Random Film of The Week: Starship Troopers

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“This soldier threw a knife that from twenty feet away that somehow landed in his own hand. That’s a damn PASSING GRADE for sheer ingenuity!”

starship_troopers_ver2Someone call up Guinness, please, because I can very likely tell you of the world’s shortest class trip that doesn’t involve anything dangerous happening. Back in 1997, I went to see Starship Troopers on its release day, opting not to take the subway to what I thought would be a crowded city theater, but supporting a local theater here in the Bronx. I got my ticket early for the first showing at the formerly wonderful Loews American, sadly, now a Marshall’s (Boooo, but at least they kept the beautiful ’40’s era statues on the rear of the theater intact), and waited for the film to begin.

I noticed as the lights dimmed that there were two rows of seats on the right side that were empty, but there was one guy who looked like he was from the theater waiting for someone, as he kept looking back as the exit from a seat behind the empty rows. I recall shrugging, then getting glued to the screen as the film began. The theater wasn’t quite full, but those rows stood out. The movie started and during the boot camp scenes, a group of kids guided by two teachers and and an aide marched into the theater, and took their seats. Those kids were I’m guessing, based on height and dress, were about nine or ten years old.

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Some kids are scarred for life and they never even saw a an alien bug rip someone in half.

As soon as the co-ed shower scene kicked in about two minutes later, yep, those kids were rather rapidly lined up and shuffled out so fast that it was like a Benny Hill sketch, Yakety Sax and all. Some in the audience let smattering applause and few quick and mean comments were tossed at the exiting teachers who thought this was a good idea before we all went back to concentrating on the screen. I shook my head because I guessed that somewhere a few weeks or months earlier, some adult in that school likely saw an ad or trailer this was coming out, decided they wanted to take those kids along because “Pew-Pew, it’s gonna be like Star Wars!”, never read any Robert Heinlein, went and got the trip approved, getting clueless parents to sign permission slips that allowed their kids entry to an R-rated film.

This trailer, by the way, is excellent… but misses a few important points (and how!):

WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE?

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Terminator 2: Judgment Day “Dressing For Success”: Writers, Here’s How To Introduce Your Hero (#4 Of A Bunch)…

(thanks, cromptonog1!) 

This intro made and STILL makes me laugh a lot for a few reasons, chiefly the fact that James Cameron cheated himself a chance to make this a LOT funnier. How so? Well, he shortcuts Arnold into landing just EXACTLY where he needed to in order to deck himself out with spiffy leather togs (which is a great thing, don’t get me wrong). But ask yourself, folks… what would have happened if that formerly killer now nice-guy Terminator landed near a senior citizen’s home, a golf course, prison, or some other place where finding awesome clothing and a handy hot hog would have been next to impossible? That would have made for a definitely more amusing opening for sure, although yes, NO way as classic as this one is. Of course, if someone ever shows this post to Cameron, I’d bet I’m in for an earful and I’d sit there and take it, too. I think he’s got enough of a sense of humor to realize I’m just kidding around (heh).

And NO, kids… I didn’t forget Sarah Connor’s equally awesome introduction at all. I wanted to do her first, but couldn’t find a suitable clip on YouTube to use in the time I have today. I’ll get to her (and yes, other heroic ladies) as part of this series soon enough as I’d planned out to include ladies here from the get-go.

Random Film of the Week: Legends of the Fall

Legends_of_the_Fall_MPI may be a hopeless romantic (okay, okay … only sometimes!) but even I’m not a sucker for the big budget blockbuster romance film. Still, I sit through a few when I have the time to kill or get trapped and its the only damn thing to look at that won’t get me in trouble. Edward Zwick’s great-looking Legends of the Fall made me laugh out loud many times when I first saw it on a long airplane flight and it still makes me laugh today.

I laugh more now because I believe the airplane cut was a tiny bit shorter than the theatrical version, but back on that trip, I laughed louder because I’d fallen asleep during the screening and woke up a few hours later only to find the film replaying again almost exactly from the same spot as if it were waiting for me like a long lost love. Burning up the screen with more testosterone and scenery chewing from about everyone in the cast, this is one of those films that may have led to a few breakups among couples where one dragged the other to see this expensive pot-boiled turkey and the aftermath was about as wild as the fast-motion/freeze frame bear fight that pops up near the ending.

Yeah, you read that correctly. Read on for more… Continue reading