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Showing posts from April 7, 2013

The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)

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I loved this movie when I was in high school, but - despite having a copy - I haven't actually sat down and watched it in years. I'd more or less forgotten it was set at Christmas until I saw it on a list of holiday movies. I figured it would be cheating to count this as a "Christmas movie" and decided it would be a good time to re-watch it. Turns out I was wrong about it being a stretch: the holiday elements permeate the setting, tone, and music of the film. This is definitely a Christmas movie, and a fantastic one at that.

The Long Kiss Goodnight is directed by Renny Harlin, better known for Die Hard 2. The writing is credited to Shane Black (hence the Christmas setting, I suppose), though Wikipedia mentions there was some script-doctoring involved.
The movie is, among other things, absurd and implausible: if you can't suspend your disbelief, don't bother putting it on. But it's clearly not intended to be realistic. This is unapologetically pulpy: the …

Lethal Weapon (1987)

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Growing up, there were two action movies that defined the genre: Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. It's been at least a decade since I sat down and watched any version of Lethal Weapon. After doing so, I was immediately impressed with just how well Die Hard continues to hold up.

It's not that Lethal Weapon is bad. Actually, for its sub-genre, it's really good. There aren't a lot of buddy-cop action flicks from the 80's or 90's that hold a candle, and the ones that do owe a lot to Lethal Weapon's success. But at the same time, the movie is incredibly cheesy without having as much fun with that cheese as many of its imitators. There's still fun to be had in Lethal Weapon; just not nearly as much as I remembered.

Like Die Hard, the film is set at Christmas. But while Die Hard has fun with this juxtaposition, Lethal Weapon tries to use it to play up a sense of isolation and depression. A lot of Lethal Weapon is devoted to loss and suicide: for a while, the movie…