Friday, May 25, 2012

Alcohol Paul re-reviews (the last 20 minutes) of Eye of the Tiger (1986)

In an effort to make sure you all witness this movie, we're gonna keep Eye of the Tiger rolling with another review for Eye of the Tiger! Well the last 20 minutes anyway. And I only see this fitting going into Memorial Weekend. Gary Busey, Eye of the Tiger, one man defends his family and country from evil. That's what America is all about! So put your hands together again for Alcohol Paul's more sobering take on the last 20 minutes of Eye of the Tiger.

It all starts

You may recall that I did a review of the last 20 minutes of “Eye of the Tiger” which was just a recap with extra cursing. It’s hard to do a critical review because it really speaks for itself. I’ve recovered enough from the awesome force of this flick to have a few actual thoughts on it.

1. Gary Busey fights a motorcycle gang in this movie. For a group who spend most of their time hanging out in the desert processing cocaine, they’re a surprisingly safety minded bunch. Everyone in this group of rebel outlaws wears a helmet when they ride!

At the time Busey was making “Eye of the Tiger” he was an opponent of motorcycle helmet laws.

I think it’s no coincidence that the villains wore helmets. I also find it amusing that it took bashing his brains out to make him think twice on the matter.

2. “Eye of the Tiger” has a similar feel to “Death Wish 3.” Both movies feature an extended, stunt filled climax set to rockin’ tunes. Not to mention that both of them are about a man taking down an entire gang with only marginal help from a few friends. The tone is so close that I swore Don Jakoby (writer of DW3) had a credit on EOTT.

Turns out I was drunk when I watched it (big surprise) and had gotten the credits for another flick I had watched that weekend (“The Philadelphia Experiment”) mixed up with EOTT. Still, he may as well get a writer’s credit.

3. This movie is a surprising example both for and against the French auteur theory of film. Those cheese eating wine hogs suggest that a director is the author of each movie and that a director’s personal stamp is on each film they make. Since there are plenty of directors who have no sense of style and just seem to skip from theme to theme taking whatever work they can get, the theory has come to be understood as something that only applies to “good” directors.

Richard Sarafian made “Vanishing Point” in the early 70s, and it too was basically an action movie with cool rock music on the soundtrack. It suffers some of the same pacing issues (both movies are episodic and the episodes are hit ‘n’ miss). The intriguing difference is that “Vanishing Point” had something to say about how myths and heroes are born, and about how crooked authority is in America.

While “Eye of the Tiger” has a crooked cop in it, there’s no way you can mistake it for having a point besides seein’ stuff get blowed up real good. Not to say that it’s better or worse than “Vanishing Point,” just that they’re radically different in intent.

Here’s where the auteur theory gets mind fucked. Both movies bear a distinctive authorial stamp on them, but only so much as how the action is shot and scored. It shows that perhaps the “author” behind a good movie can perhaps be completely oblivious to the more high minded elements and themes. Auteurs can be just as likely to churn out a cheese fest (which the French should like. They’re worse than Wisconsinites when it comes to cheese).

Worse still… It means Michael Bay might one day (accidentally) make something as good and high minded as “Vanishing Point.”

4. This movie shares a psychic link with me. At one point I screamed “I fucking love it” as Yaphet Kotto was on screen dropping grenades from a crop duster. Moments later Yaphet Kotto had this exact line.

5. I really miss stunts. Real stunts where someone actually had to get in a car and drive it. Or jump off a building. Or whatever.

As movies have gone to using computer animation to show us nigh impossible feats, I can understand why the low budgeters have moved away from stunts. Stunts are pricy, dangerous, and hard to shoot. Computer animation these days is cheap.

What I don’t understand why big budget features don’t do more stunts. Real stunts. Not some guy on wires in front of a green screen (which technically can be considered a stunt). Have audience tastes really moved so far from mine that an action movie can’t be made without giant robots wrecking skyscrapers? Give me a shootout and car chase with some real ‘splosions any day.

6. This movie is fuckin’ win.

1 comment:

  1. "In an effort to make sure you all witness this movie, we're gonna keep Eye of the Tiger rolling with another review for Eye of the Tiger!"

    That is one of the greatest starts to a post ever! Haha.