Showing posts from August 18, 2019

Review: Joshua

Fred Williamson plays the title character, a taciturn Civil War veteran out to avenge the death of his beloved mother (Kathryn Jackson), who worked for a rancher. The rancher’s home was beset by a gang of thugs (including a ham-fisted Ralph Willingham in his only screen credit as an old coot named Weasle), who in addition to killing poor momma, also kidnapped the rancher’s mail-order bride (Brenda Venus), whom they also rape. If there’s one thing you don’t ever do to Williamson, it’s mess with his momma! Didn’t these creeps ever see “Black Caesar”?

Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson’s ‘Po Boy Productions tended to offer little more than cheap, cynical so-called ‘entertainments’ (“Original Gangstas” and “Adios Amigo” weren’t bad, though), and this 1976 cheapo western directed by Larry G. Spangler (who directed Williamson in “The Soul of Nigger Charley” and “The Legend of Nigger Charley”) from a screenplay by star Williamson is no exception. Some might call this unoriginal film minimalist, I …

Review: Mission Impossible: Fallout

After the capture of Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his cohorts Luther (Ving Rhames) and Benji (Simon Pegg) find themselves in a pickle when a McGuffin falls into evildoer hands. Now Ethan and co must join forces with CIA man Henry Cavill to right the wrongs before things go nuclear levels of bad. Rebecca Ferguson returns as former MI6 agent Ilsa Faust, whilst Vanessa Kirby plays a blonde arms broker nicknamed The White Widow. Alec Baldwin and Angela Bassett play the requisite IMF and CIA suits.

The “Mission Impossible” film series started out pretty horribly, but has delivered quality entertainment since the underrated “Mission Impossible III”. Personally, I think the series peaked with the next entry “Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol”, but this 2018 action-thriller from writer-director Christopher McQuarrie is still worthy of a recommendation. Make that a rather soft recommendation, though. I’d probably place it as the weakest in the series since the terri…

Review: The Indian Fighter

Kirk Douglas stars as Johnny Hawks, an apparent ‘Indian Fighter’ who leads a wagon train through Indian territory. The film mostly charts his attempts to keep the peace between both hostile parties. Making things difficult are greedy whiskey traders Walter Matthau and Lon Chaney Jr. (who kill an Indian), as well as Hawks’ interest in a pretty young Injun chick (Elsa Martinelli). Diana Douglas (Kirk’s first ex-wife and Michael’s old lady) plays a widow with a kid, who takes a liking to Hawks, who sadly isn’t the marrying kind. Eduard Franz plays Indian chief Red Cloud, Hank Worden is amusingly cast as a liquored up Indian named Crazy Bear, Elisha Cook Jr. plays a photographer, and Alan Hale Jr. (Skipper!) is a simple farmer with romantic intentions towards Diana Douglas.

Ignore that impressive cast, folks, because this 1955 western is a seriously dull, uninspired affair. One-eyed director Andre De Toth (“House of Wax”, “Crime Wave”) gives the film absolutely no energy, excitement, or r…

Review: Babylon A.D.

Set in rundown future Serbia, mercenary Vin Diesel is assigned by a Russian mobster (Gerard Depardieu) with the task of escorting young Melanie Thierry from a Mongolian convent (!) to safe harbour in New York. The teen girl (who has never left the convent) is accompanied by her nun guardian Michelle Yeoh. Apparently there’s something truly special about this girl, something that everyone would kill for. Charlotte Rampling plays a sinister High Priestess and CEO of a church (though her only belief system appears to be ‘power’), whilst Lambert Wilson is a man from Thierry’s past.

Although its future world depiction is at first glance more interesting than the overrated and quite similarly-plotted “Children of Men” (a total snore if you ask me), this troubled Mathieu Kassovitz (yeah, the “La Haine” guy) flick from 2008 is mostly a crushing bore. Hell, even Kassovitz himself publicly trashed the film, supposedly stymied by the big studio behind the film (20th Century Fox) and beset by a w…