Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Kino Lorber Studio Classics - F/X 2 and THE SIEGE OF FIREBASE GLORIA on Blu-ray ""

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Kino Lorber Studio Classics - F/X 2 and THE SIEGE OF FIREBASE GLORIA on Blu-ray

F/X 2 (1991; Richard Franklin)
It would have pleased me greatly to see the F/X movie series continue as some sort of major Hollywood franchise. It's a great meta-setup to have a character like Rollie Tyler at the center of a movie. He's a special effects guy in thrillers about conspiratorial criminals. I would have loved to see Rollie become some kind of blue collar James Bond-y type character as the series developed. Each movie would have a scene where Rollie shows off some new gadget that he'll end up using later on in the movie. In the case of F/X 2, Rollie hauls out a robotic clown that he's designed to be controlled from a suit that motion captures and makes the robot imitate movement. In other F/X films, Rollie would have gotten other toys like this that ride the line between special effects and spy stuff. As with something like the FAST AND FURIOUS movies, each F/X film would have multiple setpieces - each one having to do with a trick that Rollie has set up through his mastery of special effects (he's a very MACGYVER-y kinda dude) . 
What I love about both the F/X movies is not only the movie about movie magic thing, but also the thriller side of things. I love how it veers into modern-day Hitchcock territory. F/X 2 is even helmed by Hitch devotee Richard Franklin (CLOAK & DAGGER, PSYCHO II, ROAD GAMES) which was a nice touch. Franklin passed away too early at 58 in 2007, which is a shame as I'd like to think he'd have made at least two or three cool movies since then. 
Bryan Brown is perfectly the Rollie character and he is rejoined by his partner pal Leo (Brian Dennehy) from the first film. They make a great duo and I count the F/X films as a couple my favorite Dennehy performances. 
Special Features on this disc include a Making-of Featurette and trailers for both F/X films.


This Blu-ray can be purchased here:
http://amzn.to/1NlAeLP


THE SIEGE OF FIREBASE GLORIA (1989; Brian Trenchard-Smith)
Brian Trenchard-Smith is one of the most eloquent and well spoken makers of trash cinema that exists in the world today. Watch any one of his Trailers From Hell commentaries or any of his interview bites on NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD and you'll immediately get a sense of what I mean. I'm particularly fond of his AFTER HOURS TFH myself:

Trenchard-Smith's own career is quite varied, but his movies are almost always interesting to say the least. Things like STUNT ROCK, THE MAN FROM HONG KONG and TURKEY SHOOT prove to be pretty crazy and Trenchard-Smith even puts himself in harm's way as a stuntman on occasion. He's a real renaissance man and has vast knowledge with regards to all aspects of film production as has had to learn them in his many years as a lower-budget filmmaker. As much as I like BMX BANDITS, THE QUEST and DEAD END DRIVE-IN, one of Trenchard-Smith's masterpieces is THE SIEGE OF FIREBASE GLORIA. This Vietnam film (shot in the wild world of the Philippines) stars R. Lee Ermey and Wings Hauser as marines who are caught trying to defend a firebase during the TET Offensive. Both the marines and the attacking Viet Cong find themselves examining the anguish and futile loss of life over a single military installation. It is a serious and sobering mediation on the uselessness of war and one of Trenchard-Smith's most deftly handled pieces of material. Apparently Tarantino is a fan of this one as well. It's not exactly FULL METAL JACKET or anything, but it is obviously connected to that movie by way of R. Lee Ermey and should be remembered as one of the better Vietnam movies of the 1980s. 

This Blu-ray can be purchased here:
http://amzn.to/1O22xiU

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