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108 reviews in total 
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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
SEE John Carradine blow up! SEE John Agar wish he'd blow up! SEE why Plan 9 From Outer Space ISN'T the worst movie ever made!, 1 January 2007

Carradine exploding in his lab at the start of this thing truly is a hilarious moment, and the film threatens constantly to tell us its tongue is in its cheek, but in the end the producers and director keep it within the boundaries of dour seriousness and quite possibly the worst movie of all time is the result. Mind bogglingly stupid on a mind bogglingly low budget with once respectable actors whose careers mind bogglingly came to this kind of pathetic dead end. A cult classic this should be for its kitschy awfulness and quotable bad lines. Plan 9 from Outer Space and Ed Wood unfairly get the rap for worst movie ever made. There are worse out there, Earthings. Keep watching the skies!

8 out of 19 people found the following review useful:
Lethal Garbage, 31 December 2006

Shane Black really hit his stride with this mindless regurgitation of his own Lethal Weapon. Did he actually write this script with a word processor or wipe it out of his butt on a role of toilet paper? There are more unnecessary F bombs in this than there are flying bullets, crashing cars and plot holes combined. Only, unlike a film say like Get Shorty, there is very little wit to go with the endless profanity. Sure, teenage boys and IQ-challenged redneck men - and of course Quentin Tarantino - will have found Willis and Wayans' profane quips and one liners hilarious, but I just found it to be tiresome and stupidly unnecessary dialogue. Especially when the kid is spewing it. Nice touch there by all involved.

But then again, the whole movie was unnecessary spew. Stupid plot to do with corruption in pro football and politics, familial dysfunction, infidelity, and a couple of gun packing losers caught in the middle of it all conspires to make one of the most implausible, noisy, badly filmed and edited action crapfests of all time. Tony Scott can bite me with his pumped up, testosterone charged, colored light filtered, sloppy direction and camera-work. And Shane Black can bite me twice for the hackneyed piece of crap he called a script.

Bruce Willis just bites in general. I normally miss most of the stuff he's in because he just doesn't give a damn about how bad a script is before he signs on, but sometimes I need a movie fix and there's nothing on but swill like this.

I've always thought Willis looks a lot in some pictures like Dick Powell when Powell starred in those classic hard-boiled film noirs of the 40's and 50's such as Murder, My Sweet and Cry Danger. And someone must have told Willis that on the set because he's pretty much doing a Powell imitation here, though the dialogue often lets him down.

The dialogue in those Powell noirs was consistently crisp, tough and hip, and spoken accordingly by actors who had talent. In The Last Boy Scout writer Black is so desperately wanting to emulate that kind of snazzy dialogue that he often paints himself into a corner, ending up handing Willis or Wayans an adolescent howler to finish off a back and forth. But then, amid the endless assault of profanity, who really noticed?

I won't even get into the disturbing misogyny littered throughout this waste of film. A most unenjoyable night at the movies. Why isn't there a -10 rating option?

4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Robinson bumps it a notch above mediocre, 2 December 2006

One of Warner Bros' prototypical gangster flicks, released the same year as The Public Enemy that still stands out for Eddie G's bold and in-your-face turn as the vicious mug of the title. The film itself though shows and sounds its age more than most from the era and at times is a slow moving bore. This came very soon after the transfer to sound pictures and most of the actors show it, suffering from a languid, ponderous delivery that holds the picture up in several scenes but never seems to hamper Robinson.

The short statured star bulls his way through the unassured cast just like his character bulls his way to the top of the criminal empire - determined, abrasive, cocksure, miserable and not to be denied. It really is an early tour de force for Robinson, eminently quotable and much imitated. Forever a cinematic icon.

But it's far from a perfect picture. The structure is flimsy and Rico has no depth coming from the direction or script, just what Robinson gives him. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. will have probably written his performance off in this out of embarrassment by 1933, and ditto for Glenda Farrell who did much better work later on.

The film's strengths are its visual style, at times very inventive, and Robinson's performance, culminating in his dying words stolen no doubt at gunpoint from Nero 'Is this the end of Rico?'

A famous picture and worth seeing, but Cagney and Harlow in the Public Enemy is probably your best bet of the two.

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Once Upon a Time in the Ripped-off West, 18 November 2006

The Good: Interesting visuals and a great western town set. Plus Russell Crowe gives a capable early performance in a two dimensional role.

The Bad: Gene Hackman is still stuck in Big Whiskey playing Little Bill Daggett. The story, an antithesis of Unforgiven's thoughtful study of the consequences of gunplay and the blowhard 'legends' born of it, doesn't amount to much more than a circle jerk for pro gun enthusiasts. I guess in the wake of Unforgiven it was inevitable Hollywood would restore the bullcrap mythology of the the old west and make guns and killing cool again. But the narrative here is weak and the presentation exceptionally cartoonish, and the less than subtle derivations from High Noon to Sergio Leone transcend homage, landing squarely in uninspired rip-off territory. The flashback revelation especially is so derivative of Once Upon a Time in the West you expect the camera to pull back from Stone's and Hackman's eyes to reveal Henry Fonda and Charles Bronson squaring off. It's all only fitting somehow though seeing how Once Upon a Time in the West was itself a rip-off of a dozen or so Hollywood westerns of the 40's and 50's.

The Ugly: Sharon Stone and Leonardo DiCaprio make this film nearly unwatchable. If either can act there is no evidence of it here. Stone is pathetic in her tight leather pants and over-the-top duster, trying too hard to ape Clint Eastwood's cool while she swaggers about and snarls some appallingly dull one-liners. DiCaprio is the most annoying and unbelievable element of the piece though, his babyish voice and overdone cockiness just have you cheering for him to bite the dust long before he actually does. This guy is one terrible actor and I'm unanimous in that.

Barely worth a look for its good points, this flick is mostly junk.

1 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
You'd almost swear Ed Wood made it, 21 October 2006

Actually, I take that back. Nothing of Ed Wood's I've seen was this bad. This is the height of horror schlock, a thinly veiled continuation of sorts to Universal's Dracula released by Columbia. Pulling out all the stops in creating the mood of a Universal chiller, you could almost say it was an unfunny attempt at parody. Unfunny anyway in that the director and stars are playing it serious, some of the lines in this are howlers.

Bela Lugosi, that one note wacko from Hamsylvania, is on hand reprising his famous Count though this time with a new name & MO, and a werewolf valet in a suit running his errands. Is it just me, or did Lugosi play Dracula in everything he was ever in? It just seems like it I guess.

Anyway, the script here is strictly a hack job tailored by Columbia for Lugosi in order to make a little easy cash at the box office. The story is ridiculous and full of holes and none of the acting is above the cheese shelf. Nina Foch shows why she became essentially a character actress in the 50's and 60's.

The show is all Lugosi, God help us, with the assistance of a half dozen fog generators and his aforementioned wolf boy. If you like 4th rate crapfests that aren't nearly as funny as Plan 9 From Outer Space, you'll love this.

3 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
No better than your average episode of 'Combat!', 17 October 2006

I was really disappointed in this WW2 'actioner'. Took me years to finally see it and it almost put me to sleep half way in. By the end I was shaking my head at the awfulness of some of it, especially McQueen's heroic sacrifice at the window of the German pillbox. By the time it happens, Mcqueen had long since bled my patience. It seemed like a vanity role for him, almost Chuck Norris-like in his insistence we watch his every move while forbidding us to ask why his character is so damned shallow.

Who is McQueen in this picture? Who cares. None of the characters had a modicum of depth or realism, but McQueen stands out as much for his laconic overacting, looking most of the picture like he's sullen because he's constipated, as he stands out because he headlines the marquee.

Bob Newhart too is most annoying as the clerk who is enlisted on the spot to help win the battle. It's obvious now where the Upham character in Saving Private Ryan was born. But Newhart isn't just a meek little paper pusher who battles his own inner weaknesses, he's also Bob Newhart, comedian under fire. The famed (and not so funny) one sided telephone routine he did as a stand-up comic throughout the 60's unfortunately is written into the script here and it's as out of place as Nick Adams playing an unexplained Pole.

James Coburn comes away with the best performance in the film, albeit he has little screen time. Bobby Darin is just average, and Fess Parker couldn't act his way out of a burning foxhole. It's a lengthy wait for some action in this as well. Lots of talk early on, and go nowhere scenes that show us McQueen is a complex, tough, cool customer but, again, who cares because we learn absolutely nothing about the man. This film is strictly mediocre TV production quality all the way.

4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Pretty bad, 15 October 2006

I don't know if I'll ever see another Wallace Beery picture as bad as this one. I hope not, but I'm sure he made some other dogs. Usually Beery can be counted on to bring the laughs, and do something memorable with his character.

Beery's is not the worst performance in this piece (that distinction belongs to Lionel Barrymore, obviously loathe to be in this production and cantankerously chewing the scenery with noisy and irritating aplomb like nowhere else on his filmography) but he offers little more than updating his Pancho Villa schtick from Viva Villa. Not much originality or send-up in his performance and he doesn't even appear until around the 30 minute mark. He does look cartoonishly amusing galloping away with the Mexican Federales in hot pursuit though.

This really isn't a funny comedy or a watchable western. At 70 minutes it feels overlong. Everyone stands in one spot and talks endlessly, Ronald Reagan does the hero bit with his usual one dimensional panache, Barrymore won't shut up, and the oppressive sepia tone this was shot in kind of makes you queasy by the end. Chill Wills at least is his usual lovable self as Reagan's sidekick.

Definitely not a Beery classic

13 out of 29 people found the following review useful:
The epitome of Spielbergian excess, 14 October 2006

It had been 24 years since I last saw this, when it was in theatres, and I thought I'd take another look at it tonight on TCM. Back in 1982 this picture was the other horror thrillride to come out along with John Carpenter's re-make of The Thing. I saw the Thing again a couple of years ago only to find it a little dated and flimsy though the SFX and some suspense scenes still had impact.

Poltergeist? Nothing has held its impact with this film, a cheap carnival ride that the years haven't been kind to. The SFX is shoddy, the suspense non existent, and it amounts to little more than Spielberg (and Toby Hooper too as the story goes) hurling everything including the kitchen sink at the screen in an attempt to scare the audience.

In 1982 I was young enough to not care about a structured storyline, set-up and hadn't yet seen films like Rear Window to teach me that horror and suspense pictures don't require a shock a minute, gory slime, and a lot of noise and flickering lights to make you squirm in your seat. So naturally I ignorantly came out of the theatre with my friends awe-stricken at what I'd just seen.

Spielberg went with the visceral over-the-top approach, the glossy blockbuster with his usual gimmicks hopeful for a McDonald's tie-in, and any value this film had as a result has long since faded. It's just not scary or shocking anymore. If anything it's ridiculously overdone and tiresome. I'm surprised he never shot it in 3D what with all the flying objects and in your face effects.

I love most of Spielberg's films, many of them go over the top as well, but this one was Spielberg in overdose mode, out of control with no regard in any way, shape or form for self restraint.

6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:
A non-starter, 10 October 2006

This flop never stood a chance of succeeding without Elizabeth Taylor's involvement, and if Liz ever saw this script she probably read 10 pages and winged it out the window with a noxious chuckle. What is meant to be a continuation of National Velvet, one of the best movies of the 1940's, is really a typical piece of slapdash 70's cinema. Any ties this story has to the original National Velvet, you feel, were contrived in re-writes to try and cash in in on some kind of marquee recognition. A film about equestrian riding starring Tatum O'Neal circa 1978 was only going to appeal to horse lovers and 12 year old girls.

The story is hardly even or focused. The running time of 127 minutes could have been trimmed by at least a half hour to get rid of a pointless would-be romantic subplot, a potential gang rape, and about 15 minutes of endless riding shots (supposedly set at the Olympics of 1980, but the producers use footage from the 1974 opening ceremonies in Munich).

Nanette Newman is adequate as Velvet Brown but her involvement in the story offers little more than comforting moral support for the first half of the film. She and beau Christopher Plummer are pretty much left behind when trainer Anthony Hopkins comes on the scene. Hopkins does a decent job with his role but still doesn't manage to breathe into the production more than a flicker of life. O'Neal is utterly cold and unsympathetic as the plucky teenage heroine. And like the pseudo-named author he creates in the film, Plummer phones his over-cheery performance in from long distance to collect a pay check.

The only thing this film has really going for it other than Hopkins is the scenery.

7 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Brain numbing, 6 October 2006

Cary Grant made his share of misfires and duds but this could very well be the worst stinker on his filmography, even worse than Sylvia Scarlett. Pairing him with Ginger Rogers was a good decision, both were so sharp wit and comic-wise that you think there'd be no way they would be left floundering in a completely bad comedy. Well, 'left floundering' is a polite way of putting it. Ditto calling this a comedy.

Let down by an overlong, unfunny, contrived and imbalanced script, and poor direction by Leo McCarey (who hit the mark with The Awful Truth but missed with the other Grant films he directed), poor Cary and Ginger try as they might to make something work here, but it's a lost cause. The film flatlines about 10 minutes in, and ONLY the presence of these two bright stars accounts for the two stars I'm giving it.

The routine anti-Nazi propaganda speeches still resonate, but any attempt to be funny in such a downbeat atmosphere is really an uphill climb. Not one laugh results, even though a sight gag or two might have hilariously come off in a different, less dour film. RKO's attempts too to blend Hollywood glamour against the backdrop of nazi destruction is woefully miscalculated.

This is really a surreal picture. A bad dream. Give it a look if you haven't yet seen it, but be prepared to feel yourself getting catatonic before it finally ends.

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