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Batjac - 49
Keeping the Faith (2000)
Keep your No-Doz handy if you watch this one !!
Maybe I'm in the minority, but this film was just a very cliche riddled script about Catholics & Jews, and watching it was like listening to someone tell the same old religious joke for the hundredth time.....
Norton & Stiller are marvellous young actors, but their talents are wasted in this lack lustre vehicle...Elfman is over rated and only on screen for her stunning looks....she looks uncomfortable and ill at ease on screen.
Edward Norton obviously tried hard to make a humourous religious / buddy movie, but the film lacks any real zing...the few decent laughs in this film are broken up by long boring pieces with banal dialogue & no direction in the script. I wasn't the only one to notice these weak points in the film....my six friends who accompanied me to see this film were all nodding off to sleep too !!
A dissapointing film that could have been so much better....!
Vertical Limit (2000)
Is this movie a remake of "Cliffhanger" ???
From the trailers of this movie, I had high hopes of it being a really inventive mountaineering flick with spectacular stunt work !!
However, after the first five minutes I got a sense of deja vu, and I felt like I was watching a remake of the 1993 Sylvester Stallone movie "Cliffhanger" ! Virtually exactly the same opening sequence (albeit in Arizona rather than Colarado)....O'Donnell's character suffers the same guilt complex as Stallone's due to a tragedy....and then we have an incredible series of events that compel the lead character to confront his demons and conquer his climbing fears ! O'Donnell even virtually duplicates the incredible aerial leap sequence that Stallone did in "Cliffhanger" !!
And the way in "Vertical Limit" that those guys were sloshing around that nitro-glycerine in their back packs....they would have all been blown to kingdom come !
The only shining light in the movie was Scott Glen as some grizzled old mountaineer....and Aussie actor Ben Mendlesohn as a wise cracking young climber !
An enjoyable film with some hair raising stunts, but albeit a dissapointing one in the script department. They could have done so much more with this movie.....
The Wild Geese (1978)
An action film that really delivers the goods !!
Allegedly, loosely based on the incredible adventures of "Mad Mike" Hoare and his mercenary unit operating in the Belgian Congo in the early sixties rescuing Westerners and stemmimg tribal violence..."The Wild Geese" is a real "Boys Own" adventure that races along like a good action film should !
Ageing mercenary leader Allan Faulkner (Richard Burton) is hired by wealthy, but unscrupulous, merchant banker Sir Edward Matherson (Stewart Granger in an oily performance) to rescue an imprisoned African leader, Julius Limbani (Winston Ntshona) from terrorists and turn him over to his own people...at stake are copper mine concessions in Africa worth millions !!
Burton enlists the aid of war time pals, Capt. Rafer Janders (Richard Harris) debonair pilot Lt. Shawn Fynn (Roger Moore), ex-South African troubleshooter Pieter Coetze (Hardy Kruger) and 'tough as nails' RSM Sandy Young (Jack Watson) as well as about 40 other mercenaries to engage on one last adventure for truth, justice and a very large paycheck.
Burton & Co. parachute into darkened Africa and all goes well....until a double cross emerges and the Wild Geese are running for their lives....outgunned and outmanned by the pursuing brutal, machete-wielding Simba troops
When the action commences in "The Wild Geese"...it comes thick and fast...the film is filled with gritty firefights, fast paced entertainment and colorful use of African savannah / veldt locations for the battle scenes....highly recommended for fans of the action / war genre !!
Just when is this film going to come out on DVD ???
Charley Varrick (1973)
One of the finest action / thriller films of the 70's
Don Siegel, behind the camera, & Walter Matthau, in front of it, are both in tremendous form in what surely must be one of the most over looked, high quality films of the early seventies !
Charley Varrick is a taut, solid thriller that never plays it's cards too soon...and the result is a crackling, well paced suspenseful film that gets better on every viewing. Matthau plays a small town crook (Charley Varrick), who with fast talking accomplice Harman Sullivan (Andy Robinson), get in over their head's when they rip off a small town bank for a lot more loot than they bargained. Enter cold blooded and ruthless bank president, Maynard Boyle (John Vernon) and professional assassin "Molly" ( portrayed in icy fashion by Joe Don Baker )and the situation really starts to heat up !!
Plus there is a great 70's support cast with Sheree North as the crooked photographer, Norman Fell as police detective, Mr. Garfinkle and the nervy Woodrow Parfrey as the timid and terrified bank branch manager, Harold Young.
Well paced and well told, this movie is great entertainment and belongs in any film fans library.....I can't understand why this film isn't available to purchase on VHS or DVD ??
The Doom Generation (1995)
A meandering mess with no redeeming qualities !!!
Only heaven knows how I sat through this oh so painfully bad movie...one thing I know is that I will never do it again. This film represents everything bad in moviemaking...poor plot, bad actors, weak script, moronic dialogue and bad camerawork. The lead actress is so annoying that I wanted to clamber up onto the screen and strangle her !!
Once the lights came on in the theatre...I couldn't get to the exit quickly enough. As for the people who voted this movie as a "10"....all I have to say to them is you need to get out more often. If someone offers you the alternative between watching "The Dumb Generation" and having a manicure with a chainsaw...take the chainsaw...it will be a lot less painful !!
Twenty five years on... it's still thrilling movie making !!
The first time I saw this film I was around 13 years old and I went to see it along with a group of friends for my birthday. To say it made an impact, is an understatement !! Over a quarter of a century later, this well told tale of a community paralysed with fear, a ferocious great white shark and three very different men on a boat confronting their worst nightmare is still nail biting cinema. Jaws easily rank's as one of the most influential films of the seventies and one of Steven Spielberg's best works ever. The three male leads each play their roles brilliantly...Roy Scheider as the nervy, aquaphobic police chief of Amity....Richard Dreyfuss as the daring and off beat icthyologist drawn to the terrifying great white...and Robert Shaw in excellent form as the violent half mad, shark hunter Quint, teaching both Scheider and Dreyfuss how to be men....and leading them all into a life and death struggle with a more powerful and cunning adversary than he has ever encountered. What makes this movie so memorable is that it operates on so many different levels. It is a boy's own adventure story...it is a psychological thriller...it is a horror story about a unseen predator...it is about facing an unknown environment with terrible consequences. The tightly wound story, the crisp editing, the soundtrack, and even Bruce the mechanical shark plus the frenetic pacing of this movie add up to one of my favourite cinema thrill rides of the last 25 years. Can't wait to own this one on DVD !!!
Gripping, tightly scripted and well acted. A true story of murderous mayhem.
This has to be one of the best made for TV movies that you are ever likely to see.
Based on the real life story of Platt & Matix ( played by David Soul & Michael Gross ) two murderous bank robbers operating in Dade County, Florida, this film is expertly crafted and maintains a gripping pace all the way through. Hollywood veteran Ronny Cox (Deliverance, RoboCop, Total Recall) brings a steely eyed brilliance to his role as Ben Grogan, head of the FBI unit charged with the apprehension of these bandits.
Soul and Grosse put in dynamite performances as the two violent and unstoppable villians, which was a total role reversal from the warm, friendly characters that they are both best known for on television. Amazingly, the film does not pull any punches when it comes to the vicious nature of the crimes committed by both of these men. The final gun battle involving the FBI and these two villians is well shot (no pun intended), powerful and gripping television.
Sharky's Machine (1981)
A tough, uncompromising cop thriller with Reynolds in his best form......
Along with "Deliverance" and "Boogie Nights", this is Burt's best effort as a tough, hard nosed cop up to his neck in sadistic mobsters, crooked cops, cheating politcians and beautiful hookers......you gotta enjoy watching Rachel Ward vamp it up !!
This a really punchy action flick from Reynolds with a great supporting cast including some of the best character actors of the early eighties. Charles Durning plays his short tempered boss in the Atlanta vice squad, Bernie Casey as his "Zen" influenced partner, and Brian Keith as "Papa" the junk food loving member of the machine.
And let's not forget those bad guys with Earl Holliman as a corrupt politician, cold blooded, manipulative Vittorio Gassman as the mob boss, the icy, unstoppable assassin Henry Silva,..... and how about those kung -fu killers !?!?
Anyone for a manicure.....????
Great use of location shooting, a gripping tight script, some comical moments from Durning and Keith, plus the exciting stuntwork and some great bone crunching fights add up to one of the most enjoyable cop movies of the early eighties.
This is Burt's last good movie before he went through some fairly tough and lean times ( both on and off the screen ) and then re-emerged back in focus in the 90's.
The Wild Bunch (1969)
Peckinpah's ode to the closing of the American west.
Probably one of the most controversial films ever made, the Wild Bunch was equally hated and admired upon it's release over 30 years ago. Even today, as proof of it's staying power, it is still widely debated if Sam Peckinpah made a masterpiece or a monstrosity. Personally, I'm of the firm belief that Peckinpah contributed one of the finest American films of the last century.
The chemistry that Peckinpah was able to put on celluloid for this film is brilliant. William Holden and Ernest Borgnine as the leaders of the Bunch, play their roles with conviction and tenacity. Robert Ryan, once an outlaw with Holden, and now forced to hunt him down, portrays the tortured individual caught between an old friendship and the threat of incarceration in a vicious prison. Ben Johnson and Warren Oates are solidly believable as real life brothers as they depict their roles as Tector and Lyle Gorch, and finally Jaime Sanchez rounds out the gang as the fiercely patriotic Mexican, Angel.
Also a Peckinpah movie wouldn't be complete without L.Q. Jones and Strother Martin portraying the cowardly, scheming, body robbing bounty hunters eager for the money on the heads of the Wild Bunch.
This is a film that you can re-visit time and time again and relish the depth of the characters and feel their desperation as the west that they once knew has now become a distant memory.
Apart from the great casting, the tight scripting , exciting stuntwork, wonderful cinematography, gripping dialogue, and first class editing of the gunfights, this movie will be continually looked upon as one of the most important films of American cinema.
See it, enjoy it and experience great movie making!!