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Showing posts from October 12, 2014

Review: The Hangover Part III

After his father’s death, the rest of the ‘Wolf Pack’ tries to get Alan (Zach Galifianakis) to seek professional help for his…issues. Unfortunately, they hit a little snag on the way to the hospital as Doug (Justin Bartha- why does he continue to sign on for these?) is kidnapped by drug kingpin John Goodman and his goons. It seems Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) has made off with a whole lotta Goodman’s gold, and he wants the ‘Wolf Pack’ (minus Bartha, of course) to find Chow and get his loot back or else Doug bites it. Finding the elusive and very strange Mr. Chow is easier said than done, though, especially when Alan isn’t entirely forthcoming with the revelation that he and Mr. Chow email each other regularly. Heather Graham reprises her role from the first film, whilst a possible love interest for Alan is provided by Melissa McCarthy as a lonely Vegas pawn shop owner.

Even more tedious than its predecessors, this 2013 film from series director Todd Phillips and his co-writer Craig Mazin (“Th…

Review: Forty Guns

US marshal Barry Sullivan (and his brothers Gene Barry and Robert Dix) arrives in a western town pretty much run by matriarchal Barbara Stanwyck and her title band of ‘hired help’. The sheriff (Dean Jagger) is weak as piss and sweet on Stanwyck, so is of no help, whilst Stanwyck’s brother John Ericson is a mean young bastard who kills the myopic old marshal John Chisum (Hank Worden). Stanwyck uses her feminine charms to woo the law to her side of the fence, and seems to have a thing for Sullivan. Or maybe she just wants fifty-one guns, though Sullivan claims not to have shot anyone in years. But when Ericson shoots someone he shouldn’t have, Stanwyck finds herself in quite the pickle, and Sullivan might just have cause to slap on those irons after all.

Low-budget cult writer/director Samuel Fuller (“Underworld USA”, “Pickup on South Street”) doesn’t quite come up with the goods in this 1957 western that squanders a terrific showcase for Barbara Stanwyck by focusing too much on the lam…

Review: Pacific Rim

Travelling through wormholes from another universe, kaiju (monsters) have turned up from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and are causing havoc on Earth, circa 2020. To combat the beasts, giant robots (or Mecha, if you want to be a pedantic nerd about it) called Jaegers are built, and each robot is piloted by two humans through a neural link that allows them to get inside each other’s heads (Kinda like “Voltron” but with a singular robot and only two pilots). Our chief protagonists are a potentially risky match; a pilot named Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) returning after a stint moping over his brother’s death on active duty five years earlier, and young female pilot Mako (Rinko Kikuchi), an enthusiastic but untested pilot with a personal grudge against kaiju from her childhood. Unfortunately, Jaegers are being phased out, but commanding officer Pentecost (Idris Elba) has gathered a small rogue group in Hong Kong with the remaining Jaegers available to give it one last go at kicking kaiju a…

Review: 2 Guns

Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg have just robbed a New Mexico bank, but are a little worried when the $3 million they were informed was in the vault, turns out to be a shitload more. Also, they are each unaware that the other one is a Federal agent of some sort, Wahlberg an NCIS man, Denzel is DEA. Apparently the idea was to use the robbery to nab Mexican drug lord Edward James Olmos, with each man assuming the other is a crook they could also bring to justice. Needless to say, when they find out who each other works for, they feel stupid. But it gets worse than that. The money actually belongs to corrupt CIA operative Bill Paxton, and when he finds out that someone has stolen his money, fingers are set to be broken. Paula Patton is Denzel’s DEA handler, whom he is sleeping with (lucky bastard!), and James Marsden is Wahlberg’s superior, whilst Fred Ward appears briefly as a Navy Admiral, to remind everyone that the veteran character actor isn’t dead. Robert John Burke appears ear…

Review: Sunshine Cleaning

30ish Amy Adams’ life is pretty much going nowhere. The single mum to young Jason Spevak gets by on a house cleaning gig and is boinking married cop Steve Zahn. She wants more money so that the somewhat troubled Spevak can go to a private school. It’s Zahn who suggests to her a better way of earning money, cleaning up crime scenes. So, enlisting the help of her aimless sister Emily Blunt, the duo begin their rather nasty business venture. Alan Arkin plays the sisters’ father, who has a history of ‘get rich never’ schemes. Clifton Collins Jr. turns up as a nice, one-armed cleaning supplies store owner and model plane enthusiast, whilst Mary Lynn Rajskub plays the daughter of a crime scene victim whom Blunt, in a moment of ill-advised good intentions (possibly born out of her and Adams losing their own mother to suicide a long time ago), seeks out.

Two of the best young (ish) actresses going around deserve better than this overly familiar 2009 film from director Christine Jeffs (“Sylvia…

Review: Carnival of Souls

Formerly at Epinions.com, written in 2011 in a really, really bad mood, it seems. Or just telling it like it is?

Three girls’ reckless drag racing sees them and their car crash off a bridge. Candace Hilligoss, the only survivor of the accident leaves town to head for Utah (sounds vaguely like the beginning if “Psycho”, with a few changes here and there), where she becomes a church organist (like all good runaway drag racers, I guess). Moving into a boarding house she finds herself experiencing all manner of strange things; Ghostly apparitions (including one played by director Herk Harvey), times when it appears she is invisible to everyone around her, and a strange attraction to an abandoned carnival pavilion. Frances Feist is her landlady, and Sidney Berger is a strange boarder across the hall who has designs on the icy Hilligoss.

One of the last supposedly ‘great’ horror films I’d yet to track down, this low-budget (apparently less than $100,000) horror flick from Herk Harvey (appare…