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    9 years

Reviews

Jaguar Lives!
(1979)

Will you go?
Jaguar Lives! Is a strangely shot yet alluring yarn about globetrotting martial arts expert Joe Lewis who works on a ranch with sensei Woody Strode, somewhere in Spain. The entire movie was filmed in Spain in September 1978. When Lewis' services are needed, a goddess (Barbara Bach) arrives from the sky in a helicopter to tell Lewis where to go and what to do. It jumps around a bit. I didn't really try to understand what was going on too much, and found it to be an interesting watch, not so much for the plot. It's sort of James Bond meets Mission Impossible meets Steven Seagal meets Beverly Hills Ninja. Being familiar with Lee, Pleasance, Strode, and Bach, I figured a movie with that cast couldn't be too bad. And it wasn't. Lee is his typical staid and villainous self. Donald Pleasance is especially amusing in his role as a dictator, but it is only slightly more than a cameo appearance. The reason I watched was because of Bach, with Jaguar Lives! coming up on a search result for her. She was good as always but her parts too few and far between. Lewis, who was a complete unknown to me, pretty much hogs the screen. I would've liked to see more of Bach, obviously, but Lewis was actually better than i expected him to be, and this is a martial arts movie, so for what it is, i think it succeeds to an extent. Watch it twice if you don't believe me.

L'isola degli uomini pesce
(1979)

She rode a white horse
This and The Great Alligator make a good double feature. Bond girl Barbara Bach with golden hair on white horse stars as the beautiful daughter of an evil professor conducting experiments on a mysterious island. When strangers arrive they quickly become suspicious of the peculiar goings on. One of those 70's movies that maybe you saw as a kid after the late news and remember as being totally awesome. A bit of a quibble i have (with a lot of movies) is there are too many dimly lit scenes- there needs to be good lighting at all times to view Bach. There is a bathtub scene, well lighted, but tamely done. I watched this after the Spy that Loved Me and The Great Alligator and was not disappointed. I really like movies from this late 70's time period. Both Screamers and Alligator are cheesy, yes, but they are seriously done (despite not spending tons on effects and such) and are endearing in their own way. One other thought about this movie, it is actually not unlike a Hammer movie- i can see Christopher Lee as Rackham and Peter Cushing as Claude de Ross, which is not to take anything away from Richard Johnson's performance as Rackham, or Casselini as de Ross- both were great. Good movie

Il fiume del grande caimano
(1979)

Welcome to paradise house
Light horror 70's fare. Well worth a watch. The main attraction here is Barbara Bach in her prime... this was made just two years after The Spy that Loved Me. Despite some hints of danger early on at the resort, there isn't a whole lot of carnage- until near the end- and nothing too gory even then. Set in Africa but filmed in Sri Lanka. It's kind of funny some of the natives appear to be black but some do not. A couple of odd things to watch for, an unexpected, strange and questionable scene has one of the bad guys ogling (or fondling?) a bare-breasted young native girl, until Allie (Bach) tells the young lass to get back home to her father. and full frontal nudity shots of other natives performing a ritualistic ceremony. Also the little red headed girl looks like a young Lindsay Lohan. Funky closing track plays as end credits roll.

Solver
(2017)

Good times at puzzle cabin
I enjoyed this movie. The cast was good- especially Kerry Knuppe who was fantastic. The story is interesting and entertaining, and kept my attention for the duration. The script could've been better. I found the puzzles and pace a bit after-school-specialzy, not necessarily a bad thing. Filmed in Honeoye Falls, NY, south of Rochester, the scenery is nice. I thought Ruby and Knuppe had good chemistry together. Although there is some drinking, minor cursing and violence, it's mild compared to the F-bomb laden movies you see all the time on tv nowadays. Not really for young kids though. So to sum up, I found this movie refreshing, and loved Kerry Knuppe it is worth watching just to see her.

Supercollider
(2013)

Not what I expected
There's not a lot of great things to say about Supercollider, but the one big positive is the interesting subject matter. That said, this movie is not really what I expected. It is watchable, I didn't stray from the viewing or lose interest at any point. I really don't care for special effects: low budgets are of small concern but there were some holes in the script and some of the acting could've been better. Character development minimal and unsatisfactory. Still, it was put together well enough to hold my attention. I wish that they would have devoted a little more screen time explaining what happened or theorizing, but maybe that is part of the intrigue. Also, I have to say the timing of the love scene between Victor and Natalie seemed a bit awkward.

The Vast of Night
(2019)

Bad miss
Certainly there are the elements for and the setting for a good movie here, but there is just no sustenance to keep it afloat. One of the reasons I wanted to watch The Vast of Night is because of the rural Texas setting, and the old wooden gymnasium doesn't disappoint. This seemed like it was going to be a really good movie. But ten minutes into it you start to wonder why its taking so long to get going, and the dialog is meaningless jabber. Then after listening to the same two oddball characters banter for 20 minutes, you think about just turning it off. I actually did that, and returned the next day to finish watching, thinking that there had to be more to this. But no, basically the first 20 minutes sets the tone and what follows is simply more of the same. A movie with a wandering and weak script going nowhere fast. I typically am not one to bring up budget, because often low budget films show an increased quality of script. Not the case here. I really wanted this to be a great movie, maybe that's why I'm disappointed, but there's just nothing to it. I mean really nothing. It was filmed in three to four weeks at a cost of $700,000 and I have to wonder how they spent that much on it. For what? an old switchboard? The cast is minimal. The scenes are minimal. I love old sci-fi and low budget but this movie stinks

100 Degrees Below Zero
(2013)

How much snow are we talking about here?
John Rhys-Davies stars as Colonel Ralph Dillard in this cataclysmic thriller about a new global ice age bearing down on Europe. The vast majority of the movie is centered on adult siblings Taryn, played by Thai beauty Sara Malakul Lane, and her injury-prone brother Ryan, played by Mark Ewins, who become trapped in rapidly eroding weather conditions in France and must make it to the Eiffel Tower in time to be picked up by their father Steve Foster, a former military officer who once saved the life of Colonel Dillard. The part of Steve Foster is played admirably by Jeff Fahey. Dillard pulls some strings with his military clout to secure Foster and family spots on a rescue flight to Australia. Will they make it on time? Somewhat similar to Day After Tomorrow. Slightly disappointing that so much time is spent solely on Taryn and Ryan's juvenile predicaments in Paris, but watchable nonetheless. There are a few unintentional laughs and some bad acting to be found so if that's what you're looking for you'll not be totally unsatisfied with this movie.

Disaster Wars: Earthquake vs. Tsunami
(2013)

Just...spit it out
Joe Estevez stars in this action packed thriller, in the role of his life, as Colonel Mason Brayman, shacked up in a top secret underground military control center with Madam Vice President, played by Priscilla Barnes, the hard as nails Gunnery Sgt Benjamin Wright, played by Michael Harris, and the down on his luck geologist Dr. Vickers played by Pete Punito. Kelly Erin Decker is also on board as office hottie Toni Sims who Estevez takes under his wing as he absorbs information from an unknown playboy wild card, Simon Narino, and his sex kitten bikini clad gf Angela, as well as others, about how best to avoid catastrophe as a massive tsunami races towards the west coast. Yes it is cornball. But it's darn good entertainment. Frankly I am baffled by all of the low ratings. Had a few character traits been developed a little bit it would have added some needed depth to story, but I'm not really complaining. This cast is actually not a bad assembly. There are a couple of unexpected twists. The acting is a bit funny at times. Some of the scenes are also. Sometimes intentionally so, Topside: We need a bigger boat. Damn topside.

Black Mountain Side
(2014)

When an animal looks up at the night sky, what does it see?
Michael Dickson succeeded in saving this movie, but it has some flaws. Easily could have been a 10 for me, had it been just a little better crafted. One thing that irked me- the characters are very hard to tell apart- I didn't know who was doing what half the time. The setting and scenery was awesome, and the story, very interesting all the way around. The problem was the nondescript and at times annoying cast, and the lack of any real archeological material to bring things together. Too much time is spent on the group's dysfunctional comradery. Yes I know that showing man's fragile psyche is part of the dealio, but they're unlikable enough without making them moreso. Dickson as Prof Piers Olsen saves it; his acting and presence are very good, in a Dinklage-like way. There is one scene especially, where Olsen ties things together that greatly aids an otherwise floundering and overly explitive filled script. This movie is similar to 1982's The Thing, starring Kurt Russell, and an all-star cast. Black Mountain Side falls a little short of that, but it is an interesting story.

Cosmos
(2019)

interesting and fun
I'm not trying to write a negative review, to the contrary I found this movie to be fairly captivating from the start and a good watch overall, but towards the end I became a little bit confused about some of what the guys did. Perhaps that was intended? But even if it was intentional, it remains confusing because it doesn't equate no matter which way you look at it. It didn't ruin it for me but did change my rating from 7 stars to 6 stars.

Patterns
(1956)

Wow
Intense and powerful. I think anyone who has ever been in a work place environment, whatever it may be, can relate to this film. I wasn't looking to watch Patterns, it came up as a suggestion on youtube after watching an Andrew Duggan movie. As it began, i checked at IMDB to see the ratings and was wondering how in the world it was going to be so good. Well it is. Great acting all around, Van Heflin was great in his role as was Ed Begley as Bill Briggs. Everett Sloane was also very good as Ramsey, who I happened to see on the Andy Griffith Show as a moonshiner. Talk about going from complete opposite ends of the spectrum. Sloane can act. This is a great movie you should definitely see this one.

And Now the Screaming Starts!
(1973)

The evil you did this day, will be avenged. I swear a solemn vow
Had not seen this, found it on youtube for free. Movie is set in 1795 England, and revolves around the wealthy Fengriffen family. Sort of reminiscent of Sleepy Hollow with Johnny Depp and the Van Tassel family, which was set in 1799. Peter Cushing is excellent, as always, but isn't involved until the second half of the movie. Still, I found it to be quite intriguing and well crafted. I watched from start to finish with much interest. Perhaps to some extent Cushing's participation in the movie isn't deserving of such high billing, but unlike some other movies where he has lesser parts, he does occupy the screen for a significant amount of time throughout much of the second part, so if he is why you're here you won't be disappointed. The bosomy Stephanie Beacham is very pretty and looks not unlike Rachel Weisz from 1999's "The Mummy". Her acting isn't bad either. All of the roles are well acted. This movie surprised me. it was very good. A bit of a throwback perhaps. to a more staid, traditional approach to horror than some of the more psychedelic efforts of this time period.

It Happened One Christmas
(1977)

You forgot the wreath?
Worth watching perhaps but somewhat disappointing performances turned in by Marlo Thomas and Orson Welles. Welles especially was flat in a role where he could have excelled. Not much chemistry between Marlo and Wayne Rogers. Many of the scenes are poorly put together and rushed through and the graveyard scene near the end they didn't even try. It isn't even real. Still, the cast is a fairly interesting assembly, and some of the scenes do capture a bit of Christmas magic. Overall though it's just not very well crafted, and not well acted. Six stars is probably too high. Having just seen "It's a Wonderful Life", "It happened One Christmas" pales mightily in comparison. Edit: I just want to say I watched this again a year later, and I have to admit it does kind of grow on you. Despite the shortcomings it has its own unique charm and i'm starting to starting to think it might even be required seasonal viewing

Goliath: Joy Division
(2019)
Episode 8, Season 3

Good, good, good
I haven't really been a big Dennis Quaid fan, but I was blown away by his performance in this series. Good performances all the way around. This is about as good as it gets these days

The Gate
(1987)

Change your pampers
After reading the reviews I thought maybe this would be movie I'd like, but "The Gate" is really quite lame. It's not funny, it's not scary, it's not clever, it is perhaps sightly unique in some respects. Sort of like a bad Goonies or Gremlins. Maybe kind of like Troll. I dunno, it sucks. I wanted to turn it off about 30-40 minutes in but for some reason watched the whole damn thing.

The Devil's Men
(1976)

The Devil has many faces
Donald Pleasance is exceptionally good as the concerned Irish priest Father Roche, and Peter Cushing as always is good, this time playing the villian, the evil Baron Corofax. I fail to understand the low ratings and criticism of Pleasance and Cushing. Actually, I found the entire movie to be wickedly good and genuinely scary fun. I suspected I would like it from the opening credits, and I did. There are some great lines in this movie, and some little things you can catch if you watch closely. 70's classic campy horror. loved it

Nothing But the Night
(1973)

Unexpectedly good
After seeing the low rating and reading some reviews, I decided to watch because I like Peter Cushing. I can only say that I have no idea why the movie isn't rated higher. I have seen many of Cushing and Lee's movies and found this to be on par or better than many. I would venture to say that if you like Cushing and Lee you will not be disappointed. And if you like a good movie, you shouldn't be disappointed either.

Death Proof
(2007)

So, how about that lap dance?
This is an okay movie that was somewhat interesting, and when it concludes it will leave you feeling maybe a little better about it because you will see then that it is all really quite simple. It's a girls movie. Much of the movie is girls sitting around talking about girl stuff. The only bright spots were the parts filmed in Austin and Kurt Russell. After the movie shifts to Tennessee, I kind of started getting bored with it- I liked the Austin girls better than the Tennessee girls. Too bad the Austin girls were the ones that had to die. I was actually pulling for Kurt Russell to take out the ones in Tennessee as well, to shut that potty mouthed girl up for good. But it was not to be. Maybe the genius of Tarantino was at work putting us in Stuntman Mike's mindset after being forced to listen to these ill-mannered obnoxious young ladies use language that would make a sailor blush, for 2 hours straight, even a sane person would be ready to strangle them.

The Man from Earth
(2007)

Blasphemy
This movie was mildly interesting until John announces that he was Christ. He and the other astutely educated characters then proceed to dismantle the foundations of the Christian religion. Garbage. Utter garbage. This movie is nothing more than a vehicle to trash Christianity.

Magnolia
(1999)

unwatchable
After reading the great reviews decided to watch. Watched about 15 minutes of suicides and random scenes of people having sex and finally turned it off about the part where john c. reilly is a cop driving in his car. and i like reilly. but where was this monstrosity going? to damn hard to follow and who gives a crap. garbage

The Day the Earth Stopped
(2008)

Absolutely abysmal
I read the poor reviews and decided to watch anyway, as i sometimes like movies that aren't rated too highly. However, in this case everything you heard is true. This movie is not quite a total ripoff, but it is bad. When making the decision to view or not, I considered the fact that Judd Nelson was the 2nd billed actor after C. Thomas Howell, so with the knowledge that Judd was on board I felt at least some comfort. Judd's part was so limited, so brief that it was barely noticeable. As I said, the movie isn't the worst- it actually has sort of an interesting setup, but it is just so poorly done, so inexplicably caught up in nonsense that it misses the mark, wasting it for car chases and hiding in parking garage scenes. Darren Dalton isn't bad in his role as the sadisticly evil family man Prewitt, but shouldn't there be more higher ups involved with the fate of the country at stake? Well, there is Sam I guess. On second thought maybe this movie is so bad it is good? In a funny way...like Track of the Moonbeast, Day of the Animals, or Tarnatulas: The Deadly Cargo..nah. Maybe if Judd Nelson would have had a more prominent role it would have saved it

Dark Was the Night
(2014)

Riveting horror movie
I wasn't expecting this movie to be very good, but i was pulled in from the start. Surprisingly good cast and good acting throughout. I really like the way the movie was shot and the overall feel. Not your typical blood and guts gory horror movie. Delivers with suspense and intrigue. I guess this is more of a creature feature. Also somewhat reminiscent of "Joe" with Nicholas Cage. We enter the world of Sheriff Paul Shields (played by Kevin Durand) as he tries to get over the death of his son and do his job at the same time. A real winner in my book

Ice
(1998)

Long before Day After Tomorrow, there was ICE
I saw this on television when it came out and have seen it a couple of times since then. Sort of a Day After Tomorrow predecessor, with elements from Damnation Alley. It takes a little while to get going, but once it does it's grand entertainment. For younger viewers, who no doubt have been numbed by all these climate change disaster type movies, ICE may not seem like anything special (and admittedly it is no Deadly Harvest w/Clint Walker!!!) but it is special to at least some of us less refined movie critics and it will always hold a special place among Earth-to-ice-age movies.

Deadly Harvest
(1977)

70's gold
Comin at you from the 70's when global climate change meant cold weather and food shortages...I liked the soundtrack and some of the scenes are memorable- Clint driving into the city with the world going haywire. the opening of the movie. and the end credits are especially good. This movie is barebones don't expect to be blown away by special effects because there are none. and that's a good thing in my book. It's one of those movies that you might remember watching as a kid and thinking it was pretty awesome and then watching it again now maybe it's not so awesome. but then again, maybe it is? If you like Clint Walker i recommend it he is laid back for most of the movie, well really all of the movie, but its good.

Outcast
(2014)

Better than anticipated, but nothing to write home about
This movie returned on a search for Nicolas Cage so we watched it. Cage role was not large and his performance was not good, but i thought Hayden Christensen was very good. The movie could've been put together a little better but was well done enough to keep me interested. Nearly turned it off when Cage started getting preachy in the Crusade scene- thankfully the movie quickly vaults to China after that. Christensen is the unstoppable force in this movie, of which I haven't seen since Burt Reynolds in Malone or well until the Rock in San Andreas...all in all this is Saturday matinee fare. I enjoyed it but don't expect to be blown away by Nicolas Cage's performance lol

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