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Review: Daylight

A variety of commuters fall afoul of the dreaded Murphy and his cruel law when a series of calamities (an explosion for instance) see a tunnel blocked at both ends, leaving the survivors trapped…and pretty much underwater. Fortuitously, one of the commuters to survive is an ex-Emergency Services guy, Kit Latura (Sly Stallone). Sure, he left the job after a botched rescue resulting in him now driving a cab…but when you’re in dire straits, any help is surely welcome. Not that Latura’s former colleague (Dan Hedaya) wants him to help out mind you. Then there’s the dicey situation of a prison bus inside the tunnel, leaving citizens potentially at the mercy of not only disaster but potential prey for several cons played by the likes of Renoly Santiago and Sage Stallone. Amy Brenneman (a struggling playwright), Jay O. Sanders (a jerky dad), Danielle Harris (jerky dad’s scared daughter), Claire Bloom (token elderly woman with her husband…and dog), and Viggo Mortensen (a cocky and rich extreme…

Review: The Aviator

Biopic of Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio), going from the 20s to the early 40s, charting his ambitious early exploits in his inherited aviation business and his visions to enter the film industry, and eventually his long battles with mental illness. In between we also see his relationships with movie stars Katharine Hepburn (Cate Blanchett), Faith Domergue (Kelli Garner) and Ava Gardner (Kate Beckinsale). Alan Alda plays a Senator in league with Howard’s aviation rival Juan Trippe (Alec Baldwin). Willem Dafoe plays a member of the press, and Jude Law plays randy movie star Errol Flynn.


The maturation of Leonardo DiCaprio can really be seen in this enjoyable, great-looking 2004 Martin Scorsese (“Raging Bull”, “Goodfellas”, “Hugo”) biopic of famed aviation tycoon and occasional filmmaker Howard Hughes. Hell, once he dons the moustache in the later portion of the film he even looks quite like the man, and one has no problems accepting him as the younger, ambitious, and energetic Hughes…

Review: Firewalker

Adventurers Chuck Norris and Lou Gossett Jr. are hired by Melody Anderson to help her track down missing Aztec gold. Bad people also want it, including the granite-like Indian warrior/supernatural entity El Coyote (Sonny Landham). Will Sampson plays a benevolent but possibly commercially-driven Native American shaman, John Rhys-Davies plays a roguish acquaintance of Norris’ named Corky, Ian Abercrombie is a displaced cockney, and the dated Fu Manchu stylings of Richard Lee-Sung stink up a few scenes as The General.


Equal parts shit Indiana Jones rip-off and failed buddy movie, this 1986 Cannon offering from director J. Lee Thompson (whose career went from “Cape Fear” to…working for Cannon) tried and failed to give us something different from Chuck Norris. “Romancing the Stone” it ain’t, this adventure misfire is in closer keeping with the Cannon-released “Allan Quatermain” duds. From the cheap and stereotypical music score by Gary Chang (“Death Warrant”, “Under Siege”, “Double Team”) …

Review: The Spy Who Loved Me

When American, British, and Russian nuclear subs go walkabout, British Secret Service head M (Bernard Lee) and KGB’s Gen. Gogol (Walter Gotell) send their top agents 007 James Bond (Roger Moore) and Agent XXX Maj. Anya Amasova (Barbara Bach) to investigate. Eventually they are forced into a reluctant partnership when madman Sigmund Stromberg (Curd Jurgens) who has taken the subs, plans on using the missiles as part of a dastardly plan that proves if nothing else that Stromberg is as mad as a cut snake. Caroline Munro is Stromberg’s pilot Naomi, George Baker plays a British submarine captain, Edward de Souza plays Bond ally Sheik Hosein, Vernon Dobtcheff plays a corrupt club owner, Richard Kiel and Milton Reid (who previously turned up in a similar role in “Dr. No”) play Stromberg’s henchmen Jaws and Sandor, Valerie Leon has the first of her two Bond film appearances here playing a hotel receptionist, and future ‘M’ Robert Brown plays Adm. Hargreaves (who may or may not also be the ‘M’…

Review: Force of Execution

Steven Seagal plays a former black ops guy turned benevolent crime boss named Mr. Alexander. Yep. When a rival gangster (Ving Rhames) screws over Mr. Alexander’s right-hand man Roman (Bren Foster) causing him to botch a kill job, Mr. Alexander is forced to retire him. Thankfully, being benevolent, when I say retire it doesn’t mean taken out the back and killed. It means cast out and having both hands broken. Now a drunk, he is thoroughly miserable and mostly hanging outside a diner run by Jenny Gabrielle, who just so happens to be an acquaintance of his former boss Mr. Alexander and watches out for him a bit. So does Mr. Alexander, who needs his help once again after Rhames starts to get a bit too big for his britches and wanting to rub Seagal out. Danny Trejo plays the diner’s cook, who also dabbles in a bit of witch doctoring, which somehow manages to help heal Roman’s hands so he can go back into action.


Although his post-cinematic release career has been far below in quality than …

Review: Telefon

Russian agents who were hypnotised, programmed to kill and then planted as US citizens who have laid dormant for years (the plan was apparently scrapped, but the agents never deprogrammed) are suddenly awakened/activated by the reading of a certain Robert Frost passage by nutty Stalinist Donald Pleasence who gets them to carry out kamikaze sabotage missions across the US. Charles Bronson is the dour Russian agent sent to stop all the mayhem, with Lee Remick as his contact in the States. Tyne Daly is a plucky computer expert working for the American Feds, Patrick Magee is a Soviet intelligence chief.


Drab-looking but enjoyable little espionage thriller from 1977 directed by Don Siegel (“Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, “Hell is For Heroes”, “Dirty Harry”) boasts fine performances from well-cast Bronson and Pleasence, a sturdy cameo by Magee, and lively work by Daly in an ultimately superfluous role. It all sounds very silly, but Siegel and Bronson handle it all with grim-faced seriousn…

Review: You Only Live Twice

SPECTRE and its chief megalomaniac Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Donald Pleasence) have hijacked American and Soviet space shuttles in order to pit the two superpowers against one another. James Bond (Sean Connery) ventures to Japan to meet with Tiger Tanaka (Tetsuro Tamba) and attempt to find out the location of Blofeld’s evil lair. Akiko Wakabayashi plays Aki, who will aide Bond in his investigations, whilst Karin Dor is SPECTRE agent Helga Brandt.


“Dr. No” is my overall favourite Bond. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” has the best screenplay of any Bond film. The most fun Bond film? This 1967 Lewis Gilbert (“Alfie”, “Damn the Defiant”, “The Spy Who Loved Me”, the subpar “Moonraker”) film. An obvious inspiration for the “Austin Powers” films, this is for the most part the most ‘typically’ Bondian film to my mind (along with the lesser- yet more popular- “Goldfinger”), and although far from perfect is chock-full of entertainment. I don’t normally love gadget-heavy Bond films, and I generall…