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Review: Babylon A.D.

Set in rundown future Serbia, mercenary Vin Diesel is assigned by a Russian mobster (Gerard Depardieu) with the task of escorting young Melanie Thierry from a Mongolian convent (!) to safe harbour in New York. The teen girl (who has never left the convent) is accompanied by her nun guardian Michelle Yeoh. Apparently there’s something truly special about this girl, something that everyone would kill for. Charlotte Rampling plays a sinister High Priestess and CEO of a church (though her only belief system appears to be ‘power’), whilst Lambert Wilson is a man from Thierry’s past.


Although its future world depiction is at first glance more interesting than the overrated and quite similarly-plotted “Children of Men” (a total snore if you ask me), this troubled Mathieu Kassovitz (yeah, the “La Haine” guy) flick from 2008 is mostly a crushing bore. Hell, even Kassovitz himself publicly trashed the film, supposedly stymied by the big studio behind the film (20th Century Fox) and beset by a w…

Review: Shoot to Kill/Deadly Pursuit

In this buddy movie/serial killer flick hybrid, big city cop Sidney Poitier must rely on stubborn and anti-social mountain guide Tom Berenger in tracking down a hunting party that includes a dangerous killer/thief, as well as Berenger’s girlfriend and fellow guide Kirstie Alley. Needless to say, the big city cop is way out of his depth in the rugged outdoors, and constantly butts heads with the surly mountain man. The hunting party includes familiar faces like Clancy Brown (“Highlander”, “Extreme Prejudice”, “Starship Troopers”), Richard Masur (“My Girl”, “Stephen King’s IT”), Andrew Robinson (“Hellraiser”, “Dirty Harry”), and Frederick Coffin (“Hard to Kill”).


Featuring Poitier’s first starring role in a decade, this 1988 Roger Spottiswoode (“Under Fire”, “The Best of Times”

Review: Tower Heist

When luxury apartment building manager Ben Stiller learns that he has inadvertently aided unscrupulous billionaire Alan Alda (a tenant whom he also plays online chess with) in ripping off not only himself but all the other employees of their superannuation. All the money is gone. Stiller comes up with a solution, however: Enlist the services of the low-rent crim from his neighbourhood (Eddie Murphy), find Alda’s hidden safe and break into it, and get their damn money back. He even manages to rope in a few of his employees including concierge Casey Affleck, newly hired elevator operator Michael Pena, and horny Jamaican maid Gabourey Sidibe, who comes from a family of locksmiths. Matthew Broderick plays a bankrupt Wall Street guy who has just had to vacate his apartment, and who is a bit of a maths whiz (He’s essentially the ‘brainy one’ of the mostly amateur would-be thieves). Tea Leoni provides complications as the determined FBI agent hoping to bring Alda to justice, and ends up dati…

Review: I’m Still Here

Casey Affleck documents his brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix’s rejection of the movie business to become a white rapper. With a ‘homeless guy’ beard. Lots of incoherent ranting, incoherent whining, and incoherent rapping ensues.


I first saw this 2010 Casey Affleck mockumentary long after the director’s interview where he finally confessed that yes, this was all just a hoax. Personally, and I’m not bragging but I picked it long beforehand. I kinda thought most people did, actually. The infamous Dave Letterman interview, to be specific is where I picked up on it. I’d seen Joaquin acting bizarrely on chat shows before, but this is the interview everyone remembers. Part of that is because of Letterman’s hilarious closing line to his rather uncooperative guest (the only time Dave has ever made me laugh outside of his brilliant response to Jay Leno’s ‘Don’t Blame Conan’ quote), but all through the interview, whenever Letterman (who, depending on who you read, was either in on the joke or not)…

Review: Dragonslayer

Sorcerer Ulrich (Sir Ralph Richardson) and his young apprentice Galen (Peter MacNicol) are called upon to help a group of villagers rid the countryside of a ferocious, fire-breathing dragon. Unfortunately, Ulrich makes an untimely exit, leaving it up to the inexperienced Galen to kill the dragon. Meanwhile, King Cassiodorus (Peter Eyre) has devised a lottery of all the village’s virgins, offering up one as a sacrifice to appease the dragon. Did I mention that one of the villagers is a young man (Caitlin Clarke) who sure does look rather girly? Chloe Salaman turns up as the lovely, virginal princess (Uh-oh!), whilst Sydney Bromley plays crotchety old Hodge, Ian McDiarmid cameos as a wimpy priest (i.e. dragon fodder), and Albert Salmi is another of the band of villagers.


Not a lot of the fantasy films of the 80s still hold up today, but this 1981 Disney release from co-writer/director Matthew Robbins still proves highly watchable in 2019. Certainly it comes out better than another 1981 …

Review: Money Monster

George Clooney plays Lee Gates, an over-the-top Jim Cramer-ish host of a New York cable TV finance show who finds himself in a situation that his usual glib humour and charm might not be of service to him. He’s made an enemy of a young man named Kyle (Jack O’Connell) who has snuck on set live on the air with a major grudge against Gates because of some financial advice he gave out that Kyle took and ended up in financial trouble as a result. He lost everything, and holds Gates and one other man entirely responsible for his dire straits. Armed with a gun, he also forces Gates to put on a bomb-strapped vest as he rants about the evils of Wall Street greed and corruption. Watching all of this are not only the cops (headed by Giancarlo Esposito), but Gates’ trusted producer (Julia Roberts) who communicates with him through an ear-piece as everyone tries to resolve this situation as peacefully as possible. A perfectly cast Dominic West plays the elusive, slimy corporate CEO who is the othe…