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Showing posts from February 10, 2019

Review: Dark Shadows

Beginning in the 18th Century, Johnny Depp is Barnabas Collins, who was raised in a town in Maine that is named Collinsport and in a mansion named Collinwood. As an adult, he has an affair with maid Angelique (Eva Green), but is truly besotted with Josette (Aussie actress Bella Heathcote). When Angelique learns of this, the scorned woman, also a witch, kills both Barnabas’ parents and Josette, and places a vampiric curse on Barnabas himself. Not satisfied at leaving it there, she also arranges for the townsfolk to capture and bury Barnabas in a coffin, and curses his family for good measure. Chicks, man. We then cut to 1972 as Bella Heathcote reappears as young Victoria, set to be the governess to young David Collins (Gulliver McGrath) at Collinwood. The estate has been left to deteriorate under matriarch Elizabeth (Michelle Pfeiffer), who is also mother to hippie teen Carolyn (Chloe Grace Moretz). Meanwhile, Barnabas’ coffin is unearthed in an excavation, and Barnabas comes back to l…

Review: Convoy

Kris Kristofferson (Perhaps the manliest man to ever grace the screen outside of Burt Lancaster and Sam Elliott) plays a trucker with the handle ‘Rubber Duck’ who constantly gets on the wrong side of corrupt, mean-spirited sheriff Lyle (Ernest Borgnine). He and his fellow truckers get the better of ‘ol Lyle (who likes to set up speed traps to nab truckers for petty infractions) at a truck stop and make a getaway, and whilst on the run, ‘Rubber Duck’ amasses himself one helluva convoy and a cult/media following. Ali MacGraw plays a young photographer who takes a shine to the Duck and rides in his truck. Franklyn Ajaye plays trucker Spider Mike who becomes an unfortunate target of the bullying Lyle. Burt Young plays another trucker called ‘Pig Pen’, though it’s essentially just Young playing a gentler Uncle Paulie from “Rocky”. Character actor Seymour Cassel plays an opportunistic politician who tries to ride along on Rubber Duck’s wave of cult popularity.


A film based on a kick-arse so…

Review: Happy Face Killer

David Arquette stars as Keith Jesperson, a man with a lot of sick urges that have long laid dormant, but once the truck driver is rejected first by his fed-up wife and applying for his dream job as a Mountie, he snaps and starts picking up women to rape and kill. Gloria Reuben plays the police investigator tracking the killer down.


I’m always up for a good true crime story, but this 2014 TV movie from cinematographer turned director Rick Bota (the direct-to-DVD “Hellraiser: Hellseeker” and a lot of TV) isn’t anywhere near good. Lousy, tame, and poorly cast this is a real waste of potential in the true-life story. Scripted by Richard Christian Matheson (the infamously bad “Loose Cannons” as well as several episodes of “The A-Team”), there really was potential in the story of a creepy guy lying dormant until opportunity shows itself for him to indulge himself. The problem in execution is that said creepy guy is played by someone who simply cannot act. David Arquette is perfectly fine at…

Review: Game 6

Set in 1986 during the infamous World Series Baseball championship, playwright Michael Keaton is just as nervous about the opening night of his new play (and in particular the expected savage review from uber-nasty, uber-reclusive critic Robert Downey Jr), as he is about the fate of his beloved Red Sox. He runs into his bitter ex (Catherine O’Hara), his mistress (Bebe Neuwirth), his distant daughter (Ari Graynor), a dishevelled and paranoid colleague (Griffin Dunne), an aging actor who can’t remember simple lines just fed to him (Harris Yulin), and cab drivers of just about every ethnicity known to man.


Self-consciously affected, stagy and essentially useless for most people outside of America, this 2005 Michael Hoffman (“Soapdish”) uber low-budget film is well-acted but never terribly credible. Pretentious and heavy-handed devices (A religious cabbie mother and son team, repeated phrases, the use of the title sports event itself as being important to the main character etc.) aggravat…

Review: X-Men: First Class

Beginning in 1944, Nazi scientist Klaus Schmidt (Kevin Bacon) shoots the mother of young Jewish boy Erik when he refuses to display his apparent mental abilities with bending metallic objects. That same year, a young Charles Xavier gets a visit from a shape-shifter known as Raven, and he promises to look out for her. Cut to the early 60s and Erik (now played by Michael Fassbender) has been globe-trotting in the hopes of tracking down Schmidt. He believes he has found him in the form of Sebastian Shaw, whose world domination plans involve turning the USSR and USA against one another (where’s 007 when you need him?). Shaw also exhibits extraordinary powers of his own. Erik meets up with Charles (now played by James McAvoy), an Oxford graduate and Professor who has been collecting a group of mutants, including Raven, now going by the name Mystique. Still with me? Rose Byrne is a CIA agent who goes to Xavier for help when learning that Shaw has amassed a mutant army of his own, though her…