Movie Review: Reeker

Alternate Title:  Death is a stinky robot, or something…

A bunch of college kids, at an isolated location, are picked off one by one, by an unseen monster…  Yep, that’s never been done before.  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0393635/

Actually, Reeker does do something rather original.  I can’t say what it is, because that will ruin the ending.  And it has Michael Ironsides!

Overall, this movie was above average as far as acting, as everyone did a pretty good job.  The setting was cool.  The idea had some merit.  I wish that they had sped it up a little bit, as there was a lot of time spent with nothing really happening, except for the relatively uninteresting character’s talking to each other. 

Worth renting for B-movie geeks. 

Movie Review: Soul’s Midnight

Alternate title:  Armand Assante owed somebody money.

 

Every now and then, somehow, a real actor ends up in a B-Movie.  I’m looking at you, F. Murray Abraham in Blood Monkey.  But this time we’ve got Armand Assante slumming it as a vampire/hotel owner/cult leader in Soul’s Midnight http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0493456/  

 

It was semi-proficient, and some of the acting was decent, but I just couldn’t get excited at all.  It was relatively incoherent, and paced pretty slow.  I have a hard time rooting for a hero, who gets 90% of the way to cheating on his pregnant wife, with a vampire stripper, in a meat locker, and no, that scene isn’t even as interesting as I just made it sound. 

 

The vampires have to sacrifice a baby descended from St. George to bring back their leader, who I think was supposed to have been the dragon, but is a guy in a big rubber vampire suit, who punks out and dies from a single stab wound.  I’m sorry, if you’re the bad ass 2nd coming of evil incarnate, you really should be a bit tougher than that. 

 

Overall, eh… rent it if you’re really bored. 

Movie Review: Rambo IV

RAMBO!  Oh yeah.  Check your brain at the door, and have a good time. 

 

I caught Rambo IV the other night.  Two big thumbs up on this one.  Now obviously, you’ve probably read some reviews by actual film critics that made fun of the plot, the acting, the pace, the violence, or its deeper meaning, or whatever kind of tripe film critics who’ve never actually done anything in their lives come up with to bitch about, and these reviews have been negative. 

 

That’s because these critics don’t understand the beauty of Rambo!  You don’t watch a Rambo moving looking for things like plot.  You watch Rambo in order to see bad guys get killed.  A lot.  So on that score, I had a great time with this one. 

 

There was a plot though.  A bunch of Christian missionary peaceniks go into war-torn Burma to try and help the villagers.  A semi-retired Rambo slips them in, where they promptly get kidnapped in a massive villager massacre.  So Rambo and some mercs go back in to rescue them.  See, told you there was a plot.

 

One note though, why is it that Christian missionaries are always portrayed as total wimps, totally out of touch with how reality works? Heck, I was a missionary for two years.  If Rambo had told me, don’t go there, because the army will rape you to death, I would have listened!   I laughed out loud at the line when Rambo asked them if they were bringing weapons, and they said of course not, and Rambo replied with “Then you’ll change nothing.”  But then again, I’m a missionary turned gun-runner, so I might be biased. 

 

The violence was actually pretty shocking.  The bad guys burn a village, and they’re doing things like bayoneting children and tossing babies into burning huts.  When people step on a landmine in this flick, they don’t do the stuntman windmill flip over the propane explosion, rather there’s a blast, and a bunch of limbs and a five gallon bucket full of blood fly into the air.  I was down with the massacre though, because as I watched it, I knew that in Rambo movies, there is always a proportional relationship wherein Evil of Bad Guys < Ass Kicking Bad Guys Get At End. 

 

The mercs were a fun bunch of stereotypes.  They were handy, because Rambo’s in his sixties, he can’t kill the entire Burmese army by himself, maybe 80% of them, tops.  As a gun guy, I was excited to see a Sig 551 and a tricked out FAL (because magazine compatibility is for chumps) but then they promptly lost those guns, and the final fight was just with standard AKs.  I did get a kick out of the 150 pound sniper dude carrying around a Barrett M82 for the whole movie.  I have an M82 in my shop.  Come by and pick it up sometime, and then tell me exactly how this guy was sprinting through the forest with it for hours.   Then when the camera goes to a close up, the sniper is grimacing as he tries to lift it over a branch.  Rubber gun… Real gun… movie magic. 

 

Then the ass kicking commences, and Rambo just goes hog wild.  I will admit, even though I knew it wasn’t realistic at all, and heck, I teach about wound ballistics, but remember I checked my brain at the door, watching all those Burmese explode really made me want to get myself a .50 BMG. 

 

At the very end, head Christian missionary guy takes out a soldier with a rock, prompting the question, What Would Jesus Do?  Apparently brain that guy with a rock is what!  I just get tired of the morally conflicted, wussy Christian movie stereotype.  Looking back at world history, Christians don’t seem to have much of a problem when it comes to stepping up to the plate and whacking somebody, going back at least to that whole Crusade thing. 

 

Overall?  Rambo rocked. 

Personal Update

I haven’t posted anything for a couple of weeks.  Opening the new store has been a ton of work, and any online time I’ve had has been mostly devoted to responding to CZ quotes.  But starting this week, I’m actually going to start having a day off every week.

 

Now this may not sound like much to a lot of you, but small businessmen will all be nodding their heads.  I’m actually going to have a day off.  Every week.  Crazy?  Yes, I know. 

 

The new shop is doing really well, and we’re really excited.  We’ve been super busy and have been moving through a lot of guns.  Opening a new shop is honestly very similar to starting in the first place, luckily this time around I’ve got a great crew of Minions, and a loyal customer base.  So this opening has been a lot nicer than the first one. 

 

MHI continues to do well, as far as I can tell from Amazon’s totally indecipherable best seller stats.  My book is starting to make the rounds, and word of mouth is no longer confining it to just gun nuts in my little corner of the internet.  I’m starting to get lots of e-mails from spouses and friends of the people who initially ordered Monster Hunter, and so far, nobody has really hurt my self-esteem.

 

It really is cool to get feedback from people who weren’t even in my target audience.  One review starts out, with something like, “as a senior-citizen, female, who doesn’t like horror, science-fiction, or fantasy, I just have to say that Monster Hunter International is the best book ever.”

 

Seriously, I’ve been shocked at the feedback I’ve been getting.  The worst public review I’ve gotten so far has been 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, and that was from a friend of mine, who still enjoyed it, but saves 5 stars for things like Moby Dick and the Bible.  So apparently I can coherently string words together into some sort of story.  Sweet. 

 

I took last Saturday off, and my wife and I had SUPER DATE 2008.  I surprised her with a day full of fun activities, reservations for a nice dinner, a professional massage (from an actual Scandinavian even!), and other assorted things that remind the women in our lives why they bothered to marry us workaholic types in the first place, capped off by a nights stay in a 4 star hotel suite.  (Special props to Echo Tango for the hook up on that one).  It had been so long since I had taken the time to actually plan a date, it was remarkably nice.

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