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The Hot Spot (1990)
The women are hot .. the movie not so hot ..............
I'll get right to the point. This movie is way too long and way too slow. It put my girlfriend to sleep, and except for some beat down violence, this really is a "chick flick". Meanwhile, I kept waiting for some kind of payoff, but the conclusion is more of a cop out than a satisfactory resolution. Sure Don Johnson traps himself in a small town crime web, and there are several steamy sex scenes, but overall the film lacks impact. Charles Martin Smith is totally wasted in a car salesman role that is so unimportant, it could have been played by a no name actor. I realize some reviewers rave about this noir, but for me it wasn't worth the time invested. - MERK
Only "Smokey the Bear" hates this film more than I do ...........
"Firestorm" is one big convoluted mess. It really is nothing more than a hunted in the woods movie, with really bad c.g.i. fires everywhere. Howie Long and especially Scott Glenn, are totally wasted by a script that pulls one implausible stunt after another as our heroes escape cliffhanger after cliffhanger. There is little character development, so right away the entire production becomes a "so what". If you like films that insult your intelligence, then "Firestorm" is for you. If however, you demand some believability in your entertainment then this is one to avoid for certain. Ridiculous stunts do not a movie make. Beware! - MERK
Medicine River (1993)
Graham Greene as you can predict ......
Carries "Medicine River" on his considerable acting talent. He is surrounded with interesting characters, and the scenery is quite beautiful. Unfortunately the storyline is predictable and redundant, which seriously weakens the film. The basketball angle is both not believable, and poorly staged as well. The love angle is both frustrating and unresolved, leaving the viewer somewhat perplexed. The missing brother who never materializes is another unanswered question left dangling uncomfortably. The entire movie just sort of meanders along to a very underwhelming conclusion. There is no violence, no nudity, and quite honestly very little story. - MERK
"Vice Squad" lite ...............
The film isn't bad. The problem is you've seen it all before. "Vice Squad" (1982), "Angel" (1984), "Boulevard" (1994). Nothing new here. On top of being a rehash of every pimps and ho's movie out there, Dale Midkiff as the pimp comes across as a "lite" version of Wings Hauser's "Ramrod" in "Vice Squad". One big plus for "Streetwalkin" is Julie Newmar being cast as the street wise matron hooker. Other than that, the movie follows the standard script, new girl comes to town, meets mister charming, gets sucked into the "life', finds out the reality, reacts to the brutality. If you haven't seen "Vice Squad" then you might appreciate "Streetwalkin" a bit more, otherwise this is pretty tame stuff compared to "Wings" outrageous portrayal as the brutal pimp "Ramrod". - MERK
The Mechanic (1972)
Contract killing 101 .......
Coldblooded assassin , Charles Bronson, teams up with protégé, Jan Michael Vincent, performing intricate "jobs" for the mafia. Eventually Bronson becomes expendable and the final third of the film is far more exciting than what precedes it. The first two thirds involves some difficult planning in order to make the contracts appear to be accidents. The movie is immediately dated to the 1970s every time Jan Michael Vincent opens his mouth with "dig it" or "hey man", however"The Mechanic" is so unpredictable that you will stay with it, and the conclusion definitely will not disappoint. I rate this higher than any of Bronson's "Death Wish" films. - MERK
A Kiss Before Dying (1991)
Convoluted to the extreme ..........
Totally predictable, totally unlikely, is the only way to describe this convoluted mess of a movie. Matt Dillon gets away with murder and no police are bright enough to figure out his game. I mean how exactly did he manage to hang somebody from the rafters in five minutes? How does he happen to conveniently manage to be in just the right place at just the right time?None of the characters are likable, and the whole film becomes nothing more than a "so what". This is truly a movie to avoid, because it is so insulting to the viewer. I hated everything about "A Kiss Before Dying", and do not understand how this rates a 5.3. To me it is a zero. - MERK
Citizen Verdict (2003)
Appallingly predictable ......
Live with the fast forward button or suffer the consequences. Roy Scheider and Armand Assante seem like they would rather be in a different movie, any movie except "Citizen Verdict". Everything is annoying, from the hand held video cameras, to the redundant interviews. Jerry Springer is the only actor that appears comfortable with this sensationalized swill. Wrap the whole thing up in one sentence. This is not entertainment, it is merely a trick on unsuspecting audiences who admire Armand Assante or Roy Scheider. Terrible beyond belief, this should be avoided at all costs. ..... - MERK
The Deserter (1971)
Only thing missing is Ennio Morrocone ........
Totally acceptable Italian western utilizing many American character actors. My only gripes are the weirdly inappropriate score, and Indians who look suspiciously like Europeans. John Huston easily steals every scene as the Calvary General who doesn't mind sending Bekim Fehmiu and his band of misfits on a suicide mission. The desert scenery is exceptional, the acting passable, and the action strong. This film has some very sharp editing, thus eliminating scenes that would do little to move the story forward. It is also one of the least predictable westerns I have seen. Put this all together and you have a rarely viewed film, that deserves far more attention. - MERK
Duct Tape Forever (2002)
Lovably stupid ...........
It's hard not to like the lovably stupid characters in this lovably stupid movie. Do not expect to increase your knowledge about duct tape. in fact do not expect to increase your knowledge about anything. Instead, put your brain on auto pilot, and simply go with the flow. "Duct Tape Forever" is the type of movie that makes you feel good because your existence is less pathetic than the Possum Lodge losers. The idea to raise $10,000 to save the lodge comes down to either entering a duct tape contest or perhaps selling road kill on the internet. You get the idea immediately that you will not be witnessing great cinema, but the giant duct tape goose is intriguing, and several of the scenes quite funny. - MERK
Night of the brain dead .........
This entire movie takes place in the dark, which is unfortunately where it leaves the viewer unfortunate enough to waste his time watching "Underworld". This is exactly the kind of movie that is easy to hate. It introduces endless characters with no development. People we don't know are getting shot for no reason. The film is supposedly hip, but in reality is nonsensical, long, boring, self important crap. No police are involved, even though gangland assassinations are taking place on a schedule that makes Al Capone look like a small time hood. The dialog is repetitive nonsense that has nothing to do with what is on the screen. This is a totally failed film that should be avoided. - MERK