Showing posts from March 4, 2018

Review: Star 80

The true story of the murder of Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten (Mariel Hemingway), who was discovered as a teen by photographer/wannabe entrepreneur Paul Snider (Eric Roberts), who became her boyfriend, much to the annoyance of her mother (a decidedly unglamorous Carroll Baker). Snider mails nude photos of Stratten to Playboy, which eventually result in her rise to infamy and becoming the Playmate of the Year in 1980. But after a while, things start to sour in their relationship as their individual careers head in different directions and Snider’s enormous jealousy gets out of control. You see, Paul had visions of taking in all the glitz and glamour himself (he’s obsessed with Telly Savalas for some reason), but it doesn’t exactly work out like that. No one is interested in him, all they want is Dorothy. Snider just doesn’t belong in the Playboy world, and he seriously begins to resent it. Roger Rees (in his debut) plays a fictionalised filmmaker based on director Peter Bogdanovich…

Review: Jackie

The story of Jackie Kennedy-Onassis (Natalie Portman) in the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Peter Sarsgaard plays Robert Kennedy, John Carroll Lynch is JFK’s successor Lyndon B. Johnson (Carroll is acceptable but looks nothing like the man), whilst Beth Grant is his wife Lady Bird Johnson.

I can’t say I’m an expert on Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, but all I can say about her portrayal in this 2017 biopic from director Pablo Larrain (his first Hollywood assignment, I believe) and writer Noah Oppenheim (“The Maze Runner”) is that I didn’t believe much of anything here. Very little convinced me, including a miscast Natalie Portman’s Oscar-nominated performance in the title role. And performance is indeed the right word here, because as good as Portman can be sometimes (“Beautiful Girls”, “Heat”, and “Black Swan”), she never once suggests she’s doing anything here except giving a ‘performance’. She’s tried so very hard to nail the accent, the body language, and…

Review: Airport ‘77

Hoping to invite members of the public to his swanky mansion in order to show off his fancy-arse art collection, millionaire industrialist James Stewart has a new company jet fly his guests out, including estranged daughter Pamela Bellwood and his grandson. Thieves, including an inside man in the co-pilot (Robert Foxworth), have organised a plan to pilfer Stewart’s artworks that are set to be on display at the mansion. Part of the plan involves gassing passengers and crew, and crashing the plane into the water before the trio of thieves (the others being Gil Gerard and Monte Markham) are able to run off with the loot. Once everyone on board comes to, it’s up to Captain Jack Lemmon to save everyone on board. No easy task when they’ve awoken to a plane stuck on the bottom of the ocean. Brenda Vaccaro plays the chief stewardess currently dating Lemmon, Christopher Lee plays an oceanographer and experienced diver, whose bored and shrill wife Lee Grant is a constant embarrassment for him.

Review: Logan

Set in a dusty, sandy Mexican border area in 2029, mutant Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is no longer as invulnerable as he used to be. In a world where few mutants currently exist, Logan works as a limo driver whilst also looking after the now frail and feeble-minded Charles Xavier/Professor X (Patrick Stewart), who is into his 90s and whose psychic abilities are made erratic and dangerous due to increased dementia. Logan is aided somewhat by albino-looking mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant). Logan is approached to escort a former nurse and an 11 year-old girl (Dafne Keen) to safety, as they’re being hunted by some nasties. The girl, however is no mere girl. She’s a mutant genetically engineered from Logan’s own DNA. Basically, she’s his daughter, and Professor X in a lucid moment guilt trips him into protecting her. The villains are a scientist played by Richard E. Grant, and his henchman played by Boyd Holbrook. Eriq La Salle plays an innocent homesteader caught up in the mayhem.


Review: Life

The six members (Team leader Rebecca Ferguson, Microbiologist Ariyon Bakare, expectant father Hiroyuki Sanada, medic Jake Gyllenhaal, resident smart arse Ryan Reynolds, and token Russkie Olga Dihovicnaya) on board the International Space Station bring a soil sample from Mars on board. Bakare finds traces of life after examining the sample in his lab. Becoming utterly fascinated by the small, blobby organism, Bakare watches it grow. One day though…it stops growing. Stops moving altogether. Worried that it might have died, Bakare tries to give it the jolt of life…and the organism doesn’t much like that. In fact, it violently attaches itself to Bakare, crushing his hand. Growing stronger, more tenacious, and smarter it then proceeds to run amok on the space station, bumping the crew off.

Director Daniel Espinosa (the flat “Safe House”, the complete mess “Child 44”) essentially gives us an unofficial remake of “Alien” with this 2017 sci-fi/thriller, scripted by Rhett Reese & Paul Werni…

Review: The Time Traveller’s Wife

Ever since losing his mother tragically in a car accident when he was a kid, Eric Bana finds himself travelling through time without his consent, always arriving at his destination naked, and unable to control when or where. The love of his life is Rachel McAdams, whom he first meets when she’s an adult, but that’s only from Bana’s perspective. For McAdams (who does not time travel), she’s known him since she was a little girl (Confused? Yeah, get used to it!), and she has become accustomed to loving a man who frequently disappears and reappears in her life randomly, though it is most certainly not easy. Ron Livingston plays McAdams’ protective brother, Stephen Tobolowsky is a geneticist who tries to help Bana, and Arliss Howard is Bana’s grieving, hard-drinking dad.

Based on an apparently popular Audrey Niffenegger novel (which I haven’t read), this Robert Schwentke (the disappointing Jodie Foster thriller “Flightplan”, “RED”, and “R.I.P.D.”) blend of time-travel and romance is one o…