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The Baby (1973)
A bizarre film that could only be made in the seventies
The Baby (1973) is a psychological horror/thriller directed by the late Ted "Magnum Force" Post and it stars Ruth Roman, Michael Pataki, Anjanette Comer and David Mooney as Baby. Ann Gentry is a social worker who is given a strange case dealing with a grown man named Baby whose overbearing mother Mrs. Wadsworth and two sister Germaine and Alba keep him in diapers and a giant crib. Getting a babysitter for Baby and trying to keep him happy can be a real trial for Mom and his hot-to-trot siblings. Will Miss Gentry be able to rescue the him from the wrath of his family or will she end up like the previous social worker?
A weird movie that was the inspiration for MadTv's character Stuart and it's just as twisted and bizarre. The movie has many underlying themes that would give a film lover a field day in trying to resolve. Ted Post's direction was often overlooked because of the films he's worked on but know's how to keep his audience in checked. The Baby's ending not only comes out of left field but it's a bitter sweet finale.
Fans of B-movies and psychological horror flicks will enjoy this one.
Endless Love (1981)
A sappy yet interesting look at love and true romance
Endless Love (1981) is a romantic drama directed by Franco "Romeo and Juliet" Zeffirelli, starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt as the two young lovers Jade & David who go through thick and thin just to be with each other. The problem is that Jade's free love parents Ann and Hugh allow the young lovers to spend too much time together initially and when they try to act like disciplinarian parents, the cow has left the barn and there's no way it's going back in. Now forbidden to see each other, their love now knows no bounds as it reaches to a point where only something drastic and dramatic lies awaiting.
Based upon the novel "Endless Love" which was written by Scott Spencer and it's a much darker tale loosely based upon the writer's life. I found the movie to be a sweet and over-the-top melodramatic flick that's highly entertaining for all the wrong reasons. Brooke Shields demonstrates her acting abilities that were never quite truly harnessed to their fullest potential whilst director Franco Zeffirelli tries to recreate "Romeo and Juliet" all over again. Martin Hewitt is basically a cipher who goes through the motions, not horrible just there.
Finally, a decent theatrical version of the classic Stephen King novel
Carrie (2013) is the third version of Stephen King's first published novel (under his real name) and is by far the best. Carrie White (Chloë Grace Moretz) is a teenage girl who along with her mother Margaret (Julianne Moore) have been mocked, ridiculed and shunned by the townsfolk. All this has been building up inside Carrie whose telekinetic powers have began to peak. It's only a matter of time before everything reaches a boiling point and explodes with a vengeful fury that will bring the high school and town to its knees.
The movie follows the book fairly closely with Chloë Grace Moretz doing an excellent job of capturing the character of Carrie. I also enjoyed Julianne Moore's interpretation of Carrie's mother Margaret White and her religious fanaticism whilst giving her an insight into why she is like that. I had no problems with the changes and updates to the storyline because not only I felt it was necessary, but it improved the overall source material. The most important change to this version of the book is that the actors were all played by people in their teens or close to it instead of their mid to late twenties.
I hope that the original cut of the film is release someday because I read that they removed over a half hour of footage due to a confused preview screening audience.
Walk Proud (1979)
Pay no attention to Robby Benson playing a Chicano because it's a good movie
Walk Proud (1979) is about the life of teenage Emilio Mendez who is of mixed heritage (ethnic Mexican and Caucasian) and struggles with his loyalty to his gang when the lovely Sarah Lassiter (Sarah Holcomb) enters his life. With no future in being a street gang member, learning the truth about his heritage and the love of Sarah brings Emilio to a crossroads to where his life is going. Being harassed by the police, rival gangs and his cohort Cesar (Pepe Serna) questioning his loyalty will lead Emilio to a fateful decision that he must make walking proud.
I was impressed by the movie because it's been knocked for have Robby Benson playing a Chicano. Once you learn about his true background, the story makes sense and is realistic because I have meet people like his character Emilio. Co- stars Trinidad Silva, Ji-Tu Cumbaka, Gary Cervantes and Panchito Gomez help Benson carry the movie and the underrated acting they provide make this movie a winner. Watch for character actor Brad Sullivan who has a small part as Jerry Kelsey, Emilio's estranged father.
A Million to Juan (1994)
Paul Rodriguez's "Jurassic Park"
A Million to Juan (1994) has been labeled by Paul Rodriguez himself his "Jurassic Park" due to the fact that he grossed over a million dollars in rentals from the movie's one hundred thousand dollar budget. The movie is a modern update of the Mark Twain story "The Million Pound Bank Note." Paul Rodriguez stars as Juan, a poor hardworking immigrant who lives in a rundown apartment complex with his son and cousins Jorge (Tony Plana) and Alvaro (Bert Rosario). He also has a mad crush on his social worker Olivia (Polly Draper) who's helping him with his case, one day he a stranger hands him a million dollar check that'll change his life forever.
I found the direction by first time director Paul Rodriguez to be adequate but the screenplay by Robert Grasmere and Francisca Matos to be too melodramatic and stereotypical. But the acting and charisma of Paul Rodriguez and his supporting cast manage to rise above the mediocre script. I enjoyed the movie and fans of Rodriguez's stand up comedy will enjoy the humor.
Back to the Future Part III (1990)
The third and final chapter of the Back to the Future trilogy
Back to the Future Part III (1990) is the final chapter of the Back to the Future trilogy which began in 1985. Due to the same freak lighting storm that sent Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) from 1955 back to 1985, Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) was zapped by the same bolt sending him to 1885. With the fate of the space/time continuum and the lives of Marty and Doc weigh in the balance of the events that will transpire in the wild west version of the city of Hill Valley and their ancestors. Can Marty McFly and Doc Brown put everything back in balance or will the universe collapse from within itself?
The final chapter of the Back to the Future trilogy is a fun watch but a big drop off from part II. They were both shot back-to-back utilizing most of the cast from the previous films. The writing and direction of Robert Zemeckis along with the acting of Michael J. Fox hold this film together. Christopher Lloyd held his own as the eccentric Doc Brown along with the lovable and talented Mary Steenburgen as the new schoolmarm Clara Clayton.
Fans of the series will appreciate the ending of the film and storyline.
Hostel: Part III (2011)
The uncut version is the best way to watch it
Hostel: Part III (2011) is the third (and final?) chapter in the Hostel series. This time instead of taking place in a hostel, it's about a group of friends who are looking for a wild night in Las Vegas for there friends bachelor party. But everything turns egg shape when they run afoul of those lovely folks from the Elite Hunting Club decide to do a little business with their wealthy clients in Sin City. Can the party boys elude those bored rich customers of Elite or will they end up on somebody's wall?
The third chapter in the Hostel series is directed b Sami Raimi protégé Scott Spiegel and written by DTV scribe Michael Weiss. I thought the movie was a fun time waster that was entertaining but do not watch the R-Rated version because you'll miss out on makes the Hostel trilogy a cut above the rest.
Survival of the Dead (2009)
I really enjoyed this movie.
Survival of the Dead impressed me. I have been reading a lot of negative reviews about this movie. I ordered the movie from Amazon's video-on-demand and plunk down some money to check it out (since no theater within a hundred miles was showing it). After spending about 90 minutes watching the movie I thought the money was well spent. Too bad this movie didn't get a wider release because I felt that it deserved one. I was put off originally by the film's trailer because the action seemed very amateurish and the sound effects were sub-par. All that was corrected in the movie.
Sarge, the US National Guardsmen from "Diary of the Dead" (featured briefly in the beginning of the film) laments about having to become a highway robber and a brief internet superstar. After a violent encounter with some demented local yahoos, Sarge and his squad head off to find a place of safe refuge. A beacon of sorts has been sent out on the web by Patrick O'Flynn, an islander who is in a bloody feud with another family (the Muldoons headed by Seamus Muldoon) over what to do with the living dead),
O'Flynn AKA Captain Courageous (along with his fellow outcasts) have became pirates and have been robbing those unlucky or foolish enough to head out to the dock. But Sarge and company foil O'Flynn's scheme and sail off on an abandoned ferry boat. O'Flynn manages to jump on the boat (after a brief and violent clash dispatches his "crew"). Without a destination, Sarge turns to O'Flynn who suggests that they head back to his home island and reclaim it for the O'Flynns. Out of options, will Sarge team up with O'Flynn and get involved in a clan war or will he and his squad continue to look elsewhere?
The social commentary is not as heavy handed as it was in Diary of the Dead but the themes of religion, Catholicism and fundamentalism are present along with the clash of old and new ideals. Another concurrent theme that appears in the Dead Series is the lack of cooperation and communication. Many people have complained about the lack of danger from the living dead. As the movies in the series continues it seems that they have become more of a nuisance instead of a threat whilst the real danger comes from amongst ourselves.
Poh wai ji wong (1994)
Love on Delivery
Love on Delivery stars Stephen Chow as Ho, a wimpy delivery boy who falls in love with Lily (Christy Chung) a kung-fu student. But her instructor Black Bear (Joe Cheng) has been trying to court her and butts heads with Ho. Black Bear challenges Ho to a fight, but the cowardly Ho ducks when Black Bear tried to punch him, hitting Lily instead. Humiliated by such a display of cowardice, Ho turns to a broken down kung-fu master Tat (Ng Man Tat) to teach him the art of fighting, But Tat's unconventional methods of training may not be as effective as they seem.
A funny and violent film starring Stephen Chow (who also wrote the screenplay). The beautiful Christy Chung co-stars (who speaks her dialog phonetically). The always interesting Ben Lam co-stars as Tuen, an invincible Karate master who believes karate is better than kung-fu and will do whatever he has to do to prove it. Jacky Cheung, Philip Chan and Billy Chow make cameo appearances as well. The wild fight scenes were directed by Ching Siu-tung (who also co-directed the film).
The film parodies Rocky, Rocky III, The Terminator, Garfield (aka Ga Fei Miao) and the Karate Kid series. Tat wears a wife-beater just like Miyagi, Chow tries to master the "crane kick" as well. A funny and more realistic version of the film as well. A couple of music videos are worked into the film as well (which are pretty funny). Remember, being a good fighter is not all about how strong you are but how to out wit your opponent.
The Outsiders (1983)
Stay gold Ponyboy. The Outsiders (The complete novel) review.
Francis Ford Coppola's The Outsiders is a melodramatic film based upon the novel written by S. E. Hinton (who also as a small role as a nurse). Like many middle school students I was forced to read the novel (which I thought was sappy and cheesy). Coppola's version is pretty much the same as the novel and he did a very good job of capturing the spirit of the film (perhaps too much). Filmed on location in Oklahoma. The actors in this film were a cast of unknowns. But afterwords many of them would go on to become stars (Tom Cruise, Matt Dillon) others would find success in the later years (Diane Lane, Rob Lowe) and some would score some big roles early int their careers and fade away to straight-to-video obscurity (C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez and Patrick Swayze).
Ponyboy Curtis is a "Greaser" a kid from across the tracks. He's always has his head in the clouds and unlike the other "Greasers", he seems to have a bright future if he would stick in head in books instead of hanging out with his buddies Johnny (Ralph Macchio), Two-Bit (Emilio Estevez) and Dallas (Matt Dillon). Pony's brothers Sodapop dropped out of school to work at a local DX with fellow "Greaser" Steve (Tom Cruise) whilst older brother Darrel (Patrick Swayze) has to take care of the family since the tragic deaths of their parents. Darrel is under a lot of stress of having to take care of Darrel and Ponyboy that he takes it out on Pony by riding him like a donkey and always jumping on his case. One night after staying out late, Pony and Darrel get into a scuffle causing Pony to runaway from home with Johnny.
The "greasers" are always in a constant state of war with the rich kids called "The Socs". Two members of the group Bob (Leif Garrett) and Randy (Darren Dalton) nearly come to blows with Ponyboy, Two-Bit and Johnny earlier at the drive-in but their girlfriends Cherry (Diane Lane) and Marcia manage to calm down the situation. Hours have passed since the confrontation but their still angry about their tiff with "The Greasers" and drive around drinking all night looking for trouble. They spot the two runaways and decide to continue the spat with some additional extracurricular activities. Will Johnny and Ponyboy be able to get out of this pickle? Why do the "Socs and "Greasers" hate each other? Is their any way to end this dispute before things get really out of hand?
An entertaining film from Coppola. His daughter has a small part (credited as Domino) and his nephew Nicolas (Coppola) Cage has a role as an extra (his Uncle turned him down for the role of Dallas). If you enjoyed the book then you'll want to get a copy of the Complete Novel version. This cut has additional scenes, new music (Most of the sappy and over dramatic music composed by Carmine Coppola has been replaced with 50's and 60's pop music) and an ending that's more faithful to the novel. Is it melodramatic? Yes, Is it sappy? Yes, even though it's laid on real heavy at times but it's still a good movie that will entertain you.