The Day I Watched Four Movies (Unknown, The Last Stand, The Best of RiffTrax Live: Plan 9 from Outer Space, Bullet to the Head)!

Granted, I’ve probably done this before on a lazy day off or on a day that I’ve called in “sick” to work, but I watched three of these films in a movie theater all in the same day and that’s a personal record. I don’t know if that makes me some type of cool movie geek or a lonely, pathetic loser. YOU BE THE JUDGE!

The day was Thursday, January 31, 2013 and here are the movies I watched…

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Unknown
2011, Warner Bros. Pictures
Buy the Blu-ray at Amazon.com

I started my Thursday morning off by catching this action/thriller which continues Liam Neeson’s career reinvention from a guy mostly known for work in low-key dramatic features to a late-blooming action movie star. This was the picture Neeson made after the majorly successful Taken. For anyone not familiar with the movie who may be interested, I won’t spoil too much but there is a good twist to the movie towards the end. You may end up drawing comparisons to another action movie character but it’s a premise that works, original or not.

Liam Neeson is just so great in these tough guy roles. If you enjoyed him in Taken, you should like this movie as well. I’m not too fond of January Jones though. I know she’s supposed to be beautiful but she doesn’t seem all that special to me and her acting just isn’t very good. Her name is awesome though.

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The Last Stand
2013, Lionsgate

Seeing as how I couldn’t get anyone to see this movie with me, I decided to check out an afternoon showing of this movie by myself. For the record, this is the third movie I’ve seen in the theaters solo. The first one was Slither and the second was The Dark Knight Rises.

To be honest, I wasn’t too sure about this movie. I mean… Just look at the poster. Were they really trying to sell this movie using Johnny Knoxville? I much preferred the original poster that I saw hanging up in the movie theater months before the film debut…

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Now THAT is a movie poster that lets you know Arnold is back (he told you he would be) and that he means business! But to be fair, the first poster actually conveys the tone of the movie a lot better. This movie is not an action comedy but there are many humorous, over-the-top moments and those moments come off well. Knoxville actually does a good job as the comic relief but he doesn’t play much of a role until the third act and even then he’s just another supporting character, so it’s weird that he’s featured so heavily on the poster. I guess they were going for that Jackass demographic.

The main villain is a bit weak but The Last Stand is far better than I ever thought it could be. It’s a fun action movie (with tons of blood) that doesn’t take itself seriously. I enjoyed it and I think other Arnold fans will as well.

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The Best of RiffTrax Live: Plan 9 from Outer Space
2013, RiffTrax/NCM Fathom Events
Buy the Blu-ray at Amazon.com

ONE NIGHT ONLY SHOWING.  Except for that one time they showed it live back in 2009. I caught this one with a co-worker and her husband. I’m a huge fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000 so I would obviously be a fan of RiffTrax as well. Same guys, different name.

This was a re-airing of one of the first RiffTrax Live movies back from 2009. I was fine with this because up until Thursday night, I had only seen live RiffTrax airings of Birdemic and Manos: The Hands of Fate. Sidenote: for some reason, the RiffTrax guys really shine on old bad movies. Newer movies like Birdemic  just don’t seem as inspired.

I’m not going to really comment much on the movie itself because who cares? Just know that it’s a bad movie turned into a hilarious movie by the riffing of Kevin, Mike and Bill. I will say this though, it’s really sad that the great Bela Lugosi, horror icon and the greatest Dracula of all-time, was involved in this picture.

MST3K never did Plan 9 from Outer Space, opting to do more obscure films rather than what is probably the best known “worst movie ever made” (though I suppose the legends of Manos: The Hands of Fate and Troll 2 are becoming equal to Plan 9)! I definitely recommend anyone picking up the DVD/Blu-ray of the live show. And I’m happy to now say I’ve seen the “worst movie ever made”. To be fair, it’s hardly the worst ever. Terrible, yes. But the worst ever? I’ve seen much, much worse through my years of watching Mystery Science Theater 3000.

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Bullet to the Head
2013, Warner Bros. Pictures

I’m a huge Stallone fan so when I found out this movie was going to have a 10PM showing right after RiffTrax, I knew I had to go. I’m really digging the idea of 10PM premieres instead of the standard midnight premieres, by the way.

I respect the fact that the new Stallone and Schwarzenegger movies aren’t trying to ignore the fact that these guys are in their 60s now. There’s a number of jokes in each movie about their age and even the movie posters get in on the action with taglines like “Retirement is for Sissies” and “Revenge Never Gets Old”. It’s easier to buy into these movies when it’s acknowledged how ridiculous the whole thing is. Along with The Expendables franchise, these movies are pretty much satirizing themselves but in a good way. It’s like they’re saying, “Yes, we know we’re old. Shut up and enjoy the ride.”

Bullet to the Head is based on a French graphic novel. Never read it, never heard of it and this isn’t some superhero story. Nope, it’s a buddy action/crime thriller that takes place in New Orleans. Sly plays a hitman out for revenge for the murder of his partner. Don’t worry, he’s like a hitman with a heart of gold (kinda). Of course, there were some humorous moments but the film was darker in tone than say The Last Stand. I mean that literally. Most of the movie takes place at night.

Again, I felt a bit letdown by the villains. Could it be that our action heroes are so iconic that anyone who is put up against them just doesn’t seem worthy?

I hate to say it because I prefer Stallone over Schwarzenegger but I liked The Last Stand better than Bullet to the Head. I liked the movie and it’s always great to see Stallone on the big screen but it’s nothing too special. I would still watch this over something like Eye See You, The Specialist or Get Carter though.

But, yes, I’m sure I’ll buy the Blu-ray anyway.

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