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Showing posts from August 16, 2020

Review: John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum

Picking up immediately from “Chapter 2”, uber-efficient underworld assassin John Wick (an unflappable Keanu Reeves) is branded ‘excommunicado’ for committing murder on Continental grounds. He’s forced to go on the run from all manner of killers wanting to collect the pricey bounty on his head, and with precious few contacts willing to break rules and provide him sanctuary. Long-time friend and associate Winston (Ian McShane, who only gets better with age) for instance, only gave him a 2 hour head-start before executing the excommunication order. Laurence Fishburne and Lance Reddick also return as the Bowery King and the Continental’s concierge, respectively. New to the game here are a rogue’s gallery of eccentric underworld figures; Asia Kate Dillon is the icy and impatient ‘Adjudicator’ who suspects Winston, the Bowery King, and Wick’s Belarusian mentor (Anjelica Huston’s ‘The Director’) of bending the rules for Wick’s benefit. Mark Dacascos is chief villain Zero, a deadly sushi chef…

Review: Police Academy

Due to a new policy introduced by the mayor, the standards and requirements for enlistment in the police academy have…changed, to be euphemistic about it. Literally anyone can sign up it appears. The academy’s Commandant Eric Lassard (George Gaynes) is an amiable, if daffy and long-winded sort, whilst the antagonistic and scheming Lt. Harris (G.W. Bailey) and ravenous Sgt. Callahan (Leslie Easterbrook) are his chief instructors. Steve Guttenberg plays serial wise-arse Mahoney, who is ordered to sign up for the academy training as a way of finally giving him some direction and discipline. He spends most of his time hitting on fellow trainee Thompson (a bored rich snob played by Kim Cattrall). Also turning up to join are gun-happy former security guard Tackleberry (David Graf), Latino lothario Martinez (Andrew Rubin) who isn’t as he seems, Larvell Jones (Michael Winslow) who can imitate seemingly any sound with uncanny precision, gigantic former florist Hightower (Bubba Smith), mousy Ho…

Review: Three Tough Guys

A pugilistic priest with a delinquent past (Lino Ventura) teams up with a framed ex-cop (Isaac Hayes) to investigate a bank robbery and subsequent series of machine-gun murders. Both men have a personal stake in the case, with one of Ventura’s parishioners being among the victims, and Hayes lost his job when he was too busy getting busy with Paula Kelly instead of foiling the robbery. Fred Williamson is the aptly named Joe Snake, a manipulative sleazebag bar owner who happens to be the criminal our starring duo are ultimately looking for. William Berger plays a police captain who doesn’t trust Hayes as far as he can throw him.There’s a bit of false advertising going on here in this 1974 French-Italian-American co-production from director Duccio Tessari (co-writer of the iconic “Fistful of Dollars”). For one thing, despite the presence of Blaxploitation veterans Isaac Hayes, Fred Williamson, Bob Minor, and Paula Kelly (who sadly passed away in early 2020), this isn’t really a Blaxploit…