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Review: The Delta Force

In events very slightly based on a factual incident, Lebanese terrorists headed by Robert Forster (!) hijack a plane and force the pilot (Bo Svenson!) to head for the Middle East. Meanwhile, Forster forces the German flight attendant (Hanna Schygulla) to round up all the Israelis among the passengers, to be taken to a terrorist hideout as hostages. The solution? The Delta Force, headed by Lee Marvin and Chuck Norris (and Steve James), who await orders to move into action. Among the toughest of passengers are Martin Balsam and George Kennedy (as a brave priest), whilst Shelley Winters plays Balsam’s frightened wife, Lainie Kazan is another passenger who hopes no one notices she’s Jewish (it’s obvious), Susan Strasberg, Joey Bishop, a young Kim Delaney plays a nun (!), and Robert Vaughn is a General on the ground.   There aren’t that many Chuck Norris films I’d say are truly watchable. There’s “Code of Silence” , “The Octagon” , “Lone Wolf McQuade” , “Missing in Action” , and “Delta

Review: Freaky

Teenager Millie (Kathryn Newton) is set upon by a serial killer known as The Blissfield Butcher (Vince Vaughn), and stabbed with a ritual knife called La Dola. He grabbed it during his previous slashing. Millie survives the stabbing, unfortunately the knife has powers that result in her swapping bodies with The Butcher! Katie Finneran is Millie’s loving (but somewhat smothering) mother, Alan Ruck plays a bullying woodwork teacher who loathes Millie.   A body-swap horror film isn’t an inherently bad idea. In fact, my favourite 80s horror film “Child’s Play” is essentially a body-swap horror film (Wes Craven used it in a couple of films too like “Shocker” ). Unfortunately, once again director/co-writer Christopher Landon has taken a workable idea and done the least interesting thing with it (previously he made the “Groundhog Day” horror-comedy “Happy Death Day” and its equally unimaginative sequel). Basically, this is “Freaky Friday” Blumhouse-style, a mostly unsurprising horror-

Review: Scott of the Antarctic

Captain Robert Falcon Scott (Sir John Mills) makes a second trip to the Antarctic in the hopes of finally achieving the feat of reaching the South Pole. He and his accompanying party encounter all manner of issues on the expedition, which becomes more about grim survival than seeking fame and glory in being the first person to reach the South Pole. Harold Warrander plays Scott’s scientist friend E.A. Wilson, whilst others accompanying Scott are played by the likes of James Robertson Justice, Kenneth More, and Christopher Lee.   Rock-solid 1948 adventure/drama from director Charles Frend ( “The Cruel Sea” , “Lease of Life” ) about the famed Naval officer and explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott (John Mills) and his doomed second attempt at reaching the South Pole. John Mills isn’t the first person I think of when I think of adventurers, but he’s terrific in the title role. It’s sturdy adventure stuff with a British stiff upper lip, for those who like this sort of thing. Although the

Review: The Evil of Frankenstein

Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) and assistant Hans (Sandor Eles) return to Karlstad to move back into the former’s now decrepit old abode and laboratory. He also seeks out, finds, and thaws his ‘creature’ which has been frozen in ice. He revives the creature (played by Kiwi Kingston) but finds that it no longer obeys his commands. What to do? Well there’s this shonky carny hypnotist in town named Zoltan (played by a bland Peter Woodthorpe), and it gives Frankenstein an idea. Katy Wild is a mute beggar girl, Duncan Lamont plays the chief of police.   Director Freddie Francis ( “Dracula Has Risen From the Grave” , “Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors” , “Tales From the Crypt” , “The Creeping Flesh” ) and screenwriter Anthony Hinds ( “Dracula Has Risen From the Grave” , “Taste the Blood of Dracula” , “Scars of Dracula” ) really drop the ball in this 1964 Hammer horror sequel. After the terrific previous entry “The Revenge of Frankenstein” , we’re given something lame and clunky despite the bes

Review: Without a Clue

Dr. Watson (Sir Ben Kingsley) has always been the real master of deduction, writing of his real-life crime-solving exploits but attributing them to fictional master sleuth Sherlock Holmes, so as to not get in the way with his image as a medical professional. To help with the ruse, Watson hires an idiot fourth-rate stage ham named Reginald Kincaid (an hilariously preening, pompous Sir Michael Caine) to play the ‘part’ of Sherlock Holmes. Kincaid as Holmes is required to spout off a few written and fed lines Watson has prepared for him, whilst he goes about the real crime-solving. Eventually Watson and Kincaid have one falling out too many, and go their separate ways. Unfortunately, no one seems to want Dr. Watson solving their crimes, authorities refusing to collaborate with him on anything. So when some printing plates go missing, Watson is forced to retrieve Kincaid from the pub and join forces yet again. Lysette Anthony plays the beautiful daughter of a missing man, Paul Freeman turn

Review: The New Mutants

Teenager Blu Hunt plays the lone survivor of an attack on her Native American family by some kind of fantastical creature. She’s institutionalised and put in the care of Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga) who specialises in youngsters with seemingly mutant powers/abilities. She and the other patients are forced to band together when they start being stalked by creatures playing into their deepest, darkest fears. Anya Taylor-Joy and a Scottish-accented Maisie Williams play two of the other patients.   I’m all for freshening up a genre/subgenre, but this 2020 “X-Men” spin-off ain’t it, chief. Dreary, deeply unpleasant, and incredibly slow-paced it just doesn’t come off. Director Josh Boone ( “The Fault in Our Stars” ) and his co-writer Knate Lee seem to be going for a mixture of “Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” which is…uh, pretty different I guess for this type of thing (though “Glass” did touch on some of this sort of stuff in its weakest scenes). It do

Review: The Best Years of Our Lives

Three WWII soldiers return to civilian life and face various problems in re-integrating into their home situations. Fredric March plays an Army Sergeant of fairly decent wealth who seems hesitant to re-join his loving wife (Myrna Loy) and his two kids, including daughter Teresa Wright. Back in his old job at the bank he finds himself being forced to deny loans to his fellow ex-servicemen, feeling guilt that he’s in a better financial situation than they are. Harold Russell plays a sailor and double amputee who has to deal with a loving but now overly sensitive and smothering family, including young wife Cathy O’Donnell. Dana Andrews rounds out the trio as a flyboy who got married just days before shipping out and comes home to find that the wife he hardly knows (Virginia Mayo) is a bit of a floozy with not much interest in him. Hoagy Carmichael plays Russell’s piano-playing buddy, and Roman Bohnen plays Andrews’ stoic father.   Directed by William Wyler ( “The Little Foxes” , “Mrs.