Money Talks

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 January 2016 21:06

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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 April 2015 20:19

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Boiling Point

boiling-point-revBoiling Point  (1993)    Warner Bros./Action-Thriller    RT: 92 minutes    Rated R (language, strong violence, sexuality, drug references)    Director: James B. Harris    Screenplay: James B. Harris    Music: John D’Andrea and Cory Lerios    Cinematography: King Baggot    Release date: April 16, 1993 (US)    Cast: Wesley Snipes, Dennis Hopper, Lolita Davidovich, Viggo Mortensen, Seymour Cassel, Jonathan Banks, Christine Elise, Tony Lo Bianco, Valerie Perrine, James Tolkan, Paul Gleason, Dan Hedaya, Lorraine Evanoff, Stephanie E. Williams, Tobin Bell, Bobby Hosea.    Box Office: $10 million (US)


 Boiling Point, a noirish potboiler starring Wesley Snipes and Dennis Hopper, arrived in theaters without fanfare in spring ’93. The studio neither promoted it heavily nor screened it advance. It was marketed as a straight-up action movie in hopes that the same audiences that turned out for Passenger 57 (also starring Snipes) just five months earlier would show up for this one as well. They were understandably confused, and in some cases irate, when Boiling Point didn’t deliver exactly what they wanted. Instead of a kick-ass action flick filled with wild shoot-outs and high-speed car chases, it’s a stylish and subdued noir piece set in Los Angeles’ criminal underbelly. I have to admit that I hated it at first look. I actually fell asleep on it. It was slow and poorly plotted with a choppy, disjointed narrative. The crowd that opening night grumbled and expressed their general dissatisfaction as they exited the theater, some louder than others. The movie tanked and disappeared quickly from theaters.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 21:33

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The Monster Squad


Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 April 2015 21:54

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Just One of the Guys

just one of the guys.revJust One of the Guys  (1985)    Columbia/Comedy    RT: 100 minutes    Rated PG-13 (language, nudity sexual content and references, cross-dressing, teen drinking)    Director: Lisa Gottlieb    Screenplay: Dennis Feldman and Jeff Franklin    Music: Tom Scott    Cinematography: John McPherson    Release date: April 26, 1985 (US)    Cast: Joyce Hyser, Clayton Rohner, Billy Jacoby, Toni Hudson, William Zabka, Leigh McCloskey, Sherilyn Fenn, Deborah Goodrich, Arye Gross, Robert Fieldsteel, Stu Charno, John Apicella, Kenneth Tigar, Steve Basil.    Box Office: $11.5 million (US)


 Cinema math equation: (Tootsie + The Karate Kid) x John Hughes = Just One of the Guys

 That pretty much sums up this enjoyable gender-bender comedy in which a girl disguises herself as a boy in order to win a coveted summer internship. Joyce Hyser (Valley Girl) stars as Terry, a popular girl with both looks and brains. It may sound like she has it all, but the truth is nobody takes her seriously because she’s a beautiful girl. At least that’s the way Terry sees it. An aspiring journalist, she takes it hard when her article isn’t selected for consideration for an internship at a local newspaper. So she does what any girl would do in this situation. She transfers to another high school as a boy. There are a few things wrong with this premise. Namely, how does she do this without parental consent? It’s mentioned that her parents are away on a trip (how convenient!), so who signed off on the transfer? I’m just saying. Then there’s the matter of Terry successfully passing herself off as a boy. Okay, it’s possible. At one point, she’s compared to Ralph Macchio of The Karate Kid. He had that androgynous thing going for him back then. Still, it’s hard to believe that Terry has everybody fooled. Surely at least one person must suspect something’s up. But such is the nature of cross-dressing comedies.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 February 2015 22:21

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52 Pick-Up

52 Pick Up-rev

Last Updated on Monday, 30 March 2015 22:18

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Alice, Sweet Alice

alice-sweet-alice-revAlice, Sweet Alice  (1976)    Allied Artists/Horror-Thriller    RT: 108 minutes    Unrated Version (some language, graphic violence, intense scenes, disturbing moments)    Director: Alfred Sole    Screenplay: Rosemary Ritvo and Alfred Sole    Music: Stephen J. Lawrence    Cinematography: Alfred Sole    Release date: November 13, 1976 (US, original)/April 1978 (US, rerelease)/April 1981 (US, third release)    Cast: Linda Miller, Mildred Clinton, Paula Sheppard, Niles McMaster, Jane Lowry, Rudolph Willrich, Michael Hardstack, Alphonso DeNoble, Gary Allen, Brooke Shields, Louisa Horton, Tom Signorelli, Miss Lillian Roth, Patrick Gorman, Kathy Rich, Ted Tinling, Mary Boylan, Peter Bosche, Joseph Rossi, Marco Quazzo, Dick Boccelli, Ronald Willoughby, Sally Anne Golden, Lucy Hale, Libby Fennelly.    Box Office: N/A


 One of the best unsung horror movies of the 70s, Alice, Sweet Alice has an interesting history in that it was released three times each time under a different title. It first played in ’76 at a Chicago film festival as Communion. It was rereleased in ’78 as Alice, Sweet Alice. Finally, it was re-rereleased as Holy Terror in spring ’81 to capitalize on the popularity of Brooke Shields just off the success of The Blue Lagoon (1980). She was billed as a major player even though the 11-year-old actress is killed off 12 minutes into the movie. Her death is a catalyst for the events that unfold in Alice, Sweet Alice, the most staunchly anti-Catholic movie I’ve seen since Luis Bunuel angered audiences with L’Age d’or (1930). Writer-director Alfred Sole (Tanya’s Island, Pandemonium), a devout ex-Catholic, doesn’t hold anything back in portraying the religion as hypocritical and judgmental.  Pretty deep stuff for a so-called slasher flick, no? Actually, it’s unfair to classify Alice, Sweet Alice as a slasher flick because it shares more in common with Italian giallo films than the Friday the 13th movies.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 February 2015 21:42

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Flashpoint-revFlashpoint  (1984)    TriStar/Action-Thriller    RT: 95 minutes    Rated R (language, violence)    Director: William Tannen    Screenplay: Dennis Shyrack and Michael Butler    Music: Tangerine Dream    Cinematography: Peter Moss    Release date: August 31, 1984 (US)    Cast: Kris Kristofferson, Treat Williams, Rip Torn, Kevin Conway, Tess Harper, Jean Smart, Kurtwood Smith, Miguel Ferrer, Guy Boyd, Mark Slade, Roberts Blossom, Terry Alexander, Joaquin Martinez, Dick O’Neill, Henry Max Kendrick.    Box Office: $3.8 million (US)


 Every once in a while, a movie sneaks into theaters and doesn’t get noticed by ticket-buyers and is gone in a week. At least this was true in summer ’84 when the action-thriller Flashpoint hit theaters on Labor Day weekend, the same weekend as the controversial Bo Derek sex dud Bolero. There are a lot of reasons that Flashpoint died a quick death at the box office (e.g. almost no advance marketing, absence of big stars, lukewarm reviews, etc.), but I think it deserved more attention than it got. I went to see it on a dull Sunday afternoon at the Barclay Square Theater. I didn’t even bother inviting anybody to join me because I’m the only one that knew of it apparently. There was only a smattering of other people in the theater.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 March 2015 21:11

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Night of the Juggler

Night-of-the-Juggler-revNight of the Juggler  (1980)    Columbia/Action-Thriller    RT: 101 minutes    Rated R (language, strong violence, nudity, sexual references, sleaze)    Director: Robert Butler    Screenplay: Rick Natkin and Bill Norton Sr.    Music: Artie Kane    Cinematography: Victor J. Kemper    Release date: April 1980 (US)    Cast: James Brolin, Cliff Gorman, Richard Castellano, Abby Bluestone, Julie Carmen, Dan Hedaya, Sully Boyar, Linda G. Miller, Barton Heyman, Mandy Patinkin, Marco St. John, Frank Adu, Dorothy Lyman, Steve Inwood, Saundra McClain, Delphi Harrington, Robyn Finn, Arthur French, Richard Gant.    Box Office: N/A


 Some movies are merely sleazy, but Night of the Juggler wallows in sleaze like a pig in you-know-what. Given that it’s set in pre-Giuliani New York City circa late 70s/early 80s, you shouldn’t expect otherwise. Director Robert Butler (Up the Creek) takes the audience to places like 42nd Street, Times Square and the South Bronx in this story of an ex-cop (Brolin, The Amityville Horror) destroying half the city while trying to rescue his 13-year-old daughter from the clutches of the psychopath (Gorman, Angel) that kidnapped her in broad daylight. Adapted from the novel by William P. McGivern (The Big Heat), Night of the Juggler is a surprisingly effective action-thriller that makes great use of its natural locations while keeping the audience riveted with some really cool action sequences and a hero that’s equally tough and likable.

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 February 2015 20:05

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