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Showing posts from March 3, 2013

Review: Men in Black III

When devious alien Boris (Jemaine Clement) escapes from prison on the moon (!), with the intention of killing arch-nemesis Agent K of the Men in Black (Tommy Lee Jones). To do this, he apparently has to travel back in time to 1969. Meanwhile, through some idiotic chocolate milk-drinking plot contrivance, Agent J (Will Smith) is his usual smart-arse self, whilst everything else around him has changed, including the death of his partner. His only solution is to travel back in time himself, hook up with the 1969 Agent K (played by a grimacing Josh Brolin) to try and save him from the death that has already happened, and has yet to happen. I think. Emma Thompson and Alice Eve play the older and younger versions of Agent O.

The 1997 original disappointed the hell out of me. I thought with Will Smith in the lead it’d be something closer to “Independence Day” meets “Ghostbusters”, a mainstream blockbuster, but hopefully a good one. However, in the hands of director Barry Sonnenfeld it proved…

Review: The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) dreams of a life ‘Over the Rainbow’ and away from her dreary Kansas home with Aunt Em and Uncle Henry (Clara Blandick and Charley Grapewin). Her wish is granted when a huge tornado whisks her and dog Toto (Terry) away...and their house I might add. They end up in the land of Oz, a place of Yellow Brick Roads, Munchkins, flying monkeys, and witches both Good (Billie Burke’s Glinda) and Bad (Margaret Hamilton’s Wicked Witch of the West). Dorothy, wanting nothing more than to go home, is encouraged to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City. There she should see the Wizard of Oz (Frank Morgan), to ask to be transported back to Kansas. Along her journey, she is joined by a trio of helpers (Ray Bolger’s brainless Scarecrow, Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion, and Jack Haley’s heartless Tin Man), who also have something they want from the Wizard. However, they must be wary of the Wicked Witch and her band of flying monkeys.

Aside from my mother, I can’t imagine a…

Review: Avenging Angel

Betsy Russell plays Molly, who four years after the events of the first film is now studying to become a lawyer, when she hears that cop/paternal figure Lt. Andrews (Robert F. Lyons) has been killed. This motivates Molly to once again walk the streets as hooker Angel, to find his killers. Her other surviving surrogate family members are back; retired showbiz cowboy Kit Carson (Rory Calhoun), foul-mouthed lesbian Solly (Susan Tyrrell), and the Chaplin-esque street performer Yo-Yo Charlie (Stephen M. Porter). Ossie Davis (yes, the man who delivered Malcolm X’s eulogy) plays a police captain, Tim Rossovich (the poor man’s Brion James) is a thug, Robert Tessier (is a tattooist), and Liz Sheridan (Jerry! How could anybody not like you!) plays a sanatorium nurse.

Made a year after the original “Angel”, this 1985 sequel from director and co-writer Robert Vincent O’Neill (who made the original), is probably even worse. It’s certainly duller, and aside from the always fine Ossie Davis (!), the…

Review: Suicide Kings

A group of rich college kids (Sean Patrick Flanery, Jeremy Sisto, Jay Mohr, and Henry Thomas) kidnap businessman and former mobster Christopher Walken, take them to nerdy associate Johnny Galecki’s family mansion, tie him to a chair, and drug him. When Walken awakens, one of his fingers is missing, and he is made aware of the situation: Thomas’ sister has been kidnapped by two goons (Brad Garrett being one of them), with a $2 million ransom being demanded.

Unfortunately, the father of the kidnapped girl has managed to screw things up, and so now they want Walken to use his mob connections to get the girl set free. Walken claims to be out of that life now, but the boys are having none of that. But Walken is a wily bastard and starts playing his captors against one another, even suggesting that there might be an ‘inside man’ on the kidnapping. Is this true or is he just fucking with them? Denis Leary plays Walken’s chief henchman, who is trying to locate his boss, with Cliff De Young pl…

Review: Impulse

Meg Tilly and boyfriend (a doctor, played by Tim Matheson) return to her Midwest hometown after hearing of a bizarre and nearly fatal incident involving her mother. Before long they realise that the townsfolk seem to have become afflicted by some kind of illness that sees them abandon all inhibitions, and results in maddening violent incidents. Hume Cronyn is the local doctor, John Karlen is Tilly’s protective dad, Bill Paxton is Tilly’s rebellious brother, and Claude Earl Jones is the local sheriff, who has one very disturbing scene indeed.

Reminding me of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and some of Stephen King’s work, this 1984 sci-fi/thriller from director Graham Baker (“Omen III: The Final Conflict”, “Alien Nation”) sounds interesting on paper but the execution is a sorry disappointment. The cast certainly can’t be faulted, with the underrated Meg Tilly in particular impressing. She really is the polar opposite of Jennifer isn’t she? Her performances always have a shy, sweet-nat…