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Showing posts from June 25, 2017

Review: Enemies Closer

Jean-Claude Van Damme plays the psycho vegan (!) drug cartel head leading his men to a forest area on the US-Canadian border dressed as Mounties looking for a missing drug shipment. Tom Everett Scott plays the former frogman with a traumatic past who has escaped to a quieter existence as a park ranger on a remote island area (somewhat of a tourist attraction for people who are boring as fuck and don’t like electricity I guess) near where all of this is happing. Then Orlando Jones busts into his cabin one night, and it’s not for a friendly chit-chat. You see, Jones holds Scott personally responsible for a past tragedy that affected his family, and has come to kill him. Before Jones can exact his revenge/twisted justice, the two men soon realise that there are more pressing matters like the nasty drug-runners nearby who need experienced diver Scott’s retrieval skills to bring up the missing heroin and aren’t going to ask politely. They also likely don’t give a fuck about Jones and will …

Review: Young Frankenstein

Gene Wilder plays lecturer Dr. Frederick Frankstein (pronounced Frahn-ken-steen), who is embarrassed by his family name and legacy, trying his best to distance himself. However, after inheriting his grandfather’s castle in Transylvania, and coming across his grandfathers’ laboratory equipment and notes, Frederick becomes obsessed with bringing to life dead tissue. Enter dim hunchback assistant Igor (Marty Feldman), who along with Frederick steals a dead body. Igor is also tasked with finding a suitable brain, but when he accidentally breaks it, he’s forced to go with a brain marked ‘Abnormal’. And so it begins. Teri Garr plays Frederick’s other assistant, the beautiful Inga. Cloris Leachman is Frau Blucher, the suspicious-looking housekeeper. Peter Boyle plays the ultimate creation of Frederick’s, whilst Kenneth Mars plays an outrageously Teutonic, mechanically-armed police inspector, Madeline Kahn plays Frederick’s beloved, and Gene Hackman turns up as a lonely blind man craving comp…

Review: Superhero Movie

Drake Bell plays a high school geek bitten by genetically-altered dragonfly on a school field trip, which gives him superpowers. Now as the Dragonfly, he must do battle with the scientist-turned-bad Lou Landers, AKA the Hourglass. Sara Paxton is Bell’s would-be love interest Jill Johnson, Mario Ross and Leslie Nielsen are his devoted Aunt and Uncle, and in a “Batman Begins” parody, Robert Hays turns up as Bell’s father, in flashbacks. Craig Bierko gets to lampoon Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine character from the “X-Men” series.

2008 comedy spoof from writer-director Craig Mazin (co-writer of some of the “Scary Movie” sequels) is one of the better efforts in the spate of spoofs of the “Scary Movie”/“Date Movie”/“Epic Movie” variety. That’s faint praise, but praise nonetheless. This one actually has some genuine humour in it, if you can believe that, not to mention the funniest fart gag in ages, involving a certain cherished TV matriarch. The makers of “Meet the Spartans” and “Epic Movie”, ar…

Review: Missing in Action

Chuck Norris stars as Col. James Braddock a former POW during the Vietnam War, who eventually managed to escape though the war has never really left him, if you know what I mean. He’s still troubled, and when asked to take part in a congressional committee investigation as to whether POWs are still being held in Vietnam, he’s somewhat reluctant. Eventually he does agree, but when left incensed by a dog-and-pony show broadcast on TV he causes a big public stink that doesn’t earn him much love from slimy Vietnamese General Tran (James Hong). General Tran is clearly attempting to paint Braddock and America overall as war criminals and has pretty much coerced people into becoming ‘witnesses’ to Gen. Braddock’s ‘war crimes’. So what’s a pissed off, mentally scarred former POW and all-round American bad arse to do? Why sneak out of the hotel at night, threaten General Tran at knifepoint to confess as to the whereabouts of the remaining POWs and mount a rescue plan. Lenore Kasdorf plays a re…

Review: The Frighteners

Likeable but opportunistic Frank Bannister (Michael J. Fox) runs a con-game where he, as a paranormal exterminator will alleviate an abode of troublesome paranormal spirits…whom Bannister has already arranged to haunt people’s places. So while he really can see ghosts, he’s using his ability purely to make a quick buck in an underhanded manner. Business is good until there appears to be widespread murder and spooky goings on seemingly attributed to the Grim Reaper, but the truth is actually connected to an executed serial killer (Jake Busey) from the 1950s. The only person who can see and put a stop to the menace is Frank, having to do some real work for a change. Question is, will he be up to the task? Trini Alvarado plays a local shrink whose douchebag husband (Peter Dobson) falls victim to the killer. Chi McBride and Jim Fyfe are Bannister’s most trusted ghostly partners, with John Astin playing a spectral Judge. Dee Wallace plays a local crazy old woman, Troy Evans a local lawman,…

Review: Goldstone

Aaron Pedersen stars as indigenous detective Swan, who comes to the isolated outback mining town of Goldstone on a missing person’s case. He immediately rubs local copper Josh (Alex Russell) the wrong way by driving while intoxicated. Josh, for his part is being lured to the dark side by powerful people, but hasn’t quite been lost in the muck yet. Eventually these two very different lawmen come to realise that the seemingly simple case of a missing Asian girl is a much larger case of crime and corruption. Jacki Weaver plays the local mayor and proud baker, David Wenham is the manager of the mining company, Tom E. Lewis and David Gulpilil play a couple of local indigenous characters (the former corrupt), and Cheng Pei-Pei plays a local madam.

I haven’t seen the previous “Mystery Road” but had I done so, I’d probably be even more disappointed with this 2016 sequel (of sorts) from writer-director Ivan Sen. Aaron Pedersen is ideally cast, but this is plodding, clich├ęd and pretty unconvinc…

Review: The Beatles: Eight Days a Week

I’m a Beatles fan in that I have (and love most of) their albums and have watched most of the TV specials and documentaries over the years. That makes me and anyone even more passionate than me the wrong person for this 2016 Ron Howard (“Splash”, “Parenthood”, “Apollo 13”, “Cinderella Man”) documentary. Howard’s film seems to be aimed at…I dunno, casual American fans of The Beatles? I can’t imagine youngsters giving a crap about the subject to begin with in order to want to see the film, despite Howard apparently making the film for millennials to help them understand Beatlemania. I’m 37 and barely found a damn thing in this I didn’t already know, as would anyone familiar with the 8-part “The Beatles Anthology” doco among other things (And if you’re not familiar with it- You must familiarise yourself with it at once, it’s essential viewing!). So I can only go on my own experience of viewing this film, and for the most part I was underwhelmed and unenlightened by what Howard had to off…

Review: We Were Soldiers

Set in 1965, this tells the true story of the first American unit that had a major role in the conflict in Vietnam. Mel Gibson is Lt. Col. Moore, in charge of a group of mostly ‘green’ (but properly trained) soldiers who land in Vietnam via newfangled ‘Huey’ helicopters, dropped immediately in front of enemy fire of around 2,000 dedicated, smart, and skilful North Vietnamese soldiers. Moore, a student of history and military tactics tells his men before they head out, that no man will be left behind, and does his best to learn from the mistakes of others in similar positions before him. Sam Elliott is Moore’s gruff, hard-bitten second-in-command, Sgt. Maj. Plumley, Greg Kinnear is a yahoo pilot nicknamed ‘Snakeshit’, and Chris Klein is gentle, pensive Lieutenant Geoghegan, who is a recent father, and a man of faith, like Moore. Barry Pepper plays a photojournalist who meets up with Moore’s men and ends up having to join in the fight in order to stay alive. In scenes that serve as a br…