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Showing posts from April 22, 2018

Review: Bullet

Danny Trejo stars as the titular cop and recovering addict Frank ‘Bullet’ Marasco, who has a daughter (Tinsel Korey) who also happens to be an addict…but she’s struggling with sobriety a lot more than her dad. Meanwhile drug lord Jonathan Banks is scheming to get a stay of execution for his murderer son currently on Death Row. So he kidnaps the daughter of the local governor (John Savage) to get daddy to comply. Bullet’s own grandson also winds up kidnapped by Banks, presumably because Bullet was the cop who arrested Banks’ son in the first place. Eve Mauro is a cop, Torsten Voges is Banks’ henchman, Max Perlich is a criminal, and Julia Dietze is a shonky lawyer.


There haven’t been too many action stars in their 70s that I can think of, and despite being a lot shorter than you might think he is, Danny Trejo has zero problems convincing you he’s a tough mofo. Produced by “Machete” director Robert Rodriguez, this 2014 flick from co-writer/director Nick Lyon (director of “Species: The Aw…

Review: Michael Clayton

George Clooney plays the smooth-talking (but not miracle working), title character, a ‘fixer’ (or trouble-shooter) for Sydney Pollack’s law firm, despite having a lot of problems of his own. He’s gone through a divorce, has an uneasy relationship with his kid, and is a gambler seriously in debt after a failed business venture with his estranged brother. His best friend and co-worker Arthur (played by Tom Wilkinson- with many a frantically actor-y monologue, especially the hammy opening scene), meanwhile, is a bipolar sufferer who has gone off his medication, off the rails, and is attempting to sabotage a class action suit against one of the firm’s biggest clients, having either a crisis of conscience, a mental/emotional breakdown, or a natural reaction for a bipolar sufferer off his medication. Enter Tilda Swinton, lawyer (not a fixer) for the corporation in question (who are accused by farmers of polluting drinking water with cancer-causing chemicals), who will do anything it takes t…

Review: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Reclusive and extremely secretive confectionary maker Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder) hides five golden tickets in his chocolate bars sent out across the world that allow those lucky consumers to take part in a personal tour of his chocolate factory. Will poor, good-hearted Charlie Bucket (Peter Ostrum) be one of the lucky winners? Jack Albertson plays Charlie’s Grandpa Joe, Julie Dawn Cole is the tantrum-throwing spoiled brat Veruca Salt, Denise Nickerson plays greedy motor-mouth Violet, and Gunter Meissner plays the nasty Mr. Slugworth, hoping to steal Wonka’s secrets.


I hate musicals as is well-established by now, but this 1971 Mel Stuart (mostly a documentarian, with films such as the enjoyable concert movie “Wattstax”) film is one of the greatest films of all-time. Anyone who says the Tim Burton remake is more true to the Roald Dahl book, meanwhile, hasn’t read it in years. It’s Dahl’s most innocuous and lightweight novel, just about and Stuart gets it pretty damn perfect. I also love …

Review: Free Fire

Set in Boston in the late 70s, the film concerns a bunch of undesirable characters meeting in a warehouse for an arms deal. Cillian Murphy is an IRA man, Michael Smiley is his right-hand man, and Sharlto Copley is the highly irritable South African arms dealer Vernon, who comes along with associates played by Jack Reynor and Babou Ceesay. Sam Riley is Smiley’s junkie nephew who may just fuck the whole thing up because of a bad connection with Reynor, having met the night before when Riley apparently smashed a bottle over the noggin of Reynor’s cousin’s head. Reynor socked Riley in the face, but it still pissed about the whole thing. Also on hand at the warehouse are Americans Brie Larson and the immaculately tailored Armie Hammer, who are basically the middle-men in the deal. The situation is already tense enough between Reynor and Riley, and Copley was born irritating, and it’s not long before guns are fired. Things get even worse when both sides of the arms deal are targeted by unse…

Review: Kill ‘em All

A massacre has occurred at a soon-to-be closed down hospital where only the Emergency Room is currently still active. Nurse Autumn Reeser has been brought into FBI headquarters for questioning over the bloody affair by agents Peter Stormare (!) and Maria Cochita Alonso (!!). They’re particularly interested in anything she can tell about the man who saved her life (Jean-Claude Van Damme) by taking down a slew of hired killers (including Daniel Bernhardt, Kris Van Damme, and Paul Sampson).


During what I like to refer to as their ‘post-career phase’, Jean-Claude Van Damme’s output seems to be a lot better and more consistent than his 80s-90s cinematic action hero (turned fellow DVD action hero) counterpart Steven Seagal. So it’s with surprise and somewhat of a heavy heart that I report that this 2017 action-drama from debut director Peter Malota (a fight and stunt co-ordinator who worked on several JCVD films including the first “Universal Soldier”) is easily JCVD’s worst film since 2002…

Review: Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla

Yet another retcon as this film pretends none of the previous films in the ‘Millennium Series’ even exist (The next film in the series does continue on from this one, however). Godzilla attacks Japan for the first time in some 40 odd years after its first attack in the 1950s, with other monsters like Mothra having ravaged the city over the years. The recovery of bones from the ocean suggest that this Godzilla is not the same Godzilla from 1954 (that one died), however but a younger version. Yumiko Shaku is a soldier who is the only one of her platoon to survive an attack. Three years later and a team of scientists come together to try to prevent further attacks, including science teacher Shin Takuma, an expert of creating mechanical beasts out of the DNA/bones of living organisms. The end result is the hulking robot Mechagodzilla, built from material that includes the bones of the 1954 Godzilla. ‘Coz that sure is a good idea that won’t embarrassingly backfire when Mechagodzilla starts…