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Favorite music is Blues and Rock.
Favorite musicians are:
Eric Clapton The Beatles (George was my favorite) Joe Satriani Jimi Hendrix The Doors The Moody Blues The Cars Gladys Knight Linda Ronstadt John Lee Hooker B.B. King Albert Collins Gary Moore Robben Ford Frank Zappa Eric Johnson Jeff Healey The Temptations Robert Cray Little Feat (with Lowell George) Jeff Beck Bob Marley
James Spader Clint Eastwood Humphrey Bogart Bette Davis Tom Cruise Eric Roberts Tom Selleck Kevin Spacey Ida Lupino Michael Caine Peter O'Toole Sean Connery Dennis Hopper Kevin Costner Bill Murray Steve Martin Madeleine Stowe
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The Core (2003)
Nothing wrong here, unless you're a critic
Most want to bash this film, but I'll tell you why I liked it. Back in the 50's and early 60's, several films were made about the possible destruction of Earth by natural forces. I probably saw all of them and loved them. The first action was to assemble a group of crack scientists to solve the problem. The Core is this kind of film and I love it, too. And it has better special effects than its predecessors. To over-analyze this film is ludicrous and not worth the exertion. It was made for pure entertainment and I was very entertained; me and my 133 IQ. Throw out all you know about science and embrace the purpose of this movie.
King of the Gypsies (1978)
Eric Roberts was great
I first saw this film at a theatre in 1978 and have only seen it on television once. I can't remember what attracted me to seeing it, but it was a surprisingly good movie. Eric Roberts showed the industry that he can act and be very convincing. The central actors must have studied gypsy life because they pulled it off very well. The film is mostly about the tension of the next successor to the throne (Judd Hirsch) and his son (Eric Roberts) whom the present King (Sterling Hayden) favors as his actual successor. Hirsch plays a cold, scheming character who finally does one of the most despicable acts a person can do, and shows no remorse for it. This, in turn, sparks retaliation from his son. If I ever find it on DVD, it will become part of my collection. I give this film an 8 out of 10.
Curtain Call (1998)
An absolute stinker
One would think that with this excellent cast, a film maker could create somewhat of a classic. That didn't happen in this case. James Spader is a brilliant and natural actor, but he just can't pull off romantic comedy. This film reminded me of the plot of "Topper" where the poor bumbling fool is haunted by married ghosts in their former home. Spader looked totally lost when it came to delivering his lines, and the ghosts (Michael Caine and Maggie Smith) were an old couple who were typically snippy with each other during the duration of the film in a feeble attempt to create comedic situations. If you're planning to see this one because of the cast, please invest your time in some other movie.
The Andy Griffith Show (1960)
"The Andy Griffith Show", in my opinion, will always be in the top 10 of my favorite shows, and I've watched the reruns numerous times since the first episode in 1960. I'm sure Danny Thomas has received many accolades for creating this timeless classic. My only criticism is that it stayed on the air three years too long. When Don Knotts exited, that's where it should have ended. The support characters of Goober, Howard and Emmitt never captured the comic timing or spirit of the original cast, and the storylines were bland. I especially detested Jack Burns' character Warren. He was very annoying. The last three years just weren't funny or even compelling enough to bother watching. Even Andy became more cranky and less down-home. He even lost his southern accent and laid-back ways.
The Giant Gila Monster (1959)
Cheesy, low-budget schlock
They don't make movies much worse than this one. The budget couldn't have been more than a few thousand dollars. The sheriff's 1958 Ford squad car was probably the most expensive prop in the film. I saw this movie again last night on a late movie program. Seeing it as a youngster when it was released, I just didn't know any better. My biggest problem with the filming was that you never actually see the gila monster and its victims together in the same scene. In one scene you'll see the victims in their car looking horrified and screaming, then they cut away to the monster crushing the vehicle with its front foot. The terror is just implied. When it goes after the wrecked train, you hear screaming, but no people are shown trying to run away. The filmmakers use a real gila monster crawling around on miniature sets, but that's about as far as the realism goes. Having to listen to the lead character (Chase) sing corny songs didn't endear this movie to me. This film was apparently made to cash in on the horror craze of the 50's giant creature genre. They were all low-budget exploitation like this one. 1 out of 10.
The Gingerbread Man (1998)
Dull and predictable
I rented this DVD for two reasons. A cast of great actors, and the director, even though Robert Altman can be hit or miss. In this case, it was a big miss. Altman's attempt at creating suspense fell on its keester. After seeing Kenneth Branagh in a good film like "Dead Again", I didn't think he could possibly contribute to such a turkey, and I hope it didn't ruin his reputation. Robert Duvall seems to have fallen the way of most one-time Oscar winners. On a downward spiral that includes acting in eating-money films such as this one. Duvall was once a great actor in excellent films, even though his best performance was not "Tender Mercies", but "The Great Santini". This movie was truly a big waste of time. I give it a 2 out of 10.
Wild at Heart (1990)
What were the judges at Cannes thinking?
This film goes in my memory archives as one of the worst ever. How this dreadful waste of time was awarded best film at Cannes is beyond me, and especially after the year that "sex, lies, and videotape" was awarded the same honor. The latter was a great film; this one is not. Even though I loved "Blue Velvet", I've never been a big fan of David Lynch, and this movie is one of the reasons why. His overuse of descriptive imagery in this work is senseless. In particular, the desert scene where the witch on a broom flies by, indicating a reference to Lula's evil, spiteful mother, who has a detective and hitman trail them after they leave together for California. The scene where she was showing her anger after Sailor and Lula's departure was something out of a movie from the 30's or 40's; way too overacted. It was just her grimacing and menacing music playing. Nuts!! Listening to Nicholas Cage sing "Love Me Tender", and with a straight face, just about capped it for me. About 30 minutes into the film, I was planning to hit the eject button, but kept watching to see if it would improve. It only got worse.
James couldn't save it
I saw this film because James Spader is one of my favorite actors, and the storyline sounded intriguing. Even though David Cronenberg is known for making creepshows, this one just didn't deliver. The characters were more like a group of sex ghouls than people that were disconnected from their world and needed the perverted stimulous of car crashes to feel alive during sexual acts. The only pleasant part of this film was the continual body exposure of Deborah Unger. I like movies that have complicated plots that make me think and keep me interested, but this one was just dull and insipid. This film and "Curtain Call" are the only role mistakes Spader has made in his career, and I hope they're the last.
The Stickup (2002)
I love this movie
This movie is so good, I watched it 5 times before I returned the rental. I purchased a copy, and have seen it at least 7 more times. James Spader is one of my favorite actors, and this film was a proper vehicle for him. The fact that it had a plot (bank robbery), subplot (his illegal past), and a plot twist (he didn't do it), made it a complete film. I hope I haven't spoiled it for anyone.