Reviews written by registered user
|25 reviews in total|
This movie proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there is no unified God
of Movie Production. This movie had one thing (and only one thing) going for
it -- it is the most hilarious, most badly written, and most poorly made
movie in years. Most of the cast isn't bad -- actors that were obviously
temporarily insane when they made the movie -- but Vanilla Ice is out of his
overly-shaved mind. The clothes, the hair, the sunglasses, the "how's the
hoise" accent...cheese beyond belief! Of course, it's true what they say --
you haven't lived until you've seen this movie, if for no other reason than
that you will need something to compare other movies to. "Well, 'Wayne's
World II' wasn't great, but it was nowhere NEAR as bad as 'Cool as Ice'."
Why were people in awe of this guy? I'm sorry, but "Johnny Owen" was a freak. If that guy showed up at my door, I wouldn't be amazed, or stand-offish. I wouldn't be able to talk, because I would be rolling on the floor in hysterics. It's bad enough the movie was a loss, but did they have to destroy every illusion I had about small town bands? The whole point of the movie seemed to be to bolster up Vanilla's dying career, and expose the world to phrases like "schling a schlong". I can't spoil the plot for you because, basically, there was none. A lot of dancing...or at least, what they apparently thought was dancing...well, at least Kristin Minter and Deezer D. went on to "ER" together.
All that aside, I have to admit, I watched this movie three times. I was laughing too hard the first, crying too hard the second, and watched it the third time to show someone else how inane it was. Stars? Two and a half out of five, less if VIce ever does a movie again.
And it's virtually guaranteed that Hitchcock is. This movie is a poor
imitation of the original. The original "Psycho" may not have been the
utmost of a psychological thriller, but the remake was a joke. Poor
unfortunates all over the country who haven't seen the original are touting
the remake as a 100% copy, scene-for-scene, word-for-word, idea-for-idea.
Anne Heche was tolerable in the role of Marion Crane, but Vaughn just wasn't even funny as Norman Bates. The whole point of the original was to set Norman up as the quintessential tragic hero. Vaughn is nothing more than a creepy, perverted little loser who lives with his mother's corpse. He has no personality, no zing, and no depth. Even Leonardo DiCaprio, over-used and under-talented as he is, would have been a better choice for the role.
Why even bother remaking the film? Did we really need a close-up of a dead Anne Heche with stab wounds yet no blood? An extremely graphic (as well as audio-enhanced) scene of Vince Vaughn masturbating while watching her in the shower? A shot of Viggo Mortensen's derriere and a semi-shot of something that usually nets movies an NC-17? The original was just fine without them.
Van Sant seemed to think that the public was ready for "Psycho" to be released again. Why not just re-release the original? They've been colorizing pictures for years -- if that was their major worry, I'm sure they could have managed it. We didn't need to see Norman Bates ruined by a bumbling Vince Vaughn, who managed to turn Perkins' sympathetic Norman into a the ultra-creepy village idiot. I find it interesting the two films managed to be so close together in the length of the picture, since the second movie seemed to obsess on things that never happened.
The only thing this movie is good for is tape space for something else. Sheesh, even "Psycho III" was better than this junk, and it was the worst of the lot. I shudder to think who they'd cast in Norman's role should they ever decide to remake "Psycho II". Maybe the character might look a little more like Perkins did. Perkins WAS Norman -- Vaughn's a guy who makes a great creep, and works okay in an action, but he should never be cast in a sympathetic role. He can't carry it off.
I'm sorry, but this is NOT a slasher film. Where was the gore? The blood?
The decapitations? "Black Christmas" doesn't even belong in the horror
section -- it should be moved to suspense/thriller. I realise we all have
different likes and dislikes, and as a major horror buff, this didn't really
match my likes. It had the potential to be a great film. The casting was
good, the storyline was okay, and the camera-work was fabulous, but it just
To start with, the film doesn't have the timeless quality that makes a true slash flick, or even a horror. In 1974 this movie was scary, but even by the time I first saw it (1981), horror (and in particular slasher) had been sculpted and re-done with the two "Halloween" movies, and even a couple of the Jason Voorhies flicks. "Black Christmas" tries to imitate the true slasher king, "Psycho", in its picture scenes and mystery, but the conclusion of the movie misses the mark by a mile. I won't ruin it for others, but I will say this -- if you aren't extremely disappointed, you didn't get the movie.
As long as you're not expecting a horror flick, you won't be that disappointed. Basically, it's not a half bad movie, but it's certainly not that scary. Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" is far scarier than this one. 4 out of 10, and that's only for the incomparable Olivia Hussey.
The makers of this movie ignored the middle four films, and it shows. (I
also thank my lucky stars they did!)
Admittedly, there was no mention in this movie just what Michael was doing for the last twenty years, but I can forgive that. As long as they don't mention the farces that came between the second installment and this one, I'm the world's happiest fly fisher.
While a tad slow (there aren't enough good death scenes to make this a true slasher), the casting is excellent. Newcomers Jodi Lyn O'Keefe and Josh Hartnett prove they can more than hold their own, as do the more experienced Michelle Williams and Adam Hann-Byrd, and LL Cool J is well-cast (and under-used) in the role of the campus security guard.
Admittedly the storyline is a little shaky. What IS it with Michael Myers and 17-yr-old relations? And did they forget that there is absolutely NO WAY that Laurie Strode graduated in 1978? She was still in school when the film was set, in October of 1978. While I seem to recall her being a junior, even if she WAS a senior, that's grad of 1979. Oh, but I digress.
Basically, this is a good movie, and an excellent end to the series. The end of the movie rocks, and hopefully means that there will be NO MORE SEQUELS. The Halloween series (and I don't count three through six, which were horrendous mistakes and not made by the original artists) is the ONLY non-supernatural and extremely successful slasher series to make a hit of itself. (Sure, there were four installments in the "Psycho" series, but most of those are closer to horror/suspense than thriller/slasher.) An 8 out of 10 -- despite being a great flick, there were still some dud lines. Kudos, though, on Sarah's death scene -- that was one of the best of the decade.
"Saving Private Ryan" is one of the best fictionalized accounts of war I
have ever seen. The first twenty minutes (which will most likely be cut when
the film makes its television premiere) are more than just war itself --
they are real. The real face of war, pain, death, and loss.
I loved this movie for the cohesiveness (seldom found in other war movies), but there was a major problem with it -- the claim that it was true. A little research into the situation soon shows that Spielberg took more than a LITTLE dramatic license -- the last two hours never happened. There was no major "rescue mission". Poor Pvt. Ryan wandered home one day, and they said, "Oh, hey, we were looking for you!"
As a movie educating people about the horrors of war, though, this is an excellent choice, provided the audience knows it's fiction. It's right up there with "Courage Under Fire" (also starring Matt Damon) as an excellent fiction resource. People wishing to check out a more realistic account of war will want to view "Thin Red Line" and the Canadian mini-series "The Valour and the Horror", both of which are more or less "true" accounts of wartime events.
Although an excellent movie, there is an inherent problem with using big name actors like Tom Hanks and Tom Sizemore. Not only are they far too old for the roles (it was highly unusual to find a WWII soldier over 25 -- most were between 18 and 21 -- and almost every soldier in this movie is late thirties or older), but viewers come in with an already formed opinion. "Tom Hanks? Oh, yes, he's the comedian who often plays an uptight neurotic who's likely to have a nervous breakdown." "Tom Sizemore? Cynical guy with a fairly crude sense of humor and an eye for the ladies." "Adam Goldberg? Ah! Chandler's freaky and psychopathic roommate on "Friends"!" Edward Burns, Canadian actor Barry Pepper, Vin Diesel, and to a certain extent Goldberg were far better for their roles than big time actors Ted Danson, Dennis Farina, Damon, Sizemore, and Hanks. It's not lack of ability, but rather lack of SUITability.
The movie deserves a high rating, but mis-representation (saying the movie was historically based when it was in fact fictional) and glamorizing (casting big name actors to draw viewers) detracted from the movie in some ways. It's got an 8.5 from me, and two thumbs up.
Why "Broken Arrow" failed I will never know. It had a semi-decent cast
(including Christian Slater and Samantha Mathis, paired together for the
third time), but the kudos in this movie go to John Travolta. Slater's
character was too nauseatingly good to be believed (Slater has two roles --
the wild child and the nerd -- and this one just didn't work), and Mathis'
character should have been shot in the beginning of the movie. Travolta,
however, got me through nearly two hours of a holey plot, and some of the
worst special effects and action direction I've ever seen. The character of
Vic Deakins is almost quasi-spiritual in its mania and complete
delusionality, and despite being a truly forgettable role (not unlike the
dirty cop in "Pulp Fiction"), Travolta made a movie that should have ended
up on the cutting room floor bearable. Watch the movie once for Travolta,
but never pick it up again.
While not having the yen for violence notable in "Face/Off" (the only decent Woo movie I've ever seen), also starring Travolta (this time in the "dual" role of a stiff jerk / sociopath), the shoot-'em-ups in this movie will keep you awake, and Travolta's shining star will keep you interested. Give it a 6 out of 10 for Travolta. Check "Face/Off" out for a MUCH better Travolta/Woo flick, or if you really DID like this movie for the qualities it had (because everyone has different faves), you might want to check out other stuff by John Woo, and possibly Tarantino as well.
In a sense, "House IV" picks up where "House I" left off, with author Roger
Cobb. He doesn't last long though, since he is killed off in a freak
automobile accident in the first ten minutes of the movie. His wife Kelly
and daughter Laurel (neither of which existed in the original "House I" --
Cobb had an estranged wife Sandy, and a son Jimmy) move into the Cobb's old
family summer home.
This movie isn't a stinker, but at the same time, it doesn't even come close to the level of excellence seen in "House I" and "House II". The characters in this story, from the old Indian to the snoopy housekeeper, aren't nearly as well-developed as the characters from the previous "House" movies, nor are they as interesting. Melissa Clayton does an excellent job as Cobb's 12-yr-old daughter Laurel, though, bringing both presence and humor to the role. There is humor in this movie, although not a whole lot of it, and what little there is happens to be fairly dark humor.
"House" and "House II" were unique in that they were horror for a wide audience range, but "House IV" does not continue the tradition. The excellent shower scene is marred by a nude shot, and this movie contains foul language not seen in the other two films. The violence level is slightly higher, but that accounts for the almost complete lack of supernatural horror that marked the first two. All in all, I'd give it a six out of ten.
Think of it as the Mexican feminization of "Child's Play". This movie has an
incredibly slow start, but is a good watch for fans of movies like the
"Child's Play" series, "Dolls", the "Puppet Master" series, and any other
movie where dolls can walk and talk. "Dolly Dearest" is your typical,
satanically possessed inanimate object movie, containing such well-known
actors like Candy Hutson (some of the "Land Before Time" movies), Chris
DemetraI ("Somethimes They Come Back") and Denise Crosby ("Pet Sematary"),
and comedic favorite Rip Torn. Set against the beautiful background of
Mexico, much of the plot of this movie was involved with an ancient black
magic curse associated with a pre-Mayan civilization.
It takes nearly a half hour before the movie really starts to get juicy, but once it does, you can't take your eyes off the screen for a second, or you miss something important. Dolly is a terrifying creature, with a tiny, tinny laugh that makes the viewer want to crack up. If you're expecting intelligence and deep meaning to a film, this isn't the horror film for you, but it's an excellent slasher pic. It's not too bad, since there's only a small amount of gore (about the same amount you'll find on a TV movie) and absolutely no nudity, but the satanic overtones may have many viewers picking another movie.
The little girl in the movie, Jessie Wade (Hutson), is written excellently, both as an exuberant young child, and as a slightly satanically possessed creature. Her brother Jimmy (Demetral) is also equally well-written. Where the movie falls short, however, is in the characterization of the mother. Denise Crosby is wasted in the role of this paranoid, semi-psychotic mother who is convinced from the start that her daughter is abnormally obsessed with Dolly (a correct assumption, but a little odd), yet doesn't even notice when her daughter's personality completely changes and she starts acting like an automaton. And never mind that no one notices the few dozen satanically possessed dolls wandering around.
On a scale of one to ten, this movie rates about a six and a half. The storyline behind the movie is mediocre, but the walking and talking dolls make up for it. The young boy is obviously the smartest of the entire lot, something that is typical of horror movies with children. It has the standard horrible ancient curse, but almost any movie regarding satanism or Central America does. I'd recommend it to anyone who's a fan of cult movies or cheezy horror films, in particular "Child's Play" (the first one) and "The Lightning Incident" (with Nancy McKeon), which are both extremely similar.
You'd figure the thirtieth or fortieth movie about dolls that "live" would
get stale, but "Puppet Master" has yet more to show you. They're not dolls
in this movie, but rather five special puppets, crafted with love to be the
companions of an old, lonely man. Jester, the quiet puppet, and last to be
created, who sits back and watches is by far the most interesting. It's cool
to watch his head spin around (it's made up of three distinct sections) when
he changes his facial expressions.
These puppets have been "lost" for nearly fifty years when the story begins, and a bunch of psychics come to investigate the hotel. The death scenes in this movie are unique -- no one can commit gruesome murder quite like tiny little people. But even though they're rampaging the hotel, these toys aren't evil. They set a standard followed in "Puppet Master II" (a movie that, while tolerable, is no where near as good as the original) in that the puppets have no choice but to follow their master, who will eventually reap what he sows.
It's a fabulous movie, from the scenery of the old bed and breakfast at the Bodega Bay house, to the almost sweet-looking puppets (who just happen to like to murder people), and all told, I think I would have to give this movie an eight out of ten. Sure, there's simulated sex, but it's not all that bad. The movie itself is pretty tame -- there's language, humor, gratuitous (and fairly strange) sex, and violence, but it's not marked by extreme gore (well, there's a questionable part right at the very end that is a little disgusting).
One of the best reasons for watching this movie is the cast, particularly Paul LeMat as Alex Whitaker. He's excellent as the peace-keeper in the movie, as well as the first of the psychics to have a really good clue what is going on in the household. Unfortunately, even he, in the end, jumps to the wrong conclusion.
Viewers who enjoy this movie will enjoy "Child's Play", "Dolls", "Demonic Toys", and "Dolly Dearest", among other horror films. Although "Puppet Master" isn't quite as demonic as the others mentioned, and has no aspects of Satan-worship, voodoo, or demonic culture, it's still another of those "inanimate objects come to life" movies. A definite hit!
Although this movie starts off incredibly slowly and at first seems like
your typical annoying cult film, it picks up about 1/3 of the way in to be a
great psychological thriller / horror. The cast of the movie (with the
exception of a couple roles) is excellent. Jennifer Rubin is brilliant as
always in her portrayal of the awakening Cynthia, and Dean Cameron is
nothing less than breath-taking as he switches back and forth from
delusional psychopath to happy camper.
The problem with this movie lay with the underlying storyline. As a 30-something woman having just awakened from a long coma, Jennifer Rubin is a little too young for the role. (Knocking a few years off the coma would have helped.) The viewer soon forgets that when they get caught up in the whirlwind of activities going on around. There's a little gore in some parts, but what's a good slice 'em and dice 'em up horror without a little gore?
If you enjoy Jennifer Rubin in this movie, you may also want to check her out in "A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors" (as well as the rest of the Freddy series), as well as a more serious role in the 1988 teen drama "Permanent Record". Any Cameron movie is worth the watch, but for Dean at his peak, check out the hits "Ski School" and "Summer School". The slow start doesn't hurt the movie at all, and the movie is worth at least a 7.2 on the ratings scale.
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