Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Review – A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

A funny thing happened in the 50 years since this movie was made: a lot of the humor became extremely dated, even downright offensive. Still, it’s hard to resist Zero Mostel’s energetic performance as a ne’er-do-well house slave trying to make everything come out right in this Roman-themed comedy of errors. The rest of the cast abounds in familiar faces, including Buster Keaton in his final screen role. Mildly amusing

Review – The Island (1980)

It’s interesting to go nearly 40 years between viewings of a movie. When I was a kid watching this on HBO, it really freaked me out. Peter Benchley’s source novel spins the tale of a writer and his son exploring the Caribbean and ending up in the hands of an atavistic colony of pirates who’ve lived in isolation from the outside world for centuries. Watching the movie again decades later, it seemed less scary and more silly. The basic concept is interesting, but too many of the plot twist rely on dumb luck rather than careful planning. Mildly amusing

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Review – Kick-Ass 2

If you liked the first one, here’s some more. In particular, if you were fond of Chloe Moritz’s portrayal of Hit Girl, you apparently had enough company to assure that she plays a bigger role in this outing. Minus Nicolas Cage, plus Jim Carrey, so that’s a push. The delicate balance of action and goofiness remains in place, though of course in a sequel it doesn’t seem as innovative. Mildly amusing

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Review – Beneath

If you’re going to make a movie this terrible, please give it a title that’s more challenging to turn into an insult. This production borrows only the worst attributes of Jaws and “The Raft” from Creepshow 2. Teenagers are trapped in a rowboat, a giant lake fish waiting to devour anyone who sticks an arm into the water. The story manages to deftly avoid all opportunities for interesting plot twists or character development. See if desperate

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Review – Soldiers of the Damned

Such a promising start. Such a dismal downhill slide. This picture started out with enough production value to make it look like a serious attempt at movie making. It even had an interesting premise: German soldiers sent behind enemy lines in 1944 to retrieve a powerful, ancient artifact that could turn the tide of the war. But after an hour of watching the cast wander through the woods and bicker, the production more than wore out the welcome it started with. See if desperate