Apr 8, 2009

The Park is Mine

The Park is Mine is an early Made-for-TV HBO production casting a pre-fame Tommy Lee Jones in his precipitated approach to act as a tortured and disgruntled Vietnam vet. His sagging features and rough voice only aid the appearance of a perturbed individual securing both hostility in his visage and the hereditary ability to look 30 years older than he presently is, at any time. Tommy Lee Jones doesn't aggravate me as much as I'd intend to express in this film and this surprised me to my very core. I've grown to loathe the man after appearing in some A-list Hollywood trife over his spanning career that grows from Cobb to Lonesome Dove then settles out with No Country for Old Men. To trade in his roles from such trashy cinema like Volcano would be a godsend to a high degree and I would gladly take the retardedly underrated The Hunted over shit like Men In Black any day.

In a post-First Blood veteran sympathy plea, action is churned simply like butter offering emotional demons and firefights with intentions of never harming a soul. For this reason, the action in The Park is Mine is simple, effective, and pure of heart. Now, this might dishearten the "die hard" action fan as, let's face it, we love watching people getting riddled with bullets, but with the empathy directed towards television viewers and sticking it to the man, The Park is Mine is largely entertaining film that was made with nary a sore spot. Just examine First Blood closer and notice the large budget of 15 million US dollars. This is by no means large by today's economical standards but for a film featuring no killing, few explosions, and a natural set, First Blood's budget seems to be roughly inflated perhaps even to pay off the star power of Stallone and Dennehy. But to be fair to both The Park is Mine and the comparable First Blood, First Blood offers much more depth into madness and chaotic order (is their any other kind?) of the Vietnam veteran and The Park is Mine follows more intently on corrupt office officials and the adverse effects of media. Both of these films have simplistic appliance of rough style and aesthetic that grants a loose leash for a reimagining based off some other novel.

The Park is Mine bee-lines a sympathetic TV-MA venture into a disgruntled vet and his second-hand decision to hold Central Park hostage using a series of already-set explosive devices rigged around the perimeter. What could have been a hostile takeover of this disgusting place occupied by degenerate killers and rapists is turned into something you'd expect from your local TNT station. The body count is so incredibly low but features 2 more killings than First Blood. The Park is Mine has one suicide and two cases of self-defense but First Blood had Sly running afoot in a forest crippling and incapacitating crooked police officers but do not fear, The Park is Mine depicts a fashion of low-cost productions that concern themselves on pristine quality - one of the greatest television movies that comes to mind, in fact.

Conceitedly so, The Park is Mine centers itself around well-positioned vantages covering both aspects within the park, outside the park, and the public opinion of this vigilante who is working towards something of a meaningful cause. The persona's begin piling up only before exploiting the pigeonholed "corrupt politician" ploy that eventually begins to unravel to the duration of the film leaving a very, very frustrated Tommy Lee Jones with an assault rifle and a fistful of spiteful hand grenades. But remember, he doesn't want to hurt anyone! For some time now, I've been becoming increasingly tired with the preprocessed programming inciting "social commentary." I could just muster enough air for a sigh of relief, thanks the powers that be to see there wasn't a "Racially charged beating of an honest Negro," cause let's face it, there's never an honest one in situations such as these. This is no Die hard, people. A cute and clever Argyle is never something to expect in hazardous situations such as these. Fantastical elements of co-existing cultures don't appear like they do on film and that contributes to the phrase "movie magic." Only in film can you watch the world burn and life prosper in a 4 hour block double billing of Roland Emmerich disaster "classics."

To the unkeen eyes, The Park is Mine is a passable production that will entertain occasionally but to someone with a knowledge of antiquities in cinema, you'll find much to appreciate and reflect on as this film abruptly ends leaving that amazing score from Tangerine Dream softly echoing in your skull. This remains one of Tommy Lee Jones' best roles following with The Hunted and Small Soldiers. It's in his vocal ability to both intimidate and inspire. His voice remains one of the greatest in Hollywood and gave much to the title villain in Small Soldiers. Included in this review is the YouTube presentation of this hard-to-find classic of cable productions. It's within your best interest to watch and absorb this film if you favor the sort of First Blood filmmaking that this embraces. Bare in mind, this is no Rambo but The Park is Mine is an important film and should be a lesson to all making a TV movie.


1 comment:

Sean Gill said...

Nice review. The discarded Nam vet subgenre is truly one of the 70's and 80's most satisfying offerings, from RAMBO to EYE OF THE TIGER to ROLLING THUNDER. Thanks for the kind words about my blog. You've got quite an interesting site here yourselves, and I'm beginning to delve into it.