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A few basic facts about me: I have been an active member on IMDb for many years since I was a young one. Very laid-back, easy going and likeable. I presently reside in California and own a huge video/DVD collection (no doubt) and I am also a Josh Hartnett lookalike...
A Few Favorite Actors: Jack Nicholson, Ryan Phillippe, Glenn Ford, Robert De Niro, Kevin Bacon, John Wayne, Johnny Depp, Cameron Mitchell, Paul Gleason, Darren McGavin, Richard Jaeckel, Jason Miller, Robert Stack, Burgess Meredith, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, Kevin Spacey, Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon, and Jimmy Stewart (yes, I am also a character actor lover)
A Few Favorite Actresses: Bette Davis, Dorothy McGuire, Sylvia Sidney, Reese Witherspoon, Penelope Cruz, Mercedes McCambridge, Anne Ramsey, Anne Archer, Sandra Bullock, Salma Hayek, Angelina Jolie, Hilary Swank, Kim Basinger and Helen Hunt
Jon Stewart was a semi-relief.
Jon Stewart, I suppose gave a good well done performance this year as MC of the 78th Academy Awards show. He's been known to be a lot funnier, but was a joy instead of seeing the usual regular hosts that normally include Billy Crystal, Steve Martin and Whoopi Goldberg. His funny remarks to the 'gay' films this year were funny though.
This year, the top prize of Best Picture was awarded to the independent feature 'Crash' starring Matt Dillion who also was nominated for Best Actor, but instead lost the award to the rather underrated character actor Phillip Seymore Hoffman for his role as the title character in 'Capote'. By far, I had actually expected that Joaquin Phoenix would win Best Actor for his performance as another title character this last year as legendary singer Johnny Cash in 'Walk the Line'. Nonetheless, his leading lady Reese Witherspoon gave a wonderful performance as June Cash in the film, which resulted her in a very much deserved Best Actress honor. For the supporting roles, Rachel Weiz got Supporting Actress, and George Clooney got Supporting Actor. Other films that got Academy Award notice included the gay romance film of two cowboys, "Brokeback Mountain" starring Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhall, both were nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively; Steven Spielberg's 'Munich' got Best Picture nod and one film that was particularly overlooked was the summer's blockbuster remake of 'King Kong' which got more of less of Special Visual Effects recongization.
The winner of Best Song was very very shocking, 'Hard Out there for a Pimp' was awarded to Three Hit Mafia and in turn it was quite an uproar as well.
The other annual events that are shown at Oscar included the honorary segment, this year awarded to director Robert Altman; legendary actress Lauren Bacall presented a tribute to film-noir movies from the 40's and 50's; as a tribute to the much controversial gay films done this year, the Academy showed clips of western films with funny gay themes just for laughs anyway, and then there was usual touching In Memoriam tribute paying respects to film industry members that passed away in the previous year which included: Teresa Wright, Pat Morita, director Robert Newmyer, Dan O'Herhily, Vincent Schivelli, director Robert Wise, Chris Penn, John Mills, Sandra Dee, Anthony Franciosa, Barbara Bel Geddes, producers Debra Hill, Ismail Merchant, Moustapha Akkad, Eddie Albert, Shelley Winters, Anne Bancroft and Richard Pryor, just to name a few.
Shadow Hours (2000)
A Unique Thriller
It is a shame that Shadow Hours is kind of one of those rare thrillers that may have been sorta ignored during it's release, but it is perhaps one of the likable thrillers I have seen in recent years. Director and writer Isaac Eaton did a rather fine job at creating tension and keeping me interested through the story.
Balthazar Getty in my opinion has been rather too underrated in films. This talented young actor did a good turning point here in Shadow Hours as the troubled Michael. Trying to straighten out his life, Michael has a new wife (Rebecca Gayheart) and a child on the way. He gets a job during the night shift and encounters a mysterious man named Stuart, (creepily portrayed by Peter Weller). They become close friends and they begin to experiment in the terrible parts of the city and Michael begins going downhill. Eventually Michael learns that Stuart could be a sociopath and he has to fight against him to get back to his life again.
Shadow Hours should very well be viewed for those that are fans and are inspired by this kind of genre. The film also has a familiar cast in cameo appearances that include Peter Greene, Richard Moll (of TV's Night Court) and Oscar nominees Frederic Forrest and Brad Dourif.
Okay romantic comedy.
Woo was released in May of 1998, near the end after Titanic hit it's stride of making more than a billion dollars worldwide at the box office and winning the top Academy Awards of that year. Well 1998 was a memorable year for me, and Woo was apart of it. Woo was far from earning any of the money and awards Titanic did, but it also had major competition of other block busters such as Godzilla.
To digress, I saw Woo back in theaters then and thought it was a reasonable romantic comedy. Jada Pinkett Smith was good as the sassy and sexy party girl who tries to seduce and date a straighted headed young lawyer (Tommy Davidson). I later re-discovered Woo on video a few years later and realized that it was indeed quite a dull comedy with little laughs, but the talent and directing and plot sorta kept it going. With Duane Martin and cameos by LL Cool J, Woo was nothing too special but at least viewed for the fans of Tommy Davidson and Jada Pinkett Smith.
On another note, Woo does have a good rather hip rap song 'Nobody Does it Better' performed by Warren G and Nate Dogg. Awesome song.
Night of the Dark Full Moon (1972)
Creepy Christmas Slasher
Not bad little horror film which was released around the same time during the Christmas season as was another film "Black Christmas". Silent Night, Bloody Night is about a man whom inherits a house that used to be a mental hospital were a serial killer was incarcerated there. The killer had been moved to another hospital and escapes during Christmas time and returns to the same town to commit a series of grisly murders, one murder detailed gruesomely with an ax. Although this plot is usual for a slasher film and often outdated, "Silent Night Bloody Night" has plenty of little shocks and suspense as did "Black Christmas" did the same year of release. There is also a few familiar actors seen in the film, underrated Patrick O'Neal in the lead who is killed off a little too early in the film; Mary Waranov another familiar B-Movie horror actress; as well as James Patterson and legendary character actor John Carradine in a cameo role. Silent Night Bloody Night is recommended for fans of the Christmas season gone murderously wrong.
Space Mutiny (1988)
Awful Sci-Fi Film
Personally, Space Mutiny could have been much better, the writers needed to use a much better plot and to rely more on the originality instead of obviously knocking off other sci fi motion pictures. The footage used here in Space Mutiny is from the TV show Battlestar Galatica, the director must have figured that since that TV show was only on for one season back in 1978, they could make a movie out of it, but instead failed. The acting, cinematography, special effects and editing is really bad. John Phillip Law and Cameron Mitchell were both featured together in another film that was just as bad a few years before entitled "Night Train to Terror". How both of those fine actors got stuck with these two kinds of films was entirely beyond me.
Not as controversial as one may had expect, but surprising to me.
Many people thought that the 77th Annual Academy Awards were going to be controversial because of Chris Rock taking over as host this time around. We all know of Chris Rock's attitute and comic lines, but he was not as funny as I would have hoped.
To begin with, I was disappointed that neither Passion of the Christ or Phantom of the Opera got Best Picture nominations, instead the Academy nominated The Aviator, Ray, Million Dollar Baby, Sideways and Finding Neverland. The Aviator and Million Dollar Baby went head to head for the Oscar for Best Picture with Million Dollar Baby eventually taking the top prize.
Clint Eastwood won his second Best Director award for Million Dollar Baby, previously winning in 1993 for Unforgiven. Martin Scorcese probably may have been a better choice for directing The Aviator.
In this major breakthrough year for African Americans actors, as expected, comedian Jamie Foxx won Best Actor for his realistic role of real life blues singer Ray Charles in Ray. Leonardo DiCaprio and Clint Eastwood were also favored to win in the race as well.
As for Best Actress, Hilary Swank took home her second award in that category for Million Dollar Baby. Annette Bening, whom had also previously been nominated with Swank in 1999, was nominated for Being Julia.
For Best Supporting Actor, I personally thought Thomas Haden Church would win for Sideways or Alan Alda for The Aviator. Morgan Freeman took home that award for Million Dollar Baby, a long overdue and also deserved award.
Cate Blacnhett won for her portrayal of screen legend Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. I thought that maybe Natalie Portman would have won for Closer.
Director Sidney Lumet was honored with the Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award.
One of my favorite segments was somewhat disappointing, the In Memoriam tribute segment remembering the artists that died the year before was done with a musical solo by Yo Yo Ma, I think his cellist performance was not as good as using the Academy orchestra like in previous years, but the Academy did remember quite a few of Hollywood's dearly departed: Ronald Reagan, Peter Ustinov, Carrie Snodgress, Dan Petrie, Dave Raksin, Fay Wray, Carol Eastman, Elmer Bernstein, Frank Thomas, Russ Meyer, Jerry Orbach, Ralph E. Winters, Robert Thompson, Howard Keel, Janet Leigh, Christopher Reeve, Ossie Davis, Mercedes McCambridge, William Sackheim, Ed DiGullio, Paul Winfield, Philippe de Broca, Jerry Goldsmith, Rodney Dangerfield, Virginia Mayo, Tony Randall and Marlon Brando.
As special tribute was also given to Johnny Carson, who hosted the Oscars in the past.
The Swarm (1978)
Not bad 'disaster' movie
Actually Irwin Allen's The Swarm is not actually a disaster film, although many people may suggest that it is a disaster of a film. Irwin Allen was responsible however of bringing in some of the greatest actual disaster flicks into our generations. We had back in 1970 Airport, in 1972 there was The Poseidon Adventure and in 1974 Earthquake. Now in 1978, he released The Swarm, a major budget motion picture about a swarm of killer bees spreading and killing people in the United States. The plot sounds good, and we do have a gigantic list of famous actors with Michael Caine leading the way with Katharine Ross, Richard Widmark, Olivia de Havilland, Ben Johnson, Lee Grant, Henry Fonda, Jose Ferrer, Patty Duke, Slim Pickens, Bradford Dillman and Cameron Mitchell. The Swarm fails to deliver good suspense and the acting is occasionally bad, however it offers a good time since that is what Irwin Allen was usually good at doing to an audience. I must say that The Swarm may not be as good as The Poseidon Adventure or Earthquake, but much better than Irwin Allen's 1980 volcano disaster flick When Time Ran Out.
The Black Cat (1941)
Good scares, laughs and mystery.
Rating: *** (of of five)
Greedy family heirs stay at their grandmother's mansion and wait for her to die, so they can collect her money and estate. They later discover that they cannot collect a dime until all of her pet cats are dead as well. Someone in the mansion then begins to murder them one by one. This film has all of the elements of horror. Although it bears a notch below many of the popular horror films released by Universal Pictures, director Albert Rogall's The Black Cat has the "haunted" house scene, a rain storm, secret passage ways and plenty of laughs and scares to make it a good horror film. Basil Rathbone and Broderick Crawford are also both good as the leads, as well as Hugh Herbert providing the laughs. Oscar winner Gale Sondergaard and Bela Lugosi, both playing the servants looked wickedly evil and sinister, and it was my surprise that they were not the murderers when both of their characters were murdered as well. The real killer was a surprise, especially with the premise of the black cat being around at the time of the murders often throws the viewers off. The Black Cat is a good horror film classic with intriguing mystery.
It was a good surprising show, but some was disappointing.
The 74th Annual Academy Awards show had a few good surprises, for instance it was nice to see for the first time an African American actress, the lovely and talented Halle Berry take home the Best Actress Oscar for Monster's Ball. Her speech was very emotional to me, and it was nice that an African American actress finally won that award. Denzel Washington, became the second African American actor to win the Best Actor Oscar for Training Day. Earlier before his win, he presented the Honorary Award to his idol, actor Sidney Piotier. Another Honorary Award was given to actor and producer Robert Redford, for his achievements over his career. Veteran director Arthur Hiller took the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his charitable and generous contributions to others. Whoopi Goldberg, I must add, was a hilarious host, she may not have been good as Billy Crystal or Steve Martin, but she did say a few funny sarcastic remarks. The Best Supporting Actor and Actress Oscars were also surprises, for me anyway. Jennifer Connelly gave an outstanding performance in A Beautiful Mind, but I was almost sure that either Marisa Tomei or Helen Mirran would win for their roles in In The Bedroom and Gosford Park. British actor Jim Broadbent won for Iris, and I was hoping that Ian McKellen was going to win for The Lord of the Rings or Ethan Hawke for Training Day. The show also had some good appearances as well, Woody Allen introduced a clip on the films made in New York over the past 74 years of Oscar, in a time after the shadow of the September 11th terrorism attacks, also Tom Cruise presented a clip at the beginning of the show and continued throughout the show of American people sharing their favorite films. The Memorial presentation done by Kevin Spacey was not as good as past shows, and a few deceased actors in the past year were "mysteriously" left out of being remembered, but those that did catch my eye included the great Jack Lemmon, British actor Nigel Hawthorne, Eileen Heckhart, Beatrice Straight, "Exorcist" actor Jason Miller, Ann Sothern, handicapped actor Harold Russell, directors Mike Ritchie and Ted Demme, animators Chuck Jones and William Hanna, Emmy winner Carroll O'Connor, singers Aaliyah and George Harrison and Anthony Quinn, among others. Lots of young presenters at this years award show as well including Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Hartnett, Kirsten Dunst, Tobey McGuire and Cameron Diaz, whom all gave good presentations. A Beautiful Mind walked away with the top prize as Best Picture.
White Mama (1980)
Touching television film.
White Mama is a fine and well made television film starring screen legend Bette Davis, as a poor aging old woman living in a decaying apartment building in the black ghetto of the city. She is befriended by a black boy, who treats her like she was his own mother. Touching and sometimes sad, this made for TV film earned Davis an Emmy Award nomination and has good a good supporting cast including Oscar winner Eileen Heckart (Butterflies are Free), Oscar nominee Anne Ramsey (Throw Momma from the Train) as well as fine African American actors Ernie Hudson and Tony Burton. This film is sometimes hard to find, but should be viewed and recommended for touching stories and fans of Bette Davis's fine work, especially here in television which was even rare for her.
The Hollow (2004)
Okay slasher film
Although, the tale of the Headless Horseman has been told in previous films, Kyle Newman's directorial effort for "The Hollow" is not bad, but not good either. Set in the modern day, The Hollow tells the story of a young teenager named Ian played by Kevin Zegers. Ian happens to be interested in a girl at the local highschool played by Kaley Cuoco. Although she is dating the highschool quaterback (Nick Carter) she falls in love with Ian. But things go wrong when Ian discovers he is the great-great grandson of Icahbod Crane, and on Halloween, the legend of the headless horseman rides again and begins a grisly slaughter against the teenagers of the town. It is up to Ian to stop him. The Hollow lacks suspense and some occasional bad acting, but the story and the musical score kept the film at pace. It was interesting to see Joseph Mazzolo in a film, since he has not been familiar in films since "Jurassic Park". Also Stacy Keach steels the film has the mysterious graveyard keeper who knows the secret of the horseman and Ian's past, and it was nice to see Judge Reinhold as the abusive father type and Oscar nominee Eileen Brennan (Private Benjamin), as usual, looking mean and cruel. Above all, The Hollow, really could have used a tad more originality and maybe shifted a little bit instead of the standard teen slasher film, but you can't except much from a film such as this.
Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977)
Excellent conspiracy film.
Rating 4**** out of 5
Robert Aldrich's "Twilight's Last Gleaming" based on the novel Viper 3 by Walter Wager is the story of General Dell, played superbly by Oscar winner Burt Lancaster, who was an ex-military officer during the Vietnam War. His intentions are to take control of an underground nuclear silo and expects certain demands to be made including ten million dollars in cash and the to use the President of the United States as a hostage. A fine war film with Jerry Goldsmith's excellent score, makes Twilight's Last Gleaming a very recommended motion picture which should be viewed today, especially at the height of the recent terrorism attacks with great performances by Oscar nominees Burt Young, Richard Widmark, Paul Winfield, Joseph Cotton, Melvyn Douglas, Richard Jaeckel and Charles Durning as the President.
Too Scared to Scream (1985)
Mannix, Tarzan's Jane and Mayor Vaughn in one slasher movie!
Rating: *** out of five
Too Scared to Scream is actually a better slasher movie from the 1980's than many would expect. Mike Connors (from TV's Mannix) plays a police detective with his partner (Anne Archer, in one of her first major screen roles) who try and solve puzzling murders that are happening at a sky rise apartment building in New York. There are a few suspects including the apartment building's gentle, kind doorman (Ian McShane) who lives with his mute, paralyzed mother (Maureen O'Sullivan, who played Jane in the Tarzan films). Other suspects include a fashion designer (Sully Boyer), and countless persons in and around the building. The film has aged poorly, and the script could have used some more originally and maybe a larger budget since it was not picked up by a major distribution studio, but Tony Lo Bianco's solid direction and fine acting and special effects and suspenseful musical score make this film a tense shocker. Supporting actors include John Heard, Ruth Ford, Leon Issac Kennedy, Carrie Nye and even Murray Hamilton, who we remember as Mayor Vaughn in Jaws. Charles Azonvour sings the film's song "I'll Be There" in the opening sequence.
Night Train to Terror (1985)
Inept Horror Picture
Rating- * out of five
John Phillip Law and Cameron Mitchell star in this cheesy grade-Z horror picture about God and Satan telling three stories on board a train bound for an accident. The film is so poorly made it is sometimes barely watchable, at certain points confusing and also bizarre. Although the script does have creativity and the usage of three other unfinished films are combinded together to make one, the poor lighting, special effects, editing, acting and cinematography are what really make this film unwatchable, when it could have used some originality. The film itself may have needed a better budget and the director failed to build suspense in many scenes.
Deadly Friend (1986)
Odd, but good horror from Wes Craven
Deadly Friend should probably be good for fans of cult horror films, and this is nothing like some of Wes Craven's past and present films such as "Nightmare on Elm Street" or "Scream", but it does have a good combination of both the horror classics "Frankenstein" and "Bride of Frankenstein". However, the script is rather weak and seemed poorly adapted from Diana Henstall's more effect short novel "Friend". Deadly Friend does have some good scares and above all gore and a good solid cast from teen stars Matthew Laborteaux, Michael Sharrett and a young beautiful Kristy Swanson in the title role. Both Russ Marin and Anne Twomey provide a warm feeling to the younger cast and the audiences, while Richard Marcus and Anne Ramsey both, as usual, looking wickedly evil in their roles. Above all, Ramsey's classic decapitation by basketball scene is the highlight of the film. One year before she was seen in Steven Spielberg's "The Goonies", and a year after this she got an Oscar nomination for "Throw Momma from the Train", before dying in 1988. I whould say Deadly Friend gets 8/10, for a classic cult horror favorite.
Throw Momma from the Train (1987)
A fun black comedy/thriller
Throw Momma from the Train, could best be described as a newer version of Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train". Stu Sliver's script was creative and very darkly comic.
Danny DeVito stars (and also directs) as Owen, a sort of dim-witted writing student who lives with his monstrous mother (Anne Ramsey). Owen's writing teacher, Larry (Billy Crystal) is having trouble with his writing career because his wife (Kate Mulgrew) stole his first book and made it her own bestseller and lives the highlife in Hawaii. After Owen constantly annoys Larry for days about his first story, he wrote from class, Larry suggests that Owen see a Hitchcock movie in order to write the perfect murder mystery novel. Owen then gets the idea from "Strangers on a Train" that he will go to Hawaii and murder Larry's wife, while Larry will kill his mother. But Larry has the motive, and with the police coming after him, Larry now has the opportunity to kill off the meanest old lady, he's ever seen, but realizes that she is harder to get rid of than both he and Owen thought.
Throw Momma from the Train, I think is a fun comic adventure, both Danny DeVito and Bill Crystal are funny, while Anne Ramsey's Oscar-nominated role of Momma is hysterically frightening. There are a lot of laughs in this film, especially the classic "One Hundred Girls I'd Like to Fork" story. Kim Griest, Annie Ross and Bruce Kirby also star, with Rob Reiner, Oprah Winfrey and Danny DeVito's own father in law, Philip Perlman make cameos. This is a good example of classic black comedy.
The Last of the Finest (1990)
Fair for the Action Genre
The Last of the Finest, also released as Street Legal, is a fair action film from 1990, starring Brian Dennehy as Officer Frank Daly of the LAPD, and he and his fellow officers (Joe Pantoliano, Jeff Fahey and Bill Paxton) are up aganist a drug operaton headed by a US Government agent (Guy Boyd). After the investigation grows cold, Daly is forced to turn in his badge, but he takes matters into his own hands and also doesn't realize that his former police captain (Henry Darrow) is also apart of the operation. After Bill Paxton's character is killed, Daly does what any honest cop would, to bring justice back, or let the Government get away with the crime. Director John MacKenzie tries to build up a good cop story, but seems to rely mostly on tongue in check, not to mention some slow moving scenes, without action or adventure. However the ending showdown on a Los Angeles football field was pretty good, the helicopter crash looked rather authentic. But like most early 90's action films, The Last of the Finest is an average film most of us have probably seen.
No surprises, just a regular show this year.
The 2004 Academy Awards show was was pretty plain this year, with no surprise winners and this year lacked tons of nominations. The Best Picture this year went to the obvious third sequel "Lord of the Rings: Return of the King" with eleven wins tying with "Ben Hur" and "Titanic". Billy Crystal was fine as the host, he usually has a good sense of humor, but this year as the Master of Ceremonies probably wasn't his greatest compared to the 1997 Oscar show. The Best Director went to Peter Jackson for "Lord of the Rings", and Sofia Coppola won the Best Screenplay award. Blake Edwards took the Lifetime Honorary Achievement Award for his long career as a comedy director. The acting awards were kind of odd, I was hoping Bill Murray would win the Best Actor Oscar for "Lost in Translation", but he lost to Sean Penn for Clint Eastwood's "Mystic River", Tim Robbins won the Supporting Actor for "Mystic River" and Renee Zellweger took the Supporting Actress award for "Cold Mountain". Charlize Theron won the Best Actress Oscar as real life serial killer Aileen Wuornios for "Monster" the film's only nomination and win. Another odd thing about the acting awards this year was the International stars that didn't win. We have New Zealand born actress Keisha Castle-Hughes for "Whale Rider". Hughes was the youngest ever nominated in the Best Actress category. Japanese actor Ken Watanabe was nominated for "The Last Samauri", African American actor Dijimon Honseu was nominated for "In America" as was English actress Samantha Morton and Iraq born actress Shohreh Aghdashloo for "The House of Sand and Fog". Other known nominees for acting included Diane Keaton for "Something's Gotta Give", Johnny Depp for "Pirates of the Caribean", Alec Baldwin for "The Cooler", Ben Kingsley for "The House of Sand and Fog" and Holly Hunter for "Thirteen". Academy President Frank Pierson did a terrific job at presenting the In Memoriam segment of the show, which was very long this year to pay tribute to the many stars that died this year. They included Gregory Peck, Bob Hope, Hope Lange, Wendy Hiller, Charles Bronson, directors Elia Kazan and John Schlesinger, Buddy Hackett, Buddy Ebsen, Art Carney, Jeanne Crain, Guy Rolfe, Ron O'Neal, Hume Cronyn, Karen Morley, Robert Stack, John Ritter, Ann Miller, Donald O'Connor, Gregory Hines, Michael Jeter and a very special memorial to screen legend Katharine Hepburn.
Wild Cactus (1993)
Wow, the unrated version of this sexually rare thriller was odd but amazing. Wild Cactus stars David Naughton and India Allen playing a young couple stranded out in the desert when they cross paths with a vicious ex con (Gary Hudson) and his girlfriend (Kathy Shower) who have on their minds some odd sexual games. Paul Gleason was good as Sheriff Brenner, his usual mean tough performance was perfect, even though he isn't involved in any of the sex scenes which to my knowledge has some of the most hot steamy scenes I've seen since Two Moon Junction or Wild Orchid. Recommended for the fans of the adult/softcore genre.
An intrigingly fascinating plotline.
Grim Prairie Tales is an acclaimed film of bizarre anthology and spellbinding horror featuring an all star cast. Academy Award nominees James Earl Jones and Brad Dourif lead a cast including Scott Paulin (Turner & Hooch), Will Hare (Back to the Future), Marc McClure (Superman), Lisa Eichhorn (The Talent Mr. Ripley), William Atherton (Die Hard) and Michelle Joyner (Cliffhanger) to star in a tale of two pioneers who cross paths in a Western desert land and tell tales of both ghastly hauntings and supernatural tragedies. It's a low-buget film, but has some good quality of directing and acting. I especially liked the first and last stories the most.
Back to the Future (1985)
Fun time travel film.
Always a favorite of fans of both comedy and science fiction/adventure genres, Robert Zemeckis's Back to the Future has both the comedy, adventure and science fiction all into one film. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg, Back to the Future was among the top grossing films of 1985, and spawned three sequels with a well remembered Oscar nominated song "Power of Love" by Huey Lewis and the News. For 17 year old Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) his future doesn't seem to be going anywere. He's a slacker at school, has a few troubles with his girlfriend and has never ending confrontations with his parents (Crispin Glover and Lea Thompson). For most of his time, Marty likes to hang around the old eccentric Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) who has a major surpise, he just invented time machine with a DeLoren automobile. Unfortunatly for Marty, he is accidently taken back to the past, 30 years earlier. For some, time travel might be fun, but from the moment, Marty steps back to the past, he has a number of problems. First he is nearly killed by Old Man Peabody (Will Hare) who thinks Marty is some kind of strange alien, then the people in town don't seem to care for him that much, he has problems with some of the local tough guys and meets his parents when they were in high school and his mother is falling in love with Marty. The only problem now, is that Marty won't be born in the future, if he stays with his mother and it's up to him to get himself back. I've always liked this film and the three sequels. It's fun for the entire famly and it's one of those motion pictures that an audience can't forget.
Under Siege (1992)
Fine action film.
Steven Seagal might not be Arnold Schwarzenneger or Bruce Willis, but Under Siege quickly became one of 1992's most successful films, earning Seagal a fine reputation as a good action star. Andrew Davis directed the film about a US Battleship that has been taken over by Tommy Lee Jones and Gary Busey and it's up to Steven Seagal, whom acts as a chef cook, but is really an Ex-Navy Seal to save the day with the help of the ever sexy Erika Eleniak playing Miss July 1989. Jones and Busey particularly are great as the two villians and the action scenes and karate moves from Seagal are quite well choregraphed with a fine score by Gary Chang. The supportive cast, topped off by Patrick Adams, Colm Mehoney, Nick Mancuso, Andy Romano, Troy Evans, Glenn Morshower, Dennis Lipscomb and Damian Chapa all turn in fine and impressive even humerous performances. Highly recommended for fans of the action genre.
My favorite Academy Awards show.
This has always been my favorite Academy Awards show, the 70th show, and 70 years of Oscars. Hosted by Billy Crystal, James Cameron won the Best Director for the multi billion dollar motion picture Titanic which also won 10 additional Oscars, Kim Basinger won the Best Supporting Actress for her seductive role in LA Confeditial and Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt won the leading Best Actor and Best Actress awards for As Good as it Gets. Robin Williams also gave a wonderful performance and won the Best Supporting Actor award for Good Will Hunting. Newcomers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon won their Best Screenplay for Good Will Hunting, while Celin Dion sang her heart out for Titanic's song "My Heart Will Go On". Veteran director Stanley Donen took the Honary Award and then there was a sad memorial for the great actors who died in 1997 and 1998 among them included Robert Mitchum, Lloyd Bridges, Burgess Meredith, Toshiro Mifune, Brian Keith, William Hickey, Richard Jaeckel, J.T. Walsh, Will Hare, Billie Dove and James Stewart. A great show.
An important motion picture for those who demand the truth.
One of my favorite real mystery thrillers about who actually shot President John F. Kennedy. Oliver Stone directed this wonderfully crafted and creative look about the long list of suspects involved on that day back in November of 1963. Kevin Costner plays real life district attorney Jim Garrison who heads his own investigation into finding what the reason was for murdering the great President and who really did it, was it really Lee Harvey Oswald?, or was it the mafia, CIA, Russians, Cubans or our own US Government? We might never know, but as American people, we demand the truth. Gary Oldman plays Lee Harvey Oswald excellently, it's almost as if the real Oswald was 'resurrected' sort of speak, I was amazed on how much similarity there was between Oldman and Oswald. Tommy Lee Jones (who recieved a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination) plays the New Orleans openly gay albino Clay Shaw who is also accused of ploting to kill Kennedy while Joe Pesci turns in a fine role as the crazy David Ferrie who also seems to be involved. The film includes an all-star cast including Sissy Spacek, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Rooker, Wayne Knight, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Jay O. Sanders and Vincent D'Onofrio as well as surprising and effective five to ten minute cameos by Kevin Bacon, John Candy, Edward Asner, Sally Kirkland, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Donald Sutherland and Brian Doyle Murray who also turns in an excellent role as night club owner Jack Ruby, the notorious man who eventually murdered Oswald. Although I wasn't alive when Kennedy was shot, I enjoyed the film because it gives people who weren't around hope and dignity to find the truth. As a result of this film, Congress passed documents that such case files as the assasination of JFK could be avialible to the American public in the year 2029. Every time I watch this film, I can see the heartbreak and tragedy of the American people who watched a great leader like JFK being shot, but maybe one day, the real truth will be out and I think that is something that JFK would want the American people to know.
Black Moon Rising (1986)
Nice little action film.
John Carpenter wrote the story for this stylish exciting action film from 1986, although the film seems to have a rather low budget, must be because it was made through Roger Corman's old company, New World Pictures. In any rate, Tommy Lee Jones is great in one of his most exciting roles, before he became a major star. Jones plays Quint a man who steals from the government. He steals a certain disc and hides it in a 21st century car built by a former NASA agent. However, the problem is, he is being tracked by government agent Johnson (Bubba Smith) who relies on his famous line "don't **** with the government!", which I truly enjoyed. Quint also falls in love with a young woman named Nina (Linda Hamilton) who just so happened to steal the car that has the discs in it. It becomes a fun filled, action packed chase in the end, and the action scenes in the LA skyrise buildings are awesome. The supportive cast is topped off by Robert Vaughn, playing his usual villian role, while Richard Jaeckel, Lee Ving, William Sandersen, Nick Cassavettes and Keenan Wynn occasionally steal the scene. Black Moon Rising is a fun filled little action film, which I liked.