Movie of the Week 06/06/16

TG4 really is one of my favourite channels. Not only do they occasionally show blockbuster movies with Irish dubbing with English subtitles so I can pretend I’m learning, but they also show old Westerns old the time. And this Friday they’re showing one of the best: Rio Bravo.

Howard Hawks directs John Wayne as John T. Chance, a grumpy, badly acted sheriff who must defend himself against a ruthless rancher that wants to break his murdering brother out of prison. Chance’s only help comes from the badly acted drunk deputy, a badly acted old prospector and a badly acted young gunslinger. And if all that bad acting wasn’t enough to contend with, Chance’s old flame has turned up in town.

Rio Bravo is an absolute classic. Despite it’s bad acting (it’s a John Wayne movie after all, but you get used to it fairly quickly), it’s a pretty damned exciting film. John Carpenter would later base Assault on Precinct 13 on it, and many other films would follow the same basic premise (including my own unpublished screenplay based in modern Dublin, Rio Rialto. It’s going to win Oscars, I tell ya!).

It’s a manly film that needs a manly stout to drink with it, preferably accompanied by the meat of an animal you hunted and killed with your bare hands. That’s manly! I guess… I don’t really know. I’ll probably be drinking Pimms with some Ritz crackers.

“Rio Bravo” is on TG4 at 10:05 on Friday night.

Movie of the Week – 30/05/16

Do you ever get the feeling that everything in your life just isn’t right? That there’s something lurking beneath the surface? That maybe you’re not quite who you think you are? That you’re actually a government assassin suffering from amnesia and not, as you were led to believe, an unassuming housewife in a small US town?

If so, that’s kind of messed up. It’s also, coincidentally, the plot of “The Long Kiss Goodnight”. So we’ll stick with the film and not your loosening grip on reality.

The 1980’s were a golden time for action thrillers. Think of all the great action thrillers you love, and they were probably made in the 80’s. If they weren’t, then shut up. Once the 90’s came, studios slowed down with the mindless films and started boring audiences with comprehendible plots, solid writing and character development.

But Shane Black was never one to follow trends. Being the creator of the Lethal Weapon series, it’s no surprise that he stuck with what works: buddy movies with explosions. It’s a formula he’s followed his entire career. And thank god for that, because he came up with a real gem with “The Long Kiss Goodnight”.

It stars Geena Davis (remember her? Of course you don’t!), as an amnesiac trying to find out who she is while also trying to balance her new found family life, and Samuel L Jackson as Samuel L Jackson, the seedy PI trying to help her. And that’s pretty much all you need to know. There’s a plot in there somewhere, but like all good films it’s largely irrelevant.

In fact, TLKG (which is what all the cool kids call it), is one of those movies that you don’t really remember what happened afterwards. You just remember that you really loved it. That’s possibly because I’ve only every seen it while drunk, or maybe it really is that magical a movie? Though I’m pretty sure it’s the drunk thing.

“The Long Kiss Goodnight” is on Wednesday at 22:00, on 3e.

Movie Of The Week – 23/05/16

As part of our ongoing plan of world domination, we at Wood Key are slowly lulling you all into a false sense of security. I won’t go into the details, and probably shouldn’t mention the plan. But my backspace key isn’t working, so we’ll just move on.

We all like having something to look forward to, and what could be better than a badly written and directed 80’s action movie starring Steven Seagal? Quite a lot, actually. In fact, nearly everything. But it’s a poor week for tv movies, so this will have to do. So I present “Nico: Above The Law”

Before he went bat-shit crazy, crashed police tanks into people’s homes, released energy drinks and beat up his co-stars while claiming to have invented martial arts, Steven Seagal made some truly memorable movies. Don’t get me wrong, they were god awful. But they stay with you. Kind of like an STD.

Seagal is Nico Toscani, an Italian who learned martial arts in Japan, worked for the CIA in Vietnam and is now a cop in Chicago. That was genuinely an acceptable backstory for characters in the 80’s. “Nico” was Seagal’s first film and all of his others would follow this formula of a martial artist who now has an unassuming job. It’s worked for him, so can you really blame him for sticking to what he knows?

If you’ve never seen a Seagal movie, then in you’re for a treat. This one is terrible and perfect for making drinking games out of. Every time something stupid happens, take a sip. Every time Seagal says a one-liner that doesn’t actually fit the situation, take a sip. Every time you look at your watch and wonder how much more of this you have to suffer through, knock back your drink. You’ll be plastered within a half hour.

“Nico” doesn’t have the high production values of “Under Siege”, the hilariously on the nose environmental message of “On Deadly Ground” or the terrible dubbing of his later films (he actually put so little effort into those films that they had to dub over all his dialogue because it was unintelligible when filmed. Seriously, check it out!).

But it is a little gem of a movie. Action movies have lost something in recent times. I think it’s that they make an effort, which is never a good thing when you want a movie you don’t have to think about. No, the 80’s did it right: a nonsensical plot, a lead actor who can’t act and that certain “what the hell am I watching?” feeling that you just don’t get these days. No, these days actions movies are actually enjoyable.

So, that’s why I’ve chosen “Nico” as my Movie of the Week. That and, as I said, it’s a poor week for TV movies.

Nico is on TV3 on Saturday 28th May at 23:00.