RED: Really Excited Dork

Red Movie Poster

First image that popped up on a Google search. This is the right poster... right?

Actually, it stands for Retired, Extremely Dangerous and if this movie proves anything, it’s that they don’t make them like they used to.  I say this for two reasons.  There is the obvious one: the movie revolves around older and much more experienced agents battling it out against younger, less experienced agents.  And the less obvious one: they don’t make actors and action stars like they used to.

My friend Wayne and I stayed out late on a school night to see RED (he’s a teacher so I’m not kidding when I say that).  Partly because it’s based on a DC graphic novel of the same name, and partly because we hadn’t hung out since High School and it was an excellent reason to get together.  Plus, if he had backed out he probably knows that I wouldn’t have taken “no” for an answer 😉  So thanks for seeing it with me Wayne!

On to movie reviewing…

The Good Guys: (I type this with a smirk on my face since all anyone in the movie does is kill people)

Bruce Willis is in fine form in his patented role as a professional badass playing cat and mouse with the people who done him wrong.  I’m pretty sure it’s a character type that was invented for him.

Morgan Freeman has cancer again (ie The Bucket List) and is excited to get in one last hurrah.  I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to NOT like Morgan Freeman.  He’s freakin’ awesome.  This might just be my favorite role that John Malkovich has ever played.  If he hadn’t been surrounded by a bevy of equally talented performers he probably would have stolen the show…inside of a pink pig stuffed animal.

I love Brian Cox.  He was in X-Men.  That is reason enough.  In this movie he plays a ruskie convincingly.  I prefer him with his beard and he does not disappoint here.  The casting directors displayed a flash of brilliance when they brought in Mary-Louise Parker to play Bruce’s love interest.  I am absolutely convinced that no one else could have played this role.  She holds her own against the masters and displays some of the best comedic timing in the movie.  See kids?  Weed is a good thing.  Just kidding.  Don’t tell your parents I said that.

thumb160x_mirren-swimsuit

Even I think this is hot.

The piece de resistance (and a HUGE reason why I went to see this movie) is Helen Mirren.  I think people forget that she’s played many a badass lady and focus on the fact that she’s older and British and must therefore be prim and proper.  Bullshit.  Granted, she arranges flowers and makes tea and crumpets, but the site of seeing her fire a semi-automatic while wearing a white ball gown will forever endear her to me.

The Bad Guys

Karl Urban has done an excellent job of ingraining himself in the nerd lexicon.  From Lord of the Rings to Pathfinder to Star Trek, he seems to choose his projects based on how many conventions he can rely on as an older, washed up actor.  Smart man.  He’s the only “bad guy” you really care about.  He starts off a cold and calculated drone of the system but his wits kick in and it becomes clear that he really just wants to do what’s right (side note: in my humble opinion, KU would have made an excellent Thor. Chris Hemsworth…aka Kirk’s ill-fated daddy…better step up).

Rebecca Pidgeon (who?) plays KU’s boss.  She’s about as expressive as a brick wall but can work a power suit better than most.  She twists KU’s balls in a bunch while pretending she’s a fellow, if slightly-higher-up drone.

Karl Urban in Pathfinder

And for the ladies...

Here it is, my 2nd movie review ever on HNG, and I’m writing about Richard Dreyfuss again.  God bless the second wind, it has served him well.  Richard Dreyfuss is the baddest of the bad and he REALLY wants you to know it.  In fact, he helpfully reminds you of it in every one of his scenes.  I can see why someone would get annoyed by that.  Personally, I thought it was pretty funny.  The rest of the baddies are nameless and forgettable with the exception of an explosive redhead.  Faceless as they may be, they play their parts with gusto.

I was expecting the action and I was not disappointed (you’ve probably already seen my favorite shot in the trailers, the part where Bruce exits his stolen cop car mid-spin while firing his pistol).

However; what pleasantly surprised me was the humor and the gratuitous violence.  We’ve already established that I am a big fan of both.  The only time I wasn’t laughing was during the dramatic climax…a part I’m assuming was not intended to be laughed at.  There were a few intended chuckles but I kind of missed the humor I’d become accustomed to during that part.  In their defense, I’m not sure that it could have been incorporated properly without making it cheese-tastic ala Zoolander.  I was also delighted at the body count and the manner in which they were dispatched.  Who knew a bullet fired at an RPG would do that??  The RPG itself was a bit superfluous, but you won’t see me complaining about it.

All in all, well worth the $13 ticket price.  Heck, I would even see it again in the theatre.

Riotous.  Electrifying.  Delightful.

4 out of 5 SCI-FIVES!

Four of Five Sci-Fives

My Top 10 Campy Horror Films

In honor of Halloween, or Samhain, or however you choose to refer to it, here is my list of the most awesomely cheese-stastic and hi-larious horror flicks of all time.

10. Anything based on a Stephen King novel

Stephen King

"That's right. I'm seducing you.... with my EYES!"

From Carrie to The Mist I counted 82 (!!!) film adaptations of Mr. King’s work.  That’s no small shit.  Some of them are the best horror films of all time like Misery and The Shining.  Some are cheese-tastic wonderlands like It and Pet Cemetery.  They’re all pretty freaking scary.  Mr. King gets on the list, if for nothing else, than for the sheer volume of work based on his novels.

9. Tales of the Crypt: Bordello of Blood

A vampire brothel being run out of a funeral home.  Corey Feldman finally getting his turn at vampire glory.  Dennis Miller running a private detective business out of a porn theatre.  Angie Everhart as the mother of all vampires.  What more do you need?  Besides some sunblock that is.

8. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Rocky Horror Picture ShowSome people will argue with me about whether or not this counts as a horror film.  It’s my list and I say it counts.  So there.  Besides, it’s got “horror” in the title.  I don’t feel that I need to explain any further.  It’s got music and dancing and sci-fi and Tim Curry in drag.  In 2005 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by non other than our own Library of freakin’ Congress and was declared “culturally and historically significant.”  How many musical horror comedy rock operas can say that, hmmm?

7. Child’s Play

Childsplay

Coincidence? I think not.

When I was a kid we had a doll that came from some family member long gone and had been passed down through the generations.  This doll was kept in a pillowcase in the far reaches of my closet because I was the girl and Lord forbid my brother have a doll in the back of his closet that no one will ever see.  I got curious one day and pulled down said doll in pillowcase.  I remember seeing the back of the head first.  That in itself was pretty creepy.  I turned the doll around and her eyeballs had fallen out of their sockets and were rolling around in the back of her head.  They suddenly stopped rolling and were staring straight at me.  Needless to say, I have never and will never look upon the face of that doll again.  Dolls are creepy.  Period

6. Gremlins

What child of the 80’s didn’t want a mogwai as a pet when they were a kid??  This movie contained enough unforeseen violence that it helped convince the Motion Picture Association of America to reform its rating system.  Drops of water, not great but manageable for a while.  Food after midnight.  Baaaad.  The main lesson gleaned from this film: never buy anything in Chinatown.

5. The Lost Boys

Oh, the horror that is teen angst.  I’m pretty sure “Santa Carla” is supposed to be Venice, CA.  Gang-ridden or not, how many coastal cities in California do you know of that would let an earthquake crumpled hotel just sit there instead of building something else on the property?  Just sayin’.  It’s a bunch of brat packers running around looking cute and causing trouble long before Stephenie Meyer ever dreamed up her saccharine covered Twilight vamps.  My favorite character is Grandpa.  I may be a vegetarian but I can appreciate some good taxidermy.  He gets the last word: “One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach…all the damn vampires.”  Grandpa’s been around the block a few times.

4. From Dusk Till Dawn

from-dusk-till-dawn

"Hey.... wanna make out?"

Personally, I love Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez (when he’s not making stupid kiddie films).  They are rather good at satisfying my desire for action, gore, and lewd comedy.  I think that sometimes people forget that George Clooney was even in this movie…what with the Cary Grant Junior image that has been built up around him…something I’m sure he finds hysterical.  Hot Mexican vampire strippers.

I’m sorry, do I need to say anything else?  Didn’t think so.

3. Drag me to Hell

Drag Me To Hell

"WHY DID YOU SCREW UP MY CAFE LATTE!!! IT'S NOT THAT HARD TO MAKE!!!"

I hear the theatrical version of this movie fell apart at the end.  Luckily I didn’t see it in the theatre and instead rented the Director’s Cut.  This is not a movie for those with weak stomachs but if you can handle your gore and an ungodly amount of disgusting fluids going into a pretty girl’s mouth, then this is the movie for you.  It stars Alison Lohman as a really sweet girl who really pisses off an old gypsy woman the first time she tries to be tough at her job.  I really hope I never piss off an old gypsy lady.  The demon, Lamia, tortures you for three days before doing exactly what the title entails.

2. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark

Elvira

And we have found cleavage even I am jealous of.

This was one of my very favorite movies as a kid.  So much so that I actually dressed up as Elvira for Halloween one year.  Talk about goth done right.  It’s hard to believe that Cassandra Peterson was 37 years old when this movie came out!  The moment that will be with me until the day I die?  When Elvira chucks her stiletto high heel and it lodges in her Great Uncle Vincent’s forehead.  Brilliant.

1. Evil Dead series

Evil DeadMy explanation for this need only go as far as the name “Bruce Campbell” but for those who haven’t seen it I will explain further.  Horror and comedy together (intentionally) is Sam Raimi’s genius.  Inspired by low-budget horror films at drive-ins and HP Lovecraft, he created an epic trilogy of awesomeness centered around Ash (Bruce Campbell) and a series of deadites created by Ex-Mortis.  Watch all three (Evil Dead, Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness) in a row and it will be the best Halloween you’ve ever had.  My favorite lines: “Honey, you got reeeeaaal ugly!” and “Good. Bad. I’m the guy with the gun.”

Groovy.