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All reviews - Movies (43)

Battlefield Earth review

Posted : 2 years, 7 months ago on 12 June 2020 06:23 (A review of Battlefield Earth)

Battlefield Earth, often considered to be the worst science fiction movie of all time, is an ugly, incomprehensible, and chaotic dystopian mess from start to finish. Based on a work by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, this movie focuses on the ultraviolent alien species Psychlos that enslave and study the last living humans in the 31st Century. The humans rebel and join forces to destroy these damn dirty aliens once and for all. As a person who’s not quite into science fiction movies, I found out early on why this movie is often considered the worst. The laughable Psychlo designs look like troll dolls covered in moss with dirty mops on their heads. Despite being the leader of the superior conquering alien race, Terl (John Travolta) has no idea how to communicate with the humans or what food they eat. The humans also have inconsistent tendencies, the shopping mall mannequin worshippers that give away their weapons to villains, but yet know to use a nuclear bomb to take out the Psychlos’ planet. Seriously, you’d think Terl and his gang would have wiped out the human race on Earth with the use of radioactive fusion, rather than the other way around. So, with that said, Battlefield Earth is one miracle of a sci-fi flop. With the horrendous art direction, baffling idiotic inconsistencies and complete stupidity in the writing and characters, this movie is one giant intergalactic dog that has to be seen to be believed.

(1/2 Fort Knox Gold Bar out of 5)


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Wild Wild West review

Posted : 2 years, 7 months ago on 12 June 2020 06:22 (A review of Wild Wild West)

Based on the hit 1960’s TV show of the same name, Wild Wild West centers on outlaw James West (Will Smith) and the master of disguise and inventor Artemus Gordon (Kevin Kline) and their plot to defeat the evil Dr. Arliss Loveless (Kenneth Branagh) from killing civilians and reviving the territories in the United States. Despite Will Smith’s best attempt to save this movie, the elaborate set and costume designs, and it’s overly expensive budget, Wild Wild West is a chaotic mess. The main problem with the picture is its unsteady tone, with several scenes mentioning dark and violent imagery and others with goofy and silly Yo Mama jokes and lame sexual innuendos. Also, while the TV show did combine elements of Western and science fiction, the movie sets course for the steampunk route, which also fell out of place with the Men in Black style humor. As for the jokes, they either drag for way too long or end with the most predictable payoff. Most notably, after West is introduced to Gordon dressed in drag, he encounters Gordon again dressed as President Grant, and finally, he meets a lady at the masquerade ball, mistaking her for Gordon. On top of the lame payoff from the rule of threes, the fact that you see Kline in drag or wearing a fake beard and prosthetic nose instead of another actor ruins the joke of a disguise. Finally, Rita Escobar (Salma Hayek), the brothel dancer who’s searching for her scientist father, was probably the most useless character in the movie. Not only does the Mexican love interest have no chemistry between the two, contribute nothing, and accidentally get the heroes captured, but she was already married, making the love triangle pointless. Wild Wild West was under development hell throughout the 90’s and it really shows, by its messy storyline, uneven tone and unfunny jokes that even Will Smith cannot save.

(1 ½ Giant Steampunk Spiders out of 5)


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An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn review

Posted : 2 years, 7 months ago on 12 June 2020 06:18 (A review of An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn)

Satires about the movie industry have existed since the Golden Age, with classics such as Blake Edwards’s S.O.B. to Robert Altman’s The Player. Unfortunately, one of the blackest sheeps of Hollywood parody is the mockumentary film Burn Hollywood Burn, one that attempts to realize Alan Smithee, a pseudonym for film directors who claim disownment of their projects. Here, Smithee (Eric Idle) is an English filmmaker who, tired of being the studio punchline, steals the reels for his $200 million motion picture “Trio” and threatens to burn them unless Hollywood agrees to release his original version. “Trio” is an action movie-within-a-movie starring Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jackie Chan as three gun-wielding detectives. Various studio heads get interviewed from James Edmonds (Ryan O’Neal), Jerry Glover (Richard Jeni), and the Brothers Brothers (Chuck D and Coolio), all of which try to talk Alan out of burning his movie. Obviously, Burn Hollywood Burn tries to be for movies what Rob Reiner’s This is Spinal Tap does for the music industry, but this one doesn’t take any risks or try to attack the Hollywood system. Instead, it aims for the obvious, with painful in-jokes, tired visual gags, painfully offensive African American stereotypes, obligatory celebrity cameos and sleazy interviewee subtitles, all in a desperate attempt for a laugh. In fact, I was surprised that everyone involved in the making didn’t change their names to Alan Smithee, especially Harvey Weinstein (surprisingly, not his most shameful act). At least Arthur Hiller, usually a talented director in his own right, had the courage to back out. Whatever the case, Burn Hollywood Burn sucks.

(1/2 Blackface Cane out of 5)


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The Postman review

Posted : 2 years, 7 months ago on 12 June 2020 06:15 (A review of The Postman)

Dances with Wolves is a movie that labeled Kevin Costner as one of the most prolific directors and producers of the 1990’s. His filmmaking credibility however disintegrated once his post-apocalyptic science fiction flop The Postman debuted in theaters. An unnamed outlaw (Kevin Costner) escapes from a fascist government concentration camp, dons a uniform from a dead postman and travels into the blockaded city of Pineview, Oregon. There, he plots to reform the U.S. government and fight General Bethlehem (Will Patton) and the Holnists for their country, almost akin to Robin Hood. Part of why this movie failed critically and box office wise was Costner’s tired, self-indulgent plot and message about fighting against authority for the better of the country. Despite the excellent costumes, decent cinematography and entertainingly dated design of 2013, The Postman was not well-written, not well-directed and seemed derivative of other movies such as Mad Max, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Waterworld. Plus, the epic mano e mano was lame, as The Postman and Bethlehem tackled each other, fell off their horses and physically fought on the dusty ground. It visually looks like I’m watching a catfight that might as well involve them aggressively shoving each other’s hands. For that matter, why couldn’t they just order their troops to attack instead of letting them watch on horseback? While it is not a good film by any means, The Postman is the most tonally consistent, unlike the other Razzie winners I’ve seen.

(2 Bronze Costner Statues out of 5)


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Striptease review

Posted : 2 years, 7 months ago on 12 June 2020 06:11 (A review of Striptease)

Time to see more of Demi Moore (pun definitely intended) with the movie that started the nail on the coffin of her acting career, Striptease. Based on the book by Carl Hiaasen, the movie follows Erin Grant (Demi Moore) an FBI agent-turned stripper who’s in the middle of a custody battle over her daughter (Rumer Willis) with the help of Lieutenant Al Garcia (Armand Assante). However, said battle requires a visit to Congressman David Dilbeck (Burt Reynolds) as she conjures a plan to remove him from office after one patron who volunteered as an insider was murdered. Unlike Showgirls, which was a drama and tries to take itself seriously, Striptease is a comedy with satirical jabs at corrupt Floridian politicians. The main problem with the film, however, is that the tone is all over the map, as it cannot decide whether to be funny or serious. That tonal shift might have been caused by Demi Moore, who knew too well about Erin and made her into a radical feminist who opposes her job. Meanwhile, she’s surrounded by whacky comic minor characters like Shad the bouncer (Ving Rhimes) and her ex-husband Darrell (Robert Patrick). Part of me wanted to laugh because these minor characters from the book do deserve fit on the big screen, but when Erin’s arc came, the movie fell apart. I swear, half the time, I kept wondering why she chose a cushy strip joint like the Eager Beaver instead of staying in the FBI. Despite Hiaasen’s approval of the film adaptation, Striptease is a mess and did not live up to its potential as a hilarious political satire.

(1 Shawshank Redemption Poster out of 5)
(FWI, major BOOOOOOO to Castle Rock for that joke)


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Showgirls review

Posted : 2 years, 7 months ago on 12 June 2020 06:06 (A review of Showgirls)

Showgirls is one of those trashy chick-flicks that you invite your college girlfriends over to your house accompanied with jeroboams of wine and champagne. Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley) hitchhikes to Las Vegas where she dreams of becoming an exotic dancer at Stardust Resort. There, she goes through other adventures such as forming a friendship with Molly (Gina Ravera), performing pole dances at the Cheetah, making an unlikely friend with Stardust Goddess Cristel Connors (Gina Gershon), having periods during dance rehearsal, weird crazy sex with Zach Carey (Kyle MacLachlan), pushing Cristel down the stairs, meeting Andrew Carver (William Shockley), Molly’s rape and assault, and beating up Andrew Carver. I know this is a movie that continues to show midnight screenings at cult theatres, similar to The Rocky Horror Picture Show or The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert. But unlike those two shows where they were entertainingly campy and silly, Showgirls does not have that same vibe. Don’t get me wrong, it has its unintentionally funny moments, mostly from Berkley’s legendary acting caliber. But, the pacing is slow, the writing is exploitive and sexist, certain plot threads go nowhere while others came out of nowhere, and we learn nothing about Nomi (or should I say Polly). All we know is that her parents died in a homicide/suicide, she has an incredible nationwide criminal record and has run away from a foster home in Oakland. However, we know nothing about what inspired her to her career, where she was born, what her childhood was like, how her parent’s deaths affected her psychologically or how old she was when they died. I want to say Showgirls is so bad it’s good, but, needless to say, it is nothing but a sleazy soap opera.

(1 ½ Chimps in Tutus out of 5)


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Color of Night review

Posted : 2 years, 7 months ago on 12 June 2020 06:02 (A review of Color of Night)

Here we have another Razzie Award-winning Bruce Willis flick, only this time it’s a neo-noir mystery called Color of Night, and it’s not a very good one. In this whodunit story, Dr. Bill Capa (Bruce Willis) is a color-blind psychiatrist who investigates the murder of his friend Dr. Bob Moore (Scott Bakula). The suspects include Sondra, the kleptomaniac and nymphomaniac (Lesley Ann Warren); Clark, the obsessive compulsive (Brad Douriff); Richie, a transgender boy (Jane Marsh); Rose, a mysterious woman who seduces Capa (also March); Buck, a suicidal ex-cop (Lance Henriksen) and Casey, a sadomasochist painter (Kevin J. O’Connor). Like most murder mysteries, the culprit is the minor character who is rarely seen throughout the majority, so the murderer was Dale (Andrew Lowery), but, there were some questions that needed to be addressed. First, if he wanted to keep Jane/Richie out of therapy, then why didn’t he just kill Dr. Capa similar to how he murdered Dr. Moore? Second, how did Dale know that Capa lived in the previous psychiatrist’s house, as he clearly must have known before planting the rattlesnake inside his mailbox? Third, what inspired him to purchase a Firebird, the same model vehicle that Buck owned? Fourth, why didn’t Dale, Jane, or Mrs. Niedelmeyer do anything to stop the father from abusing Richie? I could go on with the farfetched plot holes in the mystery, but instead I’m going to end with this. For a movie that’s about finding out who the killer is, Color of Night sure likes to forget certain details and over-elaborate on others.

(1 ½ Bruce Willies out of 5)


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Indecent Proposal review

Posted : 2 years, 7 months ago on 12 June 2020 05:58 (A review of Indecent Proposal)

Diane (Demi Moore) and David (Woody Harrelson) are a married couple who spend a night in Las Vegas when they encounter a billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford). Because they are broke and jobless, they make a deal with John that they get $1 million for the mortgage and life savings in exchange for Diane. Indecent Proposal, the book, in which the movie is based on, isn’t just a morality tale about marriage and monetary greed. It’s a tackle on more complex ideas, such as religious quarrel, biblical temptation, spirituality versus greed, and skill versus luck. However, for the movie, Adrian Lyne and Sherry Lansing dumb down the book’s interesting themes in favor of a generic blockbuster with big names, happy ending and other romantic movie tropes that would have been laughed off from The Player. For instance, the movie drops out the Arab and Jewish tensions from the Faustian love triangle, hence abandoning any religious significance. They switch locations from Atlantic City to Las Vegas, probably because it was dirt-cheap and more convenient for Hollywood. Finally, the couple was never high school sweethearts in the novel, whereas in the book the wife, Joan, was already married when the two met and the husband, Josh, was a Holocaust survivor. Although changes have to be made for an adaptation to work as a film, the ones in Indecent Proposal made the project look formulaic and generic. With the remake about to be in progress soon, I just hope that it’s more faithful to the book than its predecessor.

(2 Kissing Hippos out of 5)


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Shining Through review

Posted : 2 years, 7 months ago on 12 June 2020 05:53 (A review of Shining Through)

Shining Through is one of those clichéd romantic melodramas you just want to shake your head at for its corniness and sheer stupidity. Set in World War II, Linda (Melanie Griffith) works with her boss Ed Leland (Michael Douglas) as a secretary and German translator. However, when the war takes a toll on the United States, Ed enlists her as a spy for the Nazis posing as a nanny for Officer Franz-Otto Dietrich’s (Liam Neeson) children. Seeing it again, I forgot how much chemistry the two leads have with meek and wise working girl Griffith working off smart but naïve lawman Douglas. I also admire the production design and cinematography, how they allude to those romanticized office rooms in Casablanca. Conversely, the Nazi’s were portrayed surprisingly poorly and showcased some of Shining Through’s shark jumping moments. First, they hire Linda as a nanny after firing her as a cook, despite being a complete stranger. Then, they let Ed, disguised as a disabled war veteran with a bloody bandage on his throat, into a train to Berlin without thorough medical inspection. Finally, Dietrich allows Linda into the study room and basement in which his V-1 rocket plans are stashed behind a secret door. Honestly, I should have been angry, but, instead, I was amazed that Linda survived all those years without getting caught the second the other Nazis and Margrete (Joely Richardson) recognized her.

(2 Strudels out of 5)


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Hudson Hawk review

Posted : 2 years, 7 months ago on 12 June 2020 05:50 (A review of Hudson Hawk)

To say that this film is crazy and silly from start to finish is an absolute understatement. Hudson Hawk (Bruce Willis) and Tommy Five-Tone (Danny Aiello) are cat burglars who are blackmailed on a mission to steal Renaissance artifacts that contain diamonds. These diamonds are used to resurrect a Da Vinci alchemical machine that turns basic metals into gold. Of course, Hudson Hawk combines elements of tongue-and-cheek dark humor, Hope and Crosby adventure comedies, surreal humor, cartoony slapstick humor, and screwball comedy. However, a good chunk of why the movie doesn’t work is because the humor doesn’t impact the story at all or lead to anywhere, like the writers are presenting every over-the-top joke in a desperate attempt to grab the audience’s attention. Worst of all, the writers wave their keys so often that it leaves no room for the movie to pause, breathe, and examine character, so the viewers are kept out of the movie’s environment. Also, almost every minor character, including The Mayflowers (Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard), Sister Anna (Andie MacDowell), the Mario Brothers (Frank Stallone and Carmine Zozzara), and CIA head George Kaplan (James Coburn) and his candy-named agents, are absolute hams, up to a point where they distract from the plot and jokes. To add insult to injury, no one seems to have a reason to behave that way, so the humor falls even flatter than before. It’s actually a shame because I wanted to like this movie, as the out-of-context clips I saw before viewing weren’t too bad and earned me a chuckle. However, in context, Hudson Hawk, while not without charm and with some impressive stunts, is all about behavior and restless humor, all without structure or meaning.

(1 ½ Da Vinci Horse Sculptures out of 5)


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