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Jack of All Trades (2000)
A show worthy of Bruce Campbell's talents!
Bruce Campbell shines in this action series set in the early 1800's. Bruce plays an American spy named Jack who is assigned to an island to keep Napoleon at bay. Not wanting the U.S. to become a French-speaking country, Jack agrees. Once there, Jack finds himself with a beautiful British woman assigned as his partner. Over the course of his adventures, Jack finds himself having to occasionally assume the role of a swashbuckling local folk hero named the Daring Dragoon.
Bruce Campbell is very entertaining to watch in this show, playing his Jack character as sort of a cross between Zorro and Ash. A must-see for any Bruce fan. The only drawback is that it's only 30 minutes long. So just as things are starting to take off, the show suddenly ends. I guess we can hope that the awful "Cleopatra 2525" gets cancelled and the show gets expanded to an hour.
Cleopatra 2525 (2000)
How to make 30 minutes seem like an eternity.
The only reason I watched this show was because I was waiting for "Jack of All Trades" to start. Boy, did I regret it! This show achieved what I thought was impossible. It dethroned "VIP" as the dumbest show on television.
The show revolves around two women in skimpy outfits in the year 2525 who spend their time fighting evil robots. One day, they come across a stripper who went in for a boob job and got cryogenicaly frozen instead. She gets woken up 500 years in the future so it's too late to file a malpractice lawsuit. So she's sort of adopted by these two women to aid in their fight against these evil robots.
So what's wrong with this show? Let's see, where should I begin? There's the bad acting from the three leading ladies. There's also the cheesy special effects. I could mention the scripts, which seem like they were written by the sci-fi freak in junior high writing class. Despite being the title character, Cleopatra does little more than scream and act frightened every time a group of bad guys attack. The show is mercifully short at 30 minutes, yet it still seems as long as "Barry Lyndon." It also as the dopiest theme song I've ever heard on a TV show. "In the year 2525/there are women with the will to survive." Yeah. Can you pick your son, pick your daughter too from the bottom of a long glass tube?
My advice: read a book or do something constructive with your 30 minutes until "Jack of All Trades" comes on.
Catalina Caper (1967)
Thank you, MST3K, for making us laugh at love again.
Even by 60's beach party movie standards, this is really cheesy. Actually, awful is a more accurate term. I guess this was intended to be a fun beach party movie but somewhere along the line, it turned out to be a physically and psychologically draining experience. Bad acting all around. Lots of awful music, including a little number in which Little Richard humiliates himself. And a lot of *ahem* comedy that falls flat on its face (quite literally in the case of the obnoxious pratfall guy who serves as the would-be comic relief). And to top it all off, thrown into this mess, making the movie even more convulted than it already was, is a subplot involving an ancient scroll stolen by a bunch of bungling jewel thieves.
This movie was turned into a classic episode of the dearly departed MST3K, so I can't really say this movie turned out to be a complete waste of film. But if you dare watch this soul-sucking movie without the company of Joel Hodgson and his robot pals, you might end up with the urge to jump out the nearest window to put yourself out of your misery.
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Never give up! Never surrender!
This was a great movie. It was one of the few movies I've seen where the audience actually applauded at the end of the film! A really funny sci-fi soppf about a group of actors from a cheesy 70's sci-fi series whose episodes of the show are mistaken for "historical documents" by a group of aliens and brought to outer space to help then fight off an evil alien menace. Tim Allen does a great William Shatner impersonation for his character. Sigourney Weaver (in her first comic role since "GHostbusters") and Alan Rickman really shine in their roles as well. It's an entertaining movie for just about anyone but if you've ever had great (perhaps even obsessive) admiration for any sci-fi series, you'll get even more out of it. It kind of gets off to a slow start, but the pace really picks up as the film progresses. Highly recommended!
Detroit Rock City (1999)
A pleasant surprise!
Okay, this movie is not exactly high art and I seriously doubt it'll win any Oscars. However, this movie is a really enjoyable teen romp through the 70's. Although this movie chronicles the adventures on four teens who are trying to make it to a Kiss concert, Kiss isn't the central focus of this movie. This movie is specificly about these four kids and their hopes, dreams and escapades. Take away the Kiss factor and you still end up with a good movie. I'll admit we could've done without the "girls' bathroom" scene. But this movie is a really enjoyable rock 'n' roll comedy.
If you're a fan of Kiss, or 70's hard rock in general, then you're sure to enjoy this movie. If you're a fan of good coming of age movies, you're sure to enjoy this movie. Just don't take it too seriously.
Airport '77 (1977)
Average disaster movie
This is a so-so movie. Not as good as the previous two Airport movies. The movie gets off to a slow start, introducing the characters and trying to bring some character development to the film. And not doing too well in that regard. Even the late, great Jimmy Stweart doesn't add much to the film. As with the other movies, you have to suspend your disbelief at times. While not the best installment of the series, this is a somewhat entertaining disaster movie. Though only recommended if you've seen everything else in the store.
Not a good start
I remember seeing this movie when it opened in theaters. Having been a fan of the show even at that young age, I was really looking forward to seeing it. It was really disappointing. Nowhere near as good as the show. Very slow and boring. Fortunately, things improved a lot with "Wrath of Kahn."
Dreadful would-be monster movie
This was intended to be a frightful monster movie. Problem is, it's just not scary. Personally, I fail to understand what's so scary about worms in the first place. It doesn't help that the characters in the movie are all dumb rednecks that you'd like to see die in the first place. Well, at least this movie was turned into a good episode of MST3K (may it rest in peace) so the whole thing wasn't a total loss.
One thing's for sure. You definitely shouldn't eat spaghetti while watching this film.
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
Good, underrated film
A good, overlooked film that benefits from good acting, dialogue and directing. People more accustomed to the quick, slick pacing of most modern films will probably find this film too slow and boring but those who appreciate the qualities that really make a good movie should check it out. I can't imagine a movie like this being made in this day and age, which is too bad. James Taylor shows that he had some potential as an actor. Too bad he didn't do other films.
Entertaining film from the 70's
Shaft managed to overcome the obviously low budget with a good cast (most notably Richard Roundtree) and a good story with a good deal of action. There's also the great theme song from Issac Hayes. One of the finest blaxploitaion films of the 70's. A good film worth checking out.
Low-calorie disaster film
"Earthquake" is not one of the best entries in the disaster film genre. The movie takes about an hour to get started. The slow first half is intended to introduce the characters and provide character development. Problem is, none of the characters have enough depth for this to work. Once the actual earthquake occurs about an hour in, things start to pick up. But not quite enough for the film to work. The acting and dialogue are quite bad and like most disaster films, there's little plot. The real stars of this movie are the impressive post-earthquake sets.
Airport 1975 (1974)
This movie, like well-aged cheese, is still cheese. This sequel to "Airport" is a bit more fast paced than the original. But the characters have little depth, the story is thin, the acting isn't great and the dialogue is corny. Still, this movie is entertaining in its own cheesy little way. Worth watching if you're in the right mood, but check your brain at the door.
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Jack Nicholson in one of his best roles as Robert, a talented pianist who gave up his promising future as a musician and left his family. He now lives in a run-down steel town working at an oil rig, bowling, drinking and living with his bimbo girlfriend (wonderfully played by Karen Black). When he hears his father's had a stroke, he goes home to visit his family. There, he attemps to get his past in order.
This movie is a great character study, exploring where Robert came from and how he wound up living such an empty life. What really seems to have brought Robert down is his insecurity and his doubts about himself, which will seem to follow him all throughout his life. Fine acting all around and great dialogue (including Robert's speech to his father and the "chicken salad" routine). When I saw the ending, I initially felt empty and unfulfilled by it. But then I realized that the audience is supposed to feel that way. Just as empty and unfulfilled as Robert feels.
The Incredible Melting Man (1977)
Too bad this wasn't the incredible melting film
Probably the grossest movie in MST3K history. And in my opinion, one of the worst movies they've ever done. A guy goes into space, flies to the rings of Saturn and gets infected by radiation. Somehow, he makes it back to earth, goes insane and starts killing people while he slowly melts away. Doctor Ted Nelson leaps into action...and accomplishes absolutely nothing. A totally unappealing cast (especially that annoying horny old couple) and a depressing ending. As an episode of MST3K, it's great fun to watch. But if you're hoping to be entertained by this film any other way, forget it.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
It's a wonderful movie
This movie is not just a Christmas classic, but one of the best movies ever. Despite being over 50 years old, it hasn't aged at all and is just as endearing now as ever. Jimmy Stewart gives the performance of his lifetime as the selfless George Bailey. The movie also delivers an important, though often overlooked message: no man is a failure who has friends. What a wonderful movie.
Profondo rosso (1975)
One of Argento's best
This is one of Dario Argento's best efforts. It has all the elements that make a good Argento film. It's real stylish with lots of mood and atmosphere, the usual gory deaths and a great score from Goblin. And for a change, it actually has a pretty good plot. Another fine effort from Dario Argento's "golden age."
4 mosche di velluto grigio (1971)
Good early effort for Dario Argento
One of Dario Argento's first films, this movie shows a lot of promise. Argento's trademark style and atmosphere are here, albiet in their early stages. One notable difference is this movie has an orchestral score, rather than the rock music scores from Goblin that would be a trademark in Argento's later films. A good early film from one of the world's finest horror film directors.
A Night to Remember (1958)
One of the finest films ever
Excellent drama about the sinking of the Titanic. Well written and well acted. Really brings across all the elements of the Titanic trajedy, even touching on some things that James Cameron's film didn't. Particularly in touching on the lives of some of the passengers. While Cameron's movie was more of a soap opera, this movie has a strong human element. Highly recommended.
This is what movies are about
Sad, haunting, moving, beautiful...these are some of the words that perfectly describe this movie. The movie centers around two people who survive a plane crash, but are dead inside and need to come to terms with their feelings so they can "live" again. The direction is superb (the slow-motion scene with Rosie Perez and the baby and the last ten minutes of the film especially atnd out) and the whole cast turn in great performances. The score is wonderful, with the movie having the right music in the right places. I don't think I'll hear "Where the Streets Have No Name" the same way again. It's a shame that this movie seems to have gone unnoticed. Highly recommended.
The Towering Inferno (1974)
Cheesy, but entertaining
Arguably the finest of the 70's disaster movies. Admittedly it's somewhat corny, but a lot of fun to watch. Good score from John Williams as well. A good film to rent when you're in the mood for something fun and not too intellectual.
The Poseidon Adventure (1972)
Not a great film
Since I like "Towering Inferno," I thought I would like this film as well. I was pretty disappointed. The sets are impressive and the John Williams score is good. But the acting, dialoge and characters left something to be desired. It felt like a Michael Bay or Devlin/Emmrich film for the 70's. I'd recommend skipping this and watching "Towering Inferno" or "Airport" instead.
I don't think anyone will call this movie a masterpiece, but it's fun to watch in a cheesy, mindless way. Probably the first of many disaster movies from the 70's. A good film to watch when you're in the mood, but check your brain at the door.
I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. I was expecting it to be some stupid comedy but I actually found it to be a funny, entertaining movie. It really helps if you've seen "All the President's Men." Otherwise some of the in-jokes might be lost to you. Nothing deep, but an entertaining way to spend an evening.
The Green Mile (1999)
One of the best films of 1999
This film ties with "American Beauty" as my favorite film of 1999. What a glorious year for movies this has been! Tom Hanks turns in another fine performance and the rest of the cast is great as well. This movie is well-acted, well-directed and really emotional. I initially has reservations about seeing it because of the three-hour length, but I was so immensed in the story that I didn't even think about the length. As long as the movie's good, the length doesn't matter.
I also found this to be one of the saddest movies I've ever seen with a fairly bittersweet ending. It's a movie that really tugs at your emotional strings. This is not the emotional button-pushing of your avarage Hollywood product. This is true emotion. I highly reccomend this film.
An underrated 80's classic!
Highlander has been one of my favorite movies for years. Film snobs may scoff at it, but I've always considered it one of the finest action/fantasy films of the 80's. There's so much to like about this movie. It has an original and captivating story. The swordfights are very well choreographed and exciting to watch. Good performances from the cast, especially from Sean Connery and Clancy Brown. The film also provides characters the sudience actually cares about. An especially noteworthy aspect of the film is the music. Michael Kamen's orchestral score and Queen's songs really work well together and add to the impact of the film. This is a movie I've seen so many times and I just never get sick of it.
I highly recommend watching the director's cut, which has a few scenes that are essential to the film but were cut out of the American release. This movie also spawned a great TV series that expanded on the universe that the movie established. Unfortunately, this movie also spawned two lousy sequels that should be avoided at all cost.