Showing posts from March 8, 2015

Review: Body Heat

Set in hot, steamy Florida (shot during cold, frigid winter!), William Hurt stars as a somewhat gullible lawyer with lustful intentions towards Kathleen Turner. Although she plays a little hard to get, it’s not long before they are in the midst of a window-breaking (literally), torrid affair. But Turner is married to a rich businessman, an older man played by Richard Crenna. She says they have a pre-nup and the only way she can get to his money is if he dies first. And that gets Hurt to thinking, something he’s not exactly brilliant at or else he’d see the shitload of trouble ahead of him. Chicks, man. Ted Danson and J.A. Preston play Hurt’s two acquaintances (the former an assistant DA, the latter a cop), whilst Mickey Rourke turns up as a former arsonist Hurt once defended, whose ‘knowledge’ Hurt seeks at one point.   So quintessentially, plagiaristically (is that a word? Well, it is now) Brian De Palma…and yet it was written and directed by debutant director Lawrence Kasdan

Review: Mandingo

Set in Louisiana in the mid-1800s, James Mason stars as Warren Maxwell, a racist plantation owner and wealthy slave trader. His limping son Hammond (Perry King) is to wed the histrionic and selfish Blanche (Susan George), but Hammond much prefers the company of slave Ellen (Brenda Sykes) as his ‘bed wench’, especially when he finds out that Blanche lied about being a virgin. Blanche, meanwhile, becomes unhinged with jealousy over her husband’s preference for slave girls and starts to make moves on Mede (boxer Ken Norton), the ‘Mandingo’ fighter Hammond bought at the same time he bought Ellen. Poor Mede isn’t in any position to refuse Blanche’s advances, either, or else she’ll cry ‘rape!’. Richard Ward and Ji-Tu Cumbuka play slaves named Agamemnon and Cicero, the former of whom tries to keep Mede and Cicero from speaking or acting out of turn (Slaves are forbidden to read, for instance). Paul Benedict plays a slave-trading associate of Warren’s, and Ben Masters plays Blanche’s bruta

Review: Adventures in Babysitting

High school senior Elisabeth Shue isn’t having a good day, after her jerk boyfriend (the perfectly cast Bradley Whitford) stands her up. And now she’s being asked to babysit nerdy teen Keith Coogan (who lusts after Shue, only a few years older than him) and his Thor-obsessed kid sister Maia Brewton. Also turning up is Coogan’s even nerdier friend Anthony Rapp. When Shue receives a call from her friend Penelope Ann Miller to say she regrets having run away from home, and broke, she needs a lift home, Shue and the kids make the trek into the city. Unfortunately, the journey is full of mishaps involving jealous tow-truck drivers, car thieves, menacing crooks, and surly mechanics (the latter played by Vincent D’Onofrio). Oh, and there’s a Playboy magazine featuring a centrefold that looks an awful lot like Shue. George Newbern turns up as a nice guy college student, Ron Canada is a crook, Calvin Levels a soft-centred car thief, and a young Lolita Davidovich (billed as Lolita David) tur

Review: Farewell, My Queen

Set in the late 1700s as France is on the verge of Revolution, the film takes the point of view of one of the few devoted to the reigning Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger). As unrest spooks most out of the Queen’s palace, a beautiful young servant, the Queen’s reader Sidonie (Lea Seydoux) refuses to flee. Charged with judging reading material appropriate to the Queen’s ever-changing mood, the younger woman is romantically infatuated with the somewhat temperamental Queen, and is seemingly willing to die for her. However, the Queen’s heart lies with another, Duchesse Gabrielle de Polignac (Virginie Ledoyen), her lover for quite some time now. Outside, meanwhile, the rebelling citizens are drawing a list of offending Royals and aristocrats to behead (286 names in total!).   Released in Australia in 2013, this French-Spanish drama comes with a cracker of a premise, as well as a volatile backdrop of France on the eve of Revolution. It’s a solid film, well-acted and often fascinating

Review: My Tutor

Matt Lattanzi plays a high school virgin who keeps trying to ‘lose it’, but wacky circumstances continually get in the way. Being that he is failing French, his demanding father (Kevin McCarthy) worries the boy won’t get into Yale. So he hires a French tutor for the strapping young lad. Enter 29 year-old blonde Caren Kaye, who while staying at their house not only tutors the boy in the language of love, she frequently skinny dips at night and sends his hormones in to apoplexy. She wouldn’t be interested in a teenager, right? Nope, but since we’re talking about Matt Lattanzi, you’re supposed to ignore common sense. Crispin Glover plays one of Lattanzi’s pals (Believe me, that’s one of the easier things to swallow here), Arlene Golonka is his wacky mother, Amber Denyse Austin plays a pretty girl at school, and Kitten Natividad’s ‘assets’ are on show as a very mammer-able hooker in a brothel. And no, I will not apologise for that awful joke. Don’t pretend you didn’t giggle.   Oc