Hard Target (1993)

Great Movie Re-Watch

Hard Target (1993)

Director:

John Woo

Writer:

Chuck Pfarrer

Starring:

Jean-Claude Van Damme

Lance Hendrickson

Yancy Butler

Arnold Vosloo

Blurb:

A woman hires a drifter as her guide through New Orleans in search of her missing father. In the process, they discover a deadly game of cat and mouse behind his disappearance.

Thoughts:

Hard Target is about peak Jean-Claude Van Damme and yet, despite some egotistical comments, he did not demand writing credit, worked really hard, and didn’t ruin the movie. He did make an attempt in all fairness. They had to send the movie back multiple times because it was so violent and his people did their own Cobra take where they cut everyone else, but thankfully that wasn’t the one that was chosen. It would be nice to see the original unrated version, but that’s never going to happen.

My re-watch quest has revealed some bitterness towards several Hollywood people and apparently, Stallone is one of them lol

Hard Target is one of, if not the last good 80s style action movie. It has a saxophone. It has a bare-bones plot that upon any kind of thought makes no sense. It has Jean-Claude Van Damme with a mullet so greasy you could fry chicken from all the oil. There’s Yancy Butler with a disappearing black eye. And, according to my husband, you’ve got Lance Hendrickson playing the best action villain of all time. Plus, it’s John Woo’s first American movie.

It’s a lot.

Wait, did I mention it’s got the Diabetus man in it? Wilfred Brimley plays Van Damme’s cajun, bow and arrow toting, uncle.

As if you needed another reason to watch.

The final fight scene is set in a cross between a barn and a warehouse. It’s filled with Mardi Gras floats that explode at a moment’s notice. There are also doves flying all over the place. I believe there was a crossbow, a sword, guns, and, of course, flying splits.

I’m fairly certain Hard Target missed nothing on the 80s action movie bingo card. Well, Yancy Butler did not kiss Jean-Claude Van Damme, but she would have.

This is my husband’s favorite movie but I’ve surprisingly only watched it two times. It’s entertaining and if Van Damme’s hair wasn’t so greasy I would enjoy it more. Despite that, it’s a fun film and was a good re-watch.

Cliffhanger (1993)

Great Movie Re-Watch

Cliffhanger (1993)

Director:

Renny Harlin

Writers:

Michael France

Sylvester Stallone

Starring:

Sylvester Stallone

John Lithgow

Michael Rooker

Janine Turner

Rex Linn

Caroline Goodall

Blurb:

A botched mid-air heist results in suitcases full of cash being searched for by various groups throughout the Rocky Mountains.

Thoughts:

Once again Stallone has a writing credit because of course, he does. I have no idea how much work he actually puts into scripts but if credits are any indication he’s a prolific writer.

I’ve had an incredibly busy last three weeks and I haven’t watched many movies or read any books. I’m trying to teach myself Python and that’s slowing down my entertainment consumption. I watched a couple of movies in theaters as well, but honestly, I’m not feeling like writing blog posts right now. I will continue, at least, the bare minimum for my Great Movie Re-Watch movies.

Cliffhanger is a movie. It’s a movie with mountain climbing. It is an action movie, but also has weird moments where the music doesn’t fit the typical action movie feeling. John Lithgow makes a great villain.

Those are my thoughts on Cliffhanger.

Demolition Man (1993)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Demolition Man (1993) 

Director: 

Marco Brambilla 

Writers: 

Daniel Waters 

Robert Reneau 

Peter M. Lenkov 

Starring: 

Sylvester Stallone 

Wesley Snipes 

Sandra Bullock 

Nigel Hawthorne 

Blurb: 

A police officer is brought out of suspended animation in prison to pursue an old ultra-violent nemesis who is loose in a non-violent future society. 

Thoughts: 

Demolition Man is one of my favorite movies. I wouldn’t say top ten, but it’s one that I love to go back and watch frequently. It’s so entertaining. You’ve got action, it’s set in the future, and it’s funny. So often, the balance of comedy and action isn’t done well, like in Tango and Cash, but Demolition Man nails it.  

Wesley Snipes is perfectly cast. He nails the manic energy of Simon Phoenix. It was surprising to find out he turned down the role multiple times until the director and a producer visited him on the set of another movie. Stallone also initially turned done the role before he accepted. He wanted Jackie Chan to play Phoenix, but Chan knew better. He’s not a villain.  

We’ve got eleven years yet to reach this “utopian” paradise with no murder where Taco Bell won the franchise wars. I can agree that no murder would be incredible, but I’m not sure if I’m willing to live with everything else. The loss of exchanging bodily fluids would be a big no for me.  

I love how consistent the movie is. Whenever they’re in a building or near tech, they get fined credits anytime one of the characters curses. There is also unique music that plays when Phoenix is on screen. It’s all just so fun.  

Sandra Bullock was another excellent casting choice. She does seem a bit young for Stallone. I’m also side-eyeing him and how quick he is to jump into a relationship with her. His first question when he wakes up is about his wife. The memory that sticks with him the most is her hammering on the block of ice he was jailed in. Yet, a couple of days later, he’s fine to get down with Bullock. My least favorite trope in action movies.  

Last year Stallone said a sequel was in the works. I have no idea what could be done, and I’m hesitant to see what they would do. I find it difficult to believe that they could capture what makes Demolition Man so fun. If it happens, I guess we’ll see. 

Shipped

Shipped 

By: 

Anige Hockman 

Blurb: 

Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it. 
 
The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend. 
 
Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard. 
 
With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live? 

Review: 

After two DNF books, I was relieved to have one that I could finish. If you’re wondering why I haven’t posted a review in a while, that’s why. The book gods were not smiling down on me. Thankfully, Shipped was a nice, entertaining read. I would call it a good beach read, which I sadly did not read on a beach.  

Henley is a workaholic with understandable issues with male coworkers. Her boss is a clear misogynist, and a previous sexual partner stole her ideas and hard work. When the new guy seems to be doing the same thing, she doesn’t stop to wonder if there’s a misunderstanding. Considering the microaggressions and the ending of the book, no one can fault her for doing that.  

Despite having a weird spelling to his name, Graeme is a down-to-earth legitimate nice guy. Who is, naturally, hot. He’s not after Henley’s job, though, he clearly has every desire to get into her pants. He’s not pushy about it, though. He leaves the possibility of their relationship up to her. Consent was definitely present in Shipped.  

Something I enjoyed in Shipped was seeing all the work Henley had to do to get ahead. Not even ahead, but stay afloat. She was constantly working, which at times was boring, but it felt realistic. Part of the story was her learning how to create a work-life balance. Her family and friend relationships have suffered because she has focused so hard on her career. There’s nothing wrong with pursuing a career, but making it your sole focus to the detriment of everything else in your life is not healthy. Henley learns that lesson, and based on the ending, you know it’s going to stick.  

My favorite part of Shipped was the ending. Everyone got what they were owed, including the misogynistic boss. It was beautiful. This was Angie Hockman’s debut novel, so I’m interested to see what she comes up with next.  

3.75/5 

Passenger 57 (1992)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Passenger 57 (1992)

Director:

Kevin Hooks

Writers:

David Loughery

Dan Gordon

Starring:

Wesley Snipes

Bruce Payne

Tom Sizemore

Alex Datcher

Elizabeth Hurley

Blurb:

An airline security expert must take action when he finds himself trapped on a passenger jet when terrorists seize control of it.

Thoughts:

Cutter: “Always bet on black.”

Chief Biggs: In my position, what would you do? If you were me, what would you do?
Cutter: Kill myself.”

Apart from having some great quotes, Passenger 57 is an entertaining action movie. There isn’t as much action as, say, Commando, but there’s still a lot of kicks. The villain is a psycho, and we’ve got two women in it. Sadly, one does end up with the hero, but I can’t have it all.

The film aided in the launch of Wesley Snipes’s career, so for that, we’ll always be indebted to it. He’s a welcome addition to the action movie genre, and it’s kind of a bummer that he came along as the genre started its downward decline. We’ve still got a few years before that happens, though.