Thursday, July 31, 2014

Adding to my collection (Part 20)

Ah, 20! A milestone!

Let's get them all together for a recap.
I got sloppy with the links along the way, so it needs fixing anyway.

I know, when you add up the bargain bin bounties, and the latest acquisitions, you actually end up with that part 9 should have been part 7, but, adding on "my Christmas loot", and "The Frank Miller Batman trilogy", evens it out.

On to 20....

4 film favorites: Urban Action Collection.

What, it's racist to say "blaxploitation", now?

Excellent set, loved it.
Totally needed these babies for my collection.

In the order I watched them...

Black Belt Jones (1974)

See here under "Blaxploitation Karate".

This is the REAL "Black Dynamite".
Fucking excellent.
I swear, he even makes the "soo-eee!", sound when he punches.

Hot Potato (1976)

Essentially "Black Belt Jones part 2", but not billed that way for some reason.

This one takes a major tone shift, and is more of a screwball comedy bordering on farce.
Goofball slapstick, 3 Stooges style sidekicks, cartoony sound effects, cartoony score, it's like live-action Hanna-Barbera.

But then, it weirdly and jarringly throws in syrupy romance, and tragic character deaths.
It's all over the map.

Fascinating, funny in an unintended "WTF??', way,  but, not great.
A good one to MST with friends.

Three The Hard Way (1974)

See here. First entry, can't miss it.

Wow, did this ever live up to, and surpass my expectations.
It really is blaxploitation "Avengers".

They save the negro race, they kill all the Nazis, it's beautiful.
You'll weep in awe.

Shit, I wanna watch it again right now....

Black Samson (1974)

See here under "Love Machines!".
Actually, even though Black Samson does get some nookie, it turns out he's a one woman man.
The poster lied!

Pretty damned good, he's feverishly anti-drug, and anti-Italian mob, and fights to keep his neighborhood clean, and uses a bo staff with a carved lion head on one end to literally beat the bastids.

Now, I'm pro legalization, and anti-drug war, BUT I am also anti-drug cartel, BUT that mafia shit comes with prohibition.
So, I don't shed a tear for any mob scumbags Black Samson beat up in this, and I'm not for the poisoning and decay of the black streets, but SO much of that would go away if it were all legalized, and addicts were treated like sick people instead of criminals.

Failing that....go Black Samson go.

It's sad in hindsight.
Drugs did destroy the black neighborhoods.
Particularly crack.
One is almost tempted to buy into the "invented/planted by the CIA", theories.

Shit, it ain't too far away from the mad scientist villainy in "Three The Hard Way".

Anyhoo, putting them in order of goodness.
"Three The Hard Way", definitely the best. Buy the whole set for this if nothing else.
Then "Black Belt Jones".
Then "Black Samson".
Then "Hot Potato". Definitely dead last.

4 film favorites: Sylvester Stallone Collection.

Funny, the order I watched these in ended up being the order of goodness too.
So, that saves me some work.

Demolition Man (1993)

See here.

I bought the whole set for this. The rest were bonus features.
Still just as good.
Ages like a fine wine.
Only one in the set with commentary.

Tango & Cash (1989)

It didn't seem promising at first....but then I ended up loving it!!

It almost seems paint-by-numbers dumb 80's action at first...but then it starts to have a Cowboy Bebop sense of humor about itself, and it's a great fucking ride.

I loved it, cheese and all.
Very underrated.
I actually think it's better than the whole damned "Lethal Weapon", series.

I also happen to think this is the movie that "Extreme Prejudice", tried to be, and failed miserably at.

Probably works better now that the 80's are far enough gone, that they can be appreciated for their distinct little world, and you can see the parodying better.

Over The Top (1987)

It's Rocky with arm wrestling.
Cheesey as hell, has all the Sylvester Stallone tropes; hero with a heart of gold dispensing blue collar wisdom, mustache twirling villains, an alienated son, a training montage, heart and hope magically being more powerful than muscle, Billboard friendly songs,....but I love it.
Stallone flicks just make you feel great.

I dunno, maybe it's nostalgia.
Gotta be a big chunk of it.
Still, I have a wistful affection for this one.
In my world, this is Rocky 4.5.

The Specialist (1994)

Worst of the lot.
Hands down.

But...this is a weird one.
On every level, it's just terrible, but I couldn't hate it, and it didn't make me miserable to watch.

Crappy pulp potboiler dialog, cheesey performances of said crap dialog, unromantic romance, unsexy sex (bad interpenetrate dance poses no one does, no thrusting, no gasping, slow motion, and Stallone's ass is always in the way of the chick), unrealistic physics, indestructible good guys, takes itself way too seriously (as opposed to "Tango & Cash").

Has all the ingredients of schlock...but I couldn't hate it.
Don't know why.
Guess it was competently directed, and James Woods was an engrossing (if somewhat annoying) villain.
He reminded me of evil James Woods in Family Guy.
Yeah, that's what bumped it up a couple stars to a couple stars.

Once, and never again.

Get this for "Demolition Man", and be pleasantly surprised by "Tango & Cash".
Your mileage may vary on the other two.

And, that's those.
My birthday DVDs are still late.


B. D. said...

Oh man, "Demolition Man." That thing was like the beginning of the end of cyberpunk (er, pre-"Matrix"-style cyberpunk), hell wasn't it pretty much the end of Stallone being a huge marquee name? Or was that "Cop Land"?

Diacanu said...

Demolition Man is a well regarded cult hit.

It was "Judge Dredd", that mortally wounded his career.

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