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Showing posts from August 21, 2016

Review: Out for Justice

Steven Seagal plays a streetwise cop named Gino Felino who gets all wrist snap-happy when the old Brooklyn neighbourhood goes to seed, and especially when his partner is gunned down. A maverick cop who doesn’t much care for rules (he cares about puppies, though!), he spends all of his time and energy on bringing down the short-fused Richie (William Forsythe), another kid from the neighbourhood grown up and gone bad. Like, ‘shoot a woman in broad daylight’ crack-smoking psycho. That kind of ‘gone bad’. Hell, even the Mafia think the guy’s too much. Jerry Orbach plays Gino’s superior officer, Gina Gershon is Richie’s club owner sister who is afraid of him.
Not one of Steven Seagal’s crowning achievements, but this 1991 John Flynn (“The Outfit”, “Rolling Thunder”, “Lock Up”) action flick plays better in hindsight. Seagal would go on to make much worse than this film (“On Deadly Ground”, “The Foreigner”, “Out For a Kill”), which at least has its moments. Scripted by David Lee Henry (“Road…

Review: Orca: the Killer Whale

Title character gets seriously PO’d when Irish fisherman Richard Harris kills its mate. Charlotte Rampling is a marine biologist, whilst Harris’ crew include Peter Hooten, Bo Derek, Keenan Wynn, and Robert Carradine. Will Sampson plays the same wise, stoic, big-arse Indian he always does.

Dreary, unexciting 1977 Michael Anderson (whose résumé includes “Around the World in 80 Days” and “The Quiller Memorandum”) killer whale film somewhat in the “Jaws” mould has somnambulant performances by stars Harris (playing an Irish Ahab) and Rampling (whose narration is as boring as it is unevenly used), and a wasted supporting cast. Just what the hell is Bo Derek doing here? Not that I’ve ever been a fan, but who was she again? It’s her first major motion picture role, for those who care.

It has a wonderfully weird (Spaghetti marine? Aqua spaghetti?) music score by the great Ennio Morricone (“The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly”, “The Untouchables”, “Once Upon a Time in the West”), but the gory death…

Review: Gator

State governor Mike Douglas gets New York federal agent Jack Weston to find the title moonshiner (Burt Reynolds) out on parole, and get him to track down and help bring down nasty Bama McCall (singer Jerry Reed, doing fine Charles Napier-like work and even crooning the cool title tune), Gator’s former buddy. Behemoth William Engesser and the ever-smiling Burton Gilliam (surprisingly menacing) are McCall’s henchmen Bones and Smiley.

One of Burt’s better (and more underrated) films, this 1976 swamp actioner, a sequel to “White Lightening”, also marked his directorial debut. The action is quite enjoyable, and hell even Burt lightens up for once (he’s not as misogynistic and thuggish here as in other films like “The Longest Yard”), but it’s the supporting cast that sell this one. Weston, Gilliam (one of his best-ever parts, you might remember him as one of the Flying Elvis’ in “Honeymoon in Vegas” or his side-splitting work as the Chain Gang boss in “Blazing Saddles”), Alice Ghostley, and…

Review: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Bridget (a surprisingly charmless Renee Zellweger, once again with an inappropriate upper-class accent) is back in the sequel no one really needed. She’s happily shagging the awfully nice but frightfully dour Colin Firth, but suspects he might be involved with gorgeous co-worker Jacinda Barrett. It gets worse, when likeable cad Hugh Grant turns up, now a TV travelogue presenter whom Bridget’s boss wants to pair her up with on-screen. Wussy fist-fights, excursions into Thai prisons, copious amounts of cigarette smoke, unfortunate skiing incidents, and a lesbian kiss (woo-hoo!) ensue.

Bloated, very ordinary sequel to a not very entertaining film, this 2004 Beeban Kidron film is a tired re-tread, and occasionally really desperate. Film’s nadir finds Bridget in a Thai prison teaching local prisoners the words to Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’. An utterly tasteless moment. Only the scene-stealing Grant (appearing in a film that his character isn’t even really meant to be in, but he’s having fun…

Review: Fair Game (2010)

Sean Penn stars as outspoken Democrat and former US ambassador Joseph Wilson, who was sent by the US Government to Niger to investigate whether they were selling nuclear material to Saddam Hussein (whom Wilson once famously confronted). He reported back that there was no such evidence, but the US Government ignored his findings and went to war anyway on the false claim. An incensed Wilson retaliated by publishing a NY Times article that outed him as a Government informant, but also the findings that he did not...erm...find. The Government’s response, mostly from VP chief-of-staff ‘Scooter’ Libby (David Andrews) and Karl Rove, was to employ dirty tactics by leaking to the press that Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame-Wilson was a CIA operative who was influential in getting Wilson the Niger gig in the first place as a kind of vacation. Thus, in order to save political face (or maybe just out of spite, really), a CIA operative, her family, her marriage, and the lives of her contacts in Abu Dha…

Review: Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

The title stoners (smart but irresponsible Kal Penn, bookish and buttoned-down John Cho) get the munchies and make a seemingly endless, increasingly surreal journey to the title hamburger joint (sadly one I’m not familiar with- it’s an American thing I guess). Eddie Kaye Thomas (AKA ‘Shitbrick’ himself) and David Krumholtz (the likeable geek from TV’s underrated “Numb3rs”) are a hoot as fellow stoners who decide not to join their pals because they wanna see Katie Holmes nude in “The Gift” (a moment that I, and probably many others ashamedly can relate to). Paula Garces is the sexy girl in shy Harold’s apartment building whom he dares not talk to. Ryan Reynolds plays a bizarro doctor, Anthony Anderson is pretty funny as a fast food worker who actually recommends the competition, Christopher Meloni gets away with murder as a grossly disfigured (and just plain gross) guy the boys hitch a ride with (wait till you see his wife!), and the indispensable Fred Willard is a med school Dean whom…