Double Team (1997)

Bad as I Wanna Be

If nothing else, one can admire the fact that Double Team represents an era of film when studios weren’t afraid to take big risks.  Today, the idea of spending 30 million dollars on an R-rated movie starring a past-his-prime action star and a famous athlete would never get past the pitching stage, let alone greenlit.  And though Double Team’s gamble didn’t pay off, neither in quality nor box-office receipts; I, for one, am happy that this turkey exists.

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The Edge (1997)

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Claws of Death

The Edge, much to my pleasure, is a hard movie to classify.  It’s a survival adventure but not a survival adventure, a killer-animal flick and not a killer-animal flick, a two-hander yet not a two-hander.  It skirts that rare line of mass entertainment and highbrow drama, chiefly thanks to David Mamet’s sly script, which never sacrifices smarts for action – or vice versa. Continue reading

Anaconda (1997)

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Snake Charmer

As an avid fan of killer-animal movies, one thing I’ve learned is that they are shockingly easy to fuck up.  For every Deep Blue Sea there are a dozen Shark Nights, for every Alligator countless Primevals.  But within the pantheon of trashy creature features, my favorite has to be Anaconda.  The movie has never enjoyed the warmest of receptions – its critical response was mixed at best, and it’s often used as a bad-movie punchline – and it’s not hard to see why.  It’s unapologetically cheesy, old-fashioned, and lowbrow.  But I believe that Anaconda’s true intended audience is the die-hard fans of its genre, and for those of us in that group it’s an absolute corker. Continue reading