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Showing posts from January 21, 2018

Review: The Factory

Cops John Cusack and Jennifer Carpenter spend Thanksgiving tracking someone responsible for a series of disappearing prostitutes in the area. A serial killer is suspected, but no bodies have actually been found. It turns out that the culprit is creepy hospital cook Dallas Roberts, and Cusack’s own teenage daughter Mae Whitman may become his next victim (some of whom he kills, I might add) after sneaking out at night. Gary Anthony Williams is the hospital worker Roberts gets medical supplies from, whilst Katherine Waterston is another victim, and an especially young-looking Ksenia Solo another potential victim.


Produced by Joel Silver through Dark Castle, filmed in 2008 and originally intended for a U.S. theatrical release, this serial kidnapper flick from Aussie co-writer/director Morgan O’Neill (“Solo” with Colin Friels, the script for which won TV’s “Project Greenlight: Australia”) and co-writer/fellow Aussie Paul A. Leyden (better known as a TV actor in Australia and the U.S.) met …

Review: The World is Not Enough

Things get personal for M (Dame Judi Dench) when oil tycoon and former schoolmate Sir Robert King is killed inside MI6 headquarters in a smartly carried out attack. It is believed that known terrorist Renard (Robert Carlyle) is behind the assassination, as he previously kidnapped King’s daughter Elektra (Sophie Marceau), who is now the heir to the family business. Bond (Pierce Brosnan) attempts to protect Elektra and stop Renard’s scheme to detonate a stolen nuclear warhead inside the King pipeline. Denise Richards turns up as nuclear physicist (!) Dr. Christmas Jones (!!!!!!!!).


In revisiting the Bond franchise I’ve had two changes of heart, one being the underrated “Licence to Kill”. The other is this 1999 Bond outing from director Michael Apted (Well-known for the series of docos starting with “7 Up” as well as the biopic “Gorillas in the Mist”). I was a bit ho-hum about it first time around, thinking something was askew in the villain department in particular. Watching it again, i…

Review: Beneath the Planet of the Apes

Astronaut Brent (James Franciscus) lands on a strange (but familiar to the audience as Earth) planet in search of fellow astronaut Taylor (Charlton Heston, appearing in cameo form here). He finds himself on a bizarre planet ruled by apes. However, after being helped by benevolent chimp scientists Zira and Cornelius (Kim Hunter and David Watson), he ventures out past the forbidden zone to find Taylor. Unfortunately, what he finds instead is a subterranean lair that is actually the ruins of New York City and home to a race of telepathic mutant humans who worship a nuclear device as a deity. Maurice Evans reprises his role as Orangutan authoritarian Dr. Zaius, whilst James Gregory plays militant gorilla bully Ursus. The mutants are played by Victor Buono, Natalie Trundy, Jeff Corey, and Don Pedro Colley.


Under-budgeted and fairly miscalculated, this 1970 film from director Ted Post (“Hang ‘Em High”, “Magnum Force”) and screenwriter Paul Dehn (writer of all the “Apes” sequels in the first…

Review: Scars of Dracula

The dried, bloodied remains of Dracula are revived by a blood-dribbling bat (!) and once again Christopher Lee’s suave but blood-thirsty Count has risen. Not even torch-bearing villagers are able to stop him (Yes, the torch-bearing villagers arrive at the beginning of the film, not the end!). This time out, we have a trio of young adults, two brothers (Christopher Mathews and a young Dennis Waterman) and the lovely Jenny Hanley, who have the misfortune of venturing to Castle Dracula. Mathews is first to go, having stayed out too late in the wrong part of town, being refused refuge by innkeeper Michael Ripper (in his 27th and final Hammer film appearance), and ending up you know where. When he fails to turn up the next day, young couple Waterman and Hanley go in search of him. Patrick Troughton plays Dracula’s ultra-devoted, seemingly masochistic manservant Klove, whilst Michael Gwynn plays a weary village priest.


Directed by Roy Ward Baker (“A Night to Remember”, “The One That Got Awa…

Review: Child 44

Set in Russia in the 1950s, where murder apparently doesn’t happen in the Communist utopia. Russian Secret Military Police officer Tom Hardy starts to doubt this when the child of a family friend is killed and his superiors refuse to listen to his suspicion that murder, not train accident is the cause of death. After failing in his duties to investigate his own wife (Noomi Rapace) as a subversive, the couple are sent to a remote hell-hole called Volsk, far away from anything of importance. However, it is there that Hardy furthers his investigation of what turns out to be some 44 such cases of child deaths that he believes to be the work of one serial murderer. Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, and Vincent Cassel play the various authority figures.


Based on a novel by Tom Rob Smith, this is a fictionalised version of an infamously ugly story from Russian criminal history. Directed by Daniel Espinosa (the uninteresting “Safe House”), this 2015 flick is supposed to be inspired by the case of r…

Review: Once Upon a Time in Brooklyn

William DeMeo is Bobby Baldano, fresh out of the joint after a long stint for armed robbery, and now hoping to go back to his bad old ways, rather than do the smart thing and work for his father (Armand Assante), a proud man who has his own construction business. Nope, DeMeo breaks the heart of his father and mother (Cathy Moriarty) when he instead hooks up with the mobsters he was working for before he got thrown in the slammer. It’s a decision he may soon regret. Ice-T plays a friendly rival gangster, with Ja Rule appropriately cast as a gangsta rapper, whilst Paul Borghese plays the FBI man hoping to nab him some criminal bigwigs.


Writer-director Paul Borghese and co-writer/star William DeMeo are big fans of Scorsese’s gangster movies. They’ve seen them all, and probably a couple of Sergio Leone movies too, judging by the title. It’s evident in almost every frame of this 2013 crime flick that these guys have hard-ons for “Goodfellas”, “Casino”, and “Mean Streets”. Also evident? Nei…