Friday, June 24, 2016

Junesploitation 2016 Day 24: War!

Fighting, killing, maiming. Agent Orange and the torture cages were the easy part!

63 comments:

  1. Fury (2014)

    No disrespect to Brad Pitt in this movie as he does a good job in this film but that being said this movie reminded me at times of Inglorious Basterds and Quentin off camera saying "Ok Brad this time be dramatic" That put to the side this was a pretty good WWII film about a tank battalion having to fight off the Nazis in the ending days of the war. Shia Lebeouf is in this and it might be my favorite role of his, maybe Michael Bay and Spielberg just aren't giving the right directions to him. David Ayer (of upcoming Suicide Squad note) directed this film and really likes to stew in the ugliness of it. My hope is he lightens things up somewhat in Suicide Squad cause the same tone in that movie that was here in Fury will make Batman V Superman look like the first Fantastic Four movie.

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    1. The ensemble cast is solid. The story is fine but a bit of a whirlwind tour of war experience cliches. The real stars here are the direction by David Ayer and the striking, at times beautiful cinematography, especially in the night fight. After getting through some amateurish stuff recently, Fury went down real nice and smooth.

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    2. Shia Lebeouf is fantastic in this...probably my favorite character. I had completely discounted his ability to act, and it was heartening to see his nail his role here.

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  2. MASH (1970)

    There's no narrative here, just a bunch of loosely related sketches. Which would be fine if they were funny or the characters engaging, but I think I laughed exactly once and there's not one likable character here. The sexism and racism, while I understand reflect the age, don't help. I just didn't get anything from this movie. A disappointment.

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    2. Interesting. I don't hear many bad reviews of MASH. That said I can totally see how it might not work for everyone. Were you able to find anything you liked in the film, even if you didn't like the film as a whole? Maybe the cinematography? performances? production design? score?

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    3. Totally understand your feelings on this one. How are you with Robert Altman movies in general? I respect him a ton as a filmmaker, but I find that I have to be in a very specific mood to really enjoy the films themselves.

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    5. I haven't seen enough Altman films to really form an opinion. I remember disliking Short Cuts, but I was a teenager then.

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    6. It was funnier in the 70s... trust me... all that UNPC stuff you find repellent made everyone in the audience laugh guiltily and pee their pants because NO ONE HAD DONE IT BEFORE. You weren't supposed to be disrespectful in public. (thus the appeal of archie bunker...even I don't get that) But I can see how it didn't age well at all.

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    7. I'm with Mikko, didn't get "MASH" then and I still don't get "MASH" now (Altman movie or TV version). Never have, and likely never will.

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    8. Although I don´t have any problems with movies being UNPC, especially when they reflect a certain time period, this movie never worked for me.
      I saw it first sometimes in the 80s where I may have been too young to get it. I gave it a second chance about 5 years ago but it still didn´t worked well, so maybe I´m still too dumb or just not the right audience for it. ;-)

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  3. Red Dawn (1984)

    Shit got real, very very quickly.

    Okay movie you won me over. First few mintues I thought 'I am not in the mood for this', but as with movies you have to let them wash over you, forget what happend in your day and see what it has to say. I may not love love this movie, but I admire that it went there. The plot of high school kids hiding in the woods to fight communists in the 80s almost begs for a different tone, but nope they took it very seriously, even with them jumping out of incrediably intricate fox holes (but that is a nitpick). And because of this, the movie does feel brutal.

    Though have to say disapointed that Swayze and Grey didn't dance a mambo, but that is again a nitpick.

    Avenge Me!

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    1. Wolverines! i was never fond of this one..in the same way i didn't 'get' the Monster Squad, i was too old. but Red Dawn predated that ocean of Teen post Apocalypse novels..and now films..so i can see why it grab the hearts and minds of a generation...

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    2. WOW! You weren't kidding about how quickly that got serious! Really dug this one. Reminded me, tonally, of a slightly more serious Child's Play 3 - another film where the tone turns the majority of people off yet I find myself in adoration.

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  4. GENOCIDE, aka WAR OF THE INSECTS (1968, 84 min.) on DVD.

    An aggressively tone-deaf, personality-free and mean-spirited mash-up of every genre film being done in Japan back in '68, "Genocide" in exploitation cinema at its dullest. A new species of insect that eats human flesh (or turns those they bite insane) brings down an American military plane carrying an H-Bomb over a small Japanese island. With the sole survivor (Chico Roland, whose pathetic acting makes his portrayal of black soldier Charlie racist as fuck) unable to remember what happened or help interested parties, it's up to a star entomologist from Tokyo visiting the island to get to the bottom of things. Oh, and there's George, the well-meaning bug-obsessed brute who steals a watch from one of the corpses of the downed plane. About a third of "Genocide" deals with George's affair with a Nicole Kidman-lookalike 'gaijin', the local police trying to pin the insects' murders on George, and his wife being sexually harassed by an inn-keeper that looks like Japanese Hitler. Random attacks by the insects whenever the plot start dragging follows, and the last third deals with terrorists trying to get their hand on the H-Bomb to blackmail the Yankees into leaving Japan forever. And somehow all these characters/threads interject into one story... why?!

    You'd think characters sitting around discussing global politics would be the furthest place an exploitation movie would want to take its audience to, but "Genocide" parks it there early and often. Then again, the two near-rapes and nausea-inducing English dub trying to pass the dialogue as a deep examination of Cold War politics (i.e. Japan pays the price for Russia and America sniping at one another) turned me off so completely I was counting the minutes until the movie was over 1/2 hour in. If this had aired on "MST3K" it would have been one of those 'so bad it's really worse' movies that drove Mike/Joel and the bots batty, like "Monster A-Go-Go" or "Invasion of the Space Men." #A-fucking-voidsploitation! Some days it just doesn't pay to get off of bed for Junesploitation! :-(

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  5. Uncommon Valor (1983) Dir. Ted Kotcheff

    Don't know how this one slipped by me for so long. Directed by Ted Kotcheff who brought us Wake in Fright, First Blood and of all things Weekend at Bernie's! I hadn't even heard of this film before this week while perusing Netflix and it is everything I hoped it would be. You have John Milius producing, an uncredited story written by Wings Hauser, James Horner composing (man was this the golden era of Horner or what...82-84 alone he had some of his greatest ever...Star Trek II, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Krull, Brainstorm, Star Trek III). Lots of great actors here too! Gene Hackman, Fred Ward, Tex Cobb, Patrick Swayze, Harold Sylvester (the BEST!!) and some great scenes with Robert Stack himself!

    Not much to say about the film itself. Feels a little bit like a Cannon film and that is always a good thing in my book. Some pretty funny bits that work pretty well but when the movie tries for emotion it pretty much fell flat for me, but that is fine because I still enjoy the movie for the over the top aspects of it. Definitely worth a sit for sure!

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    1. You had me at: "uncredited story by Wings Hauser"

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    2. Once upon a time everything I needed to go to the movies was the name Gene Hackman on the one sheet.
      I like this film very much and for me the emotional scenes at the end also work well.
      Underrated gem.

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  6. The Terminator (1984)

    I'm usually not into war movies, so I rewatched one of my favorite ones... about a war with the machines!

    Obviously this film is spectacular. I adore the special effects and the three lead performances. I've never thought much about Michael Biehn's performance until this time. He could have easily played the cool, charming hero but he doesn't. He plays a man damaged and unhinged from a life at war. He's very convincing as a man who doesn't belong in this time. Michael Biehn rocks.

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  7. Terminator Salvation (2009)

    It's a war movie, right? Mainly watched it for Yelchin (and because I'd managed to avoid it until this).

    Not much to report here, it's a garbage movie but, as has often been said, Yelchin's the best thing in it.

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    1. Terminator Genesys makes Terminator Salvation look like Terminator Judgement Day.

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    2. Bonus: Star Trek Season 1 Episode 23: A Taste of Armageddon (1967)

      Maybe not one of the best episodes, but one of the classic sci-fi concepts: two planets at war with each other, but with virtual weapons and the casualties are determined by computer.

      Best thing I saw today (though the bar wasn't that high).

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  8. I Declare War (2012)
    Loved this movie! If you've ever played war in the backwoods or neighborhood growing up you can relate. Mostly solid performances by the young cast too, so you don't get taken out by awkward line deliveries (except for one of them). Great work in shifting reality with imagination depending on the scene and who is involved. Sticks and stumps become bow and arrow and automatic weapons. Really fun to watch. Has a lot to say about war, youth and relationships.

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    1. YES! Thank you! JB mentioned this on a podcast, but I had forgotten the name. I have re-listened to many a podcast, trying to find what it was called (not that it takes much convincing to re-listen to some of them).

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    3. Patrick did a review of this:
      http://www.fthismovie.net/2013/04/i-declare-war-chicago-critics-film_18.html

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    4. I have been meaning to try and find this for ages, thanks for reminding me.

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  9. The Losers (1970) (first time viewing)

    A motorcycle gang consisting of war vets gets hired to do a rescue mission in Cambodia. They gear up some bikes with machine guns and rocket launchers. This sounds like it could be fun. It was....for the last 20 minutes. I recommend you just watch the trailer that happens to be sitting at the beginning of this post. It has all the best action from the end of the movie, and that's all you really need to see. The middle almost tried for too much seriousness, and I couldn't take it seriously.

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    1. i recommend it be watched with the sound off completely..i the background..like a tv at a bar.

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  10. Deadly Prey (1987)

    Ted Prior appears to be what would happen if you put Christian Bale and a He-Man action figure in the Brundlefly machine (though sadly he only kept the action figure's acting skills). Here he's a greased-up man in tiny shorts being hunted by mercenaries in this eight billionth take on The Most Dangerous Game.

    You know the drill: someone gives the "just how badass is he?" speech (after deducing who he must be by looking at the body of someone he killed. No, really), he proves his badassery by killing several hundred military goons single-handedly, shell casings fly, pecs glisten, acting coaches consider career changes, etc. It's pretty terrible, but if I had seen it as God intended (on VHS at a sleepover when I was 12) I'd probably have loved it to pieces. It ain't good, but it sure is Junesploitationy.

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  11. Missing in Action (1984) & Missing in Action 2: The Beginning (1985)

    So I decided to watch these in the order they were made and not the order they were released, so the second one first and the first one second. Both movies were made back to back and when Golan & Globus watched them they preferred the sequel to the original and decided to release the sequel first and then the original as a a prequel.

    So with all that out of the way lets get down to the movies.

    The Beginning is a pretty simple POW story, Chuck and his team are shot down in Vietnam and thrown into a POW camp where they are tortured both physically and mentally. In the end Chuck being Chuck escapes and sets about getting his revenge. For me this is the better of the 2 movies because it deals with some of the torture of being in a POW camp.

    Missing in Action the is more interested in the Chuck Norris action star element than war story element. The movie opens with Chuck tormented by flashbacks of being a captive although there are no clips used from The Beginning so are we lead to believe that he was captured more than once? Chuck returns to Vietnam to find and free more prisoners of war and then it goes full Hot Shots Part Deux all it was missing was the line "War, it's fantastic" once he guns the entire Vietnamese army.

    They both have Chuck being Chuck and are fine for a lazy afternoon, now what channel can I find Walker Texas Ranger on?

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    1. You can stop looking Tex. http://www.grittv.com/tv-schedule/

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  12. Tales From the Crypt S3 E14: "Yellow" (1991, dir. Robert Zemeckis)

    Tried and couldn't finish watching Combat Shock (1986); realizing I was strapped for time today I settled with this one - simultaneously one of the most un-Crypt and one of the finest episodes of Tales. Nothing too complex, just a fine story with great actors - Kirk and Eric Douglas, Lance Henriksen and Dan Aykroyd - great effects, and one elaborately-staged WWI battle scene.

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    1. Combat Shock is a tough sit. It's like Eraserhead meets Jacob's Ladder done by Troma. I've seen it once and can't say I will ever go back.

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  13. High-five, Ronan C!

    MISSING IN ACTION (1984)
    You know the plot: Chuck Norris is an emotionally-haunted vet who heads back to the warzone to rescue his pals left behind. For as much as everyone compares this to Rambo, I was reminded of a Bond film, in that Chuck visits a couple of different exotic locales before the big shoot ‘em up at the end. Pretty good, overall.

    MISSING IN ACTION 2: THE BEGINNING (1985)
    Ugly, mean-spirited prequel (which really was filmed before the first one, allegedly) that’s more of a grimdark prison drama than an action flick. It’s all about politicizing the MIA issue, which is good and all, but this is a Chuck Norris movie. I came here for roundhouse kicks, not a lecture. It ends with an awesome one-on-one fight, but it’s a long haul getting there.

    BRADDOCK: MISSING IN ACTION 3 (1988)
    Years later, Norris learns the wife and kid he thought died in Vietnam are still alive, so it’s back into action. There’s a really great helicopter vs. truck chase, but mostly we’re back in the dreary and overly serious tone of the second movie. After all this, I’ve seen enough shirtless Chuck Norris to last at least the next ten years.

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  14. Wild Geese...when I saw it in 78 it was an A list film...but the film has devolved in hindsight to be the exploitation film it always was. hard drinking old school British actors (the action film stars of their day) are trotted around a story that teased with current events. One that still depicting Western europeans messing around with African politics as a good thing, instead of the genocidal war crime it has always been. It predates Cannon films, but the script is right out of their playbook. A few recognizable faces, a nonsense plot, a few witty lines and a lot of senseless killing. The Expendables circa 1978.

    If you really want your mind blown..do the math...Burton was 53, Moore 51, Kruger 50 and Harris 48...depicted as Old Mercs lured into one last dangerous mission - it's not the years its the mileage...and the drinking.......and Tom Cruise is 54 (to be fair, with a painting in his attic) and Jason Statham is 49.

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  15. ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13 (1976)

    This may not technically count, but it IS a siege movie, and today I need some of my best Carpenter in my filmic diet.

    Strange that a flick containing the graphic onscreen murder of a child would count as comfort food to me, but here we are. Guess I'm just that flavor of fucked up.

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    1. For a couple of seconds, I was thinking "wtf, they made 13 of those"...

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    2. Assault on Precinct 7: The New Blood is Mike Pomaro's favorite.

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    3. Assault of precinct 3. Season of the witch

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  16. Casualties of War (1989, dir. Brian De Palma, on DVD) - First Time Viewing: Funnily enough this came up on the podcast this week. It was fine. Penn is good and crazy over the top. Fox is really good as always. I've watched 2 new to me De Palma movies this month (this and Wise Guys) and they both have to be near the bottom of his list... NEXT (3 out of 5 Griers)

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    1. Although I know that this is a very divisive film, it´s sad to see this near the abysmal Wise Guys on your list. I like this film very much, as far as one can say that about such a sad and harrowing war movie. No heroics here, everyone loses.

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  17. Attack (1956)

    WWII movie with Jack Palance trying to deal with a superior officer (Eddie Albert) whose cowardice is constantly getting people killed. Directed by Robert Aldrich and also starring Lee Marvin, I really enjoyed this one. Clearly it didn't have the biggest budget (there aren't a lot of action set pieces in this) but it easily gets by on the strength of Palance and Aldrich's performances.

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    1. Terrific movie. Eddie Albert is such an unlikable douche, which only makes you side with Palance's and Marvin's characters more.

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  18. Why are you pushing me?

    First blood 1982

    When I was 12 this film pushed all my buttons, and today it still played really well, the last scene is filled with so much emotion it brought a tear to my eye! It's not really a war film but more about the after effects of war, I like this for being a small film, the bigger Rambo movies are a different bag, but this is more my jam,
    I gotta go and sew my arm up now!

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    1. IMHO its better than the book its based on.

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    2. I rewatched it maybe a year ago and was pleasantly surprised how well it held up, how good and simple of a story it had and how great the emotional end sequence is still today.

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  19. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

    Spectacular.
    More specifically, the cinematography is gorgeous, the performances are incredible from everyone, and the story is extremely compelling. It was amazing to see the characters develop to the point where every one of them, even if they are on opposite sides of the war and have opposite goals, all have completely sympathetic and understandable perspectives. Plus, the two hours and forty minute runtime goes by extremely quickly.

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    1. I'm always amazed at how easy it is to watch this despite the almost 3 hour running time. Really fantastic film.

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    2. I agree Alec Guinness was and is the greatest

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    3. This is probably the first "adult" movie I remember watching with my folks, who let me stay up with them and watch after the others had gone to bed. Which is weird, because they don't watch movies hardly ever, much less war movies.

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  20. Zone Troopers (1985)

    Tim Thomerson makes every movie he's in 100% better. Between this and Trancers he's my Junesploitation MVP. This movie is a forgotten gem from 85 that combines WII adventure with sci-fi film. Not really a comedy or even a parody, rather it's a straight up approximation of a 50's style B movie. I had loads of fun with this one.

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  21. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
    War is hell, and nothing shows it more than Apocalypse Now and FMJ. Raw brutality on every level of the senses. The range that Kubrick shows in this is enough of a reminder that he was a master (that is, if you somehow forgot).

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  22. Some Kind of Hero (1982)

    I could watch Richard Pryor in anything.

    War movies are definitely not my thing so I'm glad I got to watch something that wasn't so heavy. Pryor plays a soldier in Vietnam who gets captured. After many years, he gets home but can't cope with it. Margot Kidder looks pretty good as a hooker with a heart of gold. Everything goes wrong until he...figures it out? That's up for debate but I enjoyed the movie. It's not perfect but worth watching.
    Side note: People try to bunch in Superman III and IV together but they're wrong. Superman III is the shit and IV is garbage. Neither are worse than Superman Returns.

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  23. W is War (1983, dir. Willy Milan)

    Crazy ass Philipino warlord heroin post-apocalypse or modern day? Hero W-2 gets castrated on wedding night, leaves the force saves some whiny babies. More like W is Four Stars!

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  24. The last hunter (L'ultimo cacciatore) 1980

    Back in the eighties a friend and I watched this movie coutless times. Director Antonio Margheriti (aka Anthony M. Dawson) who worked in nearly every genre during his career, made a bloody and gory Vietnam picture that´s still thrilling today. Perfectly suitable performances by David Warbeck (The beyond, Tony King (Cannibal Apocalypse) and Mia´s sister Tisa Farrow (Zombie) and constant action make this one of the best italian Vietnam-rip-offs.

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  25. Apocalypse Now

    I love the smell of napalm in the morning!
    What a great film, especially knowing the things that went on BTS, Duvall is perfect in his limited screen time, as Brando is incredibly creepy, they did a very good job of making his role effective seeing as Brando came to set not having a clue about the role. Looking forward to watching again but this time will do the Redux version.

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  26. Platoon Leader (1988, dir. Aaron Norris)
    Michael Dudikoff plays a soldier fighting in Vietnam, reenacting every war movie cliche from every war movie ever. Cannon is cashing in on the popularity of Vietnam war movies but it's dumb and drippy and Aaron Norris (Chuck's brother) drenches everything in mopey trumpet. One of the few true losers in the Cannon cannon.

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  27. Das Boot (1981)

    Wolfgang Peterson's best movie, and personally one of my favorite war movies. I've seen it many times, but it's been a while to I took the easy route this day, and watch an old fav.
    However, there were a ton of great suggestions this Warploitation day, and I suspect I'll be watching some great new movies in the near future.

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