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merklekranz

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1105 reviews in total 
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Vacation (2015/I)
Some tedious parts .... some big laughs............., 24 March 2016
6/10

Though no where near the original in comedy value, this Vacation has some original twists along with the familiar territory. Unfortunately there are tedious moments aplenty. The scene at the four corners for instance. Another disappointment was the material given to Chevy Chase being totally inadequate. The fight at Wally World was yet another misfire, with Ron Livingston mostly wasted. Nevertheless, the ridiculous car they drive is a bunch of chuckles, and the suicidal white water guide is hilarious. Sure the swearing grows thin real quick, and both kids are annoying, but somehow the film generates enough laughs to clearly rate above average. - MERK

Could have had cult potential if anybody had seen it ....., 30 December 2015
6/10

This ultra rare comedy is practically unknown, yet deserves credit for being better than you might expect. The script is quite interesting, as rent-a-cop Mike McDonald evolves into a very creative hit-man, working for the wonderful Joe Silver as a contract assassin. The film morphs back and forth between dark comedy and slapstick which leads to a rather uneven delivery. There are a number of hilarious situations as McDonald falls for his Psychiatrist, who's Father turns out to be Mafia, and Joe Silver's main competition in contract killing. Rescuing a dog from a burning dog house is one highlight, but there many comedic situations, not all of which work. That is the nature of this rather hectic movie. Overall, definitely above average, and worth seeking out if you can find it. - MERK

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Relentlessly downbeat fairy tale ......, 2 November 2015
5/10

Although the storyline is intriguing, the results on screen are not translated effectively as entertainment. Relentlessly downbeat, "Kumiko The Treasure Hunter", is beautifully photographed, but lacks momentum. The first half hour in Japan borders on depressing, with little relief from Kumiko's monotonous life. Once she lands in the frozen tundra of Minnesota things get more interesting because of the "fish out of water" possibilities. Kumiko's pursuit of a treasure that does not exist, reveals her tendency to lie, cheat, and steal toward the ghostly goal, thus making her a rather unsympathetic character. This is certainly minimalist entertainment that will require tremendous patience to eventually reach the underwhelming conclusion. - MERK

Cole Justice (1989) (V)
"A man without dreams is nothing", 28 September 2015
7/10

Carl Bartholomew obviously had a dream to star in his own movie, and as it was pointed out in "Fitzcarraldo", "A man without dreams is nothing". "Cole Justice" is one man's dream brought to reality, and it is an entertaining journey into the realm of "spaghetti westerns" transposed into modern day small town Oaklahoma. It should be mentioned that the blending of genre's, western and vigilante justice is totally acceptable. The film is not dull, because it is a fresh idea that maintains interest. Sure it's low budget gets in the way, and the actors are amateurish, but Bartholomew's passion shows in every scene, and for that reason alone I liked it very much. - MERK

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Loose women and loose tigers ......, 14 September 2015
6/10

"Maneaters Are Loose" might actually be a pretty good TV movie from 1978, however I cannot recommend seeking out the overpriced "Wild Eye" DVD. The colors have been degraded to a sepia tone throughout, with badly blurred images. The sound is far better than the picture. As for the movie itself, it is a blending of community characters, a pornographic peddling preacher played by Harry Morgan, local laid back sheriff, Tom Skerrit, pompous ass official, G.D. Spradlin, and big game hunter, Steve Forrest. The tiger attacks really don't get going until well after the film's half way point, and the ending is unexpected. - MERK

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
New Zealand thriller with a twist ......., 8 September 2015
6/10

"Lost Tribe" is one of those films that for most of it's running time seems adrift, with the audience having no clue as to where things are heading. This actually works to the movie's advantage since curiosity keeps you watching. The screenplay could have used some tightening, and the clairvoyant little girl could have been been written out entirely. Her narration is not only distracting, but unnecessary. Strengths are the fine location photography, spooky atmosphere, and an ending that is somewhat of a mind bender. Overall, I can't say I was thrilled by "The Lost Tribe", but it is different enough to warrant a watch........ - MERK

Boardwalk (1979)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Unbelievable acting by a terrific cast ....., 6 September 2015
8/10

"Boardwalk" is what I would call a blessed movie. It is blessed with a cast that simply excels. Ruth Gordon and Lee Strasberg as David and Becky Rosen work together like they have been married fifty years, even though it's just in the movie. This is Lee Strasberg's opportunity to make an acting statement and he does so with a huge exclamation point. I also must mention that "Boardwalk" is one of the most effectively edited films I have ever seen. What may seem abrupt to some is in reality moving things along, otherwise you would have a story that might be too long. The Coney Island locations are another plus, remembering in this wonderful film a bygone era. All I can say is see this movie, and don't forget to bring plenty of tissues. - MERK

Jewtopia (2012)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Odd mix of ethnic and toilet humor ....., 3 September 2015
7/10

The initial idea is terrific. A Jew teaching a Gentile how to act Jewish in order to date a 'Jewish Princess". The execution however is a real mixed bag of ethnic jokes and toilet humor. Ethnic stereotypes are purposely on parade, and the cast gives it their all. John Lovitz as the "Embroidary King" and Peter Stormare as the beer drinking, moose hunting redneck are funny. However the sexual jokes mostly fall flat, except for the circumcision scenes. While most of the funnier lines are in the trailer, there are still enough outrageous situations to make viewing worthwhile. Fans of reluctant groom type comedies should find enough here to like. - MERK

Courage (1984)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The only movie I ever watched that made me tired ......., 2 September 2015
6/10

For sure I have watched countless movies that made me sleepy, but "Raw Courage" is the first one that made me feel tired. Three long distance runners running and running and running through the New Mexico desert. Their flight was initiated by M. Emmet Walsh and his ruthless brigade of weekend mercenaries playing war games. After one of the runners is killed, it's a battle of wits (the runners) vs. the nitwits (the brigade). While I enjoy these variants on "The Most dangerous Game", I would have preferred more character development and less running. This is certainly watchable, but expect nothing more than a relentless desert chase. - MERK

1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Looking to bury a dead frozen animal kept in a cooler I prefer "Rubin & Ed ".., 1 September 2015
4/10

I mean as bizarre as "Rubin & Ed" starring Crispin Glover and Howard Hesseman is, at least it is not boring. "Cas & Dylan" on the other hand is a road trip that goes nowhere. The acting is strong by Richard Dreyfuss, but the screenplay meanders and quite frankly is sleep inducing. The subject matter borders on depressing, and suicide never has been dealt with very successfully, except perhaps in "The End", which is a hilarious "black comedy" starring Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise. "Cas & Dylan" has neither the outrageousness of "Rubin & Ed", or the "dark comedy" of "The End". So the movie really just sort of drifts along to the end. - MERK


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