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Bad., 14 May 2015

I'll probably make a few people angry at me for writing this, but I have to say this for my own benefit. I'm in the band Ingrid and the Defectors (at the time of this writing), who have a few songs in this movie. I didn't write the songs, it's not my band, I'm just the bass player, but I know the band was happy about being included.

Anyway, after the Jersey premiere and after our performance there (arranged horribly, having the music acts after the movie instead of prior), we were asked to say a few words about the movie to some small film crew that went around.

Now, many may think I'm making a big deal out of nothing, but when we filmed our few words about the movie to that crew, I called this movie "great," which I didn't believe at all. The movie is absolutely horrible.

I'm a straight shooter, always have been, and I've always have told it like it is and have a rep for doing so...except that one, single time, and it has bothered me ever since. I'm not even sure why I lied like that, but it has really bugged me and still does, two years later. It's the one single time I didn't tell the truth about something (as an adult anyway).

That's why I'm here, frankly, to correct that in a way, and give myself at least a little satisfaction knowing at least the truth is here.

And the truth is, this film is indeed very bad. I'm a huge zombie movie fan (especially the Italian imports) but my take has nothing to do with what kind of film this is, that doesn't matter. This is just a bad film, period. It's a huge mess. It's like someone threw a bunch of things into a blender and this is the result. The direction, the story, the entire execution is extremely poor.

Now, as for the cast, they do as best they can with what they have to work with. In such a bad film, they probably should have been a lot worse. They seem to be having fun, and seem to be trying hard, it's obvious they cared. The Sheriff Tom guy was good, and a nice guy off-screen. My take has nothing to do with the cast.

It's just horrific film making. And it just gets more messy as the film goes on. This is really an incomprehensible mess, maybe the worst independent film I've ever seen (granted, I haven't seen nearly as many as others have). As for the "cameos," it's obvious the film makers simply went to the Chiller Theatre Expo (or something similar) and got various guests (there to sign autographs for fans) to say a few sentences at their tables for the film.

Well, I guess that's about it. This simply was bothering me all this time and I had to get that out of my system.

Goliathon (1977)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Total "Man in Suit" Greatness, 24 January 2015

"The Mighty Peking Man" has it all. This was always an elusive flick for me, until I finally found a poor VHS copy of it under the title of "Goliathon." Quentin Tarantino had this released on DVD (my very first DVD ever purchased) and there it was, finally in all it's beautiful glory.

This is exactly what these films are supposed to be - nothing but non-stop fun, and lunacy. The story is similar to "King Kong" but this flick stands on its own. It's a very bombastic movie - the music is loud and dramatic, and there are a LOT of fire and explosions, all done to the max in deep sound, a decent sound system will do this one justice.

The inconsistencies are hilarious of course - everything seems to change size, from the monster to rocks to the buildings (depending on how big the monster is in any given scene). The gorgeous jungle girl wears makeup and is nice eye candy. And even though Peking Man is in the area, making a LOT of noise destroying buildings, stomping on cars, wrecking highways and causing explosions, people almost right next to him just go about their business casually, until they actually SEE the creature (maybe they need their ears checked).

One big plus is that the model/miniature work is nothing short of spectacular - there are a lot of very impressive miniature sets and models built. One array of buildings and elevated highways is especially fantastic, as is the destruction.

The film moves fast and is never dull. Even though Godzilla movies were no longer being made at this point, some interesting giant monster movies came around this time frame, a few good (like "Yeti: Giant of the 20th Century") and some bad "like "A.P.E." and "Queen Kong") but this is probably the best. "Peking Man" is an absolute must-see.

Captain America (1979) (TV)
Fun TV-movie, don't expect an epic, 12 December 2014

Sure, the origin of Captain America is changed a bit for this TV adaptation, but this is a fun little flick all its own.

Reb Brown is good and likable as Cap, and seems to have a good time when he has the (revamped) costume on. Other familiar faces are all over this thing, as Cap and his government buddies try to stop the bad guys.

Sure, it drags in a few spots, as we get more than one long sequence of Cap riding his very cool super-powered bike, which makes a wild thrusting sound every time he hits the gas and flies through the air. There's a few good stunts with the bike, especially one where Cap rides up a very convenient random ramp to jump his way towards a flying helicopter.

It's the 70's, there's funky music, pretty girls, and a decent story. There's no reason why this can't be enjoyed if you don't expect too much, and it is refreshing to see actual real stunts and real action as opposed to CGI everywhere.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A Superman without fun and charm, 29 December 2013

Superman has finally been corrupted in the movies.

"Man of Steel" should have been a great movie, and actually may have made a decent movie with some changes, the biggest of which not making this a Superman movie.

Almost everything about Superman that has been loved all these years has been destroyed; there is no charm to this film whatsoever, no warmth, no feeling that you are watching "a friend." Actually, General Zod almost seems like the good guy here, with noble intentions, that's how warped this movie is.

Now of course, all this sounds like someone who is "stuck" on the Christopher Reeve films. Like it or not, he STILL is the perfect Superman, and that first '78 film nailed it perfectly.

However, even Brandon Routh makes a better Superman than Henry Cavill, who gives it a shot but again, has about the same amount of charm and warmth as the rest of the film, which is none.

The special effects are a joke - this is nothing but a big CGI cartoon. And yes, it gets violent - I have never seen this much violence in a cartoon since maybe the Tom & Jerrys from the 1940's.

Of course, to keep the politically-correct crowd happy, there's even another race-change for a character, as Perry White is now a black guy - and he is absolutely horrific, kind of a walking, talking corpse. If you are going to change a famous character's race, at least get someone who can act (like they did with (RIP) Michael Clarke Duncan/Kingpin from "Daredevil," a much superior film) instead of this lifeless guy in this movie.

Even the actress who played Lois Lane was bad, looking and sounding like some junior-high school student instead of a seasoned reporter.

The one single bright spot in this mess is the guy who played Zod, maybe the only actor in the whole movie trying not to look bored as heck and give it a shot.

Sorry folks, but this was a bad, bad film, no fun at all. Superman isn't supposed to be "dark," he's supposed to be light. And Superman and Batman in the same movie? How will they battle, to see which one gets more depressed?

The worst special effects one can imagine, 4 May 2013

This gets a "3" out of ten simply because Nicholas Cage is so much fun to watch. What a shame - Ghost Rider is an awesome comic book character, the first movie was OK, but this movie is a stupid-looking mess. Not even a hot mess, just a mess.

The entire movie looks like a freaking video game. In other words, fake as all heck and ridiculous. These have to be the worst special effects I've seen in a modern day movie, where the FX were expected to be good. CGI is a joke. Even the big chase scene gets yawns because it doesn't get a single "gasp" out of any viewer - because you can't gasp at something so obviously fake.

The plot is OK, where the devil needs a little boy's body to inhibit, but it's done so sloppily that not even the hot girl can save things.

Really, this flick is such a piece of crap, you really have to watch Nic Cage for Nic Cage's sake and that's the only appeal at all. Otherwise, it's just a big fake cartoon. CGI sucks. Absolutely horrible.

Dull, and that includes Sidney, 8 April 2013

"They Call Me Mr. Tibbs" is the immensely disappointing follow-up to the incredible "In The Heat of the Night" where Sidney Poitier plays Virgil Tibbs, a big-city detective. Only problem is, this flick is no better than the typical average early 70's TV-movie of the week (and not one of the good ones).

Tibbs has a preacher friend who is suspected of killing a prostitute, and he gives his friend every benefit of the doubt. He also has family problems, mainly he doesn't know how to discipline his son at all or please his pretty wife.

This movie could be any flat cop flick of the era, and has pretty much zero connection to "In The Heat of the Night" at all. This is a very dull movie that drags along while you hope something on screen will catch fire, but it never does. And Sidney himself seems to just sleepwalk through this - I can't tell if he's just very bored himself, or if he is having a bad shoot, but he is bad in this movie, no life at all.

Despite the various familiar faces, really the only actor worth watching here is Anthony Zerbe, a great character actor who plays a sleazy pimp here. He's pretty much great in anything he's in, and gives the movie at least a little bit of spark amongst this dead cast.

Unless you really have to see the further dull "adventures" of Virgil Tibbs, it's best to stay clear of this one, although again, Anthony Zerbe is a blast to watch.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A lot of fun, 10 July 2012

Finally got to see this classic Roger Corman cheapie, and of course it's a total blast. The best part obviously is seeing Dick Miller in a rare starring role, and as a tough street kid no less, who takes no guff from anyone and is always making wisecracks.

Miller plays "Shorty" who gets thrown out of one rock joint but ends up in another, where a pretty girl is auditioning and we get introduced to various assorted crazy characters. Eventually two crooks (led by "The Professor" from Gilligan's Island!) come and hold everyone hostage, and Shorty constantly insults the crooks, as well as the cowards in the place who refuse to take a stand.

One of the funniest characters is a "hep cat" beatnik rock manager who comes out with great line after line. Others include a boxer, his sad girlfriend, a wanna-be tough guy, his drunk girl, a reporter, a shake-down artist and more. The musical numbers are good, and it all resolves in just over an hour.

"Rock All Night" is definitely not disappointing is you expect exactly what it is, a fun hour of no-budget film making.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
More great Cagney, 3 March 2012

People watch the old Cagney films to see tough Cagney do some beatdowns and charm the girl, and there's a lot of that in this flick. Especially beatdowns - Cagney is always fighting and in and out of jail, even when he can't use his hands (he'll just head-butt everyone within range instead). Heck, he even gives his sidekick a good shot (it was deserved though).

While "The St. Louis Kid" won't win any awards, it's mid-1930's Cagney talking fast and doing his thing, this time battling, well, pretty much everyone. He even goes after a girl who hates him, but she's pretty hot so that's no mystery why he'd do that. There's a few cool old-timey car and truck crashes too that are fun to watch.

Plot? There's a plot in there somewhere, but really this is just simply fun Cagney viewing.

3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Lando beats on those whiteys!, 28 September 2011

"The Final Comedown" is pretty much what you'd expect, if you don't expect too much. A bunch of black rebels wanna not just stick it to the man (whitey) but kill him as well! The leader is Johnny, played by suave Billy Dee Williams. It's an early 70's street-level and uneven blaxploitation flick.

As another reviewer pointed out, it really doesn't seem like Billy Dee has it so bad. Then why is he angry? He's good looking, gets chicks easily, party hops, but still hates whitey VERY intensely. However, he doesn't hate whitey enough not to sleep with his very sexy white girlfriend! But Lando just can't forget about hatin' whitey even for a minute, even in bed with his white girl, and she gets fed up with his anger and leaves him. (No worries, he hooks up with a very pretty black girl soon after.) His dad, and even his mom, are fed up with all his hate whitey talk as well. And Lando also seems to also have many white friends! They even help him plot against their own kind, and help him when he gets hurt!

"The Final Comedown" itself comes down finally, and it's pretty violent and wild. There's one lengthy sequence near the end which is just nothing but shootings - no talking, no nothing, except killing people, for minutes straight without any interruption, which is actually a pretty decent sequence of film making and editing. There's a bunch of familiar early 70's faces around.

The movie is a little confused at points, but all in all it definitely makes for an interesting bit of one-time viewing.

The Baron (1977)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Mess of a movie is fun, 14 September 2011

"The Baron" really is quite the mess. This was included in a cheap package with a bunch of other "urban" films. Not a good movie by any means, but fun, and there are certain reasons to keep at it.

The first of course is the great Calvin Lockhart, who just shines in pretty much anything he is in. He's a black filmmaker fighting "the man" to get a film made, but who has to get shady after turning down a deal that would have turned his movie(with Lockhart playing "The Baron," a devil-may-care wealthy adventurer) into a "white" movie. He gets involved with the mob and other shady characters.

The leader of the mob, "Joey," is played by the great Richard Lynch, who is always perfect at playing scum. I've seen him on Galactica, Buck Rogers, and in "The Seven-Ups" and he's just fantastic. It was a very pleasant surprise that he was in this! And he is definitely a mean SOB. Lynch is so good at playing these roles that seeing him in 'real life' acting nicely must be a shock.

Joan Blondell appears as the rich white woman who eventually supports pretty boy Calvin. And there are some other familiar 70's movie faces as well.

The film really isn't that well made, but Lockhart, Lynch and the others make this a very good viewing. Some action and violence, but nothing crazy, and a very fast and convenient ending on the FDR drive (I think). Check this out for Calvin and Lynch especially.

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