<rant> For those of you left here who don't mind reading between the Spams, I saw five movies last week.  Prior to a few days ago, I had been clearing 25-50 spams per day from this site at all hours.  Well fuck that shit.  If Matt doesn't care about this site, why the hell should I?  He has obviously done nothing to make it more difficult for spammers, such as permanently revoking their handles or having a waiting periiod to post links.  Sure, the spammers can always get more handles, but why hand our Chinese friends such an easy board for them to Spam?  No doubt these Chinese miscreants are just using Cranky's to raise shier Google profile, but why be so accommodating.  I'm just tired of killing Spams at all hours of the day and night and I'm done with that.  </rant>

That being said I saw five movies last week.  I'll start with the worst first.

Letters to Juliette - Unless you've suffered multiple traumatic brain injuries, the plot of this chick flick is totally predictable.  Vanessa Redgrave shines, though, as a woman prompted to come to Italy to find her long lost lover of 50 years past.  Fifty years ago, she wrote a letter to Julliete at a shrine Verona built to the Shakespearean Emo chick, and which was discovered and answered five decades later by the film's protagonist.  Bimbo (I forget her name) had come to Verona with her husbane to be who has spent the entire trip ignoring her.  Will the old woman find her long lost love?  Will her handsome grandson connect with our neglected hero?  What?  You did have multiple traumatic brain injuries and you don't know?   Okay, I'll tell you, but first tell me why you voted tof George Bush.  Twice.  I give this a C-.  Or if you're a macho dude like moi, a D.

Splice - This could have been a good little horror flick if it hadn't been ruined by a sex with the monster scene which was a genuine WTF movie moment.  This thing really did have potential, but somehow it wandered on to the Moron Trail though the Stupid Forrest and rapidly got lost.  I give it a C at best only because I hated Letters to Juliette even more.

The A-Team - I had a blast at this one as did my wife and grown son.  But then again, I'm like a big 12-year old.  Liam Neeson does as good a job as Hannibal as did George Peppard, and Shalto Copeley (Main Dude from District 9) as Murdock was a joy to watch.  Bradley Cooper as Face did a fine job and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was far better as B.A. than Mr. T. ever was.  But then again, the Gerber Baby could have out acted Mr. T.  I give this one a B.

The Karate Kid - This remake is better than the original.  As a bonus, you get to see plenty of nice sights in China and learn a bit about their culture.  Jackie Chan does a fine job as Mr. Han in this quite serious role.  Jaden Smith is outstanding as Dre.  I'm sure it helped improve the realism having two actors who are both martial artists.  They face a menacing presence of an evil Kung Fu teacher who is so evil, when he's not out teaching his kids to bully others, he's at home spamming innocent movie boards with his cheap Chinese shit.  A-

Harry Brown - Michael Caine's character gets the red ass when his best friend is killed by street thugs in his neighborhood.  He is a quite elderly chronically ill retired British Marine.  I had thought this would be English Death wish, but I was quite wrong.  Harry Brown ends up making Charles Bronson's character look like a pussy. It's shot in the sparse British style of so many of their mysteries which show up on our PBS and has an excellent supporting cast.  My only complaint was some of the dialog was difficult to understand.  Why can't those Brits learn to speak English?  I ws on the edge of my seat for a good part of it because this film is full of unintended consequences of Harry Brown's actions and one never knows where this film is going to end up.  Solidly A. 


I now return you to your regularly scheduled Spamming. 


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RidingFool's picture

I've been avoiding the Alpha-male Team like the plague, err, Splice, but I just might check it out now.

As for Harry Brown, it's been coming here for a couple of weeks now. I hope it shows up before I die, because I'm really looking forward to it.


Did Sarah Polley's character have sex with the monster?

Mal_Content's picture

Just curious, since the her character had sex with Grendel in the last movie I saw her in...


Coaster's picture

But trust me, monster sex ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Is "Splice" a secular version of "Rosemary's Baby" (1968)?

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

You can read a full synopsis of "Rosemary's Baby" with spoilers here:

{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  Most people of European ancestry have Neanderthal genetic material indicating that our Homo Sapiens ancestors mated with them.

With your permission I would like to take over spaminating

TMundo's picture

as I'm unemployed, well, sort of, and I am around the computer a lot.  Work it out with Jazz, and lemme get some level of spaminating access.

Spaminator designation is Jazz's Call

Coaster's picture

Use the Contact box, write to him, and request it. 


Also, Why is the Karate Kid shot with Kung-Fu in China?

TMundo's picture

Was that ever explained in the film?

Yeah, why didn't they just call it The Kung Fu Kid?

Rajah's picture

Although I like Jackie Chan the kid would probably annoy me as much as his dad.

Pretty simple.

Wulfgar's picture

They want to create an association in the viewers' minds with the original Karate Kid; they hope that there's enough residual good feeling from a generation or so of people who grew up with the Morita/Macchio movies that the title alone will draw them in.


But, shit, it's fucking Jackie Chan;  people would probably flock to the theatres to watch an hour-and-a-half of him eating a pastrami sandwich.



~There ain't no Devil, just God when He's drunk.~


They should try something new in Hollywood

Rajah's picture

Like an original idea

Wish Jackie Chan hadn't gone Hollywood. I like his Hong Kong movies much better


FearlessFreep's picture

I liked the line "Use our little noggin!"

Saw it at the Toronto Underground Cinema, a 700-seater just reopened after a long dormancy. (It used to be the Golden Classics Cinema, specializing in Hong Kong movies.  I saw the Gong Li epic THE GREAT CONQUEROR'S CONCUBINE there 15 years ago.) There were only four of us there, making the place look even bigger!

In a few weeks they're going to show the 1966 movie of the BATMAN TV series, and Adam West will make a personal appearance!


Speaking of which

FearlessFreep's picture

I found a trailer for the 1966 Batman movie, complete with commentary!


More movies at the Underground

FearlessFreep's picture

A couple of weeks ago I saw Sylvester Stallone's CLIFFHANGER there.  Good fun, though the script's often unintentionally funny. ("It's just you and me now, you piece of shit!") Did they really need to have the girl Sly fails to save saying "I DON'T WANT TO DIE!"? Well directed by Renny Harlin.

And just tonight I saw John Landis' AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON. Clever title, huh?  It's as unimaginative as the same year's title GHOST STORY (which also had someone in Decomposing Makeup). This one stars David Naughton, the song & dance man in those Dr. Pepper commercials; Griffin Dunne, who was also in AFTER HOURS and ME AND HIM, the one about the guy with a talking dick; and the appealing Jenny Agutter. (For a uniformed nurse, her character has unusually gorgeous hair.) The supporting cast includes Frank Oz in a non-puppet role!

It was pretty weak:  a bit scary and a bit funny, but not scary or funny enough.  I found myself accurately predicting what was about to happen, as when Naughton calls home in a phone booth on a London street, and I'm thinking, "It's time for him to see the undead Dunne out on the street." At least the fake porno movie "See You Next Wednesday" (trivia:  that line appears somewhere in every Landis movie) had a couple of funny moments.

SPOILERS:  The script has some serious logical problems.  If werewolves only transform during a full moon, how does Naughton end up transforming on consecutive nights?  And how does the SWAT team shoot him dead with regular bullets? (I doubt that they've been issued silver ones.) They shoot him, he turns into a human corpse, and the movie stops.  I wouldn't use the word "ends"--Landis was never good at pacing.

In summary, Landis did the same thing a whole lot better (and shorter) in his video for Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

In addition to the movie, they also showed an ancient trailer for the original STAR WARS:  A NEW HOPE release, without the exciting John Williams score, which presumably wasn't ready yet.  It had the line "A billion years in the making, and it's coming to a galaxy near you this summer!"


Forgot to mention a line I liked

FearlessFreep's picture

In the first scene Naughton and Dunne have been hitchhiking on the back of a truck with a load of sheep. After they get off, Dunne says to the departing truck's sheep, "Bye, girls!"

Now that I think of it, they didn't actually say that werewolves can't be killed by regular bullets.  But it still seems a pretty pedestrian way to kill him.


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