Take Five

By George Rose

June 16, 2009

The only thing better than a catfight is a catfight complete with 80s hair!

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In any case, I had already picked up two other Blu-Ray movies (still to come on this list) and could afford one more with my gift card. There was only one copy of The Untouchables left and it was in my price range so I purchased it. I'd say I'll loan it to you but that probably won't happen. In any case, if you're a fan of mob-movies you'll most likely enjoy The Untouchables. If you're not a fan, then maybe this is the movie to help you cross the threshold too.

Total Recall (1990)

The first movie that was on sale that I picked up was Total Recall and for very good reason. It is a yearly tradition for me and my college buddies to go to Vermont on Christmas break to stay at my friend's ski house. The tradition had been in place for a few years before I become friends with the guy but I was introduced to a new way of watching movies: on endless repeat. As it turns out, part of their tradition is to pick one movie that will stay on the TV all weekend as we ski and drink ourselves stupid. On my first trip to Vermont with the crew, the film they selected was Total Recall.

I had already seen the movie several times but never ten times in two days. Surprisingly, the movie just gets better and better (or did we just get more and more drunk?). The movie is about a man named Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course), an Earthling who continues to have dreams about Mars. Assuming it's his subconscious telling him he'd like to be there, he visits "Rekall Inc", a place that promises to deliver the most vivid vacation dream sequence. From there, the first-time viewer isn't sure whether he wakes up into his own real life action or if he is stuck in the dream. Either way, we get to watch Schwarzenegger travel to Mars to find answers about his desire to be on Mars and why there are Martians trying to kill him.

While The Untouchables may have been enjoyable because of the influence I was under, booze had nothing to do with Total Recall's entertainment value. There are tons of aliens, plot twists, conspiracies and action sequences that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout, and plenty of humor to help wash it all down. Nobody does action like Arnold and no party is complete without Total Recall playing in circles in the background.


American Psycho (2000)

Remember when Christian Bale wasn't famous enough to scream obscenities at the production crew from atop his high horse and get away with it? I do, and one of the roles for which I will best remember him (no, not Batman) was in American Psycho, the third Blu-Ray I purchased on my Best Buy excursion. Based on the book of the same name, Bale stars as Patrick Bateman, a wealthy Wall Street investment banker with a screw loose. The problem is, we aren't really sure which screw is loose.

The movie begins with his seemingly normal, high-society life and quickly becomes a downward spiral of delusion as he realizes how boring and pointless it all really is. As a form of excitement, he begins killing without reason and in the most brutal ways (though I haven't read it, I've heard the book is far more graphic than the already disturbing film). By the end, we come to learn that he is so crazy he may have made the whole thing up in his head. Is he a deranged murderer or simply deranged? Though we never can be sure, Bale delivers a brilliant, believable turn as a man on the brink of madness. The mystery itself isn't why the movie is appealing so much as the hilarity of the character presented. From his shallow views of society to his homicidal rants, Bateman is both the banker and the slayer we all perversely idolize though hopefully have nowhere inside of us. I had never thought to say it before the film but have yelled "don't just stare at it, EAT IT!" to several friends since. If you know what I'm quoting and just laughed, then we're on the same page. If not, go rent the movie (or purchase it at Best Buy for $10) as soon as possible. You may find yourself buying bone-white business cards by the end of it. At the very least, you'll forgive Bale for being an out of control A-list star and remember the acting-root-rungs he climbed to get on top of that pedestal.

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