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19. Inherit The Wind
18. Tea And Sympathy
17. 2001: A Space Odyssey
16. The Wizard Of Oz
15. Village Of The Damned
14. Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
13. The King And I
12. Johnny Guitar
11. The Music Man
10. Alice In Wonderland
7. Out Of The Past
6. A Night To Remember
4. Destry Rides Again
3. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
2. The 400 Blows
1. A Child Is Waiting
My Top 20 Favorite Films 1970-1979:
20. Ode To Billy Joe
19. The Conversation
18. Love Story
17. The Muppet Movie
16. Hornets' Nest
15. The Exorcist
14. Star Wars
13. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
12. Duck, You Sucker (Gi� la testa)
11. Small Change (Argent de poche, L')
10. High Plains Drifter
9. You Are Not Alone (Du er ikke alene)
8. Colossus: The Forbin Project
7. Escape To Witch Mountain
6. The China Syndrome
3. Bless The Beasts & Children
1. All The President's Men
My Top 20 Favorite Films 1980-1989:
19. To Live and Die In L.A.
18. Stand By Me
17. Something Wild
16. How I Got Into College
15. Roger & Me
14. The Thin Blue Line
13. Au Revoir, Les Enfants
12. American Gigolo
11. The Falcon & The Snowman
10. The Killing Fields
9. Empire Of The Sun
8. Wall Street
5. Short Circuit
3. License To Drive
2. Pretty In Pink
1. The Lost Boys
My Top 20 Favorite Films 1990-1999:
20. Lake Placid
19. American Beauty
18. All The Rage
17. Wag The Dog
15. Blank Check
14. Three To Tango
13. Never Been Kissed
12. The Truth About Cats & Dogs
10. The Spanish Prisoner
9. To Wong Foo Thanks For Everything...
8. The Game
7. The Iron Giant
6. The Siege
4. The Other Sister
3. Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead
2. Strange Days
1. As Good As It Gets
My Top 20 Favorite Films 2000-present:
20. The Keys To The House (Le chiavi di casa)
19. This Is What Democracy Looks Like
18. Fahrenheit 9/11
17. An Inconvenient Truth
16. Born Into Brothels
15. Chicken Run
14. Our Lady Of The Assassins
13. Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War...
12. Bowling For Columbine
10. Dancing At The Blue Iguana
9. Billy Elliot
8. The United States Of Leland
7. Thank You For Smoking
6. Me And You And Everyone We Know
4. The Last Mimzy
3. Who Killed The Electric Car?
2. The Corporation
1. Pay It Forward
Mildly interesting look behind the scenes
Granted, a reality show is going to play up the problems and confrontations because they (probably rightfully) assume that is what the viewer wants to see. As a gambler for more than a quarter of a century who has been to Station Casinos properties countless times, I was curious to see how they ran GVR. I was not impressed.
68 people for a blackjack tournament. Really? Ouch. I was a regular gambler at Station properties back during that time and had previously played in a BJ tournament at Sunset Station. I knew nothing about this GVR tournament and was exactly the type of player they would want. (Someone who would dump thousands and lose way more than the cost of their "free" room and per person tournament costs.)
It was surprising to see all the sniping and finger pointing and lack of hard work trying to generate customers for their tournament. Later in the episode, their "research" of high end bottle service at competing properties made them look like a bunch of drunk fools. I am not surprised that Station Casinos had to eventually declare bankruptcy if this behind the scenes look at GVR is any indication of how they ran their casinos. Hopefully they have learned a lot over the last 15 years and improved their player relationship management and casino operations.
Love by the 10th Date (2017)
Laugh out loud funny
I certainly wasn't expecting much from a Lifetime movie about women trying to find romance. Not exactly an original topic to make a movie out of, right? However, the cast was perfect for this film and the writing was fresh and clever. It takes a lot for me to actually laugh out loud but this film had me cracking up quite a bit. Kellee Stewart really stood out. She walked the fine line between catty and sensitive with perfection.
It also impressed me with how it handled relationships and sexuality. It is obvious from reading a few of the childish reviews here that people still have a lot of growing up to do. To this day, many insist that there is no such animal as a bisexual man. They are all supposedly gays 'in denial'. Sheer ignorance. "Love by the 10th Date" handled that stereotype head on in a realistic and poignant fashion.
If you want a fresh take on trying to find love in the modern age, then I highly recommend watching this film.
I Was a Mail Order Bride (1982)
Valerie Bertinelli portrays scathing hypocrite
This starts out as typical made-for-television fluff from the '80s. Valerie Bertinelli plays Kate, a magazine writer who is given an assignment to pose as a mail order bride and spend 2 weeks with an unsuspecting guy.
Ted Wass plays Robert, a successful West Coast attorney who has a law partner (Joe) who has been corresponding with Kate through the mail. Joe and Robert make a wager... Robert must wine and dine Kate for 2 weeks but not go to bed with her. If he does, then he has to give his expensive car to Joe. If he abstains from sex for those 2 weeks, he gets Joe's boat.
We all know what happens next. Of course, Robert and Kate fall in love. Robert comes clean about the wager he made with his partner before she arrived. He has fallen in love and wants to be honest with Kate. He lets her know everything before it gets too late. What happens? Kate goes absolutely ballistic! She flies into a fury and storms off back to Chicago to write a nasty, spiteful magazine article trying to ruin Robert's personal and professional life. Wow! You would think she would be more understanding considering the fact that she was a journalist and was manipulating Robert's feelings just so she could write an article. Nope. Evidently she is an angel and he is garbage. It was disturbing seeing the story play out in that fashion.
Typically I would not be too concerned with the sexual politics of some silly TV movie from 1982 but it was shocking seeing her character be so unapologetically nasty. We are supposed to revel in the "happy" ending when he chases after her and they profess their love for each other. It made me hope they were not planning on having kids considering how scornful Kate was. The only highlight of the film was a wonderful scene stealing performance by Karen Morrow as the attorneys' secretary.
Project Dinosaur (2000)
movie to brainwash children
This is a creepy, anti-science propaganda movie produced by Bob Jones University.
A young boy finds a dinosaur bone and decides to enter it into his school's science fair. He states that the Bible is his "final authority" and decides that evolution is false and God created dinosaurs.
I was on pins and needles waiting for how he came to this scientific conclusion. The answer: no humans were around when life began so nobody could possibly know for sure what theory is correct.
Christian films are best left to the Drama genre where they can emotionally manipulate people but do not attack science. The fact that this type of film is aimed at children is reprehensible.
Ice Cold Water (2012)
Even though IMDb claims that music videos are not accepted as films, they decided that this music video deserves special treatment. I am not sure why.
Evidently, ice cold water keeps them hydrated. That's not much of a plot.
You get to see plenty of slow-motion scenes of guys running around with super soakers. Heavy stuff.
This site doesn't like short reviews but there isn't much to say about a 2 minute hip-hop video.
Nope. Still not enough lines. Let's see, what else is there to discuss? Perhaps I missed the subtle genius of combining profanity and ski masks. Maybe it says something powerful about man's inability to face the tribulations of modern life without hiding behind something.
Not sure what the other reviewers watched.
The first "review" is actually filled with so many lies that I think they may have watched a different documentary and confused it with this one because virtually everything they say is false. In fact, the film makers go out of their way to talk to SEVERAL people in favor of medical marijuana who provide a very compelling argument as to why it should be legal. In no way does is it come across as "government propaganda" that demonizes users/growers and make marijuana out to be an overtly evil drug. The second "review" doesn't even discuss the documentary and is nothing more than a political rant.
I actually watched this CNBC special and found it to be a good primer but too short and superficial to properly cover the controversy in-depth. The first half of the doc discusses attempts by law enforcement to shut down grow houses in the Florida suburbs and also shows a site in the Nevada desert where armed Mexican nationals were growing pot and were surprised by some biologists who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. It ultimately focuses on medical marijuana and the case of Charles Lynch (owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in Morro Bay, CA) and the tricky legal problems arising from state laws being at odds with federal laws regarding the sales of marijuana. 4/10
Dangerous Holiday (1937)
Ronnie Kimball is a child prodigy when it comes to playing the violin. He enjoys it but his relatives and agent want to overwork him and exploit his talents while making a hefty percentage of his earnings. Also, his aunts don't want him swimming or playing football with his friends because he might get hurt. Frustrated by this, Ronnie takes off on his own for a bit and ends up on a 'dangerous holiday'.
Ronald Sinclair is one of the most happy-go-lucky kids I've ever seen in a film. He always has a welcoming smile and doesn't seem to let anything bother him, even when he gets mixed up with a gang of criminals. Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams does a nice turn playing Duke, the "bad guy" with a soft spot.
All in all, "Dangerous Holiday" is nothing more than a trifle. However, at 58 minutes, this film rolls along quickly and provides a pleasant diversion for about an hour.
The River Within (2009)
Heaven help us all.
Some Christian films are simply films which are family-friendly and keep the moralizing to a minimum while still promoting their values. Then you have those sorts of films which bash you over the head with their overtly religious pablum. Sadly, "The River Within" is one of the latter.
**SPOILER ALERT** As usual, the one main character who is non-religious is an immoral heathen. He impregnated his girlfriend and then hightailed it out of there. Luckily, he has a really good Christian friend to help him see the light. Soon he is being prayed for and is informed that his life will turn around with the help of God. Next thing you know, he insists on being baptized, proposes marriage to his girlfriend and follows his dream of acting. His life is a bed of roses once he allows God into his heart. **END SPOILER**
Unfortunately, this film is almost impossible for a secular person to enjoy. I have actually seen Christian movies that entertained me on a certain level. Those, however, did not spend their time preaching about their supposed moral superiority. This is more along the lines of Christian propaganda than an actual movie with a concrete plot. If you are secular/agnostic/atheist don't say I didn't warn you! :)
Philip and Godfrey tell us how great they are!
Let me start out by saying I didn't think "Powaaqatsi" was anywhere near as good as "Koyaanisqatsi". The message was nothing new and both the visuals and music were far, far below the standards of the first film. With that said, the last thing I needed to hear was Mr. Glass and Mr. Reggio endlessly ramble on about what a masterpiece they created.
The short running time of "Impact Of Progress" is mostly spent as follows: Philip talks about how great Godfrey is. Godfrey talks about how great Philip is. Philip talks about how great Philip is. Godfrey talks about how great Godfrey is. I can't stand these self-congratulatory mini-docs that have the sole purpose of inflating egos.
Only watch this if you want to see a couple of snobs throw around words such as "autodidactic" and "recontextualizing" to show how clearly superior they are. Good luck.
Private Passions (1985)
It was definitely the '80s.
There sure were an overabundance of films like this in the 1980's. I suppose you might classify it as a "sex comedy". It's quite tame by American standards for the genre but there was both female and male flesh on display and also an attempt at some humor so...I dunno.
A young American man goes to visit his cousin in Austria. For some reason, everyone speaks English. I'll be honest, the film makers do something I absolutely despise. They dub the entire movie after it's been filmed. It looks and sounds horrible. Anyway, the American is in lust with his cousin's stepsister but there's a problem. The cousin is in also in lust with his stepsister. The American is wishy washy throughout the entire film and has all the charisma found in your average styrofoam cup. The female lead is your typical long-haired blonde with no acting talent beyond standing around looking bored.
There is some tennis playing, sporadic bouts of sex, pointless dinner conversations and bicycle riding. The "action" found in the film consists entirely of one scene where someone falls through a ceiling. Thrilling! Throw in an obnoxiously awful 1980's song that plays repeatedly throughout the film and it adds up to an hour and a half of life being wasted away. 2/10
Mildly charming French love triangle.
Alice (Miou-Miou), a surgeon's assistant, leaves her husband and infant son behind in Paris. Out in the countryside she falls in love with Vincent and has two children with him. She never gets a divorce from her first husband Phillippe and never marries her new lover.
Of course, we all know where this is heading. Eventually the two men find out about each other and some soul-searching and craziness ensues. What it lacks in originality is partially made up for with very likable characters and quality acting.
Simon (Rachid Ferrache), Alice's 10-year-old son, is a genius and he is given the best lines and situations in "My Other Husband". His resourcefulness and political views(!) are hilarious to say the least. However, the uneven script really lets the viewer down toward the latter parts of the film. Without giving anything away, the makers of the film ended up taking the easy way out rather than resolving this love triangle in a satisfactory manner.
"My Other Husband" has a certain charm to it and I would recommend it to anyone interested in a quality French romantic comedy. It's just that the story arc follows the exact line you expect it to and, when coupled with the disappointing ending, the film doesn't make much of an impression. 5/10
Execution of a Spy (1900)
And the winner of Most Dramatic Performance goes to...
It's very difficult to understand and/or appreciate a short such as this one when its taken out of context. A man is shown placing a casket on the ground and then another man is placed with his back against a nearby wall. He is given his last rites and then summarily shot by a firing squad.
What makes the whole thing rather surreal is that the guy clutches his chest with one hand and quite dramatically lurches his other hand outward. It's like one of those truly awful death scenes that is still parodied to this day. It ruins any chance of generating anything but a snicker from the viewing audience.
Shooting Captured Insurgents (1898)
A somewhat interesting re-enactment.
Of course, it would've been dangerous and extremely difficult to film actual events during the Spanish-American War. So the Edison Manufacturing Company did the next best thing by re-enacting an event for this short.
Even though it wasn't "real", I can only imagine how disturbing it would have been back in 1898 to see people being lined up and killed. Due to its gritty, documentary-like feel, it is still somewhat unsettling to view even today. This short has been preserved by the Library of Congress and I viewed it as one of the unadvertised bonus shorts found in the DVD boxed set of "The Movies Begin - A Treasury of Early Cinema, 1894-1913".
More of the same.
Howard Cosell was back again as the obnoxious, sexist host with Bob Uecker there as well trying to annoy the heck out of everyone. Poor Shari Belafonte-Harper was stuck in the middle smiling bravely and trying to keep her sanity. IMPORTANT NOTE: I will be discussing the winners of the events so don't read this if you don't want to see any spoilers!
As usual, things kicked off with the swimming relay. Stepfanie Kramer was holding a very narrow lead for NBC when Mark Harmon buried the competition while swimming the third leg. Victory easily went to NBC in this event.
Next up was the kayak race. Tony Danza (ABC Team) lost control of his kayak and went sideways, partially entering the CBS lane. He caused his team to fall quite a bit behind. Luckily, Tracy Scoggins kicked some major butt in the third leg and drove her team to an exciting come from behind victory. The CBS team was a poor sport about the whole thing and actually protested (even though their loss had nothing to do with the Danza fiasco). Sore losers...ABC wins this event.
In this part of the broadcast Cosell tactfully interviews Tracy Scoggins and asks her if she is bothered by the fact that people consider her "just a sexpot; no talent". Good job for keeping things light Howie! The only full game showed in the football event was the final. NBC won in a very dull game 9-5. Mr. Cosell opened up his big mouth again when Jennifer O'Neill was injured in a qualifying match. He stated that everyone is familiar with the problems that she has endured over the years. However, "in good taste does not want to discuss them in detail". That's you Howie...a really classy guy brimming with good taste!
Baseball dunk was next and Tony Lo Bianco's 3-for-3 performance led ABC to victory. Branda Vaccaro, noticeably absent from other events, took what seemed like a million years to get herself seated in the dunk tank. Everyone found it hilarious. Hmmm.
The obstacle course was highlighted by Tracy Scoggins defeating Kim Fields twice and Harmon dominating the men's side of things. He easily defeated a klutzy Tony Danza in the final (he messed up twice).
The tandem bicycle relay had NBC and ABC battling it out. That is until Tony Lo Bianco lost his footing and Mark Harmon (with Jane Badler) showed his athletic prowess yet again. Another event won by NBC.
That set up a disappointing Tug of War final between NBC and ABC. It lasted under a minute and was predictably dominated by NBC. So there you have it. NBC won the 17th BOTNS with ABC coming in second and CBS embarrassing itself by failing to win even one event.
Viva Shaf Vegas (1986)
What is this thing?!!
It's not really a comedy special and it's not really a musical special. Simply put...it's not special at all.
The only redeeming moments of this show come when the Checkmates perform a couple of songs. It's a high quality performance that certainly didn't deserve to be sandwiched between the vulgar junk filling up the rest of the running time.
Shaf insists on being a vile, smarmy, unlikeable jerk throughout. His hammy performance is rivaled only by that of Tom Leopold, writer and executive producer of "Shaf Las Vegas". He has prominently placed himself in several scenes and obviously thinks quite highly of himself. I would recommend that he reassess his supposed talent.
If you've always wanted to see Paul Shaffer cheat on his longtime girlfriend, cavort with topless dancers, berate a transsexual and hold a cheesy (even by '80s standards) impromptu jam session in a trailer park then, um, what's the matter with you?!! Just kidding. If that all sounds fun then check this out. Otherwise, you're better off admiring him on "Late Night With David Letterman" and pretending you never heard of this travesty.
Under Suspicion (1991)
Yeah, it fooled me...into thinking it might actually be good!
The whole time I was watching this film I just couldn't shake the feeling that it seemed like something that would appear on the Lifetime Channel here in America. As the credits scrolled by there were three interesting words toward the end: London Weekend Television. It explained a lot.
Sorry if that sounds snobbish. It's not meant to be. In fact, one of my all-time favorite movies was made for television. It's just that "Under Suspicion" has a silly plot and throws logic to the wind on many occasions. Anyone who seriously refers to this film as being "clever" must still wonder how those little people got into their television.
Please note that my short overview of this movie contains a major spoiler!!! The general plot of the film has already been touched on several times so I'll just cover a couple of major problems. The first is the ridiculous police work done on the case. Granted,this took place in 1959 and it was way before high-tech forensics and whatnot but...really. Why would police allow a key suspect of a double homicide to pose as a Detective? How about allowing him to freely go in and out of the home of your other key suspect? Had police ever heard of murder-for-hire? Did they ever in their lives understand the concept of planting evidence? It just goes on and on.
What is completely inexcusable is the second major problem. This is a total spoiler (to some) so beware of reading any further. The film very clearly and concisely tells the viewer TWICE who the murderer is. Really. I'm not joking around or reading between the lines. They tell you definitively, without any doubt, who the killer is. The film then twists and turns and somehow tries to trick you into thinking that you don't really know. When the film draws to its conclusion the killer is...EXACTLY WHO THEY TOLD YOU IT WAS!! How this amateurish drivel has fooled so many people into thinking it's clever is the one thing beyond my comprehension. 2/10
Housewife from Hell (1993)
Does hardcore sex ruin your enjoyment of porn?
If so then you'll consider "Housewife From Hell" to be a Godsend! Jacqueline, Shanna McCullough, Lisa Comshaw and Ron Jeremy have all done their fair share of hardcore porn. I'm not trying to make a lame joke when I say that their level of acting put on display here is, at times, below the level of acting in many hardcore films.
What is passed off as a plot concerns an unhappy husband tossing a hairdryer (plugged in of course) into his frigid wife's bath. Let's just say she went from ice cold to smokin' hot in a matter of seconds. As any vengeful ex-wife is bound to do, she continues to nag him from beyond the grave. As if hauntings weren't bad enough, the poor guy has to contend with Ron Jeremy playing detective. His "investigation", for lack of a better term, involves him showing up at inopportune times to make inane comments, drink beer and hit on some babes.
The REAL plot, however, is this: naked women. You get to see many pairs of large breasts mixed in with a couple of fleeting frontals. Some might be tempted to classify this as softcore but there aren't really any sex scenes so I'm not sure what you'd call it. I just know what I'd call it...and it's not very nice. 1/10
Howard Cosell was something else.
How Mr. Cosell lasted so long in the broadcasting industry is a mystery to me. Perhaps he was in tune with what a lot of middle-aged, white males were thinking but were sometimes afraid to say out loud. All I know is that he was fired from MNF in 1983 for his racist comments during a telecast and he shouldn't have been brought back as the host of this Battle Of The Network Stars telecast in 1984. Maybe it was a contractual thing. He had a lot of snotty comments to make regarding the participants and obviously thought of women as being nothing but weak, pretty little things to be admired and fondled but otherwise ignored.
Things get off to a dull start with a kayak relay and a swimming relay. Neither competition was very close and they are dull to watch. My favorite event was the third one held...3-on-3 football. CBS Captain William Devane was quite impressive as his team's QB. Abby Dalton caught a couple of touchdown passes and Lisa Whelchel (for the NBC team) snagged a beautiful one over her shoulder. Not bad for a couple of girls! The baseball dunk event is one of those dunk tanks where one celebrity tosses a ball at a target and tries to knock another celebrity into the water. ABC thought it would be more interesting if the viewer didn't get to see the target. They show the contestant throwing the ball and then the person sitting over the water either falls in or they don't. It's a stupid idea that didn't work well at all. I wanted to see the target and see how accurate the throws were.
The obstacle course should've been upgraded after all those years of the same simple nonsense. The whole course could be beat in under 20 seconds. This was NOT American Gladiators! The running relay was boring and the only thing notable about the tandem-bike relay was Charlene Tilton. Her team was winning but she didn't pedal the bike at all and made her partner Richard Dean Anderson do all the pedaling while she just sat there getting a free ride. It cost her network CBS the victory in this event. Wonder what she was thinking.
For those of you who are dying to know who won the competition...here is a SPOILER alert! Despite a HUGE victory in the relay race, ABC was left in the dust overall and came in third. That set up a tug-of-war between CBS and NBC. Not surprisingly, little Michael J. Fox, Lisa Whelchel, Vicki Lawrence and the NBC crew was no match for the tough guys on the CBS team. Billy Moses and Richard Dean Anderson switched off sitting in the first position on the rope and used it to their advantage. It provided an energy boost which drove them to victory.
By the time the 16th installment of BOTNS rolled around, little had been done to keep it fresh. It was (and in my opinion still is) a fun concept that needed more changes to keep it interesting. It also needed much less of annoying personalities such as Cosell and the unbearably unfunny Flip Wilson. 3/10
Las Vegas Serial Killer (1986)
I don't even know what to say...
For starters, you just can't film your actors and then dub all the dialogue during post-production. It looks and sounds absolutely ridiculous. Luckily, or unluckily, it doesn't affect the quality of this film.
Mr. Steckler has treated us to an utterly pointless and boring hunk of junk here. It all starts out with a very flimsy premise. A serial killer of seven women has just been released on parole after serving only six years. Ugh...those darn liberals!! It comes as little surprise when several women soon turn up being strangled to death. Our serial killer becomes the main suspect. Talk about hard-nosed detective work.
The viewer is treated to unbearably long scenes of a couple of guys standing around on a Vegas street corner making lewd comments about women walking by while occasionally photographing them. Who are these guys? We have to wait until late in the film to fully realize their (un)importance. There is also a scene showing a parade go by. That would be fine if, let's say, there is an assassin on one of the floats and he is plotting to kill the President or something. Alas...no. Not here. It exists only to pad the running time. Thanks Mr. Steckler!
You get to see multiple topless women and a couple of brain-numbingly long scenes of women dancing seductively in some dive bar. Notice a pattern? Such as way too many scenes of absolutely nothing that go on way too long? That doesn't make a fun movie. 1/10
Carried Away (1998)
Good actors in a rather pointless film.
I don't know what compelled anyone to make a movie with this plot but I guess someone thought it was genius. A whiny slacker is sitting in a "master gallery" and impulsively steals a Vermeer painting from off the wall. He runs away with it under his arm while an alarm blares obnoxiously. He makes a clean getaway and nobody gets a good look at him. Not even the security guard who noticed him staring at the painting for half an hour. Huh.
The guy hangs the painting on the wall of his apartment. Soon enough, his estranged wife falls back into his life just so that there is a female character in the film. The art thief spends a lot of his time either hunkered down in his apartment acting extremely paranoid or else is making phone calls to let people know that the priceless painting is safe. What drama! A third character is introduced to add to this excitement. The self-proclaimed Plastic Man has a fetish for fortune cookies and enjoys doling out advice to our protagonist.
So much for plot. I couldn't listen to too much of the commentary on the DVD because it was the usual self-congratulatory mush that would lead you to believe they have created some sort of masterpiece. I guess they were trying to signify the importance of art in our everyday lives...blah blah blah. All I know is that the story goes nowhere. Those of you who dislike jazz by talentless musicians will need to keep a finger hovering over the Mute button on your remote. It annoyingly starts up EVERY TIME the main character walks around outside.
At least there was a bright spot to this disaster. The acting of all three leads was exceptional. They were all better than some of these Hollywood duds earning $10-20 million a picture. Despite playing characters with little depth or motivation, these three somehow manage to keep your interest. It's too bad none of their careers ever took off. Hollywood often has a deaf ear for real talent. "Carried Away" has a ludicrous premise which shows its flaws even more as the story goes along. It was a good showcase for the actors' talents...but nothing more. 3/10
The Lost Stallions (2003)
...and to think there's a "special edition" DVD of this somewhere!
I'd like to start this off with a disclaimer. The version I saw was the widely distributed "Sterling Family Classic" DVD. The, ahem, director of this movie stated on the commentary track(!) that there is a "saucier" edition of this film available and the one I was viewing was watered down in order to be appropriate for a larger audience. Yeah. Whatever. At least that explains why the words sometimes didn't match the actors' mouths.
The film has the nerve to compare itself to "Stand By Me". That would be like saying Mr. Summerfield's "Sleepy Hollow High" is comparable to "The Shining". Not by any stretch of the imagination Kevin! Anyway, the plot consists of four pathetic teens wandering around a sleepy little town in North Carolina in search of some prized stallions. Evidently the owner can't be bothered with rounding them up himself so he has offered a generous reward to whoever captures them. Sounds like an instant family classic doesn't it? Of course, as in any film with a dearth of novel ideas, this one relies on body functions for some hoped-for laughs. Not just one, but two characters entertain us by passing gas. A guy flicks snot on one of the teens in one scene and in yet another scene we get to see someone slip in a pile of vomit. Oh boy! I really enjoyed the seemingly endless part of the film where one of the boys kills a garter snake for no reason other than to pad the running time of the film. Speaking of running time, the movie is a mere 74 minutes with a stunning 13+ minutes devoted to a blooper reel interspersed with the end credits.
If you enjoy watching four ignorant, whiny teens walk around (including the obligatory one with an inhaler for his asthma...oh my) then be my guest and waste away your life on this film. I would almost recommend it for this one ludicrous scene where one of the guys falls into a shallow stream. We are supposed to believe it is a raging rapid that is carrying him away to his impending doom. It all could've ended if the kid just put his feet down and stood up but...nooooo! Instead, he lazily drifts downstream while his two buddies chase after him BY RUNNING IN THE STREAM BEHIND HIM! Sorry about the CAPS there but honestly...I just thought I was gonna die watching that. Unfortunately I lived long enough to see the rest of the film. 1/10
Thirty Below Zero (1992)
Christmas is sad. Yeah...I know.
Moira Kelly plays a young woman who is obviously upset about something or other. She grabs the keys to her mom's BMW and starts the car up while it is still in the garage. Is she going to kill herself or isn't she? The 14-minute short is shot entirely in black and white as if to lend credibility and solemnity to the importance of the film's topic.
This is another film where we are supposed to care because suicide is so awful and I suppose that's reason enough. No backstory is given. There is no time to get attached to her character. It's Christmas Day and she is contemplating suicide. That's it. Is this supposed to make a compelling short? Well, it didn't work on me. Sorry. 1/10
Cover Story (1993)
If it's Tuesday Knight, this must be "Cover Story".
"Cover Story" is actually a mildly entertaining film. I like the fact that the movie never turns out to go in the direction that you are expecting. That gives it a slight feeling of freshness, although it cannot overcome the horrendous performance by its lead actor.
Matt, played by William Wallace, moves into a new place and flips through some of the mail intended for the lady who used to live there. He immediately becomes obsessed and starts asking anybody and everybody about her. It turns out that she was quite the trouble-maker and made her share of enemies. A couple of other developments include a mysterious neighbor who falls in love with Matt and a rapper who occasionally appears to show off his skills. All of this is interspersed with Matt having sessions with his therapist.
Leland Orser is delightfully over the top as a very homosexual drug dealer and Christopher McDonald has a short scene playing a bizarre psychic. I have no qualms stating right here that I probably would have enjoyed this film much more were it not for William Wallace. It is interesting to see him listed as a producer of this film. That could explain a lot. Simply put, this guy CANNOT act! He is so unappealing and wooden and such an unabashed jerk in this film that it is virtually impossible to like him.
A final note: the DVD case for this film states that Matt is a journalist who is "covering the story of his life." What?!? He is not a journalist and I have no idea where some of these people who do DVD packaging get their information from. 3/10
Last Resort (1986)
How can there be screenwriters when this film doesn't even have a real plot? Charles Grodin plays George, a guy who sells chairs for a living. He tells his best client that he is fat and the client takes his business elsewhere. The owner of the business is furious and George decides it's a good time to go on vacation. He takes his family to some fleabag "resort" that he knows nothing about. Let the laughs begin! Heh.
All of the employees at the resort are strange and/or gay. The employees that Phil Hartman and Mario Van Peebles play are both homosexuals for the sole purpose of having Grodin's character show his disdain for them. Throw in Jon Lovitz and Megan Mullally and you would think that the supporting cast alone would at least make this watchable. You would be so, SO wrong to assume that though.
Well, I guess I can wrap this up already since there isn't much to discuss in terms of the "plot". George and his wife smoke some pot, his wife also takes some hallucinogenic mushrooms, a few women take their tops off and everything culminates in a massive shootout with some rebel guerrillas...or something. Did I mention that this takes place around Christmas? Sorry, it's easy to forget since it is specifically pointed out at the beginning of the film and then virtually ignored for the rest of the story. My advice to you is to ignore this entire film. 1/10
Kill Me Later (2001)
Well, this probably COULD have been a good movie.
After viewing this film, I felt the compelling need to vent a bit of my frustration. Selma Blair is a fabulous, currently underrated actress and Max Beesley was rather charming in "Kill Me Later". The story, while not exactly original, certainly showed some promise. None of that mattered though...at all.
I don't know what her deal is, but director Dana Lustig has virtually no talent whatsoever as a director. She slowed footage down, sped footage up, reversed footage, used awkward camera angles, used annoying color filters, made a zillion quick cuts, jumped back and forth in the timeline and topped it all off with an obnoxious "modern" soundtrack of blaring junk. I can't remember the last time I saw such an incompetent job of directing a film. Her ego must be huge to toss out the acting and story and put her direction front and center for the audience members to take notice of. It is crammed down their throats.
There are a couple of good scenes in "Kill Me Later" which show what could have and should have been. Unfortunately, just when things would start to show promise, Ms. Lustig would dig into her bag of film school tricks and jumble things up again. It's a shame because Blair and Beesley had good chemistry and you could tell that the film really had a good heart. 3/10