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Showing posts from March 24, 2013

Review: Bigfoot

Set in South Dakota, rock promoter and DJ Danny Bonaduce is trying to get some trees chopped down (near Mount Rushmore, I might add) to pave the way for the set-up of his planned rock festival. Not having any of this are Bonaduce’s former crony turned environmental activist Barry Williams and his hippie pals, who chain themselves to the equipment, before the local law enforcement (headed by sheriff Bruce Davison and including Sherilyn Fenn) come along and arrest Williams. Later, the concert goes ahead, with Bonaduce even letting Williams on stage to perform one of his hippie songs to placate him. Oh, and Alice Cooper turns up for a few seconds...before he’s devoured by the ginormous title character, who has already been terrorising locals. Bonaduce and Williams transfer their bickering over to whether Bigfoot should be captured and turned into a tourist attraction (or even killed), or taken to a wildlife sanctuary. Howard Hesseman plays the local mayor.

Directed by actor Bruce Davison…

Review: Glengarry Glen Ross

A film about a group of increasingly desperate New York real estate salesmen paid a visit by a heartless, insulting suit (Alec Baldwin) hired by the owners to give the salesmen a pep talk. There is a monthly contest where the third prize is unemployment. The top two sellers of the month will get access to the ‘Glengarry leads’, i.e. the best ones. But to get to that, they must sell as much to the far lesser leads handed out by their heartless manager (Kevin Spacey). Things don’t look good, especially for veteran salesman Shelley (Gil Gunderson...er...Jack Lemmon), who is in a long-running slump, and has a sick daughter. His pleas to Spacey to hand him some of the good leads fall on deaf ears. Things are going better for hot-shot Roma (Al Pacino), however, and he is currently trying to woo meek Jonathan Pryce. Meanwhile, embittered Dave Moss (Ed Harris) and his offsider George Aaronow (Alan Arkin) are planning on sticking it to the company by stealing the Glengarry leads and selling th…

Review: My Name is Modesty

Alexandra Staden is Modesty Blaise, a casino worker in the employ of an underworld figure named Louche (Valentin Teodosiu). A group of terrorists headed by Miklos (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) storm the casino, kill Louche, take everyone hostage, and threaten to bump them off unless someone gives them the combination to open the casino vault. Modesty, protective of her co-workers assures Miklos that Louche’s chief lieutenant (Raymond Cruz) is the only one who can get into the vault, and they must wait for his arrival. In the meantime, she uses her wits to play a game of roulette; Every time Miklos wins, the mysterious Modesty must tell him a story about herself, usually about her rough upbringing as an orphan in Bosnia. Every time Modesty wins three in a row, a hostage will be released.

You’ll have to excuse my ignorance, for I have not heard of the comic strip that this 2004 film directed by Scott Spiegel is based on. Hell, looking at the title character’s name alone (Modesty Blaise), I as…

Review: Man on a Ledge

It’s practically impossible not to spoil at least some of the twists and turns in the plot synopsis alone here, so if you haven’t already seen it, I’d advise you to save this review for later, which is what I usually do. Just glance at the rating and come back later. ***** SPOILER WARNING***** from here on in.

Sam Worthington is a jailbird and ex-cop who loses an appeal against his sentence of 25 years for a diamond heist. He’s allowed out for his father’s funeral, and wastes no time in making his escape. He ends up in Manhattan, checks into a hotel, and goes out onto the ledge. Cops (Ed Burns and Titus Welliver) turn up on the scene, worried he’s a suicide jumper. I mean, why else would he be out there? Worthington says he’ll only talk to Elizabeth Banks, the police shrink, who is soon dragged out of bed with an obvious hangover. She also has a somewhat dubious past that sees her not especially popular with other cops. Obviously he’s not going to jump or else the movie would be over.…

Review: The Hunger Games

Set in a future America where the country is divided into twelve regions and ruled by a decadent dictatorship that requires twelve boys and twelve girls from each district (aged 12-18) to participate in ‘The Hunger Games’, a “Turkey Shoot”-style gladiatorial contest, a fight to the death broadcast nationwide on TV. The contestants are selected by lottery draw, and at the end of the contest, there can be only one winner/survivor. Jennifer Lawrence plays 16 year-old Katniss Everdeen, whose younger sister Primrose is selected to compete, but Katniss throws her own hat in the ring instead to protect her sister. Josh Hutcherson plays the chosen male from Katniss’ district, Donald Sutherland plays the societal patriarch, a fantastically bearded Wes Bentley plays the chairman of the Hunger Games, and Stanley Tucci is a facile, blue-haired TV host who interviews the contestants like a campy Ryan Seacrest. Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson play Effie Trinket (the gaudy-looking selector of th…

Review: Street Kings 2: Motor City

Members of a corrupt narc squad are being bumped off, and young gun Shawn Hatosy is put in charge of the investigation. He is aided in his investigation by veteran narc squad guy Ray Liotta (wading in very familiar territory), who after a bad drug bust a few years ago left him with a gimpy leg, has since degraded himself further by donning a dog suit as McGruff the Crime Dog, a mascot who talks to school kids...about crime stuff, I guess. Liotta was the partner of one of the dead cops, and refuses to believe his partner was dirty. Hatosy doesn’t much like Liotta’s interfering, nor his penchant for not often following the rule book, but eventually the two strike up a bit of a friendship. Internal Affairs, meanwhile, are breathing down everyone’s necks. Charlotte Ross (formerly of “NYPD Blue”) turns up as Liotta’s wife, whilst Clifton Powell and Kevin Chapman are among the dirtiest of cops.

The original “Street Kings” was a terrible film that had a pathetic screenplay, combining with ob…

Review: Bullet

Mickey Rourke plays Butch ‘Bullet’ Stein, recently released from prison after eight years (for a crime he apparently had very little to do with) to live with his family. There’s his angry father (Jerry Grayson), worried mother (Suzanne Shepherd), his wannabe graffiti artist younger brother (Adrien Brody), and his mentally unbalanced ‘Nam veteran older brother (Ted Levine, seemingly having problems moving his mouth muscles). Drug-abusing Bullet spends his days mostly palling around with Brody and muscle-obsessed best friend Lester (John Enos III), but is ultimately set for a collision course with the local drug dealer (Tupac Shakur) he’s known since they were kids, and who was responsible for Bullet’s prison stint.

Seemingly a personal film for Mickey Rourke, this 1996 (but made in 1994) drama from director Julien Temple (“Earth Girls Are Easy”) comes with a script by Bruce Rubenstein (“Hendrix”) and Rourke himself (under the pseudonym ‘Sir’ Eddie Cook). It also features a couple of Mi…