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Showing posts from November 11, 2012

Review: Jacob’s Ladder

Tim Robbins stars as a postal worker having troubling visions of demons, and when he talks to his fellow ‘Nam buddies, he finds that they are having similar experiences. And then one of the veterans turns up dead. There is evidence to suggest that Robbins’ platoon were part of a secret military experiment involving hallucinogenic drugs that send people crazy. Meanwhile, Robbins is even questioning whether his life with girlfriend Elizabeth Pena is real or a dream, especially when we see him with his apparent wife, played by Patricia Kalember. Macaulay Culkin has a small but pivotal role as Robbins’ son (who in a way is the key to the point of the entire film), whilst Eriq La Salle, Ving Rhames, Brent Hinkley, and Pruitt Taylor Vince are his war vet pals. Jason Alexander plays a lawyer who looks into the war vets’ case, and Matt Craven plays a mystery man who tries to contact Robbins, and Danny Aiello plays Robbins’ friendly and somewhat sage chiropractor.

Perhaps the ultimate ‘mind fu…

Review: Born to Raise Hell

Steven Seagal is an Interpol agent stationed in Romania to bust up drug syndicates. He takes on brutal gangster, club owner, and all-round Gypsy creep Darren Shahlavi, who has a strained partnership with Russian mobster Dan Badarau. The latter is a devout family man who has moral objections to the way Shahlavi conducts himself, especially when he puts Badarau’s family in harm’s way. D. Neil Mark plays Seagal’s American partner, whose wife has a baby on the way.


Not one of Steven Seagal’s best efforts of late (take that as you wish), this Lauro Chartrand (his directorial debut, after a career as a stuntman) action flick has little excitement and wastes the talents of Darren Shahlavi as one of the bad guys. Good news first: Seagal loops his own dialogue (some have a differing view on that, but it sounded fine to me). He actually wrote the damn screenplay, so if he didn’t like the dialogue he’d have no excuse then, so I’m glad he turned up for work that day. Actually, for the most part, …

Review: The People vs. George Lucas

A word of warning to begin: Given the nature of this film and my own perspective, this will be a kind of combination of a film review and a discussion of my own personal thoughts on the subject dealt with in the film, rather than just a straight-up review. So if I start to rant, well, deal with it. This is a subject I’m very passionate about, and this is the only way I can really tackle this film.


There can be little dispute that George Lucas is responsible for at least two (and in my opinion at least three, if not four) great “Star Wars” movies. For this, “Star Wars” fans should forever love him. However, “Star Wars” fans, especially the diehard ones, are a particular lot, who don’t much like their beloved franchise being fucked with. I’m a fan myself, so I understand at least some of the gripes people have with what Lucas has done in the decades since the original trilogy were released. This 2010 documentary from filmmaker Alexandre O. Philippe pretty much documents all the criticis…

Review: Frenzy

Set in London, somewhat unappealing ne’er-do-well Jon Finch (think Oliver Reed with a mild hangover, but more conventionally handsome) is having a bad time of it. He loses his job at the pub (accused of imbibing on the job), is sleeping at a crummy hostel (where he needs to keep an eye on his wallet at all hours of the night), argues violently with his ex-wife (Barbara Leigh-Hunt), and when said ex-wife is strangled, becomes the prime suspect in the ‘Necktie Strangler’ case. Thing is, he’s innocent, we learn early on that an outwardly charming associate of his (Barry Foster- having a whale of a time) is framing him as he continues to murder pretty young lady after pretty young lady. Anna Massey plays Finch’s only true ally, with Clive Swift his chicken-livered old pal emasculated by bitchy Billie Whitelaw (who believes Finch a sadist because the divorce settlement included accusations of ‘extreme cruelty’, which Finch claims he and Leigh-Hunt made up to speed things along. Thus she wo…

Review: Metropolis

Set in a future city where hunched-over workers break their backs slaving away day and night in the subterranean levels of the city. Above ground are the affluent, including authoritarian Joh Fredersen (Alfred Abel), whose son Freder (Gustav Froelich) ventures below ground for the first time and receives quite the wake-up call. He also meets Maria (Brigitte Helm), who preaches peace and who wants to bring the city’s two divided classes of people together. Fredersen, of course, wants none of this and requests the aid of scientist Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) to build a robot clone of Maria to swing sentiment around in his favour. Rotwang, however, harbours deep resentment for Fredersen and decides to use the robot Maria to cause chaos to descend upon Fredersen’s city. Fritz Rasp plays the aptly named Thin Man, a spy in Fredersen’s employ.

We often hear that ‘They don’t make ‘em like they used to’, and I often find that people believe that since the release of “Jaws” and “Star Wars”, the…

Review: The Muppets

Jason Segel plays Gary, brother to a Muppet named Walter. Yes, that’s biologically impossible, but it’s a movie after all. Anyway, both brothers have been life-long Muppet fans, and so when Gary takes his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) on a vacation to celebrate their ten-year anniversary, Gary allows Walter to tag along so they can visit the Muppet Studios. Mary...tolerates this. But when they get there, Walter overhears some bad news. Not only has the building been long neglected, but evil tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) plans on demolishing the studio to drill for oil. The only way to stop this from happening is for the Muppets to raise $10,000. Distressed, Walter and Gary visit Kermit at his Hollywood mansion to try and convince him to ‘get the band back together’. Unfortunately, the Muppets have long gone their separate ways, but eventually Kermit is persuaded and the gang head off in search of the rest of the...er...gang. Kermit is particularly reluctant to look up Miss Piggy, be…