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Showing posts from October 22, 2017

Review: The Hangover

Groom-to-be Justin Bartha is dragged to Vegas for some debauchery-filled celebration by his buddies, and tagalong future brother-in-law Zach Galifianakis, a creepy chubby guy who is either stupid, mentally disturbed, or both. Bradley Cooper is the unhappily married, smug school teacher, whilst Ed Helms is the milquetoast dentist with a humourless harpy for a wife (Rachael Harris). Anyway, after a night of drinking, drugging and partying, they wake up in an expensive hotel room, with amnesia (which we soon learn is due to ingestion of the date rape drug- oh that’s hilarious!), a trashed room, a tiger in the bathroom, a baby in another room, and Bartha is nowhere to be seen. I think there might’ve even been a chook somewhere, too, but we never find out why, so who cares? Heather Graham is a sweet-natured hooker (there you go, the bitch and the whore both present in the one film. Hooray for women’s lib in the new millennium!) whom Helms apparently married the night before at a Vegas quic…

Review: Skiptrace

Years ago, cop Jackie Chan lost his partner on the force to a nasty criminal bigwig, and has looked after the slain man’s daughter (Fan Bingbing) ever since as if she were his own). The girl works at a casino in Macau owned by the businessman Chan strongly suspects of being the shadowy underworld figure that killed his partner. Anyway, dopey American gambler Johnny Knoxville witnesses the casino owner offing somebody. Chan tracks the idiot down in Russia where he has now fallen afoul of some goons because he’s an idiot like I said. Chan comes to his aid and they then work together to take down the kingpin.


Renny Harlin (“Die Hard 2”, “Cliffhanger”) and Jackie Chan might’ve been a director-star combination to make you sit up and take notice in the early-to-mid 90s. Maybe. Instead it’s 2016 and they have combined to make Chan’s worst film since the 1992 wrongful pairing with Wong Jing for the deathly dopey “City Hunter”. Filmed in China and Hong Kong, it’s a piss-poor attempt to make Jo…

Review: Licence to Kill

Drug kingpin Sanchez (Robert Davi) gets on the wrong side of James Bond (Timothy Dalton) when he has the wife of Felix Leiter (David Hedison, returning for the first time since “Live and Let Die”) murdered on their wedding day. Leiter was instrumental in Sanchez’s arrest, but after bribing a DEA agent (Everett McGill), Sanchez escapes and immediately targets Leiter (who is tortured) and his aforementioned wife (Priscilla Barnes). Bond, with his own unhappy history with weddings is incensed by this as well as MI6’s inadequate response. He leaves M (Robert Brown) hanging in order to go on a revenge mission against Sanchez. Talisa Soto plays Sanchez’s mistress Lupe, Carey Lowell plays CIA agent/pilot Pam Bouvier, Anthony Zerbe plays Sanchez’s business partner whose marine company is a mere front for Sanchez’s drug trade. Benicio Del Toro plays a snazzy-dressing henchman named Dario, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa turns up as an undercover operative, Don Stroud is Sanchez’s chief bodyguard, Grand L…

Review: Our Man Flint

Megalomaniacal scientists (Benson Fong, Peter Brocco, and Rhys Williams) develop a weather-controlling machine and threaten to use it unless all world governments drop (nuclear) arms and surrender to their authority. If not, every conceivable meteorological disaster known to man will be unleashed. The U.S. spy agency Z.O.W.I.E. (Zonal Organisation World Intelligence Espionage) locates the one agent capable of putting a stop to all this; No, not 007, but Derek Flint (James Coburn), suave, meditative, Renaissance man and extremely efficient secret agent. Basically, he’s 007, Vincent Price and Hugh Hefner all rolled into one. Unfortunately, his flustered boss (Lee J. Cobb) is having a Dickens of a time trying to get him to do his national (or global) duty. Flint would rather teach ballet in Russia, or bed every hot chick in the entire universe, several of whom seem to be his concubines/servants. Gee, do you think we’re in the 1960s here? Edward Mulhare (from TV’s “Knight Rider”) and Gila…

Review: The Bravados

Gregory Peck (in one of his more successful attempts at playing a darker character), a stranger in town, is seeking the four men who raped and killed his wife; two white men, a half-breed, and an Indian. He thinks he’s found his men in psychotic rapist Stephen Boyd, Albert Salmi (both white men), Lee Van Cleef (a half-breed), and Henry Silva (an Injun), who are all about to be hanged. But with the hangman (Joe De Rita) really a conspirator, the men escape, and a posse is formed to track them down. Peck too, searches for the men, but on his own bloody quest for revenge/justice. But at what cost? And are those really the right men? Well, they sure are a disreputable lot, Boyd especially (though Silva is later shown to be a loving family man, a nice and surprising detail for a film made in the 50s). Joan Collins plays the one person in town already known to Peck, a former flame who sees trouble in his eyes.


There’s a genuinely good little western inside this moody 1958 Henry King (“Twelv…

Review: This is It

A look at Michael Jackson, the King of Pop as he prepares and rehearses for his upcoming series of concerts in England, intended to be his last-ever. They sadly never even eventuated, as Jackson died at age 50 before the concerts could actually go ahead. This film uses footage originally intended for private purposes, but in light of the star’s death, it was decided to chop the hundreds of hours of footage into a 110 odd minute cinematic tribute, a last look at the King before he bowed out in untimely fashion, for good.


This much hyped 2009 Kenny Ortega (best known for “High School Musical”) film kinda pissed me off with its very existence and rushed release after the death of the King of Pop, let alone getting a theatrical release. Let’s face it, if MJ hadn’t died, I doubt this would’ve made it to anything other than our TV screens. MJ’s death + this movie= KA-CHING!!!! Yes, it probably was done for ‘the fans’, but those fans would also pay lots of money to see it. If you can get pas…

Review: Mechanic: Resurrection

Contract killer Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) is retired, but after sunning it up for a while with the lovely Gina (Jessica Alba) at a resort in Thailand, he’s blackmailed into using his murder-y skills to help nasty British arms dealer Crain (Sam Hazeldine) rub out his enemies and make it look like an accident. Having kidnapped Gina, Crain wants Bishop to kill an Australian human trafficker (the not remotely Australian Toby Eddington), an imprisoned African warlord (Femi Elufowoju Jr), and eventually an American-born arms dealer in Bulgaria (Tommy Lee Jones!). Michelle Yeoh turns up briefly as a Thai beach resort owner and friend of Bishop’s.


Jason Statham’s “The Mechanic” was a rare case of a remake being better than the original. The 1972 Charles Bronson flick had a much better ending, but the Statham-led remake was enjoyable stuff for what it was trying to be, outside of a truly disheartening ending (Which differed in a small but significant way from the original). This 2016 seque…