Reviews written by registered user
|6 reviews in total|
Disillusioned, slobbish New York cabby Bill Murray decides to join the army to get in shape, and persuades teacher buddy Harold Ramis to do the same for no good reason. Most of the rest of the film concerns their platoon of misfits (including John Candy), sadistic drill sergeant, mad egotistical captain (John Larroquette) and a couple of improbably attractive MPs. There is a rather silly plot tagged on the end involving a top secret armoured car disguised as a camper van, presumably to give the whole exercise some point, without conspicuous success. Not particularly funny, but has some amiable performances.
A sophisticated film with more than one level, while its sympathies obviously tend to lie with the Sandinistas, it also has the message that in war there are no moral absolutes, and raises some interesting dilemmas. Its portrayal of violence is brutally convincing without being gratuitously gory. One possible flaw in Nolte's character is that it's hard to believe that a man apparently given to fairly regular reckless behaviour would have lasted so long hanging around in war zones.
Gritty social realist story of Chinese woman Lalu who is sold into slavery in the late 19th century, and taken to a rough mining town in the American west. There she faces a series of humiliations, rejections and triumphs before finding at least a degree of happiness with a sympathetic saloon keeper. By turns both gloomy and sentimental (not necessarily a bad thing) issues of racism and feminism are very much to the fore.
I remember all the hype when this film came out, how it was the most gruesome film of all time, people fainting and becoming possessed in theatres etc., but I was too young to see it then. I finally caught up with it a few years later at the mature old age of 19, and loved all the profanity, head spinning and puking, as you do at that age. Then two or three years ago I read Blatty's original book, and last year saw the film for the second time, and found as I enter early middle age I have quite a different perspective. It is not a sensationalist horror film at all, but a rather intelligent exploration of the nature of good and evil (apparently loosely based on a real case, the priests involved were staying on campus when Blatty was a college student in 1947). In a way it resembles nothing so much as an extended recruitment for the Catholic priesthood. Perhaps its tagline should be "It's not just organizing jumble sales ... you too may get to go one on one with Satan himself!"
This is a truly dreadful film, and must surely constitute great veteran film-maker Val Guest's darkest hour. Terrible predictable dialogue, inept clowning, utterly unfunny. Unfortunately comedy can never be so bad it transcends awfulness (unlike films not intended to be funny, most famously 'Plan 9 from Outer Space'), they either work or they don't. This one was moribund from the start. Even the great duo of Morecambe & Wise never had much success with this type of film project, so imagine the hash the distinctly third rate Cannon and Ball make of things. Unfortunately even the presence of the usually reliable Roy Kinnear can not save this.
The Wrong Arm of the Law:A charming evocation of a kind of reassuring never-neverland, populated by loveable rogues and dimwitted but honest cops. Of course the crime underworld was never like this, but when the horrors of the modern world seem to crowd in on me, this is just the kind of amusing escapist whimsy I love to take solace in.