James Gunn has always been a delightfully rambunctious, perennially irreverent filmmaker whether he’s exploring the realm of sentient alien slugs, sad-sack superhero wannabes or comic book property, which he gets to do once again in The Suicide Squad, one of his very best films yet. He feels more at home in the world of DC than he does in Marvel and it’s not just the larger playground that a hard-R rating gifts him, although that is a *huge* factor given his stylistic tendencies as an artist and his roots in horror, which are on gooey display here as well. The DC stable, particularly villains, just has this dark, perverse edge to it that Marvel can’t match and in creating a maniacal palooza of second tier baddies in a subversive, heavily violent extravaganza he has found a groove and achieved an aesthetic that for the entire two plus hour runtime I wasn’t bored by once. Some of our familiar favourites from the other Suicide Squad naturally return including Harley (Margot Robbie, resplendent in the role of her career), Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), Rick Flagg (Joel Kinnaman) as well as welcome new additions like Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), Ratcatcher (Daniela Melchior), Savant (Gunn totem Michael Rooker looking like he walked in from a Rob Zombie flick) the scene stealing Polka Dot Man (David Dastmalchian), impossibly adorable King Shark (Sylvester Stallone) and of course Viola Davis as their game warden Amanda Waller, the cunt to end all cunts. Their missions here include the overthrow of a South American country, constant bickering, shocking team casualties, betrayals, clever skewering of American patriotism, a giant alien starfish, bountiful loads of gratuitous and blessedly gory violence and a clever balancing act between lighthearted, frothy banter and a darker undercurrent of thematic heft that sneaks in the back door and lands with an effective, grounded touch. Obvious comparisons will be made to the 2016 Suicide Squad and I’d like to sideswipe that other than to say I love both films, they’re both very different and the 2016 is what it is, it has its reputation. I do believe this to be the stronger film but I think they both have their place on my shelf, they are M&M’s and Skittles, Pepsi and Coke, or Warheads and Airheads to reference a junk food as obscure as the characters on display here. Gunn has made a rollicking, badass, bizarre yet strangely accessible piece of pop art nutso comic book madness here with many standout moments including an emotional monologue by Ratcatcher (she’s the soul of the film), some stunning technicolor gore effects that call to mind Lovecraft and Carpenter, an Easter egg hunt of many hidden film and literary references, a ballsy, nihilism laced opening sequence wherein some of the characters brutally live up to the title of the film, one instance of Waller *finally* getting a modicum of what she deserves, some painfully on the nose political satire and, in my favourite sequence the film has to offer, a brilliantly placed and paced opportunity for Robbie’s ever awesome Harley to work through the trauma of her past and absolutely TAKE DOWN toxic relationships like the badass boss bitch we all know she is. A wonderful, weird, wild and fantastic film.
Tag: Michael Rooker
THE MICHAEL MANN FILES: L.A. TAKEDOWN (1989)
In 1979, Michael Mann completed a 180 page screenplay that chronicled the exploits of a driven police detective and his criminal opposite. The screenplay was inspired by Mann’s conversations with Chicago detective and writer Chuck Adamson who, indeed, had matched wits with a high-line professional thief named Neil McCauley and, in the end, ended up killing him in a standoff. While Mann was able to break this screenplay apart over the years and place bits and moments of it into his various theatrical and television enterprises, his first chance to get as close as he could to doing the whole enchilada presented itself in the form of a television series Mann wanted to develop that centered around the robbery homicide department of the L.A.P.D. The 180 page script was cut in half, the tempo quickened to stroke level, and the two-hour pilot, eventually renamed L.A. Takedown, was produced.
In 2021, there are two ways to look at L.A. Takedown. The first would be to watch it in a retrospective manner where it will do nothing but look like a weak sauce, junior high stage performance of Heat, Mann’s now-classic theatrical retelling of the same material from 1995. While L.A. Takedown moves at the zippy pace of a television movie and I’m honestly astonished just how much of Heat Michael Mann was able to boil down into a 96 minute running time, absolutely nothing about it can touch Heat in terms of story, character, or mood which flattens this down into something just a little more heated than a stone cold table-read.
Another way to look at it is a logical step in the evolution of Michael Mann, one of the few filmmakers whose television work is as important as his feature work. In 1989, L.A. Takedown was Mann’s shot at getting his baby to the screen and as intact as humanly possible. We weren’t going to see reworked moments like Mike Torello coming home to his wife with another man in the early episodes of Crime Story; Manhunter’s Hannibal Lecktor and Will Graham looking at each other from across an expanse to evoke a certain kind of mirroring of the soul; or, as in Thief, Frank bitching to Leo about the transponders in the bumper and the wheel well. With L.A. Takedown, we were going to see all of Michael Mann’s heart and soul in the context in which it was originally envisioned.
For the uninitiated, L.A. Takedown is a story about whip-smart and laser-focused LAPD detective Vincent Hanna (Scott Plank) who runs a crew of cops out of the robbery homicide department. On the other side of the moral coin is Patrick McLaren (Alex McArthur), cool-as-ice professional thief who, like Hanna, surrounds himself with a team of trusted professionals to pull of complex and high risk robberies. When the hold-up of an armored car leads to a multiple homicide, Hanna’s ears perk up and he is on the case while his marriage begins to slowly disintegrate under the pressure of his vocation.
Shot in nineteen days, L.A. Takedown has all the hallmarks of something that was created on the fly and thrown together as quickly as possible. And, while watching it, one can’t help but feel that this must have been a little more than heartbreaking for Michael Mann. Rewriting and resetting so many of Heat’s moody, noirish night pieces in the bright white California sun is as visually upsetting as if someone remade every Val Lewton movie and set them on Miami Beach at high noon. And even without the benefit of seeing the upgrade that would come in 1995, the leads in L.A. Takedown can’t help but feel like Heat if it were performed by the Max Fischer Players. Scott Plank and Alex McArthur are fine-ish but, setting aside the level of craft inherent in them versus DeNiro and Pacino, I’m not so convinced there’s enough there there in Plank’s performance to carry the television series that didn’t materialize from this. Where Pacino is a haggard and heavy-lidded live wire, Plank comes off like a grumpy and harried dad who’s mostly put out because he has to drive his fifteen year old to the mall.
And what L.A. Takedown excises robs it of its overall power. One of the main joys of Heat is realizing that is a love story about two men who don’t realize their in the best relationship of their lives with each other. In L.A. Takedown, there is no cross flattery between Hanna and McLaren. The mutual respect is there as evidenced by the third-string version of Heat’s classic diner scene. But the deep, solitary longing of two guys who cannot live normal lives is muted as it chooses to contrast McLaren and Hanna’s respective relationships with their significant others which, due to the nature of this being a pitch for a television series, had to have a happier ending of reconciliation which betrays a core commandment in the Mann universe and is the very thing that caused Manhunter to just miss masterpiece status.
But L.A. Takedown is not without its merits. I feel that, taken in the spirit of its original intent, it’s an important piece of the Mann puzzle and, on a technical level, Mann’s utilization of ethereal, synth-driven soundtracks is effective. His obsession with procedural detail is always fascinating and welcome and, regardless on whether or not the delivery is flat, let it be known that Michael Kenneth Mann can write a line of dialogue or two.
While this was meant to be a series that explored Hanna’s department, this was not yet a show that the networks wanted and Mann found himself again at a crossroads. While he would continue to work on a couple of more projects for television in the capacity of writer and executive producer (Drug Wars: The Camarena Story and Drug Wars II: The Cocaine Cartel), Mann was feeling the squeeze of television once more. Having blown his ultimate load on what amounted to a disappointing and failed television pilot, Michael Mann began to look toward America’s past to explore those themes that were close to his heart that might help regain some theatrical traction.
(C) Copyright 2021, Patrick Crain
B Movie Glory: Hypothermia
An ice fishing trip goes horribly wrong for Michael Rooker and his family in Hypothermia, an impossibly cheap winter Schlocker that I probably wouldn’t have bothered with had it not had Rooker in it, but here we are. It’s not that this film is bad on ‘low budget B-horror flick’ terms, it’s just that it commits one cardinal sin that can assuredly either make or break a creature feature: it’s monster is unforgivably lame. Rooker and his cutesy pie middle class family are on their annual ice fishing family holiday when they realize that some sort of giant fish man thing is stalking them from under the ice, and are forced to band together with another rowdy father son duo to survive, and kill this walking filet if they can. Rooker is clearly the only professionally trained actor here and is very good, but he always puts in 110% no matter the material, one of the reasons I’m such a fan of the guy. The rest of the cast.. not so much. This is the kinda thing that plays on SyFy channel at 2am for us night owl schlock aficionados to drowsily absorb, and it would be a perfect example of that done successfully… if it weren’t for this godawful, clunky and outright embarrassing monster they’ve made. Having a low budget is no excuse either; you can make a pretty convincing ‘fish man monster’ with little to no funds using elbow grease, prosthetics and ingenuity. Check out Blumhouse’s Sweetheart from this year for proof of that, which has a terrific fish-man monster and couldn’t have had much higher budget than this. I’ve included a picture of this thing and don’t bawk about spoilers because it’s just not even impressive enough to spoil, it looks like the Lego version of Swamp Thing or some shit. This could have been a decent monster flick if they’d, you know, bothered with the actual monster, but they didn’t and as a result the whole thing kinda buckles and capsizes in the ice like multiple characters do in the film. Lame.
Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island
Not since LOST has a sentient tropical island caused a bunch of people this much trouble in this weird ass, misguided stab at a nostalgia reboot of content that it’s target audience is too young to even remember, let alone have been into. They shouldn’t be compared at all because LOST is overall a masterpiece and Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island is a short circuited fusebox of loose wire subplots, mish-mashed attempts at torture porn and overall anemic bunch of nothing stretched painfully over a feature length runtime. In the original 70’s show, each episode saw a bunch of vacuous, shallow individuals brought to fantasy island where polished Latin debonair Roarke (Ricardo Montalban) made their deepest wishes come true, with a little help from the island’s powers. In this version Roarke is played by a markedly disinterested Michael Pena and his agenda gets decidedly morbid as the fantasies of each guest on the island get a gnarly horror twist. That should be fun, right? Well not really, because they literally and figuratively missed the boat to making this island remotely fun, scary or memorable. There’s various visitors including the always lovely Maggie Q, whose fantasy involves a former fiancée she spurned, Lucy Hale who wants revenge on a high school bully and others, all of whose fantasies mingle like paint thrown violently at a wall without any sense of cohesion or logic. Michael Rooker shows up to skulk around the jungle swinging a machete and apparently the costume department misread his role on the call sheet as ‘flamboyant river pirate’ because that’s the only way I can describe what he’s dressed in here. There’s an evil musclebound doctor who runs around trying to slice and dice people, mostly ineffectively. The always awesome Kim Coates briefly brings a bit of much needed energy as a random Russian henchman (whose? The plot barely addresses it). A lot of bad films can be considered a swing and a miss but fuck man, this thing doesn’t even seem to want to swing in the first place. It’s lazy, written so thinly it makes the numerous anorexic bikini models look huge and it’s just not a scary, remotely engaging film.
The Unsung Hero by Kent Hill
It is always a delight indeed to sit down with the director of one of my favorite movies. Steve Carver (Big Bad Mama, Lone Wolf McQuade), acclaimed filmmaker and photographic artist extraordinaire has given us all, not only great cinema, but now his first book, Western Portraits: The Unsung Heroes & Villains of the Silver Screen (Edition Olms, 2019). Rendered in evocative tones reminiscent of Edward Sheriff Curtis’s immortal images, the stylized photographs in Western Portraits capture the allure and mystique of the Old West, complete with authentic costuming, weaponry and settings. Among the subjects who posed for the book are the popular actors Karl Malden, David Carradine, R. G. Armstrong, Stefanie Powers, L. Q. Jones, Denver Pyle and 77 others.
From the epic feature film to the TV series and serial, this coffee table book puts the story of character actors and the significance of their memorable roles into an entertaining perspective. Appealing at once to lovers of classic cinema, Western history aficionados, writers, scholars and collectors of nostalgia and fine art photography, Western Portraits of Great Character Actors: The Unsung Heroes & Villains of the Silver Screen will awaken movie memories in people’s hearts while introducing others to the amazing work of these acting artists, serving as a record of the best of the Hollywood Western.
With collaborators C. Courtney Joyner – a writer whose first major output was a string of more than 25 movie screenplays beginning with The Offspring starring Vincent Price, and Prison directed by Renny Harlin. His novels include the new fantasy-adventure Nemo Rising and the Shotgun Western series, which have both been optioned for television – and Roger Corman – Legendary film director-producer – who contributed the foreword for Western Portraits alongside Joyner’s crafted series of insightful essays to accompany the photographs.
He learnt the art of story-boarding from the great Alfred Hitchcock, he learnt to make pasta with Sergio Leone, and has directed the man we remember as the American Ninja. Steve is so full of stories I hope his next book is definitely an autobiography, but in the meantime we have this glorious work to sit and marvel at. Some of the greatest character actors of all time (that have also been my guests, in the persons of Tim Thomerson and Fred Williamson) take center stage in a book the is the ultimate amalgamation of fine art and Hollywood yesteryear.
Brooklyn native Steve Carver studied photography at the University of Buffalo and Washington University in St. Louis. He pursued a formal education in film-making at the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film Studies, also participating in the Directors Guild of America’s apprenticeship program. Prolific motion picture producer Roger Corman hired Carver to direct four movies, including Big Bad Mama. Carver also directed American action star Chuck Norris in An Eye for an Eye and Lone Wolf McQuade.
Oliver Stone’s JFK
I’m not so much for political films but Oliver Stone’s JFK is an engrossing, obsessive, feverish and altogether brilliant piece of clandestine intrigue and I loved every minute of its impossibly long runtime (the director’s cut runs well over three hours). It might be excessive to take such an indulgent amount of time for one story to play out but Stone is fixated on every single aspect and detail of his narrative, scrutinizing the dark corners of shadowy politics, leaving no stone unturned and the result is a film that draws you in so close that at times the effect is breathless, a surging momentum full of moving parts, characters and secrets all unfolding in a mammoth production.
Stone has taken the real life investigation of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, used it as a launching pad and blasted off into his own theories, queries and plot turns. Kevin Costner is excellent and uncharacteristically vulnerable as Garrison, an idealistic family man determined to shine a light on the truth until he realizes he and his firm are in over their heads. This thing has one of the most jaw dropping ensemble casts I’ve ever seen assembled, right down to supporting turns, cameos and walk-ons populated by recognizable faces. Costner and his team are the constant, a dogged troupe that includes varied folks like Laurie Metcalf, Wayne Knight, Jay O. Sanders, Gary Grubbs and the always awesome Michael Rooker. We spend the most time with them as they discuss theories at length, argue in roundtable fashion, interview witnesses and it all feels eerily as if every discovery they make leads to ten more even more unnerving ones. Others show up throughout the film and when I say this is a cast for the ages I’m not even kidding. Jack Lemmon does paranoia flawlessly as a nervous informant they visit, Gary Oldman is a super creepy Lee Harvey Oswald, Joe Pesci impossibly rambunctious as oddball David Ferrie, Tommy Lee Jones and his poodle wig are icky as a corrupt US Senator and that’s just the start, there’s great work from everyone under the sun including John Candy, Walter Matthau, Sissy Spacek, Vincent D’onofrio, Kevin Bacon, Martin Sheen, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Edward Asner, Frank Whaley, Brian Doyle Murray, Bob Gunton, Lolita Davidovich, John Larroquette and more. Donald Sutherland is pure showstopper as a mystery man who has an epic, sixteen minute long tinfoil hat monologue that is so well delivered and perfectly pitched that we don’t even really notice what a massive enema of exposition it is simply because he and Stone keep up the energy levels and, in turn, us riveted.
That’s the thing here, I went in expecting perhaps something intriguing but maybe a little dry in places or bits that might lag because it is, after all, a three plus hour film revolving around politics. This is Stone though, and the way he films it is taut and immersive the *entire* way through, which is just so fucking impressive. He plays rogue agent with the facts, using established suspicions to draw one wild conclusion after another until we aren’t sure if everyone we see onscreen perhaps had something to do with JFK’s death. That’s his goal here though, he seeks not to provide concrete answers (how could he) but instil the kind of creeping dread, mounting uncertainty and fear that I imagine gripped the nation for years following this event. Conflicting conspiracy theories, clues that lead to nothing, unexplained and admittedly suspicious witness deaths, it’s all here and it all makes for one damn good mystery film.
HBO’s True Detective: Season 3
In season 1 of HBO’s True Detective, Matthew McConaughey’s Rust Cohle observed that in a battle between light and dark, it looked to him as if the light appeared to be winning. The spectacular third season has has come to a close and without any spoilers it felt to me like that sentiment has never been more apparent in the series. The first story was a brilliantly existential gothic folk horror show gilded by unsettling conspiracies that went who knows how high up and permeated by the eerie, lived-in grottos of rural Louisiana. The second story was a brilliantly deep, dark, Byzantine labyrinth of California corruption, noir laced nihilism and fatalistic angst. The third story, no less phenomenal, sees a more intimate, emotional tale unfold against the mysterious backdrop of the Arkansas Ozarks, revolving around a crime the mechanizations of which gradually, steadily unfold in ways we both expect and also don’t. There’s a directness and fortitude to the story here where in the past seasons things could be a little more ambiguous and opaque, something I was fascinated by. Every season relies heavily on setting to make the case something you both remember and care about, from the sweaty bayous along the coast to the seedy industrial hum of Vinci. The Ozarks are considerably more picturesque with craggy mountains and thickets of boreal forest, but the atmosphere is no less portentous, the musical cues no less unnerving and the the clues embedded with no less regularity or tact.
One Arkansas evening, young Will and Julie Purcell (Lena McCarthy and Phoenix Elkin) disappear from their neighbourhood while riding bikes, prompting a statewide, decades long search that will go on to greatly affect the lives of everyone involved, especially those of the two lead detectives. Mahershala Ali is a pure sensation as Detective Wayne ‘Purple’ Hays, a haunted yet stalwart Viet Nam vet who can’t let the case go, Ali is a wonder whose eyes, physical mannerisms and tone of voice gravely and soulfully reflect a mystery that has entwined itself into his very essence. Stephen Dorff has been taking it easy for some years now, but casting him as gruff, take-no-shit Detective Roland West has proved a stroke of genius. Dorff has dimension and depth in the role, obstinately turning a somewhat second fiddle character into a complete scene stealer and fleshed out human being who is utterly compelling to watch and listen to. They are surrounded by a pitch perfect supporting cast that all turn in fantastic work. Scoot McNairy and Mamie Gummer are both knockouts as the parents of the missing children, underrated Carmen Ejogo gives a career best as Wayne’s wife and true crime author Amelia Hays, while captivating turns are observed from Brett Cullen, Michael Greyeyes, John Tenney, Ray Fisher, Steven Williams, Lauren Sweetser, Sarah Gadon and a welcome appearance from the legendary Michael Rooker.
‘Time takes everything but the truth’, we see emblazoned on the posters, something that goes from promotional slogan to sediment truth once we see how the show plays out in the unique fashion of three separate timelines unfolding simultaneously in a rhythmic dance that takes time getting used to but is such a fascinating way to tell this tale. We join our detectives in 1980 as the initial disappearance happens, in 1990 as the seemingly wrapped up case is reopened and again in 2015 when new facts come to light and the mystery approaches a conclusion that’s always just around the corner. Hays suffers from dementia in the third timeline and we see how this has affected his memory of the case, relationship to his family and his own familiarity with a psyche that is slowly fragmenting. Such a scattered trio of narratives could have proved too tough to fluidly impart, but there’s a remarkably steady hand in editing, direction and performance that makes the story as a whole, and each circling chapter really shine and come across clearly. Both time and memory are essential in not just understanding this story, but feeling your way through intuitively, because as Wayne’s mind starts to go, that in a sense is all he can do anymore in some instances. This is in many ways a departure from the two other seasons even though on the surface it appears to be very similar to the first. This i believe is a smokescreen of sorts and by every episode we see a unique story unfold that’s filled with secrets and explores obsession, heartbreak, violence, mental illness, the sad plight of Viet Nam vets, corruption, love, family, friendship and the darkness that ever dwells on the fringes of human society, always just a step outside our brightly lit towns, be it in a ghostly fog filled cave or mysterious grove of trees. A story worth telling, and a story worth hearing. Bring on season four please, I don’t see this hot streak stopping anytime soon.
David Koepp’s The Trigger Effect
What if the power in an entire state/province all went out at once, for an indefinite amount of time? David Koepp’s The Trigger Effect shows you just what would happen in this scenario, albeit in the 90’s before everyone had a smartphone to keep them on the grid. After a mass blackout across California, one suburban couple (Kyle MaClachlan and Elizabeth Shue) attempt to weather the storm of confusion, vandalism and eventual madness that sweeps across the region. It starts with subtle domestic friction between the two, but as they venture out for provisions they bear witness to the lawless, frenzied chaos that such an event can do to the populous. It doesn’t help when Maclachlan’s roughneck buddy Dermot Mulroney shows up to turn an already strained marriage into an outright deceptive love triangle, adding to the tension. Some of the finer plot points and scenarios can be a bit silly but the aura of unease that covers everything is quite well done, and the acting is solid. Supporting turns include William Lucking as a gruff pharmacist, Richard T. Jones as a desperate father, Richard Schiff, Jack Noseworthy, Bill Smitrovich and more as various individuals affected by the widespread panic. The best performance of the film, however, comes from an explosive, scary Michael Rooker as a mysterious hitchhiker who may or may not be friendly. His extended cameo blasts the energy level of the film from mellow to frenetic in a matter of seconds, leaving us shellshocked in his wake. This isn’t a knock your socks off thriller by any means, and has it’s own strange way of pacing itself that may leave some cold, but I really enjoyed the atmosphere it offered, the eclectic cast and how immersive the experience was from that first blackout until the resolution. Good stuff.
The Puppet Master: An Interview with Kevin McTurk by Kent Hill
They say in the film business, never work with children or animals. Of course you may find yourself working with dinosaurs, aliens, lions, beast-people, scrunts, kothogas, ghosts, morlocks, Batman, Spiderman, Hellboy, kaijus, wolfmen, clones, cliffhangers, vampires, giant crocodiles, homicidal maniacs, killer sheep, Predators, cowboys and mysterious brides out to Kill Bill.
Sounds ominous, doesn’t it? But that’s just some of the astounding creations and magnificent beasts that Kevin McTurk has encountered in his eclectic career in the realms of special effects.
Working under the banners of legends like Stan Winston, Jim Henson and the new titans like Weta Workshop, Kevin has had his hand in erecting and simulating everything from the real world as he has from empires extraordinary. And, while I could have spent the entirety of our chat talking about his adventures working on the countless films, which are favourites of mine, he has in his CV, his impressive effects background is only part of the story.
For Kevin McTurk is a bold and visionary filmmaker in his own right. His puppet films, The Narrative of Victor Karloch, The Mill at Calder’s End and now The (forthcoming) Haunted Swordsman are exercises in capturing a style from a bygone era with modern filmmaking techniques. The results are beautiful, not only in their aesthetic quality, but in the level of excellence from the many different disciplines on display.
There is still time for you to join Kevin in his latest cinematic offering (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/935772123/the-haunted-swordsman-a-ghost-story-puppet-film), and to listen in now to the man himself talk about his movies, influences and career.
I give you the talented Mr. McTurk.
Visit Kevin’s website for more: http://www.thespiritcabinet.com/
Tony Scott’s Days Of Thunder
The first ten minutes or so of Tony Scott’s Days Of Thunder should be used to demonstrate the power of any new home theatre/speaker/sound system freshly harvested from Best Buy. As it opens on a piping hot stock car race-track in the midst of noonday sun festivities and preparations for the day’s events, Hans Zimmer’s explosive, patriotic thunderbolt of a score kicks in and you feel that mad rush of adrenaline reserved for only the most combustible, rabidly entertaining movie magic. It’s just too bad that the rest of the film can’t keep up with the level of energy on display in that whopper of a prologue, despite doing it’s very best. An obvious sister film and coattail hugger of Scott’s other ‘loud noises’ film Top Gun, there ain’t much to it other than screaming race cars and a daredevil Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) trying to prove his sporting worth to various folks including the romantic interest, a doctor played by sexy Nicole Kidman and the sagely Yoda of stock car lore (Robert Duvall). He also has quite a few homoerotic run-ins with rival/partner Rowdy Burns (Michael Rooker is certainly someone I’d tag with the adjective rowdy), and of course races a whole bunch of race cars as well as crashes a few. You gotta hand it to cinematographer Ward Russell, as it can’t be an easy task to do crisply capture those vehicular torpedoes as they careen by at a zillion miles per hour, let alone immortalize the afternoon sun glancing off the Wonderbread sponsor logos so beautifully. Like I said, after that initial banger of an opening credits sequence, its run of the mill in terms of story, albeit dynamite in terms of stunts. Watch for work from Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes, Fred Dalton Thompson, John C. Reilly and mega-producer Don Simpson in a neat extended cameo. The real magic happens with Zimmer’s score though, go check it out on YouTube, as iTunes only has some weak retread by some philharmonic orchestra schmucks. Quite possibly one of the maestro’s best works.