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Blue Steel (1990)
| Directed by:
A rookie cop’s
(Curtis) first days on the force go to hell. It starts when she interrupts
a holdup in process, blowing the guy away, to then have the crook’s gun
disappear from the scene. It gets worse when the person with the missing gun
starts killing people at random and engraving her name in the bullets.
And it gets trickier still, when she starts dating a guy (Silver) who might just
be that specific trigger-happy nut. And then things really get ugly.
people have foot fetishes; I have a Kathryn Bigelow fetish. Nobody paints
a picture like she does and “Blue Steel” is no exception. From the
slick opening credits of a gun being loaded in all of its bluish tinted glory,
to the rest of the film which bathes in bluish lighting continually with
guns glimmering or blue rays of light shining through, Blue
Steel is, without a doubt, a visual treat and lives up to its title in terms
And the story, you may ask?
on the upside, it was a lot like "The Hitcher" but with
a chick. Being that the script was co-written by genre genius Eric "loves
his violence" Red who also wrote the former film, the similarities made sense.
Now although I found the character evolution more satisfying in The
Hitcher, I still got some kicks out of seeing Jamie Lee become tougher and
tougher through this psychopath-induced ordeal. The film did stretch
credibility on more than one occasion (Jamie Lee hasn’t met such a
resilient villain since “Michael Myers”) but looking back, I forgave
farfetched tendencies fairly quickly. When you're totally into a flick,
absorbed in its world, wooed by its visuals...script boo-boos go down much
easier. I was
slightly annoyed by the redundancy factor though;
they get close to nailing the killer, but then he gets away with it
somehow. That went on for about three scenes in a
row. The "out there" conclusion also pushed too far. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a "fun
times" shoot 'em up that had me by the balls, but it's set smack in the middle of
downtown New York City! Where were the other cops at? Donut break? The conclusion would have been more comfortable
in a Western than in an urban thriller.
the positive gun blast, the picture contained a unique
script structure and served up plot twists galore, all of which made sure
me in the game.
I mucho dug the family drama as well, even though the cap off to that subplot was
an obvious plot device to have the killer pop up again. I also liked how the
loon’s motive was always kept ambiguous, they don’t spell it out for us
and I made my own conclusion as to why he was doing his dirty deeds (make
your own). The film also thankfully brought up a relevant and engaging
theme: how it feels
to be a
female police officer. I mean, let's face it, it’s a male dominated
territory; girls get no respect and are always questioned. I found it
gnarly to see a flick of this nature having the female lead NOT be a
victim. The lady took care of herself and displayed lots of guts
throughout. YOU GO, GIRL! The cherry on top of this red-wet cupcake was
definitely its yummy violence though. Bigelow
and Red already proved their love of plasma to me once before in “Near Dark” and
they re-affirmed that gourmet taste here. When people got blown away in
this film, they got blown away like-- forget about it!! Blood splashing
out, bodies tumbling backwards in slow motion…violence never looked so
In the end, "Blue Steel" came through and slapped a grin on my dumb face. Yes,
the script didn’t always hold up and pushed the credibility factor often, but the spot-on cast
(Ron Silver and Jamie Lee rock), the
arresting images and the oh-so astounding violence made it worth the trip.
The flick also went out of its way to be original while delivering the
"exploitive" goods and being the psycho in training that I am, I couldn’t help but respect that
with all of my being. Viva la violence and viva Jamie Lee!
Curtis (Megan) delivers one of her more solid performances here.
Vulnerability, fear, anger and toughness are all mixed perfectly. She had
me riveted to the screen. Go girl! Ron Silver (Eugene) was also very effective
as the nut job. His twitching worked and he reminded me of a whacked out
Al Pacino. His scenes with Curtis were bang-on. It’s nice to see Clancy
Brown (Nick) play the good guy. The man’s got charisma and is very
natural. Give the guy more good guy parts! Elisabeth Pena (Tracy) had a
small part and did what she had to do. Great smile…
overly bloody bullet hits? HAPPY B-DAY!
We get Jamie Lee’s
incredibly flat tummy in a sex scene (or was it a body double?) and the
ladies get Clancy
Brown’s back. No chest shots for anyone. What a disappointing sex
scene…I really wanted to see Clancy’s tits! :)
what she does best: awesome shots, lots of slow motion and a well-used smoke
machine. This is one moody flick. If you like the color blue, you will be
well served: blue neon, blue lighting, blue metal, blue window
frames…you get my drift. Bigelow also makes good use of the downtown New
York location and sure knows how to make a gun look way kool.
The score by
Brad Fiedel is perfect coating to the images. It kind of sounds like his
score for T2.
Distributor: MGM Home Entertainment
We have the option of watching
the flick in Standard "full screen" or in Widescreen "16.9 Enhanced"
mode. The image itself is decent with the occasional grain popping up, but
I did find it to be somewhat lacking in definition. On the flip
side, this DVD sure beats any used up video tape. You got to take what you
get and run, I guess.
The English Dolby Surround
sound on the other hand comes through with the soundtrack coming in
gangbusters and the gunshots resonating deliciously. We also get a French
Dolby Surround sound option and English, French, Spanish subtitle options.
We get the Theatrical Trailer and
that's that. Of course, a Kathryn Bigelow and Eric Red commentary would've
rocked my world...but I guess I'll have to be satisfied with just owning
this baby, bare bones on DVD.
I got off on
I mean, can you really go wrong with Eric Red, one of the genres more
daring screenwriters and Kathryn Bigelow one of the more snazzy directors
on the "style" block teaming up again? Not in my graveyard of great
movies. Yes, the script is off at times, but the film compensated for that by satisfying my many pleasures: Jamie Lee Curtis, guns,
violence, slick style and the color blue, all of which I love and
crave on a daily basis. Thank you Kathryn, and thank you Eric for this
tasty, involving and brutal cinematic bon-bon.
Curtis had a quarrel with the director over the weapon used in the last
scene. Kathryn wanted her to use a .44 but Curtis thought it was too much. She wound up using a
.38 in the last scene of the film.
Eugene is reloading his gun in the bathroom, it is clear that he’s
reloading with spent casings. Ooops!
a certain point, Eugene delivers a speech that’s basically a re-write of
the key speech from Orson Wells’ "The Third Man".
Red co-wrote Blue Steel with Kathryn Bigelow. They also collaborated on
"Near Dark", which Bigelow also directed.
Sizemore plays the tiny part of the robber. He also played in Bigelow’s
“Strange Days”. You’ve come a long way, buddy!
this movie on The Arrow's HORROR BOARD
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