warriors with iron fists and urbanized attraction syndrome. [the last five movies, 4.9.13]

I did a ‘Five Things’ recently like this, and I enjoyed it, so I decided to make it its own thing. A short rundown of the last five movies I’ve watched.


1. The Warriors


I’ve got to admit, this movie was pretty entertaining in a terribly cheesy 70’s kind of way. Sexist, and at times otherwise offensive, but not so much that I thought it wasn’t worth my time. It’s one of those cult movies I’d never seen, so it was fun to watch it and finally get a ton of references (from shows like Community and Archer) that I’d never been able to place before.

** Spoilers From the First Fifteen Minutes Follow**

I think the premise is actually pretty great. The Warriors are a small but respected gang in a near-future (that is, the near-future of the late 70’s) somewhat post-apocalyptic New York. The city is run by a bunch of hilariously over-the-top gangs, including a group of guys who wear face-paint, dress in baseball uniforms, and carry bats (no, seriously).

Anyway, The Warriors represent Spike Lee and Yasiin Bey’s Brooklyn and run Coney Island. They’re invited to a summit, during a city-wide cease-fire, where nine representatives from every gang in New York are being drawn together by an enigmatic leader with a new proposal to unite against the police. Here are the spoilers… said leader is assassinated at the meeting, The Warriors are wrongfully accused, and they have to make their way across the city while every other gang in New York tries to hunt them down. Take that plot, add in the cheesy absurdity, make a bunch of guys try to act tough while dressed like members of The Village People, and you’ve got an entertaining way to spend 90 minutes.  


2. The Man with the Iron Fists


Sweet sassy-molassy. This movie was terrible. I thought it had a decent chance to be at least mildly entertaining. Written by the RZA and Eli Roth, directed by the RZA, produced by Quentin Tarantino. I thought that at the very least it would embrace its inner schlock and wink at itself from time to time. But, no, it was earnest, and horrible.

Was someone lacing the RZA’s weed with something stronger? Seriously, this movie had nothing at all to recommend. When it was trying to be funny, it was painful. When it was trying to be serious, it was… well, not even funny, just even more painful. I literally don’t think there is another way the movie could have failed.

Meh, they can’t all be winners.


3. The China Syndrome


I would never have watched this one were it not for iCheckMovies, specifically the AFI’s ‘100 Years, 100 Thrills‘ list. It’s the story of a human interest news team no one takes seriously who visits a nuclear power plant and inadvertently witnesses a major incident, then shit gets really cray.

Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda are great in the film, but the really remarkable performance is Jack Lemmon. He’s so great!

Sure, the film stretches credulity a few times, but The China Syndrome is underrated historically and should get far more respect.


4. Fatal Attraction


Apparently, this list is brought to you by Michael Douglas. Two out of five.

This movie is famous enough that everyone knows what it’s about. Glenn Close’s performance lives up to the hype (she is terrifying), the movie is tense even if you are familiar with the iconic scenes, and it has probably legitimately kept men from having affairs (Glenn Close is that terrifying). Whatever your sexual mores might be, this film does point out the reality that when you have sex with strangers, try to at least make sure they are sane. Otherwise, you have no idea what sort of shit you might activate in their brains. Remember the words of George Bluth, Sr. “Never promise crazy a baby.”


5. Urbanized

urbanized_poster2This documentary about the current state of and future possibilities for the cities of the world, as populations continue to explode, is both depressing and inspiring. There are some truly remarkable people innovating and dreaming of what the future of cities can look like, and it’s a beautiful thing. Cities are the future whether you like it or not. However, we need to start cooperating with these innovators, or else within the next 40 years, over half of the world’s population will live in terrible slums. The documentary looks at things seriously, but shows that there is real hope to be had. Still, it can only whet one’s appetite to learn more, it can’t possible get into the details needed to truly understand the insane complexity of urbanization.