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Indian Lady (1981)
Below Average, but interesting
This is not a movie, so much as a collection of old 1960's and 1970's 8mm loops that were thrown together with some more recent footage to try and make some sense.
Since most of the old loops were silent, there was some badly dubbed voices thrown in as well. Debbie (the actress used to tie the clips together) is cute, and gets busy a few times. Most of the time she is peeking in windows at various "friends" as they get it on. And by researching
This is not a bad movie, but would probably mostly appeal to those interested in the old 8mm Loops or "Smokers". The movies used include "Body Lust" and "Interlude of Lust".
On Golden Blonde (1984)
This movie is an interesting one.
In the 1970's and 1980's half of the pron movies out there seemed to be some kind of rip-off of mainstream movies. Movies ripped off the plots and titles from everything from Blazing Saddles to The Six Million Dollar Man.
This one actually steals the title from one movie (On Golden Pond), and the plot line from another (Heaven Can Wait).
Christy Canyon plays a busty brunette who dies before her time. In order to let her finish her lifespan, she is shown a series of different bodies, and she is allowed to "test drive" them. However, each body is that of a blonde.
This is fairly typical for the era, simply a thin plot that serves as an excuse to have one sexual encounter after another. She experiences 2 threesomes (MFF and MMF), and a few other encounters before she settles into the body she will spend the remainder of her life in.
The Right Connections (1997)
Not a great movie, but not a bad one either
I just finished watching The Right Connections, and I somewhat enjoyed it.
First of all, I approach movies on an individual basis. I do not care about who is in it or not in it. When it is over, I just ask myself one simple question: did it entertain me?
I think the biggest problems this movie had was both finding the right audience, and in Hammer himself.
The movie is almost a plot lifted from The Brady Bunch (which ironically the kids try to sing the theme song). 4 kids discover that their divorced mom has been laid off, so decides to go back to school. But they discover that their absentee father owes the IRS $5,000. Desperate to prevent their mom from leaving college, they try to find a way to earn the money themselves. When they hear of a "Hip-Hop Contest" with a prize of $5,000, they think they got it made.
They then con an ex-rap artist (Hammer) to train them. In an almost biographical role, Hammer is down on his luck, ignored by his former fans, and is on the verge of losing everything he owns.
Can he take this group of middle-class white kids and make them a Hip-Hop group? No, not really. But he does do his best, and teaches both himself and the kids something in the process.
One of the things I enjoyed most in this movie is both the almost biographical nature of Hammer's career. Him and his producer try to convince a record executive that he still has fans, and the executive is white. But to him, the only thing that matters is money. And while the kids do have little talent, they do try.
Also I enjoyed the clean nature of the story. One of the reasons that Hammer's career failed so fast is that his "fans" suddenly realized that all of his songs were about God. And while the message in this movie is not so heavy-handed, it is centered around family.
Overall, I left this movie with a fairly good feeling, and with several laughs. The sequence where the mother walks in seeing this strange black man in a leather jacket "attacking" her youngest daughter (he was tickeling her) was fairly strong, and handled in a fairly mature manner. Both the mother tries to apologize for her wrong asumption, and Hammer tries to make her feel comfortable, understanding her fear, and why she might have had it.
I rated this movie a 7. Not for the acting, nor the worn story, but simply because I enjoyed it, and it made me feel good at the end. After all, that is why we watch movies, right?
At the end, there was an obvious opening for a sequal, which was obviously never made. I have to admit I am glad for that. If they ever made a sequal of this movie, it would probably be so contrived and silly, I could not enjoy it.
Not what the box says it is
I had this movie given to me, and have to admit, I am glad that I did not pay money for it.
The back of the box makes it seem like some kind of sex triangle, with 2 women trying to seduce her. But the reality in this movie is far from that.
In reality, the main subject is the victim of a vicious and sadistic rape by the two other characters. There was absolutely nothing in this that I found interesting at all.
Even movies like Silence Of The Lambs and Wild Things (which the box tries to compare this movie to) were riveting, because of the unexpected turns and suspense.
But Jaded has none of this. It concentrates on the rapeists and the sick relationship with the boyfriend of one of them. And the persuit of a videotape that may prove the victims story is true.
While it does show that same sex rape is possible, it is not a movie worth watching.
If at all possible, pass this movie up at all costs.
Rabu Hina (2000)
One of the best "cartoons" I have ever seen
***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** OK, so this is a cartoon. But it is also one of the most "mature" ones I have ever seen. And I do not mean it in the way of sex or violence. I mean that it has good stories, characters that feel real, and will make you want to see the next one.
And that is saying something, considering I am a 37 year old man!
Love Hina is a cartoon from Japan, that was broadcast on the commercial TV stations in 2000. And the obvious target was teenagers. While it hase some "cutesey" things in it, there are things that makes it obvious that it's audience was more mature.
While it was broadcast in Japan, here this would definately never be shown. It would almost rate a PG-13 or R because of some of the content. While it is violent, it is in the vein of the old Bugs Bunny or Roadrunner style violence. People that get their foreheads cut are perfectly fine 1 minute later. And while Keitarou is constantly beat up and abused by the girls he lives with, he is never seriously hurt. And although there is a definate sexual tension, you never see anything more severe then maybe a panty shot, or Keitarou accidentially grabbing one of the girl's breasts (through clothes).
In a nutshell, Keitarou has failed his entrance exams to Tokyo U. After being told he can no longer live at home, he decides to visit his Grandmother and Aunt, who own an inn and hotspring. Here he hopes he can stay until he gets into college.
The fireworks start when he is relaxing in the hot spring, and an almost naked girl gets in with him and starts commenting on how she is growing up. Once she discovers he is a guy, the fireworks start.
Keitarou learns his grandmother has gone on a world vacation, and turned the inn into a girls dormatory. The girls tell him he can't stay, but his aunt helps talk them into allowing him to stay temporarily as a manager.
Keitarou is your classic teenage klutz. He is shy, clumsy, does the wrong thing at the wrong time, has no real friends, and is a poor student. But he needs to get into Tokyo U because of a promise he made years ago. His only real hobby is collecting "photo stickers", but they are all of himself.
The girls range from Junior High age to his own age. And each of them is very distinct.
Kaolla Su is a Jr. High student from overseas (India is hinted at), a mechanical genious, and is so hyper it makes Jim Carey look like he is on depressants. She is also a mechanical genious, and is constantly making wild devices.
Shinobu is also a Jr. High student, and the daughter of a resterant owner. Her cooking is amazing. She has a crush on Keitarou, but realizes he is interested in somebody else, so keeps it to herself.
Motoko is a High School student, who is also a Kendo master. She has the least trust for Keitarou, and causes him the second most amount of grief. She is sure that he is a pervert, and living in the same Inn as him will ruin her fighting ability.
Mitsune is a scheemer. She tries to poke her nose into everybody's business, and always comes up with plots to make money or get others in trouble. But she has no malice, it is just her way to have fun.
Naru is Keitarou's main focus. She is strongly attracted to him, and because of her denial of this, she is his worst tormenter. She beats him up 2-3 times an episode, in convinced he is a pervert, and yet can't stay away from him. Like Keitarou, she has failed her entrance exam to Tokyo U, and is trying to get in as well. Keitarou believes that she is also the girl he made the promise with years ago.
Haruka is his aunt, and is almost never seen without a cigarette in her mouth. She is very hard, but also feels sorry for her nephew. And while she seems as hard as nails, we see her soft side also.
The main series consists of 27 half-hour shows, and each one both stands on it's own, and builds from earlier ones. I would not reccomend it for children, but definately for teens and up. Teen girls would probably really enjoy it, since there are hints of romance in it, and because Keitarou is constantly getting beat up by all of the girls. And unless you can't stand reading, I recommend watching them with subtitles, not dubbed.
Queen of the Damned (2002)
For a vampire movie, it sucked :P
I remember all the hype around this movie when Aaliyah was killed. Being a fan of Ms. Rice's novels, my first thought was "how can they do Queen Of The Damned without doing Vampire Lestat first?"
Having finally seen the movie, now I can see how they did it. If you have read these books, imagine taking out the gory parts from Vampire Lestat, cramming Marcus and Marius into one character, and removing everything to do with Lestat's beginning (the wolf hunt, his violin playing, the Theatre Of The Vampires, and also Louis, Claudia, and Gabrielle), then in the last 15 minutes cramming in Queen Of The Damned.
What we loose is a very important piece of Lestat's character. His inner agony of having to kill to live, the fact that he carefully tries to select killers as his victims, and his love-hate relationship with Louis, Armand, Gabrielle, and all the other vampires.
Also important to the story is that we loose the "Story Of The Twins", which is the Genesis of Ms. Rice's vampires. And while I am sure the cannibalism was to intense for showing on the screen, they could have done something closer, and showed us more of ancient Egypt.
Even worse, we have this love interest thrown in between Jessie and Lestat. The Vampire Chronicles is basically an American Yoni story. For those that do not know, Yoni is another form of Hentai (Japanese Porn Comics). But in Yoni, it is about gay male relationships, told by a female. While I am sure many men object to the "gayness" of the characters, in this movie they went to the far extreme the opposite way. For instead of Lestat persueing killers, he goes after young female groupies.
And the other flaws in logic and storyline are vast. At the beginning Lestat emerges from a century long sleep, then later on asks Marius how he made it through the 1950's in red velvet. Marius has no idea who Elvis is, and says he slept through that period. Makes you wonder how Lestat knows about 50's fashion and music, since he slept through the same time period himself. And nothing is ever even mentioned about Louis, Claudia, or Gabrielle. I think that is a huge shame. Is like seeing "Snow White and the 3 Dwarfs".
Overall, the movie I thought was really bad. About the only good thing about it was the soundtrack. Most of the acting was poor, the accents drove me up the wall, and all of the really in-depth parts of the book were removed, leaving us only with a hollow shell, kind of like Enkil after he was sucked dry.
If you want to see a good modern vampire movie, get Lost Boys, the original Interview With A Vampire, or even some old episodes of Dark Shadows. Let this one Rest In Piece, with a stake through the heart, cloves of garlic around the neck, and a vial of Holy Water in the mouth.
In ending, remember that before Aaliyah was killed, this was intended to go straight to video, no theatrical release was planned. It is obvious now why this was. It is only sad that somebody as talented as she will be remembered for this dog of a movie, instead of something where she really might have shined.
I rate this a 2 on a scale of 1-10.
Home Team (1998)
Can You Say "Mighty Ducks Ripoff"?
Other then having already seen the exact same story in the past in a movie called "The Mighty Ducks", this was an OK movie.
This time, the action is on a soccer field, not a hockey rink. But it is pretty much the same. A loser with a hidden past takes on some misfit kids in a soccer team that never wins. He turns out to be a former pro player who lost it all during a gambling scandal.
While it is nice to see Steve acting again, his character is almost the same as in any of his other movies. And the fact that the plot is so obvious does not make this a very enjoyable movie.
Unless you are a Guttenberg fan, go ahead and skip this movie. I hope that Steve can get back to some real roles, like he had in Splash or Short Circut.
Traci's Big Trick (1987)
Update on a classic movie
When I wrote my review in the past, it was from memory because I no longer had this movie. But last night I was lucky to find a copy for sale and grabbed it.
I forgot how much Traci Lords is vilified in this movie. She is made to be the ultimate schemer, and knew exactly what she was doing every step of the way. In fact, it was her "negotiation" skills that seem to give her most of her early work.
The names of everybody in the movie is changed, OTHER then Traci Lords. "Mr. Black" stands in for "The Dark Brothers". Dark Brothers was the production company that made Traci a star.
They work hard to make Traci out to be controlling, who only wanted sex and money no matter who was destroyed in the process.
But as far as the movie itself, it is one of the best I have ever seen that was shot on video. Unlike the current adult movies, this was made during a time when story and acting was important.
If you are lucky enough to find a copy, I suggest you get it. I classify this as "classic porn", and wish that they went back to this style of movie making again.
Planet of the Apes (2001)
Great retelling of a classic story
When Pierre Boulle wrote the original book "The Monkey Planet", he was mostly known for the classic story "Bridge Over The River Kwai".
When it was made into a movie in 1968, Charlton Heston ingrained this movie permanently in our minds. He was also a driving force in the creation of the original, having read the original book and helping to bring it to the attention of the money men in Hollywood and carrying it from original concept to final completion.
In fact, the original movie is such a classic, it spawned 4 sequals and 2 TV series (1 live action and one animated). It's influence was so wide, that when "Welcome Back Kotter" premiered on TV, the character Arnold Horshack carried a POTA lunchbox wherever he went.
This new version in many ways is both closer to the original book, and also deviates much more.
The effects and makeup in this version are spectacular. Much as the original revolutionized makeup for decades to come, this one will also show it's influence for a long time. Rather then use computer graphics to create the apes, the use of makeup and appliances is spectacular.
Tim Burton did a fantastic job on this movie. And of course, what is a Tim Burton movie without Danny Elfman doing the musical score. Combined, they have made a movie that is sure to be a classic for years to come.
One of the biggest differences is that the classes of ape are not as seperated as they were in the original.
In the original, Chimps all wore green and were scientists. Gorillas wore black and were military, and Orangutangs wore orange and were clergy/politicians. In this they are more diverse, and there even seems to be hints of cross-species breeding. This makes for a much more diverse history, and more potential for both conflict and support.
Also, the humans in this version are able to talk, but they strive to hide that fact from the apes. And as the humans are more human then in the original, the apes are more ape like. They frequently jump around and climb on things, write with their feet, touch and groom each other, and in general are more like evolved apes should be.
The cast is excellent, with both Michael Clarke Duncan and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa playing excellent roles. Michael Clarke Duncan is one of the best new actors in the business today, and this role is as far as possible from The Green Mile.
Tim Burton added several subtle and not so subtle pokes and images from both the original and contemporary society into the movie. From Charlton uttering his classic "Damn them all to hell" again, to an Orangutang saying the Rodney King line "Can't we all just get along", to having another orangutang rub himself with flower petals while upside down, very reminiscant to "American Beauty".
Of course, the most memorable part of the original movie is the ending. The image of Charlton Heston looking at the wreckage of the Statue Of Liberty is forever burned into our minds. In much the same way, this ending will also be burned into our minds. And in many ways, the ending this time is much closer to the original ending as written by Pierre Boulle.
I am curious to how they will do a sequal to this movie. In today's market, everything from American Pie to Wayne's World have sequals. And this is really the first time that a movie spawned a series of sequals (the 007 movies do not count, since they do not sequal in any order, and were based on a series of books). So it will be interesting to see if this movie spawns a similar series of sequals.
If you loved the original movie, you have to see this one.
In addition to Charlton Heston, look for a cameo by Linda Harrison, the actress that played Nova in the original movies.
The Questor Tapes (1974)
The best Pilot Gene Roddenberry made that was never used
One thing that Gene Roddenberry was good at was making excellent TV pilots. His only problem was in getting the networks to actually listen to them.
This movie was a pilot for a TV series, and was to far ahead of it's time. Made in the time after Star Trek TV series and the Star Trek motion pictures, it is a classic example of his idea of social commentary hidden as a Sci-Fi movie.
Questor is an android, in search of himself and his past. I remember seeing this when it was first broadcast, and again about 10 years later. But sadly, it is not available on Tape or DVD (NBC - Universal, pay attention).
Two things that are noteable are the connections to Star Trek, both past and future versions. His wife Majel Barrett and Walter Koenig both appear in this movie. But this is not unusual, if you look at most of his projects. Pretty Maids All In A Row, Genesis II, Planet Earth, even all the way back to The Lieutenant. Roddenberry consistantly used a lot of the same actors and actresses over and over again.
One of the things that struck me when I first saw Star Trek: Next Generation was the similarity between Data and Questor. An Android, in search of his mysterious past, a "father" creator that is said to be dead, yet is not dead, the question of who and what he is, man, machine, or both.
So this TV Pilot was just like the "Gary Seven" episode, in that it never took off. But the obvious influence on his later projects is obvious. We can only hope that someday, this will be made available on DVD so more people can discover this movie.
Considering all the "new" Roddenberry TV shows out there, I am actually surprised that this one has not been remade yet.