Showing posts from December 30, 2018

Review: The Children’s Hour

Hateful little monster Karen Balkin spreads a rumour that teachers Shirley MacLaine (well-cast) and Audrey Hepburn, who live together and run a boarding school that Balkin attends, are in fact lovers (Oooh!). James Garner is the man Hepburn is currently seeing, who wants to marry her, but she seems somewhat hesitant. Meanwhile, MacLaine’s meddling Aunt Miriam Hopkins might have inadvertently started the rumour when some of the students hear her arguing with MacLaine and saying that she is supremely jealous of any man Hepburn dates and will never be happy. Y’know, Balkin might be a little turd, but gee, this all sounds like it might have the faintest whiff of truth to it, doesn’t it? Fay Bainter is Balkin’s gullible and ignorant rich grandmother who gets involved in the mess, and Veronica Cartwright plays a young kleptomaniac Balkin attempts to blackmail. Quite well-made 1962 William Wyler ( “Wuthering Heights” , “The Little Foxes” , “The Best Years of Our Lives” ) version of

Review: Timecop

In 1994, an American governmental briefing reveals that time-travel is now possible, and a new police force of ‘Timecops’ are created to make sure no one steps on any butterflies or lets things get out of hand. Jean-Claude Van Damme plays one such law enforcement agent, whose wife (a briefly naked Mia Sara) gets killed by unknown assailants. Ten years later, Van Damme is still a faithful officer of the law, and he currently has his sights set on Senator Ron Silver, who has Presidential hopes. Van Damme doesn’t trust this guy at all, accusing him of using time-travel for his own personal and illegal gain. Bruce McGill plays Van Damme’s boss and friend, whilst Gloria Reuben turns up as an IA officer. This 1994 time-travel action movie from genre director/cinematographer Peter Hyams ( “Capricorn One” , “Outland” , “Sudden Death” ) was one of JCVD’s biggest hits, and even earned some positive reviews. I’ve always found it a bit of a disappointment, and on what is probably my thir

Review: Cobra

Typical fascist American action fodder from the Reagan-era, with Sly Stallone playing Marion ‘Cobra’ Cobretti (I wouldn’t call him Marion, though. Just a tip), a tough cop in a special unit that targets society’s scummiest and most dangerous crims. And blows ‘em away real good. Make no mistake, though Cobretti, ain’t a team player, despite having a partner in Reni Santoni. In fact he tends to act like a one-man army, a really, really violent one-man army, which puts him at odds with colleagues like anal-retentive Andrew Robinson. But when ‘The Night Slasher’ (really a gang of psychos, led by Brian Thompson and his corrupt cop lover Lee Garlington) starts offing people, Cobretti is called in to hunt them down. Brigitte Nielsen (AKA Mrs. Stallone for a time) plays a fashion model who is the only one to have caught a glimpse of one of the killers, and thus Cobretti is assigned to protect her, whilst trying to bring down the Night Slashers in the process. Art LaFleur plays Cobretti’s p

Review: X Men Origins: Wolverine

Beginning in Canada in the 1840’s with Logan (i.e. the soon-to-be Wolverine) as a sickly kid who is goaded into showing his feral side (hello and goodbye, former Aussie soap actor Peter O’Brien), forcing him to go on the run with his brother Victor (i.e. the soon-to-be Sabretooth). Gifted with near-indestructibility, the duo fight on the side of the US in wars through the ages and eventually are recruited into a secret defence unit by Colonel Stryker (Danny Huston). Victor (Live Schreiber), always a little feral, enjoys the killing, but Logan (Hugh Jackman) eventually finds it all a bit too amoral for his tastes and leaves the group to go and become a lumberjack in Canada, where he eventually romances Lynn Collins. Eventually their union meets tragedy, via a nefarious plot hatched between Stryker and Victor (the latter feeling abandoned by his brother), that sends Logan into revenge mode. The other members of Stryker’s team are played by Will.i.Am (as John Wraith, a teleporter with

Review: The Talented Mr. Ripley

Set in the 1950s, Matt Damon is Tom Ripley, a poor janitor standing in at a piano gig (which he loves, but isn’t great at) for a friend. When wearing his friends' Princeton jacket, Tom is approached by Herbert Greenleaf (James Rebhorn) who asks him if he knew his son, Dickie (Jude Law). Tom lies and says he does, and before long, Tom ends up being asked by Mr. Greenleaf to go to Italy and retrieve his wayward son. Tom is reluctant at first, but when Mr. Greenleaf says he'll pay him to do it as well as for his trip, Tom jumps at the chance. I mean, hey, it’s Italy! In Italy, Tom finds playboy Dickie and his cheerful girlfriend Marge (Gwyneth Paltrow) sunning around. He pretends to know Dickie even though Dickie doesn't remember him. But Tom also has studied jazz since Mr. Greenleaf (whom master impersonator Tom does an excellent vocal impersonation of) told him Dickie loved it, and so when Tom mentions his love for jazz, an immediate bond is formed. Besides, Marge immedi

Review: Tarzan

A shipwrecked family end up in the African jungle, and after his parents are killed by a leopard, a young baby is orphaned. Found by a maternal ape named Kala (voiced by Glenn Close) the human baby is adopted and raised among the apes, though never quite accepted as one of them by most. Called Tarzan (and voiced as an adult by Tony Goldwyn), one day he comes across a young human lady about to be pounced on by wild baboons. Tarzan saves the woman, named Jane (voiced by Minnie Driver), who teaches Tarzan to speak English. She’s here on expedition with her professor father (voiced by the late Nigel Hawthorne), who has come to study the gorillas. However, also joining them is the pompous big game hunter Clayton (voiced by Brian Blessed), who dupes the all-too trusting Tarzan into revealing the whereabouts of his ape (adopted) brethren. Lance Henriksen voices Tarzan’s emotionally distant ape father Kerchak, whilst Rosie O’Donnell voices Tarzan’s best monkey pal Terk, and Wayne Knight is