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Showing posts from March 17, 2019

Review: Diggstown

James Woods plays slick con artist Gabriel Caine, freshly released from prison, who immediately puts his best talents into action, with his associate Fitz (Oliver Platt, playing drunk as usual). Entering the small town of the film’s title, they are planning on hustling the town’s bigwig Gillon (Bruce Dern, enjoying the hell out of himself) by setting up a huge bet with him; Caine has Fitz denigrate the good name of the town’s boxing hero, Charles Macum Diggs (played as a catatonic by Wilhelm von Homburg), and then along comes Caine to claim that his fighter can take on any ten of Diggstown’s fighters in one 24 hour period and be left standing at the end. The stakes? With financial backing from local gangster Corsini (Orestes Matacena) the game is set, and now all Caine has to do is tell his fighter, "Honey" Roy Palmer (Lou Gossett Jr.), an over the hill pugilist who never quite reached the heights he probably deserved. Palmer knows nothing of the con when approached, and fra…

Review: Pacific Rim: Uprising

Set ten years after the events of the first film, and John Boyega plays the estranged son of Idris Elba’s deceased character, who reluctantly joins the next stage in the fight against the alien kaiju. Boyega is accompanied by teenage amateur jaeger builder Cailee Spaeny, with the former assigned a training role and the latter one of the jaeger trainees. Scott Eastwood plays a former acquaintance/superior officer of Boyega’s who isn’t happy to see the perennial screw-up. Charlie Day returns as the cranky ADHD scientist who is now recruited by a potentially shady corporation experimenting with the kaiju and jaeger technology. He may also be screwing around with his own specimens off company time (Not all that much of a thinker, is this scientist apparently).


I actually think Guillermo del Toro’s “Pacific Rim” was a better kaiju movie than both Gareth Edwards’ “Godzilla” and the Japanese film “Shin Godzilla”. So, when I heard a sequel was being made, I was excited. Unfortunately, this 20…

Review: The Ghost Writer

Ewan McGregor is a London author dispatched to America to take over ghost writing duties on the memoir of former British PM Adam Lang (Pierce Brosnan), after the original ghost writer met an untimely end. The book’s publishers (a bald Jim Belushi among them) hoping to make megabucks and Lang’s reps have different ideas of what they want out of the book, thus making McGregor’s task more difficult. Lang is currently being slung with mud by a former colleague (Robert Pugh) of war crimes and is basically holed up in a Martha’s Vineyard retreat. Whilst staying at the retreat, McGregor also gets to meet Lang’s long-suffering wife Ruth (Olivia Williams), who knows her husband is having it off with his personal assistant (Kim Cattrall). He also begins to uncover some secrets that, although making for a juicy story, might not be to everyone’s liking and might have him end with a similar fate to his predecessor. Tom Wilkinson plays an academic from Lang’s past, and Eli Wallach plays an elderly …

Review: Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films

Y’know, why shouldn’t Cannon Films get their own documentary? They’re a pretty important part of 1980s cinema, and a lot of famous names were a part of their films. Well actually, they have two documentaries made about the studio. However, this 2014 film from Aussie documentarian Mark Hartley is the only one I’ve thus far seen. Apparently it’s seen by Golan/Globus as too negative towards them, hence why they chose to appear in the rival documentary. However, I’ve gotta say it comes off as pretty accurate to me.


The thing with Cannon was that 90% of their output was crap (“King Solomon’s Mines”, “The Wicked Lady”, “Bolero”, “Cobra”, “Assassination”, etc.), 9% was mediocre (“Cyborg”, “Masters of the Universe”, “River of Death”, “Sahara”, “Lifeforce”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”), but that 1%? That was actually pretty good, and it wasn’t just their ‘prestige’/arthouse releases, either. Yes, the studio gave us all those awful Charles Bronson “Death Wish” pics, as well as Lou Ferrigno’s ap…

Review: The Commuter

Insurance guy Liam Neeson has just lost his job and wallet as he boards the train home to greet wife Elizabeth McGovern and his college-bound kid with the bad news. First he’s greeted by train passenger Vera Farmiga, who offers him a proposition: Locate someone on the train who ‘doesn’t belong’ and $100,000 will be Neeson’s as reward. Seems simple enough, and Farmiga tells him that Neeson will never have to know the consequences for the person he identifies. Yeah, there’s a lot more to it than that. Patrick Wilson plays Neeson’s cop buddy, Jonathan Banks is a train passenger, and Sam Neill is the police captain whom neither Neeson or Wilson seem to like all that much.


I groaned audibly in the cinema when I saw the trailer for this film. Director Jaume Collet-Serra and star Liam Neeson drink from the same well one too many times with this derivative 2018 thriller. It’s “Non-Stop” but on a train, and not nearly as good. The best I can say for it is that like all of these gimmicky myster…