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1076 reviews in total 
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Good "bad" cinema ......., 26 June 2015

See it for the fight in the junkyard between Carradine and Tessier. Both appear so out of shape that the huffing and puffing could blow a house down. "Future Force" is a film that makes no sense, yet has moments of weirdness that keeps things going. The remote controlled glove is certainly a highlight. The zero budget shows through in almost every spartan scene. Product placements for whiskey, beer, and mixers appear throughout. Think of this as sort of a "spaghetti western" taking place in 1991, only following a standard exploitation formula with a mandatory strip bar, nonsensical explosions, and gun play that misses at point blank range. Truly this is good "bad" cinema. - MERK

Movie with many flaws yet still watchable ..., 25 June 2015

First off, Christopher Lambert just vaulted to near the top of my least favorite actors list. Here as the hero, Lambert is just plain boring. All actors not named Caan or Young turn in performances that can only be described as awful. The story of a land grab has been done over and over in uncountable westerns. The editing is puzzling to say the least, with large moments of time obviously missing on the cutting room floor. Finally, the ending is so scattered, it almost seems like the director was unsure when to yell cut. There are only two reasons to endure the mercifully short 89 minutes of "North Star". James Caan turns in a wonderfully bizarre performance as the heavy, and the snowy landscapes provide a nice backdrop and diversion from the sub par script and acting. - MERK

The Dark (1979)
Intriguing cast and some amusing dialog are what works best ......, 26 May 2015

I first became aware of this film because of the William Devane factor. Unfortunately Devane's character is extremely "boorish". All is not lost however because of the eclectic cast. The story is a mish-mash of "Jack the Ripper" and sci fi, with neither angle very impressive. What I do like is the quite sharp and often darkly amusing dialog. Overall the acting is acceptable, with Jaquelyn Hyde giving a standout supporting performance as a "medium" who can predict where the monster will strike next. You might remember her as "Mrs. Blair" in Woody Allen's hilarious "Take the Money and Run". With Richard Jaeckel, Keenan Wynn, and Cathy Lee Crosby also contributing, "The Dark" is almost saved from being a "bomb", but not quite. - MERK

Bruiser (2000)
Dark comedy masquerading as a horror movie ......, 14 May 2015

When you view a film by George A. Romero that misses the horror mark by a wide margin, there is the distinct possibility that it was never intended as horror, but something more, beyond the slice and dice genre. "Bruiser" is such a film. It has elements of "black comedy" throughout that bring to mind dark classics such as "Ms. 45" (annoying little dog and costume party finale). Peter Stormare is great as the bruiser boss from hell, and the acting throughout is good for this type movie. Visually it is classy and interesting. The story itself of "milktoast" getting revenge on his abusers while far from original, holds interest. - MERK

Cisco Pike (1972)
One long drug deal ...., 7 March 2015

Tedious in it's lack of motion, "Ciscoi Pike" is well acted, but doesn't really have a storyline. It just sort of meanders about with Kristofferson trying to sell $10,000 worth of drugs while under the thumb of the rarely seen Hackman. Harry Dean Stanton finally makes a welcome appearance in the final third of the film, but to little effect. Today there would be almost no audience for this severely outdated piece of nostalgia. Hackman is barely in the film, yet receives top billing. Karen Black and H.D. Stanton simply are along for the ride as Kristofferson makes his rounds dealing. Very forgettable and not recommended as entertainment. - MERK

The special effects overcome most of the shortcomings....., 26 January 2015

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

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)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Kind of an odd duck that never gets off the ground ....., 25 January 2015

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 2 people found the following review useful:
Brain freeze material ........, 15 January 2015

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

"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

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