Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cobra (1986) & Frost/Nixon (2008)

I'm on vacation throughout December, but i'm still committed to writing up a few thoughts on the film's i've seen. I'll be posting some abbreviated thoughts on the films I encounter.

Cobra (1986) - Incredibly ridiculous Dirty Harry rip-off, even going as far to borrow Reni Santoni and Andrew Robinson from the 1971 film. Action packed, though reeking of conservative 80s values, and featuring some god-awful music. Sylvester Stallone stars as Marion Cobretti, a cop with an attitude who plays by his own rules. When a cult starts targeting a "beautiful" model (reality star Brigitte Nielsen), Cobra's unique method of police work (and his near-invincible 1950 Mercury vehicle) is brought in to protect her. Over the top set pieces, as can be expected from the director of Rambo: First Blood Part 2, but montage scenes come off like bad 80s music videos. Fans of 80s mindless action flicks will love it, but this is the sort of film that revels in its own cliches.

Watch out for plenty of recognizable faces, including David Rasche (Sledgehammer!) and infomercial pitchman Joe Fowler as a reporter.


Frost/Nixon (2008) - Dramatization of the famous interviews and the circumstances surrounding them, based on the Peter Morgan play and featuring some amazing performances from Michael Sheen and (particularly) Frank Langella as Nixon. Ron Howard is appropriately hands off, but the film never seems unnatural or staged and the appropriate tension is masterfully wrung out of the men's final confrontation. Impressive supporting turns by Oliver Platt, Kevin Bacon and Sam Rockwell, but this is the Sheen/Langella show and both men obviously relish the opportunity to show off the chops they honed onstage.

Paced very well, and riveting to the end.


J.T. said...

You know that Cobra really is Stallone's vision of what Beverly Hills Cop would've been if he'd gotten the role instead of Eddie Murphy, right?

Doug Tilley said...

Yeah! Though, it's also based on a novel called FAIR GAME (which was made again as a film in the mid-90s with one of the Bladwins and Cindy Crawford).

I mean, that entire opening sequence is just whacked out. With Andrew Robinson as the sniveling police guy, the chief saying "Bring in the Cobra!", Stallone spinning the gun on his finger and sticking it in his pants to show the little Cobra drawn on it. I swear if it didn't take itself so seriously sometimes that it would be a parody.

This was also my first time seeing it, and it (sort of) put those Fred Williamson BLACK COBRA films in context.

Next up is the first THREE Rambo films, which i've watched while here on vacation.