Rockie's Vulcan Video Staff Picks #13
Rockie has been working at one of the last video stores standing, Vulcan Video in Austin, TX, for nearly a decade. The best part about working there is being able to share a recommendation with a customer. Sure, some of his recommendations have been shot down in flames, but the ones that hit always make it well worthwhile. For his Staff Picks, he has a few selections mined from the mighty Vulcan Video.
The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
A box office failure, but time will always tell, right? The Long Kiss Goodnight, directed by Renny Harlin with a Shane Black script, is a witty and clever action film spiced up with great jokes. Geena Davis has always been a solid talent, but I never felt she got the props she deserved for her performance in this film. She is way badass and another example of amazing women in action holding it down better than the dudes. It’s a shame this film tanked mainly because we didn't get a run of Geena Davis action vehicles to rave about throughout the '90s. A trend I would have paid good money for.
Ninja III: The Domination (1984)
Speaking of ladies kicking ass... Cannon Films produced some crazy shit; this is like saying water is wet, I know. Ninja III (no, you do not need to see previous chapters) is as crazy as they come. An evil ninja spirit living in an ARCADE MACHINE possesses an aerobics instructor and makes her go on a revenge mission. The only one that can stop her wrath is another ninja! It’s perfect Cannon muscle that flexes the way a Cannon picture does. Low budget with maximum impact, Ninja III is crazy fun.
The Lego Movie (2014)
The best kids film in the last... decade? A genuine case can be made for this hilarious but mainly heartfelt story about those interconnecting blocks we all love or have stepped on at some point. Phil Lord and Chris Miller were given a ton of properties to play with here and, man, did they go buck wild with all of them. Most importantly, they give us wonderful and original characters to follow in a world bursting with ideas. Attaching a killer cast to do the voice work didn't hurt either. Funny from beginning to end and held together with the ultimate Kragle: a perfect ending, The Lego Movie is too damn beautiful to deny.
The Abyss (1989)
Cameron’s underwater masterwork never gets old. The water in The Abyss is both beautiful and deadly. A timeless film about aliens amongst us, tucked away in the ocean depths rather than the vastness of space. All the effects are great and have aged rather well, but what gives The Abyss legs is the characters. You love each and every one of them, even the baddies. This film has submersible battles for fuck's sake. Beyond how constantly cool the film is, it has a butt load of heart and will make you rethink a few things like all great sci-fi should do. Bay’s Armageddon owes its life force to it.
Before Dream Warriors were rockin’ like a set from Dokken and before Inception gave us zero-g Jiu-Jitsu, Dreamscape came along and showed us the power of the mind and the places we could go, even if those places were nightmarish. Dreamscape is about dream sharing, only they want to plant an idea in the mind of the President. Think more The Manchurian Candidate than Inception with dream sequences that look more like horror film set-ups than sci-fi. This may be the first time I saw a heart get ripped out of a man’s chest because, viewing wise for me, Temple of Doom came later. It’s a weird and crazy film with sick ideas and should be watched back-to-back with Innerspace for a Quaid FX night. Worth you time for the twisted villain David Patrick Kelly plays because he lets it all hang out and then he even turns into a snake-man.