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Beaches of memories
Yes, you will probably need your Kleenex handy on this one. And before seeing this, in the last thirty years, when I think of Beaches, I think of Kleenex. There's always that one friend in your life, you never forget, who'll stand by through thick and win. One can't appreciate the true and real friendship that exists, between CC and Hilary, where we're introduced to them as kids, who of course, met at the beach, Midler's character giveing true meaning to one of her titled songs, of how she met Hilary. I have to take my hat off at the casting, for finding a great Midler kid lookalike. I was quite thrown, and little CC, was so beautifully and so wonderfully acted. The movie becomes quite an exhausting friendship to witness, as our leads aren't the most likeable. There is great chemistry between Midler and Hershey, and they are both great. John Heard is really, just good to look at, where truthfully here, to me, he hardly ceases to exist, but I'm glad he came on board for this, as I do like Heard. Beaches opening Midler scene, is intriguing, and visually, if hauntongly unforgettable, before we cut back to earlier, happier days. Beaches to me is just one of those memorable standout titled movies, which a lot of people talk about and remember, and I'll admit as I approached the end, my eyes were almost on the verge of tearing up. Midler's narcissistic CC does get chiefly annoying, but her and Hershey are great character contrasts. I must admit, I didn't enjoy Beaches, as much as I thought I would, and it wasn't as good as I thought it was be, so I was disappointed to small degree, as I was expecting more from it, like more character time between Hershey and Midler, or expecting them to be nicer. Still, Beaches is a movie, you shouldn't pass off, as you are witnessing one of the most touching froendships ever captured on film. Note- how many American films, use Tavern On The Green?
The Toy (1982)
Film toying around with viewer
Here's a movie that hugely disappointed me, as I never thought it would. I had seen the preview for this film, when going to see Octopussy. What I got, was a unfunny letdown. Despite it's firm standing morals, intentions, that of being neglect, The Toy becomes a misfire of a comedy, with a story that kind of loses it way, goes off the beaten path, a path of boredom. The boy is a natural acting force, and Gleason has great presence on the big screen, while a suffering Pryor, character of not, really tries to make this work. It's not his fault. It's the hand he's been dealt. Pryor's character, is a guy, desperate to make it in journalism, but isn't taken seriously, where he's resorts to demeaning positions, within this paper, that neglectful father, Gleason owns. His spoilt brat of a son, on a shopping expedition, happens upon Pryor, goofing around, one toy, and inflatable wheel, he gets caught on. The son picks his favorite toy- Pryor, where he's subjected to a new hell of a job, as this little brat, puts him through hell. You can learn lessons from this movie, that's for sure, but there's a lesson to be learnt here in film making. Beatty as a chief employer of Gleason's is nearly subjected to another Deliverance moment, and that wonder wheel does look fun, this film, far from it. Pity.
Joke all you want
Joker is a near two hour, dark, somber, cinematic masterpiece, where we witness the origin of the greatest Batman villains of all time, and understand in great depth, what made him what he is. We can see why Phoenix won the Academy Award, as this great actor has done such a great volume of work, and this is his movie to shine. He does so much with his character, a brave acting feat. The movie too, plays Jokes on you, as you'll see. Granted, Joker is dark, but is just totally engrossing from start to finish, no matter where you watch it. We praise the joker's murderous actions too. De Niro as a scummy t.v. show host isn't shown enough, and we almost forget him, as being so engaged with Phoenix's brilliant take on the super villain. Joker is a deep character study, of alienation, humiliation, twisted imaginings, rejection, all those negatives. He isa truly tortured soul, his family history only amplifying that torture. The music is eerily terrific, and we so feel for poor old Arthur Fleck. The dark piece, had me laughing a few times, at some lines, and Phoenix's laugh though a trifle annoying, you wanna hear more. Way more than any other movie, this is one that demands your attention. No joke.
Hell of a buzz of a prequel
Maintaining the solid craftsmanship of the 2003 remake, we cut before to the evolution of Leatherface, who was better left in that dumpster, as compared to the terror filled hell, he unleashes on a hot 20's foursome, as they take one last vacation of fun and quiet before their men head off to Vietnam- good angle. I loved the frightening atmosphere of this film, and suspense runs high. Diora Baird is something else in lingerie. R Lee Ermey reprises his fine acting role (he never learns) as Leatherface's Dad or Uncle- it's a crazy mixed up bag of family, and I love the screen time we get with them. The scene between the two demented women at the table, giving tea comparisons, while hottie Baird lies helpless underneath, always sticks with me, and is classic, hauntingly unforgettable. Ermey is a lot of fun to watch, and overall, this comes across as a solid horror suspense filled thriller, beautifully shot with some beautifully extra slow zoom ins. The film comes off as a definite winner of nastiness. The extreme violence in it's last half hour will test ya. Be warned, it's pretty graphic. Again, I'm impressed in this new string of Chainsaw picks. As for it's begiinning, where we race through Leatherface's time line, it's as unforgettable as his dumping.
Gore, cats, incest, and more cats
This ambitious effort is just another SK book to movie adaption, that comes off unsuccessful, despite really good performances from it's 3 star leads. Sleepwalkers is almost over before it's begun, but to me, felt like a film that wasn't really going anywhere, in terms of not really being an effective and scary horror. Too many stagnant pauses were getting in the way, where King should really stick to writing novels instead of movie scripts. There'a a lot of plain or matter of fact dialogue throughout the piece, but overall what I liked about King's dialogue, is that he uses a lot of short sentences, a less is more approach. Cat lovers should really steer away from this, where we have an intriguing start, played across against an instrumental 90's music score, I really liked, again heard in the finale, and some other moments in the movie. Too good to be true hunk (Krause) who plays his part to a tee, charmingly brilliant, has mysteriously arrived with his devoted incestuous mother (the brilliant Kringe, who reminds you of Carrie White's mother in Carrie (she would of been great by the way in that role) in their new residence, after a run in with a sea of cats. Cats really hate these two vampire figures, and they really hate and fear em. Kringe desperately needs a source of blood, so new student Krause, soughts out class mate, virgin hottie, the beautiful Madchen Amick (Twin Peaks) such a beautifully photogenic actress that really made me remember and appreciate 1992. So, then the blood starts flowing, and you can stereotypically guess the rest. Gore runs pretty high (the M version was shown in cinemas) here, where you really need your gore's worth with the R one. An inventive, original kill, has a redneck cop, getting corncobbed to death. Peartman's funny in an overacted small part, in the last third, as a brash country yokel cop. One thing you can't complain about in this, is the acting, the most notable quality, besides the radiant Amick visual presence, in not a bad horror filled, time passer, that really could been a lot of better. Too many dead stops, like a couple of cars make in this movie. Cindi Pickett is great too as Amick;s Mum. Again, Kringe is fantastic.
Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
We pretty much know how a Friday 13th movie plays out. Tongue and cheek dialogue, bad acting (sometimes good, depending on the performers), humor, some shocks, nice T and A, and of course, bloody carnage, and this unimpressive sequel does have these moments, a great jump scare in it's end. We kill off the last survivor, make way for the new batch. I like a couple of surprise moments in this, and this movie doesn't suck. I just expected more, where age does wither these films. Really, nothing goes beyond the great guest performance of the Vorhees mother character, and we do know with Jason, you can't keep a good psycho down, and his own living quarters with his trove of buddies, is a s**thouse. I really did like the suspense leading up to the end. Again we have a survivor.... so we know what that means. Why didn't that silly blonde girl, use the chainsaw on poor young Jason when she had the Jason.
Never Dying Original
The Never Dead as it's better titled, is one of the most fascinating horrors I've ever seen. It's a true original. By no means, a great film, this solid Indie horror marks the debut of new wave up and coming director. While the acting is no great feat, it's story is terribly unique, and isn't a badly made film, up on that shelf with those better horrors. I do love films, Indie's made by new directors that are standalone, good quality pics, more so, if it's the only one the director made. TND fits that description in the earlier part of my former sentence. Angus Scrim- the tall man is creepy and sinister, and I'll leave it at that. I'm not gonna ruin the story, as I want you to impressed by this 79' sadly badly aging horror pic. It's tagline on the Roadshow Cover, I'm analyzed many a thought, and I think about now, you should be running down, to your local video store, to hire this lesser known gem. Like Scrim, the music is haunting too, while the film also, retains a few memorable visuals.
Life Stinks (1991)
Life may stink for some, but this movie doesn't
Mel Brooks has a unique and smart style of comedy , that I love. Though most fans will consider, he's done better stuff (look at the hits in his wake) this manages to be quite an evocative piece of very entertaining cinema. It has a moral I liked, that really hit home, where by the end, he's done a 180, turning into a wonderful human being. After 28 years since release, through a sordid interest, of being such a standalone film, which is how I've always thought of it. I finally sat down, to watch this, and could of kicked myself, for not seeing it earlier. There's quite a few inventively funny moments, that catch you off guard, Brooks has really got a wit, and you'll see this from the inventively funny start. Making a bet with another scoundrelous money hungry rival/mogul, that he can last thirty days as a bum in this derelict sh**ty of LA, where if he wins, this whole small zone will be Mel's new futuristic jaw dropping estate development. Corporate tycoon, he plays- Goddard Bolt (the original name I absolutely love) he rudely finds, first hand, what living on the street is really about, and this film realistically shows what it's like to be penny skint, homeless, nothing. This was something I also, was really impressed, despite some far fetched gags, I really loved. But hey, that's Mel Brooks. Brookes is suited (double meaning) for this role, and Lesley Ann Warren, is still gorgeous, no matter what state, or attire, she's in, and she really gives such a great endearing performance, the capable actress she is. The second half, that's goes a little off the radar, can be forgiven, for the heavy moral which upstages it. A small appearance by Billy Barty is even smaller form, towards the end, just compliments it more. This is a wonderfully different comedy, that I liked a lot, though no Blazing Saddles, or To Be Or Not To Be, this movie favorably treads a different path, and it's a path I liked, with some such heartwarming and cheering moments, yet one much tragic, forseen moment too. This is a movie I'm really glad I've watched, and so will you be, who haven't seen it. It gives new meaning to the term slapstick, and inspired a identical farewell moment in the cult hit The Big Lebowski 7 years later.
The Octagon (1980)
Octagon Of Death
This one just joins that line of Chuck no brainers, but seriously, The Octagon isn't a badly made film at all. It takes itself too seriously, where chop suey kickarse action, takes a backseat between long bores and snores for some, and you can see it that way, but the serious element, only enhances the quality. The Octagon does have a few things going for it, like the extra hot Karen Carlson, a beauty who just sizzles up the screen, and enlists help of badarse bodyguard, Chuck, who doesn't put in a half bad performance, but there's still that stoic acting seeping through, and is outweighed by better actors and performances like Carlson's, and Art Hindle's, but Chuck holds his own. Hindle (Porky's) who plays Chuck's best buddy, AJ, is a real engaging reck-loose, fly off the handle character, and gives the downplayed movie, the buzz it needs. Carlson is on a personal mission of revenge, sort of using Chuck, who's mission here, hits a little too personal, as involving former family members. The Octagon is kind of patchy too, not a total clear path of story, and action fans, will fare better, renting many other Chuck flicks. Some quite heavy blood spilling violence, early in the peace, and again Lee Van Cleef is wasted as Chuck's former protegee, an old buzzard with an iron will, and is underused here. What's bloody annoying here, is the unnecessary use of Chuck's echoing voice overs, that echo that annoyance, I got out of all those QT'S unnecessary V.O'S. in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. Here, it just adds self consciousness, and amateur feel, and this flick is a little self conscious. Watch out for fine character actor, Tracey Walter in a scene stealing cameo. Regardless of it's faults and it's restrained, short sheeted volume of action,The Octagon still warrants a viewing, especially Chuck fans, but sexy lass Carlson in that fur coat, a chick with class (Two Marriages) will remain imprinted in memory. Don't believe the way over hype about the end fight. It was saggy, and in no way memorable, like Carlson.
Nice Dreams (1981)
Not the best of dreams.
I've never really found C and C's films funny, and this bizarrely intriguing, weak comedy joins that list. On the inside I was laughing. Laughs just weren't generated vocally. ND is a creative comedy though, and our famous comedy duo, do have a interesting sense of humor, the Chinese restaurant scene, for me, the highlight of this, involving mistaken identity and food snatching, another scene, one of bizarre taste, involving burnt pita breadf. You can't knock the cover poster either. The story has our boys, running an enterprising drug selling business under the guise of an ice cream truck, and DEA agents are closing in. Some scenes are totally classic, and loudly memorable, especially where a released con, a hog, is returning to his lady love, though shows a voidance of this, with the not so popular ethnticity of our boys. Cheech is Cheech, and Chong is Chong, where to me, the laughs kept missing. The real highlight. and one true asset is Stacey Keach, as a Narc boss, who has a generous amount of confiscated drug. Really, just for Cheech and Chong fans, who's laughs of high stature, for this film, certainly isn't.
The Hills Have Eyes II (2007)
Sightly less colorful hills, but....
Like the I Spit On Your Grave remakes, whatever, this series too, is an improvement on the originals. I can only hope you don't watch the sequel to the original, cause that sucked. Here, we have a whole fresh original sequel, this kind of dry, when measured up against the predecessor, a year earlier. There's some still ugly sons of b..tch mutants in those hills, where a hard knuckle group of army soldiers (most of em' you can't stand) are on a training exercise, that of course, is interrupted by the cannibalistic mutants who either eat you, or if a woman, impregnate you, and we have an ugly modern masterpiece of a mutant, who delivers the bloody goods. The story is kind of stretched in it's last third, but the underwritten plot makes the whole film stretched. That aside, this sequel doesn't disappoint, serving up an equal amount of gore as the original, but the fresh change of story, I really liked. It seemed worlds apart, to it's original (killer remake) prior. I liked how serious the squad were, where it let doesn't let you forget, what's involved in this occupation, and how this program must be applied with the utmost resilience. r eally liked the adversary relationship, between two army personnel, Vargas, a real time bomb, and the two chicks, was an added attraction, the blonde, looking so much liked Charlize Theron. Meditation expert and actor baddie, Jeff Kober, is fun, in his limited duration, and it was good to see him in this, where like in A Man Apart, you wished he had a bigger role. If you want some thrills and bloody spills, you won't fare too bad with this.
Fat Pizza: Back in Business (2019)
Stil enough toppings of laughter
Paul Fenech is a true original, when it comes to comedy. He is an awesome writer, and underneath all that chaos, and continual mad cap laughter, there's a lot of reality served up, and he knows how to do it, in such a creative and classic way. Although you can't top Housos, Fat Pizza BIB, gives you a pretty good run for your money, only there are moments of void, where laughs still quite high, have slowed in number, to his other original stuff. There are some loyal remaining cast members in this one, though I do miss Jabba some. The sausage dog is so cute, and easily the best actor in the show, they should dedicate a show to him, alone. It would be good to see much more of Chris Franklin (Shazza's guy) in this, as he reckon he could spice things up. Regardless, I'm still satisfied with the volume of laughs, this talented genius, Fenech creates. Keep those pizza's coming Paul.
Death Race 2050 (2017)
Death dreck will totally enthrall
Although not a Deathrace 2000 remake, this zestful, insane, popcorn dreck, keeps a few lines of dialogue from the superior original, and other familiarities. This film, though I knew what I was in for, threw me in the sense, of just over the top it was, as well as being of such a low denominator, while having to bearing those previous annoying characters, and hyping them up more, again wasting such talents of Malcolm Mcdowell. The awlful god damn movie that is such insane, riveting fun, borrows a lot of the other film, though the characters aren't nowhere as near engaging as in the other one, although the likeable hunky Frankenstein here (they could of easily got Dominic Purcell for this) and his beautiful sidekick reporter Annie, make a cute take note, team. This movie dreck is totally engaging. Just take it, for what it's worth. It has humor, yes, and lots of fake blood gushing, spraying, making the R 18+ original look tame. But as movie quality goes. Junk is still junk, resembling a Doomish Generation (movie reference) style of film.
Touched by Love (1980)
You'll be touched
Here's an under the radar known film, thought should after, involving a special friendship, between a young woman carer who befriended an autistic girl, where a special kind of love bloomed. It also involves, The King. Based on a real story TBL, is about a short lived friendship, where lonely newbie care worker (Raffin) has just become employed at the lodge/home, for autistic kids, where as I mentioned earlier, a special love friendship develops. Raffin, who I considered to be such a underrated actress, it's another criminal dis service, really cuts the grain with her character, while of course, you'll be literally bowled over by Lane's truly believable performance, as the autistic recluse Karen, where Raffin's character, finally breaks through to her, where the others have failed, or simply given up, what they thought was the impossible. Just goes to show. This excellent film is of course about inspiration, but other things too. The film has really interesting casting, some oldie favorites, and this kind of pays homage to Elvis, who is the voice that beckons, the initially mute Karen. This is a bit of a tearjerker, and some Kleenex, will be well advised, especially in it's tragic finale. It's great light hearted entertainment, and a great way to spend 90 minutes in front of the tube/logfire. Great acting in a great, once in a lifetime, stand alone movie of triumph. Incidentally, weirdly Raffn, despite her Golden Globe nominee for best actress for this, also had a Raspberry nomination for it too. Truly the raping of a great actress, sadly no longer with us.
The Furies (2019)
May cause a furore
Here's a film that goes through the motions with not much foundation, an Oz Indie, which will satisfy gore hounds. A few of the movies of much recent, and older ones, angrily reflect The Furies, but this one does have a little spin on, which doesn't really matter, where too, that part has borrowed from other films. There's one memorable classic line of dialogue of " had me in a titter or two. Basically here's another tale of the weaker sex player, pitted against the much stronger male hunter, in the harsh afternoon heat of the woods, in a nondescript area somewhere in upper NSW I'm sure. Some shots around the cabins, had me highly familiarizing myself with Belair National Park, or Parra Wirra. A well chosen locale, regardless. It's killl or be killed. Our strong lead actress, who plays Kayla, wakes up in a box dumped in these woods, where she soon finds she's not alone, with beauties and beasts. One hunter is assigned one girl each, he must take down, where girls and guys are paired. If one hunter fails in his quest, he dies too in a WEDLOCK (movie reference) way. There's shades of Series 7 in this too. The little Asian lass is funny and mad, speaking in tongues, fast and funny. She's very enterrtaining, and ads some spice to the movie. From the person operating this evil hunting group, we have SLIVER (movie reference) moments. I do admire some of the qualities of The Furies, but the female characters are shallow written, some of them, hardly likeable.The score is great. So is the title. But we've seem it all before. Some moments of The Furies actually cause fury, and has the most un-scariest masks which look to be made out of melon skin, truly pathetic, as are some moments of the film. Not without a watch, but sheer disappointments will ensue for some. Watch your eyes too.
Don't mess with these renegades
What I'll always remember about Renegades, is Kiefer bleeding profusely for about twenty minutes. Renegades is a solid underrated actioner, with some surprises and predictability. Kiefer and Indian blooded Lou, who's always impressed me as an actor, make a top notch partnership. A good actioner yarn movie with dirt bags, and good guys, determined to see justice served. The movie has heart, and was a fresh action movie when released, where, like many others, time has painfully, evidently withered it. Kiefer and Phillips, with cool character names, give bold, unflinching performances, that do not disappoint. Gertz as the girl of the head bad boy, almost ceases to exist in this, for me, where at no point did I really care for her welfare or performance. The story serves an interesting premise, involving an Indian artifact (a lance) so cheaply stolen from Diamond's murdered Indian relative, in the aftermath of a bungled bank robbery, by the baddies (the two bid kind) where Kiefer was working undercover, and basically you can fill in the rest. Renegades rises above the routine or norm of action film. It just has something more. Kiefer's character is intriguing, joining those few other cop leads, you wanna know more about, I will say, where Diamonds, is too, and I liked his character's background, and the little history before and after. This and the characters is what really gives this film standing. As I said, earlier, the film has heart, and some great action.
3 from Hell (2019)
3 + 4= Zombiefied.
"Yeah, I should of known better", was my initial reaction, earlier in the piece, inescapable disappointment, as if I kept going back to Montezuma's and hoping for a better Mexican meal. The atrocious 31, which I saw three years to the purposeful date, that being 31s't of October, which Zombie's Halloween remake should of been released, had killed it for me. Instead of being out trick or treating, getting dressed up, all that Halloween crap, I opted to see this. But as the movie reel went on, where it earlier reached such utter depths of trashiness and repellent loathing (Is that the once beautiful Dee Wallace as a vile prison warden?) our expectations become those of disillusion, the movie actually improves radically, as to how our three merciless. reluctantly likeable trio of fugitives (save for Sid Haig, who died not only two short months ago- our young uninhibited bearded relative, void of morals, "I like that" is a replacement) make off, with the cops in tow. It becomes a little Near Dark, with shades of Dusk Till Dawn, and ends up very Desperado like, in it's last half hour. The movie's boldly rich poster, is a clear selling point, in attracting the patron's attention, and the movie becomes somewhat, a really engrossing and engaging watch, I myself, found it a warm surprise. Although our murderous evil trio, are not particularly ones, we want to spend time with, we really get to know em', and this is part of what greatly improved it. There's a lot of awesome, cool tongue and cheek dialogue, and there's a lot of humor too, and BLOOD, and more BLOOD. We too end up rooting for our 3 baddies, despite they're inbred, murderous, evil ilk, and appetite for nice old torture. Baby's just misunderstood. The acting is so believable, and Sherri Moon Zombie really carves out a truly evil character, to be feared and reviled. On the whole, a great night to soak up a Grindhouse flick, fully loaded and uncompromising. Well done Rod.
Bride & Prejudice (2017)
I'm not into these shows at all, and only watch em' cause I like to have a ole' chinwag with Dad. This review is on the 2019 Aussie Bride And Prejudice, that is so engrossing and has you rooting not for the mothers you can't stand, who are impossible, but the young newly weds to be. Forget about Home And Away and that crap. This is real life, but only better, it's juicy real life, thanks to it's Romeo And Juliet's so premise. Are these real life reality stars, putting in a little touch of acting or thespian dramatics? I'd say, only to real minute scale or just ;'No". If you have camera on you all of your screen time, how can you not, where viewers are highly entertained by real people's suffering. I really feel for the young couples, and this takes shows like Married At First Sight, what have you, to a whole new level, oh and yes, there's a row between two brides to be at the meeting and confession table. Yeah, the Mum's are real characters, and it is fun and exciting the await the finality, of each couple's happy ever after fates, and acceptances. Highly engrossing and at times, intense reality drama, that one can only lap up. What can I say?
Melvin: Son of Alvin (1984)
Melvin's Hot, Movies Not
The awlful pick of the bunch to end the Alvin trilogy. The unfunny, totally insane, (which is a quality) comedy (though I didn't laugh once) gets more ridiculous as the picture reel, keeps, well, reeling. Melvin (Sont) who's sadly developed his Dad's mysterious X factor, sex genes, has over the years, been relentlessly pursued and hounded by girls (every guy's nightmare I'm sure). Saving him, from being raped by a flock of female fans, at where else, the movies, this Greek lass, who doesn't put in a half bad performance (and I love her mother) tries to him to address this problem. To make Melvin's problems worse, a woman journalist reporter, and her clunky idiot cameraman, are after the big exclusive, trying to hook Melvin with his unlikely stud of a father (Blundell). Very risque in nudity (and there's a lot) pushing the boundaries of an M 15+ film, to me was the most admiring quality. Who you would expect of Australian names pop up in this, and there are a couple of good performances, and I think young stud, Sont, slipped quite perfectly into the role, and he was perfectly cast, in terms of looks. Colorful, but completely crazy trashy movie, that is well, trash, despite a kick arse title song. If for trashy appeal, this is an 8. Creative and quite impressive moments, were c..k weightlifting, and a beefcake trying to Bruce Lee, a White Pages. Sadly what does suck, is the mistaken yellow soda for pee joke, which got to this movie first, before better known in Dumb And Dumber. That movie was smart. This one, I don't know what you would call it. It's definitely too zany or crazy, to be logically dumb, as it isn't. And I'm being honest. Undemanding viewing.
Jaguar Lives! (1979)
Don't Expect Too Much
This film has never really cut it for me. Although there's a lot of action, it's forgettable or it just doesn't captivate us, and never really lives up to what could been. It falls below the ranks of being a memorable if kind of dry actioner, which wastes a great cast, including a smaller part by an Aussie actor who does the voice over for the very same VHS company who brought out this forgettable film, whose cover poster of our hunky actor lead, is no less than engaging. And of course, you're not expecting a feat of acting chops. Again, more brawn than brain. This is a film that just seems to run a limited course, and falls short many times. Even in it's exciting and promising start (perpetual lasting explosions have never been more beautiful) it gives in too easy, where promising suspense is killed. The film keeps running short on things, unhelped by bad editing, if working on a short budget. Out hunky Lewis, code name Jaguar, who's betrayed at the start, is enlisted to take down an international drug dealer. The great Christopher Lee is one of the few highlights of the film, and Cappucine, plays a great vilanness, but bottom line, this is just a forgettable film. Even with Jaguar claiming arse kicking revenge, we're hardly moved or riveted. Jaguar, certainly a force to be reckoned, won't live on in the mind of moviegoers, just less demanding ones, in a slightly bland type action film, that certainly won't leave an imprint on us audience.
Dragged Across Concrete (2018)
Set In Concrete
Yes, as I knew I would, be adverse to all those low opinions of this movie, you initially might of thought, would of been this 2hr 39min shoot em' up actioner, like me. I admit there were early stretches of a not so much a boredom, but nagging frustration, but look beyond that, at the real everyday characters, their situations, and their motivations, especially of the black ex con, who's just been released from the joint, it becomes a much more involving movie, with killer fresh, great thought provoking dialogue. Although they are all, breaking the law, we understand and accept their choices. You really feel sorry at Mel's character, who's been dealt a few bad blows. His wife has MS, his poor teenage daughter is been bullied by some neighborhood thugs, and now thanks to some A hole, him and his partner (Vaughn) have been videotaped, using excessive force in arresting a bad dude, who's flown the coop, and we are treated to her sexy Latino girlfriend in the buff. Vaughn needs money too to pay off an expensive engagement ring, so what do our two likeable, dynamic duo, do? Turn to crime, in the form of hijacking some gold bullion, where we're in for quite a long ride, you could say. We too understand their qualms, especially Gibson's unfortunate, thankless cop, whose years of commitment, to protecting the citizens of Bulwark, hasn't paid off. Though not really a fan of Vaughn, where I've hardly seen any of his movies, I liked him in this, and buddying it up with Gibson in probably his best ever performance, save for the Lethal Weapons, was interesting. I really did like the black guy's so realistic alluring performance, a likeable crim, him and his partner, as opposed as to the other low down, ugly thug element, who aren't afraid to get bloody and surgical. The heavy shock gore scenes, really hit about the second half of the movie. DAC is different, and in no way, should be shunned. We're after more story than action, and more real character scenarios. The young bank woman's placing in the story, who has her finger shot off, I couldn't understand, but she too was again, a real character, with real problems. Zahler is an interesting filmmaker, and this as his third, couldn't be more righter, where I really did enjoy, the fine Bone Tomahawk, a true masterpiece. This too is one in the visceral sense, an original, ala Heat, Triple 9, etc. It's a tailor made role for Gibson, back in the saddle, in light of all his past OS emotional, mental BS. A perfect, appreciate, if somewhat sad ending, with a kicking funky rock soundtrack, this is sadly gonna be the most overlooked, and underrated films of 2019, and that itself is a crime, as it's a great night at the cinema. Don Johnson gives a memorable noteworthy cameo as Gibson and Vaughn's superior.
Indulgent Mess 6.5/10
Where at the end of it all, I came out quite disapponted, in a few small measures. I never would of expected it, especially with this movie, which should be called "Once Upon A Time In Quentiniville" as this larger than life, louder than life movie (with great track photography, where you'll almost feel in there in some shots) is just him, paying homage to his movies and the stars that inspired him. He really indulges with this one, over the top, and this is one of the negatives, as well as the annoying and constant voice overs, with all those times flashed on the screen. I was in awe, where these unnecessary, endless V.O'S really got on my goat, where I was nearly at the end of my tether. There's nothing worse than watching a film, and be verbally fed information, while watching it. What the F? The Manson role, has never had smaller air time, and almost doesn't exist, played by a great Aussie actor, I was excited to see much more of in this. All is good with this film, probably up until the last 45-50 minutes, and it all goes haywire. A ridiculous scenario, built around the Manson followers night of killing is just made a mockery of, where it just goes off the radar, reality just goes out the window. There's a lot of QT humor in this one, though, and the performances are gold, from an elite pool of professionals, so many who impress, save for the dreadful Zoe (Kiwi accent) Bell. The late Luke Perry was one of those pros, but it was Margot Robbie, who shines out from all the others. The 4 actors, playing real actors, bloody got em' right, the Bruce Lee, portrayal was spot on. I can't believe, people walked back during the end credits, to watch Leo's character, doing a Red Apple cigarette ad, referenced in Pulp Fiction, in that scene of static with Willis and Travolta. OUATIH could of really been something, if ruined for those last fifty minutes. I loved Brad Pitts character in this. If you're in the acting biz, this one will hit too close to home, or sting. Like footballers, actors are expendable, but Robbie is a true jewel, among all those roughs. Still, it's a movie experience, well experiencing, but sadly becomes a mess in that mentioned final third time frame. Oh Quentin. 6.5/10
I must say, this viewing experience was a different experience of story, and that in itself, is a good thing. We've read a lot about different cults and practices, and this near two and a half hour film, shows us from a fresh original concept, of a rather different nationality of cult, which was informative, and not so much off the mark, as to the real practices, of these sickening cult groups.The film walks a path of predictability though as to where it's going. Our foreign male character at the start, a Gerard Butler looking guy, + beard, whom jumps out at you, with menace, from the start, heralds the hell, of what will ensue for our young collegiate party. Midsommar is an impressive vehicle for sure, but it does suffer from a couple of flaws, where like I said earlier, it's painful predictability, as to the fates of our young hormone, adrenaline fueled characters. It's not what you call scary, but does disturb in a few parts for sure, some moments, graphically violent, but really it's occasional. I must say, the young lead actress was fantastic (you'll know in the first ten minutes of it's starting, in what is a great catalyst of story). Certainly intriguing at the start. The great unnerving music score used here, leads you to question if it's connected to what follows. A haunting catalyst image, still burns through me, in this. A real powerful scene, and the actress, who I'm sure was in a short film I saw (this film has a sea of unknowns) is so frighteningly believable in her grief. Only, she should of taken a vacation somewhere else, to deal with her loss. She's the only real character you care about in the movie. Disjointed some, the movie is drawn out a bit too. Knowing there's thirty minutes cut out of this film, that is scary, but a relief too. Worth the view, but don't expect to be shuddering in your seat.
Ruby, no diamond in the rough
Piper Laurie's ode to Carrie, for most part, disappointing, if only for the story and setting, and decent acting, again showing us why Piper Laurie's one of the greatest film actresses, and she creeps it up here. We have a much younger Uncle Leo, pre Seinfeld face. Ruby is a disjointed horror with good intentions, and has a good amount of gore, but small time, tame in most bloody images.. The story doesn't fully explain, if any on how Ruby developed telekinesis. Laurie runs this sleazy drive in, with one lass frequents, nearly every night with a different lover. She develops a connection with her estranged, troubled daughter (Exorcist alert) and herself is damaged as watching her mobster 'hand in the cookie jar' mobster boyfriend gunned down by a score of mafia men. The film doesn't rise much above dull, and there seems to be cheap photography used here. The title song is rather surpassing, at the end, the film's top attribute, the other one, is that it is the end. Not without a look though. The most memorable image to me, about this film, was those power coming down in the violent telekinesis offering.
Lords of Chaos (2018)
Chaotically, refreshingly original
I wasn't expecting to like this great, movie as much as I did. I didn't really know what to expect, to a great extent. LOC is a very engaging, if compelling film about a bunch of true blue black metal rockers, Norweigan ones, who founded the band Mayham, fanatics who cause it too, in little old Oslo, that had me recollecting, that nut who shot 177 people back in 2011 who was from there. It is a very well acted with with some disturbing themes, one involving a candid suicide, another scene involving a random and bloody murder, and in the end, a most grisly one of betrayal. LOC rocks on all levels, confrontingly violent, well scripted, and again, bloody well acted, Jack Kilmer's (son of Val) short lived role, is hauntingly brilliant. Culkin, who we can't forget here, is bloody impressive too,
his performance, holding a lot of weight, and he likes kebabs too. But it's the unhinged Varg, played superbly by Emory Cohen, that stayed with me. There were so powerful moments, involving him, that truly unnerved me. He is a great acting force to be reckoned with. This is a important film, one that rocks, with a so tragic, a terrifyingly violent ending. The violence is a thing that gets you in this overly violent film. In ill respect, the film is very funny too, and the music is tragically suited. Another 2019 film, and like The House That Jack Built, shouldn't be overlooked. You won't be disappointed.