moranis. Also excellent is William Atherton as Walter Peck, the arrogant authority figure from the EPA looking to shutdown the Ghost Busters for code violations. Ghostbusters arguably launched Atherton's 80's career portraying arrogant figures we love to hate (Real Genius, Die Hard, Die Hard 2). Sigourney Weaver, who is best known for her tough-as-nail heroine in the Alien saga, is at her best as a soft, vulnerable, and sexy damsel in distress. Of course, the movie makers make no apology showing off her long legs.

And let's not forget that this movie also gave us the Ecto 1. It's one of the more famous pop culture movie cars.

Though not quoted as often as other 80's movies such as Batman or Terminator for instance, Ghost Busters has some of the funniest lines in cinema, delivered by the sardonic carefree scientist, Dr. Peter Venkman (played by Bill Murray).

Ghostbusters Peter Venkman Quotes

  • All right! This chick is TOAST!
  • Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown...
  • Nimble little minx, ain't she?
  • Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
  • Someone blows their nose and you want to keep it?
  • We've been going about this all wrong. This Mr. Stay Puft's okay! He's a sailor, he's in New York; we get this guy laid, we won't have any trouble!
  • So, she's a dog...
  • Mother pus bucket!
  • We came, we saw, we kicked its ass!
  • You're right, no human being would stack books like this.
  • He slimed me.
  • Back off, man. I'm a scientist.
  • If I'm wrong, nothing happens! We go to jail - peacefully, quietly. We'll enjoy it! But if I'm *right*, and we *can* stop this thing... Lenny, you will have saved the lives of millions of registered voters.
  • Yes it's true...This man has no dick.
  • Maybe now you'll never slime a guy with a positron collider, huh?
  • She's not my girlfriend. I find her interesting because she's a client and because she sleeps above her covers... *four feet* above her covers. She barks, she drools, she claws!
Ghostbusters photo memorabilia
I hope that brings back memories of how funny this movie really is.

Netflix, Inc.Unfortunately, I don't find the sequel, Ghost Busters 2, to be as funny. Although the early part of the court scene is hilarious when the Ghost Busters were being represented by Louis Tully (played by Rick Moranis). But that was it.

I've been reading about a Ghostbusters 3 movie. The original cast members are rumored to star. I'm not thrilled over a 3rd movie. I think that Ghostbusters is a classic and should be left alone.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The only problem with kicking the shit out of you is that it would be too easy

Title: Streets of Fire (1984)

This movie is a very underrated and fun movie to watch. It really didn't pick up a cult following and not a lot of people talk about it. But the tongue-in-cheek performances by Rick Moranis, Eric Roberts Michael Pare, and Willem Defoe are amazing. The music is great. I still have my Streets of Fire CD soundtrack. And "Tonight is what it means to be young" is one of the catchiest tunes ever. The movie is also visually stimulating as it transforms a city into an urban fantasy land. By that, I mean that the landscape is not grungy, yet because it's the home of a motorcycle gang, there is still danger.

Diane Lane and Rick Moranis in Streets of FireThe storyline is simple. A rising rock singer gets kidnapped by the motorcycle gang during a club concert. The owner of the club calls on her brother, who is also the ex-boyfriend the rock singer, for help because he's in the military and that he might be able to help. The plot is more of a comic book style maybe that's why I liked it so much.

My favorite character is Billy Fish played by Rick Moranis. He's the rock singer's (Ellen Aim played by Diane Lane) manager. He also has a crush on her and would like nothing more than to have his cake and eat it too. By that I mean rescue Ellen and get rid of her ex-boyfriend Tom Cody. Eric Roberts Michael Pare excellently plays the role of the military-mercenary hero. He simply looks the part of a trench coat-wearing gun slinger.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.

Title: The Outsiders (1983)

This movie was one of the gems of the 80s. I saw it at the local Rosemead 4 theater that's no longer there. In fact, most of the movies in this blog, I saw at the Rosemead 4. This movie was so sad, I almost cried in the car on the way home.

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and based on a popular coming-of-age book by SE hinton, The Outsiders was about the trials and tribulations of young Greasers, a gang of poor kids who were in a constant turf battle with the rich kids called the Socs. The Socs always had the better cars and, of course, most of the girls.

In one encounter, the young Ponyboy was being assaulted by a group of Socs as a retalliation from an earlier incident. His friend Johnny, in defending Ponyboy, stabbed and killed the lead Socs, Bob Sheldon. Fearing the wrath of the authority and, more so, Darrel, his older brother, Ponyboy and Johnny ran away to hide. They sought help from Dallas, a close friend and fellow Greaser who supposedly had experience in dealing with the law.

The three set-off to hide in the nearby woods where Dallas went back and forth to sort out the problems in town. Only kids themselves and barely hitting puberty, Ponyboy and Johnny had to grow up and quickly learn how to "man up" to their situation. Meanwhile, Bob's death brewed anger among the Socs and an all out rumble against the Greasers was called to settle things.

The Outsiders Patrick Swayze C Thomas Howell

Although I never read the book, I was completely enthralled by the characters, especially Johnny. His death at the end was sad, but necessary (and unfortunate). I also took particular fond of Dallas as he took care of Johnny and Ponyboy while lecturing them on toughening up. Yet, he was scared of Darrel as well.

One obvious feature of the movie was the casting of then-virtually unknowns who became the who's who of today's and the 80's-90's film scene. C. Thomas Howell played Ponyboy and later on starred in classics The Hitcher and Red Dawn. Ralph Macchio played Johnny and he starred Daniel-san in the memorable Karate Kid. Matt Dillon was Dallas and he was in my favorite blockbuster comedy, There's Something About Mary. Darrel was played by Patrick Swayze who became famous in Dirty Dancing. There was a really funny Chris Farley-Patrick Swayze skit on SNL.

Matt Dillon Diane Lane C Thomas Howell The OutsidersBut the supporting casts were just as big as the main casts. Rob Lowe played Sodapop. Emilio Estevez as Two-Bit. Diane Lane as Cherry. And perhaps the biggest actor of our time, Tom Cruise as Steve Randle. He did not even have a nickname!

Favorite The Outsiders Quotes

Johnny [as he was dying]: Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.

Dallas: We gotta win that fight tonight. We gotta get even with those Socs! Let's do it for Johnny, man. We'll do it for Johnny!

Randy: Greasers will still be Greasers and Socs will still be Socs. It doesn't matter.

Steve: Don't worry, Ponyboy, they don't do that to heroes.

Dallas: Man, I thought New York was the only place to end up in a murder rap, Jesus Christ!

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