Showing posts from May 26, 2013

Review: Black Moon Rising

Tommy Lee Jones plays a government-employed thief hired to get the dirt on a large corporation suspected of all-round dodgy behaviour. He manages to procure a tape with the information needed, but is forced to hide them inside a nearby car. This ain’t no ordinary car, though, it’s the super hi-tech Black Moon, a race car, the type of which is designed to break speed records. And worse than that, the car ends up being stolen by another thief (Linda Hamilton!), who works for a stolen car racket headed by tycoon Robert Vaughn. So now Jones, aided by the car’s owners (Richard Jaeckel and William Sanderson) must break into Vaughn’s skyscraper and get the car (and the tape) outta there. Easier said than done. Bubba Smith (!) plays the government man who hired Jones, a well-dressed Lee Ving (with awful hair) is the man Jones stole the tape from, and Keenan Wynn is an associate of Jones’.   You know you’re watching a bad 80s movie the minute you see one of those cheesy ‘futuristic’ c

Review: The Bedford Incident

Cold War flick in which Richard Widmark’s NATO battleship is intruded upon by two newcomers; replacement doctor Martin Balsam, and visiting reporter/photographer Sidney Poitier. Both men will get on the nerves of the tough, unbending captain Widmark (in full-on, hard-bitten, bordering on psychotic mode), who it appears is slowly coming apart at the seams, obsessively chasing after a Russian sub. He antagonises meek doctor Balsam for trying to coast along in a cushy job to hide from his failed marriage (not an undeserved criticism, exactly), and refuses to go along with any of his fitness and health ideas (which might actually give Balsam something to do on board!). He constantly barks at new recruit James MacArthur for minor mistakes. He won’t even take on the advice of the ship’s West German advisor (now a NATO ally, of course), the Commodore (a classy Eric Portman), a WWII U-boat specialist who might actually have some damn insight. Meanwhile, Poitier quietly, cynically observes

Review: Contraband

Mark Wahlberg plays a family man and former smuggler forced to do (wait for it) one last job when his wife Kate Beckinsale’s delinquent younger brother (Caleb Landry Jones) runs afoul of drug dealer Giovanni Ribisi and his goons. Jones nearly gets nabbed in a customs raid, dumps a whole lotta cocaine, and earns the ire of volatile Ribisi. Ribisi wants compensation for the discarded blow, and has no qualms in killing all three of them, if he doesn’t get his damn money (and that’s $750,000). So what’s a former smuggler to do? Reunite his old crew, head on over to Panama, grab a whole bunch of counterfeit dinero, and presumably sell it. And using a container ship (captained by a grumpy J.K. Simmons) as basically a courier vessel. Needless to say, it’s a whole lot easier said than done, especially considering crims (and even criminal associates) aren’t a terribly trustworthy lot. While he’s away, Wahlberg entrusts his best pal Ben Foster to look after the wife and kids. Lukas Haas play

Review: The Young Lions

Marlon Brando is Christian Diestl, an idealistic young German soldier serving under Adolf Hitler, who initially has hopes that the Fuhrer will do great things for Germany (Hitler was an absolute monster, but one has to also remember that prior to WWII, he was Germany’s economic saviour, basically, so they were optimistic about him at that time). Serving in North Africa, however, proves a disillusioning experience for him. Meanwhile, we also follow American crooner Michael Whiteacre (Dean Martin) in his attempts to avoid serving on the front lines for as long as humanly possible, despite his girl (Barbara Rush) doing her part in the war effort, making him feel guilty and developing a drinking habit (Or was free alcohol just the hook to get Martin to sign on to the film?). When called up to the draft board, Martin meets young Jewish American Noah Ackerman (Montgomery Clift), and they become fast friends. Noah, who becomes the target of anti-Semitic bullying by fellow soldiers (includ

Review: The Hole (2009)

Chris Massoglia moves into a new town and new house with his mother (Teri Polo) and younger brother (Nathan Gamble). We are told that this is the latest of several moves the family have made. An adult male is conspicuously missing. Anyway, one day, Massoglia and Gamble are messing around in the basement when they come across a mysterious hole (which was padlocked, before the boys decided to open it). A seemingly bottomless one. Soon they’ve even got the pretty teenage girl next door (Haley Bennett) intrigued by the hole. And then sinister things start happening; ghosts appear, clown dolls seemingly come menacingly to life. Hmmm, seems like there might’ve been a good reason why the hole had been covered up and padlocked. Bruce Dern turns up as the previous owner of the house, named Crazy Carl, for pretty obvious reasons.   I’ve always had a soft spot for Joe Dante. He always comes across as a nice, affable guy, and an unabashed film buff, especially in regards to schlocky movi