Today, somewhere out there in America, Michael Bay is blowing out the candles on a birthday cake — and you can bet that cake’s candles are 100 feet tall and shine with the luminary of an exploding sun.
Michael Bay is a god among men for action film junkies. His father an explosion and his mother an electric guitar, Bay ascended from the flaming pyre of a burning building to deliver onto men the ultimate in testosterone-powered cinema.
Today marks the fifteenth anniversary of THE ROCK, Bay’s tribute to explosions, explosions and more explosions.
Michael Bay may have directed BAD BOYS a year earlier but it was THE ROCK that forever cemented Bay as the master of the slow motion, explosion-propelled flight through the air. Staring Nic Cage and Sean Connery, THE ROCK is a certified action classic — it even has a DVD release that’s part of the prestigious Criterion Collection!
For those of you who haven’t seen vintage Bay in a while, you may be surprised to see that THE ROCK actually comes close to resembling a real movie and not just a big-budgeted commercial. While Bay’s TRANSFORMERS films, the latest of which is released next month and would make a great reason to come back to the Alamo (hint, hint), are undeniably epic in their construction, scope and ability to cram 1000 fireballs into a two-hour timeframe, THE ROCK takes the time to give its explosions room to breathe. Well, what little room is left after Nic Cage is finished chewing every inch of scenery he can get his sharp little teeth on.
Don’t get me wrong; Cage is a man who I whole-heartedly believe to be the greatest living actor alive … who just happens to choose terrible movies to star in. I have a sneaking suspicion that in his early years as an actor, Cage accidently ran over a gypsy with his car and is now cursed to only choose terrible scripts to act in. Once every couple of full moons, though, Cage will get lucky and attach himself to a good script. Nay, a great script. THE ROCK is … well, it’s a really, really fun movie.
But what else do you expect from a script that had Quentin Tarantino, Jonathan Hensleigh and Aaron Sorkin all chip in during the writing process?
Sean Connery stars as Mason, the only man to ever escape form Alcatraz Island, a claim to fame that becomes in high demand after a group of domestic terrorists seize the former prison. Ed Harris rounds out the top-billed cast as a genuinely sympathetic villain — a rarity in Michael Bay films, to be sure.
THE ROCK has it all — explosions, lethal plagues, John C. McGinley and, most importantly, some great banter between Cage and Connery. If you’ve never seen the film, you simply have to check it out — or check your man card at the door.
Thankfully, you’re in luck. The Alamo Drafthouse will host two screenings of the film later this month as part of our Tough Guy Cinema series.
As part of Tough Guy Cinema, every month we present one of the roughest, toughest guy movies to ever be released. Now these movies are made tough for guys, but ladies are more than welcome too. I mean, THE ROCK has a genuine, honest-to-god sex symbol in it. And yes, I’m talking about Xander Berkley.
As with every month at Tough Guy Cinema, we equip you with cap guns and caps. The toys are to help you immerse yourself into the film’s action. Whenever you see a gunfight occurring on screen — and there are plenty — take aim with your firearm and let it rip.
And show up early and show up hungry because before each screening we'll be having a VX gas eating contest with top prizes to those that can stuff their mouth full of dangerous bio-toxin the fastest.
So, preorder your tickets for THE ROCK today. Click here for the West Oaks screening on June 23 and here for the Mason Park screening on June 25. And let’s remember to pay tribute to Michael Bay — without whom we may never have been introduced to the joy of firing one gun whiles jumping through the air.