hackraytex

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Reviews

Five Days from Home
(1978)

Good Movie-Where is It?
I saw this movie when it came on TV and I would sure like to see it again but have not been able to find it. Can someone help me?

In Hell
(2003)

One Impressive Movie
I am a retired corrections officer and have seen the prison system inside and out. Of course in reality such behavior shown here in prisons is not the norm. I have seen at lease four prison movies that have left me with a positive impression: The Shawshank Redemption, Dead Man Walking, The Last Castle, and In Hell. All of them look beyond the cilches' of prison movies and probed into the instances where the spark of good that still sujrvives can still prevail. Well done.

Matt Houston
(1982)

Two Questions
This was one of the shows in the 80's that I really enjoyed watching. I do have two questions that I hope someone can answer.

This was another show that was doing well and they had to "retool" it by making basic changes. They had him putting his money in a trust and became a full time investigator. I think he left his ranch when caused Paul Brinnegar to be dropped. I have not seem too many show that were retooled that did any better. Why was that done?

The other question is does anyone know why Pamela Hemsley quit acting after this show? She was one of the actresses that I enjoyed watching in various parts.

Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo
(1966)

Better As Fully Restored
I read the first review here and it pretty much summed it all up. I saw the fully restored version a few years ago and have the DVD. The additional 14 minutes ties everything together and put the entire story in context.

The restored version show something entirely missing in the earlier version.

As noted, Blondie remarks that he had never seen so many men wasted for so little.

The deleted scene where Angel Eyes comes to the Confederate infirmary, there is a brief spark of compassion in his face and eyes for all of the men lying there wounded and suffering.

When Tuco is told by Father Ramirez that their father had just died and the father had asked for Tuco but Father Ramirez showed no compassion for Tuco for his absence. Tuco hits his brother and walks away feeling that Father Ramirez had not judged him fairly.

The deleted scenes give a very accurate portrayal of the totally brutality of the Civil War. One of my ancestors was drafted into the war and was wounded and captured. He was released in an exchange and fought at Gettysburg at Little Round Top. He got sick and was left behind and captured again. He signed the pledge to go home and stay home which he did.

The bitterness and desire for revenge went on for a hundred years since almost everyone had lost someone had lost someone or knew someone who had lost someone. A brutal experience that I hope is never repeated.

Twisted Justice
(1990)

Dystopian Future
This movie was made in 1990 and who could guess it was a prediction of the future. I think it is supposed to be the year 2020. The manufacture and possession of guns is completely illegal and even the police cannot carry guns. Guess who still has guns, the bad guys and they are running rampant. I guess they did not get the memo. Neither is Tucker who is a renegade cop in the mode of Dirty Harry. It is worth watching.

BloodRayne II: Deliverance
(2007)

Starts With A Bang And Never Lets Up
I have already reviewed this on one of my lists but I have to say it has one of the very best opening theme tunes will great video clips to go with it. It is a great mix of western and horror. It continues the travels of BloodRayne and finds her in the old west dealing with Billy the Kid who has been turned into a vampire who looks about 38. She finds as an ally Pat Garret well played by Michael Pare. Billy plans to create an army of vampire outlaws who will conquer the West and nothing will be able to stop them until BloodRayne and Pat Garret show up. At the end, I think BloodRayne asks Garret to come with her but he says he is going to New Mexico because a range war is fixing to start.

BTW A further adventure of the Pat Garret is Abraham Lincoln vs Zombies where he is in the group with President Lincoln who is also aided by John Wilkes Booth in disguise, Stonewall Jackson after he lost his are which means he is already dead, and a 10 year old Teddy Roosevelt. It is a stretch of history but it a movie!

Pressure Point
(1997)

A Mystery II
I am watching a very enjoyable movie starring one of the most underrated actors in history. I say that because Don Mogavero has been in Jekyl Island and I also enjoyed that one but I can't find it anywhere. Mr. Mogavero made just three moves and disappeared. What happened? There has got to be someone who knows why he disappeared since I really think he could have gone a lot further. It appears that he was also a good writer and obviously had success attracting experienced actors to work with him. Another good job, Mr. Mogavero.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
(2018)

English Lit
I was attracted to this movie because I am a big fan of Liam Neeson and I enjoy westerns. Know it was six mini stories, I did not get my hope up. I realize the Buster Scruggs was in part a tribute to the singing cowboy westerns of Gene Autrey and Roy Rogers especially the all white with no dirt white outfit. Like any kid who grew up in the fifties, I watched a lot of those movies but they certainly am not attracted to them now. They serve their purpose as entertainment for kid under 10 and it is too bad kids don't have the opportunity now to see them. I will say I never saw the end of that one coming.

The Meal Ticket was indeed depressing and I certainly would not watch it again. I guess Liam Neeson did this as a personal project.

It took almost to the end of The Gold Canyon when I recognized it as a story that we read in English Lit in High School.

Fear Is the Key
(1972)

Where is this movie?
This is one of those movies that I saw in 1972 when it was released and I have never forgotten it. I don't know why it disappeared and I hope someone can tell me how to see it and get it. If it is in DVD I would seriously consider buying it. I really will never forget one of the greatest movie car chases that I have ever seen. I gave it a 9 because it kept me guessing until the end and I hope someone can help me find it. I was always impressed by the cars of that era and really miss them. We really miss them. Almost each make was very distinctive and could be spotted a way off. I wish those cars could come back but now it seems like our car companies have lost their fight and competitive spirit. While other companies put new makes on the market with a degree of success, ours only seem to know how to abandon them: Pontiac, Plymouth, Oldsmobile, Eagle, Mercury. I hope to hear from someone soon to let me know where to find Fear Is The Key.

Jekyll Island
(1998)

A Mystery
I have only gotten to watch this movie one time so far back I can't remember when but I cannot forget it. I would like to know where I can obtain access to it and does anyone know what happened to Don Mogavero? He sort of reminds me of a cross between Nicolas Cage and Bill Murray in his appearance.

The Great Texas Dynamite Chase
(1976)

Johnny Crawford
I knew what I was getting into when I watched this movie. I am no prude and there is nothing there that I haven't already seen. I try not to go into a review with a preconceived opinion and sometimes I wait until the next day to write my review.

I remember these drive-in B movies that were often the second feature of a double feature. This is one of those movies that could have been a lot better if they had cut down on the jiggle part. I still am somewhat uncomfortable with sex scenes unless they are essential for the plot. A lot of movies of that time used it as filler to make the show longer with some good writing making a lot of that necessary. Most of the sex scenes in this movie had nothing to do with the plot and they were too long when included. They did not need a lot of sex scenes in Bonnie and Clyde and it was a hit. I have no problem that such movies are available since it is up to the viewer what he or she wants to watch and I would defend their right to do so if they are over 21.

I do call this movie garbage and the only reason I wasted my time was that I had not seen Johnny Crawford in something in a long time mostly since The Rifleman. I am glad he is coming out of retirement to be in Bill Tilghman and the Outlaws. It is hard to child actors to go beyond being child actors and a lot of them see their careers come to an end after they reach their adulthood. Mr. Crawford had stayed in the business along with being in the music business. I don't see myself as a reader of body language but I think he was even not comfortable with some of the scenes. I think when child actors try to break into mature parts that they have to do some thing they don't like to do like paying their dues all over. I remember that with Jay North in The Teacher about the same time. I think Mr. Crawford was doing what he had to do in this situation to shed his Mark McCain image.

I think Mr Crawford has done better to get grownup roles that other child actors and I hope his upcoming movie achieves that although he is in his 70's now. He is the one and only reason I gave this piece of garbage a 5. I did see some elements of the Dukes of Hazard in it and I think decent writing could have taken it with success in that direction. This is in my group of moves that I have seen once and that is enough. Most of the actors did the best they could with what they had and I see a number of them are not in the business anymore. Good luck Mr. Crawford and I am still a fan.

MacGyver: Loyalty + Family + Rogue + Hellfire
(2020)
Episode 12, Season 4

I have not given up.
This show is a delight to watch and I never miss an episode. The show received a severe blow when George Eads left. I could tell the chemistry between Lucas Till and George Eads really carried the show. I hope he comes back someday but I don't know if he has burned his bridges or nor. The replacements are good but it is not the same. There is still something missing and I cannot put my finger on it. I don't think it will be right unless George Eads (Jack Dalton) returns. However I Iwish Mr. Eads all the best in whatever he is doing.

Like the other reviewer, the Codex story line is very, very old and I hope it ends very soon. It is like when Sliders got stuck on the story line about the Cromags or like Supernatural is long overdue to move on from the Angel Wars story.

As for those still with the show, keep trying to make it work and I have not given up.

Rapid Exchange
(2003)

How did they do it?
I am not the sharpest tool in the drawer but how did Ketchum and Brooks not get killed falling out of the plane? My only guess is that they has parachutes under their coveralls but it would have been nice for such a scene to be included.

Universal Soldiers
(2007)

A Missed Opportunity
When I do a review I try to find something good to say about the movie that I have just watched. Sometimes I will wait a day or so to help me evaluate what I have just seen. It has been hard to review this one but I will give it a try.

The movie did not start at a beginning and looked like it was about 15 or 20 minutes into the movie already. It had a believable plot but it was lacking in good directing. As for the actors, they could have done better with better directing. I hope they learn from the mistakes from this one and not many went on to continue their acting careers since this was made 13 years go. I just have to say for the actors if they ever try again as actor the I wish them good luck. Also, the theme music was very close to the theme from Predator.

A good movie can do well with the help of technical advisors and I seriously think they did not have one here and maybe they did not have the money to hire any. This is supposed to be a marine unit with some civilians along but there is no way ANY military would exist with all of the bickering that went on here. The unit fell apart almost from the start. Such bickering would definitely keep a unit from working as a team and accomplishing its mission.

I guess this is the best I can do for this one.

Throttle
(2005)

Good Movie With A Good Lesson
Throttle was a nail biter. The only actor that I knew was Adrian Paul and I try to catch all of his appearances since Highlander. I think this was a different part for Adrian Paul and maybe that is why he wanted to do it. Adrian Paul was not in it much but he managed to appear to kick off the incident that started the difficulties encountered by Grayson McCouch. The movie was fast paced and with few slow parts. I never guessed how it was going to turn out and the editors might want to cover what I am about to say but this is the only way I can say it. The takeaway that I have from this we should all give a greeting to those who we pass at the door when we go to and from work or other activities. They are people too and deserve our consideration and respect since most of us would not want to do their job.

Choke
(2001)

The Tradition Has Not Died
I just finished Choke and it held my interest all the way. This movie and the people involved are direct successors of Alfred Hitchcock and Rod Serling. As noted by another user, the atmosphere is akin to Double Indemnity and one of the devices that helps carry the movie is verbalizing the thoughts of Dennis Hopper and Michael Madsen. It also has a lot of the atmosphere of film noir. I was also attracted by Dennis Hopper and Michael Madsen being in it. They really kept it moving even in some parts that were slow. It looks like a well made independent movie since a lot of actors were only in this movie and maybe a couple more. Maybe a lot of them wanted to be in a movie but were not interested in doing it again. It looked to me like the supporting actors had stage experience since all appeared to be true professionals. I have nothing but positive things to say about Choke.

The Giant Gila Monster
(1959)

Pleasantly Surprised
I have seen quite a few of movies of this genre where there is a monster running loose and the kids in the town have to take it down. This was better than some of those that I have seen.

I had never heard of Don Sullivan until now and I was impressed about the acting he did. It looks like he was doing pretty well and had racked about eight movies in about two or three years. I guess he did not stay with acting because he feared he would not be able to get beyond this genre. Funny but that is the way Jack Nicholson started and he moved on to better things. Maybe Don Sullivan felt that he could not make a living in this line of work. It looks like he may have had a future as a singer but that never happened. I do not wish to knock him in any way but I wish he had hung on for a couple of more years because doors might have opened to better parts and songs. It looks like the decided acting was not for him so he moved on. I think he has passed on but it looks like he found success and contentment after this chapter of his life closed. It looks like he had a successful marriage and not many people in the acting profession find that. Rest in peace, Mr. Suillivan.

Leviatán
(1984)

Better Than I Expected
I grew up watching werewolf, vampire, and frankenstein movies so I knew what I was getting into. What intrigued me was a movie with Alice Cooper. I never was a fan of his music but I did not know he had made any movies until I found this one. I checked IMDB and learned that he has quite a resume' of movies, etc. Also he did a few where he was not playing himself. I was impressed as to how well he played his part like an old pro. Of course, I heard that his stage act involved a lot of acting so he was a very experienced actor. He is about 71 now but I hope he will try a few more because he did a good job here. Well done, Mr. Cooper.

Executive Decision
(1996)

Could Have Been Better
I saw this in the theater with my then girlfriend and both of us were excited about it. We did not have IMDB then and I have not been a fan of Hollywood gossip since I quit reading the National Enquirer in 1989 because I got married then and felt I should be using my time more constructively.

Move again to 1996, I was excited to see Kurt Russell and Steven Seagal work together since I am still a fan of both. My anticipation was dulled by Steven Seagal being killed not one third the way of this movie.

Besides that, the movie lived up to my expectations. I have since learned that Steven Seagal did not get along well with other cast members. I wonder if they fired him and killed off his character as soon as he was gone. That happened in The Warriors when one of the main stars had a falling out with the director (I think) and he was killed off using a stunt double after he was gone.

That's Hollywood in that some people have to learn the hard way that they are not untouchable. Some eventually get a second chance like David Caruso when he stepped on toes and thought he was going to be a movie star. He saw that CSI Miami was a chance to redeem himself and he was successful in that endeavor. I wish he had not retired afterword but I hope he is enjoying his retirement.

One good movie otherwise and I would enjoy seeing seeing Kurt Russell and Steven Seagal in The Expendables. Since The Expendables are the project of Sylvester Stallone they would have to do it his way. We'll see.

House on Haunted Hill
(1959)

Well Done
This is one of those movies that I try to watch when I can and have lost count of how many times I have seen it. This is one of a number of movies that really scared me when I was a kid.

I lived in Lewisville, Arkansas as a kid and our tv shows came from Shreveport, Louisiana and we got horror movies on late Friday and Saturday night My cousins and I would beg to get to stay up late to watch them and we were usually allowed to do so as long as we kept the noise down and came to bed quietly when it was over. I am thinking of making a list of the movies that scared me when I was a child.

An item that I could call trivia although I would not know where to put it. Two actors who were born in the United States but had developed English accents for their acting persona and their accents were so well done that most people would never guess that they were born Americans. Vincent Price was born in St. Louis, MO and John Hillerman was born in Denison, TX. May they both rest in peace for bringing pleasure to millions of devoted fans including me.

Air Rage
(2001)

Bravo
I have just finished this movie and it had my attention from the get go. I caught the tail end of it a few years ago and I glad I got to see all of it this time. I was interested in seeing it because Ice-T was one of the good guys and except for Special Victims Unit, that does not happen often. I like almost everything that he is in.

There were plot twists galore and things I never saw coming until they happened. It was very well written, directed, and acted.

IMHO Kimberly Oja was the star of this show all the way from what I see she hit every mark. I do not understand why she appears to not be in the business since it appears that her last screen appearance was in 2008. Maybe she decided acting wasn't for and she sought another line of work or she did not want to act anymore. It certainly was not because of lack of talent because her performance here was top notch and her list of credits is impressive. I hope that someday she might decide to give acting another try but if she is doing what she likes now then God bless her and good luck to her. Well done Ms. Oha, Mr. Ice-T, and everyone else.

Sliders
(1995)

My Two Bits...
I have to put my two bits of opinion although a lot of what I was going to say has already been said. I was hooked from the first show and I began to lose interest in the middle of third when John Rhys-Davies left. I like almost everything he is in but in a lot of his shows, I think the suits did not like him. He was the glue that held the show together and after he disappeared, other members of the cast did not mix well with the replacement (s). One by one members began to leave the show and I did not care for the angle of the Kromaggs.

As has already been said, there was too much instability in the cast and it looks like there was too much interference from the suits and too much backstabbing within the cast after the replacements began to appear. I see a number of them are no longer in the acting business. I think I gave up after season 3. I am surprised it lasted six seasons. They could have done better if they had gotten more sci-fy writers who understood the show and I think they are out there even today. There have been a lot of series that used short stories written by writers of the genre.

Since it went away around 2000, I think it would succeed today if there were the right people to run it. Said people should also know enough of when to keep their fingers out of areas that they don't know about. Think about it.

Indio Black, sai che ti dico: Sei un gran figlio di...
(1970)

Good Western But...
I usually enjoy most Spaghetti Westerns and this is no exception. Yul Brynner was a natural for Spaghetti westerns and I wish he had done more of them. An earlier one he made with George Segal called Invitation For A Gunfighter had IMO the atmosphere of a Spaghetti western but that was about five years before spaghetti westerns took off.

It is tragic that Dean Reed was found dead floating in a lake in 1986. I saw his 60 Minutes interview and when he said he wanted to return to the USA I got a feeling that it would not end well and it did not. He should have kept that to himself and returned under cover. Maybe he could cot bring his family and that was why he brought it up. May both of them rest in peace.

IMHO the spaghetti westerns were beginning to peak about this time and the producers wanted to add a new element to make them more interesting. I never felt that circus acrobats fit into the spaghetti western formula although the acrobats did their parts well.

Yul Brynner and Lee Van Cleef made the Sabata Westerns work and they are still enjoyable to watch. Good job everyone. Wouldn't it have been neat to see them work together.

The Gun and the Pulpit
(1974)

Expose of Fake Preachers
I have been involved in Fundamentalist/Evangelical worship all of my life and I find myself in agreement of what Marjoe did years ago although when it happened I felt different. Every time a fake preacher is exposed it makes it more difficult for those who are sincere in their work and it also causes those who are looking for spiritual guidance to feel they have been lied to. I know preachers who are sincere about their mission and service to the Lord and nothing makes them sicker than these fakes who are in it for the money and to show off. I know at least one who is very clear that he has no respect for these fakes and I know well enough not to get him started about these frauds. Marjoe blew the whistle on this racket and God bless him for it. I wish he would have continued his acting career because I liked a lot of his work and I hope his has found the faith that is genuine and able to put the fake stuff behind him. Those who are in it for the money or to show off will answer to the Lord one day. I also hope those who were turned off by these fakes will give faith another chance and find someone who is sincere to guide them into finding the faith they were looking for. God bless you Mr. Gortner and best wishes to you. I hope you have found the true faith that many were looking for before you exposed the fakers.

Western World
(2017)

Still Better Than I Expected
I am going to go against the grain a bit with this one. The principal actors and the director have a resume' that shows that most of them are experienced actors. Since I don't know about any of the actors, it looks to me that most of them are from the community theater and local area and that is not meant as a criticism. Everyone has to start somewhere and a good size number of the participants are off to a pretty good start in the acting profession. The seid, it could have been better but at least the town is an authentic western town that is a tourist location. It looks like it could have been shot on a studio location like the old westerns of TV golden age but it did not have the look of a studio production. Also the lady who was director has an impressive resume'. A little more money in the right places could have made a noticeable improvement.

The writing was far better than I expected and this movie is chock full of red herrings like that murder mystery movies of the thirties and forties and a number of TV murder mystery productions. IOW it has a lot of twists and turns that I was not see coming until they happened. The greatest weak spot the fight scenes are not believable and the guns sound almost like cap pistols so I guess there is the area where they probably did not have the money to do better with. I hope the director and actors go on to great careers if they want to but these are no weekend and evening actors but are budding professionals. Good work everyone. This is a thoroughly enjoyable movie.

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