Raw Deal (1986)

rawdeal_1Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kathryn Harrold, Darren McGavin, Sam Wanamaker, Paul Shenar, Steven Hill, Joe Regalbuto, Robert Davi, Ed Lauter, Mordecai Lawner

Directed by John Irvin

Expectations: Moderate. I saw this a couple of times as a kid but I don’t remember much about it, which probably isn’t a good sign.

Overall:
twohalfstar

Only in terms of action:
threehalfstar


When a movie opens with machine guns, power boats, witness protection and synth rock grooves, my only answer is a broad smile. Raw Deal is not an Arnold film that gets much love these days, but it’s definitely a worthwhile entry in his filmography. While it is a minor film alongside the others that Arnold made around it (The Terminator, Commando and Predator), taken on its own Raw Deal more than delivers its share of great Arnold moments and excellent ’80s action.

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Mark Kaminsky, an ex-FBI agent currently serving as the sheriff of a small town. His wife is furious about being stuck in the country for the last five years, so when Arnold’s former colleague at the bureau offers him an undercover mission infiltrating the Chicago mob, Arnold jumps at the chance so that he might be able to make his wife happy again. Or just to get away from her. Little details like this are not the strong suit of ’80s action films. Anyway… cue the montage of Arnold slicking back his hair, and before we can say “Great Terwilligers!” we’re on our way with Schwarzenegger to break up a backroom gambling joint and drive a tow truck through its walls.

Continue reading Raw Deal (1986) →

The Artist (2011)

Starring Jean Dujardin, Bérénice Bejo, John Goodman, James Cromwell, Penelope Ann Miller, Missi Pyle, Beth Grant, Ed Lauter, Joel Murray

Directed by Michel Hazanavicius

Expectations: High hopes, but moderate expectations.


I love film, if I didn’t I wouldn’t bother writing about it. I consider myself something of a film historian, not that I collect and catalog old works, but that I’m concerned with maintaining an understanding of the industry in its many forms throughout the years. Silent films were a huge part of my life about ten years ago, so much so that I was pretty much watching nothing else. It is this foundation that instantly gets excited when talk of a new silent film emerges. Then I happened to see the trailer and I realized that not only was it a silent film, The Artist is a film set in the silent era and its plot revolves around the film industry. Great. As much as I love film, I kinda hate films about Hollywood, so my expectations were instantly cut in half, which is honestly the best thing that could’ve happened.

And now that I’ve seen it, I can honestly say that I don’t really understand why it’s getting so much praise. I mean, I get it… if Drive was the movie that lit millennials’ bulbs in 2011, and The Tree of Life was the one that rang the bell for arthouse fiends, then The Artist is the film that floats the boat of the nostalgic lover of old Hollywood, but shouldn’t a film actually be good beyond the hype, pretense and nostalgia? All three of these critically acclaimed movies fell far short of the mark for me, and as much as I didn’t care for it, I’m tempted to say that The Tree of Life is the best of the bunch, regardless of my star ratings (which I stand by). Didn’t expect to ever say that.

Continue reading The Artist (2011) →

Subscribe via Email!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 83 other subscribers

Ongoing Series

Top Posts & Pages