Runaway Train (1985) – Review

4 Stars

Runaway Train is undoubtedly the best ‘film’ ever produced and released under the Cannon Films banner. Directed with remarkable precision by Russian helmer Andrei Konchalovsky, based on a screenplay that originated from the mind of Japanese master filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, this is truly an action-thriller that delivers. Jon Voight and Eric Roberts earned Oscar nominations for their portrayals of two escaped convicts who find themselves in an even worse predicament.
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A Breed Apart (1986) – Review

1 Star

A Breed Apart is a curious mixture of Rambo, Robinson Crusoe, and Southern Comfort, with an environmental conservation message. The two main characters are driven men, one fights to protect the wilderness, the other is out to capture a rare bald eagle egg for a rich collector. The always watchable Powers Boothe rescues this nature adventure from the ranks of bomb, just from his steely presence. Hauer, on the other hand appears to be recycling his Blade Runner performance in another setting.
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Snake Eyes (1998) – Review

3 1/2 Stars

Brian DePalma will forever be remembered for his lasting contributions to film and pop culture with Carrie and Scarface. Yet, it’s his lesser known fare that proves the most satisfying. Among, those titles is Snake Eyes. Featuring a story concocted with prolific screenwriter David Koepp, shot in dazzling fashion by Stephen H. Burum, and laced with an energetic turn from Nicolas Cage, Snake Eyes is DePalma’s unheralded masterpiece.
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The Monuments Men (2014) – Review

2 Stars

George Clooney’s continued fascination with the golden era of cinema and the birth of Americana culture is further explored in his latest directing assignment, The Monuments Men. This, his fifth film behind the camera, is a mixed bag of good scenes tied together in the loosest possible manner. While better than his last two pictures, The Monuments Men isn’t able to reach the creative style or emotional intensity of his debut feature, Good Night, and Good Luck. Packed with a talented cast of thespian Expendables, the story struggles to incorporate each character with enough obstacles to sustain interest, using their literal face value for stereotypical recognition is appreciated otherwise these soldiers would be indistinguishable.
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Gone Girl (2014) – Review

2 Stars

An astute master craftsman’s befuddled love letter to the two directors he loves most: Alfred Hitchcock and David Fincher. The resulting movie, taken from the book by Gillian Flynn and interwoven with the director’s almost trademark nihilism, is watchable for the first 45 minutes or so, until ludicrous plot turns and genuinely unlikable characters cave the story in on itself. It’s tempting to dismiss Gone Girl as topical sensationalism. But Fincher’s film is too meticulously crafted to write off as mere exploitation. Unfortunately, it’s also incredibly boring.
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Rage (2014) – Review

2 Stars

Nicholas Cage has played nearly every type of role onscreen. From cop to convict, addict to dealer, this performer has tackled them all. Now, in the simply titled, Rage, Cage is Paul Maguire, a retired gangster with a renewed blood lust. For a movie with such an aggressive name and a star with a predilection for over-the-top theatrics, the flick is not nearly as violent or action-packed as suggested. Instead we have a revenge-thriller with familiar plot elements, and an on-the-noise denouncement that violence begets violence. The saving grace of the picture is the patently off-kilter line readings from Cage and a late in the game surprise ending that is earned.
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A Gangster’s Word (2013) – Review

1/2 Star

A Gangster’s Word is a disjointed mess of a movie with unruly story threads and developments that go nowhere. This meshing of all the worst elements from Dangerous Minds, 187, and a lifetime feature results in a suffering affair for anyone with 80 minutes to donate.
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