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The Mummy (2017)
5/10
An Action-Packed Mummy Film
11 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
While scrounging for priceless artifacts in parts of Iraq, a U.S. Army sergeant by the name of "Nick Morton" (Tom Cruise) and his friend "Corporal Chris Vail" (Jake Johnson) accidentally stumble upon the sarcophagus of an Egyptian princess named "Ahmanet" (Sophia Boutella). Although all he wants are things he can easily carry with him, his hopes are dashed when he is discovered by an archaeologist by the name of "Jenny Halsey" (Annabelle Wallis) who just happens to be accompanied by Nick Morton's military superiors. To that end, she insists that the military transports the sarcophagus to England for further evaluation. Of course, what none of them count on is the fact that this is no ordinary mummy within the sarcophagus and that Ahmanet has plans for Nick which include not only conquering the world but immortality as well. Now, rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was an okay film which could have been much better if it had followed the standard mummy outline rather than deviating into a fast-paced action film. Quite frankly, like too many films produced today it had too much action and CGI and not enough suspense or horror—and not even the presence of Tom Cruise or all of the millions of dollars spent on marketing could save it from mediocrity. That said, while this certainly wasn't a bad movie by any means, it could have been much better and for that reason I have rated it accordingly. Average.
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Sailor Beware (1952)
7/10
A High-Stakes Wager on a Man Allergic to Most Women
10 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Melvin Jones" (Jerry Lewis) is a young man with several medical conditions which includes having several allergies. So when a doctor advises him that an ocean voyage could help him out he decides to join the U.S. Navy. Yet even though most of his ailments would preclude him being able to pass the entrance physical, he somehow manages to squeeze by each important test and subsequently enlists. Additionally, while at the examination station he meets another young man named "Al Crowthers" (Dean Martin) who who has a "trick knee" which typically disqualifies him for entrance into the U.S. Navy. On this particular day, however, he discovers that the standards have been lowered and finds himself now serving alongside Melvin as they head to basic training. Once there they manage to go on a liberty pass and it's then that Melvin is accidentally labeled a "ladies' man" which results in a high-stakes wager being placed on him as to whether he can get a certain nightclub singer in Hawaii by the name "Corinne Calvet" (Corinne Calvet) to kiss him in public. Melvin, of course, knows next to nothing about women and the fact that he is allergic to most of the lipstick and makeup that women wear only serves to make the challenge all the more difficult for him. Likewise, the fact that Corinne doesn't care much for sailors doesn't help his cause either. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that I think this film is one of the best Jerry Lewis-Dean Martin films produced in that it has an interesting plot, decent acting and some really good humor throughout. In short, I enjoyed this film and for the reasons stated earlier I have rated it accordingly. Above average.
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Fright Night (1985)
7/10
Skillfully Combines Both Comedy and Horror
9 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Charly Brewster" (William Ragsdale) is a pretty normal high school teenager who is having romantic difficulties with his girlfriend "Amy Peterson" (Amanda Bearse) and suspects that a vampire by the name of "Jerry Dandridge" (Chris Sarandon) lives next door. Unfortunately, nobody seems to believe him. So to help him deal with this specific problem he turns to the best expert on the subject that he knows--an actor by the name of "Peter Vincent" (Roddy McDowall) who performs the role of a vampire hunter on a local television show. What he doesn't know, however, is that Peter Vincent is just that—an actor—and has never encountered a vampire in his life. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was a unique vampire movie in that it managed to skillfully combine both comedy and horror to a very successful degree. Along with that, I especially liked the performances of Chris Sarandon, Roddy McDowall and Stephen Geoffreys as "Evil Ed". In any case, I thought that this was a pretty good vampire film and I have rated it accordingly. Above average.
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Alien (1979)
8/10
Horror and Science-Fiction Combined
8 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This film begins aboard a commercial space craft named "The Nostromo" which is manned by a crew of seven and serves as a refinery for 20,000,000 tons of mineral ore. As the story unfolds, the spaceship was initially headed back to Earth while the crew were put into suspended animation. When they awaken they discover that they have been rerouted to another part of space in order to check out a strange message from what could be of alien origin. Although they had hoped to return to Earth on schedule, due to company policy they are required to investigate so they begrudgingly follow orders and land on a small planet while sustaining some damage to the space craft in the process. However, since the source of the transmission is nearby they decide to check it out and find an alien spaceship which contains the dead body of a strange creature with a gaping hold inside of it which appears to have imploded from within. They also discover several leathery eggs on board as well--and this is where the trouble starts. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was one of the scariest movies—and certainly the scariest science-fiction film—I have ever seen. It had a good plot, excellent suspense and a very good solid which included Tom Skerritt (as "Dallas"), Sigourney Weaver ("Ripley"), Yaphet Kotto ("Parker") and Harry Dean Stanton ("Brett") among others. That said, those who enjoy a little science-fiction with their horror (or possibly vice-versa) might like this particular film and I have rated it accordingly. Definitely above average.
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Barbarella (1968)
5/10
Entertaining but Highly Erratic and Uneven
7 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Fearful that a scientist named "Durand Durand" (Milo O'Shea) might use his new positronic ray as a weapon against humanity, a space traveler named "Barbarella" (Jane Fonda) is sent to another part of the galaxy to locate him and use her incomparable talents to possibly dissuade him. However, before she is able to get there her spacecraft encounters a magnetic storm and crash lands on an unnamed planet where she is almost killed by a small group of children who inhabit that particular area. It's then that she is rescued by a man named "Mark Hand" (Ugo Tognazzi) whose profession consists in capturing these children and bringing them back to civilization. Grateful for his help, she then provides sexual favors to him before setting out for the city of Sogo where Durand Durand is rumored to live. Unfortunately, she subsequently encounters even more assorted problems along the way. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was an unusual science-fiction movie which suffered greatly from its uneven nature. For starters, Jane Fonda was quite sensational both clothed and semi-nude. On the other hand, however, the dialogue and erratic plot could have used substantial improvement. That being said, while this was not a great film by any means, it was still worth a view and for that reason I have rated it accordingly. Average.
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Knight Moves (1992)
6/10
A Deadly Game
6 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This film begins with a young boy playing in a chess match and then physically attacking his opponent upon losing the game. After being hospitalized he is released to the custody of his mentally ill mother who is told that he must abstain from playing chess from now on. Not long afterward, he discovers blood dripping from the ceiling and upon investigation notices his mother bleeding profusely in her bed and then weakly asking him to help her. But rather than helping, he chooses to open up the night stand by the bed and pulls out the chessboard that he had been deprived of and calmly helps himself to some milk and cookies before beginning a new game. The scene then shifts to twenty years later with a European Grandmaster named "Peter Sanderson" (Christopher Lambert) participating in a tournament when his lover is found in bed totally drained of blood with a sign above her body saying "Remember". And because of his connection to this woman Peter Sanderson is a prime suspect. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was an entertaining movie for the most part with both Christopher Lambert and Diane Lane (as "Kathy Sheppard") performing in a fine manner. I especially liked the way in which the mystery was sustained up until the final moments. On the other hand, the way some of the chess players were depicted as being mentally unstable was somewhat overdone. Neither did I care for the rather obvious allusions to Bobby Fischer in the introduction of Peter Sanderson. Even so, I still enjoyed this film and I have rated it accordingly. Slightly above average.
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Beach Balls (1988)
4/10
A Young Man Chasing His Dreams
5 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Charlie Harrison" (Phillip Paley) is a nice young man who wants to be a guitarist in a rock group but recently got into trouble for driving a car that he didn't know was stolen. As a result his mother no longer has any faith or confidence in him and his older sister "Kathleen" (Leslie Danon) feeds into that by belittling him at every opportunity. Additionally, he has a crush on a pretty girl named "Wendy" (Heidi Helmer) but can't seem to make any headway with her because she has a brother named "Doug" (Tod Bryant) who refuses to allow any guys to get close to her. To make matters even worse, Wendy is intensely attracted to young musician named "Keith" (Douglas R, Starr) who plays in a rock band and because of that isn't romantically inclined for Charlie at all. Yet, in spite of all of that, he isn't one to give up and with help from his good friend "Scully" (Steven Tash) comes up with a grand scheme to turn things around. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this turned out to be a fairly typical "beach film" produced in the 80's which tended to be somewhat low on comedy but still entertaining to a certain degree. Likewise, the fact that this was a Roger Cormen production greatly explains the low-budget nature of the film as well. Be that as it may, while this wasn't a particularly good film by any means it wasn't that bad and for that reason I have rated it as only slightly below average.
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Once Bitten (1985)
6/10
A Female Vampire in Search of a Male Virgin
4 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A vampire known simply as "the Countess" (Lauren Hutton) has a peculiar situation which requires her to drink the blood of a male virgin at least three times each year before Halloween--and in this particular circumstance Halloween is only a week or so away. On the other side of the coin, "Mark Kendall" (Jim Carrey) also has problem which involves his girlfriend "Robin Pierce" (Karen Kopins) who is hesitant to have sex with him which leaves him sexually frustrated and--most importantly--a virgin. So to remedy the situation he and his two friends "Russ" (Skip Lackey) and "Jamie" (Thomas Ballatore) decide to look for female companionship on Hollywood Boulevard where, as it so happens, the Countess is anxiously waiting. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this was a fairly typical comedy produced during the 80's which contains some good humor here and there along with some decent acting from both Lauren Hutton and Jim Carrey. Likewise, I also liked the character of the butler "Sebastian" (Cleavon Little) who I thought was extremely funny as well. In any case, viewers looking for a light-hearted comedy might appreciate this one and I have rated it accordingly. Slightly above average.
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5/10
Didn't Quite Have the Same Energy as its Predecessor
3 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Having come from out of nowhere to win the Eastern Division last season, the Cleveland Indians have most of their main players back and plan to repeat their success this season. In addition, they have also acquired a veteran catcher by the name of "Jack Parkman" (David Keith) and a rookie at the same position named "Rube Baker" (Eric Bruskotter) to replace "Jake Taylor" (Tom Berenger) who has moved to a coaching spot. Not only that but their insufferable previous owner "Rachel Phelps" (Margaret Whitton) has sold the franchise to their aging third baseman "Roger Dorn" (Corbin Bernsen). That said, things are apparently looking good and all of the experts predict that they will go all the way to the World Series. However, things aren't necessarily as good as they seem as the players they counted on have all lost their spark and to make matters even worse Roger Dorn overestimated his investment and has had to resell the team to--of all people--Rachel Phelps. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that this film turned out to be a somewhat routine sequel in that it simply didn't quite have the same energy as its predecessor. I especially didn't care for two of the characters by the names of "Isuro Tanaka" (Takaaki Ishibashi) and the obnoxious fan named "Johnny" (Randy Quaid) who were quite annoying. Even so there were a couple of good moments here and there and having an attractive actress like Alison Doody (as "Rebecca Flannery") certainly didn't hurt. All things considered then, while it wasn't a great film by any means, I suppose it wasn't necessarily that bad and I have rated it accordingly. Average.
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Legal Briefs (1993)
4/10
Rather Hokey and Bland
2 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Benjamin 'Benny' Tarkenton" (Jeff Rose) is a young graduate from law school who works for a despotic and extremely dishonest attorney-at-law named "Bill Wiezel" (Bob Wyatt) who abuses everybody in his office. Unfortunately, on the day Benny is scheduled to take the bar exam Bill fires him simply out of spite. Naturally, needing another assistant he places an ad in the newspaper which a young paralegal named "Eve" (Lisa Hasslehurst) subsequently applies for--and is immediately accepted. As it so happens, however, although Benny passes the bar he finds it difficult to find a firm or get any clients. Likewise, Eve also has problems putting up with Bill's constant sexual harassment and considers going back to work as a stripper at a bar where Benny's sister "Sherry" (Lisa London) also works. It's then that Benny and Eve meet and having both been victimized by Bill decide to form their own law firm--in the back room of the stripper bar. Now rather than reveal any more I will just say that I saw this film being narrated by Gilbert Gottfried on television many years ago and having made a copy of it back then just recently decided to re-watch it. Naturally, because of the fact that this film was shown on television and a general audience there may have been a couple of risqué scenes here and there that were deliberately deleted. That being said, my assessment may be somewhat limited in that regard. Be that as it may, the film I saw was rather hokey and bland with the only redeeming feature being several attractive actresses most notably Pamela Jean Bryant (as "Joan Wiezel") and the aforementioned Lisa Hasslehurst. All things considered then, while this wasn't a terribly bad movie for the most part, I can't honestly call it that good either and so I have rated it accordingly. Slightly below average.
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