Kurt Russell

Tango & Cash (1989)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Tango & Cash (1989)

Directors:

Andrey Konchalovskiy

Albert Magnoli

Writers:

Randy Feldman

Jeffrey Boam

Starring:

Sylvester Stallone

Kurt Russell

Terri Hatcher

Jack Palance

Blurb:

Framed by their ruthless arch-nemesis, a mismatched LAPD crime-fighting duo has to put its differences aside to even the score with the evil kingpin who put them behind bars once and for all.

Thoughts:

The title and idea of Tango & Cash are awesome. You’ve got Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell as, basically, buddy cops. They’re taking down criminals in their own way until they’re framed by a weird old white dude that has a thing for mice. It’s a great premise, and the first half of the movie is fine. Sadly, the last half doesn’t make sense, and it’s clear that someone else directed it.

Honestly, reading up on the film, it’s a miracle it got made. They went twenty million over budget, and Stallone fired the director and the original director of photography. Supposedly he was also the producer, director, writer, and star all at one time. He wasn’t given credit for it, and the Wikipedia isn’t one I’d trust completely, so take that with a bag of salt. It’s possible he felt inferior because Russell is so clearly the better actor.

I’d say this is around the time Stallone’s career started to take a downturn. He still did some good movies, but they were more hit or miss. He’s a better actor than Schwarzenegger, but he’s got a type he can play, and he should stick with it. Stallone is definitely not a comedian. He should have learned that in Cobra, but he didn’t. His jokes did not land in Tango & Cash, and it made his character seem off. Stallone has the superior butt, but Russell has better comedic timing.

Apparently, Stallone is trying to make a sequel, but I don’t see Russell doing it. I didn’t read anything about them having issues, but I find it hard to believe that Stallone was a joy to work with.

Only one more movie left in the 80s!

Overboard (1987)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Overboard (1987)

Director:

Garry Marshall

Writer:

Leslie Dixon

Starring:

Kurt Russell

Goldie Hawn

Edward Herrmann

Katherine Helmond

Mike Hagerty

Blurb:

A cruel but beautiful heiress mocks and cheats a hired carpenter. When she gets amnesia after an accident, he decides to introduce her to regular life by convincing her they’re husband and wife.

Thoughts:

I know that Overboard has problems. It definitely takes the premise too far once Kurt Russell’s character sleeps with Goldie Hawn. He should have come clean before then. The thing is, I really like this movie. The chemistry between the two is obvious, and how could I not like a story where a rich person lives life from the other side. It’s great!

Most reviewers seem to disagree with me, and that’s valid. They did go too far. Overboard wasn’t a hit when it came out and barely made its money back. Like so many other movies I own, though, it went on to be a cult classic. I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact that it was played frequently on TV?

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

The Great Movie Re-Watch

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Director:

John Carpenter

Writers:

Gary Goldman

David Z. Weinstein

W.D. Richter

Starring:

Kurt Russell

Kim Cattrall

Dennis Dun

James Hong

Victor Wong

Kate Burton

Donald Li

Blurb:

A rough-and-tumble trucker helps rescue his friend’s fiancée from an ancient sorcerer in a supernatural battle beneath Chinatown.

Thoughts:

I’ve only watched Big Trouble in Little China once before. I’d forgotten how crazy awesome it is. I’ve kind of only been paying half attention to a lot of the movies I’ve re-watched so far. I couldn’t do that with Big Trouble. There’s always something either funny or crazy going on, and it’s hard to look away. Especially since it’s not a movie, I’m very familiar with.

What makes the movie is that Jack, Kurt Russell, isn’t the hero. He’s an everyman thrust into a fantastic story and becomes a sidekick. He isn’t a joke and has his moments to shine, but he’s also not a savior, even if he did kill the bad guy in the end. He’s the movie’s main focus, but while he’s surviving, you see the other characters doing most of the heavy lifting. It’s, frankly, awesome. I’d love to see more movies like this, and if anyone has any recommendations, please post them in the comments.

Gracie, Kim Cattrall, comes off a bit manic. She’s constantly moving and has a positive energy even when talking about the potential end of the world. She’s smart and has a Lois Lane vibe. She gets herself in trouble but also gets herself out of it. She’s more capable than Jack.

Big Trouble in Little China was a financial flop. The studio had no idea how to market it because they didn’t understand it. For them, Russell was supposed to be the hero, but he clearly wasn’t, so they made Carpenter write something to “explain” the character. This is why we get the opening scene, which makes the least amount of sense in the entire movie. Thankfully, the film ended up finding its audience and now has a cult following.

I already want to re-watch Big Trouble. I’m kind of ashamed that I own it and have only seen it twice. It should be one of those movies I watch periodically throughout the year. It has many of the things I liked about Last Dragon. It has a large minority cast, weird fight scenes, and a heavy 80s influence. Only Big Trouble does it all, just a bit better. There is a huge 80s influence, but it’s done in all of the best ways. It’s easily in the top ten movies I’ve watched so far, quite possibly top five.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Director:

James Gunn

Writer:

James Gunn

Dan Abnett

Starring:

Chris Pratt

Zoe Saldana

Dave Bautista

Vin Diesel

Bradley Cooper

Michael Rooker

Karen Gillan

Pom Klementieff

Kurt Russell

Plot:

The Guardians struggle to keep together as a team while dealing with their personal family issues, notably Star-Lord’s encounter with his father the ambitious celestial being Ego.

Review:

We find the Guardians of the Galaxy fighting a giant alien as hired mercenaries for a race of snooty gold people. Rocket, Bradley Cooper, steals something he shouldn’t because he’s seemingly testing the boundaries and strength of his new relationships. Things don’t go well for the Guardians, but it’s okay Star Lord’s, Chris Pratt, father shows up and saves the day.

Yeah, so apparently Star Lord’s father, Kurt Russell, is an immortal planet, or something. He has spread his seed far and wide in the hopes of creating a prodigy that can help him destroy the universe, well create it in his own image.

Each of his children have failed, but when he learns Star Lord has held an infinity stone and lived he has hope. Unfortunately for him, being a being alive for millennia, he doesn’t understand that killing your child’s loving mother is like the worst thing you can do.

This movie was about Star Lord and Rocket’s stories. There were some dashes of Gamora, Zoe Saldana, and Nebula, Karen Gillan, they started to work out their issues, but probably not. We also got little doses of the odd relationship between Drax, Dave Bautista, and Mantis, Pom Klementieff. For the most part, though, it was Star Lord. We saw more of his backstory, more of his family, and the ending was mostly about him as well. The movie is called Guardians of the Galaxy, it would have been nice if it had more of an ensemble feel, like Avengers. Star Lord had 11 more minutes of screen time than the next person, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but even when he was not on the screen a fair amount of the story revolved around him.

Part of why I enjoyed the first movie was the other characters and by far my favorite parts of this movie had almost nothing to do with Star Lord. Basically, anything with Groot and Rocket was awesome. I really liked Gamora and Nebula working on their shit too. The weakest part of the story, in my opinion, was Star Lord’s.

Overall, I’m not sure what impact this movie had on the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe. We now have Mantis, who plays her part with trying to distract Thanos in Infinity War. There are some allusions to a future Guardians plot, but no idea if that will impact anyone else.

The movie was a step down from the original. Oddly enough, I loved it on my first viewing. So what’s changed? Is it because I watched it so closely to the first? Is it because this is the first time I’ve watched it since Black Panther, Thor Ragnarok, and Captain Marvel? I don’t know. I still enjoyed the humor at least.

Original Review

3/5

Christmas Chronicles (2018)

Christmas Chronicles

Christmas Chronicles (2018)

NETFLIX

Director:

Clay Kaytis

Starring:

Kurt Russell

Darby Camp

Judah Lewis

Plot:

The story of sister and brother, Kate and Teddy Pierce, whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about.

Review:

The first movie of my holiday season and I don’t think I could have chosen better. From the minute I saw the trailer I was excited to watch and it was an effort to wait until after the Thanksgiving holiday was over. Things ended up being perfect when I was able to watch with both of my kids and my husband; it was a definite Hallmark moment.

Anyway, Kate, Darby Camp, and Teddy, Judah Lewis, have recently lost their father and are having a rough Christmas. Their mom is having to work a lot and isn’t there as much. It’s hard and very emotional, the intro borrowed from Up. One thing leads to another and the kids decide to stay up and catch Santa in the act, low and behold, it works!

Kurt Russell as Santa is inspired and he was so freaking perfect! Ugh! It was awesome!

Christmas Chronicles hit a lot of the best Christmas movie tropes. There was a musical number, there were lots of lore explanation, there was a cynical child that needed to be shown that the world doesn’t completely suck. Even the elves were cool. There was a car chase! Seriously, what more do you need from a Christmas movie?

Fair warning, I cried at the end.

Christmas Chronicles has definitely been added to my list of yearly Christmas movies. It was everything I could have possibly asked for.

5/5