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Showing posts from March 13, 2016

Review: Sleeping With the Enemy

Julia Roberts is Laura, a battered young wife who lives in a beach house that is more like a prison than a home. Here she is beaten, controlled, and used by her monster of a husband Martin (Patrick Bergin). Martin is a classic controlling thug with a side order of OCD, who needs to have everything just so (towels perfectly arranged on the rack, spices exactly placed in the cupboards, etc). He goes into a jealous rage if a man even so much as glances at his beautiful young wife. However, Laura, unbeknownst to her husband, has been working on her escape for quite a while it seems. A night on the stormy seas with a neighbour who owns a boat offers up her perfect opportunity to fake her own death and escape. You see, Martin thinks Laura can’t swim and is afraid of the water, but in reality she has been getting swimming lessons whilst pretending to have a part-time job. Now she can move to a new town, changing her look and identity to start afresh. She even tentatively strikes up a relatio…

Review: Glen or Glenda?

The story of one man’s (Edward D. Wood Jr., under the pseudonym Daniel Davis) love for wearing women’s clothing, and his struggle to work up the courage to reveal his secret to the woman (Dolores Fuller) he loves. Meanwhile, a cop (Lyle Talbot) and psychiatrist (Timothy Farrell) discuss transvestitism, after the suicide death of a transvestite.

Another day, another smart arse collection of notes masquerading as a film review of an Edward D. Wood Jr. ‘classic’. This time it’s his 1953 directorial debut, that might just be the strangest semi-autobiographical film you’ll ever see. As for the review, this being my second one, it is unlikely to be as funny as my thoughts watching “Plan 9 From Outer Space”. So you’ve been duly warned, mediocre sophomoric effort to come. What? You didn’t find my take on “Plan 9” funny? Well, who asked you anyway?

- As much as this is Mr. Wood’s heartfelt plea for tolerance and acceptance of cross-dressers and transvestites, the brilliance of the film is that …

Review: Driving Miss Daisy

Beginning in Georgia in the 1940s, this film concerns the 25 odd years relationship between wilful but physically frail widow Miss Daisy (Jessica Tandy) and Hoke (Morgan Freeman), the African-American hired by her good ‘ol boy son Boolie (Dan Aykroyd) to be her chauffeur after Miss Daisy has a minor car accident. Miss Daisy takes exception to this intrusion on her independence, and refuses Hoke’s aid. However, their relationship slowly (and I do mean slowly) thaws through their years together.

Spike Lee is still pissed about it beating his film for the Best Picture Oscar, Morgan Freeman seems to think it resulted in him being typecast in ‘noble black man’ roles, and hell, even I think “Born on the 4th of July” was the most deserving of the Best Picture nominees at that year’s Oscars. However, this 1989 Bruce Beresford (the Aussie director of “Don’s Party” and “Breaker Morant”) film is nowhere near the worst Best Picture winner (“Crash” and “Chariots of Fire” spring to mind right away)…

Review: Turbulence

Set at Christmas time, detective Hector Elizondo manages to arrest Ray Liotta, the so-called ‘Lonely Hearts Killer’, but does so via planting incriminating evidence on him, whilst Liotta protests his innocence. Liotta boards a flight to LA in the custody of two Federal Marshals (played by “Die Hard” co-star Grand L. Bush and “Orange is the New Black” co-star Michael Harney), while also on board the flight is hardened Southern prisoner Brendan Gleeson. Gleeson is sleazy and uncouth, but flight attendant Lauren Holly seems to think Liotta is a perfect gentleman. Circumstances see Gleeson create a hostage situation and Liotta saving everyone from said hostage situation. However, Liotta (who has a date with the lethal injection needle) has been slowly coming unglued and before long Holly is left all alone on a plane with a psychopath who wouldn’t really mind if the plane crashed. What does a condemned man have to lose? Catherine Hicks plays another flight attendant, Jeffrey DeMunn and Rac…

Review: All About E

Mandalha Rose is the title Lebanese-Australian DJ and occasional clarinet player. Despite her Middle-Eastern background, sleazy, aggressive Scottish club owner Johnny (Simon Bolton) has E dress up in a Spaniard-gimmick, even though E wants to try something along the lines of an Arabian Nights theme. The plot kicks in when E and her bow-tie wearing gay best mate Matt (The Tassie-born actor Brett Rogers, affecting a solid Irish accent) find a large sum of money, and they make the decision to take the money and run. The money belongs to Johnny, who needs it really badly for some kind of shady deal going down. So while Johnny has a profane panic attack, E and Matt head off firstly to E’s traditional Lebanese Australian parents in Wollongong (her grumpy dad is played by the one and only Lex Marinos), who don’t know that E is a lesbian and wish she’d pick up the clarinet again. Eventually Johnny tracks E’s location and threatens her family, yet for some reason E and Matt decide to head off …

Review: In the Cut

When the severed body of a woman is found near her NYC apartment, creative writing teacher Meg Ryan is questioned by uncouth cops Mark Ruffalo and Nick Damici. Turns out the victim was murdered in the same bar Ryan had previously been to and glimpsed a couple in a compromising position in the toilets. Why was she at such a seedy bar? Well, she was meeting her serial killer-obsessed student (Sharrieff Pugh) there, that’s why (!). Ryan’s a bit reckless, clearly. She already has a mentally unstable stalker-ish ex-boyfriend (an uncredited Kevin Bacon) who won’t leave her alone, yet she openly admits to her half-sister (Jennifer Jason Leigh, quite convincing as a woman obsessed with a married man) that she flirts with her students (one of whom, as I said, has a serial killer fetish!), and it’s not long before Ryan and Ruffalo are rolling in the hay, too. At one point she also gets mugged while out at night. Meanwhile, there’s a sicko serial killer out there and Ryan begins to suspect it ma…

Review: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Clark W. Griswold (Chevy Chase), Ellen Griswold (Beverly D’Angelo), and their entirely unenthused kids Rusty (Johnny Galecki) and Audrey (Juliette Lewis) are back. Despite the title, this is more of a ‘Stay-cation’ as the Griswold clan have the entire family around to spend Christmas. This includes Clark and Ellen’s respective parents (John Randolph and Diane Ladd & E.G. Marshall & Doris Roberts), as well as eccentric Uncle Lewis (William Hickey) and Aunt Bethany (Mae Questel). Ne’er do well Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and wife Catherine (Miriam Flynn) also turn up uninvited in their mobile home, along with their youngest kids, and it looks like times have been tough on them recently. Meanwhile, Clark is still going through a bit of a midlife crisis, whilst also waiting for his annual Christmas bonus to help pay for a new pool he’s hoping to install. Brian Doyle-Murray plays Clark’s boss, whilst Sam McMurray turns up briefly as a co-worker. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Nicholas Pryo…