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Secretly Awesome - Event Horizon (1997)

Submitted by tom on October 7, 2014 - 12:15am


 

Event Horizon follows a rescue team on a mission to investigate what happened to a portal-jumping space-ship that has just re-appeared after it was missing for seven years. It turns out the ship has been to some Hellish dimension and brought back some kind of energy force that drives people insane, and when the rescue team arrives, they find the bloody remains of the ship's crew. What may sound like a routine B-movie turns out to have some top-notch production value, a cast of under-used character actors, and some surprisingly reserved direction from none other than Paul W.S. Anderson, the man responsible for the Resident Evil franchise, which is anything but reserved.

Secretly Awesome
Event Horizon
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The first hour of Event Horizon is all tension build-up, and surprisingly effective build-up at that. Sure, we learn all of the things we expect to learn, and quickly realize that the crew members will be separated through a strange sequence of events and picked off one-by-one in the end, but what makes Event Horizon different is its amazing set design and art direction, as well as some eerie lighting effects. There's something creepy in every room and every corridor that sets a very unsettling tone that the rest of the film keeps pace with for a while, as the crew explore the ship, and come across places like the hatch that opens up into the green ventilation shaft maze. As this goes on, we start to see the crew's waking nightmares, which cause them to do some crazy things until the whole thing devolves into a big, bloody death-trap. And I say "devolve" there with love, because the last half hour is actually pretty satisfyingly gory.

A lot of this could have been terrible (I'd be interested to read the screenplay to see how bad it might be), but it was really well-cast. The actors take the material seriously enough and deliver the expository dialogue with enough gravity for me to be more than willing to suspend disbelief. And Anderson's direction is pretty subtle at times; he lets a lot of moments play out slowly, sometimes almost painfully slowly, like a scene in which a possessed crew-mate goes into the cargo bay with the intention of opening the hatch into space. The scene lasts for minutes as the powerless crew try to talk him down. It's pretty intense. And of course, Event Horizon ends like a 90s action film should, with a showdown in a random location. In this case, Fishburne faces a demonic ripped-faced Sam Neill in a literal bloodbath at the base of a spherical room which holds a spinning orb-like multi-dimensional portal, which is on fire. Not to be missed.

Event Horizon (1997)
Event Horizon at the IMDb
Rated: R
Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson
Written by: Philip Eisner
Featuring: Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Kathleen Quinlan and Joely Richardson
Plot: A rescue crew investigates a spaceship that disappeared into a black hole and has now returned...with someone or something new on-board.

Trailer:

Feature by Bradley Redder of This Week's Movie. Have a Secretly Awesome suggestion that you'd like to propose? Or have a past or present entry you'd like to argue about? Feel free to e-mail Brad at maxfischar@gmail.com.

Classic Movie Quote of the Week - Caddyshack

Submitted by tom on September 25, 2014 - 3:17pm


 

Caddyshack
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"The crowd is just, on its feet here...He's a Cinderella boy - tears in his eyes, I guess, as he lines up this last shot - he's got about 195 yards left and he's gonna - looks like he's got about an 8 iron. This crowd has gone deathly silent. Cinderella story - outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now...about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac...it's in the hole!"
-Carl Spackler, played by Bill Murray

Who doesn't love Caddyshack, and especially this quote? Be sure to click here to check out the YouTube video of this famous scene in its entirety.

Got a favorite movie quote? Post it in this thread if you would like to suggest one for next week. We'll try to pick one out of the thread each week and feature it on the front page!

Caddyshack (1980)
Caddyshack at the IMDb
Rated: R
Directed by: Harold Ramis
Written by: Douglas Kenney, Harold Ramis and Brian Doyle-Murray
Featuring: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, Cindy Morgan and Bill Murray
Plot: An exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing gopher.

Trailer:

Secretly Awesome - Virtuosity (1995)

Submitted by tom on August 20, 2014 - 7:54pm


 

90s Cyberpunk doesn't get much better, or much worse than Brett Leonard's Virtuosity. Okay, it probably gets a lot worse, but not while maintaining such a high level of enjoyability.

Secretly Awesome
Virtuosity
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The plot of Virtuosity is nonsensical at best, though it is the best kind of nonsensical, revolving around a computer training program for police to track down serial killers that is given corporeal form and set loose on a killing rampage around L.A. Fittingly crude CGI effects involving Russell Crowe's limbs regenerating when he touches glass, silly demonstrations of predicted futuristic technology, and a mess of hokey computer interfaces are just a few of the wonderful things you'll find in this film. And that's not even mentioning the symphony of human screams scene, in which Crowe's Sid 6.7 terrorizes a nightclub and tries to orchestrate screams into music. It's twisted and bizarre, and played with a wink, as pretty much all of Crowe's scenes are.

People might just see a lot of this movie as being so bad that it's good, and they wouldn't be totally wrong; but it's also just a brilliantly strange film, and I always love to see a fully-realized Hollywood production of something that is this bizarre. That said, the one thing that is genuinely great, and the reason Virtuosity deserves to be called "secretly awesome" is Russell Crowe, who turns in what had to have been one of the most enjoyable performances of 1995. It needs to be added to the canon of the the all-time great over-the-top screen performances. Sid 6.7 is an attention-craving, cocky cyber-bully synthesized from the personalities of two-hundred notorious serial killers, who goes on a creative kill-spree in L.A. And Crowe just feeds off of the ridiculousness of it, playing Sid with a swagger and a gorgeous comically demonic laugh. It's beautiful to watch. As for Denzel... well, he pretty much phones it in. But even a phoned-in Denzel can be entertaining. According to the imdb trivia page, he accepted the role because his son asked him to. But honestly, Crowe more than makes up for it.

In addition to Denzel and Crowe, Virtuosity also boasts a nice supporting cast, which includes Louise Fletcher, William Fichtner, and William Forsythe, who gives the greatest delivery of "Anybody using this chair?" you could ever imagine. Seriously. And Virtuosity ends how all 90s action-thrillers should... with the good guy squaring off against the bad guy in a random, inaccessible-under-normal-circumstances location. In this case, on the rooftop heating combines of a skyscraper which houses the television station in which Sid 6.7 is broadcasting live murders to the world.

Brett Leonard also directed The Lawnmower Man, another 90s techno-thriller and surely a candidate for a future post, as soon as I can track down a copy of the out-of-print DVD. But for now, Virtuosity will definitely suffice.

Virtuosity (1995)
Virtuosity at the IMDb
Rated: R
Directed by: Brett Leonard
Written by: Eric Bernt
Featuring: Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe
Plot: A virtual-reality serial killer manages to escape into the real world.

Trailer:

Feature by Bradley Redder of This Week's Movie. Have a Secretly Awesome suggestion that you'd like to propose? Or have a past or present entry you'd like to argue about? Feel free to e-mail Brad at maxfischar@gmail.com.

Cool Movie Poster of the Week - Lord Of War (2005)

Submitted by tom on August 13, 2014 - 9:04pm


 

Lord Of War (2005)
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What do you think about this poster? Click here to let us know!

Lord Of War (2005)
Lord Of War (2005) at the IMDb
Rated: R
Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Written by: Andrew Niccol
Featuring: Nicolas Cage, Jared Leto, Bridget Moynahan and Ethan Hawke
Plot: An arms dealer confronts the morality of his work as he is being chased by an Interpol agent.

Trailer:

Classic Movie Quote of the Week - Casino

Submitted by tom on August 6, 2014 - 3:37pm


 

Casino
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"No matter how big a guy might be, Nicky would take him on. You beat Nicky with fists, he comes back with a bat. You beat him with a knife, he comes back with a gun. And if you beat him with a gun, you better kill him, because he'll keep comin' back and back until one of you is dead."
-Sam Rothstein, played by Robert De Niro

Casino (1995)
Casino at the IMDb
Rated: R
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Written by: Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese
Featuring: Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone
Plot: Greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two mobster best friends and a trophy wife over a gambling empire.

Trailer:

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