Daily Archives: August 4, 2018

BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – Eraser (1996)


Smile, 3.5 readers.  You’ve just been erased.

Scrolling through Netflix last night with a bowl of pasta in hand, I caught this flick and was transported to me teen years, to a time when seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger on a movie poster meant the film was guaranteed to be good (well, good to fans of action flicks, anyway.)

As it turns out, that era was soon to come to an end.  In my mind, this movie is Schwarzenegger’s last good film.  In the years since, he’s had a couple of flicks that were mildly OK or at least tolerable, and some bona fide garbage, but at any rate, this is the last movie he made that I remember being awesome.

Side note: Maybe he disagrees, but in hindsight, I think it was a mistake for Arnold to run for Governor of Cal-eee-fornia.  Maybe he did it because he thought he was getting older and his movie days were behind him, but I think he might have missed a shot to transition into more seasoned roles.  Maybe he might have, gasp, found an Oscar worthy vehicle.

I know.  He’s a giant weightlifter action star with an Austrian accent but he also had a lot of Hollywood pull.  He could have found his Oscar film. Is it too late now?  I don’t know.

Anyway.  Back to the movie.  This film takes us into the Federal Witness Protection program.  Spoiler alert: our first intro into this world is when Arnold evacuates a mobster turned witness and his wife who are about to get whacked.

Arnold dumps ketchup all over the mobster and his wife, takes a polaroid, puts it into the pocket of one of two hit men he’s offed.  He then replaces the husband and wife with corpse ringers pilfered from a morgue and drags the hit men’s bodies to the front lawn.  He shoots one, then puts the gun in the other’s hand.

The mobster (Robert Pastorelli, by the way) is confused.  Arnold, as his character, US Marshall John Kruger, explains, “They killed you, then turned on each other.”

Pastorelli replies, “Right.  Sons of bitches!”

I don’t know why, but that line made me laugh as a kid and so many years later it still does.

As the movie goes on, I saw a lot of stars I haven’t seen in a long time – James Caan as the film’s villain, Vanessa Williams as the witness Arnie must rescue and James Coburn as the head of the witness protection program.  Oh, and that guy who plays Roger in “Mad Men” has a bit part as an FBI agent.  Sometimes it’s fun to watch old movies and catch actors in parts before they get big.

Alas, if only we had known that not too long after this film, Arnie’s movie career went into the witness program.  It’s not dead, it’s just in hiding – probably in a farm house in rural Illinois, secluded from civilization and far away from anything resembling a restaurant that can provide a good meal.  Maybe it will come out of hiding someday.

For now, it’s just Arnie doing the old actor’s cash-in routine – lots of cash grab sequels to films Gen Xers feel nostalgia for.  As if wrecking “Terminator” with “Genisys” wasn’t enough (Terminators with gray hair, my ass), he’ll be out with a new Conan film I hear.  Something tells me he’ll be wearing more than a leather speedo in this one.

Oh well, who am I to judge? I’ve never been speedo ready in my life.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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Check out “The Omens of a Crow”

Hey 3.5 readers.  BQB here.

Dakota Kemp, a friend to this fine blog, has released his new book, “The Omens of a Crow” on Amazon.  I’m not sure what it is about but there is an ominous looking dude in a cloak on the cover and the description says he is about to bring something scary to a village.

What could he possibly be bringing?  Is it a weapon of some sort?  Dark magic?  A terrible disease?  Wait, I know.  He’s bringing chips with no dip.  That’s it, isn’t it?  Have you ever been to a party and a guy brings chips but he doesn’t bring any dip and everyone is like, “WTF, guy in a cloak, why did you do that for?  You expect us to eat this chips dry?  You couldn’t have sprung for the dip?  You might as well have not brought the chips.”

That’s my guess.  I suppose you’ll have to check the book out to find out what it actually is.

Let me know if it is chips without dip.

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Movie Review – Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)

Hey 3.5 readers.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to read this review.

This blog will self-destruct in…oh, who am I kidding?  This shit blew up a long time ago.

BQB here with a review of “Mission Impossible: Fallout.”

I went into this film thinking that this series was surely about to jump the shark.  Tom Cruise is 56 now, thus the only death defying actor who performs his own stunts that I know of who qualifies to receive an AARP card.

Sure, he’s preserved to a level that only a fortune built in La La Land can provide, but even so, I wondered if maybe it wasn’t time to hand this series to the next generation.

As it turns out, Tom’s still got the moves.  The plot is complicated, so much so that your eyes will go crossed if you actually try to follow it.  Honestly, sometimes I wonder if the writers of these films count on that.  In the theater, you’re sitting there, doing the mental calculations of what is transpiring in your head until….oh, wow!  Explosions!  Car chases! Fights!  Stunts!

While Tom’s still got it, I can’t help but notice Hollywood keeps insisting that he get a younger sidekick, i.e. Jeremy Renner in the previous film, or in this one, Henry Cavill of “Superman” fame.

Shit.  I wish I were Henry Cavill.  I’d get so much poon.  Damn it.  Why am I so ugly and yet this guy wakes up every morning, looks in the mirror and realizes he’s got a license to print snatch?

But I digress.

To the film’s credit, there’s a main plot device, i.e. Cruise’s Ethan Hunt, despite a lifetime of espionage and intrigue, still maintains a moral compass.  He will never put a team mate in danger (Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames return as Ethan’s long suffering tech lackies, Rebecca Ferguson and Michelle Monaghan as his past and present love interests), even to keep a mission from failing.

Meanwhile, Cavill’s August Walker will gladly put a friendly down for the greater good.

That’s sure to make for a good international buddy cop drama.

The film centers around a plot in which various villains plan to set off nuclear bombs in the world’s holiest cities – Jerusalem, the Vatican and Mecca.  It will be up to Hunt and his crew to save the day.

One thing, and if you’re a fan of the series then it’s not really a spoiler, but as cheesy as the old “take a mask off to reveal another person” gag gets, it never ceases to amuse me.  I won’t give it away, other there was a point early on in the film where I thought the film was starting to look like it would be a dud, only for such a gag to happen, and make me realize it was actually going to be good…and it was.

A last thought.  For awhile now, I did think these films were fun throwaways, largely built around complicated plots that you forget and instead, you remember the stunts.  Instead, this film, and the last one, really do draw on a long, rich history, especially when you consider this series began in 1996…I freaking remember seeing it when I was in high school!

So Tom, I doubt you read this fine blog, though you should because you are missing out if you don’t, but I’ll just put this into the air – if you do only have one, maybe two of these films left in you, please make sure that they’re not only good but that they wrap up Ethan’s long life story.  Give him a happy ending, either he finally gets the girl and gets to relax, or he goes out doing what he was born to do – saving the world one last time.

Ethan might get his kicks hanging off of cliffs, but just don’t leave your longtime viewers hanging.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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