Reviews

3,293 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Nervous Ticks (1992)
4/10
It'll do if you're bored enough
24 October 2020
Wimpy guy has a night where he gets into one wacky situation after another. Been done before and better in movies like After Hours and Into the Night. Bill Pullman isn't really the type of actor for this kind of part but to be fair to him the writing isn't great. None of the situations they put this guy in are funny or memorable. On the positive side it moves along at a nice pace from one bit to the next so it's watchable enough. Also Zoe Trilling has a brief but amazing topless scene.
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
3/10
Chicken s**t
20 October 2020
Hilariously bad knock-off of Hitchcock's "The Birds" that offers a rare lead role for boobtacular 80s babe Michelle Johnson. Also starring is annoying Chris Atkins. If you've seen the Hitchcock classic there's really no need to sit through this. Worth a couple of chuckles I suppose for the slow motion scenes of people trying to look like the poor pigeons flapping about them are out for blood. You don't even get a real Michelle Johnson nude scene. She uses a less endowed body double I'm sad to report. Skip it.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Deathtrap (1982)
7/10
Unbelievably corny but undeniably fun
6 October 2020
Deathtrap has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. Yeah it's (intentionally?) stagy and full of cornball moments (especially that ending), but it's never boring and entertains me every time. The cast is great. Over the top at times but in the best way. I'm not a big theater guy and movies that are basically filmed stage plays aren't usually my thing but there's just something about this one that appeals to me. It's one of those movies I like that I have a hard time articulating exactly why I like it. I just do and that's enough for me. I hope you enjoy it too.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Brigadoon (1954)
7/10
It's never quite what I want it to be but it's still worth a look
28 September 2020
I want to love this movie. I've watched it several times over the years, each time liking it a bit more but never reaching the potential the concept holds for me. First, I love the way it looks. The sets and costumes and the way the "Metrocolor" makes it all pop. To many the stagebound look is a big negative but I think it works for a film like this. I also enjoy most of the songs and the dance numbers. My biggest problems are the story is paper thin and the characters leave me cold. The inhabitants of Brigadoon are hollow. As for our two outsiders, Gene Kelly is likable enough but Van Johnson's character alternates between being obnoxious and being depressing. He just brings every scene he's in down, even before the weird dark part that seems out of place with everything else. The worst thing about Johnson's character is he never grows or changes. He's just a drunken jerk from beginning to end and I'm puzzled why he's even in the story. Maybe a different actor could've pulled this part off and added some depth. Van Johnson is certainly miscast in my opinion. I'm surprised to see praise for him from many, some even calling him the best part of the film. Anyway, Brigadoon is a flawed movie for sure but it has a lot going for it. It's the kind of movie that, like its premise, if you catch it at just the right time it's magical.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Vibes (1988)
7/10
Fun
15 September 2020
Entertaining offbeat little comedy starring Jeff Goldblum and Cyndi Lauper as psychics getting involved with the search for Incan treasure. Obviously influenced by Romancing the Stone and the various mystical comedies of the 80s like The Golden Child. The main selling points are the likable stars who have nice chemistry and the great supporting turn from Peter Falk. Also the fog shrouded Incan ruins set that is very obviously a set but who cares it makes the old movie fan in me happy. Give it a look, if you aren't super critical and just looking for a fun 80s comedy I think you will enjoy this.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
"I think a lot of that wrench. It's the best one I ever had."
14 September 2020
Obnoxious detective (Preston Foster) assembles the friends of a man on death row to help prove he didn't commit the murder of which he was convicted. First in the Crime Club series from Universal. Most of these movies weren't connected but three of them feature Foster as detective Crane and Frank Jenks as his sidekick Doc. Crane just annoys me. He's not funny or charming like they clearly intended him to be. His seeming indifference to what's going on gets old fast. The rest of the cast is ok. Clarence Wilson and Harlow knock-off Barbara Pepper are standouts. It's a fairly routine B detective picture. Not bad to kill an hour but nothing special.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Nightmare (1942)
4/10
"A little beating once in awhile is as good for a high-strung woman as it is for a horse."
10 August 2020
Another one of those "wrongfully accused man and woman on the run" thrillers, notable only as one of the few starring vehicles for John Barrymore's daughter Diana. Brian Donlevy is slightly miscast as a down-on-his-luck gambler who inexplicably gets involved with a woman who may have killed someone. Also Nazis because 1942. It's all rather muddled and hard to follow or care. Donlevy's dialogue makes me think his part was written with Humphrey Bogart or maybe Alan Ladd in mind. For her part Diana Barrymore has a bland screen presence and spits out her lines like they taste as bad as they sound. Supporting cast is ok. Slow pace with no memorable scenes. Not a particularly good picture.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
Far better than its reputation suggests
3 July 2020
There was a time I would have watched this movie and joined in the choir of voices trashing it. Thankfully I'm way past that time. I admit it's not a perfect movie but I like it a lot. It's a fun homage to the Astaire and Rogers style of musicals from the 1930s. The many Cole Porter songs are enjoyable to listen regardless of the quality of the singers. For the record I don't think they're bad. I especially love the vintage set designs, wardrobe, cars, etc. It really makes the style of the period come alive. It's all just so lovely to look at. This is far from Peter Bogdanovich's best film but it is my favorite work of his. Call it a guilty pleasure if you want but I think it's a very upbeat entertaining movie that most people with obstruction-free derrières will enjoy.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Crossroads (1986)
5/10
The Devil and Daniel LaRusso
3 June 2020
I must have seen this movie fifty times as a kid I liked it so much. For some reason lost to family history it was one of the few movies we had in our limited VHS collection. Now I just saw it again for the first time since those halcyon days of yesteryear and I'm more than a little underwhelmed. Sure Joe Seneca is great. He could read the phone book and make it interesting. (That's something we used to say back in the day, kids.) Ralph Macchio, however, is terrible. The part isn't written great but man oh man does he poop the bed here. The other big negative is that for a movie about a blues legend there's remarkably little blues in it. The final showdown that's supposed to be between two blues masters is instead a game of H-O-R-S-E between classical and heavy metal guitarists. Steve Vai?!? Really, guys?

Anyway, it's not a terrible movie just not as enjoyable as I remembered. The plot is predictable, the characters thin, and the music utterly forgettable. Nostalgia glasses don't help much with this one. See it for Joe Seneca and the crossroads flashbacks which are nicely done.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Sourdough (1981)
6/10
Pleasant little movie about a cranky old cuss
16 May 2020
The Seventies were full of "get back to nature" films of varying degrees of quality. If nothing else they were always good for some lovely wilderness footage. The same is true here in this low budget movie about a mountain hermit who has a lot of feelings about civilization. Basically "he ain't fer it he agin' it," as Grampa Simpson would say. The scenery is nice to look at and the whole thing has a folksy charm about it. It's narrated by the title character, voiced by Gene Evans but played onscreen by another actor. Outside of the narration I don't think there was a line spoken by anyone in the whole movie. There really isn't much of a story here but it moves along at a brisk pace and I found myself thoroughly enjoying it all. That is until the ending which is something along the lines of Iron Eyes Cody weeping over the trash-strewn highway. Still that bit of raw corn doesn't detract from an otherwise pleasant ninety minutes. For some it might even add to it.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
My Chauffeur (1986)
7/10
"There's no such thing as a bad titty."
12 May 2020
One of several 80s comedies that reminds me of the old screwball classics of the 30s and 40s updated to the modern day with nudity and swearing. Deborah Foreman is a likable lead who gets good support from vets like Sean McClory, E.G. Marshall, and Howard Hesseman. Penn and Teller are less obnoxious than usual in their film debuts. Sam Jones plays arguably the most divisive character for modern viewers. I won't say why; you'll figure it out. Perhaps the most memorable part of the movie for many is the crazy rocker Catfight, played by Leland Crooke. He has the movie's most memorable line ("I want them panties!"). He was actually the one part of this I remembered in the thirty plus years or so gap between viewings. Nice soundtrack of songs by the band The Wigs. Never heard of them before but they did good work here. There's also a lovely violin piece that's used frequently. It almost seems out of place for a comedy but it really elevates the film.

I saw this movie as a kid many times on VHS. Then it seemed to vanish from my mind for decades until I rediscovered it. This is a real hidden gem for people of my generation and the younger set that still has a sense of humor. It's a fun movie that would probably be considered offensive to today's audience. But then again what isn't?
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
7/10
"He's the first time happy in his life!"
12 May 2020
The fourth in Universal's classic Frankenstein series is the first that feels less important and artistic and more something for the Saturday matinee crowd. That isn't to say it's not fun, just that it's not as impressive creatively. This time the Monster is awakened from its sulfuric tomb by frightened villagers trying to rid their village of the "curse of Frankenstein." Ygor takes his revived friend to yet another son of Frankenstein (just how many kids did he have?) and implores him to restore the creature to his former glory.

Playing the Monster this time is Lon Chaney, Jr. He does fine, better than the two that follow him but a far cry from Karloff. From this point on in the series the Monster is little more than a mindless shambling brute. Reprising his role from Son of Frankenstein is Bela Lugosi as the resilient hunchback Ygor. Ygor was one of Bela's best roles and he continues to impress here. He rarely seemed as lively and fun as when playing Ygor. Lionel Atwill also returns, playing a different role than that of the memorable Inspector Krogh he played in Son. He always shines especially when playing a villain. Sir Cedric Hardwicke is all class as the "other son of Frankenstein." He also appears as the original Dr. Frankenstein in a ghostly vision, despite footage from the first Frankenstein with Colin Clive being used in the film. Fresh off The Wolf Man and reuniting with Chaney and Lugosi are Evelyn Ankers and Ralph Bellamy in vanilla roles. Dwight Frye, who played Frankenstein's assistants in the first two films, here is just a nameless villager that gets one line ("We'll blow it up!").

The scenes with the Monster and little girl are cute but he's no big teddy bear; he kills without hesitation. I found the father defending him in the courtroom scene to be a nice touch. The laboratory scenes with Hardwicke and Atwill are more subdued than I like my mad scientists but enjoyable nonetheless. The sets are good, as is the makeup and effects. Of course the music is great. There are some atmospheric moments that one expects from a classic Universal horror picture. This is probably the least of the Frankenstein series for me. I still enjoy it a great deal. How can you not enjoy Lugosi as Ygor? It's a fun movie that most Universal horror fans should like.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
"Exeter isn't exactly conventional in his hiring methods."
11 May 2020
What a fun 1950s science fiction film. One of my favorites. Exeter, the Interocitor, Metaluna, the Mutants...so many cool things come from this classic. Love the Technicolor, the effects, the sounds, Meacham and Ruth and all the cornbread elements...movies like this just make me smile. Definitely recommended for anyone who isn't a snarky a-hole. All of those guys can eat Zagon dirt.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Ok Corman flick
9 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
This is a not so bad but not so great Roger Corman picture made for American International at a time when he was doing a lot of movies with Edgar Allan Poe titles that had little or nothing to do with Poe. The biggest problem with the movie is that you know from the start the title situation is going to occur so it's just a matter of waiting. Filling time until the big moment is a lot of the main character worrying and other people arguing with him about his fear. It gets a little old if I'm to be honest. You also know one of two or three other characters, or some combination, is going to be responsible for the guy being buried. There really isn't much suspense. Still it's an alright movie, helped by a nice cast and Corman's steady direction. I do have one big question about the ending though. If the sister suspected what the wife was up to the whole time, why did she allow them to bury her brother?
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Scream of the Wolf (1974 TV Movie)
5/10
Byron always had a big thing about arm wrestling...
5 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
One of Dan Curtis' most disappointing efforts. A werewolf movie without a werewolf. Instead we get a variation on The Most Dangerous Game with Clint Walker's psycho hunter squaring off against his friend played by Peter Graves. There's some talk of gay subtext in this from certain corners. From what I could see the only thing that might qualify for that is the way Graves' character fawns over his friend's machismo early on. But at least that's something to look for that might make this more interesting than it really is. Walker does a good job but his character is very obviously guilty from the beginning. The only twist is that there is none. So there's no suspense and no horror. It's just flat like Graves' monotone acting here.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Tower of Evil (1972)
4/10
Horror on Sex Island
4 May 2020
Stinker of a horror film that spends more time on sex and people talking about sex than it does on trying to scare anyone. After an atmospheric opening my hopes for discovering a hidden gem were dashed when it became clear all the filmmakers cared about was titilating (with rather small tits too). Look, I get it. When this was made, sex and nudity being allowed to be shown onscreen was still a relatively new thing. But that's no excuse for spending so much of the movie on naked hippies flirting and swinging. For crying out loud they aren't even very attractive!
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
"Oh Bailey you're about as subtle as a Mickey Finn."
4 May 2020
Ok film noir that has a plot similar to that of dozens of other noir and B detective pictures: private eye is hired to find a dame and twists ensue. There's nothing inherently wrong with this movie. It's actually pretty solid. But it's very familiar territory and the script isn't as snappy as I would like. Franchot Tone is also a bit flat. I doubt it would be a blip on anyone's radar if not for it apparently being considered lost for decades. Amusingly this was written by Roy Huggins, the creator of TV shows like Maverick and The Fugitive. He would use the character played by Tone to greater success later in 77 Sunset Strip.
3 out of 4 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
5/10
Looks great but that's all
4 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Nice cast and direction. Beautiful cinematography. But this is just a ho-hum noir with no standout moments and a stupid ending. And that's coming from a guy who likes happy endings. This one isn't earned though. I felt no real sympathy for anyone in the movie. Even the blind guy. Going back to that ending, she won't wait for him. Did anybody believe that?
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
8/10
They definitely don't make 'em like this anymore
2 May 2020
Classic 80s comedy from John Landis. One of his best. A movie I loved as a young lad for one scene has grown into a movie I love as an approaching middle-aged man for many scenes. It's essentially a then-modern take on the old class comedies of the 1930s, where streetwise guys and gals gave some comeuppance to the stuffy upper crust types. They updated it with an added racial component and of course some nudity and lots of swearing. Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd are terrific. Next to Beverly Hills Cop and Ghostbusters respectively, this is my probably favorite movie in their careers. Jamie Lee Curtis also shines in her first notable role outside of horror films. The scene stealers of the picture are screen legends Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche, former stars during the Golden Age period I mentioned above, and the great Denholm Elliott who could do no wrong. It's a very funny movie that flies by. You never get bored or tired of the characters.

To any reviewers saying they need to remake this: no, they don't. I can't even imagine how terrible a remake of Trading Places would be. The first thing they would do is take out all the stuff that's deemed offensive today. The things played for laughs here are just so deadly serious today. You even try joking about anything this movie jokes about and some busybody armchair activist is going to come for you. Then they would cast actors, probably gender swapped just because, that have a fraction of the talent of any of those involved here. Also there would be lots of upbeat pop songs at random moments because that's a thing that every movie has to have now. Last but not least it would all be glossy and shiny and everyone would look perfect at all times. Vomit. Just vomit.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
4/10
It's got babes but not much else going for it
1 May 2020
Cheesy action movie based off a video game I never played. Its main selling point is the sex appeal of the actresses, most of whom fight in bikinis at least once. I'm particularly fond of the volleyball scene and the fight in the rain with my personal favorite actress in the film, Sarah Carter. The dialogue is weak, the characters are thin, the wire work crappy, the fight scenes unimaginative, and the CGI is poor. Don't get me started on the nanobots or those silly sunglasses. Also every male actor in the movie is embarrassingly bad, save for Sir Eric Roberts and pro wrestler Kevin Nash. They're not great either but at least they're having fun. And the movie does try to be fun. Unfortunately, it fails in most respects. I would say see it for the safe-for-work eye candy but you can just search online for pics and clips of that.
1 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Spellbinder (1988)
5/10
Tim Daly Hits the Jackpot
1 May 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Tim Daly plays a man who saves a beautiful young woman in distress. In return she cures his back pain, cleans his house, and bangs his brains out. But uh oh turns out she's a witch and her witch friends are after her. Yeah I don't see the problem either. I'd fight a hundred witches for a woman as hot as Kelly Preston. She wouldn't have to clean my house either. I'll even forgive her crappy taste in music. This is essentially a TV movie script helped out greatly by a pair of likable leads, some much-appreciated nudity from Kelly Preston, and an unintentionally funny ending. Also Shang Tsung from the Mortal Kombat movie plays a cop.
2 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
6/10
"You have a date with me and...science."
30 April 2020
Quirky fantasy adapted from a novel by Thorne Smith, who had more successful adaptations in Topper and I Married a Witch. This isn't bad though. The sci-fi and fantasy elements are good. Alan Mowbray and Peggy Shannon are having a lot of fun. There's a little too much whimsy and the ending is a cop-out, but there are lots of funny lines and moments. I wonder how much those statues cost.
1 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
9/10
"It's certainly a most unusual way to make an acquaintance."
30 April 2020
After being revived by grave robbers, Larry Talbot seeks out the gypsy Maleva to find a cure for his werewolfism. She takes him to the village where Frankenstein did all his business years before. Unfortunately he's long since dead and his scientist sons are missing. But Larry does find a female Frankenstein, a journal full of Frankenstein's notes, and a certain monster trapped in ice.

Universal's first monster rally film that serves as sequel to both The Wolf Man and Ghost of Frankenstein is a fun classic that is sure to please all worth pleasing. Lon Chaney, Jr. continues to elicit sympathy in his signature role. Maria Ouspenskaya also reprises her role of Maleva from The Wolf Man. Ilona Massey plays the newest Frankenstein heir, the granddaughter of the original. She's certainly the prettiest Frankenstein yet but also the least interesting. Screenwriter Curt Siodmak missed the boat by not having her as an evil lady scientist. Still she has great taste in night gowns. Perennial also-ran Patric Knowles plays the scientist this time around, a shrink who tracks down Talbot because he wants to help him, then gets his inner mad scientist on when he reads the late Frankenstein's notes. Lionel Atwill, who played different characters in the last two Frankenstein films, plays the role of the village mayor this time. Dennis Hoey plays the police inspector investigating Talbot early in the film. He's Inspector Lastrade from the Sherlock Holmes films in everything but name. Dwight Frye makes his final appearance in a Universal horror film, as one of the villagers. He died that same year.

Poor Bela gets the short end of the stick following wonderful turns as Ygor in the last two Frankenstein films and Bela the gypsy in The Wolf Man. If you'll recall, Lugosi's character Ygor had his brain put into the Monster's body in Ghost. So here he's finally playing the role that he turned down all those years before, which set him on a different career path than Boris Karloff. This could've been a chance to turn things around or at least guarantee himself steady work at a decent studio for a few years longer so he wouldn't have to "Monogram it up" so much. But it wasn't to be. Due to decisions beyond his control his performance is reduced to staggering around with no lines.

The opening few minutes is among the best from any movie ever made. Admittedly after the atmospheric opening things settle down for awhile, but the film wraps up well with the titular monster meeting and fight. The werewolf parts are all great. The beginning and ending are the highlights, but the middle has some good stuff too. The festival musical segment is far better than some critics give it credit for. It isn't done for the same commercial reasons so many of the Abbott and Costello comedies have musical numbers. Here the music actually serves a purpose to build tension with the lyrics about death having an unsettling effect on Talbot. Plus it's a catchy little tune!

The continuity is a little spotty, with some parts meshing nicely with previous films and others not so much. Part of this is laid at Siodmak's door, since he can't even be bothered to remember elements from his own previous scripts let alone this one. For example, the villagers hate Frankensteins yet throw a party for one. But part of the blame also lies with whoever at Universal decided to eliminate the Frankenstein monster's dialogue and any reference to his being blind from the last film. The result is a Monster with closed eyes shambling around with his arms outstretched, an image that would carry over into the Glenn Strange films and be parodied for years to come.

It's a beautiful looking film, well-paced and extremely entertaining. This first-of-its-kind meeting of the monsters would set the pattern for the remaining Universal horror line and create generations of fans arguably more than any one solo monster picture. Some look down on these movies, and I understand the reasons why, but for me they're undeniably fun and exciting.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Coming Soon (1982 Video)
5/10
Nice
29 April 2020
John Landis directs this compilation of trailers of classic Universal horror films. It's a neat little curiosity hosted by a young and very cute Jamie Lee Curtis. See her today and then watch this and it will depress you. Time really kicks the snot out of us doesn't it? Anyway it's worth a look for the trailers and Jamie Lee walking around on Universal sets that have probably long since been demolished or remodeled beyond recognition.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
Nightmares (1983)
7/10
"Welcome earthling. I am the Bishop of Battle, master of all I survey."
26 April 2020
Anthology horror film with one truly memorable segment and three other decent ones. The first story is a take on a very familiar urban legend. Christina Raines plays a smoker who goes to pick up some cancer sticks, despite reports of an escaped maniac being loose in the area. This segment also features Larry minus his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl. It's an enjoyable enough story.

The second story is the one this movie is probably best remembered for. Emilio Estevez plays a young jerk who desperately wants to beat an arcade game called The Bishop of Battle to prove he's the best. We get some awesome cheesy 80s computer effects in this one. I like this story a lot and it's easily my favorite of the whole movie.

The third story is a weird one with Lance Henriksen as a priest who has lost his faith. On a road trip to think things over he's attacked by a demonic pickup truck. I have no clue what the point of this story is but it's a fun watch if you like movies like Duel and The Car. A little too short though.

The final story is about a family terrorized by a giant rat. It's better than it sounds but it's probably my least favorite segment of the film. Gotta love that hokey ending.

This movie reportedly began as a TV pilot. It definitely feels like it was made for TV. It's entertaining, don't get me wrong. None of the segments is bad. But there is a feeling that more could have been done with most of the segments if this had been a proper theatrical film all along.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Permalink
An error has occured. Please try again.

Recently Viewed