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Showing posts from March 19, 2017

Review: Cut Snake

Set in the 70s, Alex Russell plays Sparra, engaged to Paula (Jessica de Gouw), who is unaware of Sparra’s previous criminal past that he has been trying his best to put behind him anyway. Unfortunately, the recently released from prison Pommie (Sullivan Stapleton) comes to visit his ‘ol mate Sparra, and although able to turn on the charm for Paula, he is ultimately very keen to remind Sparra of their past connection. Pommie is also a violent thug who is not really looking to stick to the straight and narrow.Just what kind of hold does Pommie have over the comparatively meek Sparra?

A surprisingly good performance by Sullivan Stapleton and a twist about 30 minutes in that I certainly didn’t expect, aren’t quite enough to get this 2015 Aussie crime flick from director Tony Ayres (mostly a short film writer/director and producer of a lot of TV shows) over the line. The finale is right out of a frigging Jimmy Cagney movie, and a couple of cornball coppers seem similarly inspired by 40s/50…

Review: Halloween II

Set two years after the first film, Laurie Strode (Scout Taylor-Compton) is still troubled and tormented, and now living with Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif) and his daughter Annie (franchise veteran Danielle Harris). She’s also now in therapy with Margot Kidder, of all people as her therapist (Good luck, there!). Meanwhile, glory-seeking shrink Dr. Loomis (Malcolm McDowell) is on a publicity tour for his new Michael Myers book which reveals an interesting link between Michael and Laurie, which just further upsets Laurie. As Halloween approaches, the presumed-dead Michael is indeed still alive and ready to pick up where he lift off. Case Vanek plays the younger Michael Myers, while Sheri Moon Zombie is his mum.

The 2007 remake of “Halloween” surprised me. It was the best film to date from writer-director-rocker Rob Zombie (“House of 1,000 Corpses”, “The Devil’s Rejects”), and its first half was an interesting back-story on the genesis of Michael Myers, before inevitably turning into mo…

Review: The Cable Guy

Matthew Broderick is currently separated from his girlfriend (Leslie Mann) and has moved into a new apartment, though he hopes the situation is only temporary. He gets a new cable TV installation and somehow winds up becoming friends with cable installer Chip (Jim Carrey). It just…sorta happens. Chip’s seemingly a nice enough guy, but overly attached, inserting himself into Broderick’s life without really asking. Since Broderick is a wimp, he doesn’t really put up much of a protest, though best friend Jack Black is suspicious of Chip right away. Eventually, Chip starts to become too much of a nuisance, so Broderick tries to put an end to their friendship. Bad move. Really, really bad move. Ben Stiller turns up on TV footage as twin brothers, one on trial for the murder of the other. That’s Paul Greco of “The Warriors” as one of Chip’s supposed ‘friends’, with Charles Napier and Aki Aleong as two others, the former a cop.

Although its status as a flop is a bit of a misnomer, I’ve alway…

Review: Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse

Tye Sheridan and Logan Miller play boy scouts Ben and Carter who are starting to have a waning interest for it as they get older. In fact, they plan to blow off their overnight scout camping trip to go to a party instead. They haven’t told their more eager scout buddy Augie (Joey Morgan) about any of this yet, though. Meanwhile, the townsfolk are quickly being turned into zombies, and our protagonists are heading right for danger. Sarah Dumont plays a local stripper the boys come across, Halston Sage plays the hot girl (and Carter’s sister) who Ben pines for, David Koechner plays the Dolly Parton-obsessed Scout Master, Patrick Schwarzenegger (!) turns up as Sage’s jerk boyfriend, and Cloris Leachman plays the resident cat lady.

They just won’t stop making these zombie comedies will they? This 2015 flick from director Christopher Landon (screenwriter of “Disturbia”, writer/director of several “Paranormal Activity” sequels/prequels) is neither the best nor the worst of the lot, it’s fra…

Review: Victor Frankenstein

Set in Victorian Era London, where Dr. Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) happens upon a circus hunchback who shows a keen study of human anatomy when assisting Dr. Frankenstein in aiding a fallen trapeze artist (Jessica Brown Findlay) whom the hunchback (played by Daniel Radcliffe) adores, as they reset her broken arm. He decides to break the hunchback out of the circus, invites him to live with him and work as his lab assistant. He also finally gives him a name, Igor Straussman (after his often absent roommate), and he even helps straighten his back with a brace. However, in the middle of the circus breakout, someone got killed and that murder alerts the attention of Catholic Scotland Yard Inspector Turpin (Andrew Scott). He’s doggedly attempting to track down the culprit, and quickly decides he doesn’t very much like the cut of Dr. Frankenstein’s jib. Frankenstein, meanwhile, is working on an experiment to bring dead tissue to life through electrical means. Freddie Fox plays a snoo…

Review: Rain Man

Tom Cruise plays hotshot car salesman Charlie Babbitt, who has found out some terrible news. His father has died. The terrible news is that his dad left $3 million in a trust fund to his son Raymond (Dustin Hoffman), a brother that Charlie never knew existed until now. Charlie gets his father’s prize rose bushes and the 1949 Buick that was the source of their estrangement many years ago. Incensed and frankly confused, Charlie (who needs cash to keep his seriously struggling business afloat) travels to meet the trustee of the estate, Dr. Bruner (producer Gerry R. Molen) who explains that his older brother Raymond was institutionalised (voluntarily) many years ago for being an autistic savant, that is he’s highly functioning and intelligent but dependent upon strict routine and emotionally unreachable. Affectionate touching for instance, causes great agitation. He also is extremely reluctant to fly and makes a public spectacle of himself, to the annoyance and embarrassment of the rather…

Review: Donnie Darko

OK, I’ll do my best...Set in 1988, teenager Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) goes sleepwalking one night and is visited by a giant rabbit named Frank who tells Donnie (who is on some kind of medication…apparently) that the end of the world is soon coming. While he’s out, an aeroplane has crashed into Donnie’s bedroom. Thankfully, his loving and sensible but ultimately clueless parents (Mary McDonnell and Holmes Osborne), younger sister (Daveigh Chase), and snarky older sister (Maggie Gyllenhaal) are all unharmed. Meanwhile, Donnie becomes obsessed with time-travel and wormholes. Other events occurring at this time include the arrival of a nice new girl named Gretchen (Jena Malone), and a liberal literature teacher (Drew Barrymore) earns the ire of the repressed and conservative gym teacher/parent Kitty Farmer (Beth Grant). Miss Farmer, a religious yet new-agey zealot also brings to school a hippy-dippy motivational speaker named Jim Cunningham (Patrick Swayze), whom the snarky Donnie se…

Review: One-Way

Til Schweiger is a well-meaning, but womanising hotshot ad man about to marry the boss’ (Art Hindle- one of many indicators of a Canadian shoot) daughter Stefanie von Pfetten. In order to preserve his impending marriage (and therefore, his promising career) the selfish Schweiger falsifies evidence to get sleazy blackmailing rapist co-worker(and soon-to-be brother-in-law Sebastien Roberts off of rape charge against Schweiger’s assistant Lauren Lee Smith (a genuinely sweet, but somewhat unstable girl whom Schweiger also used to date- still with me? The parentheses aren’t without necessity here). Throw in a nun willing to lie (Can you say ‘unrealistic plot device’?), a slumming Eric Roberts as Schweiger’s lawyer, a big African-American General (Michael Clarke Duncan), and a late venture into rape revenge-thriller territory, and you’ve got one seriously messed up film.

2006 film from writer-director Reto Salimbeni gives talented and handsome German Schweiger his first English-language lea…

Review: The Man Upstairs

Something has caused scientist Sir Richard Attenborough to become manic and extremely agitated. Holed up in a boarding house, he gets all in a tizzy one night and wakes up the other tenants. One of those tenants, busy-body Mr. Pollen (a delightfully prissy Kenneth Griffith) makes the unfortunate mistake of telling him off and is accosted for his troubles. He just wants to be left alone. Mr. Pollen then decides to call the police, and after Attenborough attacks the two bobbies as well, that’s when the real cops turn up, led by a hardened Inspector (Bernard Lee). Also on hand is health care officer Sanderson (Donald Houston), who tries his best to make sure no one else gets hurt. Meanwhile, the other tenants all convene in one room, gossiping amongst themselves. Laurence Harvey-lookalike Charles Houston plays an aloof artist, Patricia Jessel (who looks a bit like Dame Judith Anderson) plays the cynical landlady, Virginia Maskell (who tragically committed suicide at age 31) plays Attenbo…