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Lock Up (1989)

Lock Up (1989)

Sylvester Stallone's first real prison movie! And realest yet.

I wonder if he borrowed some inspiration from Jackie's Island Of Fire/Dogs here too. They don't have much in common except for the very premise of prison, but they are both good, and he does one particular stunt here that definitely matched the danger levels in Jackie's. Unless they had a net below him. Bet his shins hurt either way.

Some behind the scenes would be cool for this one.

It's a story of a convict, who goes to prison, and gets set up, and has a hard time getting out of there. Shawshank Redemption meet Boyka - though this one came before both of those.

It's gritty, it's raw, it's realistic with a little flare for the dramatic. And what I really appreciate in movies from this time is also that they had a bit more character. No special effects. Just dialog. A good script. Moments of intensity that make you sit just a bit further out on the edge of your seat even when you're on edge already.

Looking at the recent Escape Plan trilogy I guess Stallone's always had a talent with this particular genre. As far as prison movies go this might be one of the best.

 rated 4.5/5: almost awesome

Sahara (1943)

Sahara (1943)

So similar. SO similar to the 1995 version with the same name.

Only here it was actually recorded in the middle of war time, and some of the fireworks that play in the background as they film... they seem pretty real. The ranks overall look pretty real. Everything about this looks real.

Suddenly the Hollywood remake feels tame in comparison. An illusionary revision, with big names but not at all the same sense of danger.

Dialog and accentery might sound strange and outdated, a remnant of the time, and the film quality's dark (and black and white - I should mention), but otherwise it's pretty damn authentic. I'm trying to imagine what this would have looked like if they had filmed it with modern technology way back then. Might've been legendary.

And hey it has Humphrey Bogart too! He wasn't bad. An icon I mostly know only by name. At his prime so long before my era.

In the end this might be one of the most solid black and white action movies I've seen yet. It certainly deserved those remakes, but I wonder if in some areas it doesn't still trump the improvements... technology still doesn't quite stand over realism yet.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

You Should Have Left (2020)

You Should Have Left (2020)

Was Kevin Bacon ever that good an actor? I'm not so sure anymore.

Maybe this movie just wasn't for him. Maybe he's getting old. In a way he fits right in, then moments later he overplays things. But then again maybe he is a good actor because he really feels old in this movie. Just like his character's meant to.

The movie was great though. Like a more ambient variant of House On Haunted Hill, but with a worse ending in that not even the character you're rooting for gets redemption.

It's creepy, sometimes serious, sometimes surprising. The filmography's great - playing with lights and shadows and all the right angles. Get it - right angles? Inside joke.

It ends with goosebumps, and yet it wasn't perfect all the way. The chemistry was good but Kevin looked dazed and confused a bit too often. They rushed some scenes too.

It's a solid scary movie but still a step from perfection. Feels like it barely makes a four but in the end...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Getaway (1994)

The Getaway (1994)

It's a heist movie for the books, this one! I've seen it before, but I didn't remember it being this good. It's one that somehow fell off the radar when it comes to action classics, starring Alec Baldwin, Kim Basinger and Michael Madsen, among others. And if there's one phrase you could sum it up with it'd be: no bullshit.

They don't talk around. They don't waste their time. They don't sit and do nothing, or feel sorry for themselves, or get caught up on vengeance - even when they really go through the motions. It's a modern-day (well, nineties, but still) Bonnie & Clyde type movie that's just a little more down to Earth. But still with plenty of grit. Nudity. Violence. Not too much of either.

Madsen almost ruins it a bit with his performance towards the end of it, but those are just brief glimpses of his non-movie personality shining through. Overall it's fantastic. Dusty, charismatic and explosive.

It's the very essence of a getaway, and good action overall.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Musicalish #292

Still quarantine edition? I guess it is! Have at it.


Bad Town City

We wandered around a bad part of the town. Well, all parts of the town were bad. It was a bad town.

Moments earlier me and my mom had been scouting for a place to park, near the sports center, which looked more like some kind of mill. A tall factory-like building rising on a hill. It wasn't old though, the grass was cut neatly, the paths and stairs leading up to it fresh and new, and the road curved around it in a very pleasant way.

But the cars were all over. So we drove past, and out to the forest roads beyond it, and found a good mossy forgotten patch of gravel just behind it that would've been perfect to park on, yet we kept going, searching for even better areas... and suddenly I was with a friend rather than with my mom, and somehow I was in the backseat, even though I'd just been the one driving, and had just been in the backseat but actually stopped the car so I could take over that driver's seat for a while...

And suddenly we were in a bad part of town. Or a bad town.

I'd been sitting in the backseat, thinking about how you couldn't see anything from back there, and was strangely disoriented. As if the car didn't have any side windows in the back, or the windows were too low or my head was too high, I'd just been taking in glimpses of the road as we went, and suddenly we were there.

We stopped by a diner to have some lunch, and I remember discussing if we should eat there or have a picnic - my buddy didn't seem as interested in eating out as in having his own food, but we went in anyway, and had a plate of what seemed like oats and cereal with some kind of flower in the midst of it... a strange dish. We asked the waitress about it and she came to us a bit conspiratorially, talking about how some things aren't how they seem, and how that's how it is in these parts, something like that...

Turns out it was brainwash cereal. We ventured out into the city and ran into some bad guys, and managed to shoot two of them, but they kept coming. We ran away. We were in a staircase going for the boss man himself, the leader of this strange cult, but couldn't really get to him. Then we were outside, heading towards our car on a large open area, when two familiar goons appeared, and we just somehow managed to get them too.

I'm not sure how we got those guns. I'm not sure if my friend made it. I'm not sure if I did either. It was bloody and gory and there might've been guts somewhere in there too, similar to the scenes of the Cabal movie I watched yesterday.

That backseat situation where you couldn't see the road was probably from a comic I read last nigh too, where Bettie (from the Archie comic) was blindfolded and taken to a strange neighborhood, a 'bad part of town', to see if she could find her way home again.

She arrived disoriented and lost, but managed to get a ride almost immediately, and the friends who had taken her there were stuck in a car without a key as the snow started falling.

It was a strangely cruel comic in so many ways. It stood out in the book.

So those were probably my main inspirations, and thus I landed in a dream that was not so much a dream as maybe a nightmare, yet I fought it out bravely, although I could feel my will fading.

I didn't know if I'd manage to make it out. I'd given up on winning, on finding the boss man and breaking the spell, and for all I knew my friend could be bleeding out in the gutter... and that's about when I woke up.

The alarm brought me out of that bad trip, yet part of me wishes I'd been able to stay in it just a while longer; maybe have been able to resolve those issues and turn that bad town into a brighter world...

I'm all for the betterment of society you know.

Anyway that's the dream.

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