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Showing posts from May 19, 2019

Review: The Mask

Bland, mild-mannered bank teller Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) discovers a new, hyper-dynamic personality when he wears a strange mask he found one night. He hopes with his newfound extroverted persona to woo the bodacious club singer Tina Carlyle (Cameron Diaz), but it also ends up getting him in trouble with both the police (Peter Riegert) and criminals (Carlyle’s mobster boyfriend Dorian, played by Peter Greene). Richard Jeni plays Ipkiss’ fellow bank employee, whilst Amy Yasbeck plays a reporter.


It’s been at least 20 years since I last saw this 1994 Dark Horse comics adaptation from director Chuck Russell (the excellent “A Nightmare on Elm St. 3: Dream Warriors”, and the recent John Travolta-turns-Charles Bronson flick “I Am Wrath”) and screenwriter Mike Werb (the idiotic “Gnaw: Food of the Gods II”, the idiotic and overrated John Woo film “Face/Off”). Having re-visited “Ace Venture: Pet Detective” in recent years to a much lesser reaction than when I first saw it, I was extremely …

Review: Darkest Hour

A biopic on Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman), newly appointed British PM as WWII and the decision as to whether or not to negotiate with Adolf Hitler plays on his mind.


A massive improvement over the insane and factually bullshit “Churchill”, this 2017 film from director Joe Wright (the terrible “Atonement”, the interesting “Hanna”) still greatly underwhelms. Part of the problem for me is that unlike the rest of the world, I think Gary Oldman is grossly miscast in the title role. I don’t believe an actor always has to look and sound exactly like the real-life figure they play, but when it’s someone whose face and voice are immediately recognisable? Yeah, it’s a prerequisite in my view, and Oldman isn’t up to snuff (especially compared to Brendan Gleeson, who played Churchill quite memorably on TV a few years back). He sounds nothing like the man and looks like himself wearing makeup. Although he gets Churchill’s cadence relatively OK in other parts of the film, he completely whiffs on …

Review: Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives

Tommy Jarvis (Thom Matthews) wants to make sure killer Jason Voorhees is really, really super dead and in hell. So he digs up his corpse and tries to impale him. Unfortunately, it’s a dark and stormy night and poor Tommy ends up inadvertently resurrecting Jason instead. Thanks a lot, Tommy. Whilst Jason is hacking youngsters at Camp Crystal Lake like old times (except the town is now called Forest Green to disassociate itself from its bad reputation), Tommy has a Dickens of a time trying to get law enforcement to take his rantings seriously. David Kagen is the local sheriff, Jennifer Cooke is the local sheriff’s daughter who is totally not gonna get mixed up with Tommy against her father’s wishes.


When getting ready to revisit this franchise for the first time in about two decades, this film and the subsequent “The New Blood” were the ones I remembered the least about. With good reason it would appear watching this 1986 slasher film again, as it’s quite brutal but boring beyond belief…

Review: Riki-Oh/Story of Ricky

Set in the supposedly future date of 2001, Siu-Wong Fan stars as the title character, whose girlfriend (adorable Gloria Yip, seen in flashbacks) was killed by drug lords. He swears bloody vengeance and as a result of his actions is sent to a maximum security prison, convicted of murder. Prisons, as in most cinematic future societies, are now corporate-owned, and totally corrupt, exploiting the prisoners as slave workers. Riki-Oh/Ricky must not only contend with the evil and sadistic Assistant Warden (Miu Sang Fan), but also the vicious gang that control certain areas of the prison, known as The Gang of Four. Unfortunately for them, but fortunately for the audience, our hero is no ordinary man. This is a dude who has been trained in a most unique martial art, a kind of internal kung-fu and breathing technique that gives him a kind of indestructibility to any form of pain or torture. Basically, you mess wit’ him, he gonna fuck you up, real good! So of course, every bad ass in prison dec…