Saturday, March 2, 2019

Mt. Rushmore of Movies '19

So here’s what happened. My dude, my homie, my main shit stain, Mario from Two Dollar Cinema, throws up an announcement for his (kinda-sorta, but not really) annual Mt. Rushmore blogathon. This is when he asks fellow bloggers to give us a Mt. Rushmore (read: top four or favorite four) of anything cinematic. Of course, I immediately said I’m in, told myself I had time, I mean the deadline was a couple weeks away, so I did not get on it right away. A couple days went by and I was like, okay, I still got this. I just need to think of something to do. I swear, five, maybe six minutes went by, and I started noticing tweets about it posts for it. And the due date was like…RIGHT NOW!

And I still hadn’t thought of anything to do.

Even worse, it fell on a workday. The problem there is not the day itself, but the night before. I’m a teacher and I send home weekly correspondence to parents of Friday – the day in question. That meant a long night of putting together folders filled with all the work my kids have been doing all week. By the time I got through with that, it was impossible to keep my eyes open long enough for anything fun. I trudged off to bed, shed a few tears of disappointment into my pillow before drifting off for a guilt-ridden few hours.

I let Mario down.

And it’s all because I ran out of time. That finally gave me an idea for a topic. Here’s my…

Mt. Rushmore of (Cult) Movies About Running Out of Time

Escape From New York
Back in 1981, the year 2000 loomed as the probable end of the world with the world of the late-90s being a post-apocalyptic wasteland akin to the wild west, but with a lot more leather, chains, and spikes. This is the year that gave us Escape From New York. It’s set in, you guessed it, the post-apocalyptic world of 1997. The entire city of New York has been transformed into a maximum security prison. Air Force One has the misfortune of crash-landing there with the President of the United States onboard. Of course, only one man is sent in to save him – the rough and tumble Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell). In case it didn’t sound like hard enough a job, Our boy Snake only has 24 hours to get the job done. If you want, chase this one with its somehow goofier sequel, Escape From L.A.

Nick of Time
Believe it or not, there was a time when a Johnny Depp performance didn’t require him to spend an ungodly amount of time in a makeup chair, or him prancing, and slurring his words. One such turn was this little thriller about a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. He and his daughter get snatched up by some shady types. They then inform him that he must kill the woman in the picture they show him by 1:30. If the job isn’t done by then, they’re going to murder his little girl. The big catch is that 1:30 is only about an hour away. We get to live that hour with him in real time. For more quick, real-time fun, follow this up with Phone Booth.

Jason Statham plays a hitman. We can stop here, and this post couldn’t get any manlier. Well, it can if we’re talking about this franchise. And we are. Anyhoo, his character is set up by some mob types. Instead of killing him the old-fashioned way, they inject him with something that slows the flow of adrenaline enough to make it difficult to sustain a heartbeat. He’s out to get revenge on the sonofabitch who did this to him. To do this he has to keep his heart rate up by any means necessary while trying to fulfill his quest. Yeah, he doesn’t have much time, and has to be awfully creative with the time he has. For a mind-numbing, but really fun night, pair this with its sequel, the much better/worse Crank: High Voltage.

Run Lola Run
Manni is a bagman, just not a very good one. After delivering some illegal merch for his boss, he’s supposed to bring the money back. Quick and easy, right? Not really. This genius leaves the money on the train he was riding home. Of course, he doesn’t realize this until way too late. Let’s take a moment for a rant, shall we? I’ve never been a bagman, and I have no plans of ever being one. If I should somehow find myself in this position, I can’t guarantee that I’ll make that delivery. I can and will absolutely guarantee that leaving it on the train won’t be the way that I lose it. Someone scoping out that I’m carrying a wad of cash, going upside my head, and taking it from me? Possible. Me dropping it as I was running from the police and making the decision to not try picking it up? Also possible. Just getting scared because I see a cop, panicking, and leaving it on the train? No. These aren’t drugs, it’s money. Nothing illegal about holding it. Sigh. His boss, nice guy that he is, tells Manni he has 20 minutes to come up with the money or it’s lights out. He calls his girlfriend Lola (Franka Potente) fills her in on the situation and lets her know he’s about to rob the local supermarket to see if he can come up with the cash. Lola instantly springs into action. And man, do I mean spring. By the way, this isn’t 20 minutes stretched out over an hour and a half. This is 20 minutes in 20 minutes, from three different perspectives. And it’s fun as hell. Don’t bother with giving this one a companion piece. Watch it twice.

Thanks again to Mario for hosting. I love this blogathon. I promise that next year, or 2027, whenever you do this again. I’ll get my post in. On time.


  1. Absolutely brilliant as always, Dell. Once again, you delivered the goods.

    I haven't even begun my post beyond trying to be the Bruce Lee of loose leaf (not sure that works here, but shooters shoot), so I'm more than impressed that you got it done when/how you did.

    As for the flicks, Run Lola Run is my fave, but damn if the first Crank isn't BANANAS. I love(d) it so much. Oh, and much respect for the days that Depp was just a really good actor, not whatever the Hell he is now.

    See you in 2027. Assuming we're not trapped in NY, that has long been turned into a giant prison.

    1. Thanks for hosting. And shooters do indeed shoot. I like it.

      Run Lola Run is amazing. Both Cranks are BANANAS in my book, in a good/stupid way.

      Johnny Depp. Sigh.

  2. Crank is kind of a guilty pleasure but damn, it's so fun to watch. I also enjoy the rest of your picks as well. You can't go wrong with any of these films.

  3. Simon's turning 47 next Thursday.

  4. I like your theme here! You put more work into this running out of time then I did making orgasm jokes. lol

    1. Thanks. And a good orgasm joke is always appreciated.

  5. Lola Rennt is great. The idea of the photographs of strangers in the future who you run into was brilliant.

  6. Oh God I love Crank! and don't worry about the deadline, Mario still hasn't posted his entry :)

  7. Glad you included Run Lola Run, easily one of my favorite thrillers. That movie is like a roller coaster ride and the visual design is great too.

    1. There's really nothing like it. Glad you're a fan.

  8. Love the way you went with this. I like all your choices and while Run, Lola, Run is probably the "best" of the quartet I enjoyed Escape from New York more in all its ramshackle messiness and Kurt's world weary charm in the lead.

    The first title that popped into my mind as far as this type of film goes was In Time with Justin Timberlake but that's crap so then my thoughts turned to the falsely accused waiting for a pardon from the governor which always comes at the very last minute. In it's day was nearly it's own subgenre.

    The first four that came to mind:

    The Sun Sets at Dawn (1950)
    Dial M for Murder (1954)
    Count the Hours (1953)
    Cat Ballou (1965)-Okay she doesn't get pardoned but she's whisked away at the last minute and its a far more lighthearted film than the other three.

    1. Thanks. I find Run Lola Run legitimately excellent. The others are not, but are very fun. "Ramshackle messiness is an apt descriptor of all them.

      I've only seen Dial M for Murder of the movies you've mentioned. To be honest, I'm not a big fan of that one. I find it lacking in narrative thrust. Cat Ballou has been on my radar for quite some time. I just haven't pulled the trigger on it, yet.

  9. I still have to see Run, Lola, Run and Escape from New York. I wasn't into those "the world is going to explode and become a wasteland" movies. It's funny that 97 is 22 yrs ago. I got a kick out of Crank-both films which are just beyond WTF? especially the sex scenes. I still don't know how they can do these scenes in front of so many people. In the second film, I laughed like hell when they were reenacting Godzilla meets King Kong. Sorry for my late reply here

    1. No worries. My reply to your late reply is even later. But yeah, see Run Lola, Run.

  10. Run Lola Run is the only I've seen and I loved it. I'm not a fan of Depp but Nick of Time doesn't sound bad at all. Might give it a chance one of these days.