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Showing posts from July 8, 2012

Review: Scream 4

Released eleven years (!) after “Scream 3”, this entry finds Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returning home after several years for a signing of her new book about her past traumatic experiences. Meanwhile, the now sheriff Dewey (David Arquette) has concerns over a series of ‘Ghostface’ copycat killings. It’s the anniversary of the events of the original film. Dewey’s now wife Gail Weathers (Courteney Cox), somewhat resents Sidney’s book, probably because her cache (as a former reporter and creator of the “Stab” franchise) isn’t as high as it used to be. Despite no longer being a reporter, Gail is looking for an angle on the story and starts questioning members of the local high school’s cinema club, films buffs Erik Knudsen and Rory Culkin, to get up to speed on the new rules. Sidney, meanwhile, has moved in with her Aunt (Mary McDonnell), and has a teenage niece (Emma Roberts) who goes to the local high school, dates a guy who looks a bit like Skeet Ulrich (and sneaks in through the…

Review: Jacknife

Vietnam Vet and mechanic Robert De Niro (in one of his showier, livelier roles) looks up his old buddy (Ed Harris) for a previously planned fishing trip, finds that he’s not coping so well, despite being looked after by his wallflower sister (Kathy Baker, a criminally underrated actress) whom he lives with. Whilst trying to get his buddy (a high school football hero) to start dealing with his problems, a bond is formed between loud but well-meaning De Niro and bookish, repressed Baker. Charles S. Dutton plays a therapy group leader for disturbed war veterans.


Stagey, small, but engrossing, perfectly acted 1989 David Jones (“Betrayal”, based on a Harold Pinter play) war/drama presents us with what might have happened to Michael and Steven years after “The Deer Hunter”. Not exactly, but it’s not too much of a stretch to at least suggest such a notion. All three of the performances are great, but De Niro is particularly masterful and Baker perfectly cast.


Very underrated and worth a look…

Review: Zeppelin

Michael York plays a German-born British lieutenant (Scottish, really, not that York sounds anything but perfectly British, as always) used to spy on the Germans who have apparently developed the title airship, designed by Marius Goring, who happens to be an old acquaintance of York’s, and is somewhat na├»ve about his new invention (to put it mildly). Elke Sommer is Goring’s wife, who is suspicious of the new fellow. Anton Diffring (what’s a Nazi film without him?), Andrew Keir and Peter Carsten are impeccably cast as the Nazis, with designs on diminishing British morale. Rupert Davies is a welcome presence in the type of unfortunately two-dimensional role that normally goes to Richard Johnson, Trevor Howard, Harry Andrews, John Mills, or Michael Hordern.


1971 Etienne Perier (“When Eight Bells Toll”, with Sir Anthony Hopkins and the great Robert Morley) WWI adventure is pretty familiar stuff, and a little stiffer than the best of the war-adventure films of the 60s and early 70s (“Opera…

Review: Pass the Ammo

Set in Arkansas, Bill Paxton and his trashy girlfriend Linda Kozlowski, along with Kozlowski’s two criminal cousins (Dennis Burkley and Glenn Withrow) attempt to rob the ‘Tower of Bethlehem’, the TV studio home of greedy husband and wife TV evangelists Tim Curry and Annie Potts. All of this apparently stems from Curry having conned Kozlowski’s dying grandmother out of her life savings (not that Kozlowski loved her grandma, she just wanted the inheritance). It’s not long before the cops (led by antagonistic Paul Ben-Victor) surround the studio, so without an escape, the foursome run out on live TV! It’s here that Paxton starts to tear down the benevolent public facade Curry has built for himself (including a few skeletons in the closet that even loopy Potts isn’t aware of), as a hostage situation coincides with a tacky religious sideshow for all to see. Meanwhile, Cajun sheriff Leland Crooke is called in to negotiate the situation (the studio audience is still in there), while gun-happ…

Review: Real Time

Perennial screw-up Jay Baruchel has racked up a whole lot of gambling debts, and his debtor ain’t happy with Baruchel’s flippant attitude to owing money. As a result, he has sent Australian hitman Randy Quaid (!) to kill him. Quaid, though, is a softie at heart and has decided to give Baruchel one hour to live, an hour to go and tie up all of his loose ends and make peace. He can do whatever he likes in that hour, it’s up to him. But once his time is up, well, his time is up. Jayne Eastwood plays Baruchel’s estranged grandmother, whom he used to steal money from.

This quirky 2008 Indie flick from Canadian writer-director Randall Cole (whose other films I have not seen nor heard of before) is no world-beater, but it’s a pretty watchable time-waster. Quaid adopts a sometimes dead-on (and sometimes way off) Aussie accent, and steals the show with his large physical presence but laidback, thoughtful nature. He’s a supremely underrated actor (with admittedly a bizarre personal life of late…