Written by / 12/03/2019 / No comments / , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DECADE-SPANNING BLOODY BAGFUL OF ARCHIVE MOVIE REVIEWS

title: THE BETSY
year: 1978
cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Lawrence Olivier, Kathleen Beller, Robert Duvall
rating: **1/2

Like something off TV from the late seventies/early eighties night soaps ala "Dallas" or "Dynasty" but centering on a car company and with curse words and full-frontal nudity (the Kathleen Beller pool scene is quite a nice surprise). Tommy Lee Jones is a race car driver/designer hired by a rich family to make a new affordable fuel efficient car and gets tangled in the web that always permeates the rich and powerful in literature and films. This is just fluff, but sometimes entertaining fluff. Robert Duvall is surprisingly dull as the somewhat villainous grandson of Lawrence Olivier, Olivier who plays wholeheartedly a Henry Ford meets Darth Vadar type matriarch of a powerful family that's falling apart at the seams.

title: THE AMAZING HOWARD HUGHES
year: 1977
cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Ed Flanders, Lee Purcell
rating: **1/2

Okay so this was edited from a longer version and comes off as a greatest hits of Howard Hughes. The story merely glosses through different aspects of his life without much detail. Tommy Lee Jones was good... but at the end you're not sure what made him driven, or crazy, in the first place.

title: FLIGHT OF THE INTRUDER
year: 1991
cast: Brad Johnson, Willem Defoe
director: John Milius
rating: *


This John Milius Vietnam flick has low-budget written all over it, especially when it counts. The talented actors are wasted, and a romantic subplot that borders on ludicrious helps waste them, and action scenes that leave the viewer wondering not only "What's going on?" but "When it gonna end?" Perhaps Milius, who wrote a good percentage of "Apocolypse Now", in trying for another Vietnam epic, ends up with a "G.I. Joe" meets "Top Gun" in the process. This isn't even corny in an endearing sense, it's just plain bad.  

title: MOTORCYCLE GANG
year: 1994
cast: Carla Gugino, Gerald McRaney, Jake Busey, Richard Edson, Julia Mueller
rating: **

This is a bad made-for-TV film that's not so bad, at least the first half centering on a family consisting of a father, a mother, and a teenager daughter who - during the 1950s - move from Texas to California. On the way they run into the element that ruins the flow of the movie, and ironically it's the Motorcycle Gang, led by Jake Busey who resembles a flaky nineties surfer more than a fifties gang member and is about an intimidating as a housefly. This is where the movie hits a wall, and explodes. Sadly, once-great John Milius directed this. 

title: CONVOY
Year: 1978
cast: Kris Kristofferson, Ali McGraw, Ernest Borgnine
rating: *

After directing the brilliant anti-war film Cross of Iron, Sam Peckinpah went into a dizzy retirement, and here's what he made at his dizziest. Truckers on CB radios versus a crooked cop. This should be called "BJ and the Billy the Kid", as Kris Kristofferson stars as the rebel trucker, and his usually dependable laidback personality is boring. Ali McGraw, who was pretty bad in the brilliant Peckinpah film The Getaway, is just as bad here, but without a good story to lift her above the fray. Burt Young and Ernest Borgnine are lackluster, as is Peckinpah's signature style... full of slow-motion action and snappy edits... which is hardly visible at all.

title: THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD
year: 1951 cast: James Arness  
director: Christian Nyby 
rating: *1/2

The John Carpenter version has a relatively small number of men trapped in an Arctic outpost, and you get to know them all by name, personality, share their claustrophobic frenzy and follow their fates accordingly. In this movie there's two main characters, a woman who is totally misplaced, and about a dozen nameless men who walk from room to room talking about a spaceship. John Carpenter told the story in a far better fashion... where you can at least follow each character through the nightmare as opposed to watching a dated stage play with too many characters parading before a stagnate camera. And the famous line, "Watch The Skies," is uttered by a lanky scientist. Which makes sense since there's nothing to see on the ground. 

title: BLOODY MAMA
year: 1970
cast: Shelley Winters
rating: *1/2

How can a movie directed by Roger Corman and starring Shelley Winters as a bank robber with sons played by Don Stroud, Robert Walden and last but not least Robert DeNiro not be great? Judging Corman films can be difficult since they don't aspire for much, but this is a lazy exercise in a filmmaker pushing an envelope with nothing inside. For DeNiro fans there's not much here. His character just stands around with a dumb look and every once in a while says something in an over-the-top hillbilly accent. Don Stroud is really the focal point as "Herman", the psychotic eldest son, but his performance does nothing but grate on the nerves. And Shelley Winters collects a paycheck. Corman produced BOXCAR BERTHA and CRAZY MAMA are much better.

title: STUNTS
year: 1977
cast: Robert Forster, Fiona Lewis
rating: ***1/2

Mark L. Lester rules. STUNTS involves stuntmen getting picked off by a mysterious killer. Robert Forster's little brother is one of them, and he investigates. Darrell Fetty, Joanna Cassidy, Fiona Lewis, Bruce Glover and the late Ray Sharky round out the cast. The acting is wonderful and the action is bar none. The stuntmen are killed off like campers in a slasher flick, and the tension mounts with precision. Lester is a miracle worker. He takes low budget movies and turns them into gold. Or at least, silver. And with Robert Forster at the helm: this one shines.

title: THE FURY
year: 1978 
cast: Amy Irving, Kirk Douglas 
rating: **1/2

This is a pretty bad movie, but oh how it delivers. Not quite sure what it wants to be, it aspires for action/adventure, a little horror, psychological drama, and of course tons of Hitchcockesque suspense. One story centers on Kirk Douglas who is supposedly killed by terrorists in front of his son, played by Andrew Stevens, a psychic boy-wonder under the care of evil John Cassavetes, wants to use his "powers" for the military, or something. And Douglas has to avoid the evil agents and try finding his son again. The initial action scenes involving Douglas are well-done. But the real star is Amy Irving as a young high school girl with even more psychic powers than Stevens, and she ends up at a home for "gifted children" that becomes CARRIE on the Hallmark Channel.

title: GHOST TOWN
year: 2007
cast: Ricky Gervais, Greg Kinnear
rating: ***1/2

Written and directed by David Koepp, this gives the wry-guy Ricky Gervais a decent showcase. Plot centers on a grumpy dentist who goes in for surgery and then finds out later he died for six minutes, and as a result he can see ghosts... much like that kid in "The Sixth Sense", but this ghost-spotter is more annoyed than frightened of the pursuing spectors. Greg Kinnear, as the most charming and most persistant of the ghosts tailing our anti-charm hero, "hires" him to thwart his wife from marrying "the wrong guy". It then turns into a fun love story: although it's much more funny when the good guy is sarcastic and bitter i.e. himself.

title: TROPIC THUNDER
year: 2008
cast: Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black
rating: *

"The Three Amigos" centers on three dim-bulb actors who go to Mexico thinking they're filming a movie and end up in a real situation battling bad guys who want to kill them. "Tropic Thunder" centers on three dim-bulb actors who think they're filming a movie and end up... doing "Three Amigos" all over again, but very badly. This could have been an at least halfway decent bad movie if there wasn't the sidestory about Ben Stiller's character's fading career, which makes it horrificly horribly awful. Ben Stiller goes over the top and isn't funny, Jack Black is totally wasted, and Robert Downey Jr. as a pretentious Australian actor playing a black army officer is somewhat impressive but gets annoying, fast.
Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

All Time Popular

Featured Post

ROD STEIGER COMMANDS 'THE SERGEANT' WITH JOHN PHILLIP LAW

Rod Steiger & John Phillip Law in THE SERGEANT Year: 1968 Rating: ****1/2 It's not just what THE SERGEANT is about, or even who i...

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

RIP ACTOR KEN HUTCHISON

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "Madam, just because I drive a truck does not make me a truck driver." Stacy Keach, Road Games

FILM NOIR & NEO NOIR CRIME

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)OTLEY 2)HELL IS A CITY 3)ROBBERY 4)VIOLENT SATURDAY 5)THE FEARMAKERS 6)CANYON PASSAGE 7)HOT CARS 8)JUNGLE STREET 9)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 10)THE CROWDED SKY 11))THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 12)SHARKS' TREASURE 13)SWEENEY TWO 14)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 15)HARDCORE 16)THE SYSTEM 17)WHITE HEAT 18)AL CAPONE 19)THE SERGEANT 20)FALLEN ANGEL 21)NIGHT CREATURES 22)CURSE OF THE DEMON 23)ASH WEDNESDAY 24)KILLER FISH 25)AIR PATROL 26)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 27)EASY LIVING 28)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 29)FRENZY 30)THE ROARING TWENTIES 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)JACK NICHOLSON 4)MARLON BRANDO 5)STANLEY BAKER 1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)JOHN GUILLERMAN 8)VAL GUEST 9)JOHN CARPENTER 10)MICHAEL WINNER

BRITISH NEW WAVE CINEMA

RARITIES AND EXPLOITATION

HAMMER HORROR & THRILLER

Popular This Month

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

PEAKING INTO THE SIXTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

REVVING THE SEVENTIES

FOR HORROR MOVIE REVIEWS


Reviews for the British series The Sweeney

Most Popular Last Year

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE