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Tango & Cash (1989)
So Incredibly Awful, It is Good
This has to be one of the worst movies ever. The acting is terrible, the script is beyond bad. A pure vanity piece for both Stallone and Russell. I mean, if you nitpicked all of the faults with this movie, you would need a week. The story centers around two rival cops, who seem to make all of the arrests in Los Angeles. You have Tango, played by Stallone, who dresses in Armani suits and drives a Cadillac, he also makes references to Rambo and Bridget Nielsen (hardy har har). Then you have Cash, played by Kurt Russell, a mullet wearing badass who is oozing with machismo. Well, these two make the front page of the paper every day, with big pictures of them, you know, after they make big arrests (geez!). Well, the rivalry is alive and not too realistic. Well, there is a shady figure (Jack Palance), who has a plan to frame the two supercops for murder and put them in prison, where they will be killed. He does not want to just kill them. Look, this is an incredibly stupid film, without a sense of reality at all. This being said, it is weirdly compelling. You just want to keep watching it, to see if it can maintain the awfulness. It does! Tragically entertaining.
House of 1000 Corpses (2003)
A Must See for Future Serial Killers
If you really enjoy torture and senseless killing, this film is for you! It has all kinds of twisted people killing scores of innocent people for the hell of it. There are no "good guys" here, just evil people, who I think are supposed to be cool. Which is what is so bothering about this film. Rob Zombie seems to be saying, that murdering and torturing people is fun and hip. You can brag that this film is disturbing and you would be correct, but is that anything to brag about? I guess seeing young girls tied up and tortured is a thrill to somebody that was never able to get them, which is where Zombie and his fans seem to be coming from. It is kind of a revenge film for those losers that never were able to get with the attractive and popular crowd, you know, the future serial killers.
Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995)
Incredibly Stupid, even by Summer Blockbuster Standards
I guess you could say that you get your money's worth from this film, because it sure seemed like it was ten hours long. Of course, that is not really a good thing. In Die Hard 3, we have a heavier and balder (although you really could not tell with the wonderful toupee they spray-painted on his head) Bruce Willis trying to solve an inanely plotted heist. The heist in fact is a multi-billion dollar planned affair, that must have been needed to cover the expenses of the robbery itself. While this ridiculous scheme is being played out, Bruce Willis must teach old racist Samuel Jackson that whites are not bad. Jackson is as irritating as he was in "Changing Lanes." But Bruce Willis will show him he should quit acting like an angry black guy. In fact, they kind of bond, which is what you have to do, when the mad German Evil Genius behind the caper requires them to solve 123 puzzles during the film (which I hear is common in robberies). Of course, the supporting cast is wonderfully stereotyped with characters you have seen in 100 other action movies. Will the gruff and balding Willis be able to stop the bad guy? Might he be able to do it by some moronic twist of irony? Gee I hope not, because I could not stand a fourth installment of this garbage. Thanks!
No Way Out (1987)
An Underrated Masterpiece !
I don't think I can ever remember a movie quite like this. It has hooks in it that are so refreshing and unexpected. It has performances that are just brilliant. Moreover, it is a movie in which Kevin Costner looks at his most natural best. The story basically revolves around Costner's character trying to discover who killed his lover, before he is framed for it. Of course, he is trying to do this in a closed off Pentagon building while eyewitnesses are being brought in just to point out him. Of course, you have side stories going on everywhere. I don't want to give away any of the little switches or the big one. I will just say, that if you want to see a well done thriller, this is it. Great movie!
Action Jackson (1988)
Acton Hits are hard to make, I guess
I always used to scratch my head at how Arnold, Sly and Willis were able to generate such income for movies that were average at best. I guess I just felt that the dumb action movies of the '80s were easy to crank out. HOWEVER, Action Jackson disproves that myth. In fact, "Cobra" looks like "Citizen Kane" compared to this boring and senseless movie. I have no doubt that the producers here envisioned a whole Action Jackson series that would generate untold millions. They got a capable actor in Weathers and put a decent supporting cast in with him, however, the script and story are both dismal. You just can't hold any interest in the story, because it just seems to ramble incoherently all over the place. Once again we have a movie based on numerous other bad movies. Craig T. Nelson had the talent to make for a really bad guy, but even his character ended up being boring and clichéd. Sadly, after this bomb, Action Jackson II had as little chance of being made as the documentary over "The Making of Action Jackson." Oh well, I am sure there is some factory somewhere in the world with a million Action Jackson action figures, still in their packaging, the brainchild of an overconfident marketing department. And I bet, that if you put those babies on ebay, well, not one person would buy one.
Chasing Liberty (2004)
Are we to overlook how bad it is because it is geared towards kids?
This is one of those age-old questions. You see a film that is horridly written and acted. The characters are poorly developed and as shallow as the kiddie pool. The story involves just a number of helicopter shots of the characters having fun in foreign cities, while bad music plays. It literally looks like one of those Brady Bunch television shows when they go out and shoot on location. You know, the music is playing while Marcia tries on a goofy hat and the sisters look on in laughter. BUT, fans will say, oh you, it was a sweet movie made for young people. What kind of young people? Stupid young people? I'm sorry, a bad movie is a bad movie, period. I am giving it a 1, I'm sure that my 1 will be balanced by the numerous stup...erhhh...young people that will be giving it a 10.
The Passage (1979)
The Passage is not worth the time
Quite Frankly, this film was terrible! The acting, the story, the sound, the lighting, the everything. Coming up with ten lines here is going to be hard. I mean, I can only say it sucked so many times. OK, let's look more closely at why it sucked? Malcolm McDowell, the legendary actor from "A Clockwork Orange," is in this film, kind of. His performance is so over the top, that we can only imagine what was going on in his personal life at the time. Did you know that SS officers wear jock straps that have swastikas on them? Well they do! At least McDowell's character (that can't seem to be killed) did. You know what, the film was awful and I have spoken too much about it.
The Falcon and the Snowman (1985)
A Magnificent Tale of Disillusionment and Betrayal
There is something about true stories that makes them so much more interesting than fiction. I guess it is the fact that truth has always been stranger than fiction. The Falcon and the Snowman tells the true story about Christopher Boyce and his buddy Daulton Lee. Boyce (Hutton) is a former alter boy and intellectual, trying to find an occupation that can support and entertain him. His FBI father is able to pull some strings and get his idealist son a job working in the defense department. Boyce has few responsibilities and seems to be complacent drinking and goofing around with his co-workers. However, as time goes on, Boyce starts to learn top secret information that causes him to doubt the morality of his government. The idealist Boyce soon sees the illegal operations that the CIA is carrying out in above all places, Australia. Boyce eventually decides that he will leak some of the top secret info he is privy to, to the KGB. Of course, Boyce's mistake is the assumption that because the USA is doing bad things, the USSR is the good guy. Over time, Boyce and his drug-dealing buddy Lee (Penn), start to sell their top secret information to the KGB. What was once idealism, turns into capitalism and espionage. The strength of this movie is the incredible performances by Hutton and Penn. Although one of them starts off with the best intentions, they will both soon find themselves in an unending downward spiral. Great direction, music, everything. Not only a great film, but one of my all-time favorites.
The Worst Script Ever
Well, it does not shock me that a moron like Roger Ebert would give this thing four stars, that guy lost all credibility about 100 lbs. ago. For the record, I was amazed at just how bad this film was. The script, the music the acting, everything! Val Kilmer and his partners are just so stiff, and the unrealistic dialog they spew seems penned from a Junior High student. There are numerous scenes that just amaze me that they made it through the editing process. I am not even touching on the implausible and unrealistic story lines. Heck, there is no other way of saying it, this film is stupid! Seriously, Hollywood puts out a lot of bad films today, but most of those films are bad because they are unoriginal and uninspired. This film was kind of original and a little inspired, but the horrendous acting, poor script and ridiculous characters just make it impossible for me to recommend. I can see why it bombed, I just can't see why it was released in the first place. I like David Mamet, I really do. However, I think he was not qualified to deal with this subject matter, kind of falls out of his expertise. Seriously, this thing should have gone straight to cable.
Party Monster (2003)
Want to take a strange trip?
The old saying is "truth is stranger than fiction," and you know what, it's true. In "Party Monster" we are taken on a very trippy and true little journey that allows us to see first-hand, the crazy club life of New York City in the 1980s. In particular, we get an up-close and personal biography of the "club kids." The "club kids" were a group of young party monsters that were actually paid by club owners to show up at their clubs. Mind you, these kids did not do any kind of performing at all, they simply showed up. However, when you see their outrageous costumes and attire, you see why people had their eye out for them. These kids were bizarre and odd and stoned and well, weird. Livng lives that were so out of balance, tragedy was inevitable. Green and Culkin portray the two most prominent members of this group and they are both good. However, it is Culkin that really steals the movie, breaking away from his stereotypical characters of the past and playing somebody that very few actors would be brave enough to take on. The reason I gave this movie 10 stars, is the look and sound. This movie is like watching an acid flashback from the 1980s. I mean, you are there, in the room with them as they strut in and snort up. The music is 1980s, the attitude is 1980s, it is hard to describe. Much of the film is dream-like. Moreover, Culkin is mesmerizing as a character too odd for words. No, the story and acting are not Oscar-worthy, but the look of the film, the feel of the film, wow! I predict that this film will become more popular as the years go by. It has the qualities of all those great midnight movies of the 1980s. I really recommend it for people craving something different and historical (in a weird sense).
Man on Fire (2004)
The Glitz does Note Hide Transparent Plot
This is one of those movies with an emotional storyline that is almost a lock to draw you in. Jaded former CIA guy is coasting through the last days of his life, trying to gain forgiveness or understanding from God for the things he has done. Takes job protecting a little girl in one of the most crime-infested and corrupt cities in the world. A bond between the two is quickly formed. Bad guys steal here away, somebody has to pay and in as barbaric of way as possible. Yep, the revenge angle is strong. The little girl was very cute, and a good person (Dakota Fanning really is quite good here). We really want to see the people that took her and are believed to have killed her, pay for what they have done. And they do. Sadly, it takes a former assassin from the US with terminal wounds to dole out any kind of justice in Mexico. I guess we feel good when we see those responsible die one by one. The only problem is that we are forced to see so many trademark Tony Scott (he really is a hack) MTV moments. The ridiculous settings, the endless slow-motion shots,the excessive close-ups of guns and bullets, etc.. Moreover, the plot-line is given away very early. Gee, Mickey Rourke seems to be too big of name to have no real purpose here (or does he?). The reality is that most people will figure out quite early who is really behind the events and you would have to be a total moron to not know that someone who is supposed to be dead, is not really dead. Perhaps, I am as jaded as Kreassey? Look, if you want to see bad guys get their due, this is the movie for you and the little girl is very good in the role.
Black Hawk Down (2001)
An Objective Look at a Heroic Disaster
It is hard not to get emotional after watching this film. The heroism and courage displayed by the Rangers and Delta team members is the stuff of legends. They were men that risked their lives, not for their President or their country, but for each other. In the end, I guess that is why soldiers do give up their lives in wars and battles, so their comrades won't lose theirs.
In the early 1990s the world was outraged by the human rights abuses going on in Somalia. War Lords were stealing UN food supplies while their own people, women and children, starved. The US and other nations believed that military action was the right thing to do. It is hard to fault them for it. However, what Somalia showed us, was that best intentions can go wrong. So often, we intervene in the hopes of doing good. However, many times the people we are there to help, do not perceive it that way. An interesting thing to ponder now, as many in the world chastise the US for not having involved itself in the genocide of Rwanda.
Although I had doubts when I saw Bruckheimer and Ridley Scott's name on this project, it is a real drama. Yes, there is plenty of action (tons), but the action is not Hollywood thrills, but rather in keeping with the story. I also feel that the movie makers did present the side of the Mogadishu militia. We understand why they were shooting at Americans and can respect that they were coming from a different perspective, not necessarily the wrong perspective.
In summary, this film shows that no soldiers have ever died for a mistake, be it Vietnam, Somalia or Iraq. They die for each other and there is an honor attached to that which few will ever understand.
In retrospect, a very mean and insensitive film
When I first saw this movie, it had been advertised as a "black comedy." As a result, numerous people in the audience giggled and laughed at various scenes, some of which, were not intended to be funny at all. I enjoyed the film alright, largely due to the wonderful performances of Steve Buscemi and Kenneth Macy. I have to admit, that I did snicker at some scenes. HOWEVER, after recently viewing this film, I have done a complete 180. This is an ugly film and very mean spirited. Oh yeah, I know that the Coens issue a disclaimer about how they were not changing the story, out of respect to the dead, BULL! Excuse me if I am wrong, but the real events having to do with this case involved numerous people being killed? So, why so much emphasis on making fun of the way people in Minnesota talk? In the story, a boy is told his mother has been kidnapped by unknown assailants. So why does the scene close with a close up shot of the "Accordion King" poster, which is completely ridiculous? Did the Coens actually see that poster in the boy's house? Or did they just want to keep cracking little jokes? While the police chief is supposed to be investigating the killings, she goes off to have this lunch with a comedic Asian character. Funny scene? You bet. But you know what, that whole scene was completely made up, did not happen. So why, are we getting more comedy thrown into this story? Did the Coens not say that the events in this movie were all true? And this is what bothers me. None of the humor in this film actually involves the specifics of this case. The humor is all added to mock a very real and tragic series of events. Hey, if you want to produce fiction, fine. But don't claim your story is non-fiction and then tack on fictitious comedic scenes. Great performances or not, this is an ugly and insensitive film.
Dark Blue (2002)
This could have been a great film !
Heck, I still kind of liked this film. I am a Kurt Russell fanatic, I think he is good in anything. However, other than Ving Rhames, he receives no help in this film. Moreover, some of the acting in this film is dismal, I am not mentioning any names or characters (female cop). Moreover, there are some scenes where you just say, "man, that was a take?" Heck, there is no other way of saying it, the script was flawed. In one scene, Russell's character has his partner bag like 50 cigarette butts from the street where a robbery took place, and he is able to find out through some miraculous DNA test, who smoked it and the address where he is now registered at, in like a day! This is LAPD, not an FBI strike force. In other scenes, Kurt Russell asks for info over the phone and then relays to his partner thirty seconds of information he just found out, when the call lasted about five seconds. OK, I am nitpicking, but still, not the stuff you find in a better directed film.
The story deals with a police department being ripped apart at the seams. The Rodney King incident has caused a deep division in the city of LA and her police department. One spark and both could erupt. Which brings us to our main character, played by Kurt Russell. He is a cop, but he is far from being a good man. However, he is not all bad, let's just call him flawed (no, he is bad). Well, he is going to learn, that when you lay down with dogs, well, you know. Oh well, if you are a Russell fan and you like LA cop movies, you will probably like this film. If you are a stickler for polished dramas with tight scripts and stellar performances, well, you won't like it. 65. seems like a fair rating.
Vanilla Sky (2001)
Seriously, can Crowe be sued?
Uhh, I saw this film already, of course it was in Spanish (Abre los ojos). Yeah, great film! Abre los ojos that is. Then this no-talent Cameron Crowe just re-writes the movie into English and we are supposed to fall down in admiration of him. Uhhh, no! No, I have never really seen that brilliance others see in Crowe. I never found his writing to be interesting or stimulating. Moreover, his films all tend to be sappy and desperate for commercial appeal. Quite frankly, he bores me. But, getting back to Vanilla Sky. This was a lousy film that tried to hide sloppy direction and a poor script by throwing in countless Peter Gabriel and Beach Boy songs. For awhile, I thought I was watching MTV in the 1980s. Sorry, Cam, I did enjoy the songs, quite a bit. But that whole writing and blocking thing still seems to elude you.
Very Bad Things (1998)
One of the Darkest and Most Brilliant Films Ever
I know why people hate this film. They are wrong, but I know why they hate it. They take it too seriously. They are too easily offended. They fail to pick up on the subtle little reminders that Peter Berg includes every once in awhile to let you know, "hey, this is a comedy." The story revolves around a main character, who is soon to be wed to a dominating fiancé, who seems to love the idea of having a big wedding more than she loves her her future husband. Well, our main character and his four closest buddies are off to Vegas for one last night of freedom and fun. In the group you have a pair of Jewish brothers that hate each other, a confused mechanic, and a real estate agent that is a cross between Anthony Robbins and Charles Manson. Well, not to give anything away, but let's just say that some very bad things happen in Vegas, very bad things, and how it will play out after that, well, it is just too entertaining to watch. The acting in this movie is superb, I mean great. The story is fantastic, with tons of hooks and switches. Yes, there is violence and somethings happen, that if they occurred in real life, well, you might be disturbed. HOWEVER, this is a movie! And it is one of my favorite films of all-time. I give it a 10, without hesitation.
Seriously, was this a joke?
I cannot believe how bad this film was. But wait, did I just call this a film? It was really a mix between a bad beer commercial and an MTV video for a '80s hair band. It was so funny to see the cool bike riders ride into town, while these models are dancing in slow motion to no apparent music. Then you have the "acting"? Let me tell you something, when Ice Cube is the best actor you got out there, well sir, your movie is in trouble. Look, if you want to see one of those "You Got Served" types of movies, this is it. You will watch it, start to laugh a little at how bad it is, then get repulsed at just how terrible a film can be. Yikes!
Wyatt Earp (1994)
The Intelligent Earp movie
I grow so angry when I hear people claim that this film was inferior to the rather stupid "Tombstone." Costner actually takes the time and effort to make this film realistic and historic in nature. He surrounds himself with great talent and just makes a wonderful film. Being a historian, I was thrilled to see how much of recorded history was in this film. This film is, dare I say, educational. Which is why I guess it has taken a back seat to the Hollywood Kurt Russell film, which is Rambo goes to Arizona. Of course, people will say "Wyatt Earp bombed, it must be bad." Well, that is not true. Kevin Costner has made an entertaining and intelligent movie that seeks to tell people the real story about what happened in Tombstone.
Simplistic and Rushed
Word has it, that several years ago, a big time Hollywood actor and a major studio expressed an interest in making an epic film over Wyatt Earp. Well, a rival studio got wind of this and decided they would beat them to the punch. So they rushed out a silly and moronic version of the events that led up to the events at OK Corral. Well, Tombstone is that inferior movie. I'm sorry, I like Kurt Russell, but he had little to work with here. Oh sure, the 7th graders will tell you that Tombstone is the better film, but only because it was written at their level. For my money, the Costner version is much better and more intelligent. And you know what? I like Kurt Russell more than Kevin Costner, so there!
You Got Served (2004)
WOW! This is monumentally bad!
I think this screenplay was written by a couple of junior high students whose lone experience in life has come from watching MTV. Actually, it is close to being funny, but right before you are about to laugh at how dumb it is, you are more repulsed by how bad it is. Then there is the acting, or lack thereof. I just love the way all of the "performers" pose and "front" for the camera. They look so moronic! I guess what you want to know, is this film so bad that it is good? No, it is so bad that it is horrible.
Oh yeah, the story is about crews that challenge each other to "dance-offs." Really, it is.
Gung Ho (1986)
Wow! Americans sure are jerks!
There are laughs in this film, that is for sure. Michael Keaton is a talent and he used to be funny (before he decided he was a serious actor). However, what bothers me so much about this film, is how unlikable practically all of the characters are. Other than the main two leads, everybody is a jerk. I mean, these small town losers are about as uncouth as you can get. You just watch and think, man, these losers should be unemployed. Moreover, the American factory worker is portrayed as a lazy and ungrateful slob. It made me wonder if this film was made by Japanese nationalists. Oh sure, in the end they all come together as one, but I just did not enjoy the trip to get there.
The Hunted (2003)
L.T. Bonham (Tommy Lee Jones) is a man trying to run away from his violent past. In his younger days he trained young men to be killing machines for the government. Aaron Hallam (Benicio Del Toro) was one of those students that went to Bonham as an impressionable youth, looking to serve his government. With Hallam, Bonham created his greatest assassin, someone that was incapable of turning it off. The world according to Hallam, is filled primarily with selfish and greedy humans, that are not worthy of the air they breathe. As Hallam starts to run up his body count, the authorities contact the man who trained him, in order to get his assistance in eradicating the problem. Bonham is dealing with his own demons, trying to put his past behind him. The world of Bonham is now one of trying to preserve life, wildlife in fact. Bonham does not want to be reminded of what he once did or be confronted with the fact that he is in part, responsible for the situation.
"The Hunted" is mostly a movie about how some try to atone for their earlier sins. When told by Bonham that he has to answer for what he has done, Hallam responds, "no, I have to live with it." Hence the difference between the two characters. One seeks to answer for what he has done, the other, simply live with it. One is seeking life, the other is already dead.
This movie is not "Rambo." It is a clever story about warriors trying to cope in a "real world" that they are out of place in. One trying to atone for the sins of the past, the other trying to shape the world in their distorted image. Two sympathetic characters, both victims of a government that used them and then threw them away.
Old School (2003)
Hit and Miss Comedy
This film does have some of the funniest scenes of any movie I have seen in awhile. Moreover, it has some major heavyweight talent, with Farrell, Vaughn and Wilson. Heck, the Dan Band alone is worth paying the rental fee. HOWEVER, there are some real duds sprinkled into this work. All parts dealing with Andy Dick should have been left on the cutting room floor. Craig Kilborn is also wasted in a ridiculous role. It just makes for an uneven film. You laugh your head off at one crazy segment and then you kind of roll your eyes at some of the other stuff that is so forced. This movie could have been great, had the story been tightened up a bit. However, some of the subplots are just tacked on for attempted laughs and do not enhance the story. In fact, they really detract from the film. I am sure that younger generations will claim this movie as their generation's "Animal House" and I guess that is OK, but it could have been better.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
One of the most inane and dated movies of our time
I remember watching this movie when it first came out and I did not know what to think. I mean, it was different. I could not remember seeing dialog like this before or a scene where a guy cuts another guy's ear off. It was unique in that regard. Mind you, it was different, but not really special. Moreover, some parts were very boring. Other parts were so "talky" and somewhat over the top, that they strained credibility. However, there were some funny lines as well. After having watched this again, some ten years later, I can say with all honesty, this film has not aged well. On second look, you see what looks like a first year film student project. It still has funny lines, but the story is paper thin. The actors tend to over act and the dialog is so full of Clint Eastwood wannabe one-liners, that you just roll your eyes. Michael Madsen cannot act, sorry. He is cool, but he cannot act. Tim Roth's attempt at an American accent makes him sound like Ralph Cramden from the HoneyMooners. I was just amazed at how bad this film really looked to a more mature person. The funny lines just don't cover that constant posturing of characters that have no real depth. The movie is cotton candy, it looks filling, but is far from it. Perhaps there will always be 14 year old boys around to give this "cool film" high marks, but I fear it will grow more ridiculous the older I get. However, Tarantino has this cult of personality going and I am sure the 10s will continue coming in for this film and a 10 might mean perfect in here, but that don't make it so.