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Gator_MacReady

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1528 reviews in total 
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Hey Buckaroo ya real cool cat, you got a little of this and a lotta that, 4 May 2016
7/10

I'm not sure I am able to review this film, I don't know what it is. I don't think half of the cast even know what it is. But I do know that I like it, a lot. It has a wonderfully infectious edge and does not care to conform to the expectations of any particular genre.

Peter Weller is Buckaroo Banzai a Japanese/American rock star/brain surgeon/secret agent/rocket scientist who travels through the 8th dimension in his rocket car with the help of his latest invention - the Oscillation Overthruster. The success of this inter-dimensional travel brings forth the Rastafarian Black Lectoids, an alien race at war with the the Red Lectoids, led by a manic John Lithgow as Dr. Emilio Lizardo/Lord John Whorfin, who are already here on Earth and sabotaging Buckaroo and his very large easy-going entourage the Hong Kong Cavaliers.

Honestly, there is so much going on here that it's very hard to get a handle on it. This also makes Buckaroo Banzai infinitely re- watchable. Imagine the insanity of Big Trouble in Little China and dial it all the way up past the threshold. It's incredible that I have only just discovered this film. Perhaps attempting to review it this soon after my mind has attempted to absorb it is a mistake. One could literally debate and discuss this crazy movie until the end of time and still not cover all of its idiosyncrasies. There is enough material in here for ten movies, yet it never once feels overly crowded, nor did it ever deliver the urgently-needed sequel the end credits promise.

The film is PACKED with recognizable stars who debuted or were at there peak in the 80s. Christopher Lloyd and Dan Hedeya as the evil Red Lectoids, Jeff Goldblum as Buckaroo's new recruit, Ellen Barkin as the twin sister of his long-lost true love, Clancy Brown as his right- hand man, and a young Jonathan Banks (with hair).

There are so many movies from the 80s that thrive on iconic imagery and eccentric creations. The Oscillation Overthruster really should be as well-known as the Flux Capacitor or the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, the rocket car should be as recognizable as the DeLeorean, Buckaroo's style should be as popular as Marty's orange body-warmer or Indy's fedora. What really should have caught on with audiences the most is Buckaroo's caring, kind personality. It adds yet another unique layer to an already multi-layered and highly unique film.

It's a shame that Buckaroo Banzai failed to find an audience when it was originally released but perhaps having it gradually find its way into popular culture and naturally pull curious viewers into its culture is better than being rudely shoved in our faces.

Most Unwelcome, 10 April 2016
5/10

There is almost no way to coherently explain what this film is about but I will try to give it a go.

Many hundreds of years ago an evil alien fugitive called "Sateen" (clever, huh?) came to Earth and had children. The evil lay dormant down through the generations until it manifested itself once more in a young girl called Katy Collins who can control birds, or something, and has telekinetic abilities, who urges her mother to have another child to her basketball team manager boyfriend so she can have an evil baby brother, a plan also encouraged by an evil board of unidentified men. An ex-tailor turned exorcist (played by John Huston!) comes to the US to stop her and switches a birthday present of a glass peacock for a loaded gun. Upon opening this present Katy chucks it onto a table where it goes off and shoots her mother right through the spine, crippling her. Bearing apparently no grudge against her the pressure to have another baby is still on, meanwhile the exorcist (working for Jesus himself) builds a runway on the roof of a skyscraper, with a bunch of other bald-headed exorcists who stay inside tarpaulin cubicles on said roof. He also acts as a babysitter to Katy while an astrologist housekeeper vows to protect mommy by killing an evil bird before she is thrown through a glass aquarium by Katy. An utterly superfluous scene inside in random hall of mirrors (located in a slum building that Katy flees to for no given reason) precedes a climax involving birds and...look I have NO idea what this film was about. It's enough to make your head explode.

It desperately wants to be Damien: Omen II but fails to match that movie's low-brow chills. It would be unfair to Ed Wood to compare this to his work either. Instead I will say that The Vistor is ABSOLUTELY the film Garth Marenghi would make if given the chance. Keep that in mind and you'll have a blast. Spectacularly bad it may well be, but the movie is so utterly baffling that you'll never be bored by it. Exactly how the managed to convince John Huston, Mel Ferrer, Glen Ford, and Sam Peckinpah to be in this is beyond me.

The Visitor also has the absolute worst visual effects I have ever seen in a motion picture and editing so mind-blowingly awful that you'll struggle to find a sequence of even five shots that string together in a sense-making way. While little Katy is throwing bullies in all directions during a spur-of-the-moment scene on an ice rink there are several intercut shots of John Huston walking down a very long escalator (which is not moving). Why? The dialogue almost never matches the mouths either. About half the movie is out of focus too. I've never seen filmmaking this bad before. Even Samurai Cop was better made than this. Even the music is hopelessly inappropriate. This movie is honestly a Garth Marenghi masterpiece, a feature length episode of Darkplace.

Are you hardened film critic? Test your powers by watching this movie. I DEFY you to make ANY sense of The Visitor.

House of Holmes and Hounds, 27 March 2016
7/10

Hound of the Baskervilles is probably the most filmed adaptation of Conan-Doyle's Sherlock Holmes lore. There are literally dozens of HOTB adaptations across movies, TV, plays, mini-series, and even video games. There's not much one can do with the material to keep it interesting and fresh, but Terence Fisher mixes up a few of the elements as best as he can, which might have some Holmes purists crying foul.

Holmes and Watson are called away to the gloomy moors of Dartmoor where a giant hellhound has been tormenting the dwindling numbers of the Baskerville family. Sir Henry has recently moved in after a number of years living in Africa and his weak heart is about to pack in as the rumors intensify.

Watson takes over for the beginning of the case as Holmes vanishes to sleuth on his own. For anyone who has read the novel or seen any of the previous movies all of this will be so far so familiar, as are the next two acts. What this Hammer production does offer is some nice production design and a few striking shots. Peter Cushing is good as Holmes while Andre Morell, displeased with Nigel Bruce's interpretation of Watson, brings a serious edge to the character.

As the first Sherlock Holmes movie made in color it does look very slick and it's never boring. It just fails to bring anything truly new to the table. Though I would have like to see Hammer take this series further. Sadly, the movie underperformed and they did not.

The Water Was Not Pink, 25 March 2016
4/10

Pinky goes to a muscle beach (on a scooter, but leaves on foot, strangely) and affronts the local tough guy by outperforming him in various athletic feats, which pleases the dames and floozies. The beach tough doesn't take well to this and tries, and fails, to get revenge on the nonchalant Pinky.

It's slightly funny, but many of the jokes and pratfalls don't really make sense and are not clever. It's very lazy stuff and I can't imagine any of this making an impression on modern audiences. When it comes to classic cartoons the Pink Panther is very far behind his Looney Tunes and Disney peers.

As usual the title makes absolutely no sense.

Not So Trippy, 25 March 2016
3/10

This short is mildly tolerable in that the set-up allows for the random nature of the pratfalls to be just slightly appropriate. Pinky is wandering along a "street" (though it is so sparsely animated it's hard for me to tell) and decides to enter a weird book shop. Inside a lot of strange and bizarre things happen...and that's it.

For some reason there is a laugh track included on this one, like they needed to remind the actual viewing audience that they ought to be laughing at this bore, but not even the fake laugh track is enjoying it.

You know you're in trouble when canned laughter is finding your comedy short boring.

Probably the worst Pink Panther short I have seen, 25 March 2016
1/10

So, in this cartoon Pinky has a nail stuck in his paw and a helpful human pulls it out for him. Pinky then idolises and worships this person for helping him and follows him home, I think.

I'll be honest, it was at that point that the cartoon lost me. I had no idea what on Earth was going on as it's just a seemingly random scattering of really not funny pratfalls. I hated it. None of it made sense, including the title. I don't mind puns but this one didn't apply to anything.

I hope this is as bad as the Pink Panther gets. If all of these shorts were released theatrically I'd be walking out before the main feature even started.

Potatoes and Rabbits Too, 19 March 2016
8/10

As video games become more and more about violence it's hard to find something pleasant or enchanting. Fans of adventure games like Sam & Max or Secret of Monkey Island will love this fairy tale. You play the part of Jeremy Hazelnut a young boy on his second last day of summer holiday with a homework assignment postponed until the last minute and the chance for adventure dwindling away Jeremy is whisked away by the Marquis De Hoto, a magical rabbit who takes him on as an apprentice.

In the woodland village of Mousewood (and now a couple of inches tall) Jeremy meets the many furry inhabitants and goes on errands for them while the greater story unfolds. It does get a bit too wordy occasionally but it's still one of the best adventure games I have played.

The animation is lovely and the locations are whimsical. The voice acting can get a bit stiff but the character design is so cute you might not notice. If you see this game in a store or on Steam then don't hesitate to make a purchase if you are a fan of the genre. I finished the game in about 15 hours but missed 3 of the achievements. There are also some Steam trading cards featured.

Not that funny, 11 March 2016
4/10

In this lame short the Pink Panther sees a bunch of kids playing with kites and decides he wants to have such fun himself, only he's completely unable to get the kite in the air, and whenever he does it's only for a few brief moments and usually at the extreme cost to someone else.

I didn't find this cartoon awfully funny and it barely managed to get a couple of mild smirks out of me. Nothing here is inspired or witty and it just seems to be going through the motions with little in the way of visual narration or cohesion between the randomly ordered sketches. Another one to file near the bottom of the pack.

Pink Outs (1967)
Cheap Ins, 11 March 2016
3/10

This short is clearly just made up of deleted scenes or failed ideas from previous Pink Panther cartoons. There is no story at all to this one as it is no more than a succession of "black out" gags designed to end cartoons on a visual pun. That's it. I know Pink Panther cartoons are not known for their story lines, rather their style and cool cat vibe but this one is very thin and pushing its luck. If you've never been entertained by a Simpsons "clip show" episode you'll not enjoy this one. A couple of them made me chuckle but it really is not one I will be re-watching. I hope it represents the worst of what the Pink Panther has to offer as I might not be able to tolerate less of an effort.

The Hobb's End Horror, 11 March 2016
6/10

Like all the best science fiction Quatermass and the Pit begins with a meaningful idea, not just an excuse for special effects and spectacle. This third big screen outing for the iconic Doctor Quatermass has tube tunnel diggers in London uncover a mysterious ship which has been buried under the city for 10 Million Years. The officials begin to panic, fearing a dormant Nazi aircraft but Quatermass has a hunch that the origins of the craft are something far, far more sinister.

I did enjoy the theories and questions posed by this movie, and the production design, for the most part, is quite impressive. However I was disappointed by the design of the Martians and the dream sequence set on Mars. The cheapness of these effects really dismantles the film and lessens the overall effect of the premise. There are some great moments though, and the final effect of the giant Martian face over London is quite a striking image.

According to Joe Dante, the effects of the TV version (made 9 years earlier and on a lesser budget) are superior, and I would like to see this version to compare. As it is Quatermass and the Pit is a notable sci-fi flick and never once boring. If only they invested more time and effort in those effects...


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