Archive for September, 2000

The Mummy

Walking corpses, flesh-eating bugs, fire from the sky and enough Saturday matinee serial close-calls make “The Mummy” such a giddy, fun-filled adventure. Not for one second do you believe any of it, but this remake of the 1932 horror film is such a good time you’re willing to give in to its big screen charms. Read the rest of this entry »

Time Bandits

Terry Gilliam is such a great director that it is easy to dismiss “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Aside from “The Fisher King,” Gilliam’s best films have been those set in another time or place. Gilliam, who started off as a cartoonist before joining Monty Python’s Flying Circus, has a unique visual sense that turns his films into celebrations of the art form. Read the rest of this entry »

A time for drunken horses

The images are as stark and desolate as the landscape. Men, women, and children begging for an opportunity to make money, perhaps just enough to put food on the table. They come to a trading outpost in the middle of nowhere, hoping that their services as human mules will be needed by the smugglers who pass through the outpost.
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Dinosaur

Long before humans appeared on the planet, dinosaurs ruled the earth. On a little off-coast island, a clan of lemurs finds a dinosaur egg, hatching. Since there are no parents, the lemurs take care of the newborn, Aladar Read the rest of this entry »

Shadow Hours

Michael is a recovering alcoholic/drug user. Back on the wagon, he’s now responsible for a young, beautiful, and pregnant wife. He’s working the graveyard shift at a gas station to support his new family, but the job drives him crazy Read the rest of this entry »

Good Night, and Good Luck

In 1938, Orson Welles and his Mercury Players proved the power of radio with their historic presentation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. Through effective showmanship, Welles was able to convince America it was under attack. Read the rest of this entry »

Live and Let Die

Oh my! What do you do when the star of your action franchise takes a bow for the second time in a row? After having gone through the nightmare of replacing him once, the second search must have been daunting. That was the task of producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, whose “James Bond” franchise had just lost its leading man, again. Read the rest of this entry »

Frankenstein

Sixty-eight years after its release, director James Whale’s “Frankenstein” still leaves an impact. Ahead of its time both cinematically and thematically, the horror film based on Mary Shelley’s acclaimed novel stands up to the test of time. It’s not only relevant, but remains topical. While scientists figure out how to clone human beings, Dr. Harry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) has been playing God for more than six decades. Read the rest of this entry »

The War of the Worlds

Inside the pantheon of great science-fiction/fantasy filmmakers is a special hall dedicated to producer George Pal. George Pal is one of my favorite people. His films not only entertained me, they inspired me. I still count “The Time Machine” among my all time favorite films. Read the rest of this entry »

Tremors

“Tremors” is director Ron Underwood’s giddy throwback to the great monster movies of the 1950s. Working from a funny and exciting script by Brent Maddox and S.S. Wilson, Underwood has fashioned a solid piece of escapist entertainment. Fred Ward and Kevin Bacon are excellent as the two small desert town dwelling buddies who will seemingly do anything for money, including pumping out septic tanks. Read the rest of this entry »

Tales from the Crypt

Writer-director Rusty Cundieff and writer-producer Darin Scott pay homage to the great horror omnibus “Tales from the Crypt” with this urban update. Three gang-bangers’s plans to rob a mortician of drugs goes South when the mortician (Clarence Williams III in a fright wig) invites them into his parlor, and then weaves four tales of horror. Read the rest of this entry »

Watcher, The

A detective (James Spader) tracking a serial killer (Keanu Reeves) gives up all hope of solving the crimes and moves to another city. After he’s settled in the old acquaintance he makes himself known. The serial killer has resurrected and resumes sending him pictures of his next victim Read the rest of this entry »

Rebel Without a Cause

More than 40 years after its release, “Rebel Without a Cause” still packs quite a wallop. Even though its story and situations may be outdated, who can deny the star power of the film? Here was James Dean, hot off of “East of Eden,” playing what has become the ultimate in teen angst. Read the rest of this entry »

Proof of Life

In a mountainous South American country, drug-dealing rebels kidnap Peter Bowman, a US engineer who works for an oil company’s subsidiary. The company calls in a negotiator, Terry Thorne, an Aussie ex-soldier based in London. When the subsidiary goes bankrupt, the oil company washes its hands of the matter and pulls Thorne Read the rest of this entry »

The Parent Trap

I remember it like it was yesterday. 1961. The old Fox Santa Paula Theater. I was only five then, but I clearly remember how much I liked Walt Disney Pictures “The Parent Trap.” I was an instant Haley Mills groupie. I didn’t dare miss any of her following films, like “That Darn Cat,” “In Search of the Castaways,” and “Summer Magic.” Fond memories of childhood. Read the rest of this entry »