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Cold Harvest (1999)
Good fighting scenes
Gary Daniels (who is he?) is stunning as a martial arts kung fu/cowboy gunslinger/bounty hunter who becomes the hero saving the wife of his killed brother. The action - shootouts and fight scenes are incredible though not original. The acting sucks big time but that's not the point. This is one hell of a roller coaster ride. Enjoy.
Six-String Samurai (1998)
Excellent and campy post-apocalyptic movie
Campy post-apocalyptic movie with great cinematography and excellent martial arts stunts. Buddy (Jeffrey Falcon), a rock musician cum samurai, must battle gangs across the Nevada desert to reach Lost Vegas, the only city that provides a safe haven from the Soviet invasion of the USA. The dialogue is atrocious and the acting passable, but the journey Falcon takes to reach his final destination is filled with the most engaging sword battles and colorful of villians I've ever come across. Falcon revels in his martial arts hero role, twisting and gyrating with Bruce Lee reflexes and hurling his guitar around with great panache. This is a cult classic for all surf movie fans.
Disturbing Behavior (1998)
Surprisingly enjoyable teen-horror flick
Surprisingly enjoyable teen-horror flick with good performances by James Marsden, Katie Holmes and Nick Stahl, the lead characters, and well directed by David Nutter who's known for previous X-files episodes. Young teens battle a conspiracy where innocent unsuspecting victims become brainwashed students in a town where the populace appears too good to be true. Nutter injects enough paranoia into a very simple theme we've seen many times before. Not atypical of a teen slasher, but with a MTV storyline that will pack in the school audience.
Strong second-half saves this average movie
For the first half of this movie, I was frankly rather bored. But this almost predictable whodunit suddenly takes a life of its own and brings in a series of twists to taunt you to stay towards to the end. Luke Perry is so-so as an ex-cop turned private eye hired by a suspicious millionaire to trail his wife, played enticingly by Gloria Reuben. Perry falls for the millionaire's wife and a subsequent murder throws the movie into higher gear. Average, pacy and watchable. It's a pity that Perry (no pun intended) can't seem to raise his career and has to end up in B-grade TV movies like this.
The Principal (1987)
Belushi gets tough as a school principal
James Belushi socks it to em' and gives a creditable performance as a high school teacher going through a difficult time. He is posted as the new principal of a school nobody wants to be involved in. Plot is akin to Michelle Pfeiffer's Dangerous Minds but in this case, Belushi is the hard-case Principal determined to make a real change of his life and his students. The movie builds to a climatic ending that has you rooting for Belushi. The feel good ending, however, mars what otherwise is a good and engaging story.
The Butcher Boy (1997)
I'm still trying to understand the point of the whole movie.
This dark comedy perhaps works for others, but I found it deeply unsatisfying. Despite a strong cast and a very weird plot, The Butcher Boy fails for me. The kid is irritating and nauseating throughout. Mischievous he may be, but there is little cause for all his insolence and intransigence. Little is explained in the movie to justify his actions. To make it worse, he seems to be able to find absolution from the apparitions of Mother Mary he gets. Worse still -- she apparently condones his pranks. Huh? Maybe I'm too dense to understand the satirical meaning here, but is Neil Jordan exorcizing some perverse pleasure here to make a point on the rigidness of society? Or something similar? Sorry, I'm still trying to understand the point of the whole movie.
The Fisher King (1991)
Whimsical and funny. Highly recommended.
This is a gorgeously entertaining, whimsical and funny movie. Period. There's been enough good things said by other reviewers on how great this movie is, and I won't dwell further. I'm just glad to catch this, although nine years after it was first screened. The pairing of Jeff Bridges and Robin Williams is an absolute gem of a combination: Bridges' ice-cool suaveness and noble character in this movie perfectly compliments Williams' zaniness and eccentric self. A brilliant watch. Go rent it if you haven't seen it yet.
Killing Time (1998)
Bloody violent but idiotic movie
I really feel this could have been a much better movie if the plot and acting were better done. Kendra Torgan is gorgeous as the ice-cool Italian hit woman who ruthlessly eliminates her victims as nonchalantly as she peels her apples. Although mildly fun to watch, the movie is sadly idiotic. The kill rate is horrendous and at times the movie seems to drag. Everyone around Kendra seems to be bungling, the conversation is inane and the choreography of the shooting scenes were choppy. It's bloody violent though, if that is any redeeming feature.
My American Vacation (1999)
Disappointing movie about a Chinese family reunion
Even the presence of well known stage actress Tsai Chin fails to save this movie that starts brightly but tails off into a mundane and predictable fare. The story centers on Grandma Lee's(Tsai Chin) visit to the US to see the families of her two Chinese daughters, Ming Yee and Ming Na, played ironically by two Japanese actresses, Kim Miyori and Deborah Nishimura.
The whole gang then decides to take a vacation by driving a caravan to the rocky mountains in Colorado. It's not the destination that is important but the opportunity for all of them to spend 'quality time' together. Grandma and her two daughters discover that they really don't know one another. The two sisters bicker throughout but a near tragic accident brings the family together again.
This movie starts with a refreshing comedic feel that raises a few good chuckles, but sadly this deteriorates badly once the maudlin and sentimental stuff came along. The conclusion is an anti-climax and you just don't feel like you've watched anything worthwhile, unlike the excellent Ang Lee film 'Eat Drink Man Woman', which was both funny and heartwarming.
Home Fries (1998)
Story is ridiculous but Barrymore does well
This is an off-beat comedy with a slightly ridiculous plot that is saved by the fine acting of several actors such as Drew Barrymore as the FastFood countergirl who unwittingly lets herself get taken advantage of, and Catherine O'Hara as the betrayed and psychotic wife out to gain revenge on her cheating husband. Barrymore is in her element here, playing the sweet and winsome girl-next-door who wins the heart of the son of her unfaithful lover. The characters here are so neurotic they are never realistic. But this is a love story with a charming ending. Suspend your disbelief, and wither down your expectations to enjoy this movie.