Under Siege

Under Siege. Alcor Films 1992

Before watching the movie:

Though the log line is essentially “Die Hard on a battleship”, the Navy setting somehow gets me thinking more of Jack Ryan. Thanks to the movies, I think of Jack Ryan as a civilian CIA bureaucrat, but a moment’s research turned up that he’s ex-Marine. So maybe Seagal’s character here is closer to Jack Ryan than I thought, but I was more interested on my initial discovery that Seagal is serving as a cook than when I found out he’s an ex-SEAL. It takes away from the appeal of an underdog for me the more prepared that underdog is for the challenge they face in the movie.

The fact that the terrorists are led by a disgruntled CIA operative intrigues me. Most 90s bad guys are generic terrorists, but they’re usually Eastern European, maybe with a specific ex-Soviet flavor. The head terrorist being rogue CIA opens up a possibility of critiquing American policies rather than just wrapping the good guys in the Stars and Stripes and painting the bad guys as whatever the top enemy of the US government is at the time. Though since this probably required extensive cooperation with the US Department of Defense in order to be able to use the battleship setting, I doubt it would be all that forward thinking.

Continue reading

Space Cowboys

Space Cowboys. Malpaso/Mad Chance. 2000.

Before watching the movie:

What happens when a bunch of engineers who became ranchers or something I guess go into space to fix a satellite only they can fix? This movie, apparently.

I get the conceit that these engineers are being called out of retirement to fix space-based equipment that was designed on standards nobody learns anymore, and it takes less time to train the experts to be astronauts than to train the astronauts to be experts for the same reason as Armageddon, Because that’s how you get a movie.

Continue reading

Small Soldiers

Small Soldiers. Dreamworks 1998.
Small Soldiers. Dreamworks Pictures 1998.

Before watching the movie:

So. Toys come to life. War toys are violent. This sounds familiar. But it has a cult following, it’s been praised for its writing, it has some familiar names I like, and I’m in the mood for a violent comedy right now.

The marketing is entirely focused on the living toys, so I actually have no idea what the overall aesthetic of the movie is. I really want it to be stop-motion style toys in a live-action environment, but I expect I will be disappointed. For one thing, I want them to be in 12 frames per second, but that would clash with the live action as stupidly as the ED-209 did in RoboCop.

Continue reading

The Fugitive

The Fugitive. Warner Bros. 1993.

Before Watching the Movie:

A movie based on a television series based on a landmark murder trial. To add to the complexity, this film inspired a prequel, and probably had more to do with the remake series than the first tv show did.

In this movie, Harrison Ford runs. Also he proves his own innocence, because nobody else can, apparently. But anything can sound dull if condensed to its base points. I expect an enjoyable thriller.

Continue reading