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Tough Guys (1986)
They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To
It is very rare that the movie's first line will sum the entire movie up, but Kenny Rogers song of "They Don't Make 'em like they used to" sums this one up.
They really don't make movies like this anymore, although this was nearly 30 years ago to this date.
I was fortunate to go to London and get this on DVD where it was available there back in 2007, around the same time I had discovered about region free DVD players and secret codes on Region 1 DVD players.
I was told this film really wasn't the best, and well it really isn't Oscar worthy but they really don't seem to make films like this anymore.
This film was made in 1986 but had more of an older feeling to it something you might see on PBS, but it still is very entertaining funny.
The plot has Harry Doyle (Burt Lancaster) and Archie Long (Kirk Douglas) as two old guys finishing a 30 year prison sentence for robbing a train, and now have to face a new world. They have a very friendly but firm parole officer named Richie (played by Dana Carvey which I believe might be his very first major role), but like I said has to be firm because his boss Yablonski (played by Charles Durning) who originally busted the two is on his tail. And to make it more humorous his boss is on him telling him to take it easy and focus on his easy job of computer records. Plus there's this hero like guy who resents the two paroled Leon B. Little (Eli Wallach) who's trying to kill them.
Of course being on parole is really like being on a leash, Archie Long is given a job whilst luckily Harry gets retirement checks but has to live in a very boring rest home. The two basically envy each other for that, the other wanting a job and the other wanting to sit back and relax. That's another common thing, even though these two are best friends they argue a lot with each other.
Getting out into the real world that's now 30 years older than they remembered isn't easy, but they seem to be good at it, although not as good as they used to be or want to be.
Harry has to deal with living a boring rest home with very sloppy boring food and following a very strict schedule.
Archie's first job does not go well in an ice cream store, where this one kid tries to pull every 'the customer is right' antic in the book on him. Archie ends up throwing ice cream in his face. The second job does not go any better as on the second day 3 customers and his boss jump on him with demands at once; this leads to Archie giving them the demands in a peculiar fashion, but what really is funny is how the 3rd customer is laughing his head off until Archie approaches him, the customer a bit more sedated has a look of, 'I'm dead now, but it was worth it'
Going to a clothing store is at a loss for Archie when he's told their colors are peach, avocado, mocha, cherry, and etc, which Archie replies, "I don't want to eat the suit, I just want to wear it."
Those are just a few funny scenes in this 1 hour 45 minute film. This is definitely a rare gem.
The only thing I found annoying was the character Leon B. Little. He was annoying IMO, and basically seemed to curse every chance he got. While he was funny at times, he just seemed too uppity for his own good.
But overall definitely a solid gem that I would strongly recommend seeing if you enjoy comedy flicks.
Too fast paced
I saw this on CRACKLE and must admit it was interesting. It's everything that I like in a mini series but it's just too fast paced.
Basically a lawyer / father is going through a divorce and it isn't going well. Just whilst at the end of the visit, an s-bomb slips whilst on the phone, no breakfast except cake for his daughter, and the mom is early and finds out about this. She informs him of a soccer practice he should attend, before leaving. Of course, that's when the action starts. The lawyer Ian Mitchell finds an expensive looking box at his doorstep with a gun and photo of some dentist with expiration date a couple days away. Police really don't help him.
As the series goes on we learn more people are involved in this sick game, and even targets. When they don't comply their family is taken from them like our main antagonist.
While the series is high on octane fuel it just never seems to offer much answers or background information.
And the ending is a bit disappointing. It's like it builds up to all this suspense and willpower but the lawyer goes through with it anyway.
Watch maybe in Season 2 it will prove the viewers wrong. I just hope Season 2 brings us more info like how the box is made.
The Lost Room (2006)
Dennis Christopher described this show was like eating a bag of potato chips. You just can't stop. That IMO, is a bit of an understatement. It's more like eating your all time favorite chips that was around for a limited time only.
The Lost Room is about a mini-series where this cop comes in touch with this key that will take you to a 1961 motel room through any door. Once in the room you can actually go anywhere you want, the beach, a motorcycle bar, Penn State football game, you name it.
However complications arrive (not to mention that things were already complicated), when bad people want the key. Mainly a guy Karl had a guy buy it from a pawn shop for $2,000,000 and this other bad guy the Weasel stole it, but it then fell into the cop's hands.
After a series of mishaps the cop's daughter goes missing in the room. However as the cop tries to get her back, he learns about these other objects that have other special powers.
As the cop tries to get his daughter back he must try to trust the right people and learns more about the history of the motel.
Need I say more. I don't want to spoil more. But if you like sci-fi fantasy mystery type shows, this show is definitely for you.
The Last Leprechaun (1998)
Underrated but drags
I saw Last Leprechaun on Netflix on St. Patrick's Day just because it was virtually the only leprechaun film there.
It definitely isn't awesome but deserves more than 2.8 / 10 stars.
The main problem with the film is it drags on a bit too much, especially and mainly in the 2nd half. This is a 93 minute film that really should have only been like 70 minutes long.
The first 45 minutes is very good. It's mainly about this only leprechaun in town with a nice hut. Two kids get sent off to live with a stepmother (whom really is an evil witch and has evil plans).
We learn in the second half that the witch has even more sinister plans, but after that the film drags on.
Will the kids thwart the witch's plans and win back their dad? Of course, but the film just drags out too much at the end.
The special effects, secret passageways, and slapstick violence is indeed pretty good. But over awhile, you're asking yourself when does this film end??
Oliver Beene (2003)
Cross between Wonder Years and Leave it to Beaver
First off, in my opinion this was not the best sitcom but I am kind of surprised it lasted 2 seasons.
I remember my sister being into this show more than me. It seemed pretty good but just out of date and too original.
I had thought that after Season 1 the show didn't do so well but then learned it came back for another season and that was it. I thought it was doing so well. But I don't know.
I think airing it on FOX might have been the problem since Malcolm in the Middle was better at the time. Had it aired on another station it would have done better. Also I think Elkie kind of ruined the show. I just kind of found her annoying and bland after a bit.
The show was definitely funny and always kept you guessing. It had a very likable cast of characters. Oliver's parents were not the crazy control freaks like Malcolm on The Middle or The Wonder Years. Ted, Oliver's brother just for some reason reminded me of Wally from Leave it to Beaver.
I relate this show to The Wonder Years fusing with Leave it to Beaver, because The Wonder Years had a voice over and the show's characters seemed like ones from Leave it to Beaver, especially Ted.
Two of the best guest stars I liked were Louis Lombardi (from the hit show 24 as Edgar in Seasons 4 + 5) who plays a stressed out neighbor and Jon Polito (often a mobster in many films like Millers Crossing, but most memorably a reformed man in a MillenniuM episode) who played a very heavyset but yet unhealthy gym teacher.
Ted also had a friend named Harvey who would cause trouble like wildfires. One such incident was when he insulted a fat guy while the kids were home alone, resulting in the fat guy coming over and trying to kill the kids. Harvey had been supposedly banned after throwing a wild party with Ted while Oliver and his parents were out once.
Jerry, Oliver's dad plays as a dentist who is very friendly and cheerful but has a very short but funny temper. Not to mention the fact that he will act like a 10 year old at times.
Overall, I found the series pretty good and surprised that it lasted only 2 seasons instead of one or more.
If you enjoyed Wonder Years, Leave it to Beaver, Malcolm in the Middle, Grounded for Life, and/or The Bernie Mac Show, I would recommend seeing it (if they ever put them on DVD, Netflix, or Hulu (or wait, I left Hulu, so maybe (yeah right) there on there).
Down the Drain (1990)
How stupid can they get????
OK. First off this is a very rare and unheard of film. So I would like to tell you how I stumbled upon it.
One night as a kid, I was just thinking what would a title to a good Rated R movie be, and "Down The Drain" first came to my mind. I then actually looked in Maltin to see if such a title exisited and it did. It was this one. Not very good rating.
Anyway, throughout the years I've always thought of that moment and then just last week wondered if I could get it. It was on Netflix and decided to see it.
It is a very bad movie, but it is the type of bad movie that is very refreshingly enjoyable and very funny.
What it's about is this crooked lawyer who rounds up a gang of crooks to rob this vault and then turn them into another con for $20,000,000.
But practically everyone in this film is so greedy and stupid, but so stupid that they can't even fail. That's what makes it funny. The things they do are so stupid, its like you'd think it won't work or its suicide and it does work out well for them.
One particular funny scene is when this fat guy gets stuck in a hole and he is given a soda to drink. He is then burped and he is able to be pulled out.
I mean thru/o the entire movie you keep asking yourselves, 'well what are they going to do now?' and the next scene plays out and you're thinking, 'I didn't expect them to do that.'
Overall, this is an OK film. It does get tedious (and you'll be asking, 'when does it end') but it is a very decent popcorn flick, and it keeps you guessing.
Lie Still (2005)
Not bad at all
This film basically does to boarding houses what the Shining did to the hotel.
Without really much to spoil I was pretty satisfied about this film. It wasn't overly gory or profanity (although it could have had less, but these English films). It was just creepy and scary. I really enjoyed the part with the little girl playing ball.
The story is basically just a guy renting a cheap room, but strange spooky things keep happening that soon drive him insane. The only 2 people there are a crazy old estranged lady and a nice humble old land lord.
What this film really reminded me of, was this TV series that had an episode called Dreams in the Witches House. It seemed exactly like that. If you've seen that and liked it, you'll want to see this.
Only problem with this film is that, it kind of asks a bit of questions at the end (and the profanity IMO was just a bit heavy).
One other thing though, there's a clip after the END CREDITS
Very unusual movie
I found this disc at Dollar General yesterday and thought I'd give it a try. It was $3.
I went home and printed the box art work and chapters sheet out and watch it last night.
There's no one really in it though that I recognized.
The film is very quite odd but I enjoyed it. The main evil vampire (Christopher Lambert) is very witty and charming.
The film isn't that gory or profane (like most teenager and vampire films), it's just suspenseful. I really didn't find it that slow pacing. I'm not sure why most people hate this.
It is a bit confusing and the ending is kind of odd, but I think it was worth $3.
25th Hour (2002)
Very powerful film
So I found a clip of this on YouTube and this film looked interesting. Before reading my review, I'm going to point out what I feel are the most powerful spoilers. I have decided to break it up into Orange and Red levels.
ORANGE LEVEL Spoilers (major spoilers, but not really described in detail. Stop here unless you want to be spoiled before seeing the film) What this film is about, is about a drug dealer named Monty (Eddie Norton) who's about to go to jail for 7 years after being apparently busted (IMO, if he was busted he'd already be there). So, I guess he decides to turn himself in but have a last night out on the town.
Thru/o the last 24 hours we see flashbacks of his past and I think some about his future (like him getting busted, but once again when that happens he shouldn't still be out roaming free for a grace period).
He contemplates his past actions and what will happen in the future. There is one scene where he blames piratically everyone for his actions (including bums with squeegees, immigrants packing 25 per car, and even Jesus Christ) only to realize it's all his fault. But yet even though he must pay for his mistakes we realize his little rant points out that these people/we influence people like him to do these things. Thru/o the film it shows how he's lived a carefree life as a king; going to high posh clubs not even waiting in line, with very ultra fancy vinyl sofas, the best cocktails, deep heavy color lights.....taking each of these things for granted. I myself think I have it easy, but not like this.
But the thing is, that he realizes that he's taken his life for granted, carefree selling drugs and now gotta go to prison (which is definitely unfair because of prison rape (like he didn't rape, he only sold drugs)).
RED LEVEL Spoilers (major spoilers, STOP HERE unless you don't plan to see the film or don't care that I spoil it) In the end his father contemplates the life he could still run and start a new life.
This is where I'd like to point out makes the film confusing. If he indeed is already busted, why does he get a grace period. My theory is that he imagines the FBI guys looking in his apartment and the interrogation room scene. The FBI guys act very rude and awkward and that room is way too white except the fire alarm (and they do make white fire alarms). I mean even before the FBI guys come he talks about suicide. So we know that he knows he's going to get busted. And he doesn't want to take a bath with his gf, but then does and that's when the FBI guys come (hinting on, he takes the bath and the FBI guys come, therefore the bath scene never happened; it was just imagined).
But overall, the film points out how we might live carefree and take things for granted. We realize that its not our fault that these drug dealers commit the crimes they commit. But how we might have been an influence, and because of that of how others have influenced our actions.
The ending almost got me a little bit wishing, man I wish I could start a life out in the west, live in a very small town, maybe work in a small bank, bar, store, or post office. Right now I'm doing pretty well. But it just got me thinking, most of us today are so hooked on ultra iPods. But how did we get by 20-25 years ago without that? I think even that one Barry guy who must make millions would have envied Monty if he did start that new life, while Monty is only making like <$50k per year. Why? Because Monty is living the simple life while Barry must deal with the hectic stock market job.
Overall I give this film 8/10. It was very eye opening, but also confusing. Also, like always, did it really need all that profanity?
The Chamber (2002)
Secret Guilty Pleasure
To be truthful, I really have to admit that I secretly enjoyed this show. I mean this was a really cool show the short time it lasted. The only problem is that the risks were psychotic and the rewards were a bit skimpy. This was a cool idea just taken too far.
From what I've read 6 episodes were taped but only 3 were aired. I was lucky enough to see two of the three.
In my opinion, this was sort of like an adult psychotic version of the late 1980s FUN HOUSE show.
The basic plot of the show consisted of two parts. The first part would have two contestants face off in best of 3 question contest. The contestants from what I understand would always be a male vs. female. Each time one answered a question correctly, they would score two point. The first to score two points would then enter the chamber of doom.
The contestant was strapped tightly to this chair and then asked if they just wanted $500 instead of entering the hazardous chamber (which no one ever took).
The chamber consisted of seven levels, each lasting a minute long and becoming more hazardous by each second. Contestants were asked pretty basic questions (usually T/F, multiple choice, fill in the blank, one word answer). Each correct answer was worth $1000. The contestant would only lose in three ways: (1) if they answered two questions incorrectly in a row (2) If they were in the danger zone on their vitals for 20 consecutive seconds or (3) If they couldn't take it anymore and demanded the host to "STOP THE CHAMBER".
If they lost, they'd only keep half of their winnings.
If they managed to survive all seven levels they'd keep all their earnings (which did happen once). If they answered 25 questions correctly, they'd get the grand prize (which never happened, and I'm not sure if they also had to go through all seven levels if necessary).
Of the three episodes that were aired only two chamber of dooms were used; a hot and cold chamber.
From what I understand, the chamber was always chosen at random from a computer. Thus, the contestant couldn't choose it.
I'll start with the hot chamber. This chamber started at a temperature of I think 110F. It would gradually increase to I think 165F (providing how far the contestant got). But that's just the least. There were flame cannons, wind cannons (which blasted up to 60mph), and at a certain point the chair would start to rotate (having the contestant upside down).
The cold chamber was probably just as worse. This chamber started at a temperature of 30F and would gradually decrease to I think -15F. Like with the hot chamber that was only the least. This chamber had stimulated avalanches and water jets. I think it also had the wind cannons too which would blast up to 60mph. I know that the chair didn't rotate in this chamber.
Supposedly there were three other chambers. From what I read there's mention of electric shock chamber, water torture chamber, insect chamber, and I think even hurricane and/or wind chamber. Its not known what hazards were used in these chambers nor even if they were used in the three episodes that were never aired.
From what I saw in the first show, I remember this one lady get pretty far in the hot chamber until the seat started rotating and fire started blasting her back to the point where she was cursing mild obscenities. I think eventually she red lined too long and they stopped the chamber.
In the last show, final segment one guy managed to survive all 7 levels but yet failed to answer 25 questions. He won $20,000 and then supposedly sued the show for $100k because he was hospitalized hours afterward for his medical bills.
Also the earnings could have been more generous like so. -If losing and before entering level 4, the earnings would be 50% -After entering level 4 but losing: Take Home = Earnings * (Level made it) / (7); thus if the contestant made it to level 7, they would take home what they see at least. -If win but didn't answer 25 questions correctly Take Home = Earnings + $50,000. -If answer 25 questions correctly $100,000 take home Of course, this would be before taxes came out, and maybe the last one would only count if they made it to level 7 (but given the circumstances that no one ever answered 25 questions, I don't see how if anyone else would have only made it to level 6 or before and answered all the questions correctly).
The fact that as long as a contestant didn't answer two questions incorrectly back to back, they could get as many incorrect answers with no penalty was very generous.
This show was indeed pretty cool IMO, with all the statistics showing (CAUTION/SAFE/DANGER zone), (Temperature), (Quake Scale), (Wind cannons at 'x' MPH), and whole bunch of other stats. Plus the lights and mist made it look even cooler.
I remember that the FOX website had a special section for this show where you could play an online version of the game, but still kinda cool (I just remember the question box rocking and rotating upside down). I would actually be willing to purchase this show IF it ever came out on DVD, just to see those other three episodes there were never aired.
So overall from this extensive review I have just given (and I think I'm only like the 2nd person to review this), this was a great idea for a show but it was just taken way to far and turned into something very brutal. Otherwise, it could have been a SMASH HIT.