Masterminded by Rene F. Rangel
Hello Ladies and Gentlemen! My name is Rene and I would like welcome you to the revival of THE B-MOVIE COLUMN! That’s right, The B-Movie Column was off the radar for a while but now it’s back.
First up is a bit of history on the column and what it represents in case you are unfamiliar with it. The B-Movie Column was created to showcase all types of B-Movies. Action, Sci-Fi, Horror. If it’s a B-Movie, it will have a review written up about it.
The Column also was made to streamline what goes on in The B-Action Thread in the CHUD forum. The B-Action Thread is the LONGEST running message board thread probably in the history of the internet. It moves at a very fast pace, and it is not uncommon for it to have several pages in one day. It was started in 2006 and is still running regularly to this day. There’s a bunch of us that are regular posters that I will highlight in a bit, and we pride ourselves on being a bunch of good natured guys who discuss all types of movies. All types of movies you say? Isn’t it called The B-ACTION thread? Well, somewhere along the line the thread became an all encompassing topic thread on just about anything we wanted to talk about. (Not to toot my own horn too much, but I believe I’m the one that started talking about non-action movies.) So we go from talking about the latest Van Damme or Seagal DTV films to talking about FLASHDANCE or any other films that we’ve seen lately. Some of us even give details on what we’ve done for the day.
We’re a very welcoming bunch, and we’ve lost people along the way, but we always have more people who show up and become regulars. Here are a few of the gents that post in the thread on the regular.
felix, kain424, Perfect Weapon, dude hallenbeck, Dragonrage, Gunner, Engineer, Cylon Baby, Bradito, Jox (he works for Dolph Lundgren!), Mr. Saxon, Vacuum Jockey, Macready, nagboy92, Twitch Reflex, Fat Elvis, Moltisanti, HunterTarantino, S.D. Bob Plissken, Erix, dilla7, also Rene (Mr.Eko), and duke fleed.
A few of these gents post every so often, but the majority post on daily basis. I myself post sometimes several times during the course of a day if I get the chance.
So usually, The B-Movie Column would take a few highlights of the week that some thread members posted, and then we’d get to the movie of the week.
Here’s a few choice bits from this week.
I saw the Evil Dead remake and wasn’t impressed at all. Gunner liked it though when he saw it. However I did finally catch Olympus Has Fallen and loved it for essentially being Under Siege at The White House.
Perfect Weapon went to a Hooters-esque place called TWIN PEAKS and had a burger and fries.
Jox brought us the first look of Dolph’s latest film: Battle Of The Damned which looks friggin’ awesome.
A Man Of Steel discussion erupted earlier with people feeling it’s “ok” to being disappointed. I myself am not terribly interested in it. My favorite Superman film is Superman III, so this film seems pretty far from that goofy fun that I still enjoy to this day.
I recorded an audio commentary for Dolph Lundgren’s The Punisher. Here it is for download if you want to listen to me ramble on for 90 minutes. Rene’s Punisher Commentary
Now for our film of the week. Readers I bring you from the mind of Rene UNDER SIEGE.
Under Siege is basically the pinnacle of Steven Seagal’s career. It’s the only film of his to make major bucks at the box office, and it was created at the height of his career. He even hosted Saturday Night Live during this time which is well known for being a disaster and being the only time Lorne Michaels came close to doing a show with just the cast and no host.
The film is as all of us action lovers know a part of the “Die Hard on a _____” sub-genre that erupted after Die Hard took movie theaters by storm. At least to me, there’s only two films that are the best of that sub-genre. Cliffhanger, and Under Siege. I know people talk a lot about Speed, but I don’t consider that film part of it. Sure it’s all based in one location which is the main part of that formula, but all the rest feature a man (or a small group) being besieged by terrorists or people who appear to be terrorists. Speed has a bus with a bomb on it and Keanu having to do what Dennis “We’ve got all the balls in the world right here man!” Hopper.
In the case of Under Siege, it takes place on the U.S.S. Missouri. A ship that’s at the end of its time and will soon be decommissioned. Seagal plays Casey Ryback, the head cook on the ship that is very close to the Captain (Patrick O’Neal in his final film role.) Soon the ship is taken over by mercenaries led by a charismatic Tommy Lee Jones who plays WILLIAM STRANNIX. A Company man who outlived his usefulness to the CIA and now wants to hold Hawaii for ransom, Gary Busey as Commander Krill the traitor on the ship who works with Strannix, and Strannix’s lead henchmen Dahmer and Mr. Pitt.
Ryback takes it upon himself to defend the ship from the mercenaries as they attempt to offload nuclear missiles to sale while Strannix makes it appear to the military people in charge that he is insane (which eventually he does go crazy) and will destroy Honolulu. Ryback is eventually revealed to be more than just a cook. He’s an ex-Navy Seal and together with a small group of his shipmates (Troy Evans, Raymond Cruz, Damian Chapa and a few others) and a Playmate (Erika Eleniak! Miss July ’89!) they take down Strannix and his mercenaries.
This is a great bit of popcorn fun. The film really only has a short bit of set up, and then once it takes off, it never lets up. We get plenty of action that at some points gets fairly gory (remember when action films were almost like horror films and used a lot of make up fx guys?), and we’ve got fun turns from Jones, Busey, and Colm Meaney. Look out for a quick cameo by Kane Hodder as one of the mercenaries who gets killed by Ryback when he goes to rescue Jordan from them right after the helicopter explosion.
Seagal has always had the emotions of a piece of wood. The man is not that much of an actor, but he’s always done well at action. This film succeeds not so much because he’s the lead, but because they filled it with a trio of villains that are so watchable they make Seagal look good. Busey shows up in drag, Jones looks like what Jim Morrison would have become had he lived, and Colm Meaney is the most subdued of the lead villains, but still has plenty of great lines. “Ah’ll get this fucker meself!” “You’re incredible Ryback. It’s a shame you’re not cookin’ fer us.”
When Seagal is calmly talking about being a sick puppet and serving a master who is ungrateful, you see a sweaty and bulgy eyed Jones who looks to be on the verge of a meltdown. All this and more is a great way to distract from a fairly wooden leading man.
In addition, after seeing Olympus Has Fallen thursday night, I was not struck like others who immediately dubbed it “More Die Hard than the latest Die Hard.” I immediately thought how much the film was like Under Siege. There’s a turncoat traitor who is a combination of both Strannix and Krill. The lead is an ex-Special Forces Operative with hand to hand knowledge. There’s a Navy Seal incursion that is eliminated by gunfire/missiles thus preventing them from boarding. The lead villain even gets a knife to the head!
Andrew Davis’ direction proved that he’d come a long way from Code Of Silence (a film I’m not crazy about), and Above The Law, and brought us an action film that was grand in scale and paved the way for the following year’s big screen adaptation of The Fugitive. If you haven’t seen this film, you really should. The Blu-ray is fairly cheap online, and you can get a double feature that also has the just as fun sequel!