Grosse Pointe Blank

By, film is copyright 1997 by Hollywood Pictures, Fair use,

The squad from High Fidelity are at it again? in what is the kinda prequel, in a meta production sense, and a really great movie in my eyes. It makes me feel good. The cast really brings it, the movie is fun, and I think it set up some conventions or archetypes that carried forward into movies we see today (I think, at any rate).

This is the first time I actually make something that sounds like it’s in car so if you’re in a car it’s double messed up. A bold strategy, Cotton. I didn’t talk about the action at all. I realize that. The action isn’t huge but it’s good. They’ve got Cusack doing the most he possibly can which might have actually been all of it (I can’t remember at the moment–it’s been absolutely nuts this entire past month and the month before). Makes it feel good. It’s not too serious, not too goofy. Groundedly whimsical.

There’s a lot of daytime in this movie. I think they intentionally wanted it to feel more like a high school reunion movie that has an assassin in it than an assassin movie taking place at a high school reunion. The big action scene is set in the middle of the day. It’s cool. It really genuinely is.

If I had to choose a favorite little shot I would choose the one set in Debi’s bedroom when Martin is leaving. She tells him “you’re a fucking psy-cho” and does like a hand talking thing. That was an improvised gesture–she previously saw John and Joan doing that to each other between setups. That’s one great part but the opposite shot, John’s kinda manic wild “don’t rush to judgement on something like that” is just very unique and fits perfectly. Unhinged but just under the surface. – (2948) Benny “The Jet” Urquidez • Highlight – YouTube

“Cool Rock”, “Blue Ska”
Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

I love the movie. It’s worth a look. A lot of nostalgia for this one. Check it out. I’m @coolmarkd on twitter for as long as it lasts.

Last Action Hero

Arnold literally jumps out of the screen in this one.

1993 was a transitional period. We were slowly, ass a country, shedding the action movie template of the 70’s and 80’s while experimenting with some headier notions on how we relate to media. Last Action Hero was, is, seeming, a product of this time. Woefully misunderstood or, at the very least, disliked and, probably, mostly unexamined, this episode is really going to try to dig in a little more.

I’ll drop a quick link here for Patrick (H) Willem’s Plot Holes video to set the level.
And additionally, if you would like to just be unhappy with other people on the internet, you can check out the reply or reaction videos. Not my favorites. However the Willems video touches upon the exact concept I was thinking about as I had recorded this episode: verisimilitude. The “joke” is that the movie world of Last Action Hero has a very loose grip on verisimilitude and logical consistency. There are some movies that do exactly that and the Jack Slater series takes that up a notch. Well, several notches, to be honest. To completely ridiculous with a wink, and a nod, and an elbow to the ribs, and a “eh? eh?” and I actually dig that. It’s possible that audiences were expecting a more straight-forward movie world. That means that the movie isn’t going to be enjoyable but it doesn’t make it bad. Those are two different things. There are people so caught up in the verisimilitude of the media they consume that they watch 20 seasons of procedurals who rarely, if ever, deviate from their structures and concepts. They’re invested in those worlds. It’s quite often that those worlds are ridiculous parodies of our own “real” world–especially when technology is involved–but that doesn’t make them “good” or “bad” qualitatively.

We all watched The Social Network (2010) and we were not terribly concerned with the inconsistencies with our own reality but, in contrast, immersed in the verisimilitude of that movie. It felt more real than reality in some ways. And maybe that was the part of the execution that didn’t land. How do you make falling into a very over-the-top and ridiculous action movie feel real? Movies where cars explode into huge fireballs in a display of exhibitionist pyrotechnics. Heroes who are impossibly wounded still performing at the level of an Olympian at their physical peak. We, as an audience (and by “we” I mean “I”), get into the action movies like that. They’re internally consistent, sure, and definitely entertaining and engaging to varying degrees, but they aren’t “real”. But when you put this in a Picture-in-Picture frame and have something much more consistent with our “real” world (even if it’s gone past realism into just pessimism with realistic physics) it can all look very silly. There is a huge contrast in the color palette (if you’ve seen a US vs Mexico color grading it’s about that jarring) and that type of action movie wasn’t always quite as bright or childish while, to a certain extent, still being marketed to young boys. Perhaps that’s what Shane Black was talking about–maybe it wasn’t William Goldman giving the movie “heart” but instead having a cartoon cat voiced by Danny DeVito. Maybe those frames, layered on top of each other, were too different. Perhaps the original intent was lost. Maybe I’m just a fan and forced it to work in my head but, in thinking about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and believing that this was a dry run for that type of movie, I think that Shane Black could have pulled it off. It just would have been more like Lethal Weapon or The Last Boyscout and I don’t have a concept in my head of how that would have worked. I’d love to read the fully Shane Black pass, though. Where he took the Faustian blood-soaked morality tale. The movie still has a message. Would it have kept it? Would it have doubled down on cynicism? Would Danny have actually used the gun on THE PROJECTIONIST? Perhaps that was an empowerment fantasy; the world had already challenged Danny in big ways (even the thief challenges Danny) and this was Danny rising to meet and over come it.

Anyway, there are some other links.

Yes, it became obvious to me at some point that I missed using just about every catchphrase. I am probably more disappointed than you are. I also was recording outside and I just had some weird terrible noise that I had to remove. The result is an eerily silent(ish) recording that is punctuated by birds. I do not keep birds.

The Last Action Hero: Official Moviebook is also incredibly cool. Tons of behind the scene content and essentially took the place of a making-of featurette (or various making-of featurette’s). If you’re interested you can probably find it used for a few bucks. I don’t remember how much I paid for mine but it was in good condition. Not incredibly cheap but also not expensive enough to be weird about. I also wonder how influential this movie was to the Captain America: Winter Soldier glass elevator. That one obviously was executed with just more… everything but they don’t feel too dissimilar.

@coolmarkd on twitter. markd20 on Letterboxd.

Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door

It’s actually pretty difficult to find a movie cover or poster image in good quality. I can’t find my jewel case at the moment so it’s quite possible I got rid of it. Talk about bad timing.

Hey everyone! Mark D here and we’re watching some Anime! Cowboy Bebop is a universally beloved series and we’re going to go ahead and check out the movie which takes place near the end of the series–so we get all of our favorite characters. There’s going to be a lot of links in these show notes so check it out on for easier browsing.

First off–I made more than a couple of mistakes in this recording. Even after adding in the correction I think I made another mistake somewhere that was really dumb. I forget what it is at the moment. But I know it’s there. So please forgive me. I’m dumb but I also acknowledge that I’m dumb and constantly working on it 🙂 Not being dumb. Working on not being dumb. Not working on being dumb. That wouldn’t be productive but it certainly would be easier. Edit now I remembered. I said “Toonami” when I meant “adult swim”. What an idiot. [adult swim]. I really love the art direction of adult swim. It’s great.


So the above are all Cowboy Bebop videos that are pretty good to great. Give them a shot if you want to get a little deeper into the show. The STEVEM piece on Watanabe, “The Man Behind Cowboy Bebop,” videos are extremely thorough and will lend a lot of context to *waves hands* everything. The Steak Bentley video, “Cowboy Bebop and The West,” is also really interesting however it’s made in the style of YouTube so it takes a bit to get going and there’s some jokes in there that are visual in nature and distinctly idiosyncratic.

Just as an aside, Tim Rogers’ non-fiction film ACTION BUTTON REVIEWS PAC-MAN – YouTube is great. This has exactly nothing to do with the show notes I just like it. I’ve been home for basically 9 months at this point. If I was a baby I’d be born. It’s wild. I realized, visiting a doctor’s office, that I’ve forgotten how to navigate in-person interactions. It’s really weird. So just check in with yourself a little bit. There’s a lot of impact happening here that isn’t visibly obvious but hopefully we’ll be improving soon. <3

Also, John Cho Talks Upcoming Cowboy Bebop Netflix Series – YouTube. I was very not excited for this but I do think that John Cho would be the one to pull of Spike Spiegel. I think he’s a good actor and he definitely has a brand. He did get injured and this paused the production of the movie and now pandemic and all that but I’m definitely going to give it a shot. I think that trying to do it 1:1 might be a massive mistake because–being animation–you can definitely defy the medium of the motion picture that it is simultaneously projecting to you in delightfully inconsistent ways but when it’s live action it’s live action and when you get cute with the mechanics of the world or use excessive CG to replicate it that’s when things can go sideways. So I’m cautiously optimistic.


Do you like car chases and spy stuff? If so you’ll like Ronin. Probably. I like Ronin. I love Ronin. Ronin is my #3 favorite movie. There are car chases. And spy-like stuff. Heist-like stuff, too. You like heists, right? Don’t give me that face–I know you like heists. Spies doing heists? That’s even better.

I have the Ronin DVD but I watched it on Starz. It’s available for rent in a bunch of places. Tweet @coolmarkd and let me know what you thought.

Additionally Mark is going to be on theSUNSHINE SUMMIT 2019! The Sunshine Summit, hosted by Sunshine and PowerCuts’ Heather Welch. Mark will be appearing live March 12th at 8PM EST (March 13th 1PM NZT). You can see all of the info at!

Gone In 60 Seconds (1974)

If you ever wanted to watch a movie about stealing cars and running from the cops you probably came across GISS ’74. You probably didn’t learn a whole lot about stealing cars or running from the police but you may have realized that you came across the inspiration for Need For Speed:Most Wanted and countless of other movies.

Meet Eleanor and check out this crazy indie film for free on Amazon Prime and go ahead and listen to the episode. This isn’t an affiliate link–I’m just trying to make it convenient for you to follow along. That’s why I release on Sundays, you know. Give you a chance to watch the movie.

Spider-man 3

What’s better than two villians? THREE VILLIANS!!!!1 And that’s the main thrust of this Sam Raimi-directed web-fest chalk full of kinetic comic panels and quippy wall-walkers.

Lets go over this Sony-fueled ’00s nostalgia whiplash together as we wade through the mire of Spider-man 3’s script. Catch me @coolmarkd on Twitter and let me know what you though of it.

Spy Game

Check your assets and make sure your station chief has the latest status reports because this is the Tony Scott-directed spy thriller aptly titled Spy Game. Spy Game is perhaps one of the better movies in terms of addressing what spies actually did.

Robert Redford and Brad Pitt hit up various locales, do various things, in a really cool movie that is very unlike the others in its cohort (it came out in 2001). This is a movie that I used to watch quite often so go ahead and give it a look-see.

Spy Game is currently streaming on Hulu and you can watch it there. This isn’t an affiliate link.

@coolmarkd on Twitter. Let me know what you thought.

MARMOVCOL006 – Darkman

Turn of the lights–stay in the dark while watching Darkman! Darkman Darkman Darkman Darkman (whooo!) Darkman Darkman Darkman Darkman (whooo!) Let’s jump in to Sam Raimi’s 1990 super superhero creation Darkman–a pretty wild movie starring Francis McDormand and, ostensibly, Liam Neeson. Let’s lurk from shadow to shadow together on this journey into insanity.

You should definitely watch Darkman before listening to this podcast and you can check it out on Cinemax or on Amazon with this non-affiliate link. You can start a 7-day trial of Cinemax if you have Amazon Prime. I legitimately don’t know the details but that’s what it said for me.

Holla at me, young’n, @coolmarkd on Twitter. LMK wat u thot of dis flicc HMU fam. Lit AF. Servo AF.

MARMOVCOL005 — Pitch Black

The survival horror truck is rolling and it takes… Diesel. Vin Diesel, to be exact. Check out Vin Diesel’s launch to stardom in 2000’s Pitch Black–a survival horror Sci-Fi romp on an alien planet. Come on and watch this monster-filled dark romp through planet NuMetal (filmed in Australia) with Mark.

You can watch Pitch Black on STARZ or pick it up on Amazon. These are not affiliate links or anything–just trying to be helpful. Tweet @coolmarkd with what you thought of the movie.

MARMOVCOL004 – Swordfish

The one where Mark takes a look at a movie that he hasn’t seen in like 15 years and has little recollection of. Get a blast from the early 00’s with Swordfish starring Hugh Jackman, John Travolta, and Halle Berry. Take a ride on this sexy, exotic thriller (that basically takes place entirely in LA) that was released in 2001. This is Mark’s Movie collection where Mark goes through his collection of DVDs, HD-DVDs, Blu-rays, and VHS tapes and talks about these movies that have been following him around.

Let Mark know what you thought about Swordfish. @coolmarkd on Twitter. You can stream Swordfish right now on Amazon Prime. This isn’t an affiliate link–just convenience to watch along.

MARMOVCOL003 – The Bourne Identity

Who are you? Who am I? Who is Jason Bourne? We’ll not really find out with this HD-DVD of The Bourne Identity! Together. I also know who I am. I’m Mark D: dad, IT guy, and generally bad movie nerd. Let’s fight assassins and hang out through Europe and do stuff.

With Jason Bourne. On Mark’s Movie Collection.

If you haven’t seen the Bourne Identity yet, you can check it out on Amazon. These aren’t affiliate links–watch it where ever you want but go ahead and watch it to avoid spoilers.

MARMOVCOL001 – Top Gun

Welcome to episode 1 of Mark’s Movie Collection which features…. Top Gun. We’ll take a -4G dive into this testosterone-burning action flick which, we discover, is actually something else.


To be fair there is a bit of foul language in this one. It was really late at night and I was drinking. Tweet @coolmarkd to talk about this movie.


Check it out on Amazon