Tag Archives: badass cinema

Unnecessary Tributes: Die Hard with a Vengeance Is the Ultimate Summer Movie

“Shhhh, he’s saying we’re totally underrated.”

I’m a big admirer of Matt Singer‘s writing on film. Besides co-hosting the brilliantly titled Filmspotting SVU podcast — a streaming video-focused spinoff of Filmspotting, the long-running Chicago-based movies show I had the honor of appearing on a few times last year — he recently started Criticwire, a great blog about film criticism for Indiewire.

Each weekend, Matt sends a list of film critics a survey question and posts their responses the following Monday. I was thrilled to contribute for the first time to yesterday’s poll, on The Perfect Summer Movie. Almost every film I considered choosing for this honor did show up among the responses, suggesting strong generational (?) consensus on this issue. But I’m glad I went with a dark horse candidate. As always, I did a poor job of constraining my enthusiasm; Matt was kind to post an only slightly abridged version of my encomium — reproduced below in its breathless entirety — to Die Hard with a Vengeance. Continue reading

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Separated-at-Infancy-but-Equally-Limber Identical Twin Brother: Reflections, 20 years on, on the twofold, um, legacy of Double Impact

Yeah, I'm shot a little bit, but it's ALL GOOD, brah!

My friend the noted film critic Ian Buckwalter shows movies on the roof of his building in the summertime. These are not, for the most part, bad movies, but they are perhaps misunderstood. What they share is a very particular aesthetic; one we’re still struggling to define, but Reaganomics doesn’t quite cover it. I think Ian will agree with me when I say that selecting films for Cinema sur le Toit calls to mind what Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said about pornography: “I really, really enjoy it.”

Anyway, I was campaigning hard for Double Impact to make the list this year. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that was the first — not the only, bizarrely! — joint in which Jean-Claude Van Damme appeared as identical twin brothers. Here is the unabridged text of my keynote address from last night’s screening. I regret only that I didn’t practice pronouncing australopithecine ahead of time. Trying to seat-of-my-pants that shit was flying too close to the sun. That was arrogance, my friends. That was folly.

TRANSCRIPT COMMENCES Continue reading