Lethal Weapon


If you’re never seen the TV series of The Equalizer, the movie probably won’t inspire you to seek it out. Well, maybe for some of the before-they-were-stars guest appearances, including Steve Buscemi (a clip of that one was recently seen in The Wolf of Wall Street) and Melissa Leo, who is now in the movie adaptation. And maybe the episode where Adam Ant plays the villain. For the premise itself, though, it’s not that tight of a link. The show and its theatrical successor aren’t especially distinct, and there are as or more relevant movies that just don’t share the name so aren’t as obvious necessary predecessors. Fortunately, here’s another installment of our column where we recommend movies to go back and watch after seeing a lesser new release. Not that all the selected titles are truly better movies, but of course that’s all subjective. What’s important is that they’re either somehow related or are necessary classics or both. This week, we have a couple of movies for which The Equalizer feels like a sequel (is this where I get to make a “Sequalizer” joke?), a few that are thematically similar or feature notable parallels, a few that are sort of referenced in the new movie and as always some that are earlier works of talent involved in the current release. The following list alludes to plot points in The Equalizer and therefore may include spoilers. Read on after you’ve seen the new movie or just don’t care.


marion dougherty casting by

One of the best anecdotes in the documentary Casting By, which premieres tonight on HBO, relates the start of Warren Beatty’s screen career on a 1957 episode of Kraft Television Theatre. We’re told that like many young actors of the time he modeled himself way too much on Marlon Brando. Then we actually see a clip, and sure enough the future movie star looks and sounds like he’s doing a comical impersonation. Fortunately, within the next five years he would find his own comfortable style and manage to break out in Hollywood in order to become one of his generation’s finest. And apparently we have casting director Marion Dougherty to thank for giving him his first shot. There are a lot of first- and second-hand stories in the film about a lot of actors and actresses’ beginnings. And a lot of rare clips to prove just how terrible or terrific they really were. There’s Jon Voight‘s embarrassing performance on Naked City in 1963, which actually kind of foreshadows most of his later work (personally, I’ve always thought him to be one of the worst in the business). Jeff Bridges talks about how he witnessed audiences literally laughing at his tearful work in 1970’s Hall of Anger. Bette Midler thanks Dougherty for allowing her to hide her Jewishness and play a missionary in Hawaii and earn a paycheck that would finally get her to New York. And then there’s a claim that Michael Eisner, while President and CEO of Paramount Pictures, kept trying to […]



If you’re anything like me, the same five holiday movies that run every year just aren’t enough to quench that festive thirst so deeply embossed on your very soul. You need more than that. If you are like me, you deserve more than that. You are also not wearing any pants. The general rule for holiday films is that they must at least take place around the season, right? And so, if we simply twist that logic to say that “takes place during the holidays = holiday movie”, then there’s a lot of fun to be had the next time mom and dad come caroling. Just go right ahead and pop in one of the following…


Loaded Weapon

The concept of satire has been around for a really long time. I’m sure it goes back to some famous Roman or something. But the modern spoof movie as we’ve come to understand it has much more recent roots. Now, by spoof I’m not talking about satire in general, something that comments on familiar tropes, I’m talking about one movie that makes direct references to other, very famous movies. A lot of people trace these things back to the 1980 release Airplane!, a movie that’s still highly regarded and that launched its creators on the path to doing things like Top Secret!, The Naked Gun, and Hot Shots!; all films that are also generally well-regarded among fans of comedies. One spoof that isn’t so fondly remembered is the 1993 film National Lampoon’s Loaded Weapon 1. Its star, Emilio Estevez, got so much crap for starring in what was viewed as a lesser spoof movie, right after his brother did the Hot Shots! movies, that they even had to address the issue in the film. And the director, Gene Quintano, he didn’t go on to do shit. Does this movie deserve the reputation it has for being a bottom tier pretender, though? No way! Have you watched it lately? There’s a lot of good stuff in there.


The Week That Was

Like sands through the hourglass, these are the weeks of our lives. Two points if you know what soap opera that’s from. Minus one point for knowing what soap opera that’s from. As if thematically appropriate, this week was a lot of high drama here at FSR. Big casting news was abound, big editorials were written and one of our biggest yearly events, the Sundance Film Festival, kicked off. If you’re a regular reader of this site, it was a great week to be visiting us. If you’re not a regular reader of this site, here’s a list of all the great stuff you missed.


wb takes aim with their stupidity gun

When asked to think of a decades-old action film that could easily be improved with a remake most folks would immediately consider Die Hard. That Bruce Willis fiasco could only be improved by modern day CGI, the addition of a young sidekick, and a lead actor with a full head of hair, but there’s one other 80’s “classic” that would benefit even more. And thanks to the genius executives at Warner Bros. we just might get to see the Lethal Weapon reboot we so clearly deserve.



A spy movie might see the pair reunited after all these years. And this time, Gibson is the one getting too old for this shit.



In the year of our lord 1993, when this movie was released to the world, I was 10-years old. It was a big year for me. In that summer I not only had my mind blown by Jurassic Park, I also learned a little bit about comedy from Arnold Schwarzenegger.



On the 16th anniversary of the first public screening of Clerks, we get personal with the man, the myth, the lunchbox as he rips his heart off his sleeve and slams it down on the table.



Richard Donner addresses the issue of Lethal Weapon 5, saying that its pretty much ‘dead in the water.’ What does that mean for Lethal Weapon fans? Probably nothing…



Go ahead and get all of your “too old for this shit” comments in now, I’ll wait.



Forget the Zohan! With the Zohan, the worst thing that can happen is you’ll get squeezed between his unnaturally hard butt cheeks. With these other characters, you risk death… or worse.


With the much anticipated release of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull due out this week, we have to ask ourselves this question: Will a fourth installment into the series be welcomed with open arms or met with criticism?

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published: 01.26.2015
B-, C-
published: 01.26.2015
published: 01.26.2015

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