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Showing posts from September 18, 2016

Review: Hard Luck

Ne’er do well former drug dealer Wesley Snipes is trying to go straight, despite falling on hard times, but when he accompanies a buddy to a back room exchange of criminal goods, the deal goes screwy, and Snipes flees with two suitcases full of money, kidnapping stripper Jackie Quinones (nice arse, but a completely shrill performance) for good measure. Meanwhile, two loony lovebird killers (Cybill Shepherd and James Hiroyuki Liao) are doing all kinds of bizarro things to helpless victims, in a seemingly unrelated story. Luis Guzman plays a flamboyantly gay pornographer associate of Snipes, who also has mob connections. Mario Van Peebles plays a cop on Snipes’ tail, and character actor Bill Cobbs plays Snipes’ mentor of-sorts, at the beginning. Look out for a cameo by Melvin Van Peebles, too.

Truly bizarre mess from 2006 directed by Mario Van Peebles (the fine biopic on his father Melvin, “Baadasssss!”), who must’ve been smokin’ a helluva lot of dope when agreeing to not only direct, b…

Review: Golden Swallow

The title female warrior (Pei-pei Cheng) is being called out by an old acquaintance named Silver Roc (Jimmy Wang Yu), a seemingly invincible swordsman with a bad ‘tude, who is murdering (bad) people left and right in a twisted kind of message to his former flame (dude, why not just ‘poke’ her on Facebook, like everyone else?). Most of the time, though, Silver Roc seems to just mope about in brothels, the girls there, sweet as they are, cannot compare to Golden Swallow. Swallow, meanwhile, is none too pleased at her former flame’s antics (leaving ‘Swallow’ darts at the scene, which only implicate Golden Swallow in the killings), as many a swordsman comes her way, looking for revenge. And yet...Silver Roc’s ploy seems to work, as Golden Swallow comes after him. Lo Lieh (cast as a good guy, for a change) plays her faithful, chivalrous knight Golden Whip, who is disdainful of Silver Roc’s cavalier blood-spilling, and the hold he still seems to have over the woman whom he himself loves. Ne…

Review: Vacation (2015)

Grown-up Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms), now a budget airline pilot with a wife (Christina Applegate) and kids (Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins) of his own, wants to recreate his childhood family vacation to Walley World. Along the way there will be stop-offs to see sister Audrey (Leslie Mann) and her macho right-wing himbo (Chris Hemsworth), as well as parents Clark and Ellen (Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo). There will also be a lot of calamity, chaos, frustration, and puke. Yes, puke. Charlie Day plays a white-water rafting guide going through a rough patch emotionally, Ron Livingston plays an a-hole rival pilot, and Norman Reedus turns up as a surly trucker.

The original “Vacation” is, at least in my opinion, one of the greatest comedies ever made, so this 2015 remake (ish) from the dual writer-director team of Jonathan M. Goldstein & John Francis Daley (co-writers of the funny “Horrible Bosses” making their directorial debut) had its work cut out for it. The results are a lot…

Review: 100 Women

2003 semi-sequel to “100 Girls” from the same-writer director Michael Davis, with somewhat lesser, if tolerable results. Chad Donella stars as an artist/cartoonist who meets the amazingly nice and beautiful Erinn Bartlett who manages to make him smile on the worst day of his life, and hey, even gives him her number. Unfortunately it’s raining at the time, the number gets smudged, and Donella has to get a job as a delivery boy just to find out where she lives and see her again. But by then, something has happened to make Bartlett sad, and he spends the majority of the film trying to find out why. Jennifer Morrison (who looks remarkably like Larisa Oleynik from “100 Girls”, and has a similar role) plays the adorable Annie, whom Donella runs into (and bursts her ‘aqua bra’, a really cute moment, actually), and it turns out, also knows Bartlett. The two strike up a friendship, and perhaps even more. Steve Monroe (as Donella’s porn-obsessed pal) essentially takes over the scummy best-frien…

Review: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Brian (Paul Walker) gets involved with illegal street racers, falling in with tough guy Dominic (Vin Diesel) and falling for his sister Mia (Jordana Brewster). The thing is, Brian’s actually an undercover cop investigating truck hijackings believed to be the work of those involved in the illegal street racing scene. Brian suspects Dominic’s arsehole rival (Rick Yune), but his superiors (Ted Levine and Thom Barry) suspect that Brian’s goo-goo eyes for Mia are making him not see the forest for the trees, and think Dom and his crew are involved. Michelle Rodrigues plays Dom’s tough girl racer squeeze Letty, Matt Schulze is an a-hole member of Dom’s crew who is suspicious of Brian, and Ja Rule…is here too.

I’m not remotely a fan of this franchise (“Fast & Furious 7” was the first one I even liked!), but looking back on this 2001 Rob Cohen (the decent “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story” and “Daylight”, the enjoyable “Dragonheart”) flick having seen what the series has gradually become, you c…

Review: Over the Hedge

When angry grizzly bear Vincent (Nick Nolte) finds his stash of junk food raided by sneaky RJ the Racoon (Bruce Willis), he gives him one week to replace the food. So the enterprising Racoon makes friends with some woodland creatures to help find him some food, fast. However, their leader Verne the Turtle (the late Garry Shandling) rightly distrusts this new comrade, but finds himself ostracised from the group, who welcome RJ with open arms. Amongst the other creatures are the hyperactive squirrel Hammy (Steve Carell), who needs to stay the hell away from caffeinated beverages, porcupines Lou and Penny (Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy) who have adorable accents somewhat similar to the inhabitants of “Fargo” (but much less annoying, you betcha!), Ozzie and Heather (William Shatner and Avril Lavigne), an over-the-top possum and his ‘like totally annoying’ daughter, and Stella the stereotypical sassy ‘Oh, no you di’int!’ Skunk (Wanda Sykes, usually somewhat amusing, especially in small …

Review: American Ultra

Jesse Eisenberg is Mike, a barely functioning, super-anxious stoner who somehow has managed to get himself a faithful girlfriend in Phoebe (Kristen Stewart). However, an encounter with CIA agent Victoria (Connie Britton) has Mike coming to the realisation that he’s a long dormant sleeper operative from a project that the CIA now want to close down, putting guys like Mike out to pasture. That’s why Victoria has come to see him, she has a concscience and wants to protect Mike, who she was basically in charge of in the first place. Now Mike and Phoebe are on the run from Victoria’s arsehole CIA colleague and a giggling assassin (played by Walton Goggins). Bill Pullman turns up late as another spook.

I can see why this 2015 hipster/stone spy movie from director Nima Nourizadeh and screenwriter Max Landis (who previously scripted the above-average “Chronicle”) didn’t go over all that well with critics. To be honest, it’s a little too weird to the point that it’s slightly off-putting at fir…

Review: Nekromantik

Robert (Daktari Lorenz) is a guy paid to remove dead bodies and remains from the site of accidents. He secretly steals body parts and has recently graduated to stealing an entire decaying corpse for him and his equally depraved girlfriend Betty (Beatrice M.) to engage in acts of necrophilia. Do I really have to go on? Well, I’m not going to. On to the review portion…

Banned in Australia for many years, I recently managed to catch up with this notorious 1987 German flick from director/co-writer Jorg Buttgereit on Aussie cable TV, funnily enough. I’m sure some of you out there will like it enough for it to be considered a cult item, but boy am I not among you. It’s not for the reason you might think, though. Is it a disgusting, deplorable, and perhaps even evil subject for a film? Sure, but I wasn’t offended or disgusted by it personally. That’s because a) It’s not real, doesn’t look real, and I think it’s all kind of bullshit, and b) When an eyeball comes loose while actress Beatrice M …