Showing posts from January 7, 2018

Review: Disturbia

Teen Shia LaBeouf, whose recent troublesome behaviour attributed to the tragic death of his father (Matt Craven, in an early cameo), has landed him in court-ordered house arrest (ankle bracelet and all), spends most of his free time spying on his neighbours. These include the new hottie (Sarah Roemer- who, quite frankly, ain’t even that hot), and secretive David Morse, whom LaBeouf starts to suspect of committing nefarious deeds. Carrie-Ann Moss is LaBeouf’s fed-up mother, and Aaron Yoo is amusing as his excitable best friend (in the Stephen Geoffreys from “Fright Night” mould). I actually found this uninspired but watchable 2007 D.J. Caruso ( “Taking Lives” , “XXX: The Return of Xander Cage” ) modernisation of Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” to be a more pleasurable experience than that supremely overrated film. I know, you’re mocking me right now, but it’s my sincere belief that it’s a slightly more entertaining film. Slightly. Comparisons are unavoidable, but I actually found

Review: 12 Rounds 2: Reloaded

Randy Orton plays an EMT whose wife gets kidnapped by a nefarious, unseen villain (Brian Markinson, visible to the audience for the most part) who forces Orton to play Simon Says…er…12 Rounds, a test of…doing whatever the hell the bad guy tells him to do in order to get his wife back. Meanwhile, Orton’s activities alert the attention of the cops, who think he’s a criminal and a menace. Why has this guy chosen Orton to be his guinea pig? John Cena and WWE Studios made a fairly decent action film once. This 2013 film from veteran sequel director Roel Reine ( “The Marine 2” , “Death Race 2” , “Hard Target 2” , “The Man With the Iron Fists 2” , “The Condemned 2” ) is…a sequel to the other Cena action movie. “12 Rounds” featured Aiden Gillen as the bad guy, and while he has since done sterling work playing my favourite “Game of Thrones” character the late Lord Baelish (#DicksOutForLittlefinger), he was sorely miscast against the Inflatable Hulk, Mr. Cena in what was essentially

Review: Moonlight

The life of a young African-American man from childhood to adulthood growing up in seriously rough environs, told in three chapters. As a child Chiron AKA ‘Little’ (Alex Hibbert) has to deal with a drug-addicted mother (Naomie Harris) and finds a slightly more stable male parental figure in local drug dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali). Juan is an affable, strong male role model in some respects, but the fact that he’s providing the very reason for Little’s mother’s problems is difficult to reconcile for both the boy and the audience. In his teenage years, Chiron (now played by Ashton Sanders) deals with bullying and emerging sexual identity questions. Finally in the third chapter the now grownup Chiron goes by the name ‘Black’ (now played by Trevante Rhodes), wrestles with his troubled and confusing past whilst also tenuously reconnecting with figures from his teenage years and childhood. After the tedious and overrated “Fences” I was starting to wonder if the Academy were giving

Review: Ambushed

Ambitious drug dealer Daniel Bonjour is looking to make some quick cash and then leave the business to settle down with his oblivious girlfriend Cinthya Bornacelli. Along with volatile Scottish pal Gianni Capaldi, Bonjour gets the idea to alleviate kingpin Vinnie Jones of the burden of having to put up with ineffectual middle men when Bonjour and Capaldi can just sell large quantities of the drugs themselves. Bonjour attempts to prove this point by killing the middle men himself. Did I mention they’re working for the very mild-mannered Vinnie Jones? And they didn’t let him in on the plan until after Bonjour kills a couple of his dealers? Yeah, these guys have balls. Not necessarily brains, but certainly balls. Meanwhile, Dolph Lundgren and by-the-book newbie Michael Rivera are a couple of DEA agents happening upon the scene of the murdered dealers. They also happen upon a surly LAPD detective (Randy Couture) who doesn’t much like them stepping on his turf. He’s the film’s “Bad Lieu

Review: Over the Top

In addition to getting his way to a big arm-wrestling tournament (!), trucker Lincoln Hawk (Sly Stallone) tries to reunite with his estranged son (David Mendenhall), at the behest of the kid’s mother (Susan Blakely) who is about to go in for a very serious and risky medical procedure. The kid’s rich and connected grandfather (Robert Loggia) considers Lincoln a deadbeat and wants the kid to have absolutely nothing to do with him. He will seemingly stop at nothing to take him away from Lincoln. Rick Zumwalt plays the chief arm-wrestling antagonist, whilst Terry Funk (!) plays one of Loggia’s bodyguards/enforcers. Yes, back in 1987 Sylvester Stallone made an arm wrestling movie for producer/director Menahem Golan and The Cannon Group (home to every cheap Chuck Norris, Michael Dudikoff and latter day Charles Bronson action movie you can name) co-starring the great Robert Loggia, ‘Hardcore’ wrestling legend Terry Funk, and real-life arm wrestler Rick Zumwalt. This is a thing that

Review: Urban Legend

Uptight university student Alicia Witt comes to believe that someone on campus is murdering people with urban legends as an M.O. However, authorities claim the killings are suicides and an incident from Witt’s past allows her to be discredited. Witt tries to convince people that a killer is stalking them, as the bodies start piling up. Jared Leto is the resident journalism major, the only one even remotely willing to listen to her. Rebecca Gayheart is her best friend, Michael Rosenbaum is the resident cynic, Joshua Jackson the jokester, Tara Reid the college radio sex show DJ, and Danielle Harris is the token freaky Goth, Witt’s unfriendly roommate. For the older set, Robert Englund is the Mythology professor whom Witt thinks might be a prime suspect, John Neville is the college Dean, and Loretta Devine is the excitable security guard, an unabashed Pam Grier fan. Natasha Gregson-Wagner appears early as the first victim, supposedly in the vein of Drew Barrymore in “Scream” or Janet

Review: Octopussy

Agent 008 is killed on assignment, with a replica of a priceless Faberge egg in his hand. 007 James Bond (Roger Moore) travels to India where he encounters an exiled Afghan prince named Kamal Khan (Louis Jourdan), who has hooked up with a crazed Russian General named Orlov (Steven Berkoff), whose deadly scheme is financed by Khan’s counterfeit collection. The title character (played by Maud Adams) is an acquaintance of Khan’s, who has an all-female army of gorgeous women and operates a circus that is really used for a diamond-smuggling operation. Kristina Wayborn plays Magda, who is the ringmaster of the circus, whilst David and Tony Meyer play deadly knife-throwing twins. Kabir Bedi is Kamal’s intensely-staring henchman Gobinda, Vijay Amritraj plays Vijay, Bond’s Indian contact. When most people list their least favourite Bond films, you can be rest assured there will be several Roger Moore entries. Yes, there are some people for whom Moore will forever be their preferred Bo