Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Got 99 Posts But A Bitch Ain't One...HUNDRED

(Before I explode into revelry and batshit insanity, I would like to thank J-Lust for stepping in for me as I desperately clung to life like it was Christian Bale in a thong. Thanks a lot, dude. Also that 8-bit stuff is awesome and seems like it'll mesh perfectly with Scott Pilgrim). Ok, now:



Seriously though, when I started this blog on a bleak evening in early February, whilst procrastinating on a Shakespeare paper and writing about Sean Connery as a Steampunk pirate captain I didn't really think that I would actually keep going and even achieve a modest little reader base! Honestly, you guys fucking rock. I love your comments, I love reading your blogs and I love that you put with my dangerously-close-to-worshiping-as-a-deity love of Sean Connery, my juvenile sense of humor and my occasional moments of existential-emo. And for everyone who reads but doesn't comment, you are pretty awesome as well. I heart all of you peoples and as much fun as it is just writing this thing, you make it like 50 times more rewarding. I know in blog years this thing, barely four months old, is still an adorable chubby-cheeked baby, but stick around, the crazy has only just begun...and now, a very special Sean Connery TUESDAY (le gasp!)

Remember many moons ago when I reviewed Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and admitted to being just a bit biased towards it? Yeah. This movie is not only my favorite Sean Connery movie period, but also just plain one of my favorite movies. It had Nic Cage before he was a joke, Sean Connery when we could still pretend him having hair wasn't completely insane and Ed Harris. Well, Ed Harris. He doesn't need anything more. I speak of course, of The Rock.

If you don't enjoy this movie, Sean Connery will shoot you in the face! (also, hint to the world at large: if ever you wanted to win my utmost love, you would find me a poster of this movie...just sayin)

The Rock is a bitching action film by the likes of Michael Bay from 1996, before he had lost all credibility and created giant racist talking robots. It's definitely considered to be his best film by most (though Bad Boys is pretty awesome) even though it does succumb to some Bay tropes like helicopter sunrises, pointless 360 degree pans and stereotyped black people who yell ridiculous shit like "WHAT KINDA FUCKED UP TOUR IS THIS?" But even that is not enough to bring this movie down.

I first saw the Rock on VHS when I was 11 or 12 and even though I'd already seen a Bond film or two, I didn't know Sean Connery, you know, like didn't associate it? Basically, you know the first time when you see a movie and you pick out the actor and that becomes sort of like your baseline for recognizing them? Like I didn't know who Michael Caine was when I saw the 3rd Austin Powers movie so I don't really associate him with the role (doesn't matter cuz that movie's awful) my point is that The Rock was my baseline for not just Sean Connery but also Nicholas Cage and Ed Harris (and years later I'd discover Dr. Cox was in it too! Which brings our Sean Connery/John C. McGinley count to two)

I like to think that when Dr. Cox isn't working at Sacred Heart Hospital he's wandering into Sean Connery films

Anyway, my parents rented it and I watched it with them. And then took it up to my room and watched it again. And would subsequently rent it several more times before buying it on DVD years later. I love this movie. I know chunks of it by heart. After watching Be Kind Rewind it is entirely possible that my brother and I made a Sweded version of The Rock that even if it did exist you would never ever see ever. So what is the film about?

Ed Harris plays General Frank Hummel, a bad-ass old Marine dude who is sick and tired of the government choosing to ignore rather than honor a crap ton of marines who died fighting for the U.S. Rather than write a petition or hold a charity benefit, Hummel decides the best course of action is to steal a bunch of VX poison gas rockets, take over Alcatraz and hold some tourists hostage while pointing said rockets at San Francisco while demanding the government pay up.

Well, it's still less deranged than this:

Moving on! So, apart from all the marines everywhere forever, the government also needs a chemical weapons expert to take care of the VX gas, and a dude who actually knows how to get in and out of Alcatraz. They find the former in dorktastic Stanley Goodspeed (Nicholas Cage), who is a quirky guy who loves the Beatles, is not fond of large needles near his general person and has impregnated his screechy girlfriend. The latter is James Bon-I mean John Mason (Sean Connery), a geriatric ex-British spy who once broke out of Alcatraz who has been locked up for thirty years for stealing microfilm, which sounds silly even when you type it out. As for the James Bond bit, it is widely speculated by nerds everywhere that John Mason is meant to be taken as James Bond and that Michael Bay worked in all these subtle references to this (as if Michael Bay were that clever).

Anyway, FBI director Womack, played to putz perfection by the late John Spencer, offers Mason his freedom if he can get Goodspeed and the marines into Alcatraz. Mason responds by stealing a Humvee and engaging in one of the greatest car chases in film through San Francisco to see his daughter Jade (Claire Forlani), who conveniently lives in the city! They have a bonding moment but more importantly, Jade makes a reference to her existence being the product of Mason and her mom at a Led Zeppelin concert. Please take a moment and imagine Sean Connery at a Led Zeppelin concert.

"Play Stairway To Heaven!"

Anywhoo, Goodspeed catches Mason and Kyle Reese from Terminator takes them to Alcatraz where he and the entire rest of the platoon that is not Sean Connery or Nicholas Cage is promptly slaughtered by Hummel's men, who turn out to be a pack of slavering psychopaths, much to Hummel's surprise. Explosives happen, there are possible penetration points in the shower room but not the sort you'd expect, dead men's feet twitch, mine cart chases occur, Hummel may lack the stones to kill anyone, various black marines would take pleasure in gutting Goodspeed, there's a marine with a topknot, which is hilarious, Dr. Cox is burned to death, someone calls Mason an Englishman which is doubly hilarious and they manage to save the day and Goodspeed helps Mason escape Womack, who was full of crap but easily persuaded that bodies can vaporize.

And if that's not enough incentive, here's my super special 100th-post-filmed-in-the-daylight-instead-of-2am-video detailing my favorite things about the movie:

So yeah, basically it's my favorite Sean Connery movie because he is in his element as the aged bad-ass antihero. His lines are pure gold, his acting is superb and there's just something great about watching him kill the shit out of the bad guy marines and then claim he'd rather have been a poet or a farmer. As for the movie itself, it's always a blast to watch. It takes itself a little too seriously but Nicholas Cage sure doesn't and he brings a lot of charm to the movie as the neurotic nerd who ends up kicking all kinds of ass. Watch this movie and then watch his version of The Wicker Man. It's confusing how he went so far astray. Hilarious, but confusing. All the actors pull their weight, the story is not amazing but also not terrible and anyway it takes a backseat to the intense and awesome action. Nic Cage and The Connery play well off of each other and have some great dialogue and Ed Harris plays his conflicted villain like he was born to do it. Overall, it's fun, loud, quotable and I can watch it over and over again. A perfect five catapults out of five.

For some extra fun, here some bloopers. Watch as Edd Harris goes totally batshit, Sean Connery forgets song lyrics and verbally abuses an elevator, and Nicholas Cage falls on his ass and free associates:

And just because this really is my favorite line in the history of movie lines:

Never gets old.

Anyway, to end the night on a completely random note, my brother and I watched this unbelievably bad Steven Seagal movie tonight called The Glimmer Man. It was incredibly funny, superbly shitty and really not worth going into but it made me remember this one video and since making fun of Steven Seagal never goes out of style:

Yes, Steven Seagal, I do know.

On that note, I'm going to bed! (ps. this is being updated so late because it took me forever to edit the stupid video down to youtube length >.<) I'll see you tomorrow with adventures in baby-watching. Hope you enjoyed the 100th post and thanks for reading. This is Sugary Cynic saying "I hope you bastards appreciate that I blew my throat and/or vocal chords out for you" 'Night!

(Goodspeed and Mason disarm a missile while a dead marine's foot twitches in the background)

Goodspeed: "Ok, you've been around a lot of corpses, is that normal?"

Mason: "What? The feet thing?"

Goodspeed: "Yeah, the feet thing,"

Mason: (shrugs) "Yeah, it happens,"

Goodspeed: "Well I'm having a hard time concentrating. Can you do something about it?"

Mason: "Like what, kill him again?"


  1. fyi, the chest close-up (read: boob shot) was wayyyy classy. also, Nic Cage will ALWAYS be cool!! ...except for that whole "ghost rider" debacle... but STILL!! Matchstick men, Con air, Gone in 60 seconds, Lord of war = all masterpieces. the end.

  2. The Rock is one of my favourite action filums. I remember watching it with a mate of mine in an empty cinema back in the day. That was when I was young and impressionable and, on the strength of this film and Bad Boys, Michael Bay was my favourite director for a short while.

    Strange days.

    "Womack! Why am I not surprised, you piece of shit?"

  3. Happy 100, my man.

    I will say, I don't hate Nic Cage as much as I used to.

  4. Congrats on number 100. I won a goat for reaching my centennial milestone. ;)

    And yes, The Rock is full of awesomeness and win, with a fair share of the credit going to Ed Harris. He basically made the bad guy someone that you didn't have to hate because he was the bad guy.

    Con Air would be the "other" great Nic Cage movie around that time when he was moving away from comic to action hero. Those were good times.

  5. Thanks for the comments guys! Glad I could share my love for depraved 90's action movies with Sean Connery :D


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