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Shane Black Christmas: Helicopters, Guns, and Torture

What if Shane Black (Writer/Director of the megahit Ironman 3) did a Christmas Special? He did. All his films are Christmas films. ALL Are Set At Christmas. They are bloody violent action packed metaphors from the human condition of suffering during the holidays.

these folks are ready for a nice quiet xmas ...

these folks are ready for a nice quiet xmas …

There are many great lines in The Long Kiss Goodnight, but my fav is “Life is pain. Get used to it.” For most people, Christmas is much more about pain than merriment. The ones with loss and trauma may be fewer than the ones enjoying the holiday season, but their discomfort is so much greater, and these films tap into that. It’s cathartic, watching thrillers about drug dealers and killers and seeing Mel or Bruce or Robert blow them away. It helps us forget about how crappy our Xmases are. Not only are they set at Xmas, but many of the themes of loneliness and dealing with the holidays runs through these films. Main and secondary characters miss their lost loved ones during the holidays, whether its Riggs missing his dead wife or the Kid in Ironman 3 missing his dad. Let’s look at some of the other things his films have in common.

our heros enjoy the season before their killing spress

our heros enjoy the season before their killing sprees

Helicopters

A lot of helicopters, with people shooting from them and people shooting at them. The main villain Timothy in Long Kiss Goodnight doesn’t drive. He goes everywhere via helicopter. Helicopters are prominent in Ironman 3 as well. Assassin Gary Busey shot someone from a helicopter in Lethal Weapon. No one is going to forget death by chopper in The Last Boy Scout. Do they have a subconscious meaning? I think he just thinks they are cool, but there are a hella lot of choppas in his films. I guess when he was in Predator, he didn’t get enough …”Get to da Choppa.”

I'm Geena Davis starring in the best Bourne film you haven't seen

I’m Geena Davis, starring in the best Bourne film you havent seen

Hero’s hanging / tortured

Tony Stark tied up by his hands in IM3 made me chuckle. I could see Riggs tied up. And then Charlie in Long Kiss Goodnight. The president is hanging in the Iron Patriot suit even Robert Downey, Jr. in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang being tortured then hanging from the coffin. This may be a metaphor for the character holding on to the person he once was, but letting go or escaping into the ‘Hero’ he becomes or “Antihero” in most cases.

don we now our Gay Perry

don we now our Gay Perry

Antihero

Tony Stark is a super weak, super jerk in IM3. It’s one of the things I liked the most about his character. He is written more like Tony Stark than Peter Parker. Riggs IS NO HERO when we meet him in Lethal Weapon, and maybe not at the end of the film. He is really a dangerous individual, for himself, villains, but also his partner. Willis has a character in Last Boy Scout that may be one of the most despicable heroes in modern film making. Charlie is The Long Kiss Goodnight is an assassin, ready to bury the house wife personality she’s had the last 9 years. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’s Robert Downey, Jr. is the quintessential antihero. But they all end up saving the day, mostly by killing a lot of people, with Guns and Guns and More Guns.

this is a real fing badge im a real fing cop and this is a real fing gun

this is a real fing badge im a real fing cop and this is a real fing gun

Gun Play

Even when his films start with do “good types” like Murtah, they end up shooting to kill by the end of the film. Did anyone ever think they would see Tony Stark kill with a pistol like he was in LETHAL WEAPON V? You need dozens of body bags if you’re in a Shane Black film, because the rage of the holiday season needs to be exorcised by people shooting people. Again. And again. And then Again.

wait !!!  what ??? WTF is iron man doing with a GUN?!?!?!?

wait !!! what ??? WTF is iron man doing with a GUN?!?!?!?

Personally I am a fan of Black. Some call him the father of the modern action film. I am sure that he is the father of the CHRISTMAS Action film. Maybe he is working through some xmas trauma?

These a great way to let out some anxiety and holiday rage after watching a few too many children’s Christmas movies. Frosty, I’m looking at you.

hey,  didnt i star in a christmas action movie ?

hey, didnt i star in a christmas action movie once already ?

I recommend these for the holidaze in this order


The Long Kiss Goodnight
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Lethal Weapon
IronMan 3
The Last Boy Scout

kiss kiss bang i lost it

kiss kiss bang i lost it

Hey kids, don’t be The Last in Line shopping this year. Be safe.
Happy Holidays from RJD

About The Author

RJD THE MAN ON THE SILVER MOUNTAIN he loves chatting about films and music and writing bad southern rock songs and worse fan fiction. CONTACT @ CRIMSONKING109@AOL.COM

  • detectivedee

    Thx for this great article. Love Black and love IM3. Also, I just decided to hate Xmas again. I tried to get over my Xmas hate in the last three years but it just does not work. It is the same shit every year, no matter what I do. Fuck it, I stay a Grinch for the rest of my life.

    • RJD

      Hope you have a safe new year then

      • detectivedee

        You know I hate New Year’s Eve too, that’s how a positive person I am :-) At least it is a festivity you can evade more easily than Xmas.

        • RJD

          new years is a death trap
          better to host a small party or forget it all together.

          the roads are full of drunks and its dangerours.

          i soent 2 new years eves ago on bourbon street. at least i wasnt driving.

          • detectivedee

            I will be at a party with friends. Too bad the girl there always wants to go outside right before midnight. Firecrackers fly around and you literally walk on glass shards. Once I saw people going through the crowd with a baby cart. I still hope we won’t go outside this year. Guess I will also put myself into an alcoholic coma.

  • http://labeoufdaily.com/ LaBeouf’s Cancerous Scrotum

    brb got an idea for a christmas book about this old guy being visited by ghosts.

    • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

      lol!

    • http://labeoufdaily.com/ LaBeouf’s Cancerous Scrotum

      I think I’ll call it A Holiday Carol.

      • BuyingBlind

        Hahaha…just read this out loud to an old guy. He laughed his ass off.

    • RJD

      Sorry to hear about your nuts

  • http://labeoufdaily.com/ LaBeouf’s Cancerous Scrotum

    I also starred in a shitty ripoff of Rear Window. SUCK MY DICK

  • http://labeoufdaily.com/ LaBeouf’s Cancerous Scrotum

    Plagiarism is cool mother fuckers, get with the program! Hell, I’ve got Liam Neeson’s cock and Tom Selleck’s balls.

  • BuyingBlind

    I’m just going to meditate on how stupid a conversation about plagiarism would be at a website that solicits free content from random strangers on the internet. My head just exploded.

  • Bopnrumble

    How is it going,Ronnie?

    • RJD

      Terminal case of life

      Medicated today

  • Bopnrumble

    Renny Harlin gets a lot of shit, but people seem to forget he directed TLKG and The Adventures Of Ford Fairlane.

  • KilliK

    ΤLKG is great. IM3 is a fucking piece of shit.

    • RJD

      Fireproof bras always ruin films

      • KilliK

        heh

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    The caption under the shot of Willis and the puppet with the gun should have read:

    “Compliments of Kevin Smith, asshole!”

  • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

    Great article RJD. I need to rewatch The Long Kiss Goodnight!

  • Erudite
    • RJD

      Similair subject matter. Totally diff tone and articles. Wish I’d read his first

  • Erudite

    You’re being accused of plagiarising another article about Shane Black and Christmas on twitter. Have to say that the articles are different enough to not worry about it.

    • RJD

      TBer editors have seen my article for about a month now. Its been in the can for a while. I’d I tweettered if I did tweeter but I don’t. EW did put up an article about it as well. Its not a hard thing to miss. All of shanes balcks films set in winter you see xmas lights …

    • BuyingBlind

      Plagiarism? Hold on let me just go get my axe. Who is doing the accusing?

    • http://www.puckpropaganda.com/ Puck Propaganda

      RJD’s is better due to his patented lack of proper capitalization. =P

      • RJD

        Real men don’t edit

        • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

          Real men watch Downton! ;)

    • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

      Well reading all their tweets has just guaranteed that I will never visit their site!

      Merry Christmas! :)

      • RJD

        Should I get a tweeter account to check it out ?

        • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

          Sure! Twitter is fun!

    • http://labeoufdaily.com/ LaBeouf’s Cancerous Scrotum

      Don’t worry bro I got your back.

      • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

        Shia, Shia! Do you think dom will come and wish me a Merry Christmas?? *on tenterhooks*

        • http://labeoufdaily.com/ LaBeouf’s Cancerous Scrotum

          I don’t know but I will come over and wish you Merry Christmas if we share a smoke.

          • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

            Awwww I don’t smoke. :(

          • http://labeoufdaily.com/ LaBeouf’s Cancerous Scrotum

            Do you smoke poles?

          • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

            Don’t smoke anything. You are getting me mixed up with your wilder English friends lol! :P

          • http://labeoufdaily.com/ LaBeouf’s Cancerous Scrotum

            I will smoke anything and I mean ANYTHING.

          • BuyingBlind

            take it easy Max

          • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

            Wow, you’re a wild one! *backs away slowly*

    • RJD

      Can you “link” the twitter feed ? I have a friend that wants to twwek

    • Tikkanen

      It’s bogus. Their beef is their article is titled “Shane Black’s Christmas” which they feel is the same as Dio’s Shane Black’s Christmas Special: A Carol of Choppers, Guns, and Torture. I tweeted prior articles about Shane Black and Christmas themes going back to 2010.

      They admit there are no similar passages in the body of Dio’s article.

      • Erudite

        Exactly. Its one of the things that you associate with a Shane Black movie.

      • RJD

        A little company called EW had something on their website about xmas, ironman, KKBB and RDJ last week or 5his one would have dropped last week.

        Pretty common subjects considering IM3 did a gazillion bucks

        Was gonna post in the dudes article but I didn’t want to be first.

      • RJD

        Thanks for defending me

  • jim83

    I like Shane Black’s work for the most part.I didn’t care for IM3 at all,and for some reason i never liked the Long Kiss Goodnight but i always loved the Last Boy Scout.That movie was so funny,and so full of great quotes,i still remember most of them.Better than most Die Hard sequels.

    • Stalkeye

      “Wanna here me scream, play some Rap music”.

      WIN!

  • KilliK

    KKBB is overrated. A decent flick which is elevated by RDJ’s outstanding performance. But nowhere the masterpiece I kept hearing all these years.

    • jim83

      KKBB is definitely not a masterpiece,but it’s a great little film that came out of nowhere,with two great comedic performances by both Downey and Kilmer.

      • RJD

        Its a historic film being it not only was Blacks come back but more importanty RDJ as well.

        • KilliK

          and then they went and made the shitty IM3. sigh.

          • RJD

            They gotta eat killik ! Its 2nd to last on my list. Only last boyscout is ranked lower.

        • Stalkeye

          RDJ=RJD?

          I sense a conspiracy here! (0:<

          • RJD

            ;)

          • BuyingBlind

  • Stalkeye

    All AICNing aside, this is one of your best Articles and a fitting tribute to Mr. Black who shouldv’e been a major force in Hollywood. Never saw Kiss Kiss, but The long Kiss was one of my favorite heroine Action films. Geena Kicked ass (Literally) in that Film and of course the intrigue plot device of scapegoating Mid eastern terrorists in order to get funding, was brilliant. LOL

    I was letdown by Ironman 3, I ain’t gonna Lie, but it’s still way better than Green Lantern, Ghost rider, ASM, and a few other Superhero Films I can think of.
    Lethal Weapon well the first 2 anyway is on my top 50 Film list.

    Shane’s a genius who never really got to explode, unfortunately.

    • BuyingBlind

      What do you mean never got to explode? He wrote a ton of movies that got made and now directs blockbuster films.

      • RJD

        he disappeared for a long time. idk if it was depression or drugs. he made his comeback about the same time as downey did

      • Stalkeye

        Where are these said tons of Movies? I can only remember the few off the bat. (i.e. the ones that Ronnie mentioned in his article.) i’ll look up his filmography as i might have missed out on some of his previous works eons ago.

        • BuyingBlind

          lethal weapon, monster squad, iron man 3, doc savage, long kiss goodnight, last action hero, last boy scout – that is a ton of movies

          • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

            Doc Savage hasn’t even been made yet! How can you count that?

          • BuyingBlind

            It has been announced….I’m counting it…I guess

          • Stalkeye

            Last Boy Scout? Hellza Yes!
            Last Action Hero? er, um… now what was that Movie about again?

          • BuyingBlind

            I actually adored that movie because I couldn’t see R-rated movies of the time, so none of Arnold’s stuff but this one was plenty violent. PG-13 ftw.

      • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

        He wrote a ton of movies that didn’t get made, you mean. His credited filmography is rather small.

        His original Lethal Weapon 2 script is a thing of legend. Unfortunately, it’s one of the rarest scripts that’s ever been circulated amongst collectors, and few have read it.

        • BuyingBlind

          lethal weapon, last boy scout, long kiss goodnight, kiss kiss bang bang, iron man 3, last action hero, monster squad….that’s a ton of movies

          • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

            That’s seven movies. Not a lot for someone who’s been in the game for almost thirty years.

          • KilliK

            Like Jim. :(

          • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

            Yes, but Cameron directs those films, and is involved in every aspect of them – and they’re huge films, at that. If he’d just been a screenwriter, like Black, he would have written about three times as many. Maybe.

            That said, I wish Cameron’s filmography was many times as large as it is. Same with Kubrick.

          • KilliK

            aye

          • Demagog_Dog

            Well, a director can only make a movie once every two years at best…if you factor in time taken off to be “with family”, maybe every 3 years. Factoring in “not being an ‘it’ name/box office draw”…even longer…

            7 films is a little low, but compared to 10-12 (where he theoretically should be), he’s not that far off…

    • RJD

      thanks stalk!

      theres alot of good in ironman 3. it just feels like it was a few choices away from being amazing. SB but after its success he has clout hes never had. what he does with it is up to him.

      KKBB is a tour de force of Robert acting like crazy neutoric RDJ character, Val Kilmer acting gay, and Michelle being so cute you can see straight. Its holly wood comedy film noir. Wish there had been a sequel.

      • Stalkeye

        It’s funny that Shane’s character in predator happens to read a Sgt Rock comic as Arnie was supposed to portray The (original) Rock in his own Movie, but i heard talks fell through. That fucking sucks.

        LOL Nice handle (SANTA IS SATAN) hhmmm, you may have given me an idea. (0:<

        • RJD

          Sergent rock played anhuld ? Glad it didn’t get made.

          “DIEEEE YO GERMAN SCUM. DA NATZEES MUDST BE DEFEEDED. “

          • Stalkeye

            Actually, Schwartzer suggested that Sgt Rock was born in Germany then immigrated to the United States and by using his native language, he was to go on undercover assignments within the Nazi regime…../ : Yeah, I know…

          • RJD

            JUST AWFUL
            bad casting is an art form in hollywood

    • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

      “a fitting tribute to Mr. Black who shouldv’e been a major force in Hollywood.”

      There was a good reason why not. I can’t remember the exact story, but I think the guy was heavily into drugs and the Hollywood party scene, which derailed his career for years until he kicked the habit.

      • Stalkeye

        Dayum!!

  • BuyingBlind

    Wow nice piece. The Long Kiss Goodnight is a unique film. Criterion should get in there.

    • CaneTheSutter

      I saw that at the cinema and even then I thought it was quite bad..

      i might need to rewatch it then?

      • RJD

        Do you enjoy
        The bourne story
        Samuel jackson
        80s action
        Blonde gena davis
        ?

        • CaneTheSutter

          bourne yes

          sam….ouff..it’s a tought call..i’d say 50/50

          80s…also depend which one, again 50/50

          geena davis is better as a redhead

          so it sounds like i will like half the things on that movie!

          back when renny harlin was still doing holiywood movies not strange hercules Z movies

          • RJD

            This was back before SLJ started mailing it in. Ans john hurt is in it too

      • BuyingBlind

        It is bad. But it is uniquely bad.

  • Stalkeye

    First! Bitches! (0:<

    • BuyingBlind

      Ha. I am now the bottom of the page!

      • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

        No you’re not! :P

        Merry Christmas peachy :)

        • RJD

          Lmao

          • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

            Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! ;)

            Merry Christmas RJD! :)

          • BuyingBlind

            :P

          • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

            :P :P

        • BuyingBlind

          Merry Christmas! Are we having mulled wine?

          • http://rareenglishrose.com/ Rare English Rose

            No. Just had a G&T. My first proper drink in weeks lol.