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6865 reviews in total 
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Meridian (1990) (V)
guilty pleasure, 28 January 2016

Gina (Charlie Spradling) is restoring an old painting from the church in Italy. Her school friend Catherine (Sherilyn Fenn) returns to take over her family castle after being away for 10 years. A wizard supposedly create the castle and Martha has been the caretaker even since Catherine can remember. The two friends are taken by a traveling circus and invite them in for diner. Durint the diner, the girls are drugged. Catherine is taken to the bedroom by the leader Lawrence (Malcolm Jamieson) and given to his masked twin Oliver.

This is made by B-movie horror director Charles Band although this has more in common with pulpy romance novels. This is either softcore porn with better than average plot or a B-movie horror with plenty of nudity. It's substantively not good compared to normal movies but this is simply a guilty pleasure. Sherilyn Fenn from Twin Peaks has always been gorgeous and this movie introduced the beautiful Charlie to me.

good surrealism, 28 January 2016

Joe Bank (Tom Hanks) has a depressing job in the Advertising Dept of American Panascope in Long Island City, New York. They make rectal probes. He suffers under his supervisor Mr. Waturi (Dan Hedaya). He's diagnosed with terminal brain cloud with six months to live. He quits and asks out his co-worker DeDe (Meg Ryan). Wealthy businessman Samuel Graynamore (Lloyd Bridges) needs to placate locals on an island to mine a rare mineral. He hires Joe to jump into the volcano to appease their god. Joe hires limo driver Marshall (Ossie Davis) to help him spend the money. Samuel's flighty daughter Angelica (Meg Ryan) picks him up at the airport in L.A. Angelica's half-sister Patricia (Meg Ray) captains the yacht that brings him to the island.

I like his surrealistic work life. It reminds me of Brazil. The movie does get uneven at times. After getting the credit cards, Joe goes back into the real world. I expected more surrealism. After that, the surrealism returns with Meg Ryan playing another character. It makes shopping in Manhattan out of step.

The 3 Meg Ryan performances are a little jarring at first. I enjoy DeDe as a little wacky and a little darker than her usual fare. Angelica is not as enjoyable. She seems to be trying to hard with her voice. She should pull back a little with the crazy voice and she could replace Ossie Davis on his shopping trips. Patricia is classic Meg and shows their easy chemistry once again. Overall, this may be uneven at times but there are plenty of interesting imaginative concepts.

Stone Cold (1991)
Bosworth limited, 27 January 2016

Joe Huff (Brian Bosworth) takes out a hold-up gang in a supermarket all by himself. A violent motorcycle gang called The Brotherhood led by Chains Cooper (Lance Henriksen) and his right-hand man Ice Hensley (William Forsythe) is murdering and causing havoc. Suspended Alabama cop Huff is forced by the FBI to go undercover to infiltrate the gang.

This has some good action scenes especially for a B-movie. It's got a couple of solid actors, Henriksen and Forsythe, to play the fun villains. It all boils down to Bosworth. I don't expect much and that's what he has. He has a limited range. I wouldn't call him charming. He lets his size do most of the acting. I also wouldn't call him stiff. He can walk. He can talk. However he can't do more. He is at most second tier and more realistically third tier action star material.

Blue Steel (1989)
interesting style, 27 January 2016

NYPD rookie beat cop Megan Turner (Jamie Lee Curtis) kills a hold-up robber on her first day. One of the victims, psychotic Eugene Hunt (Ron Silver) steals the robber's gun. None of the victims can corroborate Megan's story and she struggles to clear her name. Hunt starts killing with the gun and engineers a romance with Turner. A shell casing with Turner's name carved into it is found at the crime scene and she's reinstated working under homicide detective Nick Mann (Clancy Brown) on the case. Eventually, Hunt reveals himself to Turner and later, attacks her and her friend Tracy (Elizabeth Peña).

Director Kathryn Bigelow instills a kind of dark brutality to this story. The slow motion action isn't thrilling but has an artistic flavor. Curtis is great and Silver is interesting as a psychopath. There are problems with the story. I can't believe that nobody saw the gun. It would be more believable if it is only a kid behind the counter who doesn't want to get involved. At its best, I'm reminded of other dark thrillers like Se7en but there are a few head-scratchers too.

tired repeat and silly villains, 27 January 2016

Disgraced karate teacher John Kreese loses his students and his dojo. He finds help from his Vetnam war buddy Terry Silver who is a wealthy toxic waste disposal businessman. Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita) return from Okinawa to find their apartment being demolished. Daniel uses his college fund to buy Miyagi a bonsai tree workshop. Jessica Andrews (Robyn Lively) makes pottery across the street. Terry Silver buys properties for Kreese to restart his dojo. Miyagi won't let Daniel defend his title. Terry recruits thugs to force Daniel to enter the tournament. Miyagi won't train him and Terry tricks him into being his student. Terry teaches him all the wrong techniques.

The major problem is that this repeats the original and even ends with the same tournament. There are also a few minor annoyances. I doubt the cops would ignore the vandalism and the beatings. There has to be a more devious way to force Daniel into the tournament. Those young thugs are cheesy villains but Thomas Ian Griffith is infinitely worst. I love Martin Kove but his character mostly gets sidelined. The most disappointing is Daniel himself. After all these years, he has not grown much. The third film should have Daniel be a big brother to someone else. It's an obvious way for the franchise to continue but they decide to do a repeat.

a new American voice, 27 January 2016

In Brooklyn, Nola Darling dislikes commitment and she has three lovers at the same time. Jamie Overstreet is sweet and looking for a lifelong companion. Greer Childs is a self-obsessed model. Mars Blackmon (Spike Lee) is a loud-mouth childman. Nola, her friends and family narrate the movie talking directly into the camera. Opal Gilstrap is a lesbian who likes Nola. Her free-love policy runs into trouble when the three men discover each other's relationship with Nola.

This is Spike Lee's first full-length feature as a writer/director and he is also a major supporting actor. This announces the arrival of a new American cinematic voice. It's inventive and different. Sure the actors are mostly amateurs but everybody has a good charismatic energy. Spike Lee is bringing a lot of different elements into this movie. Most impressively, he has turned the normal sexual relationship between man and woman upside-down. It is a great debut and an imaginative indie.

loads of action but not much else, 27 January 2016

San Francisco police detective Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) has been tracking mysterious drug-lord Iceman. Iceman henchman Tyrone Burroughs is hiring a hit-man to kill Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy). Jack kills the hit-man but Tyrone escapes. Internal affairs Blake Wilson investigates and Jack is suspended facing possible charges. Reggie is getting out of prison after his 5 years. He demands to get his money from Jack but Jack refuses unless Reggie helps him. Tyrone hires Ganz and the violent biker gang to kill Reggie. Ganz is looking to avenge his brother and kill Jack. After they are both attacked, they are forced together once again.

Director Walter Hill returns with Nolte and Murphy. It is wall to wall violence. It's explosions, gun battles, crashes and kills. However, the comedy isn't there any more and the vile language has been tone down quite a lot. I still like the guys but they don't have the same chemistry. It's missing the raw energy and Murphy's humor in the original.

three stars with some charms, 26 January 2016

Architect Peter Mitchell (Tom Selleck) has an ex in Rebecca (Margaret Colin). Michael Kellam (Steve Guttenberg) is a sensitive cartoonist. Jack Holden (Ted Danson) is a playboy actor. The three bachelors happily share a Manhattan penthouse with a long line of women coming in and out. Then somebody leaves a baby at their doorstep. A note indicates that Mary is the result of an union between Jack and Sylvia (Nancy Travis). Jack is away doing a TV movie. Peter and Michael are forced to deal with the baby. Jack has a package of drugs delivered to the apartment which is to be picked up by two men. Peter and Michael mistakenly assume the baby to be the package. Narcotics officer Sgt. Melkowitz (Philip Bosco) come to question the guys.

The combination of the three stars makes this work. Selleck is terrific. This has good comedy and some awkward stuff. I can do without the heroin. It takes the movie down a dark alley. The tone is completely wrong. I would have liked more with Rebecca and Sylvia doesn't need to be British. Overall, it's a mix bag with some laughs.

Valmont (1989)
lascivious take on the material, 26 January 2016

Cecile (Fairuza Balk) is a 15 year old who has been living in a convent for 6 years. She's happy that her mother Madame de Volanges (Siân Phillips) has arranged a marriage for her to Gercourt (Jeffrey Jones). Volanges trusts her cousin Marquise de Merteuil (Annette Bening) to guide Cecile but she doesn't know that Gercourt discarded Merteuil as his lover. For revenge, Merteuil intends to spoil Cecile's virginity and thereby her pending marriage to Gercourt. She asks her former lover, the Vicomte de Valmont (Colin Firth), to do the seducing but he refuses. He is more interested in bedding the married Madame de Tourvel (Meg Tilly). Merteuil makes an indecent bet with Valmont. Meanwhile Cecile falls for her music teacher Danceny (Henry Thomas).

Director Miloš Forman brings a lascivious feeling to the material. The romance is drained out of this which is replaced with something darker. Fairuza Balk is shockingly young which only adds to its forbidden realism. Whereas the great Dangerous Liaisons feels luscious and beautiful, this version feels dirtier and uglier. Annette Bening is wonderful. This is an interesting second look at the same story.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
over the top Cage, 26 January 2016

Peter Loew (Nicolas Cage) is a Manhattan literary agent and Alva Restrepo (Maria Conchita Alonso) is his suffering assistant. He party all night and goes to therapist Dr. Glaser. A bat gets in his apartment during a night with a girl which he finds arousing. Another night, he brings Rachel (Jennifer Beals) home from a club. She shows her fangs and feeds on him. He continues to let her feed night after night. He becomes erratic and thinks he's turning into a vampire himself.

Cage is going over the top with his performance. The problem is that Peter treats Alva so poorly even before being bite. It's hard to care about him at all. It's fascinating to see Cage overact sometimes but I don't see him hounding Alva as being funny. Maybe if he isn't so mean to Alva early on.

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