Showing posts from June 24, 2012

Review: The Bannen Way

Mark Gantt stars as Neal Bannen, a bit of a con artist and gambler (and ladies man) who is torn between a cop father (Michael Ironside) and a mobster uncle (Robert Forster). The latter wants Neal to retrieve a mysterious box stolen from him, in exchange for helping Neal out with the gambling debt he owes to another mobster (Ski Carr). Standing in Neal’s way are the three female assassins (including Autumn Reeser and Brianne Davis) hired by Michael Lerner, yet another mobster who holds the box. Also causing problems for Neal is a sexy thief (Vanessa Marcil), who may or may not be a double-crosser. Directed by Jesse Warren, this 2010 film is actually a feature length version of what was formerly a web series (16 episodes now strung together to run barely 90 minutes) created by Warren and star Mark Gantt. The good news is that I could easily see this working as a legit TV series. The bad news comes in two parts; 1) It’s not a TV series I’d watch, and 2) I review feature films, and as

Review: Misery

James Caan stars as schlock novelist Paul Sheldon who has a car crash out in the snow and slippery ice. He awakens in the care of nurse Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), who claims to be Sheldon’s ‘Number 1 fan’. It’s not long, though, before Paul realises that Annie has several screws loose, and she might not be helping him so much as imprisoning him. Meanwhile, Paul’s publisher (Lauren Bacall) gets worried and contacts the local sheriff (Richard Farnsworth). Frances Sternhagen plays Farnsworth’s wife, and J.T. Walsh plays a local patrolman investigating the crash scene once Paul’s car is recovered. This Rob Reiner ( “When Harry Met Sally...”, “A Few Good Men” ) directed, William Goldman ( “Butch Cassidy and the the Sundance Kid” , “All the President’s Men” , “The Princess Bride” ) scripted adaptation of the Stephen King ( “Cujo” , “Carrie” , “Stand By Me” ) psycho-thriller is not the most original or profound motion picture you’ll ever see. It is however, one of the very best exam

Review: Battle: Los Angeles

  An alien attack has descended upon LA, with Staff Sergeant Aaron Eckhart leading his Marines to Santa Monica to rescue some civilians (Michael Pena and veterinarian Bridget Moynahan among them) from an area that is set to be bombed. They find themselves under heavy fire from the clearly superior alien force. Michelle Rodriguez plays a tough ‘Tech Sergeant’...or something, whilst the rest of the cast is ethnically diverse, yet strangely interchangeable. Directed by Jonathan Liebesman ( “Darkness Falls” , “The Killing Room” ) and written by Chris Bertolini ( “The General’s Daughter” from 1999 being just about his only other credit), this is one of two alien invasion movies that came out around the same time. “Skyline” beat it to the punch by coming out in 2010, whilst this one was released in early 2011. “Skyline” was roasted in most quarters, but I actually thought it was a solid B-movie, despite some iffy FX. “Battle: LA” earned slightly better reviews, but I honestly

Review: Skyline

Eric Balfour and girlfriend Scottie Thompson (Really? That’s a girl’s name now?) are in LA for a party held by their friend-turned-success Donald Faison (Yes, the guy from “Scrubs” ). In the early hours of the next morning, however, they are awoken by great beams of light shining out of the sky. After staring too long, Balfour starts to go all zombie-like, before being pulled away just in time. Apparently there has been an alien invasion, as giant ships hover the sky, and bodies are being sucked up into the sky. Our central couple, Faison, and several others from around the apartment building (including roles for TV actors David Zayas and Brittany Daniel) have to stick together and formulate a plan as now alien robot thingies start hunting for more bodies. This 2010 alien invasion flick from The Brothers Strause (whose “Alien vs. Predator: Requiem” wasn’t terrible) has gotten an absolute caning from critics. Maybe I’ve lost my touch, but I actually kinda liked it. Sure, the FX