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Showing posts from June 18, 2017

Review: TNT Jackson

This Cirio H. Santiago (“Chained Heat 2: Stripped of Freedom”, “Vampire Hookers”) directed ultra-low-budgeter (from Roger Corman’s New World Pictures) stars former Playboy Playmate Jeanne Bell in the title role, a woman newly arrived in HK and looking through it’s rather seedy, crime-infested underbelly for her brother. She is offered a lift from a mysterious, blonde American woman (Pat Anderson). Despite some bitchy banter (that really doesn’t make any sense in context with the rest of the film), the blonde takes TNT to ‘Joe’s Haven’ to meet up with a local club owner called Joe (Chiquito), who was the last person to see her brother alive. Joe’s an amiable sort of fella and apparently a karate instructor, though TNT’s clearly schooled in that area already (actress Bell...not so much). The baddies are a big-time drug kingpin (Ken Metcalf, the film’s co-writer) and his henchmen, who may have been involved in TNT’s brother’s disappearance. Metcalf’s henchmen include an ugly-looking midd…

Review: Open Water

A young married couple on the rocks (Blanchard Ryan and Daniel Travis) venture to the Caribbean on a scuba-diving trip to help bring them back on track (They’re work-driven people by nature and in need of a break). When an oversight sees them left behind by their scuba-diving group, they find themselves stranded…in the middle of the ocean…with sharks…inhospitable ones…So what do they do? Play the Kevin Bacon game of course! Oh, OK, so they panic, bicker, cry, and try to stay afloat as well.

Dubbed “Jaws” meets “The Blair Witch Project” by many, this 2004 Chris Kentis low-budgeter (Costing US$130,000) based on a true story (not that it needed to be. It’s a pretty identifiable situation anyway) has a mostly realistic feel to it, with the mid-section being tremendously effective and unnerving stuff. When you realise that those sharks are actually real, it makes for an even more startling experience.

It’s not all gravy. Constant cutting back to dry land becomes aggravating (nothing of int…

Review: Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection

Chuck Norris returns as Delta Force Col. Scott McCoy, who this time out squares off against snaky, remorseless South American druglord Ramon Cota (Billy Drago) after a DEA op in Rio fails to nab him. Oh, and some DEA agents get Murder Death Killed in the process. John P. Ryan plays blustery American General Taylor, Richard Jaeckel (in his final film) is a DEA agent, Paul Perri is McCoy’s buddy whose lady friend is wiped out by Cota, and Mark Margolis turns up as Cota’s cohort General Olmedo.

Chuck Norris has never had terribly nice things to say about this 1990 action sequel from director/brother Aaron Norris (“Braddock: Missing in Action III”) and screenwriter Lee Reynolds (Cannon’s shit sequel “Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold”). I like to think that’s because of the real-life tragedy that befell five crew members in a chopper accident, because for me the film itself is really no better or worse than the original “Delta Force” or Norris’ “Missing in Action” and “Lone Wolf …

Review: Tex

Matt Dillon stars as the 15 year-old title character, who despite the name is actually from Oklahoma. He has an almost constantly absent rodeo riding father (Bill McKinney) and is therefore mostly looked after by his older brother Mason. Money is tight, whilst they wait for dad to turn up at some point (he often forgets to send money), with Mason hoping to play basketball in college sometime soon. However, unless their father can return and become a consistent part of their lives (their mother has passed), it looks like Mason will be stuck looking after his baby brother. Tex, meanwhile gets into shenanigans at school, as well as striking up a relationship with the sister (Meg Tilly) of his best friend (a very young-looking Emilio Estevez), despite the stern warnings and disapproval of her strict father (Ben Johnson). Frances Lee McCain and author S.E. Hinton turn up as the vice principal/guidance counsellor and a typing teacher, respectively.

As much as I love “The Outsiders”, the oth…

Review: Will Penny

Charlton Heston is an aging, solitary cowhand left for dead when beset upon by loony ‘preacher’ Quint (Donald Pleasence- having a high old-time as usual) and his equally sadistic sons (the well-cast Bruce Dern and character actor Matt Clark among the clan). He has accepted a job from taciturn Ben Johnson, throwing squatters off ranch property, and Joan Hackett is the gun-toting squatter (with a son, played by Jonathan Gries, son of the director) who takes him in, nurses him back to health, and teaches him a thing or two about life outside of being a cowboy. Anthony Zerbe and Lee Majors are Heston’s trail companions, the former playing a European-accented veteran, and the latter the more green cowhand. Clifton James plays an insensitive but well-meaning rancher who early on allows Heston to bring in a wounded comrade, whose forecast is cloudy.

It’s funny, I had already written a review of this 1968 Tom Gries (“100 Rifles”, “Breakout”, “The Greatest”) western, but although my overall ra…

Review: Sahara

1920s-set car race flick in which Brooke Shields plays Dale Gordon, a rich daddy’s girl who masquerades as a man to enter the ‘Trans-Saharan International’ race, across the Sahara Desert (!). Women are forbidden to enter, but Dale promises her dying daddy (Steve Forrest, playing a good guy for once, albeit briefly) she’ll fulfil his dream by donning a phony moustache and hiding her long hair. Never mind that this ‘guy’ sure has purdy eyes and porcelain skin! But things don’t go according to plan for poor Dale, as she’s kidnapped by warrior John Rhys-Davies, and a handsome, young Arab ruler named Jaffar (Lambert Wilson, a Frenchman trying to be Omar Sharif, it seems) plans to make Dale his own (by this time the disguise has been discarded, by the way. Ain’t no man-man love in the Middle East, just ask the current leader of Iran!). At first, she resists, but then she sees his waterfall! (A waterfall in the fucking Sahara Desert? Just go with me here, OK?). Respectable British actor Sir …

Review: Eye in the Sky

Dame Helen Mirren stars as a military intelligence Colonel under the command of Lt. General Alan Rickman. The film concerns Mirren remotely overseeing a drone operation in Kenya. A band of terrorists are gathered in one small house that has been surveilled, with plans to capture when the time is right. However, orders soon change to a ‘kill’ mission when a terrorist attack is believed to be imminent, despite the area being quite crowded with civilians. Now the American drone pilots (Aaron Paul and Phoebe Fox) under Mirren’s command are given the order to blow the house up. Baruch Abdi is a local operative in Kenya, Jeremy Northam plays the by-the-book British Defence Minister, Iain Glen is the British Foreign Secretary suffering a bout of the literal shits, and Michael O’Keefe turns up briefly as Glen’s American counterpart, who is seemingly more concerned with playing table tennis than anything else.

Critics seemed to rather like this 2016 Gavin Hood (“Rendition”, “Ender’s Game”) fli…