by Anthony King
I write this column on the day before it comes out, so when you'll be reading this I'll be 14,966 days old. As I presently write these words, though, I'm celebrating my 41st birthday. As I do every year on my birthday, I look lovingly at the past and bask in gratitude for the privileges I've been afforded, and, frankly, the miracle that I've survived this long. None of that has anything to do with movies, though, and you don't want to read my reminiscence. So here's what I've been watching after being on a week-long, self-imposed movie hiatus.Revenge of the Nerds ). Even though I'd seen it probably 20 times back then, I didn't remember anything about Used Cars. That is until Jeff (Gerrit Graham) is filming a commercial where he's shooting windshields with a shotgun. “Yessir... Now wait just a goddamn minute. What the hell is this? Is this a 1977 Mercedes SL for $24,000? That tooooo fuckin' high!” And then it all came screaming back to me. Kurt Russell and Graham work at a used car lot across the street from their competitor played by Jack Warden. Russell and Graham go to great, violent, and hysterical lengths to hide the fact their owner has died, which would result in the takeover of their lot. This is one of those movies full of endless quotes that will live in your head for eternity, even if you think you don't remember them. By the end of the movie I was saying lines of dialogue as they were being spoken by the characters, and I hadn't seen this movie in 30 years.Bullet to the Head (2012). While I enjoyed it, it's kind of hard to watch a movie like Bullet after seeing how great Hill could be with movies like The Driver (1978), The Warriors (1979), Southern Comfort (1981), 48 Hrs. (1982), and Extreme Prejudice (1987), or basically everything from the '70s and '80s Hill directed. Bullet stars Sylvester Stallone as Jimmy Bonomo, a New Orleans-based hitman whose partner was killed, and now he's out for revenge. Sung Kang plays Det. Taylor Kwon, a cop from Washington D.C. who's investigating the murder of a key witness in a case he'd been working on. Jason Momoa is the killer the unlikely pair are after. Sly is doing what he does best – beating the shit out of people and mumbling – and that's always welcome in my movies. I remember seeing Kang for the first time in Better Luck Tomorrow (2002) and loving him. And then his turn as Han in the Fast & Furious movies was just more proof of how cool he is. But I gotta be honest: he is NOT good in Bullet. His performance felt very stiff, like he (the actor) was intimidated by Sly (can't say I blame him for that, though). And then Hill's direction, as proven in other recent films, seems very sloppy and disconnected. It was hard to put my finger on it, but something just felt “off” with this movie. That said, I still very much enjoyed Bullet to the Head because I love everyone involved (including Christian Slater, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Sarah Shahi).
Everything else I watched was either for podcast reasons or will be written about in future articles. But I'm thrilled to be alive for my 41st year, watching movies, and writing about what I love. Here's to another trip around the sun, and here's to more movie love for movie lovers!