For this Thanksgiving holiday, while most of you are thinking about your bellies and eating all the food you can eat today, it is also still considered throwback Thursday. I have been behind schedule posting a weekly entry to my Throwback Thursday movie edition project. Today I am playing catch up by watching some older movies to fulfill my day along with the food. For today, I wanted to watch movies that were a little upbeat and fun and to make sure I am on par with this project, below are the movies I decided to watch for J, K, and L.
Judge Dredd (1995)
I honestly don’t remember much from this movie that I think back on the film. What always stands out is the scene where Rob Schneider imitates the infamous judge using the phrase “I am the law” in the best Sylvester Stallone voice he can. That scene always made me laugh. I don’t know if that is a good thing as I re-watch this movie. It must not have been very good when I watched it all those years ago. I was 14 when the movie was released. I am sure back than, anything resembling superheroes or masked crusaders was on my list to watch. Let’s see if the movie aged well over the years.
So the movie had a great start. The film opened up to a prologue over the screen. That was the thing to do back in the day. The narration was voiced by actor James Earl Jones. Now, depending which decade you grew up in, you either pictured Darth Vader reading this monologue or Mufasa. I of course pictured Darth Vader but that’s just me. As an adaptation from a comic book character, The film takes place in a dystopian world in 2037 where law has gotten so out of control specific officers were given the power to become judge, jury, and executioner while on patrol as a street cop. The one everyone feared was Judge Dredd (Sylvester Stallone) who lives by the law. He is framed for a murder he didn’t commit and must fight to clear his name under the same law he lives by everyday.
I can see why looking at this movie back then seemed ahead of its time. In the 90’s we thought the year 2000 would have flying cars, tons of gadgets, robots, futuristic wardrobe etc. So the atmosphere had a sci fi vibe to it. I couldn’t help but think that the city the movie took place in looked a lot like the world from Super Mario Bros. The wardrobe looked like one big costume party with their colorful armor and uniforms. The average civilian looked heavy metal or goth. Back than that was a sign of people who liked to commit crime and violence. It was great to see players like Diane Lane, Balthazar Getty who is not as recognizable, and Max Von Sydow in their early years. Their over the top antics and one liners definitely fit the tone of the movie with the soundtrack to match any comic book adventure. I’d say it was great use of make up too mixing machine and human.
On a holiday like this or maybe on a sick day this would be a good movie to put in the background and watch for fun. Otherwise, not really a reason to revisit this movie unless Judge Dredd was one of your favorite comics back then. The movie wasn’t boring to watch but seemed pretty simple. All the elements of a hero vs. villain movie were there. There were a few moments that received a chuckle or two. Should you get in the mood to watch this kind of film, I recommend watching the remake version Dredd that was released in 2012 with Karl Urban. Not many received that movie to be great but ill tell you its an upgrade from the original. I’d say that is a perfect example to attempt a different approach to original work.
3 out of 5
Kindergarten Cop (1990)
Those original ideas you see every now and then is take an actor or actress known for a specific type of role and take them out of their element and have them try a different genre. An example of such an idea Robert De Niro known for being the tough guy in films was ripped out and plopped right in the lead of a comedy called Analyze This. Arnold Schwarzenegger went through the same transition in the 90’s with Kindergarten Cop. To find a criminal on the loose, Detective John Kimble must go undercover as a teacher to get close to the son of said criminal and the results are hilarious from what I can remember. Haven’t seen this film in a long time, I wanted to revisit and see if the movie can still make me laugh.
Twins, Junior, True Lies, all had tons of comedy and a lighter side to his acting. Still Kindergarten Cop still has a great impact on audiences. This movie over the years developed some of the best lines which were used in lyrics to songs, memes for every occasion, impersonations of Schwarzenegger always used lines from this film, and even in pre-recorded voice over for prank calls. Ivan Reitman knew what he was doing when he directed this film. Tied with the relationship working with Arnold S., they make a great team. This movie also has a great supporting cast. Everyone held their own in the roles they were suppose to play, especially the kids he worked with for most of the film. Standout performance from Linda Hunt who plays the principal. I’m telling you if they ever make a full length live action film of The Incredibles, she is a dead ringer for the superhero fashion guru/inventor Edna “No Capes” E Mode. This movie is still good to watch after 26 years and I’m still laughing at it as if I watched it for the very first time. It is a perfect blend of family comedy and action/suspense for a PG-13 rated movie. Also, I want you to pay attention to the flight attendant on the flight they are on. I believe you will recognize her.
5 out of 5
Leon: The Professional (1994)
What I remember from this movie is that it was a long journey. Not in a bad way but I can remember noticing in the theatre that this movie was longer than most average movies I would go to. I also recall this being a great action movie with a good balance of humor. I was impressed with the assassin like skills of the lead and from beginning to end I was glued to the screen watching a friendship and bond come together from two unlikely characters. I can’t remember the last time I actually sat down and watched this movie. No better day like now.
Luc Besson who also directed a great action movie The Fifth Element did an amazing job. Exactly how I remembered it. Great character development, awesome editing and filming, some of these shots were just perfect. Mind blowing action and choreography really sets this apart from most films. The score by Eric Serra is phenomenal with an ending credit song “Shape of My Heart” by Sting which is one of my favorite songs till this day. Jean Reno is superb in this film. This is the first I’ve seen Reno on film and man did he set the bar high with this one. Gary Oldman, who he is well known now as Commissioner Gordon from Nolan’s Dark Knight series. He use to be quiet the villain back in the day. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Air Force One, also Fifth Element. He is the best as a dirty cop and the big nemesis of the film. You don’t see a lot of action films like this anymore. Especially one that has such a heavy and beautiful coming of age story along with drama. Trying to explain the plot will not do the movie justice. Just watch the trailer below.
Natalie Portman’s first role was in this movie and she knocked it out of the park with her tough exterior and determination to keep up with some veteran actors. She did this movie when she was 13 and she handled a cigarette like a pro. I definitely recommend that you see this movie. Almost 22 yrs later, you could release this movie today and it will still clean up in the box office and seem current. Take note that this movie is pretty violent so if guys getting shot up and the site of people using drugs doesn’t do you it for you, this movie is a hard pass. Otherwise, check this movie out. Nowadays you see action films it’s almost like watching a contest of who can make the biggest explosion. That strategy works sometimes but there is something to be said when you see a movie almost poetic like take you through a story that will have you by the end of it.
5 out of 5
So I am caught up and next Thursday will be another film I revisit and review. Of course I would like to hear what you think of these films. If you have seen these, what do you remember about the films. Let me know what you think of them if you have never seen them before. I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving holiday moviegeeks.