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merklekranz

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1071 reviews in total 
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The special effects overcome most of the shortcomings....., 26 January 2015
6/10

There definitely are some dead spots. Too much time is spent looking for the ship. The three sided romance goes nowhere and could have been deleted. The entire operation of simply pumping foam, attaching gas bags, and exploding the Titanic off the bottom throws credibility out the window. Nevertheless, Richard Jordan and Jason Robards give it their best, despite minimal character development. The real star however is the Titanic model, which of course doesn't appear until past the half way point of the film. If you persevere until then, your imagination will be rewarded. Definitely watchable if you have enough patience. - MERK

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A movie that never should have been made ....., 25 January 2015
3/10

A bunch of well past their prime actors try their best, but the obvious and simplistic script gives them nothing to work with. Stereotypical types are on parade, both mafia and retirees. The best part of the movie is seeing Burt Reynolds home decorated in "early U.S.M.C." Especially annoying are the camera speed ups, and atrocious editing. One scene barely begins before the film cuts away to another abbreviated scene. The ultra low budget shows throughout, but is amplified in the ridiculous shootout finale. It's a shame to see Burt Reynolds, Robert Loggia, Charles Durning, and Raquel Welch, wasted so badly, but I guess this was the only work available. - MERK

Man Friday (1975)
Kind of an odd duck that never gets off the ground ....., 25 January 2015
3/10

Peter O'Toole and Richard Roundtree play off each other in this "play" played out on an island. The strong religious overtones preached by O'Toole are off putting and grinds the film to a halt at regular intervals. The fact that the natives speak in English, and O'Tool's island is stocked with all matter of modern conveniences, sends believability out the window. Throw in some truly grating songs and you can easily deduce why the movie failed miserably. After about an hour, when the slow pace doesn't improve, you will be tempted to reach for the fast forward button. I gave up entirely to save myself from further disappointment. - MERK

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Brain freeze material ........, 15 January 2015
4/10

Not much here except a well manicured Billy Zane and at least a bunch of weird for weird's sake characters revolving around a plot that would fit on a paper napkin. I'd be the first one to admit I'm a sucker for even marginal dark comedy, but here's an idea, at least have a point. "Blood & Concrete" meanders along for an overlong 97 minutes, introducing one bizarre character after the next, but the story goes nowhere. The odd cartoon-like goings on really wear thin rather quickly, and since none of the characters are even remotely likable, the whole thing becomes a so what. This isn't even close to a good black comedy, in fact it isn't even close to a good movie. - MERK

Perversely entertaining ........, 14 January 2015
7/10

"Perdito Durango" ( "Dance With the Devil") is the most surprisingly entertaining movie I have viewed in a very long time. The acting by Rosie Perez and Javier Bardem rises to the occasion, with performances that make the viewer feel like you are actually witnessing two very damaged individuals on the road to disaster. Their totally unacceptable ultra violent behavior is both repulsive and fascinating. The film is not at all predictable, has unusual and colorful locations, along with plenty of dark humor. The only drawback might be the difficulty understanding a lot of the dialog, but the pictures pretty much tell the story anyway. Special mention must be made of James Gandolfini and Don Stroud's excellent performances in supporting roles. This is a winner, worth seeking out. - MERK

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
I hate movies that play games with the audience ....., 14 January 2015
1/10

With zero likable characters, and a contrived storyline, "American Perfekt" is a film that is easy to hate. Common sense is thrown out the window as scene after scene insults the audience's intelligence. Just when I thought that I had seen my share of annoying actors, along comes Fairuza Balk, appearing as the whiny heroine. Do not be tempted to watch this thinking it might be a clever desert noir, because it is nothing more than another Tarantino crap fest, only without Tarantino. In other words it throws curve balls at the audience trying to be clever, but is anything but. Beware, and avoid this, unless you think audience manipulation is entertainment. - MERK

A movie that had tremendous potential ....., 13 January 2015
5/10

Whenever I see a movie like "Back to Back" that wastes entertainment potential so badly, it saddens me. The original idea of a long ago armored car robbery and a missing seven million dollars being pursued by relatives of the perpetrators, is an idea that could have worked. Here however, the story is too difficult to follow as the narration and almost incoherent flashbacks lead to confusion. Bill Paxton is the only convincing actor in the entire film, and the direction is quite loose, leading to random scenes that make little sense. This film begs for a remake because there really is a good movie buried somewhere in the mess that is "Back to Back" - MERK

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Unlikable everything ......, 11 January 2015
5/10

Uneasy mix of unlikable characters, poor survival techniques, and a contrived storyline. This plays like a dysfunctional family primer, and has questionable entertainment value. William Devane fans will be on somewhat familiar ground, and Patty Duke tries her best. Unfortunately the transformation of the left behind daughter from spoiled brat to forest ranger trainee is totally unbelievable, and sinks whatever believability remained. The story tries to be warm and fuzzy with little success considering the dire situation. Finally, the conclusion with a barely alive sibling snowboarding like a Winter Olympian is truly laughable. - MERK

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Mixed up mess of a movie ......., 5 January 2015
5/10

Michael Parks is at his mumbling best, but there is little else of interest. The problem is "Midnight Auto Supply" is supposed to be a comedy, but seriously lacks chuckles. Centering the auto theft operation around a "cathouse" could have worked as solid exploitation, but there is no nudity and very little titillation. Rory Calhoun is totally wasted in a strictly by the books role. There is one line in the entire movie that is memorable. The "house" madam dressing down one of her shy "girls" puts it like this " You are a whore act like one". Otherwise this is nothing special, with a muddled plot, time filler car chases, and a no surprise surprise ending. - MERK

Soldier (1998/I)
Mindless yet not the worst of it's kind ......., 23 October 2014
4/10

Kurt Russell and a bunch of no names take a western theme into outer space. Think of a bunch of helpless settlers being attacked by a well armed bunch of bandits, with the hero riding in on a white horse to save the day. Instead of a white horse, Russell is dumped onto a garbage collection planet, where he gets to save some unfortunates who survive on discarded refuse. The only thing of interest is some intriguing visuals, but that cannot hide the sparse character development, lack of dialog, and nonsensical mayhem. More like a video game than a movie, "Soldier" fails on many levels, and is not recommended. - MERK


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