Archive for June, 2001

Films Review July


All talk and no bite, the new religious thriller “The Body” feels like a double cross. It promises much more than the filmmakers are willing to deliver, and when all is said and done, you feel like you’ve been taken for a ride. Read the rest of this entry »

Finding forrester

Filled with memorable performances and lots of heart, “Finding Forrester” is a perfect convergence of star and material. Sean Connery is absolutely splendid as the crusty Pulitzer-prize winning author William Forrester, who turned his back on society after publishing just one book. Written by Mike Rich, whose screenplay gained attention when it was submitted to a script contest, “Finding Forrester” is a solid, entertaining film about what happens when two very different people are brought together by the same passion: writing.
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Cast Away

A funny and telling thing happened while watching “Cast Away” the other day. There were a couple of instances where Tom Hanks’ character, a FedEx systems engineer named Chuck Noland, becomes injured in the water and starts to bleed. Immediately everyone around me tensed up and collectively muttered “Oh no, sharks.” Read the rest of this entry »


Poor Los Angeles. Two nasty earthquakes in one week (see “The Last Warrior” review below). In this overly familiar made-for-cable disaster film, a group of people on a subway train are trapped in an underground tunnel when Los Angeles rocks and rolls. Even though director Jean Pellerin milks as much suspense out of the script and characters as possible, anyone who remembers those cheesy ABC Movie of the Week disaster movies from the early seventies and “Daylight” with Sylvester Stallone will recognize every plot point. Read the rest of this entry »

3000 Miles to Graceland

It was an ingenious enough plan: rob the Riviera Casino’s count room during an Elvis impersonator convention. But Thomas Murphy decided to keep all the money for himself and shot all his partners, including recently-freed ex-con Michael Zane. With Read the rest of this entry »

Films Review June


An interesting cast can’t seem to shift this offbeat drama into gear. Lili Taylor stars as Rachel, who is so incensed that she is ripped off by a crooked garage owner that she recruits her friends and neighbors to get even. It’s a simple story, and that seems to be the problem. Read the rest of this entry »

Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko gets along badly with his family, with his teachers and with his classmates; but he does manage to find a sympathetic friend in Gretchen, who agrees to date him; and he has a compassionate psychiatrist, who discovers hypnosis is the means to unlock hidden secrets. His other companion may not be a true ally. Donnie has a friend named Frank, who is either a large purple bunny, or man in a large purple bunny costume Read the rest of this entry »

Ask the Video Guy

Welcome to John Larsen’s “Light Views, Reviews & Previews,” your one-stop entertainment location on the Internet. I created the column in 1974 as editor of the Hueneme High School newspaper “The Shield,” Read the rest of this entry »


“Hannibal,” the much anticipated sequel to Jonathan Demme’s Oscar-winning “Silence of the lambs,” is a feast for the eyes, not the stomach. What was once taut and terrifying has become mundane. Everything that made the first film so riveting has been tossed out the window. What remains is an exercise in gratuitous violence geared to titillate rather than horrify. Read the rest of this entry »


When author David Morrell wrote “First Blood” in 1972, he killed off lead character John Rambo at the end of the novel. Luckily, that ending was changed when “First Blood” became a film ten years later. Read the rest of this entry »


What started off as a dare by Director Alfred Hitchcock became a cottage industry for Universal Pictures, spawning two theatrical sequels and two made-for-television (cable) efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

Cabin Pressure

A fully automated commercial jetliner is prepared to make its maiden voyage. Without an on-flight pilot, the craft relies on satellite linking for its course. But when the plane suddenly deviates from its determined route and establishes a circular pattern over Seattle, it becomes evident that the craft has been hijacked by a disgruntled former airline employee who has hacked into the flight’s computer system from his apartment, somewhere in the United States Read the rest of this entry »

Miracle on 34th Street

I’m a sucker for movies like “Miracle on 34th Street.” I like my Christmas movies the same as my Christmas trees: sappy. I want to be able to pretend for two hours that “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I want to be there when young attorney Fred Gailey (John Payne) pulls out all of the stops to prove that Edmund Gwenn is indeed Kris Kringle. Read the rest of this entry »

Before Night Falls

“Before Night Falls” isn’t a great film, but it does feature a great performance from Javier Bardem, one of Spain’s leading exports. As Cuban poet and writer Reinaldo Arenas, Bardem delivers a soulful performance filled with understanding and understatement. If only the film was as brave and bold. Read the rest of this entry »

True Crime

A crime has been committed, and once again it’s society that has to pay. Unless of course you read this review, then you can save yourself seven hard-earned dollars by skipping Clint Eastwood’s “True Crime.” Read the rest of this entry »