Showing posts from July 29, 2018

Review: True Lies

Mild-mannered computer salesman Arnold Schwarzenegger is actually a top-secret spy working for a shadowy organisation (headed by an eye-patch sporting Charlton Heston!), currently focussed on nabbing Arab terrorist Art Malik. Mousy wife Jamie Lee Curtis, meanwhile, is completely unawares. She’s a bored housewife who finds a degree of excitement in a potential affair with Bill Paxton, a slimy creep who takes credit for all of Schwarzenegger’s missions, when in reality, he’s a used car salesman, and a total wimp to boot. When Schwarzenegger uncovers Curtis’ secret rendezvous’, he devises a little side mission that inadvertently spills over into the main plot. Tom Arnold and Grant Heslov are Schwarzenegger’s colleagues, the former having much advice on marital troubles. A seriously sexy Tia Carrere plays a femme fatale (who deserves most of the credit for one of the sexiest tangos you’ll ever see), whilst Eliza Dushku plays the pouty, klepto daughter. This 1994 action-comedy blo

Review: Hairspray

It’s 1962 Baltimore, and overweight teen Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) dreams of being a dancer on her favourite TV show, The Corny Collins Show, which she watches religiously with dopey-looking best friend Penny (Amanda Bynes). This is a show run by fascist former beauty queen Michelle Pfeiffer who relegates African-American performers to a once a month Negro Day slot (hosted by powerhouse Motormouth Maybelle, played by Queen Latifah), and pushes her bitchy daughter Brittany Snow to the fore at every opportunity. So when plump, integration-favouring Tracy tries out for the show, she is ridiculed and turned away by the venomous mother and daughter pairing. However, Corny Collins himself (James Marsden) notices Tracy and gets her on the show, which allows her to get close to dreamy Link Larkin (Zac Efron), further angering Snow (who had previously dated Link). Meanwhile, frumpy housewife Edna Turnblad (John Travolta!) worries for her daughter on the sidelines, especially when she s

Review: Disaster Movie

In “Cloverfield” -like fashion, Matt Lanter is trying to get to his girlfriend Vanessa Minnillo whilst a whole series of natural disasters hit. Along the way, he and his best buddy (a supposedly comedic entity known as ‘G-Thang’) encounter all manner of crazy pop-culture send-ups (diminutive Tony Cox playing Indiana Jones, Crista Flanagan doing “Juno” ), caricatures, and has-beens/attention whores. This 2008 wannabe funny spoof from the deadly writing-directorial duo of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer is pretty abysmal, even by their own awful standards ( “Meet the Spartans” being one such Friedberg-Seltzer abomination that springs to mind). There are even fewer positives here than in most of these flicks, but I cannot deny laughing heartily at the insane rabid “Alvin and the Chipmunks” doing death metal. That was hilarious. The parodies of “Juno” (I lasted less than 10 minutes into that annoying, snarky, smug film) and Sarah Jessica Parker, whilst not funny exactly, app

Review: The Kentuckian

Set in 1800s Kentucky, rugged, simple-minded Davy Crockett-ish Burt Lancaster and his kid Donald MacDonald try to escape their backwoods family feud situation and make a new life in Texas. Entering the town of Pridesville, Lancaster’s bad family name gets him arrested by sheriff Rhys Williams, only to be saved by pretty red-headed servant girl Dianne Foster, whom MacDonald takes a particular shine to. The amazingly naïve Lancaster and kid subsequently move in with his opportunistic older brother John McIntire and his wife. Local school marm Diana Lynn takes a shine to the old man, much to the annoyance of young MacDonald, who sees Foster as a better match. Trouble arises in the form of brutal tavern owner Walter Matthau, who is now Foster’s keeper, and has a fondness for whipping anyone who disagrees with him. John Carradine has a choice cameo as a high-talkin’ doctor/snake oil salesman who cons poor, naïve Lancaster, to Matthau’s amusement. Hokey, but enjoyable directorial d

Review: Never Back Down

Troubled Iowa teen Sean Faris moves with his family (including mum Leslie Hope and his impressionable little brother) to Orlando, where his internet video-documented brawling past (someone insulted his father, said person got their arse handed to them) gets the attention of a group of local MMA-fighting high school students. Attending a party he’s been invited to by pretty Amber Heard, Faris is challenged to a fight by glowering bully-boy Cam Gigandet (who played the glowering bully-boy on “The O.C.” and the glowering bully-vampire in “Twilight” ) and is quickly and violently dispatched with (caught on every partygoer’s mobile phone camera, of course!). I guess poor Faris just didn’t have the ‘eye of the tiger’, yet. Bruised and battered- and angry, he and his new buddy Evan Peters, a keen MMA student, learn from master MMA instructor Djimon Hounsou (an honest to God two-time Oscar nominee ‘Cuba Gooding’ his promising career away), in order to get some payback against Gigandet in

Review: The Night They Raided Minsky’s

Humourless ‘Moral Decency’-type Denholm Elliott is clamping down on burlesque joint Minsky’s, frequently raiding the bawdy theatre. Enter wide-eyed and innocent Amish girl Britt Ekland who flees her pious father (Harry Andrews, with the grouchiest-looking brow you’ve seen outside of “Sesame Street” !) to venture to NYC and become a dancer who incorporates bible stories into her routines. She ends up sorta living her dream...working at Minsky’s, but she ain’t tellin’ no bible stories, nor is she wearing much clothing, as a supposedly French burlesque dancer. Meanwhile, comic duo Jason Robards (the quick-thinking opportunistic one) and Norman Wisdom (the sweet-natured, lonely one) both have designs on Minsky’s newest ‘talent’, and for differing reasons. Robards comes up with the idea of promoting a midnight strip show with Ekland the star attraction, but, in a sham designed to make the censors look like buffoons, Ekland will do her biblical routine instead. But, uh-oh, here comes mea