Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review - The Eiger Sanction

Yea, I know.  It's been out for almost 40 years.  So?

So I'm watching the Eiger Sanction on Netflix the other day.  And you know, Clint Eastwood is usually pretty dependable as far as good movies go.  if you're a guy, anyway.  He does action, and... well there's... ok, so just action.  My point is, his movies often have a lot of, oh, what's the word...  Action.  Right.

The Eiger Sanction is about a retired assassin (bruce willis' inspiration for his many movie roles, no doubt) who's also a retired mountain climber who's now a college professor.  An Art professor.  I guess art was always his main passion in life, according to the character, but that's neither here nor there.  I'll go along with it, crazy as it sounds.  So this guy Johnathan Hemlock (Clint Eastwood) is going around college, doing his teaching thing and inspiring wet panties everywhere, when his old boss asks him to take on another assassination.  Or what the old boss likes to call a "Sanction."  Now Hemlock is reluctant to do this, mainly because he thinks it's all pointless and if he keeps doing assassinations he's bound to get killed eventually, and like any sane person, he doesn't want to die.  Although, i'm not sure about the sanity of a person who climbs up the sides of mountains, but hey, that's a personal opinion.  So the old boss wants him to kill two people, or two sanctions, and killing the first one is no big deal, but the second one is likely to occur on the mountain known as the Eiger.  Thus comes the name of the movie, the Eiger Sanction.  And all he knows about the second man is, he has a limp.  This comes into play later.

Now as I've already mentioned, Clint, err, Hemlock, is uniquely suited to this task, both because he's an assassin, and because he used to climb mountains.  Specifically, he tried climbing the Eiger twice before, and failed both times.  So Clint is eventually tricked, talked, cajoled and threatened into taking the job.  Apparently we are supposed to feel something for this retired assassin/art professor because he thinks killing people is pointless, despite taking the first job for money and the second job for revenge.  So it's off to train, and then to whatever european country the Eiger is in, to get the job done, and there's kooky hijinks and nutty comedic happenings along the way.  Or maybe that's hangover 2 I am thinking of.

Now, I don't want to ruin the movie for anyone, if, you know, you haven't managed to see it in the last 38 years.  It's a decent movie, I mean, there's some gunplay and a little fighting and lots of mountain climbing and some gorgeous alpian scenery.  And by Alpian, I mean, uh, scenery in the Alps.  Because I think that's where the Eiger is.  And I think there's even some nudity in there somewhere, but don't quote me on that, because I'm half in the bag.  But here's my problem with the movie...

Hemlock never actually assassinates anyone.  I mean seriously, for an assassin, he literally won't kill anyone.  What the fuck kind of assassin doesn't kill anyone?  Supposedly old Hemlock has had a long and effective career as an assassin, but nope, doesn't actually murder anyone in the ENTIRE MOVIE.  Makes no sense to me, but here, let me run down the entire physical action of hemlock, in order, and I don't think this actually gives away anything important...  He throws a guy out of his office, shoots a guy in self defense, punches a guy (who then falls through a window and falls to his death), beats up a guy, shoots another guy in self defense, drives a guy 300 miles into the desert and leaves him there to find his own way back.. and, just as an aside here...  SIX HUNDRED MILES ON ONE TANK OF GAS?  back in the 70's?  Are you SHITTING ME?  And all in one DAY?  yea, right.  But no, quite clearly, we see the mile marker flip from 199 to 499 and tick over to 500 miles in the blink of an eye.  And amazingly, it's still daylight when he stops the jeep, lets the guy out into the desert, and drives off...  another 300 miles to go home, and he arrives before dinner is served, I am sure.  Completely disregard that there are no roads, he's just amblin along, goes back the same way, yep sure.  anyway, moving on.  So the guy in the desert eventually dies, but did hemlock actually kill him?  No, the desert did.  or the guy's own incompetence at finding water in the desert, I suppose.  So then hemlock beats a guy up, tries to save a group of people, he fails, and then, when he finally finds out who the guy is that he's after...  he lets him go.  Yea.  So the closest thing to cold-blooded murder he does in the entire movie is leave a guy out in the desert.  Alive.  Did he have a gun?  Yes.  Had the guy already tried to kill him several times?  Yep.  He just doesn't like loud bangs, apparently.  Oh, he did hit a chick (and by chick, I mean, a woman, don't take my pseudo-macho-bs seriously) once, but again, it was in self defense.  She was trying to kill him.  And she's fine afterwards.  So?  What?  I don't get it.

Here's something else I don't get.  Now here's a bit of a spoiler, so, feel free to turn your head and cough, or, whatever it is you do to get through these long and probably boring posts.  George Kennedy is a wonderful actor, but he's a pretty large guy, and by large, I mean, a bit chunky.  I am myself a bit chunky so don't take offense, George.  I am sure even at your age you could still kick my ass.  So George is Hemlock's mountain climbing trainer.  And granted, you don't always have to do something better than someone else to train them, you just have to know how to do it better, but when George, who looks like he's about 275, maybe 300 pounds, can outrun Hemlock without breaking a sweat, well, Hemlock must be in pretty sad shape.  So.  Here we have hemlock trudging along behind George, who's just flying along like he owns the place, which, actually, he does, since it's his ranch Hemlock is training on, and George would certainly know the way, and look!  George doesn't have a limp.  What's that?  Well of course he doesn't have a limp, you say?  EXACTLY.  No limp.  Just flies along in the arid mountains of the southwest without even slowing his stride.  And yet, he goes along with good old Hemlock to the Eiger, and BAM there's a limp!  I guess the cold does bad things to his frostbite?  or arthritis?  Something.  So the temperature drops below 50, and he can barely walk, but at 70 degrees, he's crankin along like a marathoner.  Sure.  Now, you're wondering if this limp identifies him as the guy hemlock is after.  WHO THE HELL KNOWS?  You're saying just because he has a damn limp, he's the guy Hemlock is supposed to kill?  Well, maybe you're right, what the fuck do I know, like there's not a thousand guys in the Alps alone who walk with a limp.  Shit, I have a limp and I'm not even in the Alps.  Am I next on Hemlock's list of guys to kill in self defense?  Could be!  Stupid way to identify someone as the guy you're supposed to kill, don't you think?  Yea, I agree.  Don't worry, my limp's not permanent, I injured my quadriceps in a tragic blimp accident over macho grande.  It'll heal.

So there it is in a nusthell.  Retired assassin kills a bunch of people in self defense, almost dies on a mountain, and meets a nice black lady named Jemima.  Jemima Brown.  Yea.  Don't ask me, I didn't name her.  It was the 70's, dude, don't get me started.  Have you seen Blacula?  You want a movie with stereotypes, watch that.

What else is going on.  Hmmm.  Well, somehow I am always the bad guy.  I'm sitting around playing Minecraft this evening (yea, on a friday, I know right?  no social life) and my nephew and his lady friend pop into my server, as usual.  So if I'm too quiet they think I'm sulking and if i say too much they leave so I decide on something safe.  Small talk.  The weather!  So i'm chatting about the weather and my nephew's gf tells me I know nothing (it's the damn weather, what do I need, a degree?), and when i try to explain myself, she ragequits.  Or, as my nephew explains it, she left because she didn't want to get into a pointless argument.  What argument?  Who knows.  I was trying to talk about the weather with someone who I thought knew about the weather.  Would make sense to me, but like i always say, WTF do I know?  I'm apparently the bad guy who's trying to start a brawl.  So my nephew defends his GF, which, apparently, is his job, because i was attacking her.  Despite the fact that i wasn't attacking anyone, and she doesn't need defending, because I was just trying to talk, you know, that thing people do to communicate with one another occasionally?  Right, I guess talking was a bad idea.  Should have kept my mouth shut and let them think I was sulking.  Anyway, so my nephew gets all defensive about her ragequitting because I assumed I knew something about the weather and she apparently wants to be the foremost expert in the world, so I am not allowed to know anything, damn me to hell.  It's all my fault for having a baseline knowledge of some general topics of conversation.  I'll stick to games and movies from now on, probably safer.  They don't generally talk back.  So I'm trying to explain to my nephew what i was trying to say, and he's just either pretending not to understand, and comparing me to how my other nephew picks his computer parts?  Yea, I don't know, i really got nothing on that one.  I don't know why that would come up.  So I try and explain myself and this is where the argument gets completely pointless, because I ask him a simple question like "what direction do you expect the sun to rise tomorrow morning?" to get my point across, and he can't even answer that one without arguing the point, so I give up.  I ragequit.  Because at that point, I'm apparently the bad guy who was picking on his gf and he has to be the macho asshole defending her who won't even accede that the sun rises in the east so I can explain what I was saying to him.  So I give up.  I'll be the bad guy.  Somehow I always am around here.  People joke around with me constantly, I joke back, and I'm the bad guy.  I get verbally attacked, try to defend myself, I am the bad guy.  People prank me, I prank back, OOPS not allowed!  I get in an argument with my mother, and try to tell my sister what the argument was about, and I am the bad guy because I don't understand women.  Who the FUCK cares whether I understand women or not?  Women are NUTS!  There IS no understanding them because once you think you understand them, they change their behavior to keep you on your toes.  Women are like that.  I don't give a shit-all about understanding women, men, small poodles, ANYONE, i just want to talk to another goddamn human being once in a while without having to argue my way through the rest of the damn evening, but is that too much to ask?  Well fuck me, I guess so.

Other than that, well, I'm struggling with a chronic sinus infection, as usual all winter, it's causing me some eye trouble which i can't decide is either a detached retina (which is pretty bad) or just pressure from the sinuses (common with sinus trouble and nothing much to worry about).  I can see fine, so I doubt it's anything serious, it's just damned annoying along with the whole face-pain thing.  But, I think it happened last winter too, because I vaguely remember searching the internet last winter for information on detached retinas, so if it got better last summer (which it did, as sinus infections do) it's probably nothing.  I generally see an eye doc every couple years, but I have no money at the moment.  So there's THAT additional stress and distraction in addition to that whole lack of a job thing I got goin on.  But hey!  Those are just my good qualities!  Have I mentioned I am also the bad guy all the time?  lol  Glad I still have my sense of humor.  Sorely needed on a daily basis nowadays.

At least I can still blog without it giving me shit and defending itself against me being the bad guy.  Unless, of course, I've offended one of the two or three people who actually read my blog.  I wouldn't doubt it.  But enough about the evil villain that is me.  Now, to sleep, perchance, to dream.  Preferably dreams without pain in them.

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