12 February 2005

Verhoeven (1987-1990)

1987 - Robocop - Best revamp of Frankenstein since 1931? Like Verhoeven's second Dutch movie, his second Hollywood movie explodes with intensity. Fittingly, the sexual intensity of the European movie has been replaced with intense violence in the American film. Humanity, greed, privatization, technology-gone-wild: Robocop, like any great sci-fi movie, covers a lot serious ground behind a whiz-bang shell.

1990 - Total Recall - To this day, the best Mars movie out there. As well as being an excellent Schwarteneggar action flick and flirting with some interesting ideas about identity, the texture of this film is great. A giant tracer pulled out of a nose, a tri-breasted woman, annoying robot cabbies, Mars Today,... all are details that add to the experience. As I mentioned above, it's too bad scenes that take place before Quaid's visit to Recall destroy the potential ambiguity in the story. Interesting, for Matrix fans, that Quaid is offered and refuses "the red pill" so that he can stay in the dream.

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05 February 2005

Verhoeven (1985)

1985 - Flesh + Blood - An un-Hollywood Middle Ages, filled with grime, violence and plague. A chopped up, plague-infested dog as a weapon… not something you see every day. I liked the moral ambiguity of everyone in the movie; there wasn't really a set of "good guys" and "bad guys." Even the almost-obvious pure "good guy" Steven kills women and children with the aforementioned plague dog. However, Verhoeven's shooting of the battle scenes didn't energize me. Those could've been done better, I think.

1985 - The Hitchhiker: "Last Scene" - An above-average episode of a horror anthology series. This is the closest to the horror genre Verhoeven's ever gotten, and he didn't do a bad job. Surreal and well-constructed, with a nicely spooky "psycho-in-a-mask-making-threatening-phone calls" character.

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