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Wild Wild West (1999)
How the West Was Lost.
No other stinker in 1999 could compare to the witless and tasteless experience that was WILD WILD WEST, a big-budget bomb of epic proportions that is a total disgrace to the TV western of the same name. Will Smith is James West, a slick gunslinger who, along with his partner (Kline) must prevent a political assassination and save a town from destruction. Unsatisfying visuals and second-rate special effects only add to the horrible acting and the film's unclear direction. It is so disappointing to see such good actors wasted in such a terrible mess.
0 out of 5
The Beginning of Another Hit or Miss Film Series.
STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE is some kind of rarity, a film based on a TV series with the same characters and the same actors that somehow works. Captain Kirk (Shatner) and Mr. Spock (Nimoy) return to the Starship Enterprise to help prevent an alien attack on Earth. As always, films like STAR TREK are very likely to produce sequels. Go figure. The only disappointment here is the film's length, but if you like the Trek movies as well as the TV series, this film is highly recommended.
3 out of 5
A Decent Search.
STAR TREK III: THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK picks up where THE WRATH OF KHAN left off with a bittersweet situation. The Starship crew have defeated Khan, but in the process, Spock died, McCoy (Kelley) is beginning to go insane, and Admiral Kirk (Shatner) and the rest of the team have lost control of the Starship Enterprise, but when Spock's father visits unexpectedly, they steal the ship back and thus beginning the search for Mr. Spock, with the evil Klingons right behind them. A decent, but rather weak entry in the Star Trek movies that manages to push past average status with the help of some great special effects and Nimoy's fine direction.
3 out of 5
They Boldly Went Where No One Has Ever Gone Before, and This Time They Went Nowhere.
It looks like the Star Trek franchise has finally jumped the shark with this incredibly weak entry. In STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER, the Starship Enterprise is hijacked by Spock's Vulcan brother (Luckinbill), who sends Kirk and crew on a voyage to a secret planet at the center of the galaxy. While not a total waste, THE FINAL FRONTIER is easily the worst of the Star Trek movies, from Shatner's unappealing campfire songs to his utterly bizarre direction, proving that Shatner can't sing or direct. Fans of the franchise will definitely enjoy STAR TREK V, but few others will.
1 out of 5
Kirk and Crew Face the 1980s.
One of the most explosive, if not the best, Star Trek movies, THE VOYAGE HOME has Kirk and his team time-traveling to 1986 Los Angeles in search for a pair of humpback whales, the only beings that can be signaled by a mysterious alien probe threatening to destroy 23rd-century Earth. During their mission they must also face the reality of 1980s civilization. Not as powerful as WRATH OF KHAN, but it is very close to that standard and is never dated as an "80s Movie." Some good performances help too, as well as spectacular special effects that make THE VOYAGE HOME a highly enjoyable entry in the Star Trek film series.
4 out of 5
The Original Trekkies Improve on Their Final Adventure.
STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY is a decent way to end the original Star Trek franchise. This time, the Enterprise crew's plans to go at peace with the Klingons backfires when the Klingon spaceship is suddenly attacked, beginning another huge war. Though STAR TREK VI is not the best of the Trek movies, it proudly makes up for the disasterous FINAL FRONTIER and returns the franchise to its true form with the excellent cast and neat special effects intact.
3 out of 5
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982)
Somehow Superior to the First One.
Impressive followup to the otherwise overlooked film adapted from the classic TV series has the members of the Starship Enterprise facing a familiar foe from their past who plans to get rid of Kirk (Shatner) and the rest of the starship crew out of revenge. Stellar performances, especially a powerful one from first-timer Kirstie Alley, along with excellent pacing and good special effects make this entry the most exciting of the series.
4 out of 5
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Could Be the Most Important Film of the Decade.
I have nothing but praise for THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. It is touching, high-spirited and full of motivation. Tim Robbins plays a banker who is wrongly convicted of the murders of his wife and her lover. He is sentenced to life in prison and eventually befriends another lifer (played by Morgan Freeman in a powerful role) who has just been denied parole. It may sound like a simple story, but Frank Darabont's direction, along with endearing performances and a cheerful climax, makes the film so energetic and magical. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION is a breath-taking masterpiece.
5 out of 5
A Nice Surprise.
TREMORS is an excellent example of a movie that is not supposed to work, but somehow it does. Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward are two handymen who team up with a seismologist to help a group of citizens in a desert area fend off vicious underground monsters. Bacon delivers his finest performance since FOOTLOOSE, along with fun bits from Michael Gross and Finn Carter. Also a good showcase for country singer Reba McEntire, who proves she can act as good as she can sing. Overall, a fine blending of sci-fi, horror and comedy that is funny and entertaining.
4 out of 5
Fatal Beauty (1987)
Another Fatal Flaw From Whoopi.
Whoopi fails again in this preposterous film in which she plays a narcotics cop who takes on a gang of drug hijackers by making disguises that are just plain silly. But that's nothing compared to the film's sophomoric humor and a pointless plot. A pure waste of a movie that even makes BURGLAR look good. Quite possibly the worst of Whoopi's films.
0 out of 5