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The Getaway (1972)

The Getaway (1972)

This is a getaway movie like I want it, a modern-day (err seventies) Bonnie & Clyde, with car chases, gunfights, hardened criminals and true love all in one big pail of gritty, dusty, on-the-way-to El Paso Mexico awesomeness, and the getaways make sense, they feel believable, even if I imagine security'd be a hell of a lot tighter today.

It's a glimpse of the good old days, and some good old craze, guns ablaze in wood hallways! Oh, actors? Stevie McQueen and Ali MacGraw! Great watch!

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Drop Zone (1994)

Drop Zone (1994)

It starts off with two US Marshalls on a plane, two brothers (first one Wesley Snipes) transporting a prisoner. Soon there's a hijacking, one brother ends up dead, all the blame on him, and the prisoner/his kidnappers on the loose. US Marshall #1 starts looking for clues, ends up at the mercy of a female skydiving instructor, and from there on out it gets crazy!

Expect some fights, plenty of sky-diving (maybe this was the one that inspired Point Break?), bonding, and one big heist, all accompanied by that awesome eighties guitar-type music. Well, nineties, same thing. Overall: it's one great action movie in classical Wesley Snipes style, and the only thing that confuses me is why his face is all over the movie cover when he's just the hero. He's great, but this movie is about more than just him! Good watch.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Knowing (2009)

Knowing (2009)

A religious sci-fi experience? If there's such a thing, this was it.

It starts off somewhat modest, with a girl scribbling down a page full of numbers in class - soon to be stuffed into a time capsule along with everyone else's drawings, later found in a closet scribbling blood on the closet door. Time skips forth 50 years, and we're introduced to a single dad (John Koestler - Nicholas Cage) and his son Caleb, soon-to-be random (but is anything really random?) receiver of that one special numerical paper.

It turns out to be more than just numbers. It's a list of dates, locations and human lives lost in all major accidents on the planet the past 50 years, and three that have yet to happen. Nicholas cage, who just so happens to be a teacher in some kind of science/math/something (?), uncovers this truth, speaks to a colleague who of course thinks he's crazy, tries to meet up with the daughter of the mom who originally wrote those numbers, and shortly thereafter their children end up the new Adam & Eve, taken to an interplanetary Eden on a bunch of spaceships steered by aliens and/or angels, where they're left to procreate in peace, build up a new world and quickly forget about their former families. And they're not even of age yet.

The final sequence of destruction is incredibly pompous, solar radiation sweeping over the planet as if it's nothing more than a summer breeze, and the moments before it are pretty eerie. It gets especially eerie when Caleb himself starts scribbling down a sheet of numbers, which in retrospect makes zero sense because all of humankind was shortly to be annihilated anyway, and they along with it, and John never did get a chance to put that paper in a time capsule like I thought he would, so what use was it all anyway?

It ends religiously, and although such unveiled religious motives always throw me off guard a bit (I'll admit I've prejudice), the way they throw in sci-fi along with the Godly phenomenons make it a much more biased experience. The fact that Caleb and Abby seemed to be swooped away on an actual spaceship while everyone else partakes in the Earthly inferno somewhat disapproves of the Buddhist theory that there's life after life... but what did you expect? It was an inspiring watch regardless. Coincidentally, the intro reminds a lot of the new 'Left Behind' intro. Very similar typography. I wonder if there's a connection...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Left Behind 3 - World At War (2005)

Left Behind 3 - World At War (2005)

Funny thing about a dream. When you're asleep, no matter what happens, no matter how... crazy it might be, it all seems to make sense.

That's how it all starts. A man running through a burning building. The president, narrating the brief flashback of the past and how he helped Nicolae become the man who ruled the world.

Soon Buck Williams is kidnapped... by the president. Nicolae is about to nuke the world. They're both fighting for the same cause, but unfortunately for him, The President doesn't believe in God. There's a whole lot of praying and preaching and a lot of groaning and moaning on my part, but there's undeniably also plenty of action and a pretty captivating plot, albeit badly acted and full of horrible special effects, and religious motives. Though it is getting better.

It ends with the Devil, strolling through a wall of fire, and something I assume is Christian metal; hiphop (but it's not bad!). What track is that?? I can't find it. That one track is definitely the highlight of this trilogy, and as the credits roll it almost whisks away the feeling of disappointment I get from the movie itself. Overall this was better than the previous two, but... it's still a trilogy best left behind. New version is considerably better.

 rated 2/5: decent

Left Behind 2 - Tribulation Force (2002)

Left Behind 2 - Tribulation Force (2002)

The last movie ended at a church door. Now, a fragment of those who were left behind gather in the church. They waltz around outside and see the destruction and chaos, and ponder how they might be able to take down Nicolae (the Antichrist). They also form the 'Tribulation Force', a 'secret society with the sole purpose of converting non-believers to Christianity'. Don't get me started...

There's a scene where they with some 'amazing grace' slip past a bunch of guards, a scene where a couple of prophets spit fire (that was pretty cool) and predict the return of Christ, and it all ends in song, in a church; the plans of the Antichrist apparently foiled for the moment. So much for this series...

 rated 1/5: shit shit shit

Left Behind (2000)

Left Behind (2000)

Compared to the new version, this movie was just not good. Bad actors, uneventful events, very little action or emotional despair; a plot in which the plane is only a small and unmentionable segment in a villainous scheme by the Antichrist to overthrow the world. It starts with planes attacking Israel and getting shot down by some foreign power (all in very visibly fake CGI - more of that later), and moves on to plans to rebuild a temple, 7 years of darkness: plans that soon appear as prophecies already outlined in the bible... but there's no apocalypse.

Some things are the same, like Buck, like the kids disappearing (a detail that seems so trivial afterwards - and they don't manage to make the disappearance even half as intriguing as in the newer movie); the relations between the characters. Though now the pilot is entirely the one at fault and the daughter is on her mom's side, but the pilot's not even a main character so it doesn't really matter.

The people I thought would have more important roles quickly play out their parts, and overall it's just not very exciting. The main character actor Kirk Cameron appears elated and high-spirited even in the most uncertain times, so it's difficult to get into the mood too, and most characters seem superficial and generic. Not to mention there's this annoyingly unveiled religious angle that permeates the entire plot. I didn't mind it so much in the newer version where it was but an underlying messages: here, it takes over. And I'm glad to see it's not just my potential prejudice against movies religions motives taking over, because even devoted Christians are bashing this one.

This is the first of a trilogy, so let's see if the other two are any better...

 rated 1/5: shit shit shit

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