12 Films of Christmas 2018 (Part 11)

Part 11. The penultimate part. Man, time sure has flown by. It feels like barely any time has gone by, yet we’re already right at the end of this. Anyway, less sentimentality, more profanity.

Can you really talk about christmas movies without ever mentioning Shane Black? He makes movies that aren’t strictly about the holiday, but are set around it. And “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is no different. Released in 2005, the movie follows Harry (Robert Downey Jr.), a no-good shyster pretending to be an actor to evade the law. As he does this he gets to work with a detective (Val Kilmer) to prepare for a role. But soon they find themselves having to solve the complicated murder of a young woman. So now we have our murder mystery that is also a satire of murder mysteries while also being a buddy cop movie of sorts… hmm. And I still think it’s one hell of a fun movie. I saw it for the first time a few years back and loved it… and I still do. The mystery (while a bit convoluted) is quite fascinating, and Downey and Kilmer make for one hell of a double act. They have an infectious chemistry that I loved following from start to finish. All the performances here are great, and Shane Black’s dialog is as razor sharp as ever. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” is a total blast.

On the eleventh day of christmas, Markus he did laugh, at Val Kilmer asking “Who taught you math!?”.

Movie Review: True Romance (1993)

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Ya know… the poster sums it up pretty well.

Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for some… “True Romance”.

So Clarence (Christian Slater) is kind of a lonely nerd. He very rarely goes on dates, he works in comic book store, and he spens his birthdays at the movie theater. But this year is a bit different, because he meets Alabama (Patricia Arquette), a lovely woman who turns out to be a call girl hired by Clarence’s boss. So what happens is that Clarence marries Alabama, steals her pimp’s cocaine (cue Eric Clapton), and then runs off to try to sell it to Hollywood people. Also, the mobsters who actually own the cocaine are going after our “heroes” to get it back. Ooo boy, that’s a lot of unnecessarily necessary plot elements, it’s almost like this was written by Quentin Tantin-oh shit, he actually wrote this. Jokes aside, I think the plot of this movie works really well. It isn’t really a plot that should be taken too seriously, and when you look at it from such a perspective, you will be able to appreciate it more. And that’s what I did and I really liked it. The plot is so odd, yet so grounded in reality that it kind of just meshes together perfectly.

The characters in this movie… to descrive them as colorful would be a bit of an understatement. I mean, when you have a script by Quentin Tarantino you should expect some oddball characters. Christian Slater does a great job as Clarence, playing a man who despite this strange situation, is quite relatable. Patricia Arquette (who’s really hot in this, by the way) does a really good job at playing this woman who goes through lots of ups and downs throughout the movie. Then we have one of the best supporting casts I’ve ever seen, including actors like Dennis Hopper (R.I.P), Christopher Walken, Michael Rapaport, Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini (R.I.P), and Samuel L. Jackson. Then we also have my absolute favorite in the movie (hence why I saved him for last): Gary Oldman as Drexl Spivey. This guy is out of his damn mind, a white guy who thinks he’s black and… god, I just love him! Shit, I barely recognized Oldman in the role. No wonder he’s known as a human transformer.

What’s interesting about the music in “True Romance” is that there are parts of an original score, but not that much. The music is mostly based in licensed tracks of varying genres (kind of like a lot of Tarantino movies). The original score bits were composed by Hans Zimmer and they were… okay. The tracks composed by ZImmer worked for the movie, but I wasn’t the biggest fan of them. The rest of the soundtrack though… fucking magnificent, perfect picks!

This movie was directed by Tony Scott (R.I.P), and I think he did a great job with this. The movie looks nice and any part that involves some kind of craziness going on… beautiful. I mean, the final action scene in the movie is pretty great. Violent, stylish, and simply fun. And like I have stated several times during this review, the movie was written by none other than Quentin Tarantino. And you can tell, because the movie has his handprints all over it. Movie references, conversations about nothing, tons of profanity… Samuel L. Jackson. And all of it works perfectly in the movie. Shit, if anyone else would have written the movie I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed the movie as much. The doalog is just fun and snappy and awesome.

This movie has been well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 92% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 57/100. Roger Ebert gave the movie 3/4 stars. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,0/10.

“True Romance” is a reall oddball action-dramedy. It has an interesting plot, great characters/acting, a really good soundtrack, great directing, and great writing. Time for my final score. You’re so cool. My final score for “True Romance” is a 9,84/10. This of course means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

My review of “True Romance” is now completed.

Seeing Christian Slater here just gets me more excited for “Mr. Robot” season 2.

Movie Review: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)

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Christmas movies doesn’t always have to revolve around chistmas in a direct way. All the movie have to do is be set around christmas time and maybe mention the damn thing once or twice. We also have christmas movies that take it in an entirely different direction than you regular “feelgood everybody is happy yay” scenario. Like for example how I talked about “Bad Santa” recently. That movie was a lot different than you typical christmas movie formula. Or how about “The Nightmare Before Christmas” which doesn’t truly use the christmas stuff until at least 20-30 minutes in. I am going off track a little bit here… sorry. But what if you took the two themes of being set around christmas time but have it barely be mentioned and having a different type of story/formula and combined? Well that is what we are taking a look at today!

My friends, I give you… “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”!

This story is kind of odd, but I’ll try my best to sum it up. You have three people; A thief posing as an actor (Robert Downey Jr.), a private detective (Val Kilmer) and a struggling actress (Michelle Monaghan) who over the course of about 5 days (around christmas time) get involved in a complex murder mystery. And that is really all I can say about the story without giving away too much. I can however say that the story was really entertaining to see how it unfolded. Not only to see how the intriguing mystery worked but also because some of the things that happen are a little bizzarre and often really hilarious. The story was really well-paced and even a bit intriguing and I found that really awesome.

The characters are some of the best characters I have been witness to in any movie ever. Not only are they well performed, but they also have some really awesome writing to them. One thing about the characters I have to mention is the chemistry between Robert Downey Jr. and Val Kilmer… it is some of the best chemistry I have seen between a pair of characters in anything. The dialogue they have is hilarious and you can see that they liked working off of each other. And for the love of god, I knew Val Kilmer was a really good actor after seeing him in “Tombstone” and “Heat”… but here he truly stole the show. He just rocked the scene and just became my favorite character out of all the really great characters this movie has to offer.

The original score by John Ottmas was pretty cool. There was a lot of stuff that worked for a crime movie. You know, these noir-esque tracks with a really smooth and stealthy (in lack of better words) tracks. And a lot of the soundtrack in general was sort of smooth Jazz which is a type of music I really enjoy listening to. The other tracks (licensed tracks) in the soundtrack were also pretty good and fit the scenes they were used in. Come to think of it, all of the music in the movie fit the scenes it was used in and just felt right. It helped set the mood of the scenes perfectly.

Looking at how this movie looks and how it was directed I was very surprised to learn that this was the first movie for director Shane Black. Sure he had worked on movies such as “Lethal Weapon” before, but only as a screenwriter. In other words, this movie was very well-directed. It was also one of the most well-written movies I have ever seen. The dialogue between the characters in this movie was not only really well-written but also really fucking hilarious. I seriously burst out laughing several times throughout the movie. I am gonna finish off this segment by giving you a bit of the dialogue from the movie. Just one small part… enjoy!

If you looked up idiot in the dictionary, you know what you would find?”
“A picture of me??
“No, the definition of idiot which you fucking are!”

This movie was pretty well-received by critics and audience members alike. On Rotten Tomatoes it got an 85% rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it got a score of 72/100. It looks liked Roger Ebert thought the movie was “eh” and gave it 2,5/4 stars. And finally on imdb.com it got a 7,7/10.

This movie got hilarious dialogue, an intriguing story, great characters and performances, good music and some of the best comedy in any movie ever. So now I can give it my final score. Now… my final score for “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” is a 9,80/10 which of course gives it the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”
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Review of “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” is done.

I don’t know about you, but I wish I would have seen this movie last christmas.

Movie Review: Heat (1995)

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Have you also noticed that a lot-ish games contain/are about bank heists? And there are some good ones; Payday, GTA5 and more. But what about movies? I know there are a lot of movies featuring a bank heists, but they are usually the secondary focus (See things like “30 minutes or less”). It is rare to find one where the heist(s) is the prime focus. At least movies that are set in more modern times than westerns. So when I heard about this movie called “Heat”, it pinched my interest a little bit. Especially since it starred both Robert De Niro AND Al Pacino. Oh and Val Kilmer (But I didn’t care too much for Kilmer by the time I heard of this which was before I saw Tombstone). So I finally sat my ass down to watch it. But was it good? Let’s talk about it.

Ladies and gentledicks…Heat.

The story is about a bank heist crew led by a man named Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro). They are the best damned crew in all of Los Angeles. And who knows, maybe even in America? On this team of badasses we have Chris Shiherlis (Val Kilmer), a fucking aced sniper and pony tail wearing badass. Michael Cherrito (Tom Sizemore), I don’t remember his part, I think he was mainly a brute. And there was another guy but I can’t remember/find who he was and who played him, sorry. Anyway, let us continue. On the other side of the law we not only have normal cops. We even have one with a name…Lieutenant Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino). He is basically the one leading the search for the bank robbers that have not only stolen expensive shit, but also killed a few people. There is a slight mind game going on between McCauley and Hanna throughout the game, mostly because of how elusive McCauley is even though Hanna is one of the best at his job. So as the story unfolds, it really shows that it is a really good story filled with plot twists, suspenseful moments and genuine great storytelling. And those things are usually typical for a Michael Mann movie.

So the characters are…well I don’t really want to use a word synonymous to perfect. Because that is not what they are, even though they are fucking awesome. They are flawed…for the most part. But they are so interesting that I don’t mind. But most of the interesting parts come from the fact that they all are so well acted, and I love that shit.

Music is…great. Not perfect, but nothing ever is…mostly. But for what it is and what it does…it’s great. The soundtrack is a nice mix of orchestral instruments for the different types of moments in the movie.

Have to mention the action scenes. They are really fucking good! I love them! That’s all.

The reception for the film was overall pretty good. With scores like 86% on Rotten Tomatoes and 76/100 on Metacritic. And for the first time in a while, I have found a Roger Ebert review on it. And he really liked it. Here is a quote:
“It’s not just an action picture. Above all, the dialogue is complex enough to allow the characters to say what they’re thinking: They are eloquent, insightful, fanciful, poetic when necessary. They’re not trapped with cliches. Of the many imprisonments possible in our world, one of the worst must be to be inarticulate — to be unable to tell another person what you really feel”.

So overall, this movie got good shit going for it. And that is good since that means I am giving it a score of 9,49/10. This movie is worth every dollar/pound/krona/yen that you spend on it. Go buy it. Or rent it. This is probably one of the smartest actions/thrillers ever.

I robbed you of your time with this review (Bank heist pun).

*Sneaking out*

 

Movie Review: Tombstone (1993)

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Yet another movie review from me that features a western. What can I say? I love westerns! They are my favorite genre of movies (Except for the Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp). And I had heard some great things about this movie. So I decided to sit my ass down and watch it.

People, the movie that features performances from Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Dana Delany, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, Charlton Heston, Michael Rooker, Thomas Haden Church, Stephen Lang, Billy Bob Thornton, Billy Zane and many more.

The lawman Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) just wants to retire after a success of cleaning up crime in Dodge City, Kansas. So he comes to the “quiet” little town of Tombstone. He goes there with his brothers Virgil (Sam Elliott) and Morgan (Bill Paxton). But the retirement plans are gonna have to be interrupted. In the litte town of Tombstone trouble emerges and the three brothers have to become lawmen again. They also team up for that with Wyatt’s old friend Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer). There is also a sort of love triangle between Wyatt, his wife Mattie (Dana Wheeler-Nicholson) and a woman named Josephine Marcus (Dana Delany). While the western, lawman stuff of Tombstone is great, I still have to complain about the love triangle thing. It’s so sappy and unnecessary. Sure, they wanna add more felsh to the bone, but the love bullshit is not one thing that is needed. I also have to mention the suspense that comes from the fact that Doc has tuberculosis which adds the suspense of not knowing when he’s gonna bite the dust. That is why he’s so reckless with his life, he doesn’t wanna die in a hospital bed, he wants to go out in a gunfight. Or as he called it “Die with his boots on”.

The characters are so well portrayed by their respective actors that I can’t see any problem in them. What I have to give most credit on however is Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday. That man is honestly giving an Oscar worthy performance. Well done Mr. Kilmer. You won my ass over.

The music in this is your typical western movie soundtrack and you should then know that it is fucking amazing. Not saying that it is Howard Shore – Lord of The Rings amazing. But westerns usually have great soundtracks. Tombstone included.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pO3h2KX6poU

Here is a new segment of the review that I will only have if I review a western. And that is where I talk about the gunfights. A western is usually not complete without a good gunfight. And this movie have those, a good amount I have to say. The gunfights here are well made and entertainging as hell to watch. But I do wonder how their guns never run out of ammo except for when the story demands it. Realism is not the strong suit. But that does not matter as long as the scene is entertaining.

The reception Tombstone got was pretty good when it came out. It was even called “One of the 5 greatest westerns of all time”. Most of the praise towards the movie was because of Kilmer’s amazing performance. Even Roger Ebert called this movie good.

So based on my mostly positive opinions on the different aspects of Tombstone and the bonus for being a western point it will get from me a 9,1/10. It is that good and worth picking up. It even made position 4 on my “Top Movies list”. So go buy this, like…now. Go. Fucking do it. I command you!

This was my odd and meh review of Tombstone!

Goodbye for now!