ragana

IMDb member since March 2005
    Lifetime Total
    25+
    IMDb Member
    15 years

Reviews

The Conners
(2018)

Surprisingly good
I didn't think it would work without Roseanne but I also didn't think a new Star Trek series would work after the original. The humor is intact, the relationships are strong, Roseanne's death is dealt with in a dark, sad, and culturally appropriate manner. It's an excellent jumping off point for the show, future story lines, and character growth. It has the makings of being just as wonderful as the original if people can just get past their "It's Kirk or nothing!" I mean "It's Roseanne or nothing!" attitude.

Betty
(1998)

An emotional tornado sends an actress over the rainbow to find herself.
A kooky paranoid actress (Cheryl Pollack), feeling out of place in her life and career, disappears in the midst of filming a $70 million dollar movie, and begins a journey down the bricky road of self rediscovery. On her trail is her therapist/manager (Holland Taylor), who flies between being bubbles and glitter supportive and evil mean wicked and nasty dictatorial. As she winds her way through the forest of self re-evaluation, she teams up with three unusual individuals (Stephen Gregory, Dan O"Donahue, Ron Perlman) who, in teaching her the tricks of their trades, re-awaken her faith in her own brain, heart and courage, and remind her that she knows where her home is...and there's no place like it.

This is a quirky comedy with a unique style, some fantastic double meaning dialogue, and good performances. If you're looking for a different kind of laugh, with cereal filled swimming pools, topical muscle relaxants and bad golf, along with a touch of dreams, follow "Betty."

Favorite Line(s): "Evel Knievel, he was my hero. He helped me through my childhood. I saw him break his back four times!" "What's wrong with this thing (cigarette lighter)?" "It's childproof." "Childproof?! A g*dd*mn f*cking scientist couldn't make this thing work!"

Worth a rent/buy used.

Quiet Kill
(2004)

One, two, Freddy's coming for you…oh wait, that's the other nightmare.
A lonely housewife unknowingly has a one nighter with her best friend's killer. Obsession, stalking and death ensue. Before you can say that's all there is, that's pretty much all there really is. Standard story lines apply: adulterer's guilt and fear, spouse's anger and disbelief, killer's mother fixation, etc, etc (you get the idea). Lead performances range from decent enough (Corbin Bernsen, Claudia Christian) to over the top (Nicholas Celozzi, or I should say 'over kill' since he plays the killer). TV B- movie quality.

Ron Perlman has a small role as a Detective and gives his character some nice quirks (it wouldn't surprise me if they weren't scripted and he did them simply to entertain himself).

Rental.

Hellboy
(2004)

Is being human what it means to be human?
Late in World War II the Nazis, in a desperate attempt to change the course of the war, conduct a ritual to bring forth a demon from hell that will bring about the end of the world and a new Eden. U.S. soldiers interrupt the ceremony and the demon is instead brought up by a professor of the paranormal as a monster fighter (along with others of unique backgrounds and gifts). Sixty years later, those who birthed Hellboy are back for him and the end of the world.

I loved this movie! Loved it! For anyone who is interested in history and cultural mythology and believes that movies, to some extent, are the telling of old tales in new ways (and some will become tomorrow's myths), "Hellboy" will definitely keep that belief alive. Not to mention it's simply just one exciting damn fine fun kick butt movie! There is not a weak performance (onscreen by actors or offscreen by crew) in this film. You do not have to be a fan of the comic to enjoy this movie. It's fantastic storytelling mix of family devotion, burgeoning love, acceptance of personal power, overcoming prejudice, sacrifice, with action, comedy, horror, comic book stylized evil and one of the eeriest bad guys ever to weld a knife, as well as one of the most intense (and well dressed) villains to ever threaten the earth.

Ron Perlman has the lead and, as in the past, gives the excellent magic of make up artist Rick Baker life. He takes what would be for most actors stifling full make up and a weighty cumbersome costume and gives the audience a being with the flesh of a demon, the voice of a dark angel, the attitude of a blue collar worker, the humor of a college student, the mind of a professor, the heart of a young man in love, and the soul of a human being.

Favorite line: "There are things that go bump in the night Agent Myers, make no mistake about that, and we are the ones who bump back."

Favorite line spoken by Ron Perlman (a lot): "Awe, crap."

Definitely worth a buy!

Rats
(2003)

Murderous mice threaten to devour hospital patients unless they're taken to their leader Mickey…just kidding.
At a mental health institution, the rats from a forgotten experiment (how anyone can forget an experiment I'll never understand, talk about a swiss cheese memory) have begun to mutate (of course) and eat the patients (guess the kitchen was out of head cheese) just as an undercover reporter checks in to do an inside story on the clinic (timing is everything, the proverbial hickory clock must not have struck one yet and the mouse is still running up it).

Okay, I have to be honest, this movie was lame. The special effects were horrible. The mother rat looked like some cheesy Halloween house decoration you'd leave out on your porch to wipe your feet on. The rat spawns had such fake glowing red eyes you'd think they'd be blind (but then again they all had their tails and there were way more than three of them). There was even a "Willard" type character who had a telepathic bond with the rodents (all he must have heard was "Brains! Brains! Must have fresh brains!" because the rats decapitated their victims). Although if you're actually into B- horror flicks you may love this movie and think it's the Mouse King of the genre.

Ron Perlman plays the head of the institution and the head of the forgotten experiment. It's a bad movie but he at least is, as always, good. Want to know more? Remember the remarks I made earlier about head cheese and decapitations?

Definitely a rental and definitely have a drink.

Shakedown
(2002)

When you like your viruses shaken not stirred.
An average TV movie quality, totally formula story of religious fanatic (Ron Perlman, who gives good "I'm not just the President of 'Psychos R Us,' I'm also a client.") who gets control of a biochemical virus (think the virus from the movie "The Rock"). Too bad for him that he also gets stuck in a bank building during an earthquake with bank robbers and the government agents trying to stop him (led by the impressively physiqued, mildly entertaining Wolf Larson, backed by Fred Dryer) along with the standard "in the wrong place at the wrong time" spunky female (the forever bland Erika Eleniak) and "lived as a wimp but died as a hero at the last minute" male (Brandon Karrer). Has the standard background story to give sympathy to the religious fanatic (wife and son killed in a police raid a few years previous).

Basically a decent rainy day movie.

Favorite line, spoken by Ron Perlman after he finds the vial of the virus hidden in Erika Eleniak's cleavage: "A woman and her mystery."

Worth a rent.

Star Trek: Nemesis
(2002)

Out with a whimper not a bang.
A Reman raised clone (Tom Hardy) of a young Picard conquers Romulas and seeks to capture his unknowing genetic contributor to complete a DNA transfer that would save him from cellular break down and death but kill Picard.

This would have made a better Star Trek: The Next Generation two parter episode. Surprise ending to TNG aspect of the ongoing Star Trek mythology; unfortunately not a "Wow!" but a "What the (bleep) were they thinking?!" Has some nice Trek moments (Riker and Troi marry, Data finds a "brother"). On par with "Star Trek: Insurrection" not "Star Trek: First Contact" as far as quality.

Worth seeing for sci-fi fans, worth buying for Star Trek: The Next Generation fans to complete their ST:TNG collection.

Blade II
(2002)

Daywalker and Vampires unite to fight a mutual threat.
A new strain of stronger, more virulent vampirism has developed and its carrier doesn't differentiate between human and vampire victims. The Vampire Nation offer Blade a truce and ask him to lead their Blood Pack (a group originally in training to hunt him) in a search and destroy mission.

This film is dark, comedic, stylized action (based on the comic book of the same name), and has some nice character moments, especially as the line between enemy and friend becomes blurred between Blade and Nyssa (Leonor Varela), the leader of the Blood Pack and daughter of the Vampire overlord and Blade and his newly rescued/vampire detoxed mentor Whistler (Kris Kristofferson).

Wesley Snipes, as Blade, has cool down to a science. Watching his fight scenes is like watching music in motion.

Luke Goss, who plays the threat and new strain of vampirism, a Reaper, although looked and dressed like hell, carried himself with aristocratic elegance.

Ron Perlman "sucks" in the best possible way as the vampire Reinhardt. He's a nice mix of blood stopping toughness, undead cool and black humor (a vampire who chews gum? And blows bubbles during an autopsy? Thankfully it wasn't his own).

Definitely a buy.

Down
(2001)

Don't look down, the first step's a doozy - aka - Do yourself a favor...take the stairs.
The elevators in one of New York city's most popular business and tourist attraction skyscrapers begin to kill people. It takes a "goof off but great in a crisis" (is there any other kind of goof off in movies?) elevator repair man (James Marshall) and a spunky female reporter (is there any other kind of female reporter in movies?) (Naomi Watts) to prove that the cause is something other than faulty circuits or sabotage and more along the lines of thinking, man made evil.

This is a slow moving film with stock characters, average performances from the leads, and some good actors (Edward Herman, Michael Ironside, Ron Perlman) in small roles. It's a B- TV quality movie. Don't mind mindless horror movies and home sick from work? That's the kind of time to watch this film. The spookiest thing about this movie is that it mentions terrorism, Osama Bin Laden, the 1993 attack on the Towers, and came out about five days before September 11, 2001. That kind of creepy can't be written.

Rental.

The Trial of Old Drum
(2000)

Saving Man's Best Friend.
This is a family movie set in 1950's rural America about a boy whose Uncle presses sheep killing charges against his dog Drum, starting not only a family legal feud but community discord as their town begins to take sides.

This is formula film that attempts to be very touching and sweet. Its biggest weakness is that the only people who could really act were Scott Bakula (Defense Lawyer), Ron Perlman (father/Drum's owner) and the dog. (John Shuck and Kathy Garver, "Sissy" from the original "Family Affair," as the Uncle and his wife, were okay.) The children were not that good (basically they looked like they were acting) and that's a problem when the film really revolves around them (Aaron Fors, who plays the bully Donny makes me think of what the actor Russell Crowe must have looked liked as a child, only with no talent but a lot of ham).

Favorite line (spoken by the Prosecutor after Scott Bakula's Defense closing trial speech): "We'll be lucky if they don't lynch us."

Favorite line spoken by Ron Perlman (after his son punches the bully): "Now making him your friend, that will be the hard part."

Cute enough to rent/buy used.

The King's Guard
(2000)

For ten year old Muskeeters.
Treachery, villainy, swordplay, noble secret love and a princess in peril: what more could the average ten year old would-be Musketeer ask for?

Set in the days of chivalry at sword point, "The King's Guard" is the tale of the "last stand" of a princess (Ashley Jones) being taken to a marriage that will save her father's throne and the young noble Guard (Trevor St. John) who secretly loves her, against the traitorous ex-Guard (Eric Roberts) who wants her and the greedy Lord (Ron Perlman) who wants her dowry.

This movie has nice costumes and I think that's where most of the money went. Ninety-nine percent of it takes place in one setting. There are no horses although the DVD cover shows them. The acting runs the spectrum from almost-painful-to-watch (Jones) to oh-good-someone-knows-what-they're-doing (Perlman, Roberts). The sword play, although decently choreographed, is done too hesitantly by most of the actors to be truly exciting.

People who are into the Renaissance Faire, SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) and LARP (Live Action Role Playing) scenes may be able to glean some inspiration from the costumes and sword play.

Although there is much fighting there is no blood or gore so this would be an excellent family movie for anyone with young children going through a swashbuckling phase.

Worth a rent for gamers, worth a rent/buy used for youngsters.

Operation Sandman
(2000)

In the desert, no one can hear you dream.
A scientist creates a drug that allows people to go without sleep. It's being tested on military personnel at a remote desert training facility (of course). As you can imagine, people can't go without sleep, so as time goes on, their fears or guilt or whatever truly haunts them begin to bleed into their real life (of course), and this happens just as the program comes under the scrutiny of an outside analyst (of course). People with high caliber weapons hallucinating. Do the math/body count.

Basically the average TV movie quality/formula rainy day movie.

Ron Perlman plays the unflappable scientist with all the single minded focus of an MD who's shooting his own sh*t (MD standing for Mad Doctor of course, so much for a "control group"). Calm, cool and manipulative, the doctor's concerns in life and work stretch no farther than the end of his syringe, and Ron Perlman's right on point with his performance.

Favorite line (spoken by the only member of the test group not to hallucinate): "I grew up in the Bronx. What's left to be afraid of?"

Worth a rent or buy used (if you must have it for your Ron Perlman movie collection).

Primal Force
(1999)

Sometimes being left to live is the worst monkey on your back.
A small charter plane has crashed on a banned and supposedly lifeless island, stranding the pilot, a real estate broker and a wealthy young woman. The rescue team put together to go in, unable to contract a professional adviser, as all believe the isle is cursed, are forced to hire the only guide available; a drunken ill tempered recluse, who's spent the last decade attempting to running from the memories of animal experimentation gone horribly wrong. Now, with the recovery crew, he will be going into his nightmare, and it is viciously wide awake.

This is average paint by numbers TV movie quality; dialogue is generally uninspired, sieve-like plot, and characters are stock (the spoiled little rich girl-Kimberlee Peterson, the chatty plotting business man-Richard Fancy, the doctor with a secret-Roxana Zal, the hard nosed tough guy-Mark Kiely, the haunted man-Ron Perlman). The acting runs from so-so to excellent. The camera angles and cuts are very frenetic, attempting to create a suspenseful atmosphere, and there are the obligatory stunt shots in slo-mo. Basically, it's a pizza and a movie evening TV fare.

Ron Perlman has the lead; a broken man unable to have a life because he stayed alive when many others did not. He takes a generic, usually one note role; the haunted man, and imbues him with multiply layers of emotional depth (quakingly fearful yet strong, bravery in spite of moments of cowardice, morose but dryly humorous, fatalistic yet willing to act, haunted but yet still able to hope, etc) turning in a well rounded, excellent performance.

Favorite Line(s): (Matthews/Zal) "They're evolving at an incredible rate! They're almost Neanderthal!" (Brodie/Perlman) "I'd like to get out of here before they get cable."

Worth a rent/buy for Ron Perlman fans.

Supreme Sanction
(1999)

A government assassin develops the most deadly weapon of all…a conscience.
A government assassin (Kirsty Swanson), disturbed by the demoralization within her operation, refuses to kill a reporter (David Dukes) and instead teams up with him to break his story of corruption in her agency, all while being hunted by her ex-trainer (Michael Madsen) and ex-boss (Ron Perlman), and protected by her good natured "gadget man" (Donald Faison).  

This is an above average TV movie that's fun to watch. A decent plot that you actually do have to give some attention to. Enjoyable performances. Not to mention that it was interesting to see half the cast of the comedy "Tinseltown" (Dukes, Perlman, Swanson) reunited in something completely different.

Worth a rent/buy used.

Happy, Texas
(1999)

Never straight; gaily forward.
Two small time criminals (Jeremy Northam, Steve Zahn) escape a chain gang highway clean up crew and steal an RV, which promptly breaks down. When they are found by a small town sheriff (William H. Macy) they fear the worst, until they realize the officer, and the town, have mistaken them for the vehicle's owners; a couple (in more ways than business) of beauty pageant coordinators they have hired to turn their young ladies into the next "Little Miss Fresh Squeezed Pre-Teen." With an eye on the yearly harvest money about to hit the local bank, the escapees turn flamboyant pros to pull a flaming con.

This is an adorable, fantastic, off the wall comedy with a fruity twist to the mistaken identity theme. A phenomenal script with excellent dialogue. An absolutely outstanding cast (keep an eye out for Ron Perlman!). Zahn is insane in the best possible way. Northam is subtly superb. Macy is simply brilliant. Looking to laugh to the beat of a different drummer? Visit "Happy, Texas."

Favorite Line(s): "State prisons are leakin' like a macramé diaphragm." "Give me the meanest steak ya got rare, and I mean rare, just dehorn it, wipe its butt and send it in."

Worth a buy.

A Town Has Turned to Dust
(1998)

Lessons humanity continues to not learn...
Two hundred years in the future, in a radioactive scrap metal mining town on the almost completely abandoned, draught ridden, dying planet Earth, a young man of a "second class race" is lynched for the supposed beating and attempted rape of the wife of the town boss before he can be taken off planet to the new home of humanity for trial. The act exhumes an old guilt that begins the final disintegration of a town already half buried in the ugly dust of racism and prejudice.

This was a nice surprise as Sci-Fi Channel movies are hit and miss. Steven Lang does an excellent job as the useless, haunted town drunk and Sheriff Harvey Denton. The "Cain and Abel-ish" brother like relationship between his character and Ron Perlman's town boss and mob ring leader Jerry Paul is well done by both actors. You can see it there dying, being killed by time, guilt, booze and power. The abusive love-hate relationship between Jerry Paul and his wife Maya (Barbara Jane Reams) is very realistic, scary in its unhealthy depths of possession and desire to care and be cared for.

Definitely worth a buy.

Frogs for Snakes
(1998)

When killing for a part is the audition.
This movie is about a group of off-off Broadway actor wanna bes who moonlight as illegal money collectors. One of their crew (Barbara Hershey) wants to leave and start a new life with her young son. Unfortunately, her ex-husband (Robbie Coltrane) is the theatre impresario/loan shark who pulls the strings of everyone's ambitions.

A very unusual vision of the gangster comedy theme. It takes the generalized neuroses and psychoses of actors (ego, ambition, narcissism, paranoia, etc) and runs the gamut from somewhat healthy to psychotic. People alternate from friends, lovers, and assassins at the turn of an audition announcement and will begin monologues from plays and movies with little to no warning (this will be fun for theatre/movie buffs). The plot, unlike some movies, actually requires attention and a large cast (most of whom are one to two sceners) delivers excellent performances all around.

FYI: has some scenes of graphic violence.

Worth a rent/buy used. Due to its singular style, I would suggest renting first, as it will not be everyone's cup of tea.

Houdini
(1998)

"Believe"... in what exactly?
This is a TV movie covering the career, life and afterlife of the illusionist Harry Houdini. It is a romanticized skeletal treatment, covering the basics of the man (raised in poverty, self taught magician, life long mother issues, medium debunker) without any real depth or showing anything new. It is a well done enough production, recreating some of Houdini's daring feats, and the acting is decent (and Jonathon Schaech certainly looks fit enough to pull off Houdini's escapes and high tolerance for pain) but ultimately it is a frame without a portrait, non revealing of the Ehrich Weiss behind the Harry Houdini.

Favorite Line: "I fell in love with Ehrich Weiss; I put up with Harry Houdini."

Worth a rent if you have a mildly curious about Houdini itch to scratch and an hour and a half free.

The Protector
(1997)

When you like your viruses with a touch of class.
Ex-military, black belt professional bodyguard/soldier of fortune Ken Conway (Matt McColm) is recruited by his ex-fiancée Marisa (Annabel Schofield), who left him at the altar, to find her missing coworker. The search leads him to world renowned virologist Dr. Ramsey Krago (Ron Perlman), who is secretly creating deadly viruses, releasing them, then "developing" an antidote (which he had created in tandem with the virus) and selling it to the highest paying pharmaceutical company. The Doctor, via poison ring, infects Conway with his latest invention leaving him forty eight hours to get the antidote or die.

TV movie quality. The opening music is incredibly tacky. Not the most brilliant dialogue. The lead (McColm) has a tendency to go over-the-top-cocky. A rainy day watch.

Perlman is the elegant epitome of class and style as the suave, debonair and totally villainous Krago. An enjoyable performance as he is so damn smooth and so damn ruthless; a silken snake.

Worth a rent/buy used.

Tinseltown
(1997)

It's time to make Hollywood squeaky clean.
A broke would be screenwriter and his would be agent (Tom Wood and Arye Gross) are forced to live in a self storage facility run by an eccentric and intimidating manager (Ron Perlman) whom they come to believe is the serial murderer that is terrorizing the city, the "Costume Killer" (so named because, after injecting his victims with Windex, he dresses them in silly costumes). They convince him his life story would make a great film and gather together a group of misfit wannabe film makers (John Considine, Joe Pantoliano, Kristy Swanson) and discover that the art of movie making can be murder.

There is more to this movie but it was unfortunately left on the editing room floor and it shows (rumor is the studio wanted a "lighter" dark comedy). Our loss (and the actors, who all do fine jobs and deserve better) as this has the makings of an exceptional black comedy but only rises to mediocre cute.

If you're a Ron Perlman fan this is absolutely worth getting just for his performance. His comedic timing is excellent and he has the chance to do some really great impressions (he wasn't kidding when he said on the Hellboy movie commentary that he needed an intervention when he gets into Jerry Lewis mode). He's just simply fun to watch in this one.

David Dukes also shines in a two-scener (but pivotal) role.

Alien: Resurrection
(1997)

She'll breed, you'll die…any questions?
Two hundred years after her death Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is cloned for the Alien inside her by a rogue military faction. After the Alien is surgically removed the Ripley left is one of mixed species' strengths and seemingly divided species loyalty. When the Alien breeds and decimates the military space station, it is left to Ripley and a group of "where the 'bleep' are the army guys?!" mercenary smugglers stuck on the outpost to stop the Aliens from reaching Earth.

The standard Alien and space special effects are in play here (with one special "birth" near the end). The music has a tendency to get in the way of scenes instead of enhancing them. There's a nice mixed group of engaging characters in the smugglers (the lovers: Michael Wincott, Kim Flowers, the horny foul mouthed tough guy: Ron Perlman, the brainy soft hearted wheelchair bound guy: Dominique Pinon, the calm leader: Gary Dourdan, the one with a secret: Winona Ryder) and the obsessed to the point of arrogant blindness doctors (Brad Dourif, J.E. Freeman). Over all, the idea of a hybrid Ripley/Alien is an interesting one and makes for a decent center to a good fun action film.

Did the director love Ron Perlman or what?! Gave his rough mercenary smuggler character Johnner all the best lines in the movie ("If you don't want to play basketball I know some other indoor sports," "I can get you off...maybe not the boat..." "Waste of 'bleep' ammo...must be a chick thing," "I'm not the mechanic here Ironsides, I just mostly hurt people!") and Ron Perlman makes the most of it, turning in the performance most likely to be the first thing remembered about the film.

Favorite line: "Earth? I'd rather stay here with the things man!"

Worth a buy if you're into the Alien movies, worth a rent if you're into sci-fi/horror.

Prince Valiant
(1997)

For the 10 year old Knight.
Villainy, jousting, swordplay, a princess in peril, an unknowing prince on a quest, and all in the shadow of Excalibur: what more could the average ten year old would-be Knight ask for?

Set in the days of Round Table chivalry, this is the comic book tale of the orphan and page Valiant (Stephen Moyer) who, due to a case of mistaken identity, is escorting a princess (Katherine Heigl) to her fiancée when Excalibur is stolen from King Arthur (Edward Fox) by his evil stepsister Morgan Le Fey (Joanne Lumley) and two warring brothers (Udo Kier, Thomas Kretchsmann) from an enemy Kingdom. Valiant and the princess become part of the struggle of "he who holds the sword rules the world" which leads them both to love and Valiant to his princely destiny.

This is an okay rainy afternoon movie that is definitely geared toward a young audience. The acting is decent enough, the jousting is done well, and the swordplay isn't bad. Occasionally a scene will fade into a cartoon comic book sequence with voice over. Stunt work is kind of lame and there is this dumb armored alligator effect. Over all, kids will get a kick out of it (and adults will groan-laugh).

Worth a rent/buy used for the kids.

The Second Civil War
(1997)

Welcome to the Human Race.
In the near future, a planeload of immigrant orphans are on their way to a charity facility in Idaho when the Governor of the state closes its borders and refuses them entry. This sparks a division of military forces, between states government's National Guard and federal government's Army, each hell bent on protecting their own version of the American Dream, as well as their media images. At the center of this Constitutional storm is a President unable to make a decision without checking with his advisers and referencing one of his predecessors, a Governor more interested in liaisons with his immigrant news reporter mistress than dealing with immigration laws, a newsroom where facts and truth balance with viewer shares, and a TV audience more interested in their favorite daytime soap opera. The Great American Melting Pot is about to uncivilly boil over.

This HBO black comedy is an excellent mix of political and news media parody, race relations satire, and morality tale. Wonderfully quirky, and sometimes deeply meaningful, dialogue. Characters run the gamut from dignified to loony. Performances from a large cast are all vibrant and spot on. A movie gem. Favorite Line(s): "Can't make an omelet without busting some sacred eggs. We're making history here and you ain't with us, are you?" "No I'm not." "You should be. Why not?" "Maybe because I'm a reporter, I ain't with anybody. Maybe because too many sacred eggs are getting busted. See, I rode the buses back in the 60s to bring people together. Pretty unfashionable now, isn't it?" "Your wife, she's Jewish, ain't she?" "You know, I forgot what she is, all I remember is that we met on the back of a bus." "I'm trying to remember the words to the Pledge of Allegiance. I said it a million times when I was a kid. Right now I can't seem to remember the words."

The Island of Dr. Moreau
(1996)

The line between animal and man has been evolutionized.
An ocean plane wrecked diplomat is rescued and brought to an island inhabited by a Nobel winning now reclusive scientist and his children; the animals he has been genetically manipulating with human DNA in an attempt to create his vision of a pure species.

When this film opened it was panned by the critics. I was never sure why. It opens strong, both visually and musically. The locale is beautifully claustrophobic, appropriate for a secluded tropical island. Stan Winston's creature make up is excellent. The body language of the "humanimals" is very interesting. The underlying commentaries on the savagery of society and the morality of biological scientific experimentation are intact. Marlon Brando makes a daring, and critics said poor, choice in playing his Moreau like an effete, physically feeble, unbelievably polite British University English Professor, more eccentrically insane instead of the usual madly insane. Val Kilmer, always a strong performer, as Moreau's assistant Montgomery, does a spot on impersonation of him toward the end of the film. Fairuza Balk, as Moreau's daughter Aissa and David Thewlis as the "rescued" diplomat Edward round out the over all well done performances given by all.

Favorite line (spoken by The Sayer Of The Law/Ron Perlman: "Going on two legs is very difficult."

Definitely worth a rent/buy.

Mr. Stitch
(1995)

The ultimate act of recycling just woke up.
A very, very stylized, starkly minimalistic, risky vision of the idea of life without birth, a la Frankenstein, involving a military funded operation to build the perfect soldier (Wil Wheaton) with the use of body parts from eighty-eight individuals. The "Stitch Project" initially appears to be a success until the creation begins to remember those who he was and those who he loved. A more "thinking/talking" than "doing/action" piece (until the last few scenes). Intriguing and weird at the same time. Definitely won't be everyone's cup of tea.

Ron Perlman has a small role, told in flashback, of a doctor who was initially involved in the creation process and ends up becoming literally a part of it after he is killed trying to stop the military from subverting his work. He has some beautifully sweet romantic moments with love interest and fellow Stitch Project doctor Nia Peeples.

Favorite line(s): "Without choice you can be alive but you wouldn't be living." "Music is like poetry or fiction only put to sound."

Favorite line spoken by Ron Perlman (and Wil Wheaton): "If you believe it in your heart than follow it otherwise don't be so eager to concur with the opinions of others."

Due to its almost severe style, I would suggest renting before buying.

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