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  • The Green Berets

    The Green Berets 1968

    ★★ Watched 23 Sep, 2016

    Often maligned as right-wing agitprop, it's hawkish rather than conservative. It actually has some interesting plot points, such as the subplot where a AVRN general's sister-in-law seduces an NVA bigwig, that belie the unfair yet popular perception of Wayne as a man with a myopic understanding of the human condition. But the production values are often abysmal, with the woods of Georgia making a laughable substitute for the swamps of Vietnam (why not shoot in Louisiana?), as well as tone…

  • Blood Father

    Blood Father 2016

    ★★★★ Watched 21 Sep, 2016

    For genre trash, this is surprisingly sharp, with good lines aplenty supplied to a captivating Mel Gibson. Spare me the freshman psych student "atonement" shit, because this is just the kind of role he always loved, a likable, witty fuckup with ice water in his veins and warmth in his heart. It admirably avoids tired cliche in the father/daughter relationship, rendering it as prickly and loving in both directions. It's also much funnier than "The Nice Guys" without even trying to be.

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  • Live Free or Die Hard

    Live Free or Die Hard 2007

    ★★★½ Watched 27 Jun, 2007 2

    Myopic fanboys largely just complained that this didn't have enough profanity, but as an exciting look at another bad day for Willis' John McClane, this does the trick. Wiseman's competent handling of action scenes is bolstered by Willis' enthusiastic performance, while the pacing makes it feel leaner than it actually is. Serious foul with the fighter jet/semi-truck battle, though, a scene so stupid and unnecessary that it nearly wrecks the climax.

  • Escape from New York

    Escape from New York 1981

    ★★★★ Added

    Kurt Russell always sat on the periphery of the A-list, a charming lead, convincing macho man, and fine actor, a household name yet never the sort of star who put asses in the seats by his name alone. This movie features perhaps his defining performance as Snake Plissken, a gunfighter whose ruthlessness is weighted by a conscience, a dry joker who cares for the decent people who cross his path and yet is content to watch the whole world come crashing down. People are worth saving, humanity isn't, every good anti-hero knows. Expect this role at the top of Russell's obituary, and with good reason.