Thursday, August 9, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks: A Siege

Thursday is the day when the work week feels longest. The weekend isn't quite here, and we feel like it's been months since the last. We tire of seeing the same few faces all day, every day. We feel trapped. I don't just mean we feel financially and educationally trapped in whatever mundane activity we call a job. I mean we might feel physically trapped, as if there were outside forces conspiring to keep us there for the purpose of hunting us down, one by one. In short, we feel like we're under siege. And that was my long-winded way of saying that movies about sieges are this week's topic for Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves. So yeah, movies about small groups of people trapped in a solitary area while someone, or something(s), surround said area and either take over, or start hunting them down, one by...oh, said that already. Anyhoo, let's see if I recommend some you haven't thought of.

Invasion U.S.A.
The Place Under Siege: Southern Florida
As one of the characters in the movie says, and I'm paraphrasing, no one has invaded America in 200 years. What if that were to suddenly happen? That's the question this movie poses. Given the current political climate, it's certainly a relevant question. It's especially relevant when it comes to light that the Russians are leading the way. Hmmm. Of course, we have Chuck Norris on our side, he of the most famous internet "facts" and here in all his glorious cheese. One of those "facts" says Chuck Norris threw a grenade and killed 50 people, then it exploded. I'm pretty sure that happens in this movie.

Toy Soldiers
The Place Under Siege: Regis High School
A group of Colombian terrorists take over a high school for boys in order to get a notorious kingpin released from prison, or something to that effect. Since many of the students are juvenile delinquents who have been bouncing around from school to school, you know they don't take this being held hostage stuff lying down. Ya know, they're 'Muricans! In other words, 21 years before it got a straight up remake and 7 years after its initial release, someone decided we needed a Red Dawn rip-off. They gave it to us, and it's bad. Really bad. But in a really good way.

Under Siege
The Place Under Siege: The USS Missouri
The grand old ship is making its celebratory final voyage when Tommy Lee Jones and a band of mercenaries, who were posing as a rock band, take over the ship with the help of Gary Busey. Jones, nearly as manic as he is in Batman Forever, is pissed because he was a government agent of some sort whom they tried to eliminate when his services were no longer needed. Like Southern Florida, the Missouri also has a one-man-army, the ship's cook played by avid ponytail aficionado Steven Seagal. From there, Erika Eleniak pops out of a cake topless, Busey goes Busey, Jones literally tosses meat to his team, and eventually ends up with a rather large kitchen knife through his skull. Oh, spoiler?

Okay, given the title of the topic, you might have seen that one coming. So let's double-up on that...

Bonus Pick:

Under Siege 2: Dark Territory
The Place Under Siege: The Grand Continental
So after Steven Seagal saved the USS Missouri, he retires and gets on a passenger train going from his home in Denver to Los Angeles to attend his brother's funeral. Wouldn't ya know it? A group of mercs decides to take over the train. Since none of this is nearly as interesting as what happened in the first movie, and none of the bad guys are anywhere near the caliber of Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey, I'll skip all that and just remind you Steven Seagal is still here, in what basically amounts to his last big hurrah as an action hero. There are two minor notes. First, his character has a niece who is played by a very young Katherine Heigl. Second, the train's chef is portrayed by a fresh-off-Boyz N the Hood Morris Chestnut. Since he was a young, black male who never fit the gangsta mold Hollywood didn't quite know what to do with him. Of course, that means they stuck him in the black sidekick role. Fortunately for him, he's broken out of that cast.


  1. I admit to not seeing a lot of films with Chuck Norris but I always appreciate him for being the badass. Toy Soldiers I actually kinda liked because of its premise and violence. Under Siege is one of the few films of Steven Seagal I liked. Mainly for Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Busey, and.... Erika Eleniak. Under Siege 2, not so much as that was just a bland sequel with lame villains. I like Eric Bogosian and Everett McGill but they were not given anything good to do.

  2. I haven't seen any of these. I did hear that when the Boogie Man goes to sleep at night, he checks under his bed for Chuck Norris though. :)

  3. Oh gosh, completely forgot about Chuck. How could I do such a thing? All his movies are pretty silly and dumb. I can’t stand Steven Seagull, yes I wrote his name like that on purpose or porpoise:) under Siege is not bad because Tommy Lee is in it although he looks bored. We won’t even begin with Gary, too much teeth, Busey. I have only seen bits of the 2 Under Siege Movie but looks more of the same.

    1. Seagull, lol. And part 2 is more of the same, but on a train with a much lesser cast.

  4. We Match!!! Under Siege even if it is derivative is far above all the other Seagal films, though his first passel of movies were entertaining in their complete mindlessness.

    Of the other two I have a soft spot for the utterly ridiculous Toy Soldiers. Everyone plays their roles with absolute earnestness except for Sean Astin who wiseasses his way through the film. How did they convince someone as respected as Denholm Elliott to appear in this? His gravitas adds a certain cache to the film but its still a silly actioner.

    I loathe Chuck Norris, if I see his name anywhere near a project I move right on.

    My second two came easily because of their titles but I had to poke around a bit for my first.

    55 Days at Peking (1963)-In 1900 during China’s Boxer Rebellion Dowager Empress Tzu-Hsi (Flora Robson) orders The Boxers, a group of Chinese secret societies to massacre foreigners within China. In the diplomatic compound a group of ambassadors, their families and staff hole up to resist the siege. Marine Corps Major Matt Lewis (Charlton Heston) aided by British Consul Sir Arthur Robertson (David Niven), devise a strategy to keep the rebels at bay until an international military relief force arrives while Lewis romances Russian baroness Natalie Ivanoff (Ava Gardner). A bit inflated but told on an epic scale.

    Under Siege (1992)-Stop me if you’ve heard this before. A man of action (Steven Seagal) finds himself trapped in an enclosed space-in this case a nuclear battleship-when terrorists (Tommy Lee Jones & Gary Busey) take the vessel hostage and it’s up to him and an innocent bystander (Erika Eleniak) to save the day! That’s right it’s Die Hard on the open seas!! The thing that separates this from the dozens and dozens of rip-offs that followed the release of the first classic is that it’s genuinely entertaining because director Andrew Davis knows how to shoot action and make it compelling for the audience.

    The Siege (1998)-After the US military abduction of an Islamic religious leader New York City becomes the target of escalating terrorist attacks. The FBI's Counter-Terrorism Task Force chief Anthony Hubbard (Denzel Washington) teams up with CIA operative Elise Kraft (Annette Bening) to hunt down the terrorist cells responsible for the attacks. As the bombings continue the government declares martial law sending troops, led by Gen. Devereaux (a deeply nuts Bruce Willis), into the streets of New York City where he starts rounding up Arab-Americans into detention centers. Appalled Hubbard & Kraft race the clock to defuse the situation as it escalates to a fever

    1. Haven't heard of 55 Days at Peking, so you got me there. On the other hand, I found The Siege to be a really good (prophetic?) movie, one that's very underrated. Almost went with it, myself, so obviously I think that's a great choice.

      Not sure if you saw this yet, but it's that time of year again...

  5. Haven't seen any of this...they all look pretty bad.