Showing posts from December 9, 2012

Review: Under the Rainbow

International spies (including Nazi Billy Barty and Oriental Mako) clash with hard partying midgets staying at Adam Arkin’s hotel during the filming of “The Wizard of Oz” . Chevy Chase is an American Secret Service agent, Robert Donner plays an assassin, Joseph Maher the Duke whom Chase is assigned to protect (with Eve Arden as the Duchess), and Carrie Fisher is in charge of the little people during filming. Lots of well-known little people (Zelda Rubenstein, Tony Cox, Phil Fondacaro, Felix Silla, and Debbie Lee Carrington) fill out the smallest parts (hey, it’s that kind of movie, OK?). Regarded by some to be one of the worst and most offensive comedies of all-time (and it might be one of the flops that contributed to the collapse of Orion Pictures), this 1980 Steve Rash ( “The Buddy Holly Story” ) slapstick farce actually isn’t all that bad. Well, kinda. Yes, it has one of the worst premises in any movie I’ve seen, but that kinda makes it funny, in my view. I mean, they’re r

Review: Elephant White

Djimon Hounsou stars as Church a stoic hired killer and former CIA assassin, who is in Thailand on the job of mowing down a gang of human traffickers who were responsible for the death of the daughter of a Thai businessman. He is aided in this quest by somewhat unscrupulous arms dealer Kevin Bacon. Church is also joined by drug-addicted teenage hooker Mae (Jirantanin Pitakporntrakul), despite his best efforts to rid himself of her to focus on his assignment. Filmed in Bangkok, Thailand, this 2011 action flick from director Prachya Pinkaew (an English-language debut for the director of the excellent “Ong-Bak” , and the lesser “The Protector” ) and writer Kevin Bernhardt is the kind of thing that in terms of plot could’ve starred any has-been action star, and in terms of location, could easily have passed for a Tony Jaa ( “Ong-Bak” , “The Protector” ) movie. Instead, we get Djimon Hounsou, who has presence and is good enough to suggest he deserves his own action movie. Just not

Review: Killers of Kilimanjaro

Set in the 1880s, Robert Taylor is an engineer assigned the task of finishing the first railroad across Africa. An earlier crew have apparently disappeared, with only milquetoast ‘Hooky’ (Anthony Newley) left behind to assist Taylor. On the voyage over to Africa (a ship captained by bearded Donald Pleasence) Taylor also befriends young Pasha (John Dimech), whose father it turns out is a local slave trader (Gregoire Aslan), who wants Taylor to strike a deal with him. Taylor refuses, and after recruiting helpers from the local prison (!) he sets about going on safari, in order to search for the lost men and finishing the railroad. Anne Aubrey is a woman Taylor also meets aboard the ship, whose father and husband (the latter played by Allan Cuthbertson) are the missing men in question. Not very popular with critics then or now, I actually rather enjoyed this 1959 safari adventure film from the reliable Richard Thorpe ( “Ivanhoe” , “The Prisoner of Zenda” , “Knights of the Round Table

Review: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 1

**** SPOILER WARNING **** This review, well, pretty much spoils everything in the plot, but it’s necessary for any substantial discussion. Anyway, you’ve been warned from here on in.   Although the wedding of Bella (Kristen Stewart) and her vampire beau Edward (Robert Pattinson) goes smoothly, things get a whole lot more complicated after the honeymoon. Yes, Bella and Edward have human-on-vampire sex for the first time. This of course results in Bella being pregnant with Edward’s child. Oopsy. That’s a bit of a pickle. With fangs. Even Edward’s clan are horrified at this news (and these are folk who drink blood, don’t forget), but Bella refuses to have the foetus terminated, even when learning the fast growing hybrid inside her may kill her. Meanwhile, Jacob (Taylor Lautner, the series’ Ashley Wilkes- “Gone With the Wind” reference FTW!) and his nosey werewolf clan are out for vengeance on the Cullens for this violation of Bella and the supposed natural order of things (Wait