Movie of the Day – Mortal Kombat


I remember when this movie came out and I had to go see it with my gamer friends.  I mean I was like 10 at the time and my parents drove us to go see a movie in which the premise is about Earth’s best fighters fighting ninja’s or whatever in a fight to the death.  I was excited that yet another fighting video game getting the big screen treatment, but after Street Fighter showed no one fighting in the street or whatever, this movie looked like it had all the dark marking of the video game I played for hours on end, but with none the fatalities.

Once that opening yell of MORTAL KOMBAT came over the speakers, I just buckled up and prepared to watch a video game come to life.

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Movie of the Day – Top Gun

Today, we lost an amazing director.  A man whose nail biting, tense action thrillers have been a favorite of mine for a long time.  Tony Scott died Sunday evening and reports are coming in about the circumstances of his death, his suicide by jumping off a bridge, possibly brought on by his recent brain tumor discovery.  It’s hard to see someone go like Tony Scott who has brought us amazing films that have become iconic.  Days of Thunders, Beverly Hills Cop II, Man on Fire, Crimson Tide, True Romance and countless others.  Today, this post is about Top Gun, one of his best films, even with all the bromancing that has come out of that film, he still managed to create an amazing movie about fighter pilots that is both intense with action scenes and meaningful with the bromantic scenes.

It also managed to have one of the most kick ass soundtracks with Kenny Loggins. Berlin, and that theme song that just fucking shreds.  It is the encapsulation of 80s filmmaking and forever will be remembered for undercut subtexts of shirtless volleyball playing for no reason what so ever.  Enjoy the medley of clips and soundtracks.

RIP Tony Scott.

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Name That Tune: Massive Attack – Angel

I decided to start up a new series of article, mainly because I have found myself with an abundance of time as of late, but also because I actually enjoy film soundtracks a lot.  I thought that this would be a fun new thing to do and try.  My encyclopedic knowledge of films also extends to the musical styling that are present in films, more importantly to the over usage of certain songs in movies.  In this case, the showcase for today is the 1998 Album Mezzanine from Massive Attack, which apparently has three songs on the album that are in constant use for television programs and movie trailers or soundtracks.  The song “Angel” alone shows up in over a dozen movies and I am not counting the dozen or so television shows that also use this song.  So below is a nice little cobbling of clips where the song appears in and frankly, I want you to tell me if it fits within the context of the clip.

Here is the original song in its entirety:

It’s a beautifully haunting song, but as you will see below, used in a lot of movies.

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Movie of the Day – Space Jam

Everybody get up it’s time to slam now
We got a real jam goin’ down
Welcome to the Space Jam
Here’s your chance, do your dance at the Space Jam

Thank you Quad City DJ’s for getting me up and getting me ready for the Space Jam.  1996 was one of the top years in my life.  I was coasting through life and seemingly innocent in my ways.  I thought that it couldn’t get better until I saw the above trailer for what would end up being one of the greatest sports film in the history of cinema.  At the age of 11, I was pretty confident about that assertion, I mean who was going to crush the hopes and dreams of a little kid?  Assholes Nick, assholes were going to ruin your fun.  You couldn’t meet a teen or kid or whatever who wasn’t basically losing their collective shit when two of the greatest things in the world were coming together in one movie that would essentially be the encapsulation of the 90s, Bill Murray and Basketball.  Shit yes.

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Movie of the Day – Drive

Drive.  I could go at length about how amazing this film is and how it was a damn travesty that it wasn’t nominated for more Oscars other than the sound mixing one which was just a meager bone thrown to the fans of Drive.  I guess that is why I am posting about it today, to make a point about how unbelievable this movie is.  Sure, the movie is made out to be this Fast and Furious clone, which I guess if you are in it for the car chases, you won’t enjoy this movie.  Hell, some lady sued the people who made the movie because the trailer made it seem like a action film.  While I that lady should kick rocks, I guess that might be a deal breaker for a lot of people.  If you can look past this “flaw”, what you will fine is one of the most dynamic films that is a genre mash-up like no other.

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Documentary of the Day – Man with a Movie Camera

This will be a short post today, not because of the Super Bowl or anything, but mainly because the Puppy Bowl will be on TV.  I am kidding obviously…maybe.  Actually the reason for the short post today is because of the subject matter in today’s selection.  Man with a Movie Camera is documentary that has no specific narrative, no objective to tell a story, is a silent film made in 1929 and is the one most technically diverse documentaries out there.  All the technical camerawork that we see in movies like fast/slow motion, jump cuts, freeze frames, dutch angles and even tracking shots all owe some bit of reverence to this surrealist documentary made by Dziga Vertov.

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Movie of the Day – Black Dynamite

Movies are a labor of love, most of the time though, and we as movie lovers have to learn to appreciate the care that goes into making a movie.  Some directors choose to create original movies and wow us with something we have never seen before.  Other directors will take the route of retreading past movies as a directorial style.  There are even certain directors that will pay homage to movies that influenced them in their film making.  Homages in general are a tricky thing for directors to make, since we as a viewer will be familiar with the story and setting, so nothing can honestly take us by surprise.  Homage movies run the risk of also seeming unoriginal to others.  Tarantino has this criticism put on him many times as he takes story elements from numerous genre’s and places them into his movie.  I mean Kill Bill had almost all the elements of Lady Snowblood, but the Tarantino was influenced by the story and added his typical dialogue and flair to the movie.

Homages try and toe this line between parody and send-up of the genre the film maker is wanting to portray.  Often times they fall on the parody side and focus on the ridiculousness that the genre has to offer.  There was a little known cult movie that came out in 2009 that was a loving send-up to the genre of Blaxploitation movies.  You might be familiar with movies like Shaft, Super Fly, Foxy Brown, or maybe Blackula (Black Dracula).  Those films were iconic in the 70s as they part of a slew of films that focused on the black community.  They gave the African-Americans their own story, their own voice and their own heroes to root for when they went to the movies.  Their characters are strong and independent.  They don’t take shit from the man.  Most were even about the political and social climate.  So when a director wants to recreate the look and feel of the era, they will have to walk a fine line as to not upset those that love the genre.

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