Posts tagged “Wilshire Boulevard

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown / Soft Drink Shortage Hits Cactus World


Death Wish 4: The Crackdown  -  Front DVD Cover  -  US ReleaseThe streets are filled with death and destruction.  Ruthless drug traffickers prey upon the poor, the lonely, the helpless.  LA is a city desperate for deliverance… until now!  Charles Bronson returns as Paul Kersey, the original urban vigilante and one-man demolition force in this pulse-pounding, take-no-prisoners thriller!  Two rival drug gangs have a death-grip on LA’s battle-torn inner city.  But their brutal reign of terror is about to come to a violent end.  One man is out to avenge the cocaine-induced death of his girlfriend’s teenage daughter.  His name is Paul Kersey – and he’s armed, dangerous… and mad as hell!

1987  –  Certificate: R  –  American Film
6.0 out of 10

The unseasonal run of warm days we’ve been having recently has put an unprecedented strain on reserves of cold drinks in Cactus World.  In fact I’ve run out of normal soft drinks and the things I only drink in an emergency, like bitter lemon and ginger ale, have been in the fridge so long they’ve all frozen solid.  I tried opening one this afternoon, but so much pressure had built up in the bottle that the contents started to explode everywhere; in fact I read this evening that earlier today America had briefly gone to DEFCON 1, as some military satellite had mistaken my attempts to get something cold to drink as a ballistic missile launch.  I think it’s all okay now though.  Fortunately, I also found some old bottles of Bacardi Breezer (Pineapple) in the back of the fridge that the alcohol had stopped from freezing.  It tasted okay(ish), considering it was two years past its Best Before date.  I also have to report the good news that the far worse scenario of there being a shortage of cold, alcoholic drinks, is not presently a concern.

Before we had mega-budget screen superheroes and nutters like Martin Riggs cleaning up urban scum, we had Paul Kersey.  The original street-level vigilante, here’s a chap who reluctantly goes off on his own and sorts out bad guys.  In many ways he’s a lot like Batman, a tortured soul who’s lost the ones he cares for most; except he’s not especially fit and strong, isn’t a billionaire and doesn’t have a flash car, cave, computer, utility belt or butler.  Then again, he does use guns and he hasn’t got an annoying sidekick either.  Last time we saw him, he was busy helping disadvantaged communities in New York become more resilient.  This time he’s back in America’s other city, Los Angeles, sorting out corrupt police and drug barons; you know, the usual stuff architects deal with.  Scarcely have I recovered from seeing Lieutenant Commander Chakotay turn up in “Night of the Comet” when along comes Lieutenant Commander Tuvok in “Death Wish 4”.  Clearly working under cover for Starfleet in some sort of time-travel paradox, he inadvertently gives some drugs to some dumb bimbo, who promptly kills herself with them.  She just happens to be the daughter of Charles Bronson’s latest love interest too.  In another interesting parallel with “Star Trek” I would say it was at least as deadly being a friend of Paul Kersey, as it is wearing a red shirt as a member of a landing party.  There’ve been five Death Wish films and nearly all of his ‘nearest and dearest’ have ended up being raped and/or murdered.  You do see Bronson take out Tuvok’s car with a grenade in an underground garage, but I’m pretty sure I saw him being beamed out just before it exploded.  Tuvok could’ve easily stunned them all with his phaser, but he probably didn’t want to contaminate the time-line or such like.  I watched the hardcore, uncut version, not the old, UK cut one with its missing 54 seconds.  Because of that I’d have probably turned into a serial killer by now, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was also a pan and scan version too, so half of it was missing.  I hate it when they do that.  It was mono as well.

There’s not a great deal of music in this movie and what there is has a tendency to sound like a reject from The Terminator.  The theme music is horrible though; some nasty saxophone-heavy garbage that sounds like it escaped from an obscure, 70s porn VHS.

Recommend for architects, vigilantes, would-be superheroes and anyone who might make friends with Paul Kersey.  And a warning to the latter; DON’T DO IT!

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.  However, someone does sort of explode into nothing after having a grenade fired into him.  And you thought The Terminator came up with that one first?

Top badass moment?  Dumb question. Charles Bronson IS badass.  And when someone asks, “who the fuck are you?” and you simply reply (after a tension building pause), “death”, that’s badass too.  And keeping a M203 grenade launcher attached to a M16 assault rifle in a cupboard behind your fridge is badass too.

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown at IMDB (4.8 /10)

Death Wish 4: The Crackdown at Wikipedia

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Night of the Comet / Walking to Work


Night of the Comet  -  Front DVD Cover (US Release)It’s the first comet to buzz the planet in 65 million years and everyone seems to be celebrating its imminent arrival!  Everyone, that is, except for Regina Belmont (Catherine Mary Stewart) and her younger sister Samantha (Kelli Maroney), two valley gals who care more about meteoric fashion trends than celestial phenomena.  But upon daybreak, when the girls discover that they’re the only residents of Los Angeles whom the comet hasn’t either disintegrated or turned into a zombie,  they… well, they go shopping!  But when their day of malling threatens to become a day of the mauling, these two val gals flee with both killer zombies and blood-seeking scientists in hot pursuit!

1984  –  Certificate: PG-13  –  American Film
6.5 out of 10

Over the past year or so, I’ve become somewhat lazy in terms of travelling to and from work.  Using the excuse that “I’m really busy” to justify turning into a fat, sickly, exploitative capitalist, I’ve got into the habit of driving most days.  Fortunately, realising my impending metamorphosis into a fat, middle-aged asshole, along with the fact that at work we’re even more penniless than usual at the moment (it’s a company car), I’ve resolved to do things differently.  Remember kids, ‘smashing the system’ starts at home!  If you’re not part of the solution then you’re part of the problem.  In an effort to save the planet even more than I normally do and increase the likelihood of my still being around to enjoy the fruits of my labour, I’ve started walking into work and home again.  It’s 2.4 miles each way, so when I add a bit extra on for all the staggering I do that results from the exhaustion walking this far causes me, that almost 5 miles a day.  After a week or so I have to report that the main effect has been to make my left knee really sore, although I’m sure the reduction in the amount of driving I’m doing has probably resulted in the reversal of Climate Change and consequentially the crappy, cold weather we’ve been having recently.  I’m really sorry if I’ve spoilt anyone’s holiday.  This film is also about something that has global consequences.

This is a cult movie.  That means a lot of people have convinced themselves that it’s good, whereas in fact it’s pants.  Two young sisters, the tall, attractive but slightly geeky Regina and the out-and-out bimbo Samantha, manage to survive a phenomenon that turns most people turn into a brown dust or a zombie.  (I hate days like that.)  They manage this as one of them had sex with her boyfriend in a cinema, whilst the other had an argument with her mother about something ‘teenage’ that I don’t understand and then spent the night sulking in a garden shed.  Fortunately for them, they then manage to meet up with Lieutenant Commander Chakotay from “Star Trek Voyager”, although he’s a lot younger in it, nearly 400 years or so younger, given the date he was first aboard Voyager.  But it’s definitely Chakotay and not some actor playing his part; the way he reacts to the zombie boy in his parents’ house is just so Star Fleet.  Anyway, the sisters talk bollocks a lot, go shopping and foil a sinister plot of sorts by a group of Government scientists.  With hindsight, I guess it was lucky that their absent father was in the military and taught them how to use a range of guns.  Don’t mess with an armed cheerleader, good advice at any time.  In its defence, this is a fun, über 80s film, which manages to lampoon many others without ever turning into a parody of them.  I guess that makes it a bit of a geeks’ film too.  The fact that one of its two main characters has the top ten scores on a Tempest arcade game, just goes to reinforce my point.  (Tempest was crap; Asteroids was loads better.)  Less impressive is the random survivor that turns up near the end.  He’s driving a Mercedes sports car.  He’s in Los Angeles, almost everyone else is dead and he’s probably got the pick of just about every sports car ever made within a mile of the city centre; and he’s picked a Merc.  That’s so unrealistic, it totally undermines the believability of the whole film…

I like to moan about how rubbish most music is these days is, but in the 80s it was even worse.  This movie features a lot of music from that time period and it’s dire.  Trying to consider that it’s some sort of important cultural landmark and should be preserved, is rather like arguing we should keep a 60’s concrete tower block in place, simply because it’s an example of a certain type of architecture. No, no, no.  The clothes women wore at the time were awful too.

Recommended for airheads, scientists, geeks, bimbos and Star Trek Fans.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment? When the whole burden of civilisation has fallen upon you, it’s good to see that the Green Cross Code Man’s word still counts for something.  After all, remember what he turned into.  How the once mighty can fall…  Even more badass is the fact that the traffic lights are still working so long after 99.9% of the world’s population has died.

Night of the Comet at IMDB (6.2 / 10)

Night of the Comet at Wikipedia