Posts

Showing posts from June 24, 2018

Review: A Few Good Men

Tom Cruise plays Navy lawyer Daniel Kaffee, a man who lives in his father’s gigantic shadow, who has successfully plead out every case in the nine months since he graduated from Harvard, allowing him to get in some baseball hitting practice. However, when two U.S. Marines (Wolfgang Bodison and James Marshall) are charged with the murder of another Marine after a supposed hazing of the supposedly unfit soldier at Gitmo, Kaffee is unlucky enough to be paired with idealistic ‘second chair’ counsel Lt. Cdr. Joanne Galloway (Demi Moore), and two defendants who stubbornly refuse to co-operate with the whole ‘plead it out’ mantra Kaffee seemingly lives by. You see, the two Privates believe they did nothing wrong, as they were following direct orders given to them by a superior officer. It’s an unofficial practice known as a ‘Code Red’. The defence, led by Kaffee’s baseball pal Captain Jack Ross (Kevin Bacon), argues the men carried out their punishment of their own volition. Jack Nicholson p…

Review: Death Race

Set in the near-future wherein an economic collapse sees the US Penal system run by private enterprise, including the dreaded Terminal Island (hey, where have I heard that name before...) run by sadistic warden Joan Allen. She is the brainchild and overseer of the title PPV broadcast car rally known for its brutality and sadism lapped up by the audience (to the financial gain of Allen and co, of course). The recent champion, a mask-wearing freak known as Frankenstein (voiced by David Carradine, who played the role in Paul Bartel’s 1975 film “Death Race 2000”), was killed in the last race under mysterious (and only slowly revealed) circumstances, after having won his previous four death races). Enter ex-NASCAR driver Jason Statham, who has just been framed, charged, and sentenced for the murder of his wife. Sent to Terminal Island, warden Allen offers him the chance to portray Frankenstein (no one’s seenthe guy’s face, so what’s the diff?) and participate in the death race. If he wins …

Review: Hardwired

Or “Run Cuba, Run”. Set in the near future, where big corporations have saved the US Government from bankruptcy and now control everything. Cuba Gooding Jr. and his pregnant wife are in a car crash. She and the baby die, he loses his memory. When he wakes up he finds out that a big corporation has taken it upon themselves to use a new, untested technology to save his life. There's a malicious computer chip implanted in the back of his brain, and he starts seeing advertisements in his head, and if he doesn’t like it, apparently the chip will explode his head (Buy Coke...OR ELSE!!!). Perplexed and paranoid, he’s taken in by some computer hackers led by Michael Ironside who help him take on the evil corporation and its megalomaniac head honcho (Val Kilmer, with a seriously bad wig and your nanna’s glasses).


It’s really sad how far the talented (if moody) Val Kilmer and the Oscar-winning Cuba Gooding Jr., have fallen since their heyday. Having previously seen Cuba in the awfully cheap…

Review: Saint Joan

Jean Seberg makes her movie debut as Joan of Arc, the peasant girl supposedly driven by the voice of God to lead the French against England in the 15th Century. Richard Widmark is the addle-brained, baby-voiced Dauphin, who Joan promises to see lead to the throne. Sir John Gielgud leads the British, as the calculating and aristocratic Earl of Warwick, who has Joan tried for heresy. Felix Aylmer plays the Inquisitor, with Anton Walbrook as the Bishop of Beauvais. Harry Andrews plays Gielgud’s cohort and Joan’s chief accuser. Kenneth Haigh plays the compassionate cleric who defends Joan during the trial. Richard Todd has an underwritten role as a military captain who takes a liking to Joan.


Infamous, bizarre 1957 Otto Preminger (“Anatomy of a Murder”, “Laura”, “River of No Return”, “Exodus”) directed, Graham Greene (“The Third Man”, “Our Man in Havana”, “The Comedians”) scripted, big-screen adaptation of the George Bernard Shaw (“Pygmalion”) play never quite comes off. It’s really nutty…

Review: Norma Rae

If you really like Oscar-winner Sally Field, then you’ll really like this 1979 Martin Ritt (“Hud”, “Edge of the City”, “Paris Blues”) film. Really, really like it. Oh, OK, enough with the Oscar jokes already. This is the tale of a real-life poor textile worker and working mother, played by Sally Field (who always excelled at working class-types and mothers, in films like the underrated “Places in the Heart”). She gets involved with a Jewish union organiser (Ron Leibman, in one of his best and quietest performances) and starts to move towards his way of thinking, hoping to make a change for the better in one helluva reluctant, simple-minded working class area.


The film is well-done on just about every level. Beau Bridges is quite good as the good ‘ol boy she marries, and reliable old Pat Hingle is excellent as her protective, old-fashioned father. It’s hardly original in terms of plot (even for its time), but it’s a good, believable, and entertaining film nonetheless. Sally fans are li…

Review: Naked Killer: The Director’s Cut

Chingmy Yau stars as Kitty, a ruthless wannabe assassin whose ultra-violent actions (including castration- The first red flag for sensitive viewers) and seeming hatred of men can be attributed to her rage over her father’s murder at the hands of her stepmother’s boyfriend (Got that? Good). Her trail of bodies draw the attention of the police, especially troubled copper Simon Yam, who is still dealing with having accidentally killed his own brother. They only briefly meet, but hopelessly romantic Yam is head over heels, and wants to be Kitty’s knight in shining armour. Kitty runs into a bit of trouble on another assignment, but is saved by Sister Cindy (Kelly Yao, AKA Wai Yiu), a well-dressed professional assassin. Sister Cindy takes the unseasoned Kitty under her wing, teaching her how to use weapons of the non-firearm variety. Before long Sister Cindy sets her latest pupil to work, but trouble comes brewing when a former pupil, the psycho lesbian Princess (Carrie Ng) arrives on the s…