Sunday, January 23, 2005

Tough chicks and badass flicks!

Last night, I watched Bandolero! starring James Stewart, Dean Martin and Raquel Welch. It's a pretty solid little post-Spaghetti potboiler Western, bolstered mostly by the excellent performances by the cast.

I've not seen very many Jimmy Stewart Westerns, although there are quite a few, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is, as mentioned many times already, one of my favorite movies. His sincerity makes him incredibly believable, which is terribly scary when he's being all badass and ready to kill, because he's loveable ol' Jimmy Stewart.

I think this was one of Raquel Welch's first attempts at stretching beyond her initial image, and she's reasonably solid performance as a Mexican widow of a rich American rancher. It's a first step, and she doesn't make the full distance, but it works in context.

Anyway, tonight was my friend Mara's birthday party. We started off by trying to play CSI: The Board Game, which actually seems like it could be a lot of fun, but apparently we started playing wrong which screwed the whole thing up, and we wrapped up early... I'd kind of like to play again right, though.

So, we watched the pilot episode from her set of Wonder Woman - The Complete First Season. It was a fun thing to watch with a group and kind of make fun of... Mostly because the show struggled so badly for a tone. It wanted to be both campy like the '60s Batman, while also working as an action show, and the two simply aren't able to blend.

The one good solid thing that must be said, though, is that Lynda Carter really does bring a presence to the role, which isn't easy in that silly costume with that silly dialogue. I think it's very admirable. Hopefully when Joss Whedon makes the new movie, he'll keep in mind both what doesn't work and what works very well about that series.

Then I came home and watched T.N.T. Jackson starring Jeannie Bell (and co-written by the super-fuckin'-all-around-totally-awesome Dick Miller).

This is the big topless kung fu blaxploitation rocktacular. The print on the DVD is incredibly bad.

I won't go into detail about what worked and didn't. For that, go to this Steamed Prawn Buns review. I agree with most of what it says.

The only thing I have to say is, it has topless kung fu. How this managed to never become the biggest trend in movies ever, I'll never understand. I can imagine how this movie could be remade as something more. Not like the Ang Lee or Zhang Yimou kind of take on kung fu movies, but like a solid John McTiernan style action flick. You know, with enough solid character development to get by, well-staged action, but just with topless kung fu. I'm not sure who's up to the job, though. Suggestions?

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