Rockie's Vulcan Video Staff Picks #14
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.
Gore Verbinski is a wild, creative soul. His images are amazing and he has a playful glee when presenting a story. Mousehunt has all of this in spades. It never stops being a joy to behold and is as slapstick as a Tom & Jerry cartoon. Just wait until you see Christopher Walken’s performance in this film as a pest control guy who is into his job a little too much. You may die from laughter. Charming enough for the kids and mean enough for adults, so you'll never get bored.
Predator 2 (1990)
A Predator hunting in LA? Danny Glover sweating profusely? Bill Paxton AND Gary Busey chewing up the scenery? Um, hell yes. Predator 2 is a worthy follow-up to the first film mainly because it's no carbon copy. Setting it in a crime-heavy Los Angeles future was a great choice. The urban sprawl adds so much to the lore of our favorite hunter, showing us they’ll hunt anywhere where the prey wields weapons. New setting, new characters and maybe the best easter egg ever put in a sci-fi film, Predator 2 has the goods.
The Edge (1997)
A David Mamet script about a billionaire who crash lands in the wilderness alongside a guy who may or may not be sleeping with his wife. The Edge has layers of stress and is a rare film where you find yourself rooting for the rich guy (Batman does not count). It has a killer bear in it, too, which makes it a drama-killer animal ride as well. Brutal, both physically and emotionally, The Edge is a well-acted journey into the heart of man, the ugly and the good parts within us magnified.
The Ambulance (1990)
This movie is goofy as heck. Eric Roberts (is the fucking man) plays a Marvel comic artist (his boss played by Stan Lee himself) who notices an ambulance in New York that abducts people. He then becomes obsessed with finding out why only to get in way over his head. This is a horror film, technically, but man it is a laugh riot. James Earl Jones has a tiny part, but he steals the film with his over-the-top delivery and you will never think of bubblegum the same way. Crazy fun.
Minority Report (2002)
I’m only recommending this because during a chase sequence (yes, the whole film is a chase, I know) a jet pack cooks hamburger as it flies over a stove top. Spielberg is just showing off left and right in Minority Report. His usage of ILM’s FX are always top tier and this film has a million inspired money shots. One of the greatest moments being a one take, overhead shot showing all the tenants of an apartment complex getting their eyes scanned by tiny robots. The back half of Spielberg's career has classics that rival his early output and Minority Report is top shelf material for sure. Wonderful turn from Colin Farrell, too, as the you-aint-getting-off-that-easy investigator. Big fan of this one.