Reviews written by
|55 reviews in total|
But than again, it's nothing more than a made for TV movie of the week.
Scheider still does a good job as detective Seaver, but it seems like
there's more time spent detailing his relationship with Karen Young
than there is going after the psycho. Keep in mind the movie is listed
as a thriller, not a drama. Even though you have an ace director, great
cast and good script, the low budget quality to the film just sinks it.
It's the type of movie where they'll show people dancing in a ballroom
to the same song over and over again. For those that are looking for a
chiller after reading this movie's summary, forget it. Although some of
the murders are graphic, the whole film just drags along until the
predictable conclusion. One highlight though is the score by Pino
Donaggio which is really good, at times even breathtaking, but there's
just not enough of it in the movie. Worth a look though just to see
Scheider nail down a Texas accent.
Score, 5 out of 10 Stars
Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon just might be the greatest crime novel
ever written. It's not surprising that movies would appear that are
based on the book. The first to appear was Manhunter in 1986. The
second was Red Dragon in 2002. Having seen both of them in the
theaters, neither one comes close to matching the novel. But the lesser
of the two evils would have to be Manhunter. It comes off as more
realistic and at times powerful. The cast is A-1, the soundtrack
dynamite and the photography by Dante Spinotti breathtaking. William L.
Petersen is terrific as Will Graham, the strong, silent leading man
whose supermarket chat with his stepson is one of the highlights of the
film. My favorite scene is when Graham is looking at a house from the
back woods while trying to figure out how the killer got inside.
Director Michael Mann also had a spin-off episode that same year on
Miami VICE that dealt with this same topic. Shadow In The Dark
premiered on Halloween night and focused on Don Johnson's obsession on
trying to catch a home invader.
Score, 7 out of 10 Stars
Many people consider this movie to be one of the greatest police dramas
ever made. It definitely looks and feels real. But many people have
never even heard of this film. It's high time it was released on DVD
with all the toppings because it was directed by Sidney Lumet, who is
one of the greatest directors in modern day cinema. The film is based
on a true story that happened throughout the 70's concerning a narc who
out of the clear blue sky had a change of heart and decided to drop a
dime on his entire squad. The story concerns him testifying not only
against his former co-workers, but corrupt lawyers, bail bondsmen and
the mob. Treat Williams, who plays the lead character is a dynamite
actor who has never gotten the credit he deserves. Sure he's been
around forever and has an impressive resume, but a lot of people have
never even heard of this guy. As for the movie itself, even though it's
about a special investigative unit in the New York City police
department, there isn't much action here like you see in other police
films. It's mostly dialogue that comes across as realistic and
powerful. This is not a movie for children. The fact that it's based on
a true story makes it look all the more real. If you liked Jerry Orbach
on LAW & ORDER, then you'll like him here.
Score, 8 out of 10 Stars
During the 60's, 70's and 80's, black comedies were common. At the
height of the craze in 1971, notorious producer Dick Randall decided to
go after Victor Buono who was a rising star throughout the cinema
world. Only Randall had a reputation for being exploitive, and here he
continued on the same pace yet changed his name to Robert Oliver. For
those of you who aren't familiar with Randall, he was the guy behind
two notorious horror pix in the 80's: DON'T OPEN 'TILL Christmas and
SLAUGHTER HIGH. But The Mad Butcher is different. From beginning to end
it's nothing but a fun ride as we watch Buono get released from the
asylum and go back to being "The Best Butcher In Vienna" Keep in mind
this guy was committed by his wife because he hit an old lady over the
head with a couple pounds of liverwurst. Ultra low budget flick that
had me rolling in laughter.
Score, 6 out of 10 Stars
This is one film you'll never forget. A rare occurrence when a movie is better than the novel it's based on, director William Peter Blatty struck gold with this one. Nice to see it's finally getting the recognition it deserves. The whole story just draws you into another world. Not once was I bored, and this is a long movie. Save for that wicked bar fight, there's no action anywhere else in the film. What we get is bizarre yet intriguing dialogue and chilling flashbacks that'll leave you speechless. One scene midway through the film had me close to being hypnotized: Kane takes the astronaut to church and during the service, he stares at the altar boy who looks Oriental. That scene had me thinking maybe the Colonel was having a flashback to the Korean or Vietnam War. The cast is all-star and top-notch, with Stacy Keach giving an unforgettable portrait as Colonel Hudson Kane. Nice to see Joe Spinell in a bit role. I don't know where they filmed that castle they keep showing throughout the movie, but my guess would be West Germany, Switzerland or Austria. You won't find any castles like that in America, even though the story takes place in Washington State.
Score, 10 out of 10 Stars
Even though it was canceled eight years ago, the fact that it ran for 26 years should tell you that this was the godfather of modern day talk shows. Lets face it: the majority of talk shows whether on TV or radio suck. Why? Because the hosts rarely go after serious topics that affect people in everyday life, and just as rarely ask hard, tough in-your-face questions. Lot's of these shows are nothing but chocolate pudding formats that kill an hour in the time slot. Phil Donahue's fire and desire was way ahead of it's time in 1970. But in '70, at the height of the Vietnam war, nobody else on T.V. was even thinking about doing this. The talk shows at the time were still left over, outdated junk with the 1950's style to sugarcoat what was happening in the real world and make people feel good. For example, during the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, there was no talk show on TV that kept the people informed about what was going. The TV industry was still sugarcoating these topics by showing people MY THREE SONS and BEWITCHED. If Donahue would've been on the air in 1962, you can bet he would've covered the Cuban missile crises. This guy was a breath of fresh air to the TV industry in 1970, because you still had these candy talk shows like SONNY & CHER and THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY. I started watching Donahue in the early 80's and stayed with the show all the way until '96 when it was canceled. I used to love when the guy would get up and walk around with his microphone so the audience could ask questions to the guests who appeared on the show. Most of the topics that Donahue covered were good, important topics that many people were interested in. In 1982, when missing children in America was becoming a serious problem, Donahue covered the story with deftness. The guy just had a knack for asking important questions. The only other host since the late 80's who I can think of that even comes close to Donahue is Geraldo. Whether you agree with the guy or not, and most of the time I don't, you have to give him credit for asking hard questions. RIVERA LIVE on CNBC was a fabulous show that I watched all the time. Geraldo would bring on strong guests like Joseph DiGenova and Alan Dershowitz. Those two guys had great debates over the years whenever they came one at night. Besides Geraldo, and maybe Ted Koppel, no one else on TV does this and that's shameful. But then again, no one else on TV has had the success of Donahue, Geraldo and Koppel. I highly doubt there will ever be another talk show on TV again like Donahue. I didn't watch this guy's show to relish in his politics. Just like Rivera, I don't agree with Donahue on the majority of topics. I watched his show to be informed and listen to guests answer the tough questions, no matter who they were. Thank you Mr. Donahue for 26 strong years.
Not to mention we get to see Tommy Lee Jones sporting a beard, and
looking more like Dan Fogelberg dressed up in a pirate suit. But the
best character in the movie is Max Phipps' Ben Pease. He's the real
pirate here, dressed in black with a cool looking hat, not like Jones'
good pirate dressed up like a white knight. Some of Phipps' dialog is
hilarious. Although it's a strictly comic book action movie that takes
place in the mid 1800's South Pacific, the movie is overall a decent
watch for a Saturday afternoon when nothing else is on. And telling
from the photography, this really was filmed in the South Pacific and
Fiji islands, not some back lot studio in Hollywood. The majority of
actors in the film are not even actors, but local natives of the
islands were the movie was filmed, which makes it feel all the more
real. Love the tin whale.
Score, 6 out of 10 Stars
One thing this movie won't do is bore you. From beginning to end, it
feels like a roller-coaster ride that doesn't wanna stop, even if you
feel like getting off. Since it's an action movie, you have to give it
credit for that because everything that's happening feels so real.
There's no special effects at all in this movie. Instead, we have the
mean streets of L.A. and the even meaner Jeff Kober. The guy has always
been a mystery to me. He has this bizarre quality to his roles that
makes him fun to watch. This movie here was Kober's first ever, and
he's credible as a sadistic drug dealer going after Anthony Michael
Hall and Jenny Wright for stealing his heroin. Loaded with shootouts
and a great soundtrack, the L.A. punk rock scene is in full effect.
Score, 8 out of 10 Stars
When you look at the box cover for this flick, it looks like it's going to be a real chiller. Yet 20 minutes into the film you can tell it's going to be a black comedy. Keep in mind also that there are two different versions for this film: the unrated and R-rated version. My review is based on watching the unrated one. There is no suspense in this movie at all. So if you haven't seen this one yet and have been contemplating on watching it for chills, forget it. On the other hand, if you're looking for a good black comedy, then you've come to the right place. Filled with some of the best one-liners you'll ever hear and at least two characters who I could swear had wigs on, this movie had me rolling on the carpet. We even get a soundtrack featuring a Cars wannabe rock 'n' roll band called The Pedestrians. As for the murders, they're very gory. Some of the knife attacks and stab wounds are shown in graphic detail. All the victims are women, except for one guy in the beginning of the film. But like I said earlier, there's no suspense. Every time someone gets it, the rock music, beer drinking and pot smoking start right up again in the school hallways, even while faculty walks by! And this is supposed to be a religious college. The ending on the other hand is slick.
Score, 7 out of 10 Stars
Although it takes place in Mississippi, it was filmed in Georgia. The 1967 movie was filmed in Illinois! I can understand in '67 that they didn't or couldn't film down there because of all the racial strife, but what was so hard by '88 to film down there? For some reason, most movies and TV shows are never filmed in Mississippi, even those who's stories take place there. As for the show, the first three seasons were the best. When NBC dumped it and CBS picked it up, the show bombed and finally was canceled. It's too bad because some of the episodes in the first three seasons were very good, not to mention realistic. Howard Rollins' Virgil Tibbs was my favorite character on the show. Since the Sparta police department was so small, Tibbs was the only detective on the force. He was smart, ruthless at times and always got the job done. The chemistry between him and Gillespie was magic.
|Page 4 of 6:||     |