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Review: Lawman

Burt Lancaster plays a taciturn marshal named Maddox who rides into a town called Sabbath looking for the ranchers who drunkenly whooped it up in his town a while back and killed somebody. The useless Sabbath marshal (Robert Ryan) tells Maddox he’ll receive no help from him, as the men are all employees of cattle baron Bronson (Lee J. Cobb), who pretty much runs Sabbath. One of the men (J.D. Cannon) is the current squeeze of Sheree North, playing a former acquaintance of Maddox’s, who asks him to spare her husband. Meanwhile, the other cowardly townsfolk (principally Walter Brooke, John McGiver, John Hillerman, and Robert Emhardt) start to resent this lawman stirring up trouble in their peaceful little town, whilst gambler Lucas (Joseph Wiseman) casually observes on the sidelines, seemingly already acquainted with Maddox and his unbending ways. The other wanted men are played by Richard Jordan, Ralph Waite, Robert Duvall, and William Watson, Charles Tyner plays the intense local preac…

Review: Solace

When a serial killer case is proving tough to crack, FBI agent Jeffrey Dean Morgan and his less experienced partner Abbie Cornish visit retired doctor Sir Anthony Hopkins, an old friend of Morgan’s whose supposed psychic gifts has aided the agency in the past. Cornish is sceptical, and at first Hopkins (who still hasn’t fully gotten over the tragic and painful death of his daughter) is curmudgeonly reluctant to vacate his quiet hermit-like current existence to use the ‘gift’ he feels is more of a curse. He nonetheless signs on and soon deducts that the killer is similarly prescient. Kenny Johnson, Sharon Lawrence and Xander Berkeley play grieving loved ones, whilst Marley Shelton is Morgan’s wife, and Janine Turner turns up briefly as Hopkins’ estranged wife.


Released in Australia in 2017 on DVD and 2016 in most other places, this Afonso Poyart (whose only previous feature film was a Brazilian action flick called “Two Rabbits”) killer thriller started filming way back in 2013 (the dis…

Review: The Girl on the Train

Emily Blunt plays a mentally unbalanced, seemingly lonely woman who travels to NYC by train every day and goes past her ex-husband Justin Theroux’s house. He’s moved on to a new wife (Rebecca Ferguson) and Blunt has been previously accused of coming into too close contact with her and their child. One day on the train, Blunt spies a neighbour (Haley Bennett) in an embrace with a man who isn’t her husband. Up until that point, she thought the neighbours were a perfect married couple and had fantasised about what their lives must be like. Soon after Blunt’s discovery, she attempts to confront Bennett about what she spied. Bennett goes missing and later turns up dead and since Blunt is mentally unstable and an alcoholic prone to blackouts, she claims to have no memory of what happened during their encounter. She is however a bit bruised and bloodied, which suggests something bad happened. Although cynical homicide detective Alison Janney finds Blunt incredibly likely as a suspect, when B…

Review: Lion

Based on his 2014 memoir, this is the true story of Saroo Brierly (Sunny Pawar), who in 1986 at the young age of five sneaks away to work with his older brother, who travels quite a distance by train. Their mother also works picking up heavy rocks for whatever little cash she can earn to support herself and her children (There’s also a young sister). Circumstances see the two brothers lose track of one another, and eventually the poor young boy ends up boarding a train accidentally to Calcutta (now Kolkata). Being that he’s only 5 and from a remote and poor village, Saroo doesn’t speak the language there. In fact, he doesn’t even seem to know the name of the village he’s from, making it difficult for anyone to help him. He also gets preyed upon by the creepier elements of society, before eventually winding up in an orphanage. After a while there he finds himself adopted by an Australian couple (played by Nicole Kidman and David Wenham) who take him back to Tasmania with them to live, …

Review: Passengers

On a special voyage to the planet Homestead II where a new human colony will be started, Chris Pratt is one of 5000 or so passengers with also 255 crew members. They are all in a cryosleep while the ship is in autopilot. The journey is set to run for about 120 years, but poor Pratt somehow finds himself awaking from cryosleep with 90 years still left to go. This was not meant to happen. He will not live long enough to last the journey. He is the only one awake and the only other ‘being’ active is the robotic bartender named Arthur (Michael Sheen), with whom conversation is somewhat limited. Pratt is also unable to put himself back to cryosleep. Starting to crack up, Pratt becomes obsessed with one of the sleeping passengers (Jennifer Lawrence). So obsessed that he contemplates doing something very selfish and very bad. He wouldn’t do the unthinkable would he? (No, not that unthinkable act, he’s not kinky or anything).


***** SPOILER WARNING ***** I think it’s near impossible to discuss…

Review: Ready to Rumble

Two brain-dead wrestling fanatics (David Arquette and Scott Caan) lose the plot when their hero, has-been wrestler Jimmy ‘The King’ King (Oliver Platt) loses unceremoniously to Diamond Dallas Page (as himself), by order (i.e. Screw job, hello citizens of Montreal) of promoter Titus Sinclair (Joe Pantoliano) and booted off the show (WCW’s Nitro, heavily promoted throughout the film) for being a drunken loser. They set about finding the now AWOL King, having him shaped up by legendary trainer Sal Bandini (Martin Landau, an Oscar winner!) and orchestrate his return to the big-time. Easier said than done. Rose McGowan plays a Nitro Girl one of our would-be heroes takes a shine to, Caroline Rhea is Platt’s white trash ex, and various noted ‘sports entertainment’ personalities appear as themselves (some easier to spot than others).


Dumb-arse 2000 Brian Robbins (minor successes like “Varsity Blues” and “Good Burger”) comedy made with the cooperation of WCW, which is the Amicus Films to WWE/W…

Review: Moonraker

In this one, 007 James Bond (Roger Moore) investigates the hijacking of the title US space shuttle, which has been hijacked in the air. The culprit is actually the shuttle’s designer, industrialist Hugo Drax (Michael/Michel Lonsdale) who has devious plans for it. He has also employed the services of metal-mouthed hulking henchman Jaws (Richard Kiel), once again squaring off against Bond. Lois Chiles plays Dr. Holly Goodhead (!), a former NASA astronaut, whilst Corrine Clery is Drax employee Corrine, and Emily Bolton turns up as Manuela, 007’s contact in Brazil. Blanche Ravalec plays a character named Dolly, whom Jaws takes a liking to, whilst Toshiro Suga plays Drax’s other henchman Chang.


For my money there’s only two outright duds to date in the James Bond franchise, “A View to a Kill” and this tedious 1979 Lewis Gilbert (the superior “You Only Live Twice” as well as “The Spy Who Loved Me”, and the non-Bond films “Alfie” and “Educating Rita”) flick. Both films star a lethargic Roger…