Lewis John Carlino directs Andrew McCarthy, Rob Lowe and Jacqueline Bisset in this teen sex comedy where a boarding school kid accidentally starts banging his roommate’s rich mom.
An unintentionally strange, schizophrenic flick that seemingly used to be on telly every weekend when I was a kid. The first half is pure Animal House / Porky’s in blazers: pranks / nudity / weed / trying to get laid / nude pranks. It is lowest common denominator stuff but Rob Lowe shines and a ton of pre-fame faces fill the ensemble parts. Both the Cusacks, Alan Ruck and one of Virginia Madsen’s boobs. Then we get to the meat of the movie: a Graduate-style fling. The narrative feels too much in a rush to linger on the sexy stuff. The revelations and recriminations that follow are half-baked. There’s an incongruous academic investigation, Lowe and McCarthy have a muddy fight in the woods, Bisset’s character all but vanishes with none of her personal storylines resolved. So the ending clunks. As a drama, this needed a bit more finessing to work. As a comedy, it is too glum for a long 40 minute stretch. The cinematography is a little ugly and underlit. McCarthy is an awful lead and possibly swapping him and Lowe would have elevated this. A mixed bag that I have some deep seated nostalgia for.
Gavin Wiesen directs Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts and Rita Wilson in this teen drama where an artistic loner at a posh school falls in with an It girl.
Cute without being too fluffy. I’m not sure why we are supposed to care about a rich kid who does fuck all work, even though he has the talent and the brains? Probably thinks of itself as more an update on The Catcher In the Rye than Ferris Bueller. The Emma Roberts part is shaded better than it needs to be.
Norman Ferguson, Wilfred Jackson, Jack Kinney, Hamilton Luske and Bill Roberts direct Donald Duck, Goofy and Joe Carioca in this Walt Disney animation movie that packages together various shorts about South America.
Better than its reputation with the highlights being Donald having a shit time in Peru, the introduction of a cigar smoking parrot (who you always seemed to get in Nineties Kinder Surprise Eggs as the toy) and a marvellous animated finale to Aquarela do Brasil written by Ary Barroso.
Guillermo del Toro directs Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam and Josh Brolin in this monster movie where something lurks in the sewers of a post-pandemic New York City.
Problem Number One: You can tell del Toro is far more enamoured with his fairytale father and son side characters (a cobbler and an autistic respectively) than he is with the B-List stars who play flavourless cops and scientists in the foreground. Problem Number Two: It was butchered by the Weinstein Brothers before release. Problem Number Three: The best shot in the movie was added by after-the-fact hired gun Ole Bornedal. In all honesty, I reckon del Toro’s untainted version would have been a slog. The battle for Mimic between the now lauded director and the now infamous producers probably honed this into something marketable. If not particularly engaging. It is opaque in its storytelling and not particularly effective or original when it comes to the creature feature basics. A bastard movie.
Otto Preminger directs Jean Seberg, Deborah Kerr and David Niven in this teen drama where a spoilt only child schemes to stop her beloved Daddy from remarrying on the French Riviera one horny summer ago.
Lacks the subtle depths of the novella. Everyone is a setting too sunny and well adjusted, though all very watchable. Preminger’s gambit of showing the jaded near future in black and white lends a certain air of style. A pleasant watch… I’m pretty sure this was aiming higher though.
Robert Greenwald directs Olivia Newton-John, Michael Beck and Gene Kelly in this musical where a sexy muse inspires a graphic designer and a retired nightclub owner to open a classy roller disco.
A notorious flop. Sure sure, Xanadu is genuinely batshit mental but it is also pure of heart and never boring to watch. Michael Beck from The Warriors is so out of his element that you hope the Baseball Furies might turn up and put him out of his misery. Gene and Olivia however suit this brand of candy ass nonsense to a tee and add a lot of value. The ELO’s songs are all quite catchy. The neon SFX are well deployed. The big dance numbers are unadulterated and unashamed cheese. If you were 6 years old and off your nut on sugar and e-numbers you might think this is actually the finest work of cinema ever released. Cute.
Martin Scorsese directs Liza Minnelli, Robert DeNiro and Lionel Stander in this revival of the big MGM musical that feels more about an awful relationship that a talented singer begrudgingly has with an utter prick, with occasional song and dance numbers.
Marty makes a movie about toxic masculinity and abuse that just goes on and on and on. Has the cocaine fuelled over confidence that destroyed New American Cinema. Wobbly Scorsese is better than no Scorsese. Some of the fake environments just look stunningly artificial. Liza is pretty special, the famous theme song thumps, this is an obvious influence on La La Land’s structure. Still, an abrasive endurance test whatever and whichever cut you watch.
Tony Scott directs Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman and James Gandolfini in this submarine action drama where two officers violently disagree on whether to launch their nuclear weapons when a transmission is compromised.
Denzel in his most heroic role. Hackman chewing scenery as the pissiest little bitch ever to rise through the ranks of the navy. Tarantino’s really really really obvious script doctoring punch-up scenes. They stand out like sexy big toes. Scott relishing the sweat, claustrophobia and rapid cut scenes of “what would you do?” stand taking. It is 12 Angry Men with live ammo. If you read this blog, I reckon you’d wager I’d eat all this up with a spoon. This feels tailored towards all my tastes… on paper. And I’ve watched the flick a fair few times since racing to see it on opening weekend but it always leaves me a tinsy bit lukewarm. The plot goes around in circles a few dances too many times and you are never sure why certain characters take the unexpected sides they do. It’s just a little too repetitive and messy to reach maximum potential intensity. Yet that doesn’t diminish what an effective Saturday night entertainment Crimson Tide can be once your expectations are tapered. Also: one of the reddest films ever made.
Garry Marshall directs Michelle Pfeiffer, Al Pacino and Nathan Lane in this romantic comedy set around a New York diner where two lonely people work.
Based on a clearly grittier stage play this feels misjudged, softened. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t pass as entertainment. Pfeiffer is far too breathtaking to play dowdy but her acting is strong. Marshall can’t resist his light romcom schtick but to be honest it actually works with the support ensemble. The bruising content never rubs smoothly against the soppy gloss yet I’d watch this a dozen times again before Runaway Bride or New Year’s Day. The messages about recovery from past trauma and renewed trust resonates, rare to see such uncomfortable themes work in this genre.