Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year!

Yink and I wish everyone a very Happy New Year and hope that you and yours are prosperous, healthy and successful in 2008!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Merry Christmas to all!

Just a short note to sign out for 2007.......may the season be happy and kind to you and may your stocking be filled with bad DVD's!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cops and Robersons

Two great mysteries in life for do they let Chevy Chase make movies...two....why do I torture myself so by sitting through them. COPS AND ROBERSONS in just bloody awful and even Jack Palance can't help this mess though I did find the kid who thinks he's a vampire interesting....otherwise avoid like you would any other Chevy Chase film.

Merry Ho Ho!

Mr. Miller Goes to Washington

Again, not a movie as such but a stand up routine from Dennis Miller in America's capital. This is great cynical cerebral fun from back when Miller was still funny.

For Your Eyes Only

One of the better Roger Moore Bond flicks due to a straight forward story with a more serious rather than campy feel. As always the action sequences are top notch and look for Jeremy Bulloch, better known as BOBA FETT in a cameo as the man with the arm cast in Q's office.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

I was 25 weeks old when this now Christmas tradition first aired and like many of my generation X cohorts the holidays simply would not be complete without a viewing of this Chuck Jones classic. I'm damn sure we've all seen it but what you may not know is that Dr. Seuss never wanted it made and then after Jones convinced him it was a good idea he was vehement Boris Karloff not be involved. Of course he was and the rest is now history but another thing you may not be aware of is that Karloff did not sing YOUR'E A MEAN ONE MR. would be Thurl Ravenscroft, the famous vocal and character actor who most of us would best remember as the voice of TONY THE TIGER.

Hard Candy

Critics and film buffs have been ranting and raving about how great Ellen Page is in this psychological horror show but you won't be adding me to that list. I'll give that she has amazing talent and is most certainly on her way to stardom but in my opinion she was just a tad shy of the mark here. I say this because with just a touch more acting skill this inide mind fuck could have been bloody brilliant instead of merely good. Still, in the growing age of internet stalking and child molestation HARD CANDY should be considered required viewing and everybody involved, including Page, have a lot to be proud of with this one. For those who are sick of the no holds barred style of SAW and HOSTEL, HARD CANDY will be a refreshing change...even if a distubing one.

The Road to Wellville

With Anthony Hopkins starring in an Alan Parker film based on a T.C. Boyle novel one would think they were in for something special. Then of course the studios have to get involved and throw Bridget Fonda, Dana Carvey and Matthew Broderick into the mix and fuck the whole damn thing up. Still, there are enough moments in THE ROAD TO WELLVILLE to make it worth watching and Hopkins is most certainly one of them. The story is one you will wish to disocver for yourself but I will say you'll never see Hopkins in a role like this one anywhere else. John Cusack as always brings a fine performance to the table as do Colm Meaney, John Neville and even Lara Flynn Boyle. The problems lay with Fonda, Carvey and Broderick....the are simply too light weight for this type of serious comedic fare and thus they stick out like an eight ball in a dozen eggs. Parker does his best to direct this mess and his signature style can be seen here but I tend to suspect he was pullling his hair out at times trying to get some of the talent to step up to the plate. A fine enough film if you don't expect too much from it as the majority of critics would lead you to believe.

The Man with the Golden Arm

Nelson Algren turned a few heads when he released this novel about heroin addiction and when it was announced Frank Sinatra would play the lead in the film version a few more heads started spinning. Some feel Sinatra did his best work in THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE but for my money his work as Frankie Machine is his finest. A man who shakes the monkey from his back returns to his old life only to face the same demons once again. Otto Preminger presents this dark and gritty underbelly world finer than anybody and with amazing work from Kim Novak and Darren McGavin THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM will leave you feeling dirty days after watching it. Of all the fine talent on display here, Arnold Stang, who many of us generation Xers best know as the voice of TOP CAT, stands out in his portrayal of Frankie's pal Sparrow. At times the film will remind you of OF MICE AND's simply that powerful and you would well do yourself a great service to read Algren's book at least once in your lifetime.

Get Shorty

Perhaps the best adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel, GET SHORTY is one film destined to satisfy from start to finish. John Travolta is truly captivating as the mobster turned film producer Chili Palmer and here he brings the best performance of his life. With Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, Danny DeVito and James Gandolfini providing amazing support this film will amaze you with it's character devopment and plot twist. Despite the A-list talent here it is Dennis Farina as Ray "Bones" Barboni who steals the film and Booker T and the MG's provide an amazing score. A definate modern classic that will leave you in stitches.


I can't remember if I've blogged on this one yet or doesn't really matter as we've all seen it and know that it's one of that great thespian Keanu Reeves greatest films, that Dennis Hopper delivers one great bad guy and Sandra Bullock is adorable enough to gobble right up. Non-stop action here makes this what Hollywood does best.

KISS: eXposed

Not a movie per se but rather a collection of videos and concert footage from over the years meshed with little interview skits. The jokes are amazingly poor yet endearing if you've been a long time KISS fan and get their sense of humor. One seasonal ditty has Paul Stanley in bed with three girls named Carole 1, 2, and 3 which after being introduced Paul quips "I guess you can say I went caroling last night". Good fun for those who were there and survived the Eighties metal movement, look for adult film stars Blondi and Candie Evans.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Scream 3

Well, you expect things to get silly by the third episode and they do. Sadly, they are going to trudge out a number 4...after seeing the third part you`ll no doubt scratch your head and wonder why. Not a bad film but it`s getting tired and long in the tooth...not that it ever stopped the Hollywood producers from flogging a dead horse before. Notable only because Lance Henriksen manages to mail in a performance even worse than that in POWDER.


Overlong historical drama concerning Oliver Cromwell and his involvement in the English Civil War of the 1600`s. Odd to see Ken Hughes cast an Irishman as Cromwell, said Irishman being the lare great Richard Harris who certainly puts the strain on the old vocal chords in this one as he is yelling his fool head off in damn near every scene. By constrast we have another late great, Alec Guiness, portraying King Charles I in a very soft spoken and mild mannered style. Even stranger to me was seeing Timothy Dalton playing Prince Rupert.....strange as in for some reason I thought this flick was made in the mid Fifties not 1970!!!!!!! Good for a rainy Sunday afternoon hangover viewing if nothing else.

Bad Girls Go to Hell

You know, if it wasn`t for the drive-in movies a lot of people would never have been able to enter the film business, this is because a lot of these peoples work was so bad no theater would ever screen it. This can`t be said about Doris Wishman who I like to refer to as the George Eliot of trash cinema. Like Mary Anne Evans, Wishman used many male pseudonyms not only to hide her sex but to cover up for the fact she did most of the work on her projects. She is by no means an Eliot but her work is a tad cut above that of many other working during her time in the exploitation period. BAD GIRLS GO TO HELL is standard jiggle film drive-in fodder about a sex pot who has to kill a horny janitor and then goes on the lamb and ends up having a lot of bad luck with sexual predators. It`s interesting only because of the way Wishman shoots it often paying more attention to the corners of rooms and building than the cast itself. Odd fare which may interest even the novice but I do suggest you check out the Wishman classics like DILDO HEAVEN or THE HAUNTED PUSSY first.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II

HELLBOUND would mark the directorial, at least the first credited one, debut of Tony Randel. I met him years ago back in Halifax when he was working on DEF-CON 4 where I gather in some drunken stupor at the SEAHORSE I offended him so bad I was about the only person NOT involved as an extra for that film but that is a story for another day. While Clive Barker`s hand were all over the first HELLRAISER in this case the studios had their way and it shows. Far better effects than the first but sorely lacking any atmosphere or feel and I don`t think Randel is at fault here. The film just reeks of executive interference and as such, and really is there any point in saying this, HELLBOUND is for the serious gore hounds only.


I had just turned 7 years old by the time SERPICO reached the theatres of Halifax, Nova Scotia and strangley enough my biggest memory of this movie is not the film itself but a sketch MAD magazine ran doing a spoof on it. It would be years later before I actually saw the thing as to a alien monster freaked kid this police drama looked like pretty boring fare....and it some ways it still is. Slow moving at times and certainly dated, SERPICO is still none-the-less one of the best character studies ever put to film. Despite receiving accolades for his work in THE GODFATHER the year before it was SERPICO that put Al Pacino on the map as a serious actor and when he follwed this up THE GODFATHER PART II and DOG DAY AFTERNOON he cemented his place in American film history. Sidney Lumet is in supreme directorial form here though one might argue DOG DAY AFTERNOON is the better film. As a true story about an honest cop who blows the lid on a corrupt force not only does SERPICO serve as good viewing it acts as a wonderful time piece of the early Seventies. Look for early bit parts from Judd Hirsch and Tracey Walter and keep your eyes open for F. Murray Abraham, who would again work with Pacino in SCARFACE, in his big screen debut.


Great little concpet and story but it's a shame writer Michael Crichton decided to direct it himself. I liked what he did with WESTWORLD and COMA but his other directorial work, what little there is just always seems so if it were directed by...oh...I don't know.....somebody who should be writing damn novels instead of making films. It's a bit like actors who want to be rock stars or vice versa which might explain why we have Gene Simmons here playing, what else, a bad guy international shit disturber. Mind you, he's a blast to watch and comapared to most of the other actors here he's actually quite good. Problem is, you have Tom Sellleck in the lead, playing a rather silly character at that. However, Selleck is one of those actors who will give the role his all no matter how ill casted he was and his skill outshines everybody around him to the point as to hamper rather than help the overall effect. Still, as a neat little bit of sci-fi action fun RUNAWAY will entertain...if for no other reason than to laugh at the killer robots.

Midnight Run

Not the greatest film you'll ever come across but certainly not the worst. Director has had great success with some of his films such as BEVERLY HILLS COP and SCENT OF A WOMAN but then again this guy did make GIGLI and MIDNIGHT RUN is a film that kind of falls somewhere in the middle. We do get a good humorous performance from Robert De Niro as a bounty hunter who must escort a surprisingly good Charles Grodin as a crooked accountant across the country. It;s standard fare with some bright moments provided by Dennis Farina, Joe Panotliano and Yaphet Kotto and Ry Cooder brings on a kick ass score. Might have done better if it hadn't opened against Bruce Willis' DIE HARD who oddly enough turned down Grodin's role to do said film.


It doesn't matter to me how great GATTACA is as a modern work of science fiction.....I am unable to watch it without being distracted by Ethan Hawke. I mean, the guy is one mighty fine actor and as an accomplished novelist I'm led to believe he has an adequate brain inside of that skull of his. So please.....please somebody explain to me how do you go and fuck up a good thing ya gots going with the likes of Uma Thurman ?!?!?!?!?!?! That aside, GATTACA is one of the most stylish and intelligent little futristic films to come down the pipeline in ages. Very similar in feel and often compared wrongly to BLADERUNNER, GATTACA's strong points come not from special effects but from a strongly developed story and stunning character points. I must say Thurman is perfect in the genetically sterile enviroment and Jude Law gives yet another beautiful performance in his understated style. Some interesting support work is provided by Alan Arkin, Elias Koteas, Tony Shalhoub and happily we get to see Xander Berkeley on the big screen and even a cameo from SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE's Maya Rudolph. Still, when it gets right down to it GATTACA works mostly because of the directing style of Andrew Niccol who has a razor eye for this sort of material.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Prowler

Even die-hard fans of the slasher genre will be wanting to hit the fast forward on this sucker to get to the juicy bits. Not actually bad but long and drawn out at times the real treat in THE PROWLER are the special effects provided by the great Tom Savini. For some reason he considers this to be his finest work, I would think DAY OF THE DEAD but then who am I to argue with the artist. Other than his work and a sad bit part for Farley Granger there really isn't much here other than to adept students of this genre.

You Only Live Twice

One of the most interesting and enjoyable of the Bond films for many reasons. For starters, it takes it's title from the last Bond novel to have been published while Ian Fleming was still alive and other than some minor plot elements and character names that is about all it has to do with Fleming's book. Roald Dahl, the author behind such classics as THE BFG and WILLIE WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY did the script work here and as a result we have some of the most blatant sexual double entendres seen in any of the 007 films. Connery tried his best to pull out of the franchise with this one only to be called back for DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER after the Lazenby Bond flopped and you can see why. While entertaining you can see his weariness with the character and at times he seems to be having extreme difficulty delivering his lines with a straight face. Still, it is one of the most entertaining of the series and will satisfy even the novice to the genre......and ya just gotta love Donald Pleasance as Blofeld!

A Prayer for the Dying

Very little here we haven't seen before in this adaptation of the Jack Higgins novel but it is made interesting by a fine all-star cast. In fact, the film is interesting as we get to see Mickey Rourke work with U.K. veterans such as Liam Neeson, Alan Bates. Anthony Head (whose character is oddly enough named Rupert!) and the great Bob Hoskins who prays the priest with a past. The past......this is what A PRAYER FOR THE DYING is all's past and how we can never truly escape it....a role Rourke is a master of and here he is no different.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


I still find it hard to take this film in a serious fashion. It reminds of the old action films we used to watch on Saturday afternoons and if you approach in with that in mind it's a fun ride. Try to take it as actual science fiction and you'll run into problems. Speaking of problems....I have a hard time watching James Spader in dramatic roles these days since BOSTON LEGAL...not sure why but I do.

The Warrior and the Sorceress

David Carradine sure has starred in some real stinkers in his day but this reaches a whole new level of bad. From the late John Broderick, who gave us SAM'S SONG, comes this sword and sorcery bit of fluff and seriously, other than Carradine I've not heard of a single member of the cast. About the only thing of interest here is the four breasted dancing girl and even the make-up application for that was bad. Might work with a couple of tabs of acid and a bottle of gin, other than that, cut your toenails instead.

The Honeymooners's a great idea......take the whitest show in TV history and grab every B-list black actor in Hollywood to do a movie version of it. Like many great ideas...this one looked good on paper (NOT!) but it sure as hell didn't translate well on the sucked. Big time! Which begs me to ask the question ......why in hell's name did I enjoy it so much? I mean, it's horrid...I never laughed once and yet I found myself pleasantly amused by the whole concept. Perhaps it has something to do with being dropped on my head at birth...I'm really not sure. What I am sure of is this...I doubt you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Rumble Fish

By far my favorite film from Coppola, RUMBLE FISH is most certainly one of the modern classics. It just has everything going for, stunning cinematography, out of this world acting, an amazing script and a truly brilliant score to back it all up. Mickey Rourke is perfectly cast as the Motorcycle'll never see Matt Dillon in finer form and with the like s of Dennis Hopper, Tom Waits, Laurence Fishburne, Nicolas Cage and the late Chris Penn providing support you just know things are going to rock. Look for novelist S.E. Hinton in a cameo as a street walker.

The Polar Express

Not a bad Christmas film for the kiddies but it really has to be seen on the IMAX screen in 3-D to be fully enjoyed. Some may consider it a modern classic but in my case most people I know both young and old were seriously creeped out by this style of animation which gives the human characters a very disturbing look. I have to admit to having had the same response myself at time during the film. Still, worth a look if for nothing other than the Stevie Tyler singing elf cameo.


Fucking hipppies shouldn't make horror films. PREMONITION which was the first film from acclaimed director Alan Rudolph and man does it ever show. Premise? Friggin' hippies find a bloody red flower and decide to do what with it ?!?!?!?!? roll it up and smoke it man...fucking hippies..smokin' anything they can get their damn little grubby paws on. The result, they see all kinds a weird spooky shit and we have to sit through cinematic interpretation of said weird shit and listen to a bunch of bad folk songs in the process. Why, og why, did every shittin' director back in the early Seventies have to throw those friggin' folk songs into the mix ?!?!?!?!?!
Oh....nevermind.....just have enough premonition to avoid this flick!


Even Ridley Scott can turn out a clunker every now and then and LEGEND, or LEG END as we refer to it, is certainly one of them. Maybe I'm just old and jaded but I fucking hated this film when it came out and I still fucking hate it and to be honest I have no idea why I owned it in the first place. I say owned it as I finally put it to some good use and whipped it at the head of the friggin' bum who hangs out in the dumpster outside of my bedroom window and practices his fucking harmonica playing. Perhpas if I was a nine year old girl dreaming of being a princess or something I might have liked LEG END but I'm not and I don't and I bet you even Tom Cruise wishes he hadn't been involved in this travisty. What I do like however is the amazing score from Tangerine Dream featuring some amazing vocal work from Jon Anderson and Bryan Ferry. Forget the the soundtrack!

Dead Again

This film brings back a wonderful wave of nostalgia for me as I watch Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson work this labour of love. I can't help but remember Branagh's great line about breaking up with Thompson..."she loves women almost as much as I do" or something along those lines, which of course has nothing to do with DEAD AGAIN but I throw out there anyway. Though dated in look and feel DEAD AGAIN still holds up as a story and certainly deserves repeated viewings to be fully appreciated. It's also interesting to see Branagh work with a wide array of American actors including Robin Williams, Andy Garcia and Wayne Knight who either through bad directing or studio interferance managed to ruin the climax of the film. I'm Kenneth let this mood killer slip into the mix is a mystery to me and I'm sure you'll agree with me on this one. Still, good supsenseful action and of course a stellar performance from Derek Jacobi make DEAD AGAIN a must have.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

No sense in rambling on about this modern masterpiece from the Coen brothers. We've all seen it, we all know it is a modernized version of Homer's THE ODYSSEY and we all know George Clooney got screwed by the Oscar board when he was overlooked for his work here. About all I can point out about this film, which I abosolutely adore by the way, is the lovely Musetta Vander plays one of the sirens. We know and love her from her television work in such clsassics as Buffy, Xena, Highlander, Babylon 5 and Star Trek Voyager and I genuinely surprised she doesn't get more film work. The other point of note is the lady looking for the Soggy Bottom Boys record is in fact modern hybrid blue grass legend to be Gillian Welch and if you enjoyed the soundtrack to this film you would be well served to explore her music as she is bloody amazing!


As I'm not old enough and even if I had of been I doubt I would have ended up in Studio 54. According to those who WERE there 54 is rife with many errors. Who the hell cares, it's one entertaining little film and SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER it is not. Another thing it is not is too the taste of all but if you ever spent any time in the gay clubs in the early Eighties you'll recognise many of the elements 54 deals with. By no means a great film it does have one outstanding performance from Mike Myers who is absolutely perfect as 54 owner Steve Rubell. I'm serious, it may the best non-comedic role he'll ever do! Worth a look for the curious or those who survived that dreadful era otherwise take a pass.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Camp Nowhere

Here is one for the kiddies yet also of note to use old foggies for many reasons. One of those would be the over the top performance of Christopher Llloyd as head of this bogus summer camp and another would be an interesting cameo from the late Burgess Meredith. On the Star Trek front we also have cameos from Jonathan Frakes and his wife Genie Francis as well as Kate Mulgrew. M. Emmet Walsh has a great bit part as a bill collector who wants to retire with a perfect record and CAMP NOWHERE would mark the film debut of Jessica Alba. Straight forward juvie fun for the kiddies, if you get stuck having to watch it there are at least a few thing to look for.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Deep Cover

Bill Duke gives us this excellent vision of an undercover agent who has been in the field for far too long. Sure, it's something we've seen before but with Lawrence Fishburn and Jeff Goldblum involved the old quite easily becomes new. Tight shooting style mixed with a good script and fine editing make what should be an average cop film something special and Clarence Williams III brings that little something extra to take this baby right over the top. If you enjoyed Duke's HOODLUMS, DEEP COVER is a must see.

Christmas with the Kranks

In an attempt to get into this whole Christmas spirit thing I've been scrounging through the DVD piles to catch up on some of the theme related films from the last couple of years. OK....that is not the truth...I really want to watch them to get it over with so I can pawn them off on somebody else!
CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS looked like it had potential seeing as it was based on a John Grisham story SKIPPING CHRISTMAS.
LOOKED is the important word......unfortunately it has Tim Allen in it and I've had to suffer through one of his Christmas films before. I've had to do it again.
Even Jamie Lee Curtis, M. Emmet Walsh, Cheech Marin and Dan Aykroyd can't save this contrived piece of Hollywood salami.
Really, if you can't find a classic say BAD SANTA or IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, watch some CSI reruns instead.

Random Hearts

As far as I see it the only problem with this Sydney Pollack film is that he made it in North America for North American audiences. If Roman Polanski had offered THE VERY SAME FILM the critics and film going public would have been praising it as a masterpiece. Poor Sydney does it and Harrison Ford publicly says he'll never work with him again! So, look at it this way, if you pretend you are watching a euroflick thay just happens to star Hollywood A-listers and just happens to not wrap things up in a neat and predictable fashion and you may very well find RANDOM HEARTS to be a thoroughly satisfying view.

Friday the 13th Part 2

This would mark the directorial debut of Steve Miner and oddly enough would be the first in which Jason kills......hell...he ain't even found his frikin' hockey mask yet. By no means the best in the series it was important for setting up the franchise and truth be told the worst thing Jason does here is kill a shig tzu showing just what a bad ass he is though it should be noted the back story would set the dog killing up as a matter of food source and not a pooch hater. One for the faithful only!

Magical Mystery Tour

The Beatles supposedly directed this forerunner to the extended music video on their own lonesomes and didn`t bother to credit veteran director Bernard Knowles for his "guidance" matters not....I'm not entirely sure he would have wanted to have been associated with the project....much like Lennon and Harrison. Ringo looks to be having the best fun of the lot in this odd little docu-fiction presentation. Uneven at the very best it really is only of interest to historians or die-hard Beatle fans.

Red Dragon

OK........wouldn't you just love to know which studio executive or executives were behind this mess of a movie. Let's start with director Brett Ratner who up to this point was known for a couple of RUSH HOUR films and a Madonna video (allbeit a damn good one...BEAUTIFUL STRANGER) and the studio decides to hire him to direct one of the most eagerly anticipated horror films of 2002?!?!?!?!?!?!? Let's just not bother going here, Ralph Fiennes, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Edward Norton and poor, poor, poor Anthony Hopkins.....all wasted talent here. I can forgive Edward Norton for this one as he took the money he made from RED DRAGON to make his film 25th HOUR, but the others, with perhaps the exception of Watson look like they mailed in their performances and honestly should be ashamed...they could have at the very least kicked Ratner out of the director's chair and did it themselves by tribal council or something. Be smart and stick with Michael Mann`s version MANHUNTER which shows a good script with fine directing and acting can overcome budget restrictions any day!

The Long Day Closes

Looking for a nice feel good Christmas film for you and the family? THE LONG DAY CLOSES sure as hell ain't it....though it does have an interesting scene pertaining to the holidays. Try and imagine ANGELA'S ASHES set in Liverpool and you might be on the right track in understanding this more than likely autobiographical film from Terence Davies. That being said, it is a hauntingly beautiful look at the trials and tribulations of being a "different" child and the effects of this film will linger with you for days after viewing. Not told in a linear fashion it does a great job of representing early youth for what it is...a series of random occurances. Wonderful cinematography and superb acting make this one to keep your eyes open for at your local rep cinema....just try not to see it at this time of year.

Angel Heart

OK...we have the big three here in mm books...Robert De Niro and Mickey Rourke being directed by the great Alan Parker. Nevermind the fact Lisa Bonet is not just eye candy here and actually DOES flick is all about the big three. Granted, De Niro is just a bit player here but he brings so much to his part he can in no way shape or form be overlooked. As for Rourke, despite all of the amazing work he has done I feel this is his best..period! Parker may have made better films but of them all this is my favorite. A trail blazer well ahead of it's time ANGEL HEART is the real deal in every sense, tightly scripted by Parker from the William Hjortsberg novel FALLING ANGEL, superb performances by all involved including Dann Florek who is odd to see in anything other than a LAW & ORDER episode, with music and atmosphere to smother you stupid. Erotic thrillers just don't come any better than this.

Top Gun

OK...hands up....who HASN'T seen this a hundred times...I swear Tom Cruise made his first million off of the multiple showing the former TBS had of this film. So, why bother saying much more about it, it's a good action romance and we get to see the early work of the likes of Cruise, Val Kilmer, Tom Robbins and Meg Ryan as well as vets Tom Skerritt and Michael Ironside but to this day I have no idea what made Tony Scott follow up THE HUNGER with this. Oh yeah, the MIG full of cash he made from it....nevermind.


Why oh why oh why oh why?!?!?!?!?! With the likes of Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins under the direction of Coppola you would think this number would have didn' fact it sucked serious nun's blood! About the only thing you need to know about this train wreck is that the scream we hear from Oldman's Vlad when he sticks the sword in the cross is not his own.....the vocal is provided by Lux Interior of THE CRAMPS! Some interesting moments with Oldman and Hopkins, otherwise miss as a vampire would an Italian wedding.

The Living Daylights

What would the holiday season be without fitting in a couple of Bond films? Back in the day it was part of what you looked forward to at Christmas, a new 007 offering to more than likely be seen on Boxing Day. As a Bond flick, THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS is notable really for only two things, it is the ushering in of Timothy Dalton who in theory was only filling in till Pierce Brosnan was contractually available and it is the only Bond film in which we classic score master John Barry in a cameo as, what else, a big band leader. Not the best as far as the uber bad guys go but still more than enough to satisfy the spy guy cravings.

Ghosts of Mississippi

I've always enjoyed the work of Alec Baldwin though I would never claim him to be a true thespian.........GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI certainly made me rething that logic. An excellent docudrama telling the long story of the death of civil rights activist Medgar Evers this is a truly inspiring you should see for yourself. Whoopi Goldberg playing the part of the widowed Evers seeking justice in a world intent on keeping the past in the past brings a subtle skill to the role showing some of the finest acting she has ever displayed but the real laurels have to go to Baldwin and James Woods who recieved an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of the hardcore racist Byron De La Beckwith which is far too genuine to not disturb you in some fashion. It's a horrid tale but like so many injustices of our world it is one in need of telling...constant telling so as not to forget or to allow it to happen again...which sadly it still does...all too often.

9 1/2 Weeks

Director Adrian Lyne has made quite the living exploring sexuality and the who whole sub/dom aspect of it and nowhere will you find him on top of it than here in 9 1/2 WEEKS. I don't feel there is any need to go into the thematic form of this steamy screen burning featuring the excellent talents of Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger other than to point out it seems pretty tame just a little over twenty years later which I suppose is to be expected in some ways. Still, the visual stylings of Lyne make this a more than enjoyable trip down memory lane and you may want to hunt this down for that purpose alone. He manages to capture the hollowness of the sex for it's own sake and finance is king spirit of the mid-eighties and if nothing else this film may make you question the idea of if we have really changed all that much.

Mary Reilly

I remember catching this one on a flight back from Calgary and thinking to myself I'm glad I didn't waste ten bucks to catch this one in the movie house which is odd as I always enjoy a John Malkovich film. Of course my problem here, or at least at the time was with Julia Roberts being cast as the title character an opinion I've since come to terms with. Roberts can act, doesn't matter if you like her or not, she has talent out the friggin' whazzo! Point is she is just too light for this role which of course is why she was cast but MARY REILLY would have worked SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better if it was just Malkovich playing the Jeckll/Hyde part surrounded by unknowns and this is where this film goes off of the rails. Between Glenn Close and Roberts MARY REILLY comes off as a bad Broadway play instead of the dark examination of a classic tale this could have been. The elements are all there, if you can get past the Hollywood A-listers muddling about and fucking up the atmosphere you may enjoy it.....otherwise stick to the Fredric March classic.

Friday, December 07, 2007

8 Seconds

It used to be great fun to take the piss out of Luke Perry for his work on Beverly Hills 90210 but truth be told the guy can act and here you can really see it. 8 SECONDS is loosely based on the true story of rodeo star Lane Star and this film is just about as cowboy as you can get, It plays like a good country & western song, guy gets girl, guy drinks too much, guy loses girl, guy drinks too much, guy sobers up, guy gets girl back and then guy dies. I'm not much for these types of movies but I will admit it's well made and we get to see yet another Baldwin. in this case Stephen, doing what Baldwin's do best, drinking, fighting and womanizing. Moving story for the ladies, just be sure to have that box of Kleenex close at hand.

Strange Days

Here is yet another one of those films hardly anybody seems to have seen which is odd when you consider the talent involved in it. For starters we have Ralph Fiennes who is quite odd to see in the science fiction action thriller who is followed by Angela Bassett who is just killer in her kick ass role here. We get Tom Sizemore in one seriously greasy role and Michael Wincott who is always great in the sleazy scum bag character. Add Juliette Lewis as a drugged out pop star, which she is in real life as well, minus the drugs I imagine but if you evcer get the chance to catch her live don't miss it, and Vincent D'Onofrio as a crooked racist cop and you have one potent recipe for entertainment. Interesting visuals and great sci-fi concepts along the lines of William Gibson's NEUROMANCER, like a lot of the flicks I blurb here I'll let you discover the story for's a killer one making STRANGE DAYS one to go out of your way to look for.

Death Becomes Her

Another fine special effects smorgashborg from Robert Zemeckis where once again he tries to whack us over the head with a not so subtle moral message. In this case the subject matter would be vanity and aging. Through the use of a magic potion the characters of Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn gain everlasting life, only drawback is they have to live in their own bodies forwever and while they won't age they aren't invincible. Good thing they have Bruce Willis who just so happens to be the best mortician in Hollywood. DEATH BECOMES HER is a fun little film with great performances all around especially by Sydney Pollack who has a fantastic cameo as an ER nurse. Sadly, the CGI dates the film and though it only 15 years old it will show you just how far computer effects have come in such a short time. Still, a fun film and one well worth a second looksee.

The Godfather Part III

Coppola made this one to save his studio's ass and man does it ever show. At times it feels like a bad television reunion show where old characters are trodded out simply for the purpose of nostalgia. Still a good watch but nowhere near as powerful as the first offerings.

The Godfather Part II

Interesting to write about this one on Pearl Harbor Day as the end of this film featues an unused scene from the first film where Michael tell his brothers he's joined the military in response to the attack by the Japanese. THE GODFATHER PART II is part sequel and part prologue as I'm sure most of you know. Coppola at one point did another edit on this and the first film for television that shows the events in proper sequence yet it does not hold the same charm in my mind as the way it is presented here. De Niro at his very best and Pacino as usual just great.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Godfather

Another of my holiday traditions is to do a sitting through THE GODFATHER trilogy and for my the first part is always the best part. Like HOWARDS END I'm not quite sure why this has become a Christmas ritual, perhaps it has something to do with having the time to sit through the whole series or maybe it's just the scene where Michael and Kay are shopping for gifts early on in the movie, who knows. What I do know is this most likely Coppola's greatest work and may very well be Pacino's at that. I tend to agree with those who feel all you need to learn and know about life can be found in this film and despite the body of work was Marlon Brando ever better?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Silly little early Nineties set-up to have Christian Slater mug and talk directly to the camera alot....seems he does that more often than any other actor I know. A bit slow in some spots there are a couple of great scenes with a St. Bernard. It also has the distinction of being Ashley Judd's first film and an early one for Milla Jovovich not to mention the lovely Julie Strain as well as an uncredited cameo from Alexandra Paul. Bruce Boxleitner checks out far to early for my liking but these things happen. Good little time waster you'll be able to find on late night TV no problem.

The Fury

You cold look at this film in two ways, one being Brian De Palma was continuing to explore a theme or the other being he decided to rip his own film CARRIE off. Either way, the elements and similar and the themes certainly along the same lines as they both deal with telekinetic young girls wreaking holy havoc on the bad folks around them. Still, like CARRIE, THE FURY remains a classic Seventies horror film and has some fairly nice twists in it. Amy Irving is fine in her leading role sharing duties with screen legend Kirk Douglas who appears to be slumming it here. Be sure to look for some interesting cameos from Gordon Jump and Dennis Franz as well as the screen debut of Daryl Hannah and prepare yourself for one of the greatest blow 'em up real good endings which still holds up to this day.

Hard to Kill

Steven Seagal's second film takes his role of the renegade cop making good just a step ahead and remains one of his best from the action side of things. Most notable as being the film to set up Seagal's real life relationship with Kelly LeBrock which, as we all know, didn't turn out so well. William Sadler does duty as the corrupt senator bad guy in what is straight forward action with bone snapping galore. It's never gonna earn Seagal an Oscar but it sure is entertaining.

I Love Melvin

I really don't know why I bother torturing myself by trying to watch the classic musicals as I can't stand the damn things. Supposedly this is one of the overlooked MGM dance gems, if it is it's lost on me though I will confess to enjoying the work of Debbie Reynolds. What was most of interest here was seeing Richard Anderson in an early role and the little cameo from Rod Taylor...other than that I have little to say. It's a musical, if that's your thing you might like it.

Theatre of Death

Talk about throwing it all in a pot and trying to make a stew from it! This Christopher Lee vehicle has it all, Grand Guignol, elements of Svengali, bits from HOUSE OF WAX, zombie voodoo dances, it's all here! Along with Lee we get the talents of Julian Glover and Lelia Goldoni. This 1966 obscurity may be hard to find but for die-hard horror fans it is a must see, heavy in style and just plain bizarre at times THEATRE OF DEATH will leave you standing in the aisles!

Call Me

Here is one very interesting little oddity in the films of the late Eighties. Often thought to be a cheap rip-off of BODY DOUBLE and WHEN A STRANGER CALLS this erotic thriller, bad as it is, deserves a serious look for many reasons. One would be the talent unknown director Sollace Mitchell manages to assemble here. Steve Buscemi and David Straithairn are two of the better known names but we also see the likes of Patti D'Arbanville and a young Patricia Charbonneau was given the task of carrying the lead. Of special note is the performance of Antigonish, Nova Scotia boy Stephen McHattie as Jellybean. He is one of those great character actors with a fave you never forget and sadly a name most never remember and this is some of his finest work. Unfortunately the directing is what kills this film and had Mitchell have been more experienced this could have been a great little film despite the low budget. The reason for this is the script which Mitchell wrote with producer Karyn Kay. The script is clever enough that with some tightening and the addition of some more sex scenes could easily be repackaged, shot and sold to the ever increasing legion of female porn fans who want demand a story withh their sex! Definately worth a look should you come across it on one of your late night cable stations.

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Dead Zone

David Cronenberg does a wicked job bringing this Stephen King novel to the big screen in what many consider to be one of the best King adaptations ever. Christopher Walken is a surprise here, not that he isn't a great actor but in the role of Johnny Smith he uses a style different from his trademark which works perfectly for the part. In fact, the entire cast is stunning with the likes of Martin Sheen, Herbert Lom, Tom Skerritt and Brooke Adams being joined by home growns such as Nicholas Campbell and Jackie Burroughs and this marks the first appearance of famed "smoking man" William B. Davis! Sharp, tight supernatural thriller guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.