Monday, April 28, 2003

Review – Blue Thunder

If you like car chases then step right up to the next level: helicopter chases. As action movies go, this is standard, almost formulaic fare. A heapin’ helpin’ of Roy Scheider as a PTS-suffering ‘Nam vet who flies choppers for the LAPD. A dash of Malcolm McDowell as a creepy government agent up to no good. A large dose of military helicopter converted to civilian use to aid with security during the 1984 Olympics. Coat with corporate conspiracy. Bake for 90 minutes. Let cool. Serve. Aside from some brief nudity and language, this might have worked quite well as a made-for-TV movie. However, the plot is too simple-minded and the chopper-centric action a bit too extensive for this show to provide much more than a few cheap thrills. Mildly amusing

Saturday, April 26, 2003

Review – Bloodthirst

“Legend of the Chupacabras” indeed. I think they should have gone ahead and called this one “Goatsuckers.” That at least would have been more in keeping not only with the monster in question but also with the cheap, video production values. Actually, I kinda hate to say anything bad about a movie that – however amateurish – seems so gosh darn sincere. Everyone involved clearly appears to be giving 100%, so who am I to fault them for coming up a bit short? And as amateur productions go, I’ve seen a lot worse. Sure, the script has problems (stiff dialogue, too many characters and subplots) and the effects aren’t very special. But honestly my only serious gripe is that with a folklore base as potentially cool as the chupacabra, it would have been really nice if they’d come up with something better than zombie vampires for bad guys. See if desperate

Saturday, April 19, 2003

Review – Below

Submarines and horror. I guess I’m honor-bound by disposition to love this movie. The submarine part of it works pretty well. The horror part strays a bit too far into the ghost story, which rarely ends up working for me. Even so, it does have its moments. The production values and special effects aren’t bad at all for a low-budget production. Even the acting’s not the end of the world. The script tends to meander a bit in the middle, not clearly moving from one point to the next. I’m also a little disappointed they left out a couple of the deleted scenes (if nothing else, I thought the alternate ending actually worked better, though the difference between the two wasn’t just real drastic). I can’t say much about the story without giving away the suspense the production relies heavily upon. So suffice it to say that as haunted ship movies go this is one of the better examples of the genre. Mildly amusing

Friday, April 4, 2003

Review – The Adventures of Robin Hood

Imagine a vintage Technicolor version of this classic tale starring Errol Flynn (hero) and Basil Rathbone (villain), and you can pretty much see this one without even watching it. The plot’s a parade of clich├ęs and the dialogue is pure corn, but if you’re into the whole swashbuckling action thing this has some of the finest examples of the art from its Hollywood heyday. Mildly amusing.

Genre: Action

Subgenre: Fantasy
Date reviewed: 4/4/2003