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Showing posts from January 15, 2017

Review: Gabriel

In a fight to control the inhabitants of Purgatory, archangel Gabriel (the late Andy Whitfield) is sent to bring the balance back to the Light, and rescue lost souls, a tough task given several previous archangels have fallen prey to evil Sammael (Dwaine Stevenson). Noble plays a fallen archangel Gabriel tries to bring back to the Light from her current heroin-addicted existence as a hooker.

I’ve long held the belief that Australia needs to make more genre films, but this badly made 2007 Shane Abbess film didn’t exactly help the cause. Badly acted (Lead actor Whitfield had his fans, but here he’s a black-hole of charisma), campy yet humourless (post-production voice tampering just sounds stupid), it’s like a shithouse Aussie blend of “The Matrix” and “Blade”. Outside of its impressive visual design (It looks more expensive than it likely was), there’s really nothing much of worth here. Of the actors, villain Stevenson comes off best, but that’s because he’s one-note instead of zero in…

Review: The Train Robbers

Train robber’s widow Ann-Margret hires tough guy John Wayne to uncover $500,000 in buried gold her husband buried in the desert, with a $50,000 reward. The rest of the loot will be returned to the bank to get everyone off her back and restore the family name somewhat. The snag is that others involved in the robbery will be looking to retrieve it, too. Wayne is accompanied by a small posse that includes right-hand man Ben Johnson, long-time buddy Rod Taylor, and Taylor’s young-ish hired helpers Christopher George and Bobby Vinton. Ricardo Montalban turns up briefly from time to time in a role that isn’t fully explained until the very end.

A good cast goes somewhat to waste in this 1973 latter-day John Wayne vehicle from writer-director Burt Kennedy (“Welcome to Hard Times”, “The War Wagon”, “Support Your Local Sheriff!”) . It’s good-looking, has some particularly good moments of action, but otherwise interest comes and goes just a little too often. Duke looks to be ailing, Charismatic …

Review: SPECTRE

C (Andrew Scott), a representative of a new branch of British intelligence is moving towards shutting down MI6’s 00 program, and the latest exploits of 007 James Bond (Daniel Craig) in Mexico, give M (Ralph Fiennes) a particular headache. Taking leave, 007 goes on a rogue globe-trotting mission to locate a shadowy criminal organisation known as SPECTRE (Semi-relevant aside: Looks like the long-time dispute over the organisation and the story for “Thunderball” is over. Consult Google/Wikipedia for details on that little piece of history. It’s beyond ridiculous). He is aided in his search by the psychologist daughter of old enemy Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), Dr. Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux). The trail leads all the way to master criminal Franz Oberhauser (Christoph Waltz), who also goes by a more infamous name and has a personal history with 007 that even he’s unaware of. Ben Whishaw and Naomie Harris once again play Q and Miss Moneypenny, whilst Dave Bautista (AKA Batista) turns up…

Review: Daughter of God

New York police detective Keanu Reeves isn’t having a good time of it. His partner has been murdered, his wife has died, and he doesn’t see his kid much. His boss (Christopher McDonald) doesn’t seem pleased with Reeves digging into the case, but he is nonetheless undeterred. He starts to suspect that devoutly religious Ana de Armas is a key to solving the mystery. Meanwhile, we follow de Armas (who witnessed the crime). She’s a sweet school teacher with a Dominican family, and a fiancĂ© who gets killed fighting in Iraq. She believes angels visit her, and when she becomes pregnant, she believes it to be a miracle, something her family strenuously disagree with. Mira Sorvino plays the dead officer’s widow, and Big Daddy Kane (not bad) plays a crim named Black.

The story goes that this 2016 film was changed during the editing process from what writer/director Gee Malik Linton (his first and so far only feature film project) had originally envisioned, causing the filmmaker to remove his na…

Review: 2 Lava 2 Lantula

Steve Guttenberg is back as Colton West, currently filming a buddy cop movie with his buddy Marty (Michael Winslow) when he receives word from his party girl stepdaughter Raya (Michele Weaver) that the fit has hit the shan in Florida. Being an action hero…ish, Colton and Marty immediately interrupt filming to go save the world, or at least Colton’s stepdaughter. Martin Kove plays a hawkish military man, Marion Ramsey plays film crew member Teddy, Danny Woodburn (Mickey from “Seinfeld”) is Colton’s agent, and Lauren York plays Raya’s best friend.

I didn’t see the original “Lavalantula”, but how could I pass this 2015 sequel up? It has a title parodying the worst “Fast and the Furious” entry in a way that doesn’t make any grammatical sense. It also features a cast containing three “Police Academy” members, the bad sensei from “Karate Kid”, Kramer’s friend Mickey from “Seinfeld”, and cameos by a couple of Guttenberg’s “Cocoon” colleagues. I mean, if that’s not a valid reason to watch som…

Review: Melinda

Black DJ Calvin Lockhart meets and romances the title foxy mama (Vonetta McGee) before she is tragically murdered. He spends the rest of the film hell-bent on getting revenge, with the help of a somewhat bitter old flame (Rosalind Cash) and an ambitious businessman/karate instructor (Jim Kelly). Paul Stevens plays the slimy white mobster villain.

Surprisingly well-intentioned Hugh A. Robertson blaxploitation flick from 1972 features a solid performances by Lockhart. He is perhaps a little mincey and flamboyant to be playing an enthusiastically heterosexual playboy DJ, but he’s pretty good, and like Richard Roundtree and Pam Grier, he certainly has a lot more acting range than most blaxploitation actors). Also fine is McGee (doing wonders in short time), whilst there are lesser turns by Cash (whom I’ve never much liked as an actress) and cameo player Kelly (I believe it was his big break into films, but even in his best film “Black Belt Jones”, he was no actor).

The screenplay is by Lon…

Review: Roadkill/Joy Ride

Paul Walker has the hots for long-time bestie Leelee Sobieski, who has just split up with her boyfriend. Being a desperado, Walker buys himself a shitbox (from a car dealer played by a wasted Basil Wallace), and plans on driving from California to Colorado where she’s at college…and then Walker gets a call that his ne’er do well brother (Steve Zahn) got himself thrown in jail. His plans to meet up with the object of his affections temporarily halted, Walker goes to bail the drunken idiot out. Stopping at a gas station, idiot Zahn manages to buy a cheap CB radio for god knows what reason, and before long they’re messing around with burly truckers like ‘Rusty Nail’. They play with the trucker by pretending to be a woman and arrange a hotel rendezvous with promises of pink champagne a few rooms down from their own temporary sleeping accommodations, hoping to get a good laugh later on that night. The next morning, however, the cops have turned up because the person who actually was stayin…

Review: A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

When his teenage psychiatric patients start getting bumped off one by one after complaining about nightmares that are scarily consistent from person-to-person, shrink Dr. Goldman (Craig Wasson) enlists the help of the institutions newest employee, Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp). Nancy, a psychiatrist herself finds the kids’ nightmare stories all too familiar and comes to realise that her dreamland tormentor Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) is back at it, killing the kids in their sleep. Alongside a new inmate named Kristen (Patricia Arquette) who appears to have special dream powers, they attempt to turn the tables on Freddy. The other patients are non-verbal Joey (Rodney Eastman), combative Kincaid (Ken Sagoes), TV-obsessed Jennifer (Penelope Sudrow), puppeteer Phillip (Bradley Gregg), wheelchair-bound “Dungeons & Dragons” geek Will (Ira Heiden), and tough ex-junkie Taryn (Jennifer Rubin). Priscilla Pointer plays Dr. Goldman’s stern colleague, Larry Fishburne is an orderly, a…