12 Films of Christmas 2020 (Part 8)

Hey there, friendos. Time for another christmas movie post. So yeah, let’s talk about it.

I can already imagine at least two of you furrowing your brow. “But MAAAAAAARKUUUUUS, Lethal Weapon is not a christmas movie, it’s a detective thriller”. Watch and learn, kids.
It’s December in Los Angeles, and aging police detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) gets forced to team up with volatile detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) to solve a complex case. Okay, the immediate plot may not strictly be about saving christmas, but there’s holiday iconography littered all over the god damn place. Christmas trees, colorful lights, other stuff… yeah. Oh, and the movie opens with “Jingle Bell Rock” playing. That aside, I do love the story here. It’s exciting and suspenseful and surprisingly heartwarming. And in the end, isn’t warmth in our hearts something we want to feel during the holidays?
I think it goes without saying how great the characters in this are. They’re nuanced and endearing and I love them to death. And so must other people too, considering this god damn movie got three sequels. Part of this comes down to Shane Black’s pitch perfect script, a dark and emotionally charged affair with hints of black humor. But largely we also love the main characters because of the excellent chemistry between Danny Glover and Mel Gibson. What they have in “Lethal Weapon” is unparalleled to this day. And the supporting cast is brilliant too, with people like Darlene Love and Gary Busey being standouts among them.
So maybe “Lethal Weapon” isn’t the traditional definition of a christmas movie, but I feel that it has enough iconography and relevant themes to warrant its status as one. It’s one of my favorite movies and I never tire of watching it.

On the eighth day of christmas, Markus watched a classic hit
 Meanwhile Danny Glover’s too old for this shit

Movie Review: Soldier (1998)

Space… The final frontier. And that’s it, no more “Star Trek” for you. You’re instead getting a different type of space thing!

Ladies and gentlemen… “Soldier”.

In the not too distant a future, an aging soldier (Kurt Russell) finds himself abandoned by his superiors, now having to live in a colony on a distant planet. And soon he finds himself having to defend his new home when genetically engineered super soldiers attack. So yeah, this plot isn’t original or very engaging. It has a lot of familiar elements. Bit of “Shane”, bit of “Universal Soldier”, bit of other things I can’t think of right now. So yeah, not very original, but it’s executed decently enough to be considered passable.

The characters in the movie, while not the most layered, are entertaining and interesting enough to watch. Kurt Russell plays the character of Todd 3465 very stoically, but not 100% uninterested/dead, For pretty much the entire movie he has a blank facial expression, but if you look into his eyes you can see that there’s rage and fear in there. And by fear I mean fear of failing his superiors. Blank expression but his eyes say everything… that’s some great fuckin’ acting! Jason Scott Lee played one of the next-gen super soldiers and he was really badass. Sean Pertwee played one of the men that Todd gets to know on this strange planet, and he is really good in the role. Connie Nielsen plays Pertwee’s wife in the movie and she’s really good. Jason Isaacs plays the obvious dickbag in the movie and he’s great… he’s just great at playing villainous characters. We also got Gary Busey as one of the superior officers in the movie and unlike most of his other performances, he is not playing a crazy and over-the-top character… he’s playing it very straight and he does a really good job. Yeah, this movie has some really solid performances.

The score for the movie was composed by Joel McNeely and it was really good. His score was fun, exciting, and just fun. I really can’t say much else. It doesn’t do any unique things and it doesn’t make me feel various emotions… it’s just a simple action movie score that sounds good and works for the movie.

This movie was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and I think he actually did a solid job here. The shots look really good and the action scenes are very well handled. My biggest gripe with his directing comes with something that occurs in pretty much all of his films… slow motion. I do think it has a place in movies, but the use of it here is not really that good. For one, it is used at some really baffling moments, and it also looks kind of bad. And like I kind of said, the action here is really good. It’s badass. Speaking of visual things, the effects (for the most part) look great! The sets that they built look awesome and the mix of practical/CGI looks good for the most part. A few of the effects in the movie look a little wonky, but overall the effects in this look really good. There are also quite a lot of references to “Blade Runner” in this movie… just thought I’d mention it.

 

This movie has not been too well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 10% (ouch) positive rating. On Metacritic it doesn’t exist. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,0/10.

“Soldier” is a surprisingly solid action movie. It features an okay plot, pretty good characters, really good performances, really good music, and really good directing. However it loses a few points with the plot being quite bland and the slow motion in this movie being pretty bad. Time for my final score. *Clears throat*. My final score for “Soldier” is an 8,65/10. So while it is flawed, I’d say it’s worth buying!

My review of “Soldier” is now completed.

*Looks at box officer numbers* OUCH! That is kind of sad.

Movie Review: Lethal Weapon (1987)

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Every once in a while I like to mix things up when it comes to my movie watching. For the most part I watch dramas or sci-fi with a pretty good amount of brain. But sometimes I just have to sit down and watch something with little brain and much awesome. And for that I go to 80’s and 90’s action movies. They usually have the right amount of awesome (and perhaps some cheese) that it just keeps me entertained. Today we are taking a look at one such movie… although it does have moe substance than you’d expect.

Ladies and gentlemen… “Lethal Weapon”.

This movie is set in Los Angeles and follows Detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) who just turned 50 (Sidenote: He is too old for this shit). He gets forced to work together with suicidal cop Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) to find out who murdered the daughter of a friend of Murtaugh’s. They also have to go stop a gang of drug smugglers led by a man named Joshua (Gary Busey). Simple premise… I love it. Action movies don’t need a lot of story since they pad it out with a bunch of cool and badass situations. “Lethal Weapon” is such a movie. I do like however that they add layers to the story with backstories to the characters which we’ll get to in 3… 2… 1…

The characters! They are all pretty great. They all have motivations for what they’re doing. Okay, fine the villain (Busey) simply does his shit to be the bad guy of the movie. But he does it so well because he is Gary Frickin’ Busey. Murtaugh is basically just a family man/cop who does his job (and is too old for this shit). But he works because he acts like a normal human being should(ish). But Riggs… Martin Fucking Riggs is awesome. First off, Gibson got great chemistry with Danny Glover and fits the character perfectly. After the death of his wife he is on the verge of suicide (but never commits said suicide). He is also awesome in a lot of scenes because he is pretty much out of his mind. He is crazy and I love that, it gives great contrast to Glover’s straight up family man. Overall the characters in the movie are great.

The soundtack is done by a nice mix of people. The score was done by Michael Kamen (Highlander, Die Hard). The saxophone part of Murtaugh’s theme was done by David Sanborn. But the most interesting part (for me at least) was who did the guitar playing for Riggs’ theme. It was none other than the one and only Eric Clapton. It all comes together for a nice action movie score.

The shots in this movie are truly great (for the time at least) and the cinematography is great. Sure, it isn’t as good as something by Roger Deakins, but it sure as hell looks great. A fun fact about this movie is that it was written by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Iron Man 3). I don’t know why it’s fun, I just do. Also, this is technically a christmas movie since it’s set around christmas… so that’s fun. The action in the movie is also good. Good ol’ classic 80’s action.

This is a movie that has been really well-received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 84% rating with a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a 67/100. Roger Ebert also seemed to like it since he gave it 4/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a 7,6/10. “Lethal Weapon” was also nominated for 1 Oscar in the category of Best Sound.

“Lethal Weapon” is an action classic. It got a good story, good characters with perfect chemistry between Gibson and Glover, the score is great and the action is really good as well. Now for the final score. Where’s the envelope? No, Riggs… you can’t kill yourself with that… give it here! My final score for “Lethal Weapon” is a 9,65/10 which of course gives it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “Lethal Weapon” is completed.

I’m too old for this shit…