Showing posts from May 26, 2019

Review: The Muppet Movie

Kermit The Frog is destined for stardom and heads for Hollywood, encountering the rest of the Muppets along the way. Various celebrities appear in cameos, with a more substantial appearance by Charles Durning as a crook trying to wrangle Kermit into his latest money-making scheme.

Although I’m probably a bit partial to “Muppet Christmas Carol”, you’d have to be pretty hard to please not to enjoy this James Frawley (“Kid Blue”, “The Big Bus”) directed, 1979 big-screen adventure for Jim Henson’s felt creations. Scripted by “The Muppet Show” writers Jack Burns & Jerry Juhl, I’m not normally a fan of road movie plots, but in a way it’s the perfect story to be telling for the big-screen debut of these characters as we learn just how it all came to be that these characters found one another. It helps that The Muppets are great company and that it’s all over in about 90 minutes. This is a charming, really lovely film with a lot of heart and memorable characters. It’s even got nice locati…

Review: Cabin Fever

Friends (Samuel Davis, Gage Golightly, Nadine Crocker, Dustin Ingram, and Matthew Daddario) go to a cabin in the woods for some fun. End up victims to a flesh-eating virus. Not fun.

The question is why? It’s not just because the original “Cabin Fever” sucked, but it did. It’s not just that the original “Cabin Fever” only came out in the early 00s, but it did. It’s not just that “Cabin Fever” was basically a rip-off of “The Evil Dead” which itself had two sequels and a remake, but it’s still true. It’s all of the above that had me asking why the hell this 2016 film from director Travis Z exists. Actually, the part about it sucking does potentially have some merit: A remake of a shit film at least in theory could try and succeed in making the original material work. And y’know what? It’s ever-so slightly less crap than the original film. So well done to Mr. Z for making a completely pointless, largely scene-for-scene (apparently the big difference being that shots are inverse to the ori…

Review: Streets of Fire

Labelled a ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Fable’, this flick stars Diane Lane as Ellen Aim, a rock star kidnapped by Raven (Willem Dafoe) and his gang of motorcycle goons, which feature Lee Ving among them. Michael ParĂ© plays Ellen’s brooding ex-boyfriend Tom Cody, a mercenary-for-hire paid by Ellen’s obnoxious dweeb manager/boyfriend Billy Fish (Rick Moranis) to swing into town and get her back. Madigan plays McCoy, a tomboy former soldier and mechanic who latches onto Cody to become his driver and sidekick of-sorts. Deborah Van Valkenburgh plays Cody’s sister Reva, Bill Paxton plays a goofy-looking bartender named Clyde, whilst Richard Lawson, Rick Rossovich, and Peter Jason play corrupt cops. Mykelti Williamson, Grand L. Bush, Stoney Jackson, and Robert Townsend play The Sorels, a Four Tops-esque vocal group who hitch a ride with Cody and the gang. Marine Jahan, who provided much of the ‘dance’ in “Flashdance” plays a dancer in a bar here.

It really boggles my mind that this 1984 Walter Hill (“The…

Review: Howard the Duck

The title character comes from a planet parallel to ours, only populated by ducks. For half-arsed reasons he ends up on Earth, befriends the lead singer of an all-girl rock band (Lea Thompson) and for some reason she takes him to dorky lab technician Tim Robbins. Jeffrey Jones plays a scientist who takes an interest in Howard, whilst a young Miguel Sandoval is seen briefly as a club owner.

And you thought “The Star Wars Holiday Special” was the only skeleton in George Lucas’ closet. Nope, LucasFilm were also behind this 1986 Marvel Comics-derived turkey from director Willard Huyck and his co-writer Gloria Katz (both of whom helped Lucas write “American Graffiti” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”). It’s…off-putting to say the least. In fact, the only thing here that I even liked was the opening few seconds with a binary sunset just as the ‘George Lucas Presents’ credit came on screen. Given that the ‘Binary Sunset’ moment in “Star Wars: A New Hope” is my favourite moment in an…

Review: Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

A rocket ship (containing astronauts Akira Takarada and Nick Adams) is sent to Planet X, home to a humanoid alien species who claim to need our help. See, they have a bit of a problem with King Ghidorah attack the planet’s surface, forcing them underground. They have a proposal to us; Allow them to use Godzilla and Rodan (Earth monsters) to help with their Ghidorah problem. In return they will give the people of Earth a cure for all Earthly diseases. Seems like a decent enough trade, right? Yeah, turns out things aren’t as simple as that. Akira Kubo plays a nerdy inventor who gets caught in the middle of all of this with his latest invention.

The Showa era of Godzilla films (i.e. The era starting with the original “Gojira”) tends to be my personal favourite. Sure, not every entry was stellar, but it contains my three personal favourite Godzilla films, “Destroy All Monsters!”, “Gojira”, and this 1965 outing from director Ishiro Honda (“Gojira”, “Destroy All Monsters!”) and screenwriter…