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Showing posts from June 5, 2016

Review: The Fox

Butch Anne Heywood and clingy Sandy Dennis are attempting to run a chicken farm all on their own in snowy, woodland Canada. After a while, a male stranger (Keir Dullea) happens upon them and sets about pulling their tight bond apart. He has particular designs on the rather frosty Heywood, much to Dennis’ distraught. The title may have more than one meaning, though there is indeed an actual fox the two women attempt to catch.

I was all set to hate this 1967 adaptation of the 1918 D. H. Lawrence novel from debut film director Mark Rydell (who went on to direct “The Cowboys” and the popular “On Golden Pond”) and screenwriters Lewis John Carlino (“The Mechanic”) and producer Howard Koch (“Casablanca”, “The Best Years of Our Lives”, “The War Lover”). That turned out not to be the case, but there’s still some issues holding it back. If you’ve seen the documentary “The Celluloid Closet”, you know this early lesbian-themed film is not looked upon terribly fondly by the gay community for reaso…

Review: The Core

The world is going topsy-turvy. Birds seem to be having trouble staying in the air and all other manner of apocalyptic goings on. A space shuttle even gets forced into a crash-landing due to communication issues. Something is very, very wrong. The US government responds to all of these events by requesting the presence of geology/geophysics college professor Aaron Eckhart. He theorises that the Earth’s magnetic core has stopped spinning, and the prognosis is very dire in a not too long amount of time if something isn’t done to correct it. His idea is to travel to the Earth’s core to deliver and detonate a nuclear weapon to trigger the core into spinning once more. That sounds easy, doesn’t it? For this possibly impossible task, an eccentric genius designer and laser expert (played by Delroy Lindo) has designed a special craft to be piloted by veteran NASA commander Bruce Greenwood and the younger Hilary Swank. Eckhart will also be aboard the mission (as will Lindo), along with his Fre…

Review: Fear is the Key

A stranger (Barry Newman) turns up in Hicksville, USA and demands a gas station/store owner sell him a bottle of bourbon on a no-alcohol Sunday. Police turn up and the stranger violently resists arrest, landing him in jail and subsequently court. From there he manages to get a gun, shoots a cop and takes an innocent attendee of the court (Suzy Kendall) as hostage on his way out. They drive off in his sweet-arse red ’72 Gran Torino and go on a long chase. From there, all I will say is that we learn that Kendall is an important heiress, the stranger is an underwater salvage expert whose services are requested by a rich businessman (Ray McAnally) and his sinister associate (John Vernon), and that nothing at the beginning of the film is what it seems. Dolph Sweet plays a bounty hunter who figures into the plot, while a young-ish Ben Kingsley (in his debut film role) plays a jerk henchman/assassin.

Completely shoddy 1972 adaptation of the Alistair MacLean (whose novels have been turned int…

Review: Welcome to the Jungle (2014)

The head (Dennis Haysbert) of an advertising firm hires a motivational speaker and all-round badass of mysterious origin and qualifications named Storm Rothschild (Jean-Claude Van Damme!) to help motivate his employees. This somehow involves taking them to a remote jungle location for some man vs. nature-style team bonding that totally won’t go wrong and lead to a “Lord of the Flies”-style regression of their more humane qualities back to baser, animalistic instincts. Their pilot dies, Storm goes MIA (and possibly dead) after an attack from a tiger, and now they’re pretty much stranded and fucked. Before long, resident arsehole Rob Huebel somehow (read: drug-related bribes) becomes a deity as everyone starts to lose their minds, have orgies, and pretty much kill/eat each other. Adam Brody plays a somewhat spineless but well-meaning guy who along with the office ice-queen-who-is-actually-quite-nice (Megan Boone) and wimpy Kristen Schaal, tries to get everyone else to stop the madness a…

Review: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

The title metal-heads and the only members of terrible garage band Wyld Stallyns face expulsion from school if they don’t pass a big history assignment. Ted (Keanu Reeves) also faces the prospect of being sent by his dad to military school in Alaska! Worse, they actually need an A+ on this report, or they’ll be flunked and kicked out. And that’s when Rufus (George Carlin) turns up in a phone booth seemingly emerging from the sky. He’s from the future (2688, to be exact), a future where Bill (played by Alex Winter) and Ted actually have god-like status in society. He’s about to help them ace their assignment by giving them access to the phone booth, which is actually a time machine. With it, they are able to go back in history to visit all manner of historical figures, whom they will gather together to help pass the assignment. These figures are the very insecure Napoleon (Terry Camilleri), befuddled Socrates (Tony Steadman), trigger-happy Billy the Kid (Dan Shor), Sigmund Freud (Rod L…

Review: Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God

Paedophilia in the Catholic Church from the POV of several grown men who as children at a religious school for the deaf, suffered unspeakable acts of abuse in the 1950s by Father Lawrence Murphy, one of the religious teachers at the school. Unable to communicate with non-signing parents, Fr. Murphy (whose own son knew how to sign) preyed upon the defenceless boys knowing he could get away with it. After getting one good-intentioned priest to listen to their stories and do something about it, that priest is never heard from by the boys ever again. Was he ‘gotten to’ by those wishing to cover things up? Eventually they decide to print up fliers in the form of ‘Wanted’ posters with Fr. Murphy’s face on them. The Church didn’t want to hear about it, lawsuits went nowhere. Former Pope Benedict, then Cardinal Ratzinger was the man in charge of looking into cases of accused molestation by Catholic priests, and is painted as a man with great knowledge and little if any action on the issue as …