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Platoon Leader (1988)
Disappointing , dreadful war drama
Originally filmed under the title "NAM" before being changed to "Platoon Leader" to cash in on the success of Oliver's Stone "Platoon". A young officer, just out of West Point is sent to Vietnam, where the men don't respect him until he gets wounded and returns to be a wiser soldier and a better commander. Sound's like a good idea for war movie , right ? Sadly this is a dreadful movie Some people who defend this garbage claim that this is a good movie , because it's a realistic description of Vietnam War , compared to the "Apocalypse now " . I wanna tell those people that "AN" is a masterpiece on every level - acting , dialogue , plot . music , direction etc, etc . As a work of art it has every right to take some liberties to send it's message .
"Platoon leader" does have some good scenes in it . However the direction is crappy. Aaron Norris doesn't know how to create tension in action scenes , he uses slow motion in embarrassing way , the drama scenes suck and the pacing doesn't exist here . The acting is also terrible . Dudikoff is likable and charismatic enough action star , but here the role requires someone with far bigger acting talent . Dudikoff tries , hell everyone tries , you can easily see it , I like the ambition , but the most dramatic scenes in the movie are so badly acted that it's just painful to watch . It's not even funny bad , just bad.
The production values are poor , the movie looks terribly cheap . The music is generic "war drama" music , nothing inspired .
The script sucks . The philosophical dialogues are rubbish and the character development is non-existent. Nothing really happens and I 've got a feeling that I was watching an action movie somewhat camouflaged as war drama. I could see potential here and there with some scenes , but it really felt like poor man's "Platoon" . And the very ending scene feels like it belongs to buddy-cop comedy.
Interesting thing - this is the only film directed by Aaron Norris to not have his brother Chuck Norris in it.
I give it 1/10. If you want to see a good and little known war movie better watch "Bat 21" with Gene Hackman and Danny Glover or "Siege of firebase Gloria" with R. Lee Ermey .
Belly of the Beast (2003)
The greatest Steven Seagal comedy ever
This is a very entertaining comedy . Nope , it's not an action movie . It wants to be one , but this feels like Mad TV parody of Steven Seagal movies. Endearing bad movie . Steven , please , make more of this !
The plot is pretty much a "Commando" clone. The plot is pretty standard and relies on nonsense to move it forwards. This movie is comedy gold. From Seagal's reaction to the kidnapping of his daughter ("You don't say") to the love story between him and very beautiful /sexy Monica Lo (unconvincing is not enough to describe it) , to Seagal hating gravity, to the tattoo that appears only underwater , to Seagal power punch, to the bullet-time vs arrow sequence , to the vodoo , to the transsexual villain and many more. Oh boy , what a great comedy ! And it cost 18 mln dollars ?! Now that's a joke !
Action ? What action ? The hilarious "Matrix" rip off fight scenes ? Is there a single person on this planet that would be excited by them ? This is really , REALLY bad and yet better than most of Seagal's direct to DVD stuff. It's entertaining for all the wrong reasons. I give it 2/10 . Great movie for cheap laughs.
Masters of the Universe (1987)
Somewhat charming cheesy fantasy movie about toys
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toys were quite a big hit in the 80's. There is a rumor that He-Man toys were the results of an unsuccessful attempt to market a line of Conan toys and that they only gave him a blonde wig . Anyway , Mattel (the producer of toys) approached Filmation studio to develop an animated TV series out of the toy line. The cartoon aired from 1983 to 1985. Filmation created most of the supporting characters in the mythology, which Mattel then turned around and developed as toys. As you can see the whole show was basically a cynical extended commercial that was being marketed under the guise of entertainment. To be honest the cartoon is a epic hybrid of fantasy and sci-fi, with ancient castles and sorcerers mixing with laser guns and cyborgs. A good potential for interesting movie. "Masters of the universe" movie was made when the popularity of the cartoon and toys was starting to fade. This was not He-Man's first big-screen release. In 1985, the animated film "The Secret of the sword" was released theatrically.
"MOTU" obviously tries to follow in the footsteps of "Star wars". The real uncredited source for the film is surely Jack Kirby's "Orion of the New Gods" (1971-1977) comic-book from which all the elements have been taken. Director Gary Goddard tried to dedicate the film to American comic book artist Jack Kirby in the closing credits , but the studio took the credit out. The film has also been stripped of much of the mythology of the animated series. Many viewers reviewed the motion picture in comparison to the cartoon, when it really was an adaptation of the toys only.
This is one of bigger budget movies made by Golan - Globus , yet disappointingly because of budget restrains most of the action happens on contemporary Earth . Eternia appears at beginning and ending of the movie , mostly works as a backdrop. Thankfully the costumes and sets are superb . The special effects still hold up pretty well. The music by Bill Conti is good , even if it rip offs "Superman".
The action is OK . I really liked the final battle between He-man and Skeletor , the flying hover craft and the junk yard battle. At least you can clearly see here what's going on , not unlike modern action movies.
The screenplay is rather poor. There is no real introduction to the characters , because the movie is aimed at the cartoon and toy fans . The characters are paper-thin , one dimensional at best. The fish-out-of-water aspect of story doesn't really work , the humor is VERY lame. There are some terribly dumb moments in this movie (the "I'm your mother" scene for example). A little too much time is spent on the soap-opera angle of Julie and Kevin. Dialogues are terribly simplistic. The overall plot is predictable as hell.
There is nice extra scene that was supposed to set the stage for the sequel "Masters of the Universe 2", but since the film didn't do very well at the Box Office, the sequel was dropped. The script for "Masters of the Universe 2" had been written, but was rewritten and became the script for the 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme sci-fi action film "Cyborg".
Dolph Lundgren ("Rocky 4 ") looks EXACTLY like He-man , althrough his acting is almost non-existent. Lundgren had only limited acting experience, a thick Swedish accent, and was not yet fluent in English during filming. He needed a speech-coach AND a drama-coach to make this movie. The real star however is Frank Langella ("Frost/Nixon"). He took the role of Skeletor because he wanted to do it for his son Alex, whom was a fan of He-Man and Langella had felt Skeletor was a role he couldn't refuse. Frank Langella admitted in an interview that Skeletor was his favorite role. He wrote some of his lines, like: "Tell me about the loneliness of good, He-Man. Is it equal to the loneliness of evil ?". His performance is honestly great , very theatrical and fun. Courtney Cox (TV sitcom "Friends") is bland as Julie . Christina Pickles as the Sorceress is awful . Meg Foster ("They live") as Evil-Lynn is nice. James Tolkan ("Back to the future") tries to bring some humor as police detective , but can't do much with weak dialogue.
Overall , for a toy commercial this is not that bad movie . Just accept the silliness and go with it . Give it a chance on lazy afternoon. It's not really good , but charming and innocent. For a movie about toys this is FAR superior than "Transformers". I give it 3/10.
Days of Thunder (1990)
Shameless copy of "Top gun"
Tony Scott directs this movie with energy . The movie looks good. The song "Show me heaven" by Maria McKee is great . There romance here works better than in "Top gun" , mostly because Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman become a couple during filming and soon married each other. The acting is fairly decent.
However I've already have seen this movie back in 1986. It was called "Top gun". I think it's offensive if somebody tries to sell you THE SAME STORY all over again only with minor changes. I like "Top gun" because of it's cheesiness and nostalgia. It's a minor classic that it's enjoyable when not taken seriously.
This is not a horrible movie , it has good elements , but I don't really see what was the point of making it other than to grab audience money without putting too much effort. for that I give it 2/10.
Bad ending pretty much destroys this otherwise good thriller
Anthony Hopkins ("Silence of the lambs") is great as the bad guy and avoids making his character a copy of Hannibal Lecter . Ryan Gosling ("Drive") makes for a nice good guy , even if he obviously had much better performances in his career. Rosamund Pike ("Die another day") is solid as the love interest. The rest of the cast is also doing a good job.
The movie has a nice pacing thanks to Gregory Hoblit ("Primal fear") confident direction. It's also nice to hear fairly interesting dialogues (the dialogue about the eggs is great and explains the title of the movie).The movie also wants to be a morality story about a guy who learns to care about other people . It's done pretty well without being preachy.
Sadly with all of this good stuff in "Fracture" I can't rate it too highly. For most of it's time it's a solid thriller. The cat and mouse game between Hopkins and Gosling is engaging and I don't even mind the slightly forced love story between Gosling and Pike. There are two questions that keep the viewer interested : What happened to the gun and who will win in the end ?
The answer to the first question is logical , surprising and sly. However , the answer to the second question The movie loses any creditability in the last 20 minutes. The are 2 major events that are completely absurd and unrealistic , yet the need to happen because otherwise the screenwriter wouldn't be able to finish the story with happy end. The suicide of police officer is completely out of character for him ( especially considering his aggressive behavior towards Hopkins early and TWICE in the movie). I am supposed to believe that he would kill himself rather than Hopkins ?! The second event is the fact that Hopkins decided to kill his wife ( who was in coma and didn't had any chance to wake up) , so he was able to get very quickly and without no problem a positive answer from the hospital to do euthanasia. He was able also to get warrant for Gosling to keep away from his wife. What ?! A guy that just has been cleared of murder charges in controversial case is able in less than day to do this all ?! On what charge would Gosling even receive the warrant to keep away from Hopkins wife ? He was guilty of reading her poetry ?!
What is worse those 2 stupid events are NECESSARY for the writer so he could come up with the happy ending involving bullet , murder charge and double jeopardy . Watch the movie and you will understand.
Ending is important part of every movie , but especially thrillers. It can take the movie to a whole new level or destroy it. The ending to "Fracture" sadly belongs to the second category. I give it 5/10.
Fuk sing go jiu (1985)
Entertaining while it lasts and quickly forgettable afterwards
This movie was made in the same year as "Police story" which for me (and not only me) is Jackie Chan's best movie . I guess that he was working so hard on the set of that movie that he didn't put much heart in this one. In this movie he is just a supporting player , gone for most of the movie. The main heroes are five guys who are school friends of Chan's character.
Those five guys are pretty likable , so the fact that Jackie is gone is less painful . This movie is more about comedy than action. The action appears in the beginning and in the end of the movie just like Jackie Chan. Most of the movie is slapstick comedy , which is rather funny.
Those five guys are quite adorable. I liked the whole "bad guys are invading the house and tying us with rope" scheme , so they could touch the attractive heroine. The haunted house thing was nice.
I don't really remember much more from the movie. The fights were done well and the story while nothing special was enough to keep me interested. The humor and characters are probably the best things about this movie. Not bad for Sunday afternoon relax. After that it pretty much fades out of memory. I give it 3/10.
A sequel that nobody wanted and nobody remembers
I think that the first Major league" movie is seriously overrated . It's a nothing special comedy with cliché story and flat slapstick humor. It's watchable and somewhat funny if you're in the right mood comedy. I'm surprised that it became a hit and classic for some people. So Hollywood made a sequel that was pretty much just as uninspired as the first movie , but this time nobody liked the movie . I guess however that it made some good money. So , here it is "Major league 3".It doesn't matter you didn't wanted it at all. Let's milk some money from that cow , even if it's long dead.
No star from the first two movies return here No Charlie Sheen , Tom Berenger , Rene Russo , Omar Epps or Wesley Snipes. Sure we have Cerrano , Tanaka, Roger Dorn and Harry Doyle ,but that's it. The only known person from the cast is Ted McGinley ("Married with children"). The hero here is I don't remember. He is played by I don't remember. The story is about I don't remember. The movie is completely lame and forgettable. Oh yes , that I remember.
Avoid it , even if you liked the first two movies. Avoid it especially if you didn't liked any of the first two movies. I give it 1/10.
8 femmes (2002)
Original , but it doesn't mean it's good
This movie is some sort of weird comedy/criminal/musical movie. I guess that the director wanted to be original just for the sake of being original. Personally , I would rather watch a comedy for the laughs , a thriller for the thrills or musical for the music. "8 femmes" tries to be them all and fails terribly. Or maybe I just don't like this director. I've seen his other movie "The pool" and it was even worse than this one.
The musical parts , the songs are pretty good and nicely singed. The comedy however is non-existent and the mystery is uninvolving.
Acting is decent. The cast involving Catherine Deneuve (Le flic") and Audrey Tatou (Amelia") doesn't show anything spectacular , but nobody gives a bad performance.
Maybe you will like it if you're looking for something original. I don't think I will watch any movie more made by Francois Ozon. I give it 2/10.
Some cheap laughs at the superhero stories
A cult movie in Poland that might not be not accessible enough for other viewers. This movie makes fun of live in communistic Poland , so it does require some knowledge about those times.
I'm surprised by the quite high rating (7.5 when I'm writing this review) for this movie. It's not that I don't like spoofs or that the movie makes fun of comic books , no . It's just that this movie is simply unfunny.
The opening credits , which are sung by some actress are simply ANNOYING. The story here is obviously a joke and wants to make fun of Superman like comic books . The main hero is pretty much Polish Clark Kent/ Superman . He is called however AS (ACE in English). In this movie he has to solve the mystery involving water and stop the plans of evil maradjah .
I would gladly watch a movie that makes fun of comic books ( which obviously are silly by definition) , but unfortunately the jokes in this movie are completely lame . I fail to see any humor here . The jokes like "Alcohol is the biggest poison ever" or the fact that the bad guy needed a kid's book to finish his master plan are not funny in my opinion. Most of the jokes are language jokes that might be hard to understand for foreign viewers. The funniest thing in this movie movie are the special effects IMHO. The acting is also nice.
This is one boring , unfunny and forgettable movie . I'm from Poland and I don't like it. I guess it's really a cult movie not for everyone. Still , it is a little bit better than "Kick ass" or "Superhero movie". Now those were ANNOYING piece of s**t movies. I'm still waiting for a good comedy about superheroes. I give it 2/10.
Fletch Lives (1989)
Totally awful sequel to one of Chase's best movies
The 1985 "Fletch" movie was a hit and a really good movie in style of "Beverly Hills Cop" . It had Chase at is best as fast-talking quick witted reporter . It was funny movie with a solid , realistic detective story which was a quite faithful adaptation of the first book in the Fletch series by Gregory McDonald. A hit book series produces an original hit movie and there is enough material to use for new movie so the decision to make sequel seems logical , right ? It can't go wrong , right ?
WRONG. There were eight sequels and prequels written by Gregory McDonald that could have been used as the basis for the second "Fletch" movie at the time and yet Universal decided to write a completely new story. WHY ?! If something works ,don't fix it ! Thanks to this illogical decision "Fletch lives" sucks badly and in the end result it flopped. The Fletch series ended here, when Chase could easily have made a career starring in his own franchise for few next years. Oh , those stupid, arrogant Hollywood producers .They should have adapted another one of the books
The mystery here is lame , rather predictable and silly stuff that could easily appear in Scooby Doo cartoon. Fletch moves to South and meets hillbillies, racists, and religious zealots . The movie is really just a string of clichés with a loose plot thrown in. The story is VERY thin and the focus seems to have shifted to Fletch's disguises and gags rather than working on layers of mystery.
The another big problem here is that the humor doesn't work at all. The gags come way faster and more frequently in the original. The jokes are stupid and very often of the lowest kind of vulgar humor. Fletch ends as an annoying character not charming one. I also don't know why, but somehow he is terribly egoistic here and doesn't seem to care or like anybody at all (which is completely against the character we came to like in the first movie he had big ego, sure , be he liked and helped other people).
Chevy Chase is still great with his usual cynical wit , comedic timing and the various disguises , but sadly he can't win against the poor screenplay . Same goes here for good character actors like R. Lee Ermey ("Full metal jacket") and Randall "Tex" Cobb ("Raising Arizona"). The rest of the cast is just as bland and boring like the characters they play.
The music by Harold Faltermeyer is still great with pretty cool new music theme that appears in the opening credits. It's probably the best thing in this movie.
Avoid it at all cost , even if you liked the original. One of the crappiest sequels of all time. I give it 1/10.