Three Movies I Didn’t Finish: Vanishing Point, City Heat & Mercury Man

I laughed pretty hard to myself after reading Stacie Ponder’s post about trying to decide which movies to watch. I often have the same problem. I’m awake so few hours past 10PM these days that I want to get the most out of my time dollars. So, I’ll either play a video game (right now it’s Arkham Asylum, more on that later in the week), or watch a movie on NetBox. See, I take the DVDs with me on the train and I’ve got over 250 movies in the online queue, so I try to get through as many as possible. Oftentimes that means I’ll watch some pretty bad movies and sometimes some good movies just don’t hook me enough. Here are three such movies in the order that I semi-watched them.

VANISHING POINT (1971)
I’d heard about Vanishing Point before I saw Death Proof and even though I didn’t like that movie, I still wanted to check this one out, but the problem is that it’s pretty boring. You’ve got a lot of a guy driving a car, some chases and then weird flashbacks to him getting in motorcycle accidents and being a good cop. We also get several scenes of a blind DJ. I completely admit that I got distracted by other things and wasn’t giving this movie 100% of my short attention span, but it didn’t really seem like there was a lot of story here (guy’s driving a car across a bunch of states for a guy, but I’m not sure why). It’s kind of like when I tried to watch Superfly, which was so bad I didn’t even write about it. With Superfly the script was way-short so they padded it with tons of scenes of people driving and walking places. That’s just boring. I got the same feeling with Vanishing Point unfortunately, and like I said WAY back in my Bullitt review simple car chases just don’t do it for me. I’m not completely writing Vanishing Point off. Does anyone have a reason for me to give this one another shot?

CITY HEAT (1984)
This is one that I completely forgot about when I was putting random movies on my digital queue. It’s the only time that Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds were in a movie together. By the time this movie came out, they were both around their early 50s, but still kicked ass. Reynolds is a private detective who used to be a cop with Eastwood. The movie’s mostly about Reynolds trying to find the killer of his partner, played by Shaft–Richard Roundtree (who I JUST saw in Maniac Cop, I think he might be stalking me through his old movies). It’s set in the 30s and has kind of a less-bright (color-wise) Dick Tracy-vibe to it. It’s a comedy, but definitely riffs on a ton of film noir movies like Maltese Falcon. There wasn’t anything particularly wrong with this movie, I was just getting restless and it wasn’t moving all that fast (which is saying something considering it’s only 80-some minutes long). I thought I was going to move on to something more horror or action oriented, but barely lasted. I think I’ll actually go back and give this action comedy with two awesome Manly Movie Men another shot. Also of note, it was directed by Richard Benjamin Money Pit. So many connections!

MERCURY MAN (2006)
Hey, don’t watch this movie. I checked it out thinking it would be another Thai movie in the vein of Ong-Bak or The Protector which are freaking amazing with a superhero bent. It isn’t. It’s a poorly CGIed Spider-Man rip-off that rivals some pretty bad Indian knock offs. I completely admit to falling asleep for an indeterminate amount of time fairly early in the movie and TRYING to stay away to check out a fight scene to see if this thing was worth my time and it wasn’t. If you want to watch a crazy version of Spider-Man, head over to Marvel.com and peep these Japanese Spidey videos they’ve got. This is episode 26, so it might not make much sense (though I don’t know if it would matter if you’d seen the previous 25).

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