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Review: Reprisal

Frank Grillo plays a bank manager who has a hard time coping with a robbery committed by disgruntled Jonathon Schaech, who has a sideline in making bomb threats too. Grillo suffers PTSD as a result of the ordeal, whilst on leave from the bank. With no video footage of the robbery, the Feds seem to think Grillo (who was held at gunpoint, I might add) was somehow involved. Sitting at home and stewing over it, Grillo gets to talking to his ex-cop neighbour Bruce Willis about the whole ordeal. They deduce that Schaech isn’t finished doing whatever he’s doing, and start to piece together what his next move might be so that Grillo can figure about restoring his reputation. Meanwhile, Grillo’s wife (Olivia Culpo, a former Miss Universe apparently) starts to worry about him. They have a cute diabetic daughter. You can see where this is headed, no doubt. 
Director Brian A. Miller (“Caught in the Crossfire”) and slumming actors Bruce Willis and Jonathon Schaech deliver another underwhelming dire…

Review: The Boys

Four delinquent ‘Teddy Boys’ (Dudley Sutton, Jess Conrad, Ronald Lacey, and Tony Garnett) are standing trial for robbery and the murder of an elderly garage nightwatchman. Defending them in an uphill battle is Robert Morley’s defence counsel, who tries to use every legal trick he can think of. He also tries to get the snotty little tearaways to realise that the hangman’s noose potentially awaits them and this is serious bloody business they’re facing here. Opposing counsel is played by Richard Todd, who takes his task equally seriously. Among the witnesses are a dapper Allan Cuthbertson, elderly janitor Wilfrid Brambell, and a very nervous bus driver played by Roy Kinnear. Felix Aylmer presides over the matter as the authoritative judge, Kenneth J. Warren is the rather na├»ve garage owner, whilst Charles Morgan plays a pool hall owner who knows the boys are trouble. A top-shelf British character actor cast is the whole show in this 1962 mixture of courtroom flick and juvenile delinquen…

Review: The Third Man

***** SPOILER-HEAVY REVIEW. PROCEED WITH CAUTION *****Joseph Cotten plays Holly Martins, an American writer who comes to post-war Vienna for a job offered to him by his old buddy Harry Lime (Orson Welles). Unfortunately, when he arrives he’s informed that Harry has suddenly died in an accident. Military policeman Maj. Calloway (Trevor Howard) immediately takes a disapproval to Martins’ arrival in Vienna, and suggests he vamoose back home swiftly. However, two things keep Holly sticking around; 1) A beautiful local woman who knew Harry (Alida Valli) whom Holly is romantically fascinated with, and 2) The nagging suspicion that there’s more to Harry’s death than meets the eye. The longer he stays in Vienna, the more Holly’s nagging suspicion grows. Bernard Lee plays a Sergeant, Wilfrid Hyde-White plays the head of a literary society keen to get Holly to make an appearance, and Ernst Deutsch plays a suspicious-looking Austrian acquaintance of Harry’s named Baron Kurtz. I’ve had a couple o…

Review: Death Line

A young couple (David Ladd and Sharon Gurney) discover the dead body of a government minister (James Cossins) at a tube station in London. Unfortunately, once the bobbies show up, the body has mysteriously vanished. Odd, seemingly aloof Scotland Yard Inspector Calhoun (Donald Pleasence) investigates, though his strong suit seems to be pissing off ex-pat American Ladd with his disarmingly disinterested interview technique. The investigation eventually leads all the way back to an 1890s London Underground tunnel collapse disaster. Norman Rossington plays Pleasence’s #2, with Clive Swift appearing briefly as another Inspector, whilst Christopher Lee guest stars in one scene as a smug MI5 operative named Stratton-Villiers. Uneven, sometimes dull, but completely barmy 1972 film from American director Gary Sherman (“Vice Squad”, “Wanted: Dead or Alive”, “Poltergeist III”) and co-writer Ceri Jones (an ad exec by trade), which is also sometimes listed as “Raw Meat”. I personally think the oth…

Review: Heartbreak Ridge

Clint Eastwood is Gunnery Sgt. Highway, a brawling hard-arse with an insubordinate streak a mile long and an extreme lack of tolerance for fools and pencil-pushing bureaucrats. He’s also a bit too long in the tooth, but the Marine brass just can’t seem to convince ‘Gunny’ Highway to retire. Sent back to his old stomping grounds, he’s given a dressing down by – you guessed it – a gruff, but stuffed shirt Major named Powers (Mean-faced, mean-voiced Everett McGill), and a dick-measuring contest between the two ensues. Highway gets put in charge of a platoon of the lowest of the lowly Gomer Pyle recruits, including an idiot wannabe ‘rap-rock’ musician named ‘Stitch’ Jones (Mario Van Peebles), and they are the constant bane of each other’s existence. Meanwhile, Highway tries to worm his way back into the heart of old flame and cocktail waitress Aggie (the charming Marsha Mason), who has taken up with antagonising bully boy Roy (Bo Svenson). Arlen Dean Snyder plays Highway’s one friend in t…

Review: Accident Man

Scott Adkins is Mike Fallon, an assassin who specialises in making his kills look like accidents, and then heads off to the pub to beat people up in what he refers to as Post-Murder Therapy. Mike’s not in a great head space at the moment, to be honest. His girl has left him, and being an arrogant dickhead with an inflated opinion of his masculine appeal to women, Mike can’t understand that. Worse, she left him for another woman (Ashley Greene), and he can’t even begin to get his head around that one. Mike is one of a collection of assorted eccentric assassins who all join up at a watering hole called The Oasis, which is manned by Mike’s no-nonsense mentor, a former assassin called Big Ray (Ray Stevenson), who now lives somewhat of a quite life behind the bar. The plot kicks in when Mike finds out that his cheating ex-girlfriend has been killed in an attack that Mike suspects was an inside job. So which one of Mike’s fellow assassins carried out the kill? And on whose orders? Michael J…

Review: WarGames

High school teen Matthew Broderick hacks into the school’s computer system to change grades to show off to pretty classmate Ally Sheedy. On a high and a bit cocky, he then takes on a riskier task: Hacking into the new whizz bang super computer system at NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command), which to anyone born after the 1980s is basically a warning and protection system for North America. Yeah, this kid’s cocky but he sure ain’t a thinker with any sense of foresight whatsoever. This one action sets off a whole catastrophic chain reaction as the computer system starts to play its war games simulations ‘for realsies’…and it may not be able to be stopped. Oops. Dabney Coleman is the man behind the implementation of new system which is dubbed ‘Joshua’, with John Wood as its reclusive inventor. Barry Corbin plays the stern, no-nonsense General. Eddie Deezen and Maury Chaykin play geeks, whilst Art LaFleur, John Spencer, and Michael Madsen (in his screen debut) are seen early a…