Showing posts from December 16, 2018

Review: The Foreigner (2017)

Jackie Chan plays- get this- a Chinese-born, U.S. trained special forces guy and British citizen, who has vengeance on his mind after his beloved daughter is killed in a bomb blast in London. The culprits are a group dubbing themselves ‘The Authentic IRA’, and Chan looks to former IRA/Sinn Fein guy turned British government figure Pierce Brosnan for names. Brosnan tries to dismiss the guy from his cushy little office. Wrong move, as the 60ish Chan nonetheless has zero problems overpowering Brosnan’s guards. This dude’s not going to give up. Meanwhile, Brosnan appears to know at least something of what has happened. Orla Brady plays Brosnan’s bitter wife who thinks he’s gone soft. Michael McElhatton is Brosnan’s right-hand man. No, not the impenetrable and awful Steven Seagal globe-trotter, but a mixture of Jackie Chan vengeance drama and IRA movie from 2017. Directed by Martin Campbell (the slightly overrated “GoldenEye” ) from a screenplay by David Marconi (the excellent, i

Review: My Cousin Rachel (2017)

Young Sam Claflin believes the beautiful Rachel (Rachel Weisz) killed his beloved cousin/guardian, and is filled to the brim with passionate rage and hatred for her. Then he meets her. You know what that means. But the question remains, did Rachel commit murder or is she completely innocent? I’ve never read the Daphne du Maurier novel, but I’m a big fan of the 1951 film version with Olivia de Havilland and a debuting Richard Burton, so I was intrigued to see what writer-director Roger Michell ( “Notting Hill” , “Venus” , “Morning Glory” ) and the new cast would do here. Sadly, this 2017 remake is lousy and dull. A well-cast-against-type Rachel Weisz’s coldness as Rachel and the torture Sam Claflin’s Phillip is put through are decently conveyed on occasion. His early hatred of Rachel in particular is well-conveyed early on. However, Phillip is also a bit of a jerk (and a na├»ve idiot), Claflin has none of Richard Burton’s smouldering fire and brooding after that initial period,

Review: The Scalphunters

Trapper Burt Lancaster and educated ex-slave Ossie Davis form an uneasy alliance in pursuit of some pelts that are currently in the hands of Scalphunters, led by Telly Savalas. Shelley Winters is Savalas’ shrill, complaining wife. A moderately successful precursor to the wonderful “The Skin Game” (with James Garner as the white con artist and Lou Gossett Jr. as his none-too-dumb slave/accomplice), this 1968 Sydney Pollack ( “Tootsie” , “The Firm” ) film blends comedy, western, action movie, and social commentary relatively well. The cast is excellent, with Lancaster and especially Davis heading the way, and both Telly Savalas and old pro Shelley Winters yukking it up in support. It’s a bit long, and save for the “Odds Against Tomorrow” -style ending, things do get a little too silly by the final stretch. Remember the extended street brawl in John Carpenter’s “They Live” ? That’s what we’re talkin’ about here, only some twenty years earlier and not featuring Rowdy Roddy

Review: Marauders

There have been a string of bank robberies committed at banks owned by bigwig Bruce Willis, and the FBI (including Christopher Meloni, Dave Bautista, and newbie Adrian Grenier) are pretty much stumped, making Meloni incredibly pissed off. Somehow tied into the plot of the film are Willis’ dead soldier brother, as well as a seemingly shady homicide detective (played by Jonathon Schaech), who may or may not be as bad as he initially seems, but is definitely a bit of an arsehole. Keen viewers and WWE fans may be able to spot former ‘Diva’ Torrie Wilson in a small part (I wasn’t watching wrestling during that era so I wouldn’t know her if I fell over her). Director Steven C. Miller gets yet another pay check performance out of Bruce Willis in this direct-to-DVD “Heat” from 2017 (They’ve made at least three films together, including the sub-par “First Kill” ). Willis is in typical non-committal mode here, save for one scene involving an Edgar Allen Poe reference where it appears

Review: The Bride Wore Black

Morose-looking Jeanne Moreau is a mysterious woman tracking down and murdering a quintet of sexist pigs who have somehow wronged her in the past. Michel Lonsdale is the sexist politician, Michel Bouquet is a bachelor bank clerk, Charles Denner a womanising artist, and so on. It is only as the film progresses that the audience comes to understand just what is making Moreau tick. 1968 mystery/psycho thriller from Francois Truffaut ( “The 400 Blows” , “Day for Night” , “Shoot the Pianist” ) with a dark sense of humour, is Truffaut’s tribute to colleague Alfred Hitchcock (even hiring Bernard Herrmann to do the music), based on a Cornell Woolrich ( “Phantom Lady” , Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” ) novel. It mostly works and certainly entertains, but the back-story revealed gradually through flashbacks proves unsatisfying and rather silly. Furthermore, Moreau’s victims, aside from maybe a young Lonsdale   are a pretty uninteresting lot, and mostly pretty revolting. Sad-faced Moreau is e

Review: Tango & Cash

Sly Stallone and Kurt Russell play the two title narcotics cops, both headline-seekers with wildly different methods and personalities. Stallone is well-dressed, looking like a stockbroker and acting somewhat of a square, whilst Russell is more of a reckless slob who thinks Stallone’s a prissy pencil-pusher and not a real cop. The competitive cops are forced to form an alliance when they are framed for murder by a trio of heavies (Jack Palance, Marc Alaimo, and James Hong) who have a vendetta against the crime-busters (who have never worked together before, by the way). Convicted of the crime they must break out of prison, which is no easy task when they’re faced with a lot of the criminals they personally helped put away, like hulking Robert Z’dar. They must work out who stiffed them, seek revenge, and restore their somewhat good names. Teri Hatcher plays Stallone’s exotic dancer sister, whom Russell has eyes on, Geoffrey Lewis plays a police chief, Clint Howard plays an inmate, w