Mr. OpEd

IMDb member since January 2001
    Lifetime Total
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    Poll Taker
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    IMDb Member
    20 years

Reviews

Double Crossbones
(1951)

3-strip fun
Don't know why this has such a low rating. Gorgeous Technicolor, rousing Frank Skinner score, top-notch model and process work, fast run time. The fist-fight scenes are well staged and bully for Donald O'Conner's action work, he actually looks like a real fencer! Add Helena Carter's captivating beauty and the tried-and-true mistaken identity plot and I think it's terrific entertainment.

Killer Sofa
(2019)

SPOILER (sort of): it's not a sofa
I don't know why they didn't call it "Killer Recliner" as that's what it is and that title would simply sound better.

This is one weird movie. Horror? Mystery? Gothic? Home Decor? Check for all. It is only slightly gory, but the violence is disturbing. I don't even remember any profanity, which is refreshing. And the Killer Recliner does more and more as the movie moves along -- it becomes more animated. Wait, you're saying, furniture can't do what the Killer Recliner is doing. But we find out it can and why it can do it.

I'll never look at a Lazy Boy the same again. Or...is it looking at me??

C.H.U.D.
(1984)

First, I'd like to give one star
...to all of those people who have no idea what good acting is and so rate the actors based on the movie they don't like: movie bad, actors must be bad (and direction, score, etc.). It's like reading reviews by six-year-olds. You don't know anything about acting so stop it!

Also, don't review a movie based on a chopped-up VHS edit. The full, unedited C.H.U.D. is terrific, well-paced, inventive, and yes, very well acted. This film boasts an amazing cast, make-up effects to die for, and a perfect synth score.

Start the Revolution Without Me
(1970)

Before Holy Grail, Before Love and Death there was...
Start the Revolution Without Me. If you enjoyed the type of humor in those two movies there's no reason you won't like or even love this one.

Beautifully shot by Jean Tournier with an incredible score by John Addison (why was this never released?) the film is a treat to watch. My only gripe is that Orson Welles should have been the narrator throughout.

Pet Sematary
(1989)

There's a fine line between scary and stupid...
There's a fine line between scary and stupid...

PS crossed this line. I'm sure I missed half the movie as I spent half the time rolling my eyes and sighing at how poorly done this was. The dead college student offered a little comic relief, but not nearly enough and reminded me of American Werewolf in London. I only gave it two instead of one star because I did finish it; wish I hadn't, but did .

Bloodsucking Bastards
(2015)

Extremely funny, but...
I would have rated this much higher but there's just too #)$&*%*! swearing. EVERY character seems to have a potty mouth and that wrecks the few jokes with a foul-language payoff that are actually funny.

Good characters, good editing, good writing, but the cussing crushes it.

Angie Tribeca
(2016)

I'm shocked SHOCKED people are comparing this to...
Police Squad. As though it's a rip-off. This is an homage. Period. It was built from the gound up to be ZAZ humor. And it's nearly perfect. They've been adding more profanity bombs lately (WHY!?), but I'll try and forgive them. This is COMEDY folks. If you just don't get it, I'm not sure you're still breathing.

Star Trek Beyond
(2016)

3 stars and that's being generous
Loud? check Flashy? check Long? check Too cute? check All sound and fury signifying nothing? check

There was a lot going on, a lot happening, a lot of money thrown at the screen and I was bored to tears. Even the score seemed to be in the same key for the whole 14 hour movie.

Deception
(2018)

Old fashioned clean, fun, clever...
Old fashioned clean, fun, clever...No wonder the idiots cancelled it.

Atomic Blonde
(2017)

Foul and phoney
We lasted about 10 minutes. Written by a 16 year-old who thinks foul language is mature or cool (it's forced, cliched, and boring), but what really turned us off was Theron's hideous accent. Could we stand two hours of her struggling with it? Nah.

War
(2007)

Tourrets filmmaking at its finest!
Choppy editing, vomit inducing camera moves, zooms for no reason and this is just the actors talking. Speaking of actors, Jet looks like he wants to be anywhere but in this movie and after 20 minutes, I felt the same way.

Tourrets filmmaking at its finest!

Moontrap: Target Earth
(2017)

What did I just sleep through?
Just kidding. I didn't stay with it long enough to fall asleep.

Before making a movie, please watch a whole bunch of great movies and ask yourself, "Can I make one remotely as good? Do I understand framing, editing, pacing, tension?" If the makers of MTE had asked these (the answer was NO!), it would have saved everyone a lot of time.

Taken
(2017)

Didn't make it five minutes
Enjoyed the Taken flicks so gave this a try.

He's fighting other convicts to macgyver something together for some purpose (didn't stick around to find out).

The fight scenes are horribly staged and edited. Better to have done far fewer of them and spent more time on them. Then the night stick beatings he receives are totally over the top (ever been hit by sticks?).

I have little time for Harveywood anymore anyway so if it's not good in a few minutes, I'm done.

Clown
(2014)

Movies like this don't scare me...but this movie
Well, scare isn't the right word. But tension? You bet. Don't understand the low ratings. Perhaps not enough gore or the troll/demon under the bridge isn't that familiar. See it for yourself. A great flick.

Becoming Bond
(2017)

A story that would make a great movie. This isn't that movie.
Let's look at the good, the bad, and the meh:

The good: Jayne Seymour's in it! Still gorgeous, still talented. The Chapter titles are cute and a hoot. The breaking of the fourth wall is amusing as is the overdubbing by Lazenby. Much of the interview with Lazenby is thoughtful and engaging, so much so that one wonders why they didn't just leave this "documentary" as a series of interviews.

The bad: The actor playing Harry Saltzman (Jeff Garlin) looks and sounds nothing like him. He does look and sound like the father from the Goldbergs which is who he is.

And speaking of not looking or sounding like the original, Josh Lawson, aside from a chin dimple, is barely passable as Lazenby. His hair looks horrible throughout (is that a paint brush hanging from the back of his head?). He does an OK job with acting the part, but the more they put up original footage of Lazenby, the worse he fairs by comparison. Some of the period details are awful, too. What is that yellow Honda doing there? Twice!

Do you enjoy scenes with farting and diarrhea? You're in luck because there's one that goes on forever (one thing the Bond films of this era excelled at was editing!!!! - not so here). And there's one tasteless threesome sex scene that made me cringe. Doesn't matter if it happened in real life or not. Some things are best left to the imagination (if there!).

The meh: There is little sense of time or place. We don't even here of 007 or the Beatles or anything else "60s!" until 3/4s of the way through. Speaking of period correctness, John Piscitello's score is serviceable for catching the mood of the situations but there's no 60s spy-vibe to it a la Laurie Johnson, Edwin Astley, or (eh hem) John Barry.

In closing there is very little of Lazenby becoming Bond at all, just enough to whet the viewer (work on his accent and walk, for example). There's no mention of the reasons Lazenby left the film. First, he was not treated well on set with orders given not to speak to him directly (Peter Hunt had an assistant address the actor). And two, he was told by people he trusted that the Bond craze was just about finished anyway and he shouldn't be shackled to a has-been character. Not touching on these is like a bio on Napoleon that neglects Waterloo.

I still like George Lazenby so the film didn't ruin that, but it did ruin itself.

Undead
(2003)

If you like the F-word screamed at the top of everyone's lungs...
I thought Daybreakers was a great flick so I wanted to see something else the creators made.

This was AWFUL. If you like the F-word screamed at the top of everyone's lungs instead of smart dialog, then this is the film for you/sarc.

So yes, they certainly improved as film makers if you take this as the first step.

The sample-based orchestra score was well done, though!

Pandorum
(2009)

In space, no one can see you scream because it's too danged dark!
I've actually tried to watch this on three different occasions, don't ask me why, but do know that I've never finished and won't try again.

Dark? Guess they spent all the budget on glow sticks and flashlights.

Noisy? Yes, but why? We usually don't know what the sounds mean?

Shaky cam? Sigh, yes.

Continuity? Early on, Bower uses a cool looking razor to remove his bristle. Something startles him mid-shave, but he's next thing we see, he's completely shaven.

Don't try this once, let alone three times. I always give 1 out of 10 when I can't be bothered to finish.

The Hitman's Bodyguard
(2017)

Watch Midnight Run and Grosse Point Blank instead
This is so derivative of other, sooo much better films, that I turned it off half way in. The action scenes are OK but the foul language is so forced and unbelievable that it was like a teenager shouting "I can swear, ain't it cool?"

It's not half as cute or witty or fun as it thinks it is so it wore out its welcome long before the end.

The Deadly Trackers
(1973)

The implausible Trackers
I'd streamed some TCM yesterday. Finally got to see Dark of the Sun. Wow. Great flick. Then there was another Rod Taylor actioner, The Deadly Trackers. The film opens up with much promise: narration over photographs of the action. Then Taylor (the bad guy) shoots a bank teller who tells Taylor he made a mistake what with sheriff Richard Harris running things. From that gun shot, everything is live except any plausibility.

What follows is the town's folk, like a well-oiled crime-fighting machine, coming out with rifles at the ready. There are armed men everywhere and traps to keep Taylor and his fellow bank robbers from fleeing. There's just one problem. Sheriff Harris doesn't want any of these guns fired. Huh?

If you're a gun enthusiast this has you scratching your head as towns people (including those with guns) are simply picked off by the baddies and then allowed to escape after killing hostages.

On the other hand, if you're anti-gun, you're also scratching your head as the pacifist/non-gun wearing sheriff then goes off to track the miscreants...alone!...and kill them using GUNS!

Not long after killing the first bad guy, Harris runs into another inept/pacifist sheriff, this one from south of the border who is slovenly dressed for some reason.

So, now we have a movie about not killing filled with killing. After hearing the music for the Wild Bunch, an actual violent western that had something to say and didn't bang you over the head saying it, tracked in for the action scenes, I gave up.

A couple of creatives quit or disowned this pile of illogical horse dropping, so I joined them and turned it off 20 minutes in.

Freaks of Nature
(2015)

F-Bombs of nature
Oren Uziel has confused F-bombs for dialog. Admittedly, some of the actors may have been allowed to ad-lib profanity here and there, but it all quickly added up to the point where that's all we heard. No one I know talks like this and I live in Los Angeles!

Loved the premise. Usually like zombie/vampire/alien movies, but this was tooooo much to put up with. Turned it off after 15 minutes.

Men in War
(1957)

Got about 36 minutes in...
Big Anthony Mann fan, but this stinks. None of the soldiers from officers to noncoms to foot soldiers act in a believable way, especially the arguing between ranks. After the flowers in the helmet sequence, I just had to roll my eyes and give up. Frankly, it started pretty good, but got tedious and unbelievable. Even Elmer Bernstein seems lost.

Karnavalnaya noch
(1956)

Amazon has this title!
If you have Prime, the movie is included. It's in Russian, which I do not understand, but the music and production make it 100% watchable. The print is pristine, too.

Plot (from Wikipedia) It is New Year's Eve and the employees of a House of culture are ready with their annual New Year's entertainment program. It includes a lot of dancing and singing, jazz band performance and even magic tricks. Suddenly, an announcement is made that a new director has been appointed and that he is arriving shortly. Comrade Ogurtsov arrives in time to review and disapprove of the scheduled entertainment. To him, holiday fun has a different meaning. He imagines speakers reading annual reports to show the club's progress over the year, and, perhaps, a bit of serious music, something from the Classics, played by the Veterans' orchestra.

Obviously, no one wants to change the program a few hours before the show, much less to replace it with something so boring! Now everyone has to team up in order to prevent Ogurtsov from getting to the stage. As some of them trap Ogurtsov one way or another, others perform their scheduled pieces and celebrate New Year's Eve.

Dead Rising: Endgame
(2016)

sigh
The opening credits action is great!

Then the movie proper starts.

The film makers mistake non-stop profanity for well-written dialog. EVERYBODY swears every fifth word. Profanity is a spice, not the whole meal and this kind of writing got tired in the early 80s.

Cussing crutches made this unwatchable.

The Noose Hangs High
(1948)

Not only had I never seen this, I'd never heard of it!
It's 2016. I'm nearly 60. I've a LOT of comedies (and so-called "comedies") and this is one of the cleverest flicks.

A&C are a favorite and this has some of their best patter, great physical comedy, and subtle double entendres.

Leon Errol is a fine addition to the team as the not-so-menacing über villain who never loses. Cathy Downs is the fetching eye candy who gets caught up in the boy's shenanigans and makes the team a trio. And the older I get, the more I marvel at Bud Abbott's amazing straight man.

Usually when a movie has 7 writers, you're looking at a bomb. Not here. Charles Barton had helmed some other A&C films in the past but this could be his best. And kudos to Walter Schumann's perfect score.

Bone Tomahawk
(2015)

Spoilers, hopefully warning you off this flick the way I'd wish I'd been
Spoilers, hopefully warning you off this flick the way I'd wish I'd been

*Spoiler* *Spoiler* *Spoiler* *Spoiler*

I rather enjoyed the first 3/4s of the movie. Yes, it could have used some trimming (Note to film makers, walking and talking and riding and talking and lying down and talking is only soooo interesting for so long), but it was intriguing enough, the dialog was clever enough, the acting good enough, and kudos to the low-level lighting that was so successfully used.

I saw that this was supposed to be a horror western and that there was gore. But truth be told, even the opening sequence that is violent and a little bloody isn't too bad. We've all seen worse. There are a few action scenes, all well shot and edited, very pro, but they do not dwell on the violence. It's quick and over. The camera does dwell on the one young man who gets killed and gutted early, but it's dark. The worst part was I couldn't help thinking, "Once again, the black guy gets it early." The movie also pays some positive nods to Christianity and the then changing notions of tolerance and acceptance of the "other." Then (SPOILERS) our heroes are captured and forced to watch the gory butchering of a live human being. He's scalped, something sharp is forced down his throat, his genitals are hammered, and he is split down the middle and torn into. That was it. Turned it off, not only disgusted, but angry.

Think of watching the Sound of Music and the last third turns into the original Texas Chainsaw Masacre. Scratch that, TCM was a great movie and you know going in what it was all about. There was no lulling you into thinking it was going to be a western with a bit of a grizzly twist. Why didn't the bandits they ran into show up half eaten along the way; something to prepare you for the complete cold cock to come? I don't mind gory movies, but torture porn, or gorenography is never something I want to see. It's not edifying.

But the gorenography did something more, it made me question the rest of the movie. Why did the Cannibaltrogs leave the black man behind? They didn't like dark meat? Why did they only take a few towns people since they got in and out so stealthily? Why not take a few dozen? Heck, why not just set up shop in town? There's a perfectly good jail there to warehouse dinner. Also, they have no fear of firearms. Why aren't they using them? They know how to split a man's head with a tomahawk at about 20 yards, I would think modern rifles and pistols would catch their interest.

Finally, the reaction of the captured wife when the sheriff is brought into the Cannibaltrogs's lair. "I'm alive," said with about emotion as ordering dry toast. She's already seen what these things do to humans. She should be whimpering with fear, perhaps unable to say a word. This does not begin to ring true for actual human emotions.

So, I'd give the first, longish part of the movie, the actual western, a 5, but the disgusting sucker punch dropped it to a solid 1.

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