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American Outlaws

Irreverent and fun
This is more an action movie than western, and only thinly connected to the story of Jesse James, but it's a fun romp, the eye-candy is nice, the action is quick and constant.

Drawbacks? The acting is either over-the-top or wooden. But the characters are likable and funny, and other than a truly painful job by Ali Larter as Zee Mimms, the acting is at least adequate. Timothy Dalton does a respectable Pinkerton, and he and Harris Yulin (Thaddeus Rains) chew the scenery in every scene they are in, in the best western-bad-buy style.

The soundtrack is actually very good, too.


Campy, but quite serviceable sci-fi
This is an earlier van Damme effort -- and he's pretty wooden in this one, but the simple, linear storyline makes this movie an entertaining one, definitely a good "popcorn movie". The movie makes a few feeble attempts at humanizing the characters, but the flashback scenes used to show us that the main character is a tortured soul are contrived and occasionally laugh-inducing.

The plot -- get the life-saving data about a plague to the scientists across the barren 'no mans land' is thin, but carries this sci-fi vehicle pretty well, despite the fact that all the characters seem to be named after guitars. The fight scenes are, as usual, believable and exciting.

All in all, definitely not a good movie, but certainly worth an hour or so, if you like sci-fi. FOr some it might be MST3K material, but if you can get past the camp, it's not too bad.

The Barbarians

For fans of camp, this is a gem
I have to admit that I loved this movie -- it's completely campy, it doesn't take itself seriously for a moment, and it has few redeeming qualities. The actors -- which is a loose description of what they are doing on screen -- look like they are having a ball filming this over-the-top sword-and-sorcery outing, and it's hard not to share in the fun. The heroes are musclebound, the damsel-in-distress is pretty and spunky, the bad guy is a caricature of bad-guys. What more can you wish for?

Frankly, any movie that includes a girl in a cage commenting on the arrival of her two rescuers with "And look at the size of you two! This is Ismina's lucky day!" gets a pass from me. It's fun.

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