The Last Stand

Awww yeahh.
"Retirement Is for Sissies."

Hello again, and strap in for more Tagline action, where the Governator takes it to the streets to stop a small town on the Mexico/US border from being torn up as a drug lord attempts to escape across the border in a souped up race car. That's right, today I'll be talking about The Last Stand, a 2013 action movie starring Arnold Shwarzenegger as a small town sheriff and his deputies trying to keep a super fast corvette driven by a druglord from shooting through town and over the border. I had missed this movie when it was released in theaters earlier this year, but I discovered on Sunday that it's been on Netflix for a while, so I decided to give it a watch, figuring that at the very least I would get to watch some stuff get blown up or a car chase. The movie did not disappoint in either respect. One does have to wonder why Johnny Knoxville was billed over Forest Whitaker on the movie poster, but I guess that's just one of life's great mysteries. What is not mysterious is that clearly to help keep the budget trim there were some deals made with Chevy, because basically every vehicle to appear in this film is a flipping Chevy. WHICH I'M FINE WITH I just wanted to mention that, because y'know like a rock or whatever.


RoboCop (2014)

If you think he looks like Judge Dredd
now, just wait until he starts shooting.
"Crime has a new enemy."

And by new here of course we mean torn from an 80s movie. Hello everyone welcome back, this week I'm going to start off by talking about the recently released reboot of RoboCop, the story of a Detroit cop in 2024 named Alex Murphy (Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman), who gets blown up in the line of duty and is brought back as RoboCop, because literally all they manage to save out of this guy are his heart, lungs, most of his head, and one of his hands. It was a pretty good sized explosion suffice to say. The purpose of his reconstruction is of course far from altruistic, and part of a gambit on the part of Omnicorp CEO Raymond Sellars (Michael Keaton, playing a wealthy person who is not Batman this time) to repeal an act keeping him from selling humanoid robot peacekeepers as law enforcers in the US. The movie treats us to a brutal look at how efficient the Omnicorp drones are at killing people in foreign countries, which I'm sure is not alien to anyone who keeps even remote track of real things happening in the world right now. With air drones blowing up targets with impunity right now in contested areas, it isn't too difficult to imagine what sorts of killer mechs we'll have cooked up in ten years. Will they better at killing people than other people? I don't know, but I'm sure they'll be at least okay at it. That's besides the point though, let's get back to RoboCop.


Insidious 2

Baby kidnap GO!
"It Will Take What You Love Most."

Good morrow to you my fair friends! It's that time again! Today's Tagline comes from the horror quadrant. Today we'll be talking about Insidious: Chapter 2, the sequel to the 2011 film Insidious (see my thoughts on it and some other films I enjoyed here). Released this past September, Insidious: Chapter 2 picks up immediately after the end of the first movie, when Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson, see him also here in The Conjuring) had to cross over (with John Edward) to retrieve his astrally projecting son. Unfortunately something followed him back, and murdered his friend and super badass medium Elise (who has a lot of juice in the supernatural department). Things have calmed down since, except for perhaps the ongoing investigation around Elise's death. That being said, it doesn't take long for weird shit to start happening in the house the Lamberts are now occupying (the house Josh grew up in, which is spectacularly creepy looking). You know the kind of stuff, pianos playing themselves, stuff getting knocked over. Just the regular routine. His wife Renai (Rose Byrne here she is as a crazy person) starts to notice something is up as well (given that all the poltergeist shit is happening mostly to her) and decides to seek help.



Arnold defies heat sensors.
"Nothing like it has ever been on earth before."

Hello everyone, it's time for a fresh round of Tagline, this time with a look into the fabled days of 1987, when people hadn't even imagined a movie as stupid as The Happening. Today I'm going to talk about the thrill of hunting men in the jungle for sport, and the pleasure one can derive from skinning people alive and hanging them from trees. That's right, today I will be talking about Predator! Released in 1987, Predator follows a team of elite commandos as they conduct a dangerous mission into the depths of the Central American jungle, ostensibly on a search and rescue mission. After completing their objectives, this team of heavy hitters find themselves being stalked by an alien warrior, who is seemingly hunting them for sport. By seemingly I mean he is 100% hunting them for sport, because that is his thing, it's apparently the thing his whole RACE does to pass the time. Why a space faring species would feel compelled to do that I couldn't guess, but maybe they just have a lot of spare time on their hands and decided that murder was a valid outlet for their ennui WHO KNOWS. Despite the considerable prowess of the commandos, they are swiftly killed by this alien hunter, who among other advantages possesses active camouflage that makes him more or less completely invisible. As you might imagine, this makes it challenging to hit him with something like a gun. Or to even be aiming in the right direction. 


Starship Troopers

"A new kind of enemy. A new kind of war."

Hello everyone, it's another fine day! Today I'm going to talk about the film adaptation of Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers, a very peculiar film directed by the smarmy Paul Verhoeven, a Dutch director who is known among other things, for being the first person to ever accept a Razzy in person. He is best known for being the director of Total Recall, and also Robocop. I'm not here to talk about those movies though. Instead let's talk about Starship Troopers, a movie about Jonny Rico, a young man from Buenos Aires who is inexplicably white, just like all of his friends and classmates. He lives in a future society where citizenship is earned only through civil service to the federation. Because Rico is as dumb as a sack of hammers, he decides to join the mobile infantry, which is presently not a super awesome prospect, because the federation is embroiled in a battle with the insectoid arachnid race (I'm not dumb, they're really bug-like but for some reason they call them Arachnids). These things are... really big, and like to tear people into bloody pieces, so you could imagine how being the guys landing on foot to face them down might not be the best career choice. Rico finds himself in the mobile infantry, even as he is estranged from his high school sweetheart, who is Denise Richards, a math genius who is in training for flight school (to pilot spaceships, because she's so smart OBVIOUSLY). In the process, lots of people get brutally killed and their guts explode all of the place.


Norwegian Wood

I think Japanese Wood is a more accurate name. For his boner.
"All that remains now is nostalgia."

Hello everyone, welcome to a new week full of spectacular cinema achievements, and also weird sex things. Okay if I'm being honest mostly weird sex things today, but that is absolutely NOT my fault! If you want to blame someone, blame Haruki Murakami, after all this was his doing! Today I'm going to talk about Norwegian Wood, a Japanese film based on a Murakami novel of the same name. This novel focuses on Toru Watanabe, a college-aged young man growing up in the 60s in Japan, and his relationships with the people around him, particularly two ladies, his troubled childhood friend Naoko, and a girl he meets named Midori. Naoko is portrayed by Rinko Kikuchi, who you probably saw in Pacific Rim as Mako. Here she plays an actual honest to god crazy person, and does a... very convincing job. She kind of alternates between calm quiet crazy and shrieking hysterical, so that is a fun experience. The movie specifically follows Toru as he makes his way in a listless daze through his life, attempting to figure out up from down and doing a kind of pisspoor job of it. A little bit more background on that though.


The Wicker Man (1973)

Is he... making the touchdown sign?
"Flesh to touch...Flesh to burn! Don't keep the Wicker Man waiting!"

Too true wicker man, too true! Welcome to the Thursday/Wednesday night if you really want it edition of the Tagline! As promised, today we're taking a wacky trip back to the early 70s, to experience this cult classic, considered by many to be the best movie of 1973. Not having seen many other movies that were released in 1973, I can't be sure if that is saying much or not. Maybe 1973 was a great year for movies let's see... okay there's no way The Wicker Man was the best movie of '73, it apparently WAS a pretty good year, and if nothing else The Exorcist came out in '73 and that was a much better horror movie. I'm getting sidetracked though so BACK TO THE TOPIC AT HAND which is The Wicker Man, a 1973 film often categorized as "Folk Horror" which was sort of a thing for a little while and then it really wasn't anymore. Starring television actor Edward Woodward as British police cop Neil Howie, The Wicker Man follows his journey to the Hebridean island of Summerisle after the reported disappearance of a young girl. What he discovers on the island is a community wary of outsiders, and devoted to pagan, Celtic practices, all the while attempting to divert his investigation, and claiming the girl, Rowan, never existed at all. Despite what a sane person who enjoyed living might choose to do, Sergeant Howie doggedly pursues the case, and his belligerent means of doing so ends pretty much how you would expect, except okay maybe you wouldn't predict he gets burned alive in a giant wicker man (spoiler alert).



Musclesandbald Man.
"Rule the Dark"

Hello everyone, welcome back to my humble corner of the internet, where it's all movies all the time, except when it's awkward personal stories that tie into movie watching, though I guess it's still KIND of about movies. Anyway, today I will not be regaling you with weird sad stories about how I once ran across my college campus in the dark and fell into a pond and then had to go back to my room so no one would know. This isn't about that, it's about Riddick, the much anticipated by someone I'm sure sequel to The Chronicles of Riddick, which was the not anticipated sequel sort of to Pitch Black, a movie about people being killed by monsters on a planet that gets dark. One has to wonder when watching these movies why anyone would want to go to any of these awful planets, but I guess if we only had people on safe planets there wouldn't be much to watch in the way of movies. Anyway, Riddick takes place directly after the events at the end of The Chronicles of Riddick, and if you hadn't guessed from his name appearing all over the titles of both of those movies, this movie is fucking about Riddick okay. If you haven't figured that out yet I must assume you cannot actually read, but you're welcome to keep looking at the pictures I guess. Anyway Riddick (portrayed by the stoically bald Vin Diesel) has become king of the Necromongers who are like really bad murderer guys I guess, I'll be honest I only half paid attention to The Chronicles of Riddick. Being the rebel he is though, Riddick gives two fucks about these clowns, and so decides to look for his home planet Furya, which the Necromongers had thoughtfully blown up when Riddick was a baby, specifically BECAUSE of him (a prophecy said he'd kill the Necroboss). Huge dicks that they are, the Necrodouches double cross Riddick, and leave him for dead on some nowhere planet, probably because Keith Urban didn't really want to be in the movie all that much. His loss I guess.

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