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Line of Fire (2003)
Has the balls to try something different.
This show is as good as anything on American TV at the moment. But alas it seems to be getting shot down for reasons that people don't worry about in shows like 'The Sopranos'. Yeah Cohen is out of control. But wait a minute don't we read about high ranking Law Enforcement officials screwing up all the time? Sampson has a family and is trying to balance FBI life with being a parent in an increasingly loveless marriage. But wait a minute. Isn't Tony Soprano trying to manage his family life and fragile marriage with his violent crime life? It is more likely to me that a leading FBI agent could have a sex and alcohol problem than it is that a Mob boss openly goes to see a shrink twice a week and has been doing so for years. And Malloy's muscle. Hell they are actually quietly sinister. Not like the Sopranos where everyone of Tony's crew are bad-a-bing stand up comedians from Bensonhurst.
And Paymer as Malloy is frickin' marvelous. Lets face it if you had never seen him in anything before you would be impressed. But like i predicted 'Car Pool' will always be held against him. I'm sorry but if a 5ft tall Joe Pesci can be a tough guy then so can Paymer. I think its called acting. Anyway so what if Malloy isn't hard. He's evil and real smart and to be a crime boss thats all you need.
I'm happy to see a new take on organized crime that offers a more modest look on the life than the wisecracking 'Sopranos'. Hopefully this show will be given the time and scope to reach the potential it undoubtedly has.
Will it reach the heights of the Sopranos? No chance. Infact its probably reaping the backlash of that show's popularity and dominance. But would Donovan Stubbins kick the $hit out of Tony Sope and his crew. NO doubt.
Mannequin: On the Move (1991)
Little Richard + Ru Paul =
Holllywood Montrose is outrageous. Such an outrageous guy. I mean what an outrageous character. He was so outrageous. I could not get over just how outrageous he was. I have seen many outrageous characters in my time but H. Montrose is the king (or is that queen) of outrageousnessnes. If they had an Oscar for outrageous characters(which i think that we are all agreed they should) then Montrose i think should win for being so outrageous. Anytime i see an outrageous character i will think of Hollywood Montrose. And they should put a picture of Hollywood Montrose's face beside the word outrageous in the dictionary. His antics in this film are particularly outrageous. It all adds up to an outrageous experience.
Gi' me a break. This film is frickin' sh!t. Its like snorting acid, pouring petrol in your eyes, putting an electric drill in your ear and then smoking a cigarette laced with rubber. It should never have been made and any fans of it are lunatics.
Thank you for your time!
Gentlemen...Lets broaden our minds.
The whole point of Burton's Batman is lost on too many people. Some are looking for a complex( in style and presentation) unorthodox look at the caped crusader's tales which 'challenges' them whilst some are sadly looking for a piece completely loyal to the original comic books. The former got something like what they wanted in the good but prentious and 'less-fun' sequel whilst the later ( complaining about trivial aspects like 'the Joker never killed Batman's parents' and 'we are never told the Joker's real name' etc) will never be satisfied. Thankfully Burton decided to cater for the majority and combined his flair for the macabre and liking of dark gothic sets with 3-dimensional characters, adult violence( in that death is often the result of a violent confrontation unlike in the comic-books)and a grandiose look at Gotham City. Nicholson produces a career defining performance as the Joker( they've been looking for a way to bring the character back for years with the sequel baddies proving no where near as effective.) Keaton, a surprise choice for the lead role (taking into account that his previous role as the title character in another Burton picture -'BeetleJuice' had suggested abilities more suited to portraying the Joker)gives a splendid showing as the dark, and even sinister Batman/Bruce Wayne. Basinger as Vicki Vale, Pat Hingle as Commissioner Gordon and Billy-Dee Williams as Harvey Dent are also well cast. The big surprise though is Michael Gough as butler Alfred. In this understated role he shares the acting plaudits with Nicholson. However Mr Nicholson overshadows everything. Even the scenery. The producers must have really been gutted that they killed him off, especially considering how popular the character became. Did anyone else notice how similar the role of 'Two Face' in 'Batman Forever' was to the Joker? And finally to finish - What the hell happened to Vicki Vale in the sequels. The most annoying aspect about the three Batman sequels, the last two in particular, is their complete lack of respect for the concept of continuity. Anyway my rating........8 out of 10!
Why praise subtlety?
All the comments for praise seem to underline the film's subtlety. Why? You seem to be missing the point. Nuclear war ain't subtle. It would be a freakin nightmare. Okay the human emotion in this film is important. It does this very well. But ultimately its a nieve view. You have to show the mass killings and the violence. Because thats what would happen. 'The Day After' lacked conviction and hinted at too much hope. 'Threads' was perfect. Yes its horrible and will give you nightmares but thats the point. In a nuclear war we're all screwed. Vanity, reputations , melodrama. It all goes out the window. Survival becomes all that is important. Yet it is also a curse. The graphic portrayal in 'Threads' is shocking. It makes films like 'Testament' look somewhat shallow and very unrealistic.Films on hard hitting topics should be just that. Not weepies. Anybody who takes this film to heart would get a real shock if the real thing ever happened. I could just see them standing on the side of the road shouting at the burning, screaming masses (who are tearing livestock apart with their bare hands and bleeding from open wounds left by surgery),saying things like "Hey, all you stop that. This is wrong. Far too chaotic. Everything should be more subtle."
The Crow Road (1996)
This has to be one of the most impressive pieces of drama ever to come out of Scotland. Outside of the long running series 'Taggart'(which had a very similar visual approach to 'The Crow Road')and the films 'Trainspotting','Shallow Grave', 'Small Faces' and 'Local Hero' there is nothing Scottish i can think of which equals it for quality(some might say 'Gregory's Girl' but i was never to fond of that myself).The story is somewhat complicated but it is brilliantly put together. I also have to say that i have never read the novel so the adaption is very user friendly and by the look of the other reviews it has pleased fans of the original text aswell.The only problem i felt was with the ending which i thought just seemed to smooth and cleared everything up too well. But on the whole this is a minor criticism. It is strange to think that i first saw this 6 years ago, when it was first screened by the BBC. Its also somewhat sad that the careers of perhaps the dramas two most outstanding performers, Joe McFadden and Valerie Edmund, haven't gone anywhere since as it seemed at the time that both were set for stardom. Howerever Dougray Scott, who had a somewhat minor role as Prentice's older brother, has gone on to much bigger things including being Tom Cruise's nemesis in Mission Impossible:2.
Certainly the ending of this film is extremely moving and literally takes your breath away. It leaves you with a feeling that you have probably seen something better than what you actually have. Of course Tony Scott is one of the most stylish directors about ie.- 'The Hunger'(1983) which has to be one of the most stylish films about. He's also made his fair share of blockbusters ie.-'Top Gun'(1985),'Beverly Hills Cop 2'(1987),'Days of Thunder'(1989) and more recently 'Enemy of the State'(1998)- all of which took a lot of money, the profits of the first one in particular bordering on the ridiculous. And don't forget he made the little seen(in the cinema anyway) but memorable 'True Romance'(1992). So you get the feeling that here Mr.Scot was making a picture trapped in-between both worlds- that of the blockbuster and the more personal picture. The film did only average in the box office and did not really make any kind of impact on any of the performer's careers.It is beautifully filmed with lots of trademark Scott shots ie- sun beams pouring through a drawn blind and mist covering the scenery. The violence is maybe a little too graphic. Costner goes through the motions somewhat in a character who is a mix of the roles he played in 'No Way Out'(1987) and 'The Bodyguard'(1992).He does his best acting in the final quarter of the picture where he shows well executed, muted regret and sorrow.Stowe is very attractive and impressive as Miryea who for the second half of the picture is dying slowly through a drugged daze. Anthony Quinn delivers a solid display as the larger than life Mexican gangster who after delivering his vengeance on Jay and Miryea becomes a sad, secluded old man who takes no pleasure in the measures he has taken but continues to justify them.Such a role is very undemanding for a legend like Quinn.Miguel Ferrer also has an undemanding role and John Leguziamo is impressive in an early career role as an eager but almost mute gunman who aids Costner.The plot is nothing special.The only interesting point is that Quinns character's vengeance, though excessive, is justifiable. Ultimately Jay and Miryea get their just deserts in the sense that both betrayed him through their secretive adultery which seems more born out of lust than love. The love between these two is not well enough developed to justify the beautiful ending to the film. If the couples relationship had been longer and not completely based around sex you could understand the emotion between them more.The piano track used for the two lovers is very touching and forms the perfect soundtrack for the memorable ending sequence. OVERALL- I give this picture 7/10. It is raised above average by the ending. Ultimately it is worth sitting through the picture,which is overlong, and paying attention to it just for the ending which is beautifully shot, romantic, captivating and probably one of the most heartbreakingly sad moments in film history(yes its that good). Even the most stoneyhearted will be touched.
Lets not get carried away!
This is a good fantasy picture. I thought Kilmer's turn was funny and Warwick Davis did well in the lead role. However ultimately it pales in significance to the recently released 'Lord of the Rings:Fellowship of the Ring' movie. Of course the film was made on a smaller budget(but still probably a big one if Lucas was involved) and at a time when special F/X were less advanced. But if we're going to be honest the story is really just a dumming down and general simplification of JRR Tolkein's novels. Here it is very clear who the baddies and goodies are. Even though Sorsha switches sides it is not really any surprise when she does so.Basically the opening half hour of 'Willow' is almost identical to the opening 30 mins of the recently released Peter Jackson movie but on a smaller scale. The film is also very similar in theme to 'Star Wars'. In fact its almost like a medievil version of the 1977 sci-fi blockbuster. Don't forget that this film was a big hit when released in 88'. Most folk have probably seen it and forgotten about it. Ultimately i think the film will be a victim of perceptions because people will look back on it with nostalgia after seeing the 'Lord of the Rings' movies and remember it as being better that it was. Then they will make an effort to see it and sit there expecting something on a par with the 'LOR' movies and be hugely dissapointed.It wouldn't surprise me if the comments and rating of this film go way down while the 'LOR' movies are still hot. How do i know this? Because i'm speaking from experience. For me 'Willow' , whilst still way ahead of the likes of 'Red Sonja'(1984),'Conan the Destroyer'(1984) and 'Krull'(1984), has been greatly diminished in its effect since i saw the first of the LOR movies. Though it has some scary moments(ie.- when they all turn into pigs and when the Evil Queen comes back to life) it is much more child accessible than 'The Fellowship...'However for anyone looking to check out something which stands beside LOR in the fantasy stakes see 'Legend'(1985). This is superior to 'Willow' in everything from effects,sets,acting,atmosphere,costume and make-up and the visuals obviously had an effect on LOR as they are very similar. Sadly 'Willow', YOU ARE NO LONGER GREAT!
I recently wrote a review on 'Willow' which said that my viewing of the recently released 'Lord of the Rings' movie had seriouly dented my perception of the Ron Howard film. It made me see it as simplistic. Lacking scope and vision. A quick fantasy fix you might say. However whilst the Lucas influenced epic went down in my estimations, 'Legend' went up. Something about the Peter Jackson directed movie seemed similar. Something to do with the visuals- from make-up,to costumes,characters,sets,dialogue and atmosphere. Then it came to me. I was watching an offspring(in terms of visuals-not story) of 'Legend'. I think most who liked LotR will love this. It has a really similar feel as well as appearance. In fact 'Legend' is probably darker and more elaborate with a superior soundtrack. I'm not saying it's better because it's not. LotR is more epic and engrossing with better F/X(though the later is for obvious reasons). Tom Cruise is also mis-cast and his accent is really annoying. Rather like Pip in LotR but the differance is that he is seldom seen whilst Cruise is the main character. This picture provides us with the greatest ever visual and audio depiction of the Devil. I know he is never directly referanced in such a way but lets face it- hooves, red skin,yellow eyes,fangs,horns and a black jacket- that is who 'Darkness' is. Tim Curry's amazing voice in the role(which sounds like pure evil) adds to breathtaking visual representation. Can i also say that the Orcs in LotR are to say the least, very similar to the horrible goblins come troll creatures which serve 'Darkness' and in one case, inhabit the swamp. The differance is here they have personality(wit and fiendish plotting) unlike their Tolkein counterparts who simply serve as target practice and make up the bodycount. 'Legend' also offers some first rate humour amongst all the bizarre madness. This was something i foung greatly lacking in LotR. Scott's direction is typical poetry. However i'm not going to be tempted to say Scott would have been a better director than Peter Jackson for the LotR movies. It would probably have been just the same as Jackson also brings a very dark quality to his films and in previous works was well known for his humour.I am shocked and disturbed that Americans did not get the same version we did. From the sounds of it, for once we got lucky in the 'uncut version' stakes. I'm even more upset to hear that it isn't coming out on DVD. Hopefully the huge success of fellow fantasy masterpiece 'Lord of the Rings' will create a shift in the thinking. It could push the execs to put out on a limited release and if it did well, which i'm sure it would in the current thirst for fantasy, the release would be more wider. You yanks would also get your own back on us as there is zero chance of us getting it if you don't.Overall i think this is a superior fantasy film(in it's British release form that is)and encourage all LotR fans to try and see it as i think the similarities will blow your mind as will the film on it's own merit. Similarly if your a 'Legend' fan with reservations about the hype surrounding the current box-office phenomenom then take my advice, don't believe the hype just go and see it and i think you'll find that it is right up your street and is another fantasy classic.
Virtual Sex with Jenna (1999)
If ever proof was needed that Miss Jameson was the world's top porn actress then here it is. Okay the acting is a bit hammy but the sex. Unbelievable.Jenna performs just about every man's sexual fantasies without breaking sweat. Pleasant on the eye, hard on the.......well i wouldn't want to spoil the surprise. Lets just say it blows your mind....as well as other things.
What a sensational movie. The script-writers obviously have really taken their time here. The plot is fantastic and the director deserves credit for keeping it together so well. The acting is sensational with a lively mix of both well executed humour and a theme which is so very important. It underlines a woman's place in society as being just as important as a man's. It also helps us realise just how important family values are. Lance and Kris have both shown how their talents demand more screen time. The film was so well rounded. Such a complex and engaging beginning combined with well developed middle and truly classic and memorable ending. Of course i approached the film thinking it would be slap-dash tripe but not at all. The many sets (the desert, the outback and the..eh...des..er.t) really caught the eye. The costumes were amazing too. The idea of replacing cars with horses in an age of cyborg's and robots was very eh.....original. But the thing is that Hollywood has been crying out for a kickboxer/robot team taking on evil, blood-sucking cyborgs theme. The movie's lack of success can only be explained by bad timing. The fight sequences are never repetative and the dubbing and editing are obviously the work of a master technician. The dialogue i believe was written by the script people from 'Howard's End'. The original tag-line for this film was 'Poetry in Motion.'Apparently a sequel was cosidered however the film's producers had the old 'Sundance and Butch Cassidy' problem of the first film being too final and not open-ended enough. Probably the film's only major flaw. May i also say that Darth Vader(Star Wars), The Joker(Batman), Mum-Rah(ThunderCats) and Roy Batty(Blade Runner) pale into significance to the ultimate BADDY - 'The Master Creator'. And though we never see it you could just tell that the brilliantly titled 'Cyborg City' would beat the hell out of the 'Death Star'. Hats Off. Pure Genius. Top class. First rate. Numero Uno. Ten out of Ten. Best of the Best. Made in Heaven. All time classic. My A**e. It was $h!t with a capital SSSSSSHHHHHHHEEEEEEEE!
This sh#t is aewsome!
They used to show this on Channel 5 in the UK years ago but i always thought it was too weird and gave it a miss.Then about a year ago i watched Farscape on BBC 2 and got hooked. They have only shown the first two series of Farscape in the UK so far but i have seen every episode. On this basis i gave LEXX a try. I was flicking through the stations one night when i noticed it on the SCI-FI channel so i switched it on. It was at an episode at the start of series 3 where all of the characters were on a hot-air balloon on the planet Fire. I was hooked and now every Wednseday night i sit down at 11.45pm and take in the weekly double episode. The series is pretty weird but not much wierder than the cult British sci-fi series 'Red Dwarf', which is based on the cult-classic 70's sci-fi picture 'Dark Star'. The humour is not as obvious or as vulgar as 'Red Dwarf' but is still there. It is at times very frustrating as things get slowed down to a snail's pace. In Farscape everything is quick fire and in your face. Generally much louder and orthodox. However LEXX is much more fascinating and more memorable than the big bangs and American cliches' which are so common in Farscape.I'm still a Farscape fan but for me LEXX is better. Maybe it's just because i've only started watching it recently but i think Xenna Seeberg is amazing looking. I think she kicks ass on the original Xev(or Zev) who i have seen a few times in the series' common flashbacks. The guy who plays Prince looks like a mix between Malcolm McDowell and Rutger Huer.However, overall this is the business.
Diff'rent Strokes (1978)
Blast from the past!
Just recently this show has re-appeared on British screens through 'Trouble TV' which is a popular cable and digital network in the UK.The show does seem rather dated but thats probably because when i was a kid i loved this show and reality is seldom better than memories.Gary Coleman was the 'MAN' in this show despite the fact he was only 10 years old and 4 and a 1/2 feet tall. Upon looking up the show's details on this site it has put an end to several old rumours such as that Mr Coleman was actually in his 20s when he was doing this show. I don't know if you had that rumour in the states but it certainly exists here. True he is short and obviously suffers from a rare illness but the above rumour is nothing but a myth.It is pretty sad to read that Gary is now working as a security guard(if a little funny too) in an L.A. mall and that the actress who played Kimberly Drummond killed herself(who ever said that Howard Stern takes a joke too far?). But at least Willis is still working(ironic as i thought he was the show's major drawback) and that Mr Drummond(who was excellent)is still alive.In summing up they should rename this show 'Arnold' because thats who it belonged to.