Reviews

51 ReviewsOrdered By: Date
Cold Harvest (1999 Video)
7/10
Good fighting scenes
17 February 2001
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.
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7/10
Surprisingly enjoyable teen-horror flick
10 June 2000
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.
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6/10
Excellent and campy post-apocalyptic movie
10 June 2000
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.
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Indiscreet (1998 TV Movie)
5/10
Strong second-half saves this average movie
7 June 2000
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.
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2/10
I'm still trying to understand the point of the whole movie.
7 June 2000
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.
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9/10
Whimsical and funny. Highly recommended.
7 June 2000
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.
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The Principal (1987)
6/10
Belushi gets tough as a school principal
7 June 2000
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.
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3/10
Disappointing movie about a Chinese family reunion
5 June 2000
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.
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Killing Time (1998)
4/10
Bloody violent but idiotic movie
5 June 2000
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.
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SubUrbia (1996)
2/10
An awful movie.
2 June 2000
This movie to me was close to awful. No amount of political philosophizing, social evangelizing or explanation of teen angst or any introspective look at the decadence of American society can cover for a very poor movie. 'Full of fire but really getting nowhere' is how I would describe the characters. So what's the point of the movie? Don't hang around and get a life? I know this is loosely based on the life of a scriptwriter but give me a break here. There must be something worthwhile for viewers to spend hours of their time. But alas no. Not only is this movie without direction, but it's also loud, obnoxious and boring. The actors do a good job portraying their parts, but it is the scripting and direction that fails big time.
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Home Fries (1998)
6/10
Story is ridiculous but Barrymore does well
2 June 2000
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.
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5/10
Not an intelligent movie
2 June 2000
I frankly expected more from a Frakenheimer movie. Roy Scheider as Colonel Jack Knowles is okay as the hothead military iconoclast who's not been the same since the war in Vietnam. He is sent to the German-Czech border and wages a personal vendetta against the short-fused Russian colonel Valachev, played quite menacingly by Jurgen Prochnow. The end of detente and the last Cold War battle? Well, Scheider throws a snowball at Prochnow and the fourth war starts. basically that's how. The premise is good but we are treated to a long and meandering tit-for-tat between two Army colonels that borders on the childish and wanton. While occasionally funny, this is not an intelligent movie. You'd be better off watching Toy Soldiers if you want a more gripping story.
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9/10
Fun and enjoyable. Bacon is a blast here.
30 May 2000
It's difficult not to like this John Hughes movie which explores the relationship between Jefferson Briggs (Bacon) and Kristy (McGovern) from their wedding day till their baby's birth. The movie centers around how Bacon matures to become a responsible family man. The movie is portrayed through the eyes of new graduate Briggs and the audience moves along with his fears, plight and fortunes. Although not entirely original, there are moments throughout that you will empathize and laugh along with, mainly because we all went through this before. This is one of Hughes' definitive films from the 1980s and the music accompanying the movie is great, from Gene Loves Jezebel to Everything But The Girl and Kate Bush. Bacon is hilarious and McGovern gives an understated but effective performance as the wife determined to have a baby. Alec Baldwin is brilliant as Davis McDonald, the devilish best friend of Bacon who tries to dissuade him out of marriage. There are genuinely funny moments that pepper this movie throughout and makes it really delightful. There are the "high-brow" critics who slag this movie off. Don't be influenced by their views. This is an endearing and enjoyable movie.
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Black and White (II) (1999)
5/10
Watch this only if you're a Gina Gershon fan.
29 May 2000
This is one of the movies that you stay to watch the sexy actress lead, in this case Gina Gershon, but at the end you say "What? Is that it?". There was plenty of promise with the rookie cop- experienced cop pairing and all the twists that went along. But it all falters towards the end. This is not necessarily a bad film, but it was boring, especially the second half. Gershon is stunning to watch, but that's about all the excitement you'd get in the 90 minutes. Five of 10 is the rating I'd give for this movie that should have achieved so much more.
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The Devil's Child (1997 TV Movie)
4/10
Dull, listless with little originality
26 May 2000
A woman's mother makes a deal with the devil to save the daughter from dying. 20 years later the devil returns to claim retribution. Sounds compelling but in reality, this is a dull, listless show with little originality. Kim Delaney adds some semblance of good acting but what grates me is that the plot is a pure rip-off from previous movies. Thomas Gibson is too straight faced and nice looking to be evil. The Devil's Child lacks any new ideas and whichever way the story moves, you know you've seen it before. The finale is as close to any mediocre B-grade horror movie you can find.
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The Alarmist (1997)
7/10
Dark, humorous, quirky and melodramatic.
24 May 2000
Dark, humorous, quirky and melodramatic. The mix of this movie may not gel and disappoint some, but on the whole I found it fun and entertaining. Dave Arquette, Stan Tucci and Kate Capeshaw give fine performances in this very offbeat movie that starts dark but ends with a comedic twist. Perhaps the plot could be better but there's plenty enough to give viewers amusement and chuckles. A strange one you'd either hate or enjoy. For myself, I found it on the plus side.
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Twilight (1998)
5/10
What a big letdown.
22 May 2000
With names like Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, Stockard Channing and Reese Witherspoon you'd think we have one hell of a movie. But this all-star ensemble fail to boost a lackluster plot involving an ex-PI who helps his actor friend with a favor and gets caught in a 20-year old murder. Individually, the big names excel with smooth performances, but on a whole there were no sparks to keep the viewer entertained. (It would also have been nice to see more of Witherspoon)

Blame it on the predictable and contrived plot. Goes to show that all the talent in the world can't lift a movie if its story line is poor to begin with. I stayed up for this with high expectations but was let down. Definitely a disappointing movie considering the cast.
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Thunderheart (1992)
8/10
Apted's best outing as a director
22 May 2000
Michael Apted has had a few indifferent movies, but Thunderheart is in my view his best. Apted spotlights the tribal Indian community in Badlands, South Dakota, exploring the mysticism of the Sioux culture and examining the impact of its forced co-existence with the modern American way of life. This juxtaposed mix of two cultures is best exemplified by Val Kilmer, who plays a young, brash and cocky FBI investigator with Sioux blood sent "back home" to investigate a homicide.

The murder investigation proves to be the tip of the iceberg, revealing a greater conspiracy to steal the land away from the Sioux. There is a surreal edge to the movie throughout, balanced well with an engaging and gripping story line. Kilmer is at his best here, aided well by a great supporting cast. The action was thick and fast, surrounded by an aura of mystical magic that was best supplied by James Horner's thumping soundtrack. For two hours I was enthralled. This is an excellent movie.
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Murder Most Likely (1999 TV Movie)
6/10
Kelly gets his comeuppance
21 May 2000
An engaging TV thriller-drama that traces the ruthlessness of an Canadian undercover cop who has more to hide than what his occupation reveals. What's even more astonishing is that this is based on the true life story of Patrick Kelly, who's now still serving sentence for allegedly throwing his wife off a balcony. The acting is a bit slow moving but this is made up by the tension throughout. Kelly certainly gave the authorities the run, jetsetting from place to place all over the world. The chase in which the authorities mount to nail their man takes several years, but it's all worth at the end. The movie takes the stand that Patrick Kelly is guilty, even though the key witness in his conviction has recanted what she originally said. Guilty or not, you still want Kelly to go to jail -- for all the deceit and lies, and the way he duped the many women and friends who trusted him.
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Hostile Waters (1997 TV Movie)
7/10
As good as "Red October"
21 May 2000
It is debatable whether one should put down this film because of its inaccurate portrayal of the book it's based on, but as a TV movie this proved very tight and and absorbing. Director David Drury has done wonders on what I assumed is a very small budget. Rutger Hauer is excellent as the Captain forced to make impromptu decisions with life and death consequences. His challenge was how to keep the pride and dignity of the Soviet people in such dire circumstances. Sadly, the Soviet captain may be revered as a hero by America but in the Soviet Union he has been labelled a villain.

Admittedly the roles of people like Martin Sheen and Max Von Sydow were much underplayed, but this is excusable considering most of the tension centered in the Soviet sub. Besides Hauer, the acting by the rest of the Soviet crew was superb. There are many submarine-based movies of late, and although I'm watching this three years late, Hostile Waters certainly has kept it's head high. I'd rank this movie as good as "The Hunt For Red October".
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The Pentagon Wars (1998 TV Movie)
6/10
Is that how the top brass in the US military operates?
20 May 2000
I'm not American so any sense of disbelief and anger can be tempered by the fact that this is just a movie. But I still find it incredulous that the US military brass can be so short-sighted and inept. Since this is somewhat of a satire, I expect a lot of hyperbole put into this movie. Kelsey Grammer is brilliant as the unflappable and stubborn General forced to protect the interests of the Pentagon. Cary Elwes turns in a creditable performance as the reluctant colonel out to expose the truth. Makes you think if all the militaries around the world are spending taxpayers' money for the right reasons.
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Pumpkinhead (1988)
6/10
Still an enjoyable flick
20 May 2000
This will go down in the annals of B-grade horror movies as one that should have had better recognition. For a slasher movie, this is a no brainer -- plenty of suspense, lots of gore and expect the killing spree goes on till the end. Surprisingly, and I'm not the first one here, I found this both watchable and entertaining. Perhaps it was because I had no expectations beforehand. Discount the poor acting. The killings are quite original and Pumpkinhead is one tough baddie that I was rooting for right up to the end. Lance Henriksson is reasonably okay as Ed Harley, the unfortunate father who loses his son and invokes the creature from the grave. The rest of the actors, well, was just lunch fodder for the monster. 13 years on, Pumpkinhead is still okay and deserves lots of credit.
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Flowers for Algernon (2000 TV Movie)
6/10
A touching movie
19 May 2000
Matthew Modine is credible as the mental retard who becomes smart, albeit briefly, and then dumb again. On the whole, this is an interesting take on how genetic engineering and its wonders can still fail to save humankind. The acting of both Modine and Kelli Williams lends strong weight and makes this movie very watchable. I don't think you would classify this as an excellent movie -- Modine is respectable but it's hard to really think he was convincing acting retarded -- but as a TV movie it was a touching 2 hours.
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Metroland (1997)
5/10
Nostalgia for the ex-swinging bachelor
19 May 2000
If you're a guy who had lots of fun in the past, but married now and in your thirties then it's easy to identify with this movie. Christian Bale plays Chris Lloyd, a family man tempted to go back to his devil-may-care bachelor days of the 60s. The temptation comes in the visit of old school chum, played by Lee Ross, who epitomizes everything that life should have turned out for Chris. Emily Watson plays the stabilizing force as Chris' wife who tries to keep him on the straight and narrow path. The movie brought back lots of nostalgia to me, especially my teenage days in the 80s. Everything is very British and the accent takes getting used to, but this is an entertaining story, based on a 1980 novel by Julian Barnes. My only gripe is that the color prints of the film were really bad, making it look dull and lifeless. I know the setting is 1977 but the whole production was disappointing.
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Legacy (I) (1998)
5/10
Good action let down by listless script and acting
18 May 2000
An American war photographer helps a young Eurasian woman find her father she's not met before and gets caught in a web of intrigue and danger. This movie has an excellent war scene introduction that unfortunately lapses into a long meandering chase with little to sustain the viewer's attention. The peek into Filipino life in the suburbs of Manila is interesting but most of the acting borders on the mediocre. I'm not sure if this is an accurate reflection of the Philippines, but the movie certainly does not help the country's image of lawlessness (especially with the recent spate of kidnappings we're seeing). David Hasselhoff is not necessarily a bad actor, but he's so typecast from the days of Knight Rider and BayWatch that you can't imagine him being anyone else. There is a lot of action and the pace of the movie is relentless, but the script is listless. Another downside is that there is so little chemistry between the lead actors and actresses you wished you'd had spent your time watching something better.
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