Showing posts from March 24, 2019

Review: Proud Mary

Taraji P. Henson plays the title character, an assassin with a slight conscience, who ends up becoming a maternal figure for the young child (Jahi Di’Allo) of one of her victims. She has to keep the boy a secret from her employer (Danny Glover) and colleague/lover (Billy Brown) or else they will want the kid rubbed out for knowing too much. Xander Berkeley plays a Russian criminal in one scene.

Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty wasn’t keen on this 2018 film using the title of a song he wrote without his permission. Having read his autobiography Fortunate Son (CCR are my favourite band) I understand why, the man has been screwed out of his own music over the years. However, since this movie looked like a bit of a Blaxploitation throwback and I like Taraji P. Henson, I thought it might at least be an interesting diversion. It doesn’t start out too badly, but it sputters out pretty quickly I’m afraid. Directed by Babak Najafi (“London Has Fallen”), it might give off Blax…

Review: Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Murderer and hockey enthusiast Jason Voorhees (Ted White) contends with not only the usual assortment of horny Crystal Lake partygoers, but a young wannabe horror movie makeup artist named Tommy (Corey Feldman) and his older sister Trish (Kimberly Beck), who live with their freshly single mother (Joan Freeman). Peter Barton and Judie Aronson are the resident hot youngsters, Lawrence Monoson and Crispin Glover are the eager nerds, Bruce Mahler is a horny hospital worker, and E. Erich Anderson is a mysterious stranger in town.

Unless you count “Freddy vs. Jason”, there are no “Friday the 13th” films wholeheartedly worth a recommendation (and even “Freddy vs. Jason” hasn’t aged especially well, to be honest). However, along with the underrated 2009 remake, this 1984 film from director Joseph Zito (the decent slasher “The Prowler”, Chuck Norris’ OK “Missing in Action”, Chuck Norris’ abysmal and un-OK “Invasion USA”) and screenwriter Barney Cohen (mostly a TV writer) certainly comes closes…

Review: Across 110th Street

By-the-book black cop Yaphet Kotto and his white partner with questionable morality (aging but tough Anthony Quinn) attempt to get to a trio of African-American hoods (Reckless Antonio Fargas, epileptic Paul Benjamin, and the other guy, Ed Bernard) who were dumb enough to steal money from the local mafia. Anthony Franciosa is the mob boss’ son-in-law, given the task of eliminating the trio and sending a message to anyone with similar ambitions. Fargas parties like its 1999, whilst Benjamin hides out with his girlfriend. Other guy Bernard does other guy stuff. Meanwhile, our two cops spend a lot of the film trying not to punch each other out, with Kotto appointed the lead officer in the case (Call him MISTER Kotto, or else!...) Richard Ward and Gilbert Lewis play a couple of higher-up Harlem crooks who are uneasy allies with the mafia in tracking down the thieves, after some of their own (black gangsters, that is) ended up casualties in the messy heist.

1972 Barry Shear (the violent we…

Review: The Beguiled

Set in Virginia during the Civil War, Colin Farrell plays a wounded Union soldier reluctantly taken in a dainty girls’ school, headed by Nicole Kidman. There the handsome, rugged charmer stirs up a lot of feelings within students (Elle Fanning) and staff (Kirsten Dunst) alike. Angourie Rice and Oona Laurence play a couple of the girls.

I won’t say the 1971 Don Siegel original with Clint Eastwood was a masterpiece or anything, however it certainly offered up an interesting departure for manly man of action and spaghetti westerns Eastwood. Like Eastwood’s excellent directorial debut from the same year “Play Misty for Me”, it helped if you didn’t take it too seriously, either. This 2017 remake seems an interesting choice for director Sofia Coppola (the overrated director of “The Virgin Suicides” and “Lost in Translation”), but proves to be a less interesting and appealing film than the original. It’s an extremely good-looking film, but I think the original had a lot more fun with the sex…