Reviews written by registered user
|72 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Gamera is one of those classic Japanese horror films that contains awful acting, worse English dubbing, and sometimes laughable special effects, but is still great fun to watch. A skirmish between American and Soviet jets over the arctic results in one of the Soviet bombers crashing and its nuclear bomb load detonating, which causes Gamera to be melted out of the ice and wreck havoc on the world (particularly Japan). As usual, a little kid who is sympathetic to the monster is thrown in, and probably as a result Gamera is not killed at the end (though I have to admit, if it really could have worked, the way they dispatched Gamera at the film's conclusion was rather ingenious). Probably the funniest scene is at a dance for teenagers in Tokyo, where a band is singing the Gamera theme song and eventually the monster himself makes an appearance! All in all, this is not a film that takes itself too seriously, and if the viewer takes the same attitude it is a whole lot of fun to watch. Gamera rules!
As others have mentioned, Nixon tells the story of the 37th President from his early days in California through his resignation in August of 1974. I started to watch this film with a grain of salt, as with Oliver Stone directing I assumed it would be a few hours of Nixon bashing, but instead I was impressed by the balance in the story, and Nixon does not come across as the monster you might expect (flawed, yes, but not the Ghengis Khan as you might expect from Hollywood). The flashbacks that are used tend to make the film somewhat surreal, as does the continual shifting from black and white to color film, but the story itself is riveting and engrossing, even if we all know how it is going to wind up at the end. Nixon might not be Oliver Stone's most famous or best film, but it is an excellent movie and a surprisingly fair and balanced view of our most controversial President.
While other commenters have given mixed reviews of this film, I have to say that this version of Godzilla is way overblown, boring, and almost not worth watching. Anyone who watches this expecting it to be superior to the original Japanese versions of the Godzilla films will be greatly unimpressed, as Godzilla here looks and acts much less menacing than in those 1950s and 60s classics. Quite literally, this movie is almost like Jurassic Park set in Manhattan, as Godzilla looks much more like a dinosaur than a creature spawned from radiation. Additionally, we actually see very little of Godzilla as a whole, as over half of the shots of the monster are of its tail swinging or a closeup of one of its eyes. In reality, this movie could be called The Worm Guy Story, as way too much time is spent focusing on Matthew Broderick's character ("The Worm Guy") and it seems at time that Godzilla is secondary to his trials and tribulations. I actually cannot recommend this movie at all, and I nearly shut it off halfway through it was so lame. Avoid it and rent one of those Japanese originals for a good time!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Anyone who remembers watching the exploits of Evel Knievel back in the late 1960s and 1970s will love this film! George Hamilton plays Evel Knievel as a confident, independent, and slightly foolhardy Knievel who tells his life story through flashbacks before a big jump at Ontario Speedway in California. The best parts are the flashbacks of his growing up in Butte, Montana, where much of the film was shot. It's hard to tell how many of the details of his years in Butte are accurate, but nonetheless they are entertaining to watch. Lots of good action scenes and chases through the streets keep the story moving well (SPOILER: watch for the scene where Evel rides his motorcycle through a sorority house to find his girlfriend - hilarious!). People who don't remember or were not fans of Evel Knievel may or may not like this film, but on its own merits it's an entertaining movie to watch. Rent it if you can find it, and happy landings!!!
You Can't Stop On A Dime teaches the lesson of its title, in that a police officer and various teachers show kids how long it takes cars and bikes to stop, and also how to avoid getting in driver's blindspots while walking down and/or crossing the street. Obviously made on a limited budget, but since this is a movie for kids and not a theatrical release this is not a problem. This film, while 50 years old, could still be shown today and kids would learn some lessons about traffic safety from it. Producer Sid Davis made many films like this in the 1950s and 60s, and this one is a good example of how he taught kids a valuable lesson on a shoestring budget. One interesting aspect of the film is that the playground of the school is enormous - seems like almost an entire square mile of pavement for the kids to play on!
A retelling of the Godzilla story in a British setting, Gorgo is a lot of fun to watch. As other reviewers have said, two fisherman come across a monster ("Gorgo") off the coast of Ireland and decide to put it on display in London. Trouble begins when Gorgo's mother shows up and wants her child back! The scenes of terrified crowds rushing the streets and attacks by the military are all well filmed (obviously the British military helped out a great deal in producing the movie), and it's neat to see a monster destroy a city besides Tokyo for once. Gorgo is obviously someone in a rubber suit, but the monster itself comes across as totally believable. Takes a while to get moving, but well worth seeing.
As others have said, this film deals with people trying to stay overnight in a house that has a reputation of being extremely haunted. While obviously made on a shoestring budget with unknown actors, this film has does some good points. The house itself is a neat setting with loads of strange pieces of artwork and gothic furniture. The storyline has echoes of other ghost tales, but the plot twists towards the end add some surprises to the story. The actors are not Academy Award contenders, but do an adequate job with the limited roles given to them; the young woman who plays Sheila probably gives the best performance and is quite pretty as well. However, there are also a lot of faults with this film, as the sound is particularly bad in places, there are weird sidelines to the plot that are incomprehensible, and the story as a whole seems implausible from start to finish. Having said that, this may appeal to some viewers who enjoy ghost stories or like to watch obscure films from the past.
As other reviewers have mentioned, Flesheater stars Bill Hinzman of Night of the Living Dead fame as the title zombie in an all out attack in the undead. The film by no means gets close to the entertainment level of the movie it draws inspiration from, Night of the Living Dead, but is still entertaining to a degree despite being highly predictable. As stated before, a farmer uncovers a wooden box with a bizarre warning on it that had obviously been buried for decades, and upon opening it releases the zombie Hinzman who starts his rampage of undead terror. The acting is not the greatest and the story drags at times, but some scenes are pretty spooky, such as when Hinzman and some other zombies wander into town and attack a family in a suburban house. The ending, which I won't reveal here, is highly predictable and you can see it coming a long time off. All in all, Flesheater may not be the greatest horror film ever made, or even a great zombie movie, but it's not totally awful, either.
The Ghosts of Angela Webb is a low budget film, but one that is well done and is good mix of a couple of different genres. Two New York psychics visit the colonial era home of Angela Webb in New Jersey to investigate the hauntings that are going on there, and they discover several different ghosts while touring the house. Angela does some investigating on her own and even meets the institutionalized former owner, and learns the house has a long and bloody past. The ending is a surprise, and the last scene where we seen Angela is extremely creepy. This is not a movie for kids, as the film has a lot of nudity and blood, but it shows how imagination and creativity can lead to a quality picture.
As others have mentioned, a group of photographers and models working in an Italian castle fall prey to a reclusive actor who thinks he is the reincarnation of the Crimson Executioner, a 17th century sadist and murderer who was executed and entombed in the castle. The idea for the plot isn't bad, but the former muscle man they hired to play the killer overplays his role so much it's laughable; all you hear him talk about is how perfect his body is and how impure the models and crew are - his gives a performance that is a textbook example of unintentional hilarity! Later scenes deal with the torture and humiliation of the models in the dungeon of the castle; these scenes are rather disturbing to watch even though everything is obviously faked. Not a great film but not bad either; has some good footage of a historic Italian castle in the countryside, and features some attractive young actresses as the models.
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