There are few films I would recommend unreservedly. Usually there’s some niggling thing that’s not quite right, or some element that I know would turn some people off. Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films is just so damned good I’m going to go out on a limb and say everyone should watch it. Everyone. Everyone.
If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know Cannon and I go way back. When cable was a fairly new thing, my father got it and we had Showtime and HBO, the two premium channels which existed at the time. Because it was early days yet, and the premium channels didn’t have the kind of money they’d one day command, they basically had to license whatever they could afford. You got a handful of big Hollywood movies, but you also got a ton of cheapie pictures that might very well have gotten a big-screen release somewhere, but were not anyone’s idea of a blockbuster. And a lot of these cheapie movies came from Cannon Films.
Cannon made some of the seminal films of my youth, like Revenge of the Ninja and Missing in Action, so I have a great deal of residual affection for them. But even I, having seen probably more Cannon movies than is probably healthy for one person, was completely taken aback by the sheer scope of Cannon’s empire. This was a company that at one point was releasing a picture once a week, or even more often than that. I realized after watching Electric Boogaloo that I was like Jon Snow: I knew nothing.
Continue reading [REVIEW] Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films
Seventeen years after the final broadcast of an original Miami Vice episode, Michael Mann brought the show to the big screen with 2006’s Miami Vice, starring Colin Farrell as Sonny Crockett and Jamie Foxx as Ricardo Tubbs. The film was a bomb, topping out with a domestic total just south of half what it cost to make. International receipts barely managed to get the total box office a mite above the budget line, but if you go by the rule of thumb that says movies have to make twice their budget before turning a profit, Miami Vice is DOA.
Many Miami Vice fans who saw the film agreed that the movie deserved its fate. They hated what Mann had done to the film in translation from small screen to big, and they are still complaining today, ten years later. Other folks, more fans of Mann’s Heat than anything else, were likewise disappointed. It seemed like nothing about Miami Vice was going to make anyone happy.
But here’s the thing: Miami Vice is good. Miami Vice is very, very good. That said, the excellence of the film does not become apparent when it’s compared to things it’s not, and that’s true of practically anything. While Miami Vice shares a name, setting, characters and concept with the classic TV show we’ve been reading about for over a year on this blog, it is not the show and it has different goals. Moreover, Miami Vice is not an action movie, which means all the complaints about how the film is light on action are spurious.
Continue reading [REVIEW] Miami Vice