lördag 5 december 2015


This was going to be a post about Shane Blacks newest film Nice Guys starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. But it´s not. It made me think about Blacks first picture he wrote, The all-time classic Lethal Weapon ( directed by Richard Donner)´ His original idea was as a sort of deconstruction of Dirty Harry where the same type of character, the cop on the edge were a lot more psychologically scarred from the death of his wife . In  Dirty Harry, the death of Harry´s wife is just treated as something .....that happened. Harry seem pretty callous about it, Shut off. Like a real man should deal with it. Or the traditional way a man handles his emotions. Locking it up. Taking it like a man!

But then came the 80´s and men were supposed to be more in touch with their emotionals and their feels and all that shit and wear pink shirts all the time.  In fact there is a scene in Lethal Weapon that sums it up:

Sergeant McCaskey: You know, Roger, you are way behind the times. The guys of the 80s aren't tough. They are sensitive people. Show a little emotion to a woman and shit like that. I think I'm an '80s man...
Roger Murtaugh: How do you figure?
Sergeant McCaskey: Last night I cried in bed. So how is that?
Roger Murtaugh: Were you with a woman?
Sergeant McCaskey: I was alone. Why do you think I cried?
Roger Murtaugh: Sounds like an '80s man to me...

Martin Riggs is the new 80´s man. Burned out, alone, suicidal and more intense than any action hero at the time. Because a normal human being can´t just shut off the death of a loved one. Even if he is a real man! He needs a hug and good cry. There is no hugging in this one, but there is a great intense scene in which Riggs come close killing himself in his trailer, alone on Christmas Eve.

Which may be the reason it was so successful. Oh, shit! here is a macho guy who shows his emotions in an unusually raw way. What the hell is this all of a sudden? And then John McClane came along in Die Hard and followed that trend. A few years back Michael Biehn from The Terminator also allowed himself to be vulnerable in some tender moments with Sarah Connor. And not to mention when he is blown to bits, leaving the female character in charge. There are plenty of examples.

But, wait? Weren´t the 80´s extremely macho? Well, yes in a way.  Whenever there is a dominating discourse, it is usually ounterparted with a reaction towards it. At least it is something I have read somewhere. And it is called counter culture. As an example,  here in Europe you  could argue that the multicultural discourse has been countered with an increasing right wing extremism. Not everyone is happy about it.

So the demands of men behaving sensitive is countered with this ridiculously macho-as-hell movies of the 80´s. Or maybe the sensitivity was a reaction towards it, I don´t know. What is clear is that we can see contrasting ideals among male heroes in the 80´s.   I mean, stuff like Commando, Cobra,Action Jackson, Predator, not to mention the the Rambo-films has this´absurd, invincible ubermensch alpha male in the lead.

What was a counter reaction to what is for better men than me to observe. Or maybe I should read more, so I can learn shit? Whatever...

I am not a scholar on this, but I do believe that it is hard to define eras out of one particular line of thinking. There are alwasy discrepancies and disagreements from various cultural groups with different thinking. But it is always interesting to discover these contradictions and cultural disagreements in popular culture.

Any way? Lethal Weapon? Great fucking movie,

onsdag 2 december 2015


A  visual  intepretation of the movie I saw. Don´t expect more
Killshot is one of my favourite books by Elmore Leonard. But when I saw the movie adaptation, it made me question how I could love such a basic plot. Again like in Part 1 it all comes down to how the filmmakers adapt the work. Admittedly, there were some really good ideas in Stick.  I liked how visual the bad guys were. Here there are absolutely none. All the scenarios are  exactly as I envisioned them in the book. Even the places! Places I´ve never even been to! What kind of bullshit is that?

The version I read and which I loved so much
The novel has a straight forward plot, but the characters richness support it to such an extent so you forget about it. In fact, I used to like how basic it was. there were no unnecessary bull. Just a fast forward moving thriller. A forgotten art, when most thrillers are so muddled with subplots and characters it makes it all the more refreshening when an author like Elmore Leonard has the balls and go ahead and write something that is so uncompromising. Mr Majestyk is another book like that. But that was based on Leonards screenplay to the Charles Bronson vehicle. And a great film it was.

A couple played by Diane Lane and Thomas Jane gets mixed up in a scheme by accident and gets targeted for termination by a half-seminaole professional hitman, Blackbird and his associate the twitchy psychotic Ritchie. The federal agents put the couple in witness protection but the bandits find a way to lure them out.

That is the plot. As basic as basic grammar. It sounds shit.  But the novel is so much fun to read. None of that is represented well here.

This was a troubled production, as well, from what I have heard. And the nicest thing I can say is that everyone seem to have been extreme professionals in going out of their way to at least making the film not look like complete dogshit. And I give the film that. Everyone seems to be a professional about the project. None of it looks bad. the acting is solid, the directing is solid, the cinematography, of which I m not a fan of, is at least solid.. And the pacing of it makes it work. It is a solid piece of filmmaking that works. But it lacks any kind of soul or personality of it. It is not a fun watch. It makes me continue my habit of hard drinking.

Apparantly this is an indjun:

A....seminal Rourke...? (urgh)
His dipshit companion looks like this:


The couple look like Superman´s mom and The Punisher. That is all you need to know.  I´m not gonna bother. You know why,assholes? Because the couple in the book was not depressing, they were somewhat likeable. Apparently the studio felt, that problematic couple sells. I think we know the answer to that. People do not watch movies to see their own troubles.

It makes me sad writing about this film. It is such a dire work..  It is really nothing wrong about it per se. The  only thing it does different is complicating the relatonship between the couple by making them  struggle.  In the book they were a happy couple. Here it is more of a married couple trying to make up their differences. But it makes it even more depressing. Because now the story has no fucking purpose because of it! Jesus Christ,dudes!Did you not read the novel? The couple was a fun one. they are not fun anymore. Why would you care about then anymore?

This is such a depressing movie, you´d better off reading the book. Read Killshot by Elmore Leonard and your life will blossom.like a spring flower. Watch the film adaptation and yout flowers will die.

Next time on How to fuck up an Elmore Adaptations:?