Posts

Showing posts from October 2, 2016

Review: The Bodyguard

Former Secret Service agent Frank Farmer (Kevin Costner) is hired by music manager Bill Devaney (Bill Cobbs) to help protect R&B-pop diva (and occasional actress) Rachel Marron (played by R&B-pop diva and occasional actress Whitney Houston), who appears to have a threatening stalker freaking her out. Rachel’s stubborn, reckless diva-like behaviour initially puts Frank off, but seeing just how much danger she’s in, he reluctantly agrees. Eventually things get personal, against Frank’s better judgement. Michele Lamar Richards plays Rachel’s sister, whose musical career never saw the same heights as her sister’s. Gary Kemp plays Rachel’s jerk publicist, Mike Starr plays her dumb but well-meaning and loyal muscle, Tomas Arana plays a colleague of Frank’s, Ralph Waite is Frank’s dad, and Robert Wuhl essentially (and amusingly) plays himself as an Oscars host.

Boasting one of the undeniably best pop soundtracks of all-time and a clever high-concept idea, this 1992 star vehicle direc…

Review: The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter

Bastian (Jonathan Brandis) has a fear of jumping from the high board, which sends him running from the pool to the bookstore of Mr. Koreandor (Thomas Hill). There he once again sets his eyes on “The NeverEnding Story”, and (once again) despite the warnings of Mr. Koreander, he picks the book up yet again. Things are different from the last time he read it, however. The words are all over the place and seemingly disappearing. The Childlike Empress beckons Bastian to come back, as she and Fantasia itself urgently needs his help. Bastian indeed ends up transported to Fantasia, actively taking part for the bulk of the story this time as he joins boy warrior Atreyu (Kenny Morrison) on a new mission to stop The Emptiness, a force which has imprisoned The Childlike Empress and drained Fantasia of its very essence. They are met by bird-like creature Nimbly (Martin Umbach) and his mistress Xayide (Clarissa Burt), who attempt to befriend Bastian. However, Xayide is really the one behind The Emp…

Review: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and the crew of the Starship Enterprise are faced with an old enemy: Khan Noonian Singh (Ricardo Montalban) who plans on stealing the Genesis Device, a bomb with the capability for great good…or evil, depending on how it is used. Khan blames Kirk for long ago abandoning him to the somewhat inhabitable desert, and is looking for his revenge. Kirstie Alley plays Half-Vulcan crew member Saavik serving under current Enterprise Captain Spock (Leonard Nimoy), while Paul Winfield is Capt. Terrell, who along with Mr. Chekov (Walter Koenig) has his ship stolen by Khan. Bibi Besch and Merritt Butrick play Dr. Carol Marcus and David Marcus, respectively, the creators of the Genesis Device.

I’m with Cosmo Kramer, “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” is the best in the series, and also believe “Star Trek: First Contact” is not all that far behind. For me, that leaves this extremely popular 1982 Nicholas Meyer (who also made the respectable “Star Trek VI: Th…

Review: The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift

Revhead and serial screw-up Sean (Lucas Black) gets into one scrape too many with the law with his illegal racing. Instead of being thrown in the slammer, his mother organises to have him shipped off to live with his estranged dad (Brian Goodman) in Japan. Where he ends up getting into trouble with the local ‘drift’ racers there, of course. Nathalie Kelley plays the non-Japanese main squeeze of chief antagonist ‘D.K.’ (Brian Tee). D.K. is the upstart nephew of a mobster (played by the one and only Sonny Chiba). Bow Wow plays a displaced American, who will become Sean’s token African-American best friend. Sung Kang plays Han, Sean’s mentor in the phenomenon of ‘drift’ racing. Zachery Ty Bryan appears early as the dipshit Sean races against in the opening scene.

I never got around to seeing this 2006 film from director Justin Lin (“Annapolis”, “Fast & Furious” entries 5, 6, and 7) and screenwriter Chris Morgan (“Fast & Furious” entries 5, 6, and 7), when it came out because I di…

Review: 6 Bullets

Shot in Romania but set in Moldova, Yank MMA fighter and loving father Andrew Fayden (Joe Flanigan) has just flown in with his wife (Kiwi actress Anna-Louise Plowman) and adorable teen daughter (Charlotte Beaumont) for his upcoming fight. However, before that, someone nicks off with the daughter, and when the local authorities don’t seem to be moving quick enough, Fayden is advised by embassy worker Selwyn (Kristopher Van Varenberg) to seeking out former mercenary Samson Gaul (Jean-Claude Van Damme). Gaul, who happens to be Selwyn’s dad, has a history of rescuing kids from human trafficking, but was forced by cop Kvitko (Steve Nicolson, a Brit credibly putting on an accent) to retire after a rescue job went horribly, messily wrong. Now Gaul is a humble butcher with seemingly suicidal thoughts and ghostly visions of the innocent lives his gung-ho rescue tactics took away. He declines to track the girl down. Because it’s a movie, he naturally (and quickly) has a change of heart. Bianca …

Review: The Grapes of Wrath

The story of the Joads, a family of poor farmers forced off their land by bankers during the Great Depression. Henry Fonda is Tom Joad, recently paroled from prison after a stint for killing a man. He soon catches up with his family after they’ve been evicted from their long-time family home and are heading west on the promise of supposed jobs out that way. They are set for an awful lot of disappointment, as it’s called the Great Depression for a reason. Jane Darwell plays family matriarch Ma Joad, Charley Grapewin is the senile grandpa Joad, and John Carradine plays an ex-preacher looking for his next calling in life.

Classic, still-powerful 1940 adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel, this John Ford (“The Searchers”, “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”) film is really sad, harrowing stuff. Sure, today you could play up the hunger/starvation and illness, and that’s fine. You simply couldn’t go that far in 1940, for the era this must’ve been pretty uncomfortable stuff. It’s also, in it…

Review: District 9

Millions of crustacean-like aliens land in South Africa over twenty years ago, and are kept to a closed-off part of Johannesburg as refugees. Now the government wants to move these ‘prawns’ (as they are disparagingly called for rather obvious reasons) from their slum-like area of District 9 to a remote new area, in order to make the local humans happy (Besides, it’s crowded enough already, right?). This new area is to be imaginatively called District 10, and seems like it will operate as a sort of concentration camp. In charge of this relocation is the Multi-National United Corporation, with nerdy bureaucrat Wikus (Sharlto Copley) as their main field operative. Needless to say, the aliens aren’t happy with Wikus knocking at their doors, and as a scuffle ensues, Wikus comes into contact with a mysterious black liquid that begins changes in him that see him going on the run from the very people who employ him, and having to rely on his supposed enemy for assistance. The latter comes in …

Review: American Pie: Band Camp

After trashing the high school graduation ceremony, Matt Stifler (Tad Hilgenbrink) is sent to guidance counsellor Chuck ‘Sherminator’ Sherman (Chris Owen). The Sherminator sentences him to band camp for the summer. Forever living in his uber-prankster brother’s shadow, Matt doesn’t take the punishment very seriously and instead plans on investigating the rumours of band geek raunchiness (remember Jim’s wife Michelle? Well, forget her, she’s barely mentioned here), hoping to tape lascivious behaviour for a ‘Band Geeks Gone Wild’ video. Arielle Kebbel (who just makes you want to hug her) is the pretty band leader who has endured Matt’s immature taunting since Grade School and won’t allow him to ruin the school’s chances of winning the band camp competition (allowing her to get a music scholarship). Jason Earles is Stifler Jr.’s geeky robot-obsessed (umm, what decade are we in?) roommate, who has the hots for a tattooed tuba player (The porno-named Crystle Lightning, who looks about five…