Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Je vous salue, Marie (Hail Mary)

I won't for a second deny Jean-Luc Godard's influence on modern cinema, what I do wonder however is what kind of medication he was on when making this film. Here we have the old master working out some Catholic guilt thingy in the guise of a modern day virgin birth and the supposed second coming of Christ. At least, this is what I think it's about. I've seen this film maybe a dozen times and honestly, call me ignorant if you will, I haven't a fucking clue what Jean-Luc is on about. The film was banned for some time due to protests from various religious should have been banned for not making any damn sense. All this aside, there are all kinds of nice visuals and philsophical concepts to keep you busy on a Sunday morning. For instance, those with a foot fetish will enjoy his homage to walking fashion and the idea of ants creating music I found quite compelling. In all reality I think the only reason Godard made this film was to have Myriem Roussel run around naked for hours on end and there sure as hell ain't nothing wrong with that though in this modern day of the Brazilian wax the bush on her might send the ladies screaming in disgust. A young Juliette Binoche spends a lot of time in the sunshine here as well and listening to them all babble in their native French tongue is all well and good but I might recommend turning the sound off and crankinng up the Ramones instead.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


This 1954 Frank Sinatra thriller is more famous for supposedly having been watched by Lee Harvey Oswald a few days before he killed President Kennedy than for anything else. Often thought to have been banned due to the fact it deals with an attempt to assassinate a fictitious president of the United States it was in fact pulled from distrubution after Sinatra learned of the Oswald myth. All of this aside, SUDDENLY, which is the name of the town where the story takes place, is a dark and gritty look at the dreams and ideals of mid-fifties America. Extremely violent in dialogue and action it will surprise modern viewers at it's edginess. Frank Sinatra as the lead baddie once again doesn't seem to be acting at all and with support from Sterling Hayden and veteran James Gleason this proves to be a tight little number that still delivers the goods.

The Rat Pack

I caught this one on late night television a few weeks back. I had avoided it due to Ray Liotta having been cast as Frank Sinatra, kind of like how I didn't want to see NIXON because of Anthony Hopkins. When watching a docudrama of such recent celebrities I feel the leads should at least somewhat resemble the people they are portraying. Like NIXON, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well Liotta did as Sinatra. Even more surprising was Don Cheadle as Sammy Davis Jr.. Utterly brilliant he was, even more so when you consider he only had a couple of weeks to prepare for the role. While preparing and shooting he learned to sing, play the trumpet and drums, tap dance and how to twirl a six shooter! This by itself if amazing but the way Cheadle deals with the racial and social pressure Davis Jr. was under in his performance is nothing short of pure acting genius. In a lot of way, he is the central character in the film and in one imaginary scene where he dances in front of a mob of protesting racists you will understand why Cheadle received a GOLDEN GLOBE for his work. Also of major note is William Petersen as John F. Kennedy. Most of us are more familiar with him as the enigmatic Gil Grissom on CSI-VEGAS and when you see him bringing such a dark and twisted side to Kennedy you will be shocked and repulsed at the same time. Look for the lovely Deborah Kara Unger who is fabulous but severely miscast as Ava Gardner.

The Ghost and the Darkness

Those who read here on the regular are more than well aware of my fondness for Val Kilmer as an actor. In THE GHOST AND THE DARKNESS we see him in the role Col. John Henry Patterson, a construction engineer charged with the task of building a railway bridge in East Africa in the late 1890's. As unlikely a part as any for Kilmer to be cast in, it is a true joy to watch what he does with the character. When two lions with a taste for human flesh halt the project, big game hunter Charles Remington, as played by Michael Douglas, is brought in to save the day. There are many undercurrents at work here and I will allow you to discover them for yourself. Just as strange as Kilmer in this role is director Stephen Hopkins branching away from his standard horror/science fiction genre. He does a stellar job on all accounts. Based on a true story, the lions, who deserve equal billing as the stars of this film, are apparently on display to this day in some museum in Chicago.
On a sidebar, while rewatching this I was struck by the uncanny likeness of actor Tom Wilkinson to the late Roger C. Carmel who portrayed Harry Mudd in STAR TREK THE ORIGINAL SERIES. As Mudd was left on a planet of replicating robots with the ability to perfectly mimick human forms I thought it might be interesting to bring Wilkinson in on some future STAR TREK project to reprise the character who was always a fan favorite. Just a thought.

The Fantastic Four-The Unreleased Movie

Due to a bit of skullduggery of the sublicensed kind this 1994 Roger Corman produced version of the Marvel foursome exists only in bootleg form. Made for a mere two million it actually is not as bad as some would have you believe. Yes, the acting is slightly poor, the scripting verging on wretched and the special effects akin to the work of a grade-schooler, still, what the film lacks in production value is made up in heart. The story and look is very effective in bringing to life the comic book characters and if one treats this as a glorified tv movie for kids it can be quite a bit of fun. Of special note is Michael Bailey Smith as Ben Grimm, better known as the THING. Despite being able to see the kipper on the back of his rock-skin costume in many shots, the overall appearance is superior to that of the recent big budget version. Smith would go on to portray PLUTO in the remake of THE HILLS HAVE EYES and will be seen in the sequel to be soon released. Worth the 10 bucks for a copy at the conventions if for nothing else than to see Rebecca Staab look pretty!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Godzilla on Monster Island

You know, some kids grow up wanting to visit the pyramids, stonehenge, the great wall of China....boring shit like that. I've always wanted to visit TOHO STUDIOS in Japan and I hope one day to make this dream come true. In the Godzilla canon Monster Island ranks low truly being one of the most slip shod offerings from the late director Jun Fukuda. This being said, purists will still need to watch 'Zilly and his pals thwart the diabolical plans of the space cockroaches (no...I don't make this stuff up) effort to take over the Earth. Mostly comprised of stock footage from earlier films look for an unintended cameo fro RODAN who isn't even in this film. I should also say it has always boggled my mind why none of these films were ever nominated for a special effects Oscar.....I hear George Lucas learned everything he knows from them.

Brief Oscar Thoughts 2007

It was fantastic to see the "three amigos" present Martin Scorsese with his long overdue BEST DIRECTOR OSCAR but the real treat of the night for me was Forest Whitaker. I've always liked him as an actor but, and correct me if you think I'm wrong, his acceptance speech last night seemed to be the most genuine from an actor I've ever seen at the Oscars. Good on him...don't know the man personaly but seems to me it couldn't have gone to a better guy!

Primary Colors

Caught this one on BRAVO last night after the OSCARS and found myself quite surprised I hadn't bothered with it sooner. Adapted from the Joe Klein (as Anoymous) novel based on the run to Washington of Bill Clinton, this is yet another film mismarketed. Tagged as a comedy, PRIMARY COLORS is anything but. The performances of Emma Thompson and Kathy Bates (who received the best supporting actress Oscar nod for this role) as two very different women trying to protect their man illustrate this point in spades. Said man is John Travolta in a natural role and look for Larry Hagman in a downright scary portrayal of a former U.S. senator drawn back in to the political fray. Director Mike Nichols who earlier gave us such gems as CATCH-22 and THE GRADUATE and would more recently blow out minds with ANGELS IN AMERICA and CLOSER, uses his deft hand to steer this moraly bankrupt ship to one very shocking conclusion and as this is based on the "true story" the viewer is seriously left wondering....what aren't they telling us!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Haunted Mansion

This fun little spook fest for the kiddies is really nothing but a long commercial for Disney's Haunted Mansion ride in my opinion but this doesn't stop it from being a lot of fun. What does is the overbearing take on interracial unions and this type of moral flag waving should be left out of kids films period. This message is so blatant, white supremist groups in the southern States actully boycotted Disney films in protest. If you can put all of this nonsense aside you'll be treated to another fine family outing with Eddie Murphy (who might just get his OSCAR tonight!) doing his thing. Along for the ride are Terence Stamp, who is fabulous as the butler ghost, and now more poker star than actress Jennifer Tilly as the ghost in the crystal ball. Look for cameos from Deep Roy and RING 2 star Kelly Stables and you'll love the headstone barbers quartet!


The blockbuster of 1984 with the annoying theme song that plagued AM radios everywhere surprisingly does not hold up overly well with time. Sure, Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd are great and Sigourney Weaver is fantastic as always but this film is seriously dated in look and feel and it's hard to imagine the fuss made ver the special effects which sadly look quite bad by modern standards. Still worth a viewing if you are feeling nostalgic. Look for cameos from Deborah (don't fucking call me Debbie!) Gibson and Ron Jeremy (now there would be a film!!!!!) as well as Playmate extrodinaire Kymberly Herrin who is welcome to be my dream ghost any day she wants!

The Day The Earth Stood Still

This is the IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE of science fiction films and now, some 55 odd years later, it is still as beautiful and relevant as the day it was first released. You can find many articles written about this Robert Wise directed classic starring Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal so I won't bother adding my two cents. What I will comment on however is how a number of the uncredited cast would go on to appear in either THE TWILIGHT ZONE or THE OUTER LIMITS. Also, I've often wondered if Stanley Kubrick was giving a tip of the hat to this film when he decided to use ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA by Richard Strauss in his masterpiece 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. The legendary Bernard Herrmann uses elements of the same piece in the score for the opening credits.

Bloody Idiots At Large

This would be funny if it weren't so damn sad. Three would be suicide bombers in Chichawatni, Pakistan blew themselves up when the explosive laden bike they were driving hit a bump causing their payload to detonate. These morons were supposedly on their way to a memorial prayer meeting for an officer killed just a few days ago. Divine justice at work or just a bunch of fucking idiots?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Number 23

Awful, just fucking awful!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Altered States

Back in 1980 this film was quite the big deal. Fast forward to 2007 and it would be easy to wonder what the hell all the fuss was about.......this is because everybody and their cat have ripped off elements of it. I don't wish to dwell on this here....what I do wan't to talk about is two extremely notable debuts...those being Drew Barrymore and William Hurt. Hard to imagine it was only 1980 when they showed up on the big screen for the first time as both seem to have been around since the time of Moses. Drew has a bit part while Hurt carries the lead and he does a mighty damn fine job as the lizard killing goat eating mushroom gobbling Professor Jessup. Some supreme support from Bob Balaban and Charles Haid is an absolute riot. Rick Baker has some unique make up effects in this project and be sure to look for John Larroquette's cameo as an x-ray tech. While Ken Russell seems to be having acid flashbacks throughout the whole thing, his directing style is well suited to bring the Paddy Chayefski novel to life and while slightly dated at times this primal love story is still one damn fine good trip!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Freaky Friday

In this, the second remake of the Disney classic, we have Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan as the mother daughter team doing the big switcheroo. Both are great and you already know the story so I shan't dwell on it. Instead, let's point out a few small things. Marc McClure, who played Jimmy Olson in the Christopher Reeve Superman films as well as Supergirl, returns in a cameo role as Boris, the character he played in the first remake. Rosalind Chao, known to us as Keiko O'Brien from Star Trek the Next Generation, has a great bit role with Lucille Soong her mother. This is interesting as Soong appeared briefly in an episode of THE PRISONER as well as CORONATION STREET. Also of interest is the in-joke of having Mary Ellen Trainor as a patient of psychaitrist Curtis as Trainor played the shrink in all of the LETHAL WEAPON films.
Mark Waters, who would direct Lohan again in MEAN GIRLS delivers the happy goods with this project and in closing, no that is NOT Martin Scorsese playing the is tv veteran Harold Gould!

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man

This bad boy buddy film is one hell of a lot better than you might think. Starring Mickey Rourke and Don Johnson as a biker and a cowboy who try to help an old friend and end up hunting for revenge this film has enough action for any red blooded male. The ladies may enjoy watching Rourke and Johnson but this oneis most certainly for the men. The late Big John Studd has a nice role as does Daniel Baldwin and Tom Sizemore playing yet another scum bag, in this case a drug dealing banker. I sometimes think Sizemore needs a new agent, then again, he does play a great bad guy. Look for some nice cameo work from Tia Carrere and Kelly Hu as well as a bit part and performance from Vanessa Williams. It should also be noted Don Johnson is in great form here in this role tailor made for his style. Not one of Rourke's better films but certainly passable.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Big Hit

Silly little film about a kidnapping gone severly wrong resulting in a "big hit" being put on the ones responsible. Features Mark Wahlberg and Lou Diamond Phillips in the lead with Christina Applegate and Lela Rochon as well. China Chow (what a great name!) is introduced in this number and would go on to do voice work for GRAND THEFT AUTO-SAN ANDREAS which is sure something to be proud of! My man TIG FONG plays one of the heavies and looks fabulous in the role. Avery Brooks has a small role as the "boss" but is sadly underused here. Worth a boo if you have nothing better to do!

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas

What can I add to all having been written about this modern classic. Most kids and adults have seen it at least a dozen times and if they haven't they bloody well should. The love affair between Sally and Jack Skellington, voiced by Catherine O'Hara, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, and Chris Sarandon is truly one for the ages. Listen for William Hickey as Dr. Finkelstein and simply enjoy...that is all...simply enjoy.


Two words baby, GORE VERBINSKI! Here is the film debut of one of my current favorite directors and it is a beauty. Simple story, two brothers inherit a run down factory and old house after their father passes. In the old house they meet the mouse of all mice and this is when the sadistic slapstick fun begins. Nathan Lane and Lee Evans are suprb in the leading roles, so much so I think it's the best work of their respective careers and in the case of Lane that is really saying something. Christopher Walken has an amazing bit part as an exterminator and veterans Ian Abercrombie and Maury Chaykin turn in nice cameos. Speaking of nice cameos, William Hickey has one of the best, a portrait of daddy Smuntz seen throughout the film. Then there is the mouse! A combination of live footage, puppets, mechanics from Stan Winston studios and CGI bring to life this creature with such perfection it is stunning and under Verbinski's watchful eye the results are mindboggling. Verbinski, who would go on to direct THE RING and PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN trilogy has the eye to die for here and working with a script by Adam Rifkin he gives us a heart warmer for all ages. Not to be missed!

Wide Sargasso Sea

If PBS decided to run a porno company this would be the result! I don't care how many dancing naked women and humping natives you throw in to this film it ain't gonna save it. Based somewhat on the Jean Rhys novel (which is supposed to be a prequel to JANE EYRE so you know we're in trouble right from the get go)this is the tale of an Englishman who goes to Jamaica to take a bride, gets whacked by the power of Obia and goes off his nut. Nevermind the Obia bit, lots of rum and women in the raw would do the job for me and I tend to think most Englishmen are off their nut in the first place. Said man is Nathaniel Parker who spends lots of time in the buff which will get all of the INSPECTOR LYNLEY ladies all hot and bothered and the bride is the lovely Karina Lombard who wears less clothing than Paris Hilton for most of the film. Both are effective in their roles but it goes to waste in the much of poor pacing and direction. Michael York shows up long enough to realise he shouldn;t be there as does Rachel Ward and Hammer horror vet Martine Beswick. Hell, even Naomi Watts, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, makes an appearance but sadly she keeps her clothes on. Stewart Copeland provides an excellent score....problem is it sounds like he wrote it for another film and hey...there is a good underwater shot of a crab...I liked that and that is about all I liked.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

An American Werewolf in Paris

Rick Baker and John Landis sure are missed in this "sequel" to the London film. In fact Paris has very little to do with the original other than having werewolves in it. That being said, this flik is a lot of good natured fun and while I'll take good old fashion special effects over CGI anyday the lycanthropes here are visualy interesting. Of particular interest is the lovely Julie Delpy as the lead furball who must have needed the money bad to do this baby. Teenie bopper heart throb tom Everett Scott is his usual funny self which is enough to validate this film in my eyes....I just love watching this guy. However, the real star of this film is Julie Bowen, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, turning in a gut busting performance and swiping the whole show. She is currently having the same effect on viewers of BOSTON LEGAL. A fun little time waster but in no way should it be compared to AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON....ever. I should add you will never look at bungi jumping quite the same way after seeing this one!

Flesh Gordon

From the master of the "beaver-films" Howard Ziehm comes this classic sex spoof of epic proportions. After earth is bombarded by an alien sex ray, Flesh Gordon and Flexi Jerkoff must travel to the planet Porno to stop the planet wide orgy threatening Earth. With the scantily clad Dale Ardor in tow they face the evil Emperor Wang as well as cave dwelling dykes, one eyed pit serpents, carnal lusting alien fiends and a whole host of baddies all surrounded by perpectualy shagging minions. Amazing they could fit all this action in to 70 minutes! Suzanne Fields a.k.a. Cindy Hopkins is a real treat in this riotous romp lending an air of authenticity to the damsel in distress she is taking the piss out of. Porn legend Candy Samples, who I think isthe most beautiful woman in the world is fantastic as Chief Nellie and I do think she should have done more dramatic roles in her career. How the hell tv vet John Hoyt (who was actualy in the Star Trek pilot!!!!!!) ended up in the production is still a mystery to me and I'm sure nobody thought much of the future of William Dennis Hunt who debuts here and was just recently seen in DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES. Listen carefuly for Craig T. Nelson who provides uncredited voice work for one of the monsters. A film to be owned by all!

Ringu 0=Basudei (The Ring 0-Birthday)

Koji Suzuki and Hiroshi Takahashi team up again to complete the RING trilogy by presenting the prequel to the series. This final effort is not nearly as rewarding as the other two but does provide some creepy moments. Yukie Nakama, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, gives a fine portrayal of the young Sadako though I would have loved to have seen more crab walking. This one is really for the die hards only.

Madonna-Japan 1987

Originaly presented as a Mitsubishi television special, this concert film is a must for the die hard fans of her Madge. Shot on the WHO'S THAT GIRL tour in Tokyo, this demonstrates simply how much Madonna changed the music industry. Her sexuality in this presentation is enough to still stand up there with the skank ho's of our day and still be a hundred times better. Not much else need be said here, find it and watch a legendary pioneer at work!


Umberto Lenzi liked this title and Carroll Baker so much he filmed it twice. The former version, more commonly known as ORGASMO is the better of the two and with that being said this one can be given a miss. I will say one thing about thos Italian directors thought.......they sure seem to have better acid than the Americans! Even though PARANOIA has lesbians, threesomes, booze, guns and car crashes, all seen through the psychadelic eye, it is simply one giant bore. Leave it at that.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Halloween II

This quintessential slasher number picks up right where the first leaves off, so much so they leave in the gaffe where Michael Myers is seen walking backwards up the ramp to fall off of the balcony when he's shot by Dr. Loomis. This is of no concern really because the action kicks in pretty darn fast with Myers getting his machete on in a mighty empty hospital. We should be so lucky to have such a thing here in Ontario these days. From there we have nurses, ta tas and gore, three of my all time favorite things! Ultimate scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis (who I was surprised to see in an old BUCK ROGERS episode the other day) comes back for what I'm sure she thought would be her final crack at Laurie Stroud, little could she have known she'd be at it again more than twenty years later. Pamela Susan Shoop, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, has one of the best nude scenes ever to be seen in the slasher genre though I've heard she quite regrets doing it now which is a shame because it is quite effective. The opening credits where the Jack o' lantern turns into Myers skull is a classic and though John Carpenter did't direct him ominous Halloween theme music is there in full force. Look for the film debut of humour master Dana Carvey and be sure to do a double take on the sound work in the hammer claw to the skull scene!

Smart Kitchen Tip #9

One should never use regular dish soap in the dishwasher.

Practical Magic

Griffin Dunne of AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON fame takes the director's chair in this adaptation of the Alice Hoffman novel and the results are truly magical. With the rollicking performances of Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman in the lead, this film gives us a full plate of female complexity at it's best. Like many of my little blurbs here in blog land I really hate to give away the story to those who've not yet seen it. Rather, I think my job here is to give you some little tidbits on the actors involved and a thumbs up or down as to if it is worth a couple of hours of your time. PRACTICAL MAGIC is well worth your time, especially if you are a guy in need of a dvd for the lady as this is a seriously fun chick flick that won't bore the living shit out of you. Besides, any film having Nicole Kidman, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, dancing around in a skimpy outfit is worth any red blooded male's time! Superb supporting work from Stockard Channing and Dianne Wiest only cement Dunne's accomplisment here and look for SID & NANCY's Chloe Webb who has some of the best lines in the whole damn thing!

Natural Born Killers

Much has been said and written about this controversial film about mass murderers and mass media. From a Quentin Tarantino story and directed by Oliver Stone, Natural Born Killers traces the story of Mickey and Mallory and their cross country killing spree. As the carnage continues, their love grows, as does the public's interest as fed by a story hungry media. This is the general premise. Underneath the basic story are messages concerning America's fascination with homicidals and the questionable actions of the press to exploit them. Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis are superb in the starring roles and you will not soon forget their performances from this one. Tommy Lee Jones and Tom Sizemore are excellent as deranged prison system administrators and Robert Downey Jr. damn near steals the show in his telejournalist role. Beware, this is one seriously violent and disturbing film but it ranks up their as one of Stone's greatest accomplishments. I will admit not liking it much when it was first released but this had more to do with the casting of Lewis in the female lead as I thought it was too close on the heels of KALIFORNIA. On subsequent viewing I can't imagine anybody else in the role. On a side note, if you get the chance to catch Juliette and her band don't miss her....she kicks some serious ass on stage...just like she does in this flick!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sharpe: The Legend

Of the vast number of roles Sean Bean has played he will always be Major Richard Sharpe in my mind, so much so a signed photo of him as the English soldier hangs above my computer. Based on the Bernard Cornwell novels, this series overview is set up as a tavern tale as told by Riffleman Cooper (Michael Mears) a few years after the Battle of Waterloo. You really should watch the series in whole as well as reead the fabulous novels but if time is short or if you are just nostalgic for some Sharpe action this will do. The old Borg Queen herself, Alice Krige, shows up as does Elizabeth Hurley, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, who delights the pervs here with a ta ta scene to die for. BBC and British cinema vets such as Pete Postlewaite, David Troughton, Daragh O'Malley and many others also appear. Action adventure at it's very best!

Our Town

Thornton Wilder's play about small town America before WORLD WAR II is what we have here and I will not for a moment say if it is a faithful presentation or not as I've never seen the original play performed let alone read it. From what I've read elsewhere there seems to be some outrage over the change to a certain character's death yet Wilder himself worked on the script and had final say on it so I can't see what the fuss would be about. Directed by Sam Wood, who did uncredited work on GONE WITH THE WIND and would later direct THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES and FOR WHOME THE BELL TOLLS, the tribulations of life for two families are displayed through birth, marriage and death with a ghost included. If this type of drama is your cup of tea...well, then great, if not, avoid it like the plague. A young William Holden is nice enough to watch as is veteran Guy Kibbee. Martha Scott makes her debut in this film and would continue on to an amazing career which included BEN HUR and many television shows, THE BIONIC WOMAN being one. As mentioned before, if this type of drama is your thing, you'll have a great time!

Basket Case 2

Is there any sense at all trashing a flik having to do with a man siamese twin, which he carries around in a basket, who has a serious anger management problem........I think not. You're either in or out for this baby. If your in, it gives you a bunch a mediocre soap opera stars running around and getting hacked up by nature's special people. The monster sex scene at the end will either disturb you all to Hades or have you in stitches with laughter. Judy Grafe, Heather Rattray and Beverly Bonner all give you something to look at other than the freaks and gore but for most folks this will be a simple "move along people, nothing to see".

The Devil Bat

Short little 1940 film features Bela Lugosi as a chemist seeking revenge on corrupt business partners. He does this by mutating a bunch of bats who go nuts over a special shaving lotion he's concocted. I swear....I don't make this stuff up! This early work from Jean Yarbrough who would go on to direct shows suchs as THE ADDAMS FAMILY and MY FAVORITE MARTIAN as well as many westerns, is not nearly as bad as it sounds and running at just over an hour is well worth a look if for nothing else other than Lugosi's over the top performance....and wait til you get a look at the devil bats...special effects at their very best!!

New Waterford Girl

From the offbeat director of TIMES SQUARE and PUMP UP THE VOLUME comes this delightful offering of teenage angst in a small Maritime town. North Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia provides the backdrop for Allan Moyle to work his quirky magic and here he is in ultimate form. Working from the Tricia Fish script, who oddly enough was the assistant set decorator on another Sydney shot classic, MARGARET'S MUSEUM, Moyle captures the spirit of Capre Breton far better than anybody else I've seen. The problem I have with it is the same I have with the TRAILOR PARK BOYS, they present it as comedy and it isn't! Oh sure, it's damn funny alright but what folks don't seem to get is this is what Maritime life is REALLY like. Nowhere is this more apparant than in the performance of Nicholas Campbell as Francis Pottie. For a Toronto boy to pull off down homer like this is a true testament to his acting skills and his dialect is perfect, even more so than Mary Walsh, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, who sound Newf alright but she sure ain't Cape Bretoner, which incidently is nothing but a Newf with the brains bashed out anyway but that is a different story. Walsh is great as the wife of Campbell and they give the parental wall needed for 15 year old Moonie Pottie, played by Liane Balaban in her debut role, to bounce off of and with the introduction of a New Yorker in hiding, portrayed by Tara Spencer-Nairn who would later show up in CORNER GAS as Karen Pelly, all teenage hell breaks loose on the New Waterford strip. Andrew McCarthy (WEEKEND AR BERNIE'S, LESS THAN ZERO) and Cathy Moriarty give great support here and KIDS IN THE HALL head-crusher Mark McKinney has a fantastic bit part. Before closing, I must tell you to take a good look at the scenery, the stark beauty of the island is amazingly well utilized. Prepare yourself for one of the most heart warming films you will ever see!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Thomas Crown Affair

Director John McTiernan and Pierce Brosnan team up again to pound out one seriously smooth sexual slobberknocker in this remake of the 1968 Norman Jewison classic. On the surface, one may think this a bad thing as trying to fill the shoes of Jewison or Steve McQueen is a tall order at best, however in this case the results couldn't be any better. Brosnan is at the very top of his game here, giving the rogue cosmopolitan charm to Crown necessary to be effective in the role. It certainly doesn't hurt to have Rene Russo, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, as the lady lead to bounce off of, oh and bounce they do kiddies....bounce indeed. The two share a tango scene which almost melted my video monitor! Denis Leary gives wonderful support as do veterans Ben Gazzara and Fritz Weaver but hwat really must be mentioned here is the wickedly tight direction of McTiernan. You can feel both he and Brosnan's love for this overflows in every shot and every line delivery! Considering no actual museums were used for locations on this film, serious credos must be given to the set builders and art department. The work is phenomanal. The legenday Faye Dunaway, who played opposite McQueen in the original, has a great part as Crown's psychiatrist and the spectacular Esther Canadas shows up, sadly in only a very minor role. Bill Conti treats us to some of the finest music of his career and it wonderful compliments the festering sexual tension between Brosnan and Russo. Overall, this is a crew of professionals giving their very best and we, the gentle viewers, reap the rewards.

Message in a Bottle

Here in Toronto, where I live, we have a local tv station called CITY TV. Somewhere in the programming department of said station dwells a person with a seriously sadistic streak. How else you would you explain running MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE as a late night movie on Valentine's Day? Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, which should be your first clue here, this film is no tear jerker...more like white water rafting action and after seeing it I think the KLEENEX company bankrolled the sucker. This is chick flick with a capital damn C, but don't let this fool's damn good with some nicely paced scripting and some damn fine acting. Kevin Coster and Robin Wright Penn, who I would say is the most beautiful woman in the world but I don't want Sean coming over and punching me in the eye, helm this sailing fantasy in which love is lost and found and lost again (funny, I thought the Greeks wrote this one ages ago) and Paul Newman stands around all crusty and waxes the light fantastic on the meaning of life. As cheesy as all of this may sound, this trio under the skillful direction of Luis Mandoki, breathe life in to a project that if left to the hands of others would have failed. The lovely Hayden Panettiere, who would go on to HEROES fame in the role of Claire Bennet, has a pivotal cameo here but you'll have to look extra closely to find her. Back to CITY TV and the sadist....point is...this film will get the chickies all weepy, depressed and bothered at the best of times.....slot it in on late night Valentine's and what you have is a recipe for suicide.....hell...I damn near wanted to slit my wrists after watching it~!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Tango & Cash

A wonderful action smorgasborg of vintage character actors spinning around leads Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell. Plays out like a poor man's LETHAL WEAPON but still delivers the goods as Sylvester and Kurt have great chemistry together and with Jack Palance, Brion James and James Hongs offering up the baddie roles you can't help but be entertained. Speaking of entertained, future Superman squeeze and desperate housewife Teri Hatcher, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, gets her best Sheila E on in a dance scene guarandamnteed to right warm you up on this cold winter night. Michael J. Pollard has a nice little guest role as does Clint Howard and Edward Bunker. Late scream queen Roxanne Kernohan also has a quick cameo. Another one to keep your eyes open for on TBS though Hatcher's dance scene is edited for television. Guess the bible belt couldn't handle her playing with the drum sticks!

You've Got Mail

OK, let's put the Valentine's cynicism away and let me give you the low-down on what may be the greatest modern romance film. Nora Ephron, who also gave us SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE returns with Meg Ryan in tow to give us a two box of tissue special. This time around, Billy Crystal is replaced by the ever charming Tom Hanks who portrays a male counterpart to INDIGO maven Heather Reisman. As a box-store retailer, he puts a woman he has been corresponding with via email out of business. Of course he doesn't know this and the oil and water battles between Hanks and Ryan end up giving us tons of enjoyment. Solid support roles from Greg Kinnear, Jean Stappleton, and Parker Posey, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, helps set this one heads and shoulders above the average fare and look for Dave Chappelle in a surprisingly restrained role. Aside from the superior scripting and acting, the film does all of the little things allowing it to stand up there with the best romantic comedies of all time.


Perfect film for this romantic holiday. Proverbial nerd buys possessed car, falls in love with it and it ends up destroying him. Sounds like most relationships I've encountered. It's a silly premise when you think about it........a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury as a jealous and possessive "lover" but just like Stephen King did in his novel, John Carpenter manages to present the tale in such a way as to be "believable". Keith Gordon is cast perfectly as Arnie Cunningham, the afformentioned nerd, and is fascinating to watch as he changes from geek to greaser nut bar. Robert Prosky is great as the sailor-mouthed cantankorous scrap shop owner and actor/poet Roberts Blossom is perfect as Christine's elderly owner. We are also treated to an early performance from Kelly Preston, who I would say is the most beautiful woman in the world, but I don't want John Travolta coming over and doing a two-step on my skull! Easy to see why he married her twice. Harry Dean Stanton also is his threadbare old self in a detective role. Visually dated, this still holds up as one of Carpenter's better films.

Just My Luck

Typical tweenie comedy romance vehicle for uber-pop-tart Lindsay Lohan to strut her stuff. Chris Pine, recenlty in SMOKIN' ACES gives the chickies something to ooohhh and ahhhhh at and Brit popsters McFLY prance about and look all perty. It's a story about luck magnets and jinxed disasters played out for formulatic precision. Missi Pyle brings her lovely self in a support role and former THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL's siren Kayla Ewell, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, has a wicked cameo as a bank teller. Take it or leave it.....your choice.

My Bloody Valentine

Here is a film near and dear to my heart. Shot in Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia (just down the shore from where I grew up) this slasher film offering has a miner with a pickaxe on the rampage skewering and boiling the nubiles at will and this is all you need to know of the plot. What is of great interest is the presence of lots of MOOSEHEAD and KEITH'S beer, so much so, one has to wonder if the breweries didn't kick in to finance the film. Also of note is this project marks the debut of many future Canadian television regulars including the lovely Cynthia Dale, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, who does a fantastic job as a teenie bop screamer. Legend has it the crew were drunk when they filmed the scenes in MADAME MABEL'S LAUNDRETTE and, in a hurry to hit the local pub, left the fake corpse in the dryer where it was discovered a while later by a local doing her laundry. The results were predictable to say the least! Legend also has it the foam pickaxe hangs in the SALTER STREET FILMS office to this day. I honestly am unable to remember how many nights RICHARD C. SLAUGHTER and I sat in the SEAHORSE drinking beer and talking about breaking in to the office and stealing that pickaxe! In the end some chick would always show up with a chunk of hash and we'd end up getting corked and saying fuck it to the plan. Great shots in the mines and of the local town make this a true piece of Canadiana not to be missed.


This is one of those films where it is proven a good script with good acting can overcome budget restrictions. I don't want to give the story away so I'll leave the plotting alone. What I will say is this marks the directorial debut of John McTiernan who went on to direct a couple of the DIE HARD films as well as MEDICINE MAN and THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER. NOMADS, which he also wrote, gives us an excellent glimpse of work to come. Pierce Brosnan is captivating in the lead despite horrible accent problems and Lesley-Annne Down, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, is extremely effective in her role. Music vet Adam Ant is surprisingly good as the leader of the "nomads" and it is nice to see a cameo from the legendary Nina Foch. One problematic aspect of this film is the score as provided by Bill Conti with the help of Ted Nugent. Though the music is fine it is mixed in such a way where it takes away from rather than compliments several scenes but as this is McTiernan's first film he can be forgiven for this. Take a chance with this one, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Batman Forever

Poor Val Kilmer was taken to the cleaners by the critics for this one and to this day I have no idea why. As the film focuses much more on Bruce Wayne than the actual Batman, Kilmer adds a nice dimension to the character bringing a brooding sense of charm and sophistication to the table actor Michael Keaton could never have achieved. Tommy Lee Jones is excellent as the demented Harvey Dent-Tow Face and Chris O'Donnell is perfect as Robin. Nicole Kidman, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, is fantastic in the role of Dr. Chase Meridian, exibiting a charged sexuality unseen in any of the other Batman films. Who doesn't work in this film is Jim Carrey. As the Riddler one can be forgiven for thinking Carrey a natural choice but his personality rapes Enigma of any depth or effect. Not sure if he is to blame or director Joel Schumacher, in the end it doesn't matter, the portrayal fails and sticks out like a sore thumb. I'm happy to say this is where Schumacher's failures end. His use of lighting and colour is the best in the series and his ability to set up effective shots and angles is truly masterful. Drew Barrymore and Debi Mazar are wonderful as Sugar and Spice and Hammer horror veteran Michael Gough as Alfred is fabulous as always. Ed Begley Jr. and Rene Auberjonois have cameos and it's always great to see comedian Scream Queen Ria Coyne getting some work. All in all a seriously fun way to spend a couple of hours.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Sweet Nothing

One of things always sure to piss me off in this life is when good acting goes to waste under bad writing and direction. In SWEET NOTHING we have the story of a middle-class family as portrayed by Michael Imperioli and Mira Sorvino (there they are together again!) whose lives are about to go off of the rails because of crack cocaine. This is all supposedly based on a diary found in a Bronx apartment by the dude who wrote the novel this film is based on. Riiiiiiiggggghhhhhhtttt.
Watching this, I had the same problem I encountered while reading James Frey's A MILLION LITTLE PIECES, this being I'm not fucking buying it. Having been close to many people who have had their lives destroyed by drug addiction I can smell a fish tale from a mile away. No doubt in both of these cases the intentions were good as they do deliver strong cautionary messages yet, as we saw from public reaction to the Frey fiasco, audiences hate to be lied to. So, it is with this bad story and bad direction we find the talents of our leads being grossly misused. Imperioli acts his heart out here but it still isn't enough to carry the film over. Mira Sorvino, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, is in the same boat as her understated and sensitive performance is lost in the overall murkiness if inept direction. Wish I could say more about it but the title says it all.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Jules Verne's Master of the World

Straight Saturday afternoon matinee action adventure offering starring the great Vincent Price. Adapted from two Verne novelettes, CLIPPER OF THE CLOUDS and MASTER OF THE WORLD, by Richard Matheson, the story of a nineteenth century genius and his amazing flying machine is told. The misguided Robur (Price) intends to use the awesome power of his invention to force world peace on the warring nations with disasterous results. A young Charles Bronson turns in a fine performance flanked by horror veteran Henry Hull and David Frankham. Mary Webster is the token female here and action star Richard Harrison spends lots of time standing around at the "ship's wheel" without his shirt on. Les Baxter gives us yet another of his sweeping scores for what still stands up as a good afternoon's viewing.

Star Trek-TOS-The Paradise Syndrome

A great little episode in which the Enterprise is on a mission to deflect an asteroid on course to destroy a planet inhabited by North Amermerican indians. Good excuse to have Captain Kirk fall in to an ancient obelisk and have his memory wiped out and then go and get it on with the hottest squaw in the tribe. Hot squaw in question being the lovely Sabrina Scarf, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, who started off as a Playboy bunny at the New York City Playboy Club, would show up in EASY RIDER as well as many tv shows and go on to become a California State Senator. Not a bad career at all if you as me. Portraying Miramanee here, she also has the nice distinction of being knocked up by ever the horn dog Kirk. Directed by former actor Jud Taylor (who was in THE GREAT ESCAPE)this is one of the few Trek episodes where they left the studio and went on location. One great scene has an annoying fly landing on Kirk when Miramanee announces her pregnancy. Taylor is still directing to this day having recently worked on LAW AND ORDER-SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT. Richard Hale, who was in BEN HUR and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, shows up to give some antagonistic help and Bill Blackburn (SPARTICUS) and serious Trek vet Roger Holloway prance around in their red shirts. One of the greatest lines ever delivered in Trek comes from McCoy directed at Spock....."that green ice water you call blood"....priceless! One of the better episodes for sure. GEEK ALLERT-people often mistakenly refer to Kirk's child from this episode failing to remember Miramanee dies at the end!

Prom Night IV-Deliver Us From Evil

Standard slasher sequel which will be of interest to Torontonians for some fine city shot footage especially of the Metropolitan United Church. Showcases early work of Nicole De Boer who would go on to Star Trek Deep Space Nine and Dead Zone fame. Also features the stunning Krista Bulmer, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, in a fantastic death scene. She dies real good after delivering the classic line "shut up and take off your pants". Other than this, it is a slow and plodding flick suitable only as something for the background while doing the laundry or Sunday cleaning.


The great Jean Cocteau gets his avant garde freak on with the old greek mythology and warps it up to 1950 France with some seriously fine results. There is very little I can add to the reams of books written on Cocteau's work so I'm not going to bother. It's great to see him direct his long time lover and friend Jean Marais in this project though I must say I found Marais' Flash Gordon hairdoo very very distracting. Visualy superb with amazing sound work and some beautiful music provided by Georges Auric.

Smart Kitchen Tip #8

One should never eat green baloney.


The first film directed by old Freddy Krueger himself Robert Englund provides loads of creepy fun if you are in to this type of thing. Simple plot, you call 976-EVIL and you get demonic powers of which to raise all kinds of hell with! Raising said hell would be whack job Stephen Geoffreys as Hoax, a nerdish kid with an overbearing bible thumpin' mother played by the late and great Sandy Dennis who is an absolute treat in this role. Geoffreys who we all know and love as Evil Ed in FRIGHT NIGHT gets his devil freak on ands hams away with all abandon in this baby and as I mentioned, if you're in to this sort of thing you will love it. PERVERT ALLERT!!!!! Maria Rubell does a nude scene and former Dallas Cowgirl Lezlie Deane, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, turns in a great performance as Suzie. Look out for Robert Picardo as Mark Dark who from the looks of it was sick as a dog with a cold and Englund just rolled with it and worked it in to the flick. Englund certainly could have done a lot worse in his directorial debut. By the way, watch out for those 976 numbers......pretty damn expensive for all that heavy breathing shit.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

The Silence of the Lambs

With the release of HANNIBAL RISING this weekend I thought a viewing of some classic Dr. Lecter action was in order. Not much I can add to what has been written over the years about this film except it still holds up remarkably well in the age of CSI obsessed viewerships. The performances of Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, are amongst the best of their respective careers and Ted Levine's portrayal of Buffalo Bill still remains a visualy disturbing treat. Country crooner Chris Isaak has a nice little cameo as a SWAT commander and look for legendary directors Roger Corman and George A. Romero as FBI agents. Don't forget your flava beans!

Cold Feet

Early work from famed television history director Robert Dornhelm delivers some fine southern laughs of the horsing around variety. Tom Waits along with Sally Kirkland and Keith Carradine set up a scam to smuggle gems across the border hidden in a horse. What happens from there is a series of comedic skits verging on true insanity. Though I've never been a fan of Tom Waits' music (though I love his lyrical work) I've always enjoyed his film work and here as the utterly insane and homicidal Kenny he delivers one mighty fine performance. Bill Pulman and Kathleen York, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world give us the straight men for the comedic trio to work around with satisfactory results. Rip Torn is his usual old self as the sheriff and Vincent Schiavelli has a delightful cameo as a chain smoking veterinarian. Sad he would end up dead years later from lung cancer. Look for Jeff Bridges in an uncredited cameo. As a gun toting bartender he damn near steals the show!

Messiah of Evil A.K.A. Dead People

For those of you who are not self possessed film junkies, this 70's stinker will be of no appeal whatsoever. Those of you who live for the celuloid will want to look closely at this one, no matter how tortuously slow it is, for one very important reason, Willard Huyck. He co-wrote and directed this zombie disaster no doubt hoping to catch the proverbial lightening in a bottle NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD had done several years earlier. What he presents as atmospere is just plain boring yet there are sparks of promise throughout. What makes them of interest is he would go on to script AMERICAN GRAFFITI and INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM as well as direct what some consider one of the worst films ever made HOWARD THE DUCK. It is for these reasons this baby is worth a looksie. Horror veteran Royal Dano makes an appearance and Star Trek and television vet Marianna Hill shows up with her freak on. Wait til you hear the opening song....I have no idea why those shits in the sixties and seventies had to damn near always throw some seriously bad folk song on top of the opening credits but it sure was painful to the ears.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Let's get this straight from the get go....this is not one of those feel good films, in fact, don't be the least bit surprised if it depresses the hell out of you. Edward James Olmos portrays an aging fish dealer with a bum ticker and reserved expectations. His wife, played by the stunning Maria Conchita Alonso who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, has not accepted the same reservation and when a drifter enters their lives old dreams and passions are awoken. This is all I wish to tell you about the story because it is a very complex one and you should experience it for yourself. What I will tell you is Olmos is brilliant to the point you don't think he's feel he really is Joe the fish man. National Geographic vet director Robert M. Young does an amazing job capturing the spirit of the New Jersey fish markets and to see Olmos strolling from there you get the impression he must have been raised in such an enviroment. I simply cannot say enough about how amazing his acting is in this role, then again, since he started doing the new Battlestar Galactica, the man can do no wrong in my eyes. Matching Olmos pound for pound is Alonso who not only gives one of the best performances of her career but wickedly steams up the screen in her love scene with Arie Verveen in his debut role. Also worth mentioning is Steven Schub who plays one of the slimiest bastards you'll ever see. Again I point out....this is not a feel good film but one to be seen by those who still appreciate fine acting.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Of Mice And Men

Gary Sinise both stars in and directs this Horton Foote adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel classic and he does it with superb results. Sinise brings to life the charachter of George Milton with seemingly great ease and is well equalled by John Malkovich as Lenny Small. Ray Walston almost steals the show in his portrayal of the old and crusty Candy and Sherilyn Fenn, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, is far more than adequare in the role of Curly's seductress wife. Mark Isham provides the original score which works perfectly with stellar cinematography. I'm still of the mind you should read the novel first but if you're strapped for time this film does the job just fine!


All films dealing with racism are disturbing but this one in particular raises the bar. It does this by presenting an unintentional message of hate which is why it has been a longtime favorite of white supremist groups. Debra Winger plays an undercover agent sent to infiltrate an American militia group of which Tom Berenger is a key member. As the story plays out, Winger finds herself questioning where her true loyalties are and those of the government she works for. Some seriously scary scenes at a supremist family training camp are especially unsettling and seeing John Mahoney of FRASIER fame delivering a speech on why white America must defend themselves will no doubt creep out most viewers. John Heard and Ted Levine (who is yet again a downright evil sicko) turn in great support and Timothy Hutton has an uncredited cameo as a juggler. The score provided by Bill Conti is very effective. Not a film for the kiddies!

Friday the 13th Part 5-A New Beginning

If this piece of garbage was intended to be a new beginning they would have been far better off having left it ended. You know you're in trouble when Corey Feldman is the only star (in a cameo at that)of note...hell....we don't even get a real Jason in this one. To boot, this is one of those jobbies with an annoying kids tagging along and sadly the little fucker survives. Would have liked to have seen him chopped up good! There is a nice burning flare in the mouth scene and a few sets of titties to boo at but overall this film just simply far the worst of the whole series!

Goodbye Anna Nicole Smith

Goodbye Anna, I'm gonna miss your drama!

Thir13en Ghosts

Man oh man did they ever fuck this film up! This remake of the 1960 William Castle classic suffers from some of the worst dialogue and acting you could ever witness and it's a bloody shame. With the likes of Tony Shalhoub and F. Murray Abraham one wouold expect some competent acting but it looks like they simply mailed in there performances. Even the usually jovial Matthew Lillard is a bust here and though the eye candy provided by Shannon Elizabeth, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, is nice, her acting here is on par with the rest. All that being said, if you can get past these shortcomings there are some mighty fine ghosty visuals to be had and the overall set work is fabulous. Shame thought you don't have to wear special glasses to see the ghoulies like you did with the original. Worth a look if only to see the tits on one of the lady ghosts!

Too Tired To Die

Odd to see Asian action star Takeshi Kaneshiro helm this bizarre art-house number. The story is an odd one to say the least. Death, as portrayed by Mira Sorvino (who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world) shows up to collect Kenji and he has a day to figure out his life. From there, we are treated to a series of very odd vignetes, the best of them with Michael Imperioli providing support. A young Gretchen Mol makes an uncredited appearance as well. I do not advise watching this one stoned as it's a bloody confusing one when viewed sober.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

I Eat Your Skin

This old black and white voodoo stomp pic is not as bad as the title would lead you to believe and has been in the top list of cult faves for years. Simple plot: scientists test a snake venom-derived cure for cancer on the natives and they start dancing and waving machetes around....etc....everything but eat skin I might add...unless you count a slaughtered goat and we don't even see them eat that! does have its charms and watching TV vet William Joyce ham it up for the camera is one of them. Voodoo dancing scenes are surprisingly quite hypnotic and I swear Nichelle Nichols is in there as an uncredited extra. Make sure to grab the ELVIRA (who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world) presented version so you can at least enjoy her and her two co-stars.

True Romance

Back in the day when I was a wee fecal agitator we had things known as "disaster films". Some large studio would roll out a bunch of aging stars and up-and-comers, throw on a plane, a sub, ship or some tall building, mix in a catastrophe or two and then start killing them off like some Friday the 13th flick. Then along came Quentin Tarantino and all of a sudden the disaster film is replaced with the "roll out the stars, give them lots of big fucking guns and then let them blow the shit out of each other" films. I suppose the old westerns had that thing going for them but we won't discuss it here.
TRUE ROMANCE is a tour de force of stars blowing the shit out of each other with guns and is a great crystal ball into what would follow from Quentin in such films as Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown. Scripted by Tarantino, this baby features Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette, who I think is the most beautiful woman in the world, getting down and dirty with the mob, the DEA, assorted freaks and Hollywood in general. Said freaks would be the likes of Tom Sizemore (who, as always, is great here), Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper (good guy in this one but still a freak), Brad Pitt and quite a few more familiar suspects. A young pre-Sopranos James Gandolfini turns in a seriously sick and twisted performance which I'll let you see for yourself and Christopher Walken and Hopper share a very intimate scene. Even Val Kilmer shows up as the "unseen" King and though William Shatner is NOT in this picture, he is mentioned. All of this action and psychodrama scored by the fantastic music of Hans Zimmer and under the direction of TOP GUN Tony Scott gives you, the viewer, some seriously solid entertainment. Shame they didn't blow up an airport though and don't tell me after seeing it you wouldn't want to do bong hits with Brad Pitt!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Monsters, Inc.

You would have to be devoid of a soul not to enjoy this spirit lifting piece of genius from Disney and Pixar Studios. Sulley and Mike (voiced by John Goodman and Billy Crystal) are two hard working Joes making their living by scaring the kiddies to keep the power working in monsterland. When Sulley inadvertently allows a human child to enter his world, all hillarious tarnation breaks loose and the laughs follow. Steve Buscemi voices the evil Randall Boggs with such skill one might be guilty of suspecting he's not acting at all! This is all I want to tell you about the plot, and trust me, this film has story development out the whazoo making one wonder why it is they can't find scripting like this for live action films these days. The animation, though computer generated, is a meal for the peepers and with "cameos" from Frank Oz and John Ratzenberger mixed with fine support work from James Coburn, Jennifer Tilly ( who is down right spook town sexy as Celia )and Bob Peterson, you will be pleasantly surprised at just how many levels this film works on. Director and co-writer Pete Docter and his crew have an achievement here to be very, very proud of and not to take anything at all away from Goodman or Crystal but this may be their finest work to date. Add this to your must see list even if you don't have kids!

Fire Down Below

If you've ever, and I do mean ever, tuned in to TBS, you've seen this film...perhaps more times than you've cared to, so I won't waste much time telling you what it is about. Steven Segal grabs his saw (and even a gee-tar) and his enviromentalist's hat and gets his good ol' boy on. In the process....many cars get smashed all to shit, lots of stuff blows up and plenty of bones with funny Latin names get shattered as does the jaded icey exterior of our female lead, portrayed here by the lovely Marg Helgenberger. Levon Helm plays a reverand which is great for a hoot and Kris Kristofferson scowls away in yet another great villian role. Country stars Marty Suart, Travis Tritt and Randy Travis (geeze....think there might be a connection there?) put in some fine cameo work in what is really a great overall action flick. Say what you may about Segal and his personal life but the man always delivers the good on screen and here he is on the very top of his game.
Be sure to watch right to end to see Harry Dean Stanton steal the whole movie with a truly heart warming scene before the credits role.

Adventures of Captain Fabian

Rarely seen Errol Flynn vehicle in which he both scripted and starred. It tells the story of murder and corruption in 1860 New Orleans and despite having been shot in France, provides some of the worst French dialects one could ever witness. Far more of a melodrama than said adventure it requires some patience to view in full but is well worth it. A young Vincent Price menaces the aging Flynn who was rumoured to have been whacked clear out of his skull on opium during production, with Agnes Moorehead and Micheline Prelle rounding out the cast. Anything with Price in it is always worth a look and when you add Flynn to the mix it makes it twice so. Errol delivers this priceless line in a tavern...."Emile, stop twitching. How do you expect me to read my paper while you keep twitching?". An interesting bit of trivia concerning Flynn....he died of a heart attack on his yacht at age 50 in Vancouver, British Columbia and is credited with the famous quote "I like my whiskey old and my women young" which might explain the three statutory rape charges he was slapped with.

The Dice Man Cometh

In these days of rampant politcal correctness it is always pleasant to go back to a time when freedom of speech included the right to seriously offend everybody on the planet. Love him or hate him, Andrew Dice Clay did just that and though his humour has been labled of the frat house toilet variaty the bottom line is it's damn funny. In this HBO special taped in Philadelphia, Dice takes jabs at everybody from homosexuals to Asians and everything else inbetween with gut wrenching results. He's not above taking a good shot at himself either which really poses a question begging to be in hell's name could anybody have ever taken him seriously. It's an aquired taste for sure but like Keith's Indian Pale Ale, those who like it a lot! Interesting sidenote here, WWE Smackdown has a tag team now, Deuce and Domino who cop the whole Clay routine. Sadly, their effect is not as funny.

Smart Kitchen Tip #7

Do not pour baker's yeast down the kitchen sink drain without warm water.

The Adventures of Milo and Otis

A wonderful journey for the young at heart this tale of epic proportions tells of the journeys of a barnyard tabby kitten and a pug-nosed puppy. A truly joyous film which is narrated by the late Dudley Moore, who you can almost see half cut in the studio with a flask of brandy in his hand, this is one of those rare treats to be enjoyed by the whole family. Pay keen attention to Moore's vocal stylings.....he possessed one of the most unique voices ever.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Goonies

Here is a little bit of innocuous fun presented by Steven Spielberg and directed by the great Richard Donner. This one has it all, pirates, gold, mutants, traps, jail breaks, car name's in here. Includes the feature film debuts of Josh Brolion and futue hobbit Sean Astin as well as some fine acting from Corey Feldman and even Ke Huy Quan, that annoying little tit from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and later show up as a martial arts consultant for the X-MEN films. Rounding the cast out are the bumbling villians portrayed by Robert Davi and Joe Pantoliano and their mom portrayed by the late and great Anne Ramsey who really is quite a menacing presence here. Look for Cyndi Lauper in a video tie-in cameo and director Donner himself as a police officer. This is one of those feel good kiddie ensemble action flicks for the whole family to enjoy...I recommend ice cream!

Congratulations Sunita Williams

A serious tip of the hat to astronaut Sunita Williams for setting the new women's total space walk time record. The new time record is 22 hours and 27 minutes. Couldn't have been set by a nicer's hoping she adds 22 hours more!

The Dark Crystal

One of the masterpieces from Jim Henson and Frank Oz this is a film to be enjoyed by all ages. Sadly, it won't be. I had this misfortune of watching a group of preteens watching this a few months back and was shocked at how bad they took the piss out of it. Between CGI and a meaner, more cynical society, the sheer joy of this film simply seems to be lost on the younger generation. For us old farts, yes the story is a little simple but the pure genius of the puppetry and visuals is an absolute treat. Deep Roy is osmewhere in there as a performer...if anybody knows where please let me know! It also saddens one to remeber we've lost Henson and his beautiful heart. He left us way, way too least we have his legacy of peace.

Small Soldiers

Sadly, this film falls apart with characters you just don't like! If you ignore the stupid families involved and focus on the overall action then you are in for a treat. Try and ignore the anti-military sentiment and technology gone wild message and you'll be in for an even better time. No doubt if you have kids you've al;ready seen this flick, if not, here is why it's worth your time. Voice cameos galore!!!!!! Tommy Lee Jones as a rub salt on yo' ass Major Chip Hazard squares off against Frank Langella voiced Archer in a toys come to life mother of all battles. The boys from Spinal Tap weigh in with some fine work as do Christina Ricci and Sarah Michelle Gellar as the psycho Gwendy Dolls...bloody hilarious they are. Scary too! Ernest Borgnine and Dick Miller also show up as does ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT's David Cross and RESCUE ME's Denis Leary who turns in a Donald Trump like persona guarandamnteed to spook the shit out of you. Must say it saddened me to see Ontarians Gregory Smith and the late Phil Hartman working together, I say saddened because I somehow suspect these two would have worked together more ofter had Hartman lived. All in all, a fine little film for family and all.

The Morning After

Well......I sure miscalled that one but what the hell.....good game with the rain and all and PRINCE sure did kick up some dust....may have been the best half-time show ever. Gots to feel for old Peyton Manning....good to see him finally get his own. Never did get my pulled pork or my pork pulled for that matter!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Stuporbowl Sunday

Tell me the Minx and Stag Man aren't having a whoop up down there in old Chi-town! Wish I was down there having some pulled pork (man...does that not sound obscene or what?!?!?!?) and brewskies for the SUPERBOWL celebrations and if my prognocastic abil-o-tees are correct Chaicargo will be having one hell of a party tonight. My boyz all say step up and have a it is.....
Chicago Bears OVER Indianapolis Colts by 18
Check in withs ya all later......if I can see!

Friday, February 02, 2007

How U Like Me Now

Fool me once....shame on you, fool me twice..shoot me in the fucking head. I don't know which is worse, the fact this film was made or that I actually sat through it twice. If there was a redeeming quality to it I'm afraid I missed it entirely. Bad script, bad dialogue, bad acting and just plain bad.
I was tempted to say it was the worst film I'd ever seen but then I remembered FIRST KNIGHT.

Guys and Dolls

I never claimed to know everything but damn if I ain't shocked when something so classic managed to escape my notice. Frank fucking Sinatra and Marlon bloody Brando in a musical?!?!?!?!?! Never even heard of it let alone seen it! Just had the pleasure tonight and I don't imagine I need to write too much about it here. Mobsters gamble, sing and dance and in the Save Your Soul Mission find God. Great stuff. One standout scene has Sinatra chirping at his fellow goons to stand up and confess their sins but the true coup here is Brando doing LUCK BE A LADY TONIGHT. in hell's name could I not have heard of this?!?!?

Kidnapped: Frank Sinatra Jr.

Just a short blast to point out this fine documentary about the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra Jr. Honestly, one of the most buggered up crimes ever attempted. Researched and scripted by W5 veteran David Bedard, Kidnapped takes you in to the mind of one of America's most inept criminals ever and though this occured back in the 60's the sordid tale still isn't over yet. Keep your eyes open for it on cable.

Just Cause

A mighty taut and fine suspense thriller this is. Premise is simple, young man is wrongly accused and sentenced to death for murder, retired from active practice law professor has to come and save the day while dealing with racist thugs. When you have Sean Connery as said lawyer and Laurence Fishburne as one of the thugs you just know things are going to be combustible. Ed Harris gets his psycho on as a serial killer inmate, Scarlett Johansson shows up in her second feature, and Blair Underwood and Kate Capshaw provide excellent support. Not much I can say about the story without ruining the plot for you but I assure the scripting and dialogue are top drawer. Look for some fine cameos from Ned Beatty and Ruby Dee and even Kevin McCarthy comes out for a little visit. For sure...time well spent!

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

Wow....where do we start here? I've always loved Shane Black's script work and to see him in the director's chair weighing in with this beauty thrills me to no end. Never been a big fan of Robert Downey Jr. but I sure as hell am now. He gives a performance in this baby which is so dynamic I was slack jawed from it. Serious, funny, sexy, oh man....I just can't say enough about how good he is in this. makes sense to me now why Hollywood has never given up on the guy.
And Val Kilmer....oh Val Kilmer. Here he is playing a gay private dick and I swear he is not acting at all. Irascible and charming as hell he is simply a natural in this role and he delivers one of the best lines I've heard in years.....

Gay Perry-This isn't good cop bad cop, this is fag and New Yorker.

Then there is Michelle Monaghan. Not to take away from her stellar acting abilities, any film featuring her running around in a Christmas elf nightie from Frederick's of Hollywood get's the two thumbs (and that's not all!) way up from me.

Based on the Brett Halliday potboiler BODIES ARE WHERE YOU FIND THEM this film is both a nod and a wink to the days of Otto Preminger and the boys. The title credits pay a brilliant homage to the work of Saul Bass and they alone are worth the price of admission. Did I mention Michelle Monaghan in the red elf suit???????
All around a smart sexy fun filled romp through the underbelly of Hollywood not to be missed. Laurence (drop the fucking gun Neo) Fishburne puts in a fantastic cameo....see if you can find him!

That Old Black Cat Be Crossing My Path

This was supposed to be a "thought of the day" but it turned in to something else. While stumbling up from my futon on the floor this morning and making my way to the kitchen to grab some orange juice (not a beer), my path was crossed by a black cat! Thing is, I am on the upper first floor where I live and the said cat was down in the back parking lot doing his cat thing such as chasing the birds, ripping up garbage and pissing on anything not moving. This got me to wondering, under these circumstances would the "bad luck" rule apply.
I decided to take fate by the proverbial bull horn, had a shot of whiskey from said bullhorn, grabbed my slingshot and put an acorn in that cat's fluffy little black ass. He can take his bad luck somewhere else today!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Ringer

I've read several other bloggers take on this one and I have to say I agree 100%.....this was another grossly mismarketed picture. You put Johhny Knoxville's mug up there with a tag-line like "only a jackass would try to fix the Special Olympics" and right off the bat you are thinking yet another piece of poor taste, end of the world, what has happened to society, crap. What you get is an extemely sensitive and truly touching look at the world of the challenged, a fine little romance and Knoxville playing the fool, and damn don't he look just like Billy from Green Day while he does it. An excellent little adventure not to be missed and don;t forget a voice cameo from Jesse "the body" Ventura and an uncredited cameo of Terry Funk playing a thug.