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The Bottom Shelf #17

06.09.2005

FALLING DOWN (1993)
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Starring Michael Douglas & Robert Duvall

-- click here to buy this DVD at Amazon.com --
-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

“I am not a vigilante. I am just trying to get home to my little girl's birthday party and if everyone will just stay out of my way, nobody will get hurt” says Bill “D-FENS” Foster (Michael Douglas). FALLING DOWN is a film that wants to be taken seriously as a satirical commentary on the inadequacies of society, yet comes off more as flat out hilarious then anything else. The above quote sort of summarizes the film, a strange story in which Douglas plays a defense worker (with the classic license plate D-FENS) who has possibly the worst day ever. Fired from his job, all he wants to do is go to his ex-wife’s house for his daughter’s birthday.

Unfortunately he gets hit with the mother of all LA traffic jams (readers from the area should be familiar with the scenario), and eventually abandons his car to start walking home on the 405 freeway. Somewhere along the line he snaps, and becomes somewhat of an everyman’s hero, viciously attacking and killing gang members, neo-Nazis, selfish rich people, and even thickheaded fast food employees. In a particularly memorable scene, Douglas encounters a construction site which appears to have nothing really going on. He questions a hardhat about what exactly they are doing, and soon becomes convinced they are doing nothing at all except inconveniencing the public in order to fulfill their quotas and justify their workforce. The argument escalates, and eventually D-FENS destroys the construction site by way of a rocket launcher. Yeah…this is that kinda flick.

Robert Duvall turns in a memorable performance as a veteran detective serving his last day on the force before retirement. He becomes fascinated with the D-FENS case (he begins calling him that after seeing the license plate), and hunts him for the rest of the film, leading to a great ending. Now don’t get me wrong, I love this movie but for all the wrong reasons. You can clearly see what Schumacher is going for, but most of the scenes come off as hilarious rather then particularly witty or thought-provoking. Still, FALLING DOWN features two great actors working against each other, and a story that is guaranteed to keep you entertained.

Favorite Scene:

Ala Adam Sandler in BIG DADDY, D-FENS snaps at the corrupt practices of a fast food restaurant. Yet he decides to take the path less traveled, and open fire on the entire facility. Great stuff.

Favorite Quote:

There are tons as you will soon see, but I would go with:

(after causing an elderly golfer to have a heart attack, and rolling his golf cart into the water and losing this medicine)

“Yeah. And now you're gonna die, wearing that stupid little hat. How does it feel?”

Trivia Tidbit:

The scene where the drive-by car crashes, you can see a mural of Christ in the background. That mural was the same one featured in the 1988 film COLORS, also starring Duvall.

See If You Liked:

THE NEGOTIATOR, CRASH (the new one), COLLATERAL, CHANGING LANES

THE LAST HORROR MOVIE (2003)
Directed by Julian Richards
Starring Kevin Howarth

-- click here to buy this DVD at Amazon.com --
-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

THE LAST HORROR MOVIE was a little known gem released in 2003, one of the rare good horror films in the last few years. English director Julian Richards brings the story of Max, wedding photographer by day serial killer by night to the screen. However, straying away from the typical serial killer theme, this film relies on the idea that Max chooses his victims by their rental of a certain horror video (think THE RING). The concept becomes kind of layered, as it seems the audience is watching a video diary of Max’s story over the film you just rented. Weird right?

The most clever thing about this film is its ability to make you feel like Howarth (who turns in a very convincing performance) is talking directly at you. This keeps the audience unsettled throughout, and creates a very unique cinematic experience. Fangoria really hyped this movie up, and I must say I was pleased when I finally saw it. As evidence of the crap streamlining into theaters these days posing as horror, look at recent releases featuring the likes of BOOGEYMAN and THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. THE LAST HORROR MOVIE is truly a refreshing genre piece, and those of you unfamiliar with it should definitely pick it up ASAP. PS…make sure to get the VHS!

Favorite Scene:

Take your pick on the death scenes, they are all awesome. Max kills innocent women with the nonchalant attitude of Christian Bale in AMERICAN PSYCHO and brutality that Michael Meyers could only dream of.

Favorite Quote:

“I'm trying to make an intelligent film about murder, whilst actually doing the murders.”

Trivia Tidbit:

The film was well received despite its small release, winning over a dozen international festival awards.

See If You Liked:

MAN BITES DOG, AMERICAN PSYCHO, THE RING

Holy sith! Go pick up both these flicks tonight, what a unique 4 hours. Sorry for the STAR WARS comment…I couldn’t help it.

PREVIOUSLY:

Spanish Prisoner / Near Dark
Bottle Rocket / The Long Goodbye
Swimming Pool / Session 9
Jules and Jim / Bully
The Apple / Troll 2
The Sweet Hereafter / Exotica
Happiness / In the Mood for Love
Blue Velvet / Living in Oblivion
They Live / Phantom of the Paradise
Summer School / Sleepaway Camp
George Washington / Tape
Say Anything / Battle Royale
Black Sunday / 29th Street
Blood Simple / Raising Arizona
Freaks / Hard Eight
Harold and Maude / Coffy

Source: JoBlo.com

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