Archive for November, 1999

The Hitcher

As he pulls over in the middle of nowhere in the rain to pick up the shadowy figure, young Jim Halsey (C. Thomas Howell) tells him “My mom told me never to do this.” Jim should have listened to his mother. What he doesn’t know but is that the shadowy figure is John Ryder (Rutger Hauer), a serial killer who is about to take Jim on the ride of his life. Read the rest of this entry »

Dead Poet’s Society

If history has taught us but one thing, it is every time Robin Williams plays a dramatic role in a film with three words in the title, he’s Oscar bound. Look at his relationship with Oscar: “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poet’s Society,” “The Fisher King,” and finally a win for “Good Will Hunting.” “Good Morning, Vietnam” was his first major hit, a brilliant combination of humor and pathos set against the blossoming Vietnam War. Williams didn’t do another feature film until 1989’s “Dead Poet’s Society,” and once again proved that he was more than a hyper kinetic comedian. Read the rest of this entry »

Judge Dredd

It’s hard to believe that “Judge Dredd” was released only three years ago. It seems like more. It feels like a late 80’s film. Based on the English comic books, “Judge Dredd”is comical all right. Director Danny Cannon spent a lot of money and time to bring “Judge Dredd” to the screen, and what he delivered is a film that can’t make up it’s mind if it wants to be a hardcore action film or a live-action cartoon. Rated R, “Judge Dredd” doesn’t flinch on the violence. Read the rest of this entry »

Video Views Column: September 28

Action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme’s star fades a little more with this direct-to-video revenge flick, more than a step down for the former lead of “Universal Soldier.” Directed with little flair by Danny Mulroon and featuring a paint-by-numbers screenplay by Tim O’Rourke, “Desert Heat” is no more than a ninety-minute programmer that would be happy on the bottom half of a drive-in feature. Van Damme plays a mysterious loner (are there any other kind) whose quest to find solace in his meaningless life is interrupted by a vicious gang who steal his motorcycle and leave him for dead. With the help of an old friend, Eddie Lomax (Van Damme) gathers his strength and seeks revenge. There’s lots of pedestrian action, but not much more. (Columbia-TriStar) Read the rest of this entry »

DVD Available

I Know What You Did Last Summer: Special Edition – Columbia TriStar (R/1997/101 Min./

P & S/Letterbox/2.35:1/16×9/5.1 Dolby)

I Like to Play Games – Simitar (R/1994/80 Min./P & S/1.33:1)

Igor and the Lunatics – Troma Read the rest of this entry »

Very Bad Things

Laura Garrety (Cameron Diaz) is a woman who won’t be denied. She has waited 27 years to get married, and she won’t let a little thing like a bachelor party get in her way. Which explains her reluctance when fiancee Kyle Fisher (Jon Favreau) announces that his buddies are taking him to Las Vegas for one final blowout. It’s not that she doesn’t trust Kyle. She does. Read the rest of this entry »

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. DVD

I’ve read several negative reviews of “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.” Their main gripe was that the sequel was just more of the same. Really? No kidding?

You see, that is the beauty of spoofing films like the James Bond series. Most of the Bond films were nothing more than mutant versions of themselves. Bigger budgets. Bigger set pieces.
Read the rest of this entry »

Films Review November


(First Look Pictures)


In its own little universe, safely tucked away inside a dark theater, “Big Daddy” seems harmless enough. It is when the lights come up and the doors swing open that the film’s flaws become overwhelmingly apparent. Read the rest of this entry »

Monty Python

What could I possibly say that would make a difference to Monty Python fans? Nothing. It would be impossible to try and sum up here what Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin have done for comedy. Brilliant writers and performers (and eventually directors), the Monty Python troupe redefined British humor. Read the rest of this entry »

The Shining

As a fan of Stephen King, I must admit that I was not thrilled with “The Shining” when it first came out. As an admirer of director Stanley Kubrick, I understood his need to make the film his own, yet I felt betrayed that some of my favorite scenes in the book didn’t make it into Kubrick’s screenplay (co-written with Diane Johnson). It wasn’t until several years later that I began to appreciate what Kubrick had done with King’s words. King wrote a horror story, Kubrick created a psychological journey into madness. Read the rest of this entry »