Tuesday, June 21, 2011


It is a fact. Nancy Allen always puts me in a better mood. My standbys are DRESSED TO KILL, STRANGE INVADERS, CARRIE and SWEET REVENGE, but for some reason I got a bad case of the number two's and wanted to watch ROBOCOP 2. Even though she is second billed, it seems more like a "sometimes starring" Nancy Allen, cuz she just pops up here and there. But some nights you gotta roll with it. The groundwork for the Robocop series was paved by a man driving a steamroller, ever talented and charming Paul Verhoeven and the second one is directed by Irvin Kershner of the awesome EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and the even awesome-ER,EYES OF LAURA MARS, so we know we are in good hands. What we get is a dumpy water downed version of the first film. Where the first installment is a social commentary on the state of law enforcement and violence in the media, the second one seems to take these ideas and pump up to gargantuan portions without having really any redeeming quality what so ever, but damn if it ain't a crackerjack of a film!

The movie kicks off with a slam banger, then a cut to Leeza Gibbons. As her big haired face graced the screen I vaguely remember on Entertainment Tonight there was a big buzz about her being in the movie. I think I actually thought she was the star, but she is just a TV reporter. What a stretch. In the first ten minutes we really that Robocop has to progress with in the future/present/now past landscape of Detroit. Evil drug dealers peddling their shit to kids, cult leaders of the damned, tough as nails hookers and even the fucking union. You can feel the energy building and you are just WAITING for Robocop to bust it out! Suddenly, a cop car speeds in the frame and out steps a mechanical foot and you know this set piece of knocked over trash cans and hobos is about to BLOW! Robocop does a quick scan of the area and crime are EVERYWHERE! You know this because his helmet can pick up crime vibes and flashes a message stating, "CRIME IN PROGRESS!" Good to know. Nancy Allen fresh off one of my favorite THIRDS (Poltergeist 3) pops up and is in major stealth mode. She can sneak around a black lit alley like nobody's business. Things blow up, bad guys are killed and Robocop is in a MASSIVE bad mood.

RoboCop is different now. He seems to be remembering things. We get tossed into a flashback involving a baby and some gun fire, but I wasn't really paying attention. I was snapped back into reality when they removed RoboCop's damaged helmet and we get some real PETER WELLER FACE! WHOA! It's super gross. He has some major BRAZIL face. It has been stretched and held together by nuts and bolts. AND we are only 20 minutes into the movie. I think I am in LOVE with this movie.

So remember in the first RoboCop and then later in Starship Troopers, Verhoeven gave us some great socio-political funny fake commercials? Just sprinkled in for shits and giggles? Well, Number two has them also and they ain't funny. We do get some Chase Bank realness though. It truly is how you feel treated after you leave one of their branches. Some dude with a Darth Vader voice plays a bad guy and a sexy lady, played by Belinda Bauer are out to create the ultimate killing machine, but they can't seem to get it right. The best part of the film is them trying all the proto types and then watching them fail miserably. Lab techs are shot, buildings are destroyed, but it is pretty grand entertainment.

The bad guys have tried everything to continue to commit crime without getting murdered by RoboCop, but it is hard. So, they have devised a brilliant plan! Have a kid be the drug dealer, because Robocop can't kill kids! And what a kid drug dealer he is! He is hateful, curses like a nun on the run and shoots machine guns. I just imagine this boy LOVING his job. His best scene is with Nancy Allen after she tries to bust up in the joint. He jumps her and wraps a chain around her neck and says, "LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE OUT OF BREATH BITCH!" Her face is priceless.

We get some Beth Grant Executive Realness (for realz!) trying to explain how robots have feelings. Bitch, I saw Wall-E. Don't hand me this crap. But the bad guys unleash another Robocop. This one isn't so nice and doesn't mind wiping out an entire little league baseball team. Blood and guts and all! Poor Motor City Muskrats. You do feel sorry for the kids as they are being mowed down. We get a shit storm of bullets and a fucking great Nancy Allen stunt double. Nancy climbs on things and looks over, but doesn't do the really dangerous stuff, like jumping or driving a car at normal speed. I wouldn't either! Nice Robocop shows up on a motorcycle that is screaming action figure accessory and Nancy almost punches the evil boss lady in the face! Harpo from The Color Purple shows up and the little mean kid says, "Don't be a queer!" The city is a battleground as good robocop and bad robocop battle it out and a slam bang maelstrom of high octane excitement and low octane acting. The credits roll and I was so pleased they didn't kill Nancy off!

Robocop 2 does what most sequels do. They rape the first film and try their damnest to make the sequel look and feel better, but they almost always fail to live up to the original. You can argue for days with nerds about sequels that are far superior to the originals. I agree there are some, but Robocop 2 is not one of them. While super fun and SUPER over the top (I try to get a Stallone shout out as much as possible) it just doesn't have the heart the first one had. And that is saying a lot!

I must point out that Robocop 2 taught me a very valuable lesson. When hiring a sound effects guy, always get the best. Like Travolta in BLOW-OUT, you need someone is going to go the distance. Stephen Hunter Flick I bow down to you! You did an amazing job with the sound effects. Everything that is gross, SOUNDS even grosser! YUCK! Suzanne Vega was right. Blood does make noise.

P.S. Can I just tell you how fucking bad I want the three issue ROBOCOP 2 Marvel tie-in comic book?!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Don't get fingerbanged at the Seattle Center.

I don't get Mark Wahlberg. I was a "Good Vibrations" fan, but that was about it. I wasn't attracted to his body or his charms. I was shocked by just how incredible he was in Boogie Nights and I still love to watch it, but that is where my Wahberg level ends. At last years Academy Award Ceremony he rapped with a reporter on the red carpet and kept giving the crowd a "Thumbs Up". It seemed odd and when questioned by an inquiring mind of the reporter, Wahlberg claimed that he was giving the crowd a big thumbs up for supporting him. He kept his back mostly to the screaming fans, but always flashed a thumbs up. The reporter, like most people, shrugged it off and looked for Gwyneth. That moment has stuck with me for months now and I decided to go to a BadMovieArt alumni for guidance. James Foley, the mastermind behind Who's That Girl?, Reckless, Perfect Stranger and Glengarry Glen Ross (EAT IT HATERS!). Foley had the answer I was looking for. FEAR.

If you are a long time resident of Seattle or a recent transplant, one of the many joys of FEAR (and there are lots) is getting to play "Look for your old apartment" or "Look for where you work" during the sweeping cityscape of Seattle during the opening credits. It's fun. PROMISE! The title cards cut the screen like a knife slicing meat and establishes a sense of "OH SHIT!" Look close...THE KING DOME! OLD SKOOL SEATTLE! CHEERS!

The opening scene is very sexy, as Reese Witherspoon fresh off FREEWAY, but not yet CRUEL INTENTIONS era, takes a long leisurely shower. If you are playing even the slightest attention, you realize she must be up at five in the morning to get ready for school because it seems her parents live in the Three Tree Point area, but she goes to Queen Anne High. So if you want to take a long sexy shower you got to be an early bird! She comes be-booping down the stairs in bobby socks, Mary Jane heels,a frown and an Ally McBeal skirt. Like a sexy 12 year old. With angst! It makes you feel weird. Suddenly, we are tossed hit with two MAJOR clues, so you gotta pay attention. It seems that Reese's dad can run real fast! He is pretty sexy when he runs. DILF through and through. Reese's lil' brother, Toby, learns how to use a dog whistle and their HUGE German shepard comes bounding out of Nowheresville. Reese has the worst step mom EVER! Like, seriously. She is a complete hag. I think she might be mentality disturbed or something. And the fact that she is played by Amy Brenneman doesn't really help the situation. Immediately, I thought, " Toby will save the day."

Reese and her best gal pal, played by Alyssa Milano, who is in pre-CHARMED mode so that means she will show her tits, head to Pioneer Square around 4:00 in the afternoon. They go to hang out in a bar, back in the day when teens could just walk into a bar and smoke as many cigarettes as they please. Reese spies the only gay guy there, in too baggy jeans and his UnderArmor long sleeve black tee TUCKED INTO HIS PANTS. He is playing pool and he is played by Marky Mark himself. Suddenly, he isn't gay and starts to eye Reese. They flirt, meet cute and he begins his plan to get in her pants. The great thing about this scene is the spot on 90's Seattle fashion. It was all the things that I dreamed people were wearing in Seattle before I moved here. Very "Smells Like Teen Spirit". He invites them to a RAVE down on the docks by Occidential where heavies carry Uzis! Lots of fetish POWER STATION/PANACHA realness and OMG! boys kissing! It's CRAZY!

After Sexy Dad and Mean Stepmother rake Reese across the coals because she broke her curfew, they demand to meet this Marky Mark character. He is charming and all smiles, but at the house we first see the tell tale signs that all is not well in the mind of the leader of the Funky Bunch. After a lecture about the curfew, he sets a clock back a hour. Just one clock. But I am guessing it is the family's go to clock. Then, he yells at Reese, "GET ME A COKE!" The entire family gives him the stink eye and it is one of my favorite product placements to be used in a movie.

So, it is off to the Seattle Center Fun Fair for a little toot off the peace pipe and an unforgettable roller coaster ride. As The Sundays cover of "Wild Horses" play, Reese gets finger banged by Walhberg, all while navigating all the twist and turns of the roller coaster. Once my friend had his birthday party at the SCFF and first off, the roller coaster depicted in FEAR in nothing like the actually roller coaster and the birthday boy REFUSED to let me sing "Wild Horses" and finger bang him. It was worth a shot though. Reese is so in love with him after getting finger banged that she gives him the security code to her house (CLUE!!) and the parents announce that they are going to go away for the weekend, leaving Reese and lil' bro, Toby all alone. Walhberg visits and has some sexy time with Reese, but then beat her best gay to a bloody pulp. This is the moment when anyone would break up with him and tell your parents. What does Reese do? Well, she cries and tries to figure out why Marky Mark would beat her best gay to almost death and then stupid Mean Stepmom SIDES WITH MARKY MARK!!! WHAT THE FUCK?! He ain't that cute. They allow him back to their house and have a pool party even though for most of the movie you can see their breath whenever they are outside. But as Mean Step mom emerges from the pool to greet Sexy Dad, she explains, "Don't you just love an Indian Summer". Honey, its November.

Reese goes to meet him at a party in what seems to be Puyallup. Don't ever go to a party in Puyallup. Trust me. She sees Alyssa smoking crack and then getting raped by Marky Mark. So what does she do? She doesn't tell her parents!!! But she eats a lot of chocolate. Alyssa has a freak out when Reese confronts and screams, "You're my only friend!" and turns out a killer performance, but totally sets the scene up for her to be Reese's dead best friend. Marky Mark is busy working on a homemade tattoo across his chest that reads REESE 4 EVA. Reese's best gay is up and walking around so he decides to take a shortcut home through the woods and gets beat to death. FEAR! Marky Mark goes bat shit for REALZ and the big finale involves all the clues you have been collecting through the movie, plus Reese's hair goes from wet to dry to wet to dry and back again and of course, Toby has to save the day, because he is the only with any good sense. His escape and plan to stop Marky Mark is brilliant and IT WORKS!

The movie feels like a slightly dirtier version of a Made for TV movie and in that sense that a bunch of exciting stuff happens in the first twenty minutes, then it levels out into kinda boring, then has a BIG chase scene. Reese went on to become an A list Hollywood celeb and snatched herself an Oscar for playing June Carter and Marky Mark just went on to be Marky Mark. The oddest thing about FEAR is that the highly sought after soundtrack was never released. It is the stuff of motion picture soundtrack legend now. To this day, people still get pissed when you mention FEAR and the non existence of its soundtrack. As far as teen sexy thriller goes, it is pretty much standard, but as far as teen sexy thrillers set and filmed around Vancouver B.C. and Seattle is the BEST!