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Showing posts from January 6, 2019

Review: The Faculty

An Ohio high school is invaded by an alien menace that infects the teaching staff of the school, beginning with the hard-arse football coach (Robert Patrick). School nerd Elijah Wood and bitchy cheerleader Jordana Brewster lead a group of assorted students (possibly lesbian loner Clea DuVall, wannabe intellectual jock Shawn Hatosy, brainy but lazy drug dealer Josh Hartnett, and sweet-natured newbie Laura Harris) to dealing with this invasion before the infection spreads to the students and beyond. Usher plays one of Hatosy’s football buddies, Chris McDonald is Wood’s dad, Jon Stewart is the friendly science teacher, Famke Janssen is a mousy teacher, Piper Laurie and Daniel von Bargen are also teachers, Bebe Neuwirth is the school principal, and Salma Hayek is the school nurse. Hell yes. Look for ‘Ain’t It Cool News’ web guy Harry Knowles as another teacher, the big redhead ain’t hard to spot.


In the years after “Scream”, we saw a whole swag of teen-oriented horror movies, usually star…

Review: The City Under the Sea

Vincent Price is a nutty captain who kidnaps Susan Hart because he thinks (wait for it) she’s his dead wife reincarnated. Oh, and he also resides and rules over a cavernous underwater city where the strange oxygen (and apparent lack of UV rays) has allowed Price and his fellow smugglers (not to mention the Gill Men whom were the previous inhabitants of the city prior to Price’s arrival and who do Price’s bidding) to have not aged a day in the more than a century they’ve been down there. Unfortunately, the city is also powered by a nearby volcano which has recently proved unstable, and is of great threat to the city. He has also kidnapped Hart’s companions hunky Tab Hunter and cowardly animal lover David Tomlinson, the former posing as a geologist who promises Price that he can solve his little volcano problem. John LeMesurier plays an increasingly absent-minded Reverend who has been down in the city a long time, but tries to help our heroes escape.


Though very loosely based on an Edga…

Review: Thief

James Caan plays a car salesman and ex-con whose real trade is as a thief and safe-cracker. His only real associate is right-hand man James Belushi, but eventually Caan strikes up a romance with waitress Tuesday Weld and they dream of a ‘normal’ life and family together. But before Caan can ‘go straight’, he needs significant cash. That’s where avuncular but ruthless Robert Prosky (in his film debut) comes in to commandeer the loot from Caan’s latest job. Sure, Prosky then turns around and gives Caan his money, but then Caan needs to go on yet another job…now reluctantly working for Prosky.Willie Nelson plays Caan’s imprisoned mentor, whilst Dennis Farina and William L. Peterson have cameos as one of Prosky’s thugs and a barroom bully-boy, respectively in their feature film debuts.


Writer-director Michael Mann (“Manhunter”, “Last of the Mohicans”, “The Insider”) made his feature directing debut with this very Michael Mann 1981 adaptation of a Frank Hohimer novel. In some ways it plays…

Review: Coffin Rock

Set in a small South Australian fishing village, Lisa Chappell and Robert Taylor are a couple trying without success to conceive, whilst also trying not to have their marriage entirely collapse from underneath them, despite their obvious love for one another. Taylor is worried about shooting blanks, and Chappell suggests a trip to an IVF clinic, which macho Taylor is reluctant about. Sometime after, while anxiously awaiting the results, the couple get into a bit of a tiff. Enter young Irishman Sam Parsonson, who works at the same fishing place as Taylor, and funny thing has it, his previous job was working at an IVF clinic. He starts taking an interest in Chappell, and in a moment of drunken weakness, something happens between the two (which Chappell gets less and less interested in the longer it goes on). Unsurprisingly, Chappell ends up pregnant, Taylor is overjoyed at what he thinks is his kid, and Parsonson, thinking the kid is his starts to go unhinged and stalker-ish after guilt…

Review: A Monster Calls

A frequently bullied young boy (Lewis MacDougall) with a terminally ill mother (Felicity Jones) and mostly absent father (Toby Kebbell) is visited by a giant tree monster (voiced by Liam Neeson) stating it has come to tell the boy three stories and that he in turn will tell the monster a fourth. Sigourney Weaver plays the boy’s rather cold grandmother, whilst Geraldine Chaplin is a school principal.
For quite a while I couldn’t put my finger on why this 2017 fantasy film from directorJ.A. Bayona (“The Orphanage”, the gruelling “The Impossible”) wasn’t working for me. The basic elements could’ve and should’ve been really interesting, appealing, and heart-tugging. In execution here…they left me completely cold. I thought surely this must be the case of a poor adaptation of source material that likely would’ve been vastly superior. However, the screenplay is written by author Patrick Ness himself. And then it eventually hit me, I saw potential in the basic elements here for a pretty good…