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You Warriors are good... real good., 2 July 2001

I was only 10 when The Warriors was released, so I didn't even see the movie until it aired on HBO or something. I was hooked from the first showing. To this day, when it comes on one of the cable channels at 1:00AM I end up watching it 'til the end. It's honestly that gripping.

The dark visuals really make this tale of urban gang violence feel real - and it honestly stands up well today (if you can get past some of the clothing and hair styles). The acting performances are all pretty good (although occasionally a little wooden) - I'd give the acting a solid B or possibly b+. Actually surprising considering the actors were all unknowns at the time, although watching it today you'll notice a few familiar faces (Deborah Van Valkenburgh - remember her as Jackie Rush in TV's "Too Close For Comfort"? or James Remar - recently appeared in "What Lies Beneath" and back in 1986 was in another cult-youth-violence flick "Band of the Hand".) About the only disturbing thing about any of the actors is that Warriors gang leader Swan (played by Michael Beck) looks alarmingly like one of the Bee-Gees.

Of course some of the gang "themes" are a little bit over the top, but somehow it all seems perfectly natural in the setting. The subway scenes are a great backdrop to a film that is still visually appealing today, and must have been ahead of its time back in 1979.

All in all, a fine film that has held up to the years remarkably well in its story, theme, and visuals. Definitely worth a look - but be warned - once you get hooked, you just can't stop watching this flick every time it shows up in the wee hours of the morning...

3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
Only "Clifford" was worse..., 11 June 2001

Some friends and I went in search of bad movies recently, and we stumbled upon a truly awful movie - "The Jerky Boys".

Whew - where to start? OK, let's start by saying that the Jerky Boys weren't that funny when they were doing phony phone calls let alone a movie. Hey guys, the whole reason why anyone found the phone pranks amusing is that real people didn't know you were goofing on them and their reactions to the goofing makes the bit funny. Now that we have actors saying whatever lines make the bit the most funny (at least funny to whatever hackneyed writer you used for this piece of garbage) - IT'S NOT FUNNY ANYMORE. [sigh - will Hollywood never learn?]

Now on to some specific comments...


The Jerky Boys seem to love using certain words, chiefly the noun "lips" (which they pair with adjectives to form such memorable put downs like "liver lips" and "meat lips") and the adjective "sizzle" (which they couple with nouns to make even more memorable hilarity with taunts like "sizzle chest" and "sizzle neck"). To be honest, the most surprising thing in this film is that the obvious pairing of what I would think would be their favorite adjective/noun combination never took place. Alas, not hearing "sizzle lips" was a blow I could hardly recover from.

The few sight gags in this movie were so predictable (and so bad) that they almost leave you speechless (almost - see my friend's comment below). For example, when the Jerky Boys are locked in a meat locker by the mob and then try to escape out of a window (in a meat locker ?!? - pa-lease...) they turn to [groan] strings of hotdogs to use to repel down the building. One of my friends went so far as to shout "No, NO, NO F-ING WAY!" as soon as the Jerky Boys asked aloud how they would get down from their prison.

And poor, poor Alan Arkin. He must have been on some serious drugs to ever agree to do this film. (Did he ever read the script?) Arkin must have needed several months of rigorous therapy to recover from his participation in this abomination...

OK - I know you can't take a movie like "The Jerky Boys" too seriously, but honestly, a comedy should at least be funny. I'm not entirely positive, but I'm not sure if we ever laughed during the film at all - well, except maybe in disbelief at just how bad it really was. This film gets the rare honor of being one of the worst films I've ever seen - and I've seen a lot of 'em. Only Clifford (see my IMDB review on that one) was worse.

0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Too predictable (contains spoilers), 11 June 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*** CONTAINS SPOILERS *** You will be warned of the spoiler before reading the paragraph...

What Lies Beneath wasn't necessarily a bad film - unfortunately it was too predictable and formulaic to be a good film.

Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer both did a fairly good acting job in this film, but this film felt flat in spite of their efforts. The story isn't a bad one, but it is just way too tired a storyline to excite the viewer. The film's special effects are actually very good, but again, they can't save this film from mediocrity.

The predictability doesn't just refer to the story or film as a whole, it is evident in individual scenes where the viewer has no doubt of what will happen. If you're still planning to see the film stop reading now... spoilers ahead...

****Spoilers from here to end*****

As I was saying the predictability is rampant. Here are a few specific examples:

Very early in the movie they make way too big a deal about the cell phone not working until they get halfway across the bridge. It's so obvious that Michelle Pfeiffer will need to use that phone and will have to race across the bridge to do so that it isn't even funny.

It was obvious that Harrison Ford killed the girl and covered it up right from the beginning, and it makes the viewer mad that Michelle Pfeiffer takes soooo long to catch on.

The predictability actually goes down to the way individual shots are lined up - for example, the scene where Ford comes home and calls for his wife (who is possessed at the time) and then opens the refrigerator door. Was there anyone who was startled that Pfeiffer is standing behind the door when it closes? Even Harrison Ford doesn't do a good job of acting surprised in that scene...

Well, like I said - not a bad film, just too predictable. I'll leave on a positive note: My favorite shot/special effect - the outline of the face in the snow in the graveyard when the camera pulls back in the final shot. Very cool.

4 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
All in all, a good film, 11 June 2001

Some friends and I were looking to watch a couple bad movies one lazy Sunday, and we decided to give "The Sterile Cuckoo" a shot - based solely upon its title and the fact that Liza Minnelli was in the starring role. And although my friends and I had a grand time goofing on this film, it was actually quite good.

Minnelli as "Pookie" Adams was easily in her best performance in this film. She was totally believable as an odd awkward girl who seems to always be destined to be an outcast, but is desperate for love. And when she finds love, she drives a wedge through the relationship by being overbearingly stifling. (Her phone monologue was particularly realistic for anyone who has ever gone out with someone who doesn't know how to giver their lover some breathing room.) Her nervous laughter during the latter half of the film makes you believe she KNOWS she is pushing her boyfriend away, but simply doesn't know any other way to act.

The male lead in the film, Wendell Burton, is a little stiff - but he makes it work since his character is a squarish collegian who is obviously shy and unexperienced with women.

All in all, it was a good film - and one that had a real melancholy feel to it throughout. A film that definitely makes you feel sorry for Pookie Adams, but in a way that we identify with her - either as someone who has been in a relationship with someone who has held on too tight, or as the person who held on too tightly themselves.

------------------------------------------------------------ Now for some funny stuff for those of you that enjoy goofing on movies - ala Mystery Science Theater style...

Pookie Adams talks about that damned ham and cheese on rye sandwich way too much. For crying out loud, lady - it's a sandwich. And when Liza insinuates (on more than one occasion) that Jerry's (Wendell Burton) roommate is gay - she's right on the money. The guy LOVES to have his shirt off and stroke his chest hair. But your biggest goofing moments will undoubtedly be that no matter where Liza appears in the second half of the film, Jerry's roof, a motel room she's staying in, a motel room they are staying in together - she perches cross-legged and stares like some Cabaretish Gargoyle - truly funny.

28 Days (2000)
28 Days - sure seemed like it..., 19 March 2001

28 Days was an incredibly aptly titled film. It certainly seemed like 28 days before the film was finally over.

Let me start by saying that I really like Sandra Bullock. And truth be told, she wasn't that bad in this film. Neither were her co-stars for that matter.

The problem wasn't in the acting - the story was sooooo boring I'm sure the writers fell asleep more than once during this script. The character of Bullock is not fleshed out very well (nor any other characters for that matter) - we just know that they were all addicts of some form or another. The other rehab patients are so bizarre they belong in an asylum, not a rehab center. Totally unbelievable, and generally over the top in any of their roles, the characters in this story need serious work in order to be even remotely believable or interesting. Bullock is believable, but surrounded by these characters, you hardly even notice.

This movie is below average, and that's a shame for someone as talented as Bullock. She can't save this film, and probably wants to forget she was ever in it. You should, too.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Wow, 2 heads ARE better than one!, 31 January 2001

I'm a fan of both Vincent Price and William Castle, so it was pretty much a no-brainer that I'd like this film. However, maybe not for the reason that I usually like Castle films - to laugh at B-movie horror flicks.

'House on Haunted Hill' is actually a pretty darn good movie. Sure the special effects aren't the greatest, but it was made in 1958 for crying out loud. Vincent Price's performance as the slightly psychotic Fredrick Loren is one of his better roles - he is absolutely believable (and a little bit scary).

The movie has some great horror story elements, like the two disembodied heads that show up in the oddest places (and are said to whisper to each other at night), blood dripping from the ceiling, an old hag who 'glides' across the floor, a haunted house, creepy caretakers,... the list goes on and on.

But the REAL reason this film gets a big thumbs up from me is that despite its age, despite its lack of realistic special effects... I still got startled watching it!!

Watch this movie - you won't be disappointed. And bring a friend, because as you'll see - two heads ARE better than one. Well, two disembodied heads anyway...

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Replace the bad plot and bad acting and you might have yourself a movie..., 22 January 2001

I love football. I love Gene Hackman. I love to look at Brooke Langdon. Yet somehow even all of that wasn't enough to save this piece of drek.

They may have hired real football players to appear in some of the game scenes and used real plays, but that didn't help offending anyone who knows anything about football. They make some terrible football errors, like when they call a time-out to keep time from running out, but they had just thrown an incomplete pass. Ugh.

I don't like Keanu Reeves much at all, but he honestly wasn't that bad in this film. He did a much better job that several reviewers here gave him credit for, and he did look fairly believable as the replacement QB. (The actual starting QB, played by Troy Winbush, didn't even remotely resemble anyone who could ever play a touch-football QB, let alone be the #1 QB in the NFL...)

Gene Hackman, who I think has done some great films, was barely passable in this film. He just didn't seem to even really want to be in this film. (Which was a good call, considering the finished product...)

Brooke Langdon is a super-attractive lady, and doesn't disappoint in her cheerleading outfit. But even that can't save this movie.

About the only scenes that were funny at all were the cheerleading "sex imitation" cheers to throw the other team off its game. However, since in the real world cheerleaders wouldn't go on strike with the players (who the hell came up with that plot hole?), it wouldn't have happened in any replacement season.

In summary, 'The Replacements' is a football movie that is so far out of bounds, you shouldn't even try to catch it at the video store. (Sorry about that.) :-)

Mosquito (1995)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A movie that sucks so much it puts a smile on your face..., 18 January 2001

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

O.K. - the movie is bad. Terrible. Awful. But that doesn't mean it's not enjoyable!

In yet another "radioactive meteor crashes into swamp and produces giant insects" flick, 'Mosquito' attempts to frighten viewers with their incredibly rubbery mosquitoes. In that they fail miserably, however, they succeed in making you laugh throughout the entire film.

You know this movie is going to be a bomb right from the start when our heroine, who is supposed to be an entomologist (studies insects), can't tell that the giant mosquito she and her boyfriend hit with their car is actually a mosquito, but agrees with her beau that it might be a dog. A dog?!? It's a giant rubber mosquito for crying out loud!! :-)

Apparently the filmmakers thought that the "giant mosquitoes" weren't enough trouble for our heroes, so they toss in three bumbling terrorists in the mix. Of course, hilarity ensues.

*** SPOILER *** The film climaxes with the heroes turning on a gas oven in a house that the mosquitoes are using as their breeding ground, where one of our heroes sacrifice themself by staying behind and blowing up the house. No.. wait! He survives by hiding in a refrigerator - seriously! To make matters worse the other heroes don't even find him until the next morning, still inside the refrigerator, when they inspect the rubble the next morning. I guess they just don't make those refrigerators like the junkyard children traps they once were... ****************

If you're looking for a quality film, run - don't walk - away from this movie. But if you're looking for a bad film to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon that can make you laugh, grab this movie, sit back, and grab the calamine lotion...

18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:
A really good Sunday afternoon flick and a must for Walter Brennan fans., 4 August 1999

I just caught this film recently on American Movie Classics. It was better than I ever would have expected. The summary for the film reads like a Disney story "An old man and a young boy who live in the Georgia swamps are brought together by the love of a dog.", but the film actually mixes in a lot of humor with a sad story.

The stars in the film include Sidney Poitier, who doesn't play a real major role in the film, and Walter Brennan. If you know who Walter Brennan is, then you've proved that you watched those Sunday afternoon Westerns as a kid, like "How the West Was Won" or "Support Your Local Sheriff". Brennan's unique voice has been mimicked over the years by many, and is one that almost everyone would recognize. It's the unmistakable "country hill-billy" voice that we all can help but smile when hearing.

The film isn't a comedy, but give the viewer plenty to smile about. Uncle Jessie's as the stereotypical hillbilly is the source of many of those grins. He is supposed to be cutting firewood to make money, but he can't seem to cut more than 1 or 2 pieces daily before succumbing to an all-afternoon nap. He also has some fun dialog like "when I gets me enough money I'm gonna git me a set a dem Roebucker-teeth [false teeth from Sears & Roebuck], and if-en I save enough maybe I'll git me a couple-a gold ones" or some banter with his nephew Skeeter that includes words like "mighten" and advice to "don't crowd God".

Skeeter, the nephew (played by Brandon De Wilde), has some great facial expressions throughout the film and also has some funny scenes with Lady (the dog).

The dog that they boy finds and subsequently catches and names "Lady" is said by the boy and Jessie to "laugh, sure as day" - and by God, they weren't lying. The dog in the film actually laughs! I mean it's a dog-laugh, but it's unmistakable.

Anyway, while not a film that I would rate as a "can't miss", "Good-bye, My Lady" was a fun film that had it's touching moments, but mixed in a lot of fun. A really good Sunday afternoon flick and a must for Walter Brennan fans.

Harrison Bergeron (1995) (TV)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A darkly funny look at a future striving for mediocrity., 7 January 1999

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Harrison Bergeron" was well worth my rental fee. The story (adapted from the Kurt Vonnegut Jr. story) was outstanding. A darkly comical look at a future that strives for mediocrity. Frankly, I couldn't believe that a film made for TV (albeit Showtime) could be this well done. The story kept you interested throughout, and really made you think. (In a good way, for those of you who just groaned at having to think...)

The acting did leave something to be desired, but it didn't really detract from the movie. In fact, the acting that I disliked the most was Sean Astin's portrayal of the title role. They probably could have cast someone much better in that role, Astin would have been better suited to one of the bit parts. However, even his performance wasn't bad - it was, ironically enough, mediocre.

The story is handled so well throughout the film, that even though there isn't much surprise as to what is coming next, you are so interested in the characters and the story that you just have to keep watching.

[spoiler below]

Possibly the most poignant moment of the film is when Harrison learns that his effort to start a 3rd revolution has only succeeded in affecting 1.3 percent of the population (give or take a .2 percent margin of error) - showing that people don't really want to strive for excellence and actually prefer mediocrity.

Although the future the film portrayed strove for mediocrity, this movie was anything but average. I would have given this film a 10 if not for the acting - as it was, it still rated high on my board. A film definitely worth your time.

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