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This series started out very interesting, but
This series started out very interesting, but with each new season, it has devolved into a mess....a boring mess. First, there are far too many female characters, and all are depicted as sexy and beautiful, sometimes downright silly. Yuk. The writing has gone downhill to the extent that the episodes appear to have been written by a group of freshmen high school cheerleaders. In short, it has been turned into a chick flick series. I seldom wish for a show to be cancelled, but this show has earned the right.
Real Bullets (1988)
Stuntmen and women couldn't pull off this stunt.
Let's face facts here. There's a world of difference between pulling off stunts in a movie and producing, writing, directing and acting in one, and this is proof of that. Very few stuntmen ever turned in good acting roles (Ben Johnson. Hal Needham, Jock Mahoney and Richard Farnsworth being a few exceptions to the rule), and some good stuntmen managed to make some watchable movies, but this one manages to rate at the bottom of the list. Even many of the stunts aren't very good. There's no story, no good dialog, no good directing, editing or acting. In short, this film was ill-conceived from the start, and proves that even action films can be a waste of time to sit through.
The Yank (1960)
Better than expected
This is a fine 30 minute episode of a series than never aired. When The Rebel was cancelled, so was The Yank. If you want to watch it, it's included in the box set of The Rebel TV series. In retrospect, the fact that it wasn't picked up and didn't become a popular show was good, as Drury would soon be cast in The Virginian.
Once Before I Die (1966)
Not one of Derek's worst films, but......
The biggest problem with this one is the fact that John Derek couldn't resist the temptation to make it artsy, using every camera trick in the book to awe his viewers. All it ends up doing is making us want to turn away from it in disgust. The story is a mix so ambiguous that it ends up making no sense. It's interesting that he cast James Dean lookalike Rod Lauren in a major role and then filmed him in torrid love scenes with his then-wife Ursula Andress, especially odd since Derek and Andress both bedded James Dean........just before he died. Lauren's death scene in the film is downright laughable as he is somehow shot multiple times through a large tree trunk, with not so much as a single facial expression of shock, pain or agony. Weird scene. Andress is obviously there to be the "one before they all die", and the film is a total waste of some fine actors. A real mess.
The Dark Tower (2017)
Not Surprisingly Ineffective
When I was reading the novels (and I read them all and enjoyed them), all I could think of was, "dear God, lets hope no one ever tries to film this", and then it happened, unfortunately. It may help some that they haven't read the books, but either way, this one is a mess. It's too incomprehensible and poorly written to make sense to anyone. As far as the casting is concerned, they are fine, though I couldn't help thinking all the way through that Matthew McConaughey would have made a much better Roland than Idris Elba. He was more like the character, as envisioned by King (and the many drawings included within the books). It's telling that the film was not pre-screened by critics (they didn't need the negative reviews, as it was going to be hard enough to sell, as is). The only way the books could have been filmed properly would have been a long running cable TV show, but then maybe not (look at what happened to Under The Dome). I don't think the Dark Tower books could ever be filmed successfully, in any medium. Not recommended.
The Murder Of Jesse James.....so much nonsense
This episode is downright stupid! Anyone with any knowledge would know that this episode is way off base, and here's just a few reasons:
1.Jesse James was killed in April, yet the territory depicted in the show was shot in the winter......covered in snow.
2. He wasn't shot in the back, he was shot in the back of the head.....and only by Bob Ford, not both Ford brothers, though his brother was there, at the time.
3. He stepped up onto a chair to adjust a picture on the wall, not to dust it, as depicted.
4. He wore a single gun rig, not dual reverse guns.
If the writer couldn't manage to do a little research, they should be ashamed. It was awful.
Laramie: Men of Defiance (1960)
Not bad, but not Laramie
This is not really a Laramie episode, except that it manages to cast Robert Fuller as Jess Harper in it. It may have been a test to see how well it would fare as a series (and for whatever the reason, it was dumped). Even the music and credits are not the same as Laramie. I suppose that the planned title of the new series was going to be Fort Defiance or even Men Of Defiance. Regardless, it was an odd way to introduce a new show. At least it included Fuller, who always elevated westerns to new heights, and he is great, as always as Jess Harper. It did include some favorites of the time, such as John Anderson, Edger Buchanan, Don Megowan, and Denny Miller, who would later co-star with Fuller, on Wagon Train. The story is rather pedestrian, but does feature some good performances.
I've seen worse....but
I've seen worse movies, and this one did keep my interest. The creature effects are great.....but I have many problems with it, such as:
SPOILER ALERTS.......SPOILER ALERTS.......SPOILER ALERTS....SERIOUSLY!
1. Nic Rhind is good in his role, but he hardly comes across as a bad boy....more like the boy-next-door. We don't for one minute think he's a bad boy. He doesn't drink, smoke or curse, but then I guess he does ride a motorcycle, and he's supposed to be an ex-con, so that makes him a bad boy.
2. Likewise, Robyn Ledoux is fine in her role, but the screenplay portrays her as the smartest girl on earth, as she scans old manuscripts and documents and in minutes finds out what they are dealing with and how to stop it. Not believable.
3. The hideous creature eats it's way into the victim's belly button, right through their clothes several times, without leaving a hole in the person's clothes or their belly. Huh? No scars left behind by that thing? Come on.
4. The first victim just disappears without a trace, as though his body is never found.
5. The real trackers are in town, but stay away from the investigation while two college kids do the real work. Why? They only show up to mop-up after numerous victims have died.
6. The victims spend about an hour with the creature feeding on their bodies, yet our college boy hero is compelled to pass it along after only a few minutes. I guess he just couldn't stomach the darn thing. His girlfriend knew that to remain safe, they both needed to drink lots of booze, but she didn't bother telling him? Poor guy gets a bad bellyache.
7. And of course, the sweet young girl comes to the rescue, fighting off that monstrous creature like Xena, The Warrior Princess.
In short, with some added scenes, and a few changes, it would have been much better.
Triple Crossed (2013)
Not bad at all
Quite frankly, I enjoyed this film. I've seen lots of gay oriented films, and most were a terminal bore.....written, directed and acted so poorly that I could barely get through them. Some viewers have had trouble with this one, but I think it has more to do with expectations than anything else. I went into it with low expectations, as a result, I was somewhat riveted at times. For a cheap film, it's well put together.....good story, some fine acting and directing.....kept me interested all the way through. In short, I liked it a lot. The two male leads are terrific, especially Jack Brockett, who plays Chris. He was always very believable, as the Gulf War vet. At times, early in the film, I said to myself, no he wouldn't do that, but by the end, the screenplay wrapped it all up nicely. I sure didn't see the ending coming, and that's saying a lot for a "B" movie. If all that weren't enough, the two leads certainly give us some fine eye candy along the way. I recommend the film, personally. ....and don't expect too much, people. It's really not bad at all.
Teenage Thunder (1957)
Typical teenage drag strip tale....
This is one of those post Rebel Without A Cause rip-offs, when not much happens and ends on a happy note. The big draw in this is an early look at Courtney and Fuller, who would go on to much better things, particularly in the case of Fuller, who's very effect here as the egotistical bully. Why they cast Melinda Byron in the lead female role is a mystery, as she is neither pretty nor sexy.....and not a very good actress either. It's fun to see all those old cars and trucks, but other than seeing that, and the two staring actors, there's no real reason to watch it. It's been mentioned that the actors looked much older than high school kids, but I disagree. At my school, some of the guys and gals looked like they were twenty-five or older, and a few even looked like they were pushing thirty. One six foot-two football player (and a freshman, at that) even won the beard growing contest his senior year.
What a mess this is!
This movie is simply horrendous! From start to finish, I had trouble staying focused on what was going on. The dialog, and the story in general was boring and unbelievable. Add that to the fact that the actors were terrible, and you get a real mess. James Preston, while handsome, was no James Dean, by any stretch of the imagination. His hair is too long, he looks nothing like Dean in the face, and his mannerisms are deplorable. And it is not sexy, if that was the intent. The movie features long lustful looks at naked and half naked men and women, but hasn't one ounce of sensual appeal. A waste of 93 minutes. You've been warned. This movie is not recommended by me.
This movie is incredibly underrated. The performances are all top notch, from Peppard and Seberg down to the smallest role, though Seberg's part is short. In my opinion, Madeleine Sherwood and Robert F. Lyons deserved Oscar nominations for their performances. They were flawless and mesmerizing as the white trash woman and her psycho son. I couldn't take my eyes off them when they were on screen. I so wish the movie was available on DVD! This film should have made a star of Robert F. Lyons. I have no idea why it didn't. It's well-written and believable, nicely directed. Someone please put this out on DVD! I want to watch this again and again.
Billy the Kid (1941)
Pedestrian fluff with a terrible screenplay
The best thing about this movie version of Billy The Kid is the color photography. Taylor looks good (he was in his prime at that time), but he's horribly miscast....too old to play the part. There's no Tunstall, no Pat Garrett....and both actors playing the changed parts are far too old. It reminds me of Howard Hughes' The Outlaw, except that the actor who played Billy in that film was much better cast (closer in age, but not much of an actor). There's lots of music, romance, and talk, talk, talk. In short, it becomes extremely boring after awhile. May be worth watching once, but hardly worth a second look. Despite the views of Arizona and Utah, most scenes are obviously shot on a sound stage.
Across the Plains (1939)
Better than average "B" western
I really liked this movie, mostly because I'm a big, big fan of Dennis Moore (Denny Meadows). He's great here, as the Kansas Kid. This is a step above the usual "B" westerns of the time in that it features a nice story (touching at times) about brothers reunited later in life. One had turned out bad, the other good. The story plays out well and believable, for the most part. A case in point is near the end when Buff shoots young Jimmy. He grabs his shoulder and falls. After the bad guys have been taken care of, Jack asks his brother where he's been hit and he moans "all over". Huh? Did I miss something? Last I saw, he didn't have a fatal wound. That said, this is a good film, with good acting, good direction, and exciting action. Well worth watching. I just wish I could get all of Denny's movies on DVD.
Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
Very Good Film
I rented this film when I had nothing else of importance to do. That said, I really enjoyed it. Sure, it's silly on so many levels, but what the heck. I put myself in a "relax, and don't think too hard about it" mood, and the end result was that the film was very enjoyable.
I had grown somewhat tired of watching Harrison Ford on screen, so I was not expecting him to be worth seeing. That's not the case here. He's perfect for the role he plays.
I wasn't at all prepared for James Bond...uh, I mean Daniel Craig in a western. Again, I was quite surprised to find that he was perfectly cast as the not-so-good hero. In fact, I can't imagine any other actor playing the role better than he did. I should have had more faith in him, as he is one of our finest actors.
The special effects, photography, directing, dialog, and acting are all much better than I would have expected in a film like this. It's not for everyone, certainly, but I got my money's worth.
After watching Hunger and Shame, I am more and more convinced that Michael Fassbender and Steve McQueen two of the most talented men is show business.
Both men seem to get overlooked at awards time here in the U.S., and that's a shame.
Shame does not disclose enough information about the brother and sister relationship to get a complete idea of what has gone on in their lives before they are reunited, but instead lets the viewer fill in the pieces. What happens when you do that is that you get a mix of ideas, and perhaps that's what McQueen was after.
Of one thing there is no doubt....brother and sister are messed up mentally and emotionally....and the end result is tragic and sad. Watching a human train wreck is very difficult to do, and I felt somewhat relieved to find that I could manage to get through it.
Shame is no feel-good movie, so be forewarned, but the performances of the two leads make this one well-worth the watch.
If Shame does nothing else, it makes me wonder what theme Steve McQueen will hit us with next, and that's a positive statement on my part. In other words, I'm looking forward to his next film.
Once again (after losing the bid for Hunger), Michael Fassbender will probably not get nominated for an Oscar, which is a big mistake. He's every bit as exceptional here as he was in Hunger, and I'm looking forward to his next film.
While I will admit that I had a hard time watching some scenes in this film, I found it to be outstanding. The acting, particularly that of Michael Fassbender, is awesome, and so is the writing and directing.
The film does have it's flaws, especially the over-long hallway cleanup scene (fast-forward time), but it was still well-worth viewing.
Don't get me wrong. I did not come away from the film feeling sorry for the NRA members who were imprisoned, who foolishly demanded they be called political prisoners. They were terrorists, plain and simple, who murdered innocent men, women and children for their cause.
Had they served their time without incident, most would have been released from prison and gone on to live their lives in peace. There's two kinds of lives we all live....a life of peace, or a life of chaos. They chose chaos, and suffered the end result.
That said, the conditions at that prison were enough to make me squirm. Then again, prison is punishment, not designed to be a country club.
In my opinion, McQueen's biggest mistake was the omission of the horrors these men were guilty of committing, which would have given the viewer a more balanced approach to what happened.
Watch the film for the performances, if you aren't too weak stomached. Fassbender should have been nominated for an Oscar, in my opinion. The others were exceptional, as well.
Terrible Excuse For A Spaghetti Movie
What do you get when you take a silly revenge screenplay and add to it a lusterless cast of bad, unattractive actors and a bug-eyed, bad acting actress? You get this movie, that's what you get. Everyone associated with this mess should be ashamed. Even Kinski seems bored (as well he should be). Only the stunt men get to shine, as they twirl and do their acrobatics when they get shot (all of it bloodless and woundless). None of this makes a lot of sense. Gordon Mitchell, whom I've always liked, is wasted here, playing against type as a bounty hunter with a heart. What a waste of ninety minutes this is! Don't waste your time watching this one. I wish I hadn't.
Down Missouri Way (1946)
I can't help but wonder what little boys thought of this mess.....
I wasn't around when this travesty came out, but that's a plus really. This isn't a western programmer, but a boring, silly musical comedy. Please! Who thought up this mess? This has to be the worst programmer ever made, by far....bad acting, bad singing, bad songs, silly comedy, simply awful.
Eddie Dean was a good singer and a terrible actor, with only passable looks and no charisma whatsoever. He must have loved doing this one, however, since it didn't require him to look like a tough guy, which was impossible, in his case. According to what I've read, this was one of the last of the programmers, which might explain why it was made in the first place.....drag little boys into the theater to see a shoot-'em-up, and sing to 'em. Poor kids wasted their money on this stupid turkey.
Fortunately, I only wasted an hour of my time on this film, but still....
My favorite TV western series
This has to be my favorite TV western series. The first season was the better season, as it was rough, tough, and action-packed, with great guest stars (Cliff Robertson, Jack Lord, Jack Chaplain, Martin Landau, Robert Culp, Dean Jones, Robert Lansing, James Coburn, Dean Stockwell, Steve Forrest, etc). My favorite episode from the entire series was Sam Bass. Since I tended to favor the bad guys, this series was right up my alley, as it focused on the bad guys in every episode. The guys at Timeless Media tell me that they are trying to get this series for DVD release, so I can only hope that I live long enough to enjoy it again, after all these years. It will make a terrific box-set.
Indian Territory (1950)
Not bad for a Gene Autry film
In a sense, I agree with the previous reviewer. James Griffith is horribly miscast as an Indian. He's too tall, and too old to be classified as a "kid" (with a die-job and the proper makeup, Dick Jones would have been much better in the role). That said, this is one of the best Autry films, mainly due to the added action (outlaws actually get shot and die, instead of roped or getting their gun shot out of their hand). Most of Autry's movies were horribly benign, but this one is not. Even James Griffith gives us his best, even if he is miscast. Gene does some fine singing in this one, notably Chattanoogie Shoeshine Boy. Green Acres alum Pat Buttram is on hand, along with lovely Gail Davis. A good one.
Die Halbstarken (1956)
I was quite surprised that this was such a good film. Horst was not only an underrated actor, but extremely photogenic. That said, he comes across so well as a thuggish kid. He and his co-stars are terrific in this film.
I was not happy with the ending, however, as we never find out if he survives, something that annoys me to no end. Finish the film, guys! I had heard from someone that the film was based on real life events, but I don't believe that. Even so, a similar story could have happened in some form, or another.
I highly recommend this one, if for no other reason than to see young Buckholz in his prime.
Count Five and Die (1957)
Good British film
I don't believe that this film is based on real events, as there is no evidence of it. However, it is made to make us think that's the case. British filmmakers were always so good with this type of movie.
Regardless, it's a well-made, believable tale, with good acting, writing, and direction.
My only complaint is that the ending leaves us wondering what happened to Jeffrey Hunter's character. Does he survive being shot? Does he get an award for his actions? Inquiring minds need to know. Endings like this one are so frustrating.
Would love to see a widescreen DVD release of this film one day. It deserves a release.
The Drifter (1944)
A good one
This my favorite of all the Billy The kid movies Buster Crabbe made. Why? I always liked seeing him play a bad guy, and here we get a two-fer, as he plays dual roles, our hero, and his look-alike double bad guy.
He made three such films over the course of the series, but this one is the best, by far. If you don't have any of the series, this is the one to check out. Buster rocks! The bad guys need to get rid of Billy, and one of them just happens to find a guy who looks just like Billy (the drifter). Once Billy is safely tucked away in jail, wanted for robbery and murder, the only thing left for the ring-leaders is to get rid of the drifter. What they don't count on is that the real Billy has been broken out of jail, and gets to their hideout right after the drifter gets his payoff.
Road Train (2010)
Not bad at all......
I find it strange that so many viewers thought this film was one of the worst (or the worst) movie ever made. They must not have seen as many films I have. It's not that bad. The crew did a great job with the photography, editing, etc, and the cast were uniformly good.
Sure, it did have some faults (all movies do), but I wasn't watching it to pick it apart. The funniest flaw for me was the gun, which never seems to run out of ammo.
I liked all five cast members in their roles, even when they were evil. Craig was especially interesting in the way he moved from good guy to bad. His death scene was worth the price of the movie, and I laughed out loud when he held the leg of one of the dead girls and told the other girl "our relationship has come to an end" (or something like that).
Perhaps many of the viewers were hoping for more sex and gore. Believe me when I say that I don't consider this the worst movie I've ever seen...by any means. I even bought the DVD.