Friday, October 26, 2007

Jack's Back...Soonish

Fox premiered a promo for the seventh season of "24" during the Red Sox/ Rockies World Series Game last night.
Here's a longer version of the clip, (obviously not taken from the game, considering Kiefer's intro thanks "all the British fans of the show.")

It looks like they'll get back on track after "24" fans were letdown by the meandering sixth season, but I have a few random thoughts just based on these two minutes of footage:
- After all the controversy about torture at Gitmo, and the release of the new torture drama "Rendition," it's kind of weird to see the show kind of spitting in the face of anti-torture advocates. Jack Bauer telling a senator that he doesn't regret torturing terrorists is kind of a creepy moment, especially since the most interesting parts of season six were the moments when Jack was obviously torn up and disgusted with himself about the fact that he had to torture. The guy spent a year in a Chinese prison being tortured himself. And then, later in the promo, when his new female partner says "do whatever it takes...torture him if you have to," it's kind of a weird moment. Weirder still is when Jack responds and says "I'm gonna enjoy this." When did Jack start getting off on torturing the bad guys? I always gave "24" a pass for the show's questionable depiction of torture because, y'know, it's an action adventure fantasy show...but that moment was just kind of icky.
-Jack Bauer would think I'm just being a pussy about the whole torture issue.
-That female agent who says she "can handle Jack Bauer?" Yeah, probably not.
-Tony's reappearance is no shocker, since his return to the show was reported a couple months ago all over the media (though it still doesn't make any sense that he lived after being stabbed with a syringe filled with poison,) but now he's a bad guy? He certainly looks the part these days, now that he's sporting a tightly shaved head to go with the angry/ anguished look on his face. But this is the first time one of Jack's closest allies has turned to the dark side since Nina in season one. Tony- say it aint so!
-Tony and his accomplices are attacking...the CIP firewall? Didn't they already do techy terrorists in "Die Hard 4?" Isn't it kind of goofy to put nerdy hackers against kick ass action heroes? Is there some exec at Fox who had the thought that "if Hans Gruber can't kill John McClane, maybe Bill Gates can!"
-Despite these reservations, Season 7 looks like it could be a return bad ass "24" goodness. We all deserve a nail biting, edge of our seats, adrenaline pumping season of "24." Especially those of us who stuck it out past the autistic kid in Season Six.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

When a Man Is Pushed Far Enough, Killin's As Easy As Breathin'

So I went to see an early screening of “John Rambo” tonight. For some reason, cinematic genius Joel Schmacher, the man behind “Batman and Robin” and “The Number 23” was on hand. I'm not really sure what he was doing there, but there he was, in all his glory.

Speaking of “John Rambo”...

The movie was a pure, Regan era, exploitation eighties fascist fantasy action movie. It was porn for conservative NRA members…dumb, crass, and even borderline creepy at times in its representation of the evil Burmese rapists and pedophile soldiers.

But when it kicked did it kick ass. It was so short that it barely felt feature length, yet the beginning stil dragged a bit. But once it got to Rambo killin'...oh mama. Blood, gore, people snapping in half, heads flying off bodies, bodies splitting in two, and a man being turned into nothing more than a gooey pile of guts after Rambo blows him away with a gattling gun at close range. Just kick ass.

It's probably the most violent American action movie that's not trying to say anything intelligent about violence (ala Cronenberg's recent work.) Or maybe it is trying to say something intelligent about violence, but fails miserably.

Whatever. It's Rambo. It probably the best direct to video action movie you'll see in theaters next year, and it spurts blood real nice. Just don't try to think too deeply about the actual, very serious geopolitical situation in Burma, and enjoy Sly's old man, circa 1986 rampage. He looks great for a 90 year old (it's probably the steroids,) though he certainly moves a lot slower than he did a few years ago.

I can't wait for him to do a follow up to “Cliffhanger.”