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Showing posts from June 3, 2018

Review: One-Eyed Jacks

Marlon Brando plays a not-so bad outlaw abandoned by his partner. They escape a bank robbery with just one horse and Brando is assured that his accomplice will come back for him with another horse. Brando gets caught, imprisoned, and on release seeks revenge on the man who betrayed him, now a respected sheriff (Karl Malden). He even falls in love with the man’s adopted daughter (Pina Pellicer). Katy Jurado is the girl’s protective mother, Slim Pickens is Malden’s slimy deputy, Ben Johnson and Sam Gilman are solid as a couple of robbers Brando hooks up with, Elisha Cook Jr. plays a bank teller, Timothy Carey is lively as an abusive drunk, and Hank Worden plays Doc, the ill-fated cohort of Brando and Malden at the beginning of the film.


Marlon Brando directed this 1961 cult western (replacing another eccentric egotist, Stanley Kubrick), and although much better than most vanity projects (in that there is indeed an audience likely to appreciate it), it is far too meandering (And this is …

Review: John Wick: Chapter 2

The puppy-friendly assassin is back, John Wick (Keanu Reeves), and although he aims to retire having completed one last job and put away his ‘tools’, underworld figure Santino D’Antonio (Riccardo Scamarcio) comes calling for Mr. Wick to pay a debt. When Wick refuses, the gangster blows up Wick’s house. Wick goes to visit his friendly syndicate head Winston (Ian McShane) who insists Wick pay the ‘marker’/debt or risk being completely ex-communicated. The job? Assassinate Santino’s sister Gianna (Claudia Gerini). After the deed is done however, Wick realises he now has a target and sizeable bounty on his head as assassins and assorted crims come out left and right to take him out, including Santino and his mute sniper (Aussie ‘celebrity’ Ruby Rose), as well as Gianna’s chief bodyguard/hitman Cassian (Common), an old foe of Wick’s. Peter Stormare appears briefly at the beginning as Wick’s ‘unfinished business’, ‘Spaghetti Western’ veteran Franco Nero turns up momentarily as the owner of …

Review: Never Say Never Again

Criminal organisation SPECTRE steals two nuclear missiles, and hold the world’s major powers for ransom. 007 James Bond (Sean Connery) gets called in to investigate matters, which lead to egotistical mastermind and SPECTRE agent Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer). Bond also tangles with two very different women, sexy but dangerous villainess Fatima Blush (the smouldering Barbara Carrera), and Domino (Kim Basinger), the mousy mistress of Largo. Max von Sydow adds a touch of class as arch villain (and SPECTRE El Supremo) Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Bernie Casey turns up as CIA contact Felix Leiter, Edward Fox is the stuffy MI6 head M, Alec McCowen is the film’s Q Branch representative, and Pamela Salem is the horny Miss Moneypenny.


Not made by the usual teaming of Harry Saltzman and ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, this Irvin Kershner (“The Empire Strikes Back”, “The Eyes of Laura Mars”) ‘rogue’ 007 adventure from 1983 is one of the more forgettable entries, and only for completists. In fact, 1983’s ‘official’ B…

Review: Hannibal Rising

The early stages in the life of one Hannibal Lecter (Gaspard Ulliel), who tragically sees his parents killed by a Nazi warplane in 1944. He is left to look after himself and his beloved sister until some evil Lithuanian Nazi collaborators (led by the surprisingly sinister-looking Rhys Ifans) come along, rather hungry and...let’s just say subsequent events help make Hannibal the sicko we would all come to know. Eight years later he locates his only living relative, his uncle’s Japanese widow (Gong Li!), whom he sorta kinda fancies in France, whilst secretly tracking down the Nazi sickos who wronged his beloved sister all those years ago. Dominic West plays a French detective not-so hot on Hannibal’s trail.


The critics made this 2007 Peter Webber (“Girl With a Pearl Earring”) film version of the Thomas Harris novel (scripted by the author himself) seem like one of the worst crimes committed against good cinema, and one of the dullest films ever made. I think it’s far too outrageous and …

Review: The Long Riders

The story of the James Brothers, their outlaw cohorts The Youngers, The Millers, and The Fords, and their run from the law. James Keach is Jesse James, Stacy Keach is super-loyal Frank James, Randy Quaid plays loyal but messy-looking Clell Miller, with younger brother Dennis Quaid as the disgruntled Ed Miller, the Guest brothers play the Weasel-like Fords (the Bridges brothers were the original choice, and I think they’d have been better. Conflicting schedules torpedoed that idea, though), David Carradine is tough Cole Younger (co-leader of the gang with Jesse James), Keith Carradine is his more romantic brother Jim Younger, and a very young Robert Carradine is their younger brother Bob Younger (Does that make him a Younger Younger, then?). Reed plays the equally infamous Belle Starr, Cole Younger’s sometimes hostile, part-time lover, a real tough broad. Remar (a regular of the director’s films) is a guy she shacks up with, much to the chagrin of Cole.


Highly watchable 1980 teaming of…

Review: DOA: Dead or Alive

Nefarious Eric Roberts invites fighters from all over the globe to his private island to compete in the title tournament (for a supposed $10M), though Roberts has ulterior motives. Jamie Pressly is a white trash wrestler, Aussie Holly Valance a British-accented thief, and Devon Aoki is a Japanese Princess who risks punishment by death when she walks out of the palace to enter the tournament so she can find out what happened to her brother who competed in the tournament previously. Sarah Carter plays the daughter of the tournament’s founder, while Kane Kosugi (son of the legendary Sho Kosugi) is the Princess’ sworn protector Hayabusa. Natassia Malthe meanwhile, is the lover of Aoki’s brother and vows to kill her for abandoning her people. Matthew Marsden is an acquaintance of Valance, and wrestler Kevin Nash is Pressly’s wrestler dad who starts to suspect (through comic misunderstanding) his daughter is a lesbian.


2006 Corey Yuen (the similarly gorgeous-looking female-geared martial ar…