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Showing posts from March 9, 2014

Review: I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

Clive Owen stars as a former London underworld figure who left the criminal life and has been AWOL for a while now. He comes back three years later to learn that his wayward younger brother (Jonathan Rhys-Meyers), a small-time drug dealer has ended up dead in a bathtub apparently of his own hand. Owen wants answers, and although he has abandoned his old life, he is still not a man with whom to fuck. The audience already knows what has happened, Rhys-Meyers was brutally raped (and we also know by whom), and when Owen finds out, he considers the rapist to basically be a murderer. Malcolm McDowell plays a family man and respected businessman who has a secret life as a vicious gangster, Ken Stott plays a rival underworld figure to McDowell who wants Owen to get out of town (having himself basically picked up where Owen left off three years ago), Sylvia Sims plays Rhys-Meyers’ landlady, Noel Clarke plays one of Owen’s former associates, and Charlotte Rampling is somewhat improbably cast as…

Review: Black Heaven

A somewhat dopey young couple (Grégoire Leprince-Ringuetand Pauline Etienne) find a seemingly abandoned mobile phone that belongs to a man exchanging cryptic messages with a mysterious woman. Some detective work leads the couple to a woodland area where the man and woman are in a car. On approach, our protagonists find the man and young woman are actually attempting to gas themselves. They intervene, saving the woman, a trashy blonde (played by Louise Bourgoin), but the man is unable to be revived. Leprince-Ringuet becomes obsessed with the blonde, trying to track her down. It turns out she is an obsessive gamer addicted to a game called ‘Black Hole’. He starts to play the game himself, hoping to woo her with his on-line avatar, whilst cruelly rejecting Etienne in the process (Someone has watched “Blue Velvet”, obviously). He’s hooked- but to the game? The girl? Both? This despite the warnings of the blonde’s rather intimidating brother, that she is mentally unstable, I might add. And…

Review: Sitting Target

Hearing that his wife (Jill St. John, miscast with a wavering accent) is pregnant to another man and leaving him, hardened crim Oliver Reed breaks out of prison with his more outwardly charming cohort Ian McShane with the purpose of tracking down his wife and her lover, and killing them. He’s a real feminist, this one. Freddie Jones plays a creepy explosives expert who also escapes prison with Reed and McShane, Edward Woodward plays a cop hoping to nab Reed and protect St. John, and Frank Finlay is the rich crime boss whom Reed comes to call a favour from. Robert Beatty turns up as a gun dealer.

Directed by Douglas Hickox (who also gave us such cult gems as “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” and the all-star “Theatre of Blood”), this tough, incredibly grim-faced crime/caper from 1972 has a bad reputation from the few who seem to have seen it, and for the life of my I cannot understand why. For me, the harshness, ugliness, and grimness were actually positives, so perhaps that’s where others dif…

Review: Risky Business

In addition to the usual scholastic pressures of being a high-school senior, relatively affluent teen Tom Cruise finds himself in way over his head when his parents (dad played by Nicholas Pryor) leave him home alone for a few days. This is because Cruise, egged on by his wannabe sophisticate pal (Curtis Armstrong) decides to hire a hooker (Rebecca DeMornay). Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the cash on hand to pay, and when he returns from the bank, the hooker is gone and so is some of his parents valuable personal property. So he goes out in search of her, and before you know it, he’s basically running a prostitution service out of his parents’ house. DeMornay’s pimp, played by Joe Pantoliano is very unhappy to hear about this, but Cruise’s friends (who also include Bronson Pinchot) think it’s awesome. Meanwhile, as business commands much of his attention, his grades suffer. Richard Masur turns up as a recruiter from Princeton who comes to visit at a most inopportune time.

This 1983 t…

Review: Boogeyman

Dopey brothers Danny Horn and Gabriel Steele inadvertently unleash hell when some silly roughhousing at the ‘ol Skinner residence leads to a monster-in-the-attic being released, which promptly (well, after the boys have left) kills Old Man Skinner himself. Their dad, the local sheriff (Eddie McClintock, from SyFy’s “Warehouse 13”) is charged with solving the crime, along with his partner Amy Bailey, who has a family secret to reveal. He also has to try and prevent his two inquisitive kids from becoming monster fodder, as well. The monster, for its part, goes around picking off random people- stoners, lesbians etc. But what it seems to really be after is Steele. Emma Samms plays the small town police chief.

Not every SyFy movie ‘fracking’ sucks, and this 2012 film from director Jeffery Scott Lando and writer David Reed isn’t bad at all. It’s just generic, mis-titled (“Cain and Abel” would’ve been more appropriate) and kind of a “Pumpkinhead” rip-off when you think about it. It certainly…