Reviews written by registered user
merklekranz

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1165 reviews in total 
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Weak film with strong character actors ...., 23 February 2017
5/10

Obviously somebody thought they had a good idea for a film, where religious beliefs could get in the way of common sense, and "Hero's Island"is that film. Shot entirely in one location, Catalina Island, the story lacks excitement, and quite frankly is pretty boring. The only saving grace is seeing the great character actors in 1962, and what a wonderful cast it is. Rip Torn, Harry Dean Stanton, Neville Brand, James Mason, and Warren Oates. Kate Manx is the Bible thumping woman, who's religion rules her every decision. My thought is that it's just not worth wading through all the uninteresting scenes to finally arrive at the swashbuckling conclusion. For fans of the actors only, unless you need something guaranteed to be sleep inducing. - MERK

Cut Bank (2014)
Yet another "Fargo" wannabe failure ...., 22 February 2017
4/10

Somehow studios seem to be under the mistaken impression that by mentioning a comparison to "Fargo", their movie is going to magically be embraced by the theater going public. Any comparison of "Cut Bank" to "Fargo" is plain and simple false advertising. The film lacks Fargo's black humor, character development, acting, and most importantly a clever script. There is nothing more sad than wasting the talent of fine actors like John Malkovich, Bruce Dern, and Billy Bob Thornton , on this contrived drivel. None of the characters are developed, and none are even remotely likable. This is not Fargo-like, this is not even close. I would avoid "Cut Bank", and re-watch "Fargo". - MERK

A movie so strange it's a keeper ......., 21 February 2017
5/10

I'll admit to having seen a lot of ultra strange films, but "Bloody Trail" is almost in a bizarre class all it's own. Essentially the 91 minutes is divided into three parts. Part #1 involves the hero, played by Hagen Smith, as a Yankee stumbling onto a Southern stereotype cabin shortly after the Civil war has ended. He is pursued and seduced by the hillbilly's attractive young wife. After some bed hammering with a couple chickens roosting on the foot board, the Yankee departs on a passing train. Part #2 involves the only name actor in the film, Rance Howard, who along with his missing tooth buddy, torture Smith, and a leap from the moving train is his only escape. This brings us to part #3, which is without doubt about as bizarre as things can get. Nursed back from certain death by a silent Black woman, they are then attacked and pursued by spear chucking African warriors, before the surprising and totally "out of left field" ending. The movie has liberal doses of the"N"word, the "F" word, nudity, including full frontal, and intertwined with all this strangeness are numerous montages of Civil War battles. Amazing! - MERK

Dark comedy with mixed results ......, 20 February 2017
6/10

"Moonwalkers" is a rather uneasy blending of the 1960s acid culture, exploding heads, and a moon landing. It doesn't always work, but there are some inspired moments of "black comedy". Ron Perlman is the perfect foil for Rupert Grint and his nice assortment of drug crazed hippies. I found the beginning and ending superior to the drug hazed middle of the film, which tends to drag. I see definite cult potential here, because the movie is up there on the "bizarre scale". Finding the right audience is key. There are some great 60s sounds that compliment the psychedelic era goings on. I'm predicting midnight movie showings might

bring the most appreciative audience. Mainstream this is not. - MERK

Cops off the force and still on the case ....., 19 February 2017
7/10

Outstanding acting from Brian Dennehy, Joe Pantoliano, Jeff Fahey, and Bill Paxton vaults this vigilante cop film into way above average territory. While character development is good for the good guys, it is rather skimpy when it comes to the villains. This does not detract enough to spoil the fun however. There is nice chemistry between the rogue cops, and the script though derivative is totally acceptable. It's rare to get the kind of likable performances delivered in "The Last of the Finest" from all four leads. Special mention must be made of the stunt work, because it's good, and the movie has some very unusual and exciting parts. This is a real surprise, and fans of the actors will not be disappointed. - MERK

Compulsive gambling disease on display ......, 18 February 2017
6/10

Questionable entertainment value, watching two '" train wrecks" happening at the same time. It's a buddy road movie with the theme being the pathetic lives that are the result of compulsive gambling. Two losers like Ben Mendelsohn and Ryan Reynolds play certainly don't deserve any glorification. The low point is when Mendelsohn tries to steal money from his ex-wife. The acting is good, however the story meanders, and at times is sleep inducing. You do get some nice photography of various towns along the Mississippi. What is not so nice is the toxic effect their gambling addiction has on their relationships. Both characters come across as self serving jerks, with little regard for anything but their own destructive behavior. - MERK

Weak story goes nowhere ....., 18 February 2017
3/10

A Burt Reynolds mad bomber mystery with a script that is severely under developed. Burt does however wear a nice assortment of hair pieces, as he tries to piece together several random bombings in Miami. Further complicating things is Bruce Dern, as a death row prisoner with premonitions of the bombings in his dreams, making the story extremely disjointed. Charles Durning is barely in the film, with small parts in the beginning and end. If you blink, you will miss Paul Bartel playing a hotel desk manager behind a cage. Essential to any deranged bomber screenplay is insight into the bomber's motivation. Here the motivation makes zero sense, and thus the movie itself becomes a "so what?" Unfortunately, "Hard Time the Premonition" is totally forgettable, even for Burt Reynolds fans. - MERK

Fragmented, unfocused, disappointing ......., 16 February 2017
3/10

Kevin Dillon is only one of several suspects in this "who done it?" A body is found floating in the river. The next 90 minutes is a severely disjointed look at who might have done it, but there really doesn't seem to be a logical motive for anybody to kill the victim. The film fails to hold interest, and in fact is a chore to sit through, because of the lack of focus. Indeed, a couple annoying scenes are purposely shot out of focus. There is also some kind of redemption, religious message, throughout the movie that seems to go nowhere. The acting is OK, character development only fair, and the script feels underdeveloped. "Interstate 84" is not one I can recommend, even for Kevin Dillon fans. - MERK

Black Cat Run (1998) (TV)
This movie has a lot going for it ........, 13 February 2017
7/10

First off, "Black Cat Run" will be a totally pleasant surprise. It has real entertainment value. In a way it kind of reminds me of the movie "Breakdown", with Kurt Russell. Both films involve a relentless pursuit to save a girl from as sadistic, quite unhinged villain. In "Breakdown it was J.T. Walsh. Here it's Peter Greene. Special mention must be made of the excellent camera work and stunts. Also, the desert locations are used to great advantage. Character development is good and the story moves along quite nicely. This film is not for the squeamish, as the violence is brutal and quite graphic. Highly recommended, and very re- watchable. - MERK

Unfulfilled promise ......, 11 February 2017
4/10

With the cast of character actors appearing in "The Civilization of Maxwell Bright", and a script that is not without interest, the disappointing result comes across like a home movie shot on a 1980s video recorder. If this was filmed, if the language had been toned down, if the jolting transition from dark comedy to weeping drama had been more enjoyable, and if the film was edited to 85 minutes, everything would have benefited. Seeing Jennifer Tilly, Eric Roberts, John Glover, and Carol Kane give it their best in a film of missed opportunities, is quite a shame. Not recommended for all of the above reasons. - MERK


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