Profile for Robert Badgley > Reviews

Personal Profile

Content by Robert Badgley
Top Reviewer Ranking: 119
Helpful Votes: 1118

Guidelines: Learn more about the ins and outs of Amazon Communities.

Reviews Written by
Robert Badgley (St Thomas,Ontario,Canada)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20
pixel
Jeff Dunham: All Over the Map
Jeff Dunham: All Over the Map
Price: CDN$ 12.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Different but good., Jan. 29 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Jeff Dunham's newest vid is a bit of a let down compared to his other releases;my favoruite being Spark of Insanity.It is less about one straight routine this time,although goodness knows there are many different ones.We are shown back stage and in front as Jeff traverses the globe in search of fun and laughter with his sidekick dummies.In is interesting to see Jeff entertaining folks in such diverse countries as Abu Dhabi,Israel,Malaysia,Iceland,The British isles,etc.They all laugh at the same jokes we do here,although the Malaysian visit was just a bit tricky.They wouldn't allow Jeff to perform with Achmed.He was too culturally incorrect.So Jeff,not to be deterred,performed with Jacque the Terrorist instead.Just Achmed with a beret! Well,he lived to tell about it,and you see it all unfold here.And speaking of Achmed.Ever want to know what kind of reaction Achmed gets in the Muslim world? Take a looky.It is educational.
Technically the DVD is in w/s format of 1:85:1,and is clear and crisp.Extras include some behind the scenes goings on on his tour.
All in all this isn't as strong as his others...it's just different.It is not a whole 90 minutes of Jeff and his dummies.It is a look at his world tour and his playing to other audiences/cultures.It is certainly interesting to see how much Jeff will push the envelope.Besides his obvious gifts as a ventriloquist,Jeff is an extremely talent individual in many other ways.This will add another pleasing piece of the Dunham puzzle for all his fans...and they're everywhere and growing!

Prisoner Of Shark Island '36 [Import]
Prisoner Of Shark Island '36 [Import]
DVD ~ Warner Baxter
Price: CDN$ 24.64
25 used & new from CDN$ 16.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Ford does it again, Jan. 29 2015
The Prisoner of Shark Island(released Feb/36)stars,among others, Warner Baxter,Gloria Stuart,Frank McGlynn and Francis McDonald.This is a solid story under Ford's tutelage, and while not one of his greatest,it certainly ranks among his best.
The story finds us at the end of the Civil War.A crowd turns out on the White House lawn(those were the days!) to hear the president speak.He makes no speech but instead asks the accompanying band to play"Dixie".Next we see Lincoln at the Ford theatre watching a play and his resultant assassination that night.Booth shot him,landed on the stage(breaking his one leg)and hobbled away.That night before crossing into Virginia he and an accomplice stop at a doctors office,Dr.S.Mudd,and asks the good doctor to help him.After a quick patch job the two are back on their way.
The next day the army comes by and arrests the good doctor for aiding and abetting the presidents assassin.There is a court martial(no public criminal trial) and about half the conspirators are hung,while the others are sent to Dry Tortuga/Fort Jefferson at the end of the Florida Keys.That was the U.S.'s answer to France's Devil's Island.
Life is harsh in the Fort,made no more bearable by it's sadistic captain.Mudd ends up meeting one of his old slaves who enlisted and came there to work at the Fort, just to see him.Eventually Mudd and he conspire the break out after he gets a letter from his wife telling him there will be a boat in the harbour waiting for him.The break out is attempted but the former slave and the doctor get caught.Both are put in solitary to rot.
Nature has a way sometimes of evening things out despite man's efforts otherwise.In this case the entire Fort is hit with a terrible spread of Yellow Fever.Men die and even the prison doctor comes down with it.Mudd is asked to help and he does.After the worst has passed the doctor is put in for a pardon by the warden.Eventually the good doctor is pardoned and is sent back home,as is his former slave.Both have a reunion with their families together.
The story seems straight out of the history books on first galnce.Ford was a master at making us forget the real stories behind what we were watching.Ford adds many realistic touches such as the guards marches through the Fort(shuffling of feet),the black guards of the Fort etc.But one that really hit me was the hanging of the conspirators.We don't actually see it happen,but we see the reaction of the people,the looks in their faces.Even grown men,tough individuals, would either look away or balk at what they saw.Hanging is not the spectator sport many think.
The real story of Mudd is not so,pardon the expression,black and white as portrayed here.Some of the basics in the film are real,but the majority is pure fiction.But this is Hollywood after all.Even the title Sharks island"...what's with that? There is no such thing.It must have come from the imagination of the studio advert department,who felt it more compelling.And I suppose,if I'm honest, they might have been right there.
I also might mention I am not a Civil War fan per se'.I can take them or leave them,because generally speaking it's not my favourite genre of film.However I found this one works on other levels besides the basic Civil War/post Civil War back drop.Ultimately it is about the human condition,human frailties and our behaviour in the darkest of times;both good and bad.Something everyone can relate to.
Technically speaking the film is in its original a/r,is B&W, and is an excellent print.Extras include commentary,restoration comparison,a photo gallery,etc.
All in all a solid entry in the Ford canon.Watch for a very young Carradine in his sadistic role as the army guard captain.Baxter,the star,acquits himself well in this one,and he is ably backed by all.Four stars all the way.

Automata [Import]
Automata [Import]
Price: CDN$ 20.80
21 used & new from CDN$ 15.75

3.0 out of 5 stars I,Robot meets Blade Runner meets Aeon Flux!, Jan. 28 2015
This review is from: Automata [Import] (DVD)
Automata(released Sept/14)stars,among others,Antonio Banderas,Birgitte Hjort Sørensen,Dylan McDermott,Robert Forster,Tim McInnerny and Melanie Griffith.This is a film which is compelling for about the first half,but falls into a pit of monotony thereafter.
The story finds Banderas as an insurance agent in 2044.It is a post apocalyptic Earth which has had the majority of its population decimated.Rain is harmful and they have artificial clouds to counteract the effects.Cities are walled and those that cannot survive in the cities find refuge outside the walls.Robots have been made to alleviate mankind's most mundane tasks.The protocols built into each one say they cannot harm a human nor can they alter themselves in any way.
The inevitable cracks start to appear.First Banderas is called to a family whose dog,it is alleged,has killed their pet dog.If true his company has to pay up.Then comes the case of a cop who has shot and killed a derelict robot because it was thought it was repairing itself.Banderas attends an"autopsy" to find out that the robot had indeed been greatly altered,probably by a so called"clocksmith",which he wants to locate.Banderas's boss puts the pressure on him to get rid of the problem,but the problem just gets worse the more he probes.
He meets a doctor who specializes in robotics.She inserts the intelligent "kernal" from the shot robot into one of her own,one called"Cleo".She starts repairing herself,which is outside the robots second protocol.This leads Banderas to go outside the city walls in search of an answer.He finds a robot by itself inside a shipping container.When challenged it lights itself on fire.Back in the doctors lab later,the doctor is assassinated by two young kids.Banderas flees for his life and hitches a ride in a car driven by Cleo.They ride far outside the city but they get into an accident during the chase.Banderas and Cleo survive,but he is hurt.Daylight comes and the desert sun is getting hotter by the minute.Soon Cleo and he are joined by four other robots who come to their aid.They start taking Banderas not to the city but out farther into the desert.He resists, but in his weakened state he cannot fight them and is forced to play along.
Back in the city Banderas's boss is called on the carpet by HIS bosses.The secret is revealed that once upon a time a singular robot was built with seemingly unlimited intelligence.They realized the threat it could be to mankind,so they instilled the second protocol into successive robots.They send out a group of men to take the robots and Banderas out.Banderas's boss accompanies them,but as the big boss wants no other witnesses alive,he is a walking dead man.
Back in the desert it is a long,long trek to the unknown destination he is being taken to.Bandera's pleads for them to take him back to the city but they cannot comply ,and furthermore fear for their "lives"there.Eventually they arrive at a location near the chasm of the Grand Canyon.The"clocksmith"(human) that Banderas thought he might find there does not exist.The only one there is a lone robot.It turns out this is the original one the creators created the second protocol for.His goal is to get an old cable car system going in order to flee to the other side of the canyon and well beyond human reach.
Only one thing stands in their way and that is the insurance company posse sent after them.They finally arrive shortly after Banderas has left;after being given a working vehicle in which to return to the city with.On his way back home Banderas runs into his boss who lies dying on the desert floor.He informs him that the posse has his wife.Banderas rides back to the robots.The posse has so far killed two of the three remaining robots, including the original one.Before they can do in the last one(Cleo) Banderas arrives and runs down most of them.However he is hurt even more and while he takes out one other man with a shot gun,one still remains and is now about to take him out.Suddenly a small robot,shaped like a cockroach(which the original robot had been working on),pushes the man over the precipice.
With Cleo and the "cockroach" safely on the other side,Banderas and his wife and new born baby head back to the city.He clutches his newborns fingers just as the city comes into sight,then passes away.
The first half of the film,as I said earlier,had a good pace and storyline going to keep your interest.The whole scenario of what was going on with these errant robots and who or what was behind their alteration was intriguing.But then came the desert flight and the whole film just slowed to a crawl ,thus losing its vitality and spark.The plot suddenly became quite mundane and predictable.It was nice to see Melanie Griffith back in front of the cameras for the short time she was on.
The film itself is in its w/s a/r of 1:77:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include a featurette.
All in all a disappointing film,which had a lot of potential to be something smarter than it eventually turned out to be.The acting is good but cannot overcome the mire of the last half of the film.2 1/2-3 stars.

Reach Me [Import]
Reach Me [Import]
Price: CDN$ 19.27
17 used & new from CDN$ 15.74

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful indie film makes good, Jan. 27 2015
This review is from: Reach Me [Import] (DVD)
Reach me(released Nov/14)stars,among others, Sylvester Stallone,Kyra Sedgwick,Thomas Jane,Terry Crews,Lauren Cohan,Kelsey Grammer,Kevin Connolly,Tom Berenger ,Danny Aiello and many more.This is a movie about seemingly disparate characters and stories coming together in the finale.
The essence of the story revolves around a book called Reach Me.However no one has ever seen the writer,even though his book has obviously inspired many and continues to do so.An aspiring journalist with his head strong boss nipping at his heels tries to run down the authors whereabouts.
Throughout the film we run into other folks whose lives have been touched or are about to be touched by the book's philosophy.There is a cop who obviously enjoys his career but who attends confessional just about every day to absolve himself of his"sins",his proclivity for killing criminals.The priest has heard his confessions ad nauseum,is a drinker and wants nothing more to do with him.Then there is a man who borrowed money from a criminal boss to fund a "film career" for a much younger girl ,and who has now forfeited on the loan and is on the run.The goons the boss sends after the man to collect are two friends that have been together since the third grade.One is reading Reach Me and is profoundly effected by it.He eventually persuades his partner to quit the entire racket and follow his dream of being a cook and open a restaurant.
There is also a female ex con who goes to live with her sister who is an aspiring actress,and who has just been sexually humiliated by a scummy actor during a scene in her first speaking role.These two end up crashing into the cop,literally,and their two lives start to merge,slowly but surely.
Near the end of the film the author has finally been outed by the reporter and shamed into appearing in public.It is here that all the stories finally merge and circumstances come to a head for all.As a result their lives are changed for the better,forever.
I must admit I am a sucker for this kind of a movie....when done right that is.And I find that it was indeed done nicely.When watching this film you will a see a great mess of actors that you either haven't seen in a long time(and wish you'd see more of) or ones you can watch playing roles they don't usually play.Crewes is one,as he is particularly effective as the authors rep.Stallone is top notch here as the journalist's quirky but head strong boss.Grammer is also bang on with his ever so brief appearance as Sizemore's boss.Jane is great as the conflicted cop, as is Berenger who teaches overcoming personal hurdles,but needs to listen more to his own book to cure HIS many phobias.It is a well acted film by all involved.If I recall right this film had a LOT of money issues to get it up and going and it was a stop/start kind of production.At least though it was made,and that is all that counts.An FYI,watch for the Dave Clark Five poster on the wall in the journalists office.Nice touch.
Technically it is in its original w/s/ a/r of 1:77:1 and is clear and crisp.there are no extras.
All in all a fine movie involving several different characters,each with their own story to tell,all slowly but surely coming together in the end for a pleasing climax.Everyone did a great job.A solid 4 stars.

Street Fighter (Widescreen Extreme Edition) (Bilingual)
Street Fighter (Widescreen Extreme Edition) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Jean-Claude Van Damme
Price: CDN$ 14.99
28 used & new from CDN$ 6.24

3.0 out of 5 stars Good as a game,less so as a film, Jan. 25 2015
Street Fighter(released Dec/94)stars,among others,Jean-Claude Van Damme,Raúl Juliá,Ming-Na Wen,Damian Chapa and Kylie Minogue.This film was based on the wildly popular 90s video game of the same name.The movie takes the game's basic premise and flies with it to a totally different realm.It is not bad,per se',but just a tongue in cheek superficial action romp of no great importance.
The story takes place in a fictional country called Shandaloo.Julia is its ersatz head after he overthrows over the country's legitimate government.Now he not only wants to create a mutant army but also demands an exorbitant ransom for hostages he takes.Van Damme plays Bill Guile,a rep of the United Nation forces.With help from a newspaper reporter and an Oriental and Caucasian fight team,he battles the evil Julia to the death...or does Julia die?
The plot is see through and played strictly tongue-in-cheek.All the actors do a good job,except the whole thing is just tissue paper thin as far as any depth goes.Compared to other Van Damme films,he has a lot less to do in this one than normal.Julia makes a fine bad guy and if you know Street Fighter the game at all,some of the characters from the video game are present and recognizable.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.THIS is the edition to own as the extras are coming out of its wazoo here.They include game trailers,deleted scenes,storyboard sequences,outtakes,featurettes,etc.etc.
All in all a so-so film,not good,not bad.Van Damme has very few action sequences,Julia makes for a fine villain and everyone else runs around looking concerned and/or fights.Don't take it seriously and you will get along fine with it.This was Julia's second to last film.Vaya Con Dios indeed.

Far Cry 4: Prima Official Game Guide
Far Cry 4: Prima Official Game Guide
by Prima Games
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 17.55
31 used & new from CDN$ 17.55

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A confusing tome, Jan. 25 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The Far Cry 4 Guide while full of the info you will need to get you through the game,is oft times confusing and downright misleading.It has been written by one Eric Bratcher who knows the game,but cannot concisely and in a logical sequence take you through the game step,by logical step.He often gets ahead of himself(or behind), thus confusing the daylights out of you,when you just want to know what the heck you should be doing next.In game you look around,read the guide, but realize this isn't what I am supposed to be seeing or doing at this moment.
Take the walkthroughs for the Shangri-La missions for example.The description of my surroundings at any given time was SO confusing that I completely passed one of the seekers I needed to fully complete the second level with,but I was too near the end to go back.(Unfortunately the game itself doesn't allow you to restart or re-do the level-thanks alot Mr.Bratcher).And this kind of confusion continued through the other levels.And the map coordinates for the second level are listed as those actually for the third level,and visa versa.
The confusion continues throughout the guide and any other mission(s) you can name.Some are more accurate than others,some are less so.I hope you are good at reading map coordinates, because everything is in X,Y numbers,nothing like say go east from such and such a camp and turn left and there you are.While the X,Y thing saves on verbiage it does have its drawbacks,because even standing at the EXACT coordinates listed doesn't mean you are even close to the mark.That leaves you standing there wondering in which direction I should be going now...east,west?...north,south?....up or down?The guide WON'T say.So sorry.
In conclusion this is not the kind of guide that should be put out there.Its author seems to lack the ability to put his thoughts accurately and concisely down on paper for our benefit.While WE have to read,re-read and re-read the guide again and again to try and get a handle on exactly what we should be doing and when(and not always successfully),WE should not have to.That's what we supposedly paid Prima Guides for.Bottom line:Mr.Bratcher needs to take a proper course on writing.2 1/2-3 stars.

Rise of the Zombies [Import]
Rise of the Zombies [Import]
Price: CDN$ 7.93
24 used & new from CDN$ 3.83

2.0 out of 5 stars A wasted decent cast,totally infected from the start, Jan. 21 2015
This review is from: Rise of the Zombies [Import] (DVD)
Rise of the Zombies(released Oct/12)stars,among others, Mariel Hemingway, LeVar Burton and Danny Trejo,the hardest working Latino actor in the business.This is a low budget pic with some good acting talent on board.As with any movie,big budget or small,the writers and director always have a vision of some sort they want to impart to us.Unfortunately because of the massive number of zombie pictures over recent years it is hard for one to rise(no pun intended)above the other.This one is no exception.I can appreciate the effort but it does fall far short.
The story finds a group of folks hold up on Alcatraz island;the only time you might have people wanting to go there instead of the other way around.Burton is a scientist trying unsuccessfully to find a cure to their zombie infested world.Hemingway is also a doctor and she has just viewed a vid(seems the zombies have kept the communication lines up) from a doctor proclaiming he has a cure.He is situated at the Berkeley water treatment plant,a long way away.
After an attack of zombies who swim ashore,the general consensus seems to be to try and make it to Petaluma to an evac center there.Burton volunteers to stay behind to continue his research.As the group paddle towards the mainland they get attacked and they lose a couple of folks.Once on land they split into two groups with Trejo leading one and Hemingway the other.Trejo's group seemingly has the best shot at surviving but they eventually are dwindled down in numbers until only one gets to Petaluma.He finds there is nothing there.He tries to find and hook up with Hemingway's group,who also are constantly either dodging zombies or being attacked at every opportunity.Of course in the process the group is again slowly whittled down until there are about four left.When he finally reaches them their new destination becomes the treatment plant.
Along the way they lose another member,but they do reach the plant.Once they fight their way into it they reach the doctor who indeed has a cure.Before they escape one of the group is bitten on the hand and has his arm amputated to prevent the spread of the disease(they have only 30 seconds in which to do it).Unfortunately the only way to escape alive is by a helicopter up above and the fellow now without his lower arm is the only pilot.Hemingway then becomes his left hand.The group indeed escapes,seeking a laboratory where the doctor hopes to produce multiple batches of his cure.
One can certainly see the low budget"slip" showing throughout.The opening with the speeding group of folks going down a twisty section of San Franciscan road is not convincing at all.When the group first lands on the mainland from Alcatraz and gets attacked there is a brief shot of Hemingway with the water as a background.Unfortunately there are three heads of what appears to be either swimmers or surfers far behind her.On a budget like this it is hard to control your backgrounds.And at the end I couldn't understand why they had to chop the helicopter pilots arm off after he got bitten.Didn't the doctor there have a cure?
Throughout there are a LOT of scenes of blood and gore.The better ones don't over use this, but use them to their advantage and best effect at the appropriate moments.This is not one of the better ones.
Technically speaking the film is in its original w/s a/r of 1 :85:1 and is clear and crisp.Extras include a featurette and a gag reel.
All in all it was a nice try.It does have a decent cast but they can only do as best as they can with what they have....which wasn't a lot.As with others of the same quality they start relying,right from the get go in this one,on extreme blood and gore for shock value with no other real purpose other than to do just that.2 - 2 1/2 stars.

Trouble With the Curve / Retour au Jeu (Bilingual DVD + Digital Copy)
Trouble With the Curve / Retour au Jeu (Bilingual DVD + Digital Copy)
DVD ~ Clint Eastwood
Price: CDN$ 6.88
12 used & new from CDN$ 4.95

4.0 out of 5 stars A solid film,by a solid group of actors., Jan. 5 2015
Trouble with the Curve(released Sept/12)stars,among others,Clint Eastwood,Amy Adams,Justin Timberlake,Matthew Lillard and John Goodman.This is a wonderfully acted,well edited and tight little film.Eastwood comes on board as a co-producer but is more than ably backed by a solid cast.
The story finds Eastwood as an aging baseball scout for the Atalanta Braves.He has three major strikes against him:a fellow colleague(younger)that would like to see him gone and put out to pasture,a smart and talented lawyer daughter(Adams) from whom he is on a fragile relationship with, and macular degeneration,hampering his ability to see/scout..
Eastwood is given an assignment to check out a hitting prospect in North Carolina.While there Adams joins him at the bequest of his boss,Goodman.She used to go with her dad when she was younger while scouting, and over time became as savvy about the game as any person around.Unfortunately,her father placed her in her uncle's hands after his wife died and an incident(which she learns about later) in which she was sexually assaulted(but does not recall).Since that time their relationship has been strained because of Eastwood's short sightedness and lack of communication about how Adams feels about the issues that have come between them.
She spends a few days with her dad being his eyes and scouting the prospect,even though she has a client pitch to make back in Atlanta,for which she may be offered a promotion to partnership if successful.While juggling these two things in comes Timberlake a former pitcher who is now a scout like his old pal Eastwood.The two eventually hit it off but it is a roller coaster of a ride due to the emotional wall she has developed over time.Timberlake breaks through, but not without a major glitch popping up.Eastwood discovers their batting prospect has heretofore unseen problems with special pitches like curves and rejects him as a prospect .He advises Timberlake to reject him also.Back home the Braves management is persuaded against Eastwoods judgement(from a wet behind the ears fellow scout) to take him anyways.The next day Timberlake's future has collapsed, as his bosses think he let a good prospect go to the Braves.Timberlake in turn takes it out on Adams and leaves in a huff.To top this she receives news that her bosses are going to let another associate at her firm take on the client pitch,thereby depriving her of the shot for a partnership she has worked years to obtain.
Eastwood the next morning has gone and taken the bus back home,leaving his car with his daughter.At the motel they have been staying at the owner's son is outside pitching to his younger brother.The guy is a natural talent and she persuades Goodman to give him a try in Atlanta.Next day she and her new found talent arrive at the stadium,and her father,Goodman and other management types are there to witness him pitching against their new batting acquisition.He puts on a demonstration of super raw talent and their new batter cannot hit one ball thrown at him.Out with the battter, and in with the pitcher.Eastwood proclaims his daughter as the pitchers manager and is offered a renewal on that contract of his.Walking out of the stadium his daughter finds out that the associate who made her pitch ran into trouble, and they want her to step in to what should have been hers to begin with.She gives them the same answer Eastwood gave his bosses about his contract renewal:"I'll think about it".Outside Timberlake has been waiting patiently, and Adams and he have a grand make up.The film ends as Eastwood walks off alone, bemoaning the fact that he will have to take the bus.
This is such a well acted and solid film.There are no pretensions here.It is a straightforward story told with some nice twists,and edited and shot beautifully.The film keeps a classy look and tone to it.I wish the makers of a more recent flick called The Judge,with Robert Downey Jr.and Robert Duvall,had taken a lesson from this one.There is a scene in that film in which Downey has a down and dirty and graphic sex scene with a fellow actor.It essentially ruined what was,up to that point,a film along the same lines as this one.Trouble with the Curve,to its credit,did not take the easy and low route like so many films do these days.In a scene in a lake where Adams and Timberlake finally come together,they share a passionate kiss.The camera lingers just long enough, and then there is a cut to the following day.Leaving it to one's imagination is what real film making should be about,but seems to be a lost art in this day and age.Eastwood plays the curmudgeonly baseball scout to a tee.He has plenty of scenes to stretch,acting wise,and makes the most of it.Goodman,Timberlake,Adams are top notch and the rest of the cast also ably supports along the way.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:35:1 and is clear and crisp.there is a featurette on the making of the film.
All in a lovely film.A story told in a straightforward manner with enough twists to keep you interested throughout.The cast is super solid and Eastwood really shines in his role.Don't let the baseball angle throw you off.This has something everyone can relate to.4 1/2 stars.

Non-Stop (Bilingual)
Non-Stop (Bilingual)
Price: CDN$ 14.97
2 used & new from CDN$ 14.97

4.0 out of 5 stars Neeson as intense as ever, Jan. 4 2015
This review is from: Non-Stop (Bilingual) (DVD)
Non-Stop(released Jan14)stars,among others, Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore,Scoot McNairy,Michelle Dockery and Lupita Nyong'o.It seems Neeson has almost accidentally stumbled into a genre that the movie going public is,in ever increasing numbers,liking him in.The tough guy,save the day type.It certainly suits him and he plays it well.Non-Stop is no different, as he and his good cast mates deliver the goods from beginning to end.
The story finds Air Marshall Neeson reporting for yet another flight that he doesn't want to be on.Neeson is an ex NYC cop whose daughter passed away at a young age from Leukemia.He has lost his wife,is a professed alcoholic and is barely hanging on personally.Once on board and in the air,Neeson starts receiving text messages from an unknown passenger stating that they want $150 million in an account number(that is given),or else one person will die every 20 minutes.Who is it and why are they doing it?
Neeson notifies the captain of the plane and they start out playing it cautiously,with Neeson buying for time,trying to pinpoint the culprit.With 150 passengers it is a tough slog.Neeson touches base with a fellow air marshall,who it turns out later is involved in the shenanigans.The two wrestle in a bathroom and Neeson ends up breaking the others neck when the other tries to shoot him.
But the texts don't stop!? Obviously he was not working alone.That was the first murder.Next comes the captain of the plane,who is inexplicably poisoned.Then another passenger, a suspect at that moment, is also later poisoned. Neeson accidentally discovers that a small epi-dart was used to kill both the captain(from a hole in the wall behind the pilots cabin) and the then suspect.
With a lot of false leads and virtually everyone under suspicion, Neeson is at wits end, when a bomb is suddenly activated.Neeson recalls the suitcase his fellow air marshall brought on board.He retrieves it and enters the bathroom.First he not only discovers it was full of Cocaine, but also a bomb is hidden within it.It is set to detonate within 30 minutes.By now the outside world has been made aware of the problems on board the plane.However the news outlets are calling Neeson the hijacker,thanks to some slanted videos being shot and uploaded by a young passenger.And that money account? It turns out it was Neeson's own!
Neeson continues to communicate with the co pilot in his locked cabin.He asks that he descend to 8,000',where the pressure will equalize and minimize any damage the bomb may make if it goes off.However the British air force is flying alongside and they are adamant the plane will obey their every command.
At this time two more suspects reveal finally reveal themselves.One was a man he already had in custody but let go, and the other was a gent he had talked to earlier and had actually gotten to help locate the suspect via a viral text message,or so he thought.It seems they are two ex army guys who think security against terrorism is a joke,and they want it known throughout the world.Neeson was just a fall guy for their plan.Neeson convinces one to shut off the bomb via his phone,but is shot dead by the other.
It is now time to cut bait and go fish,as the pilot makes an emergency drop to the safe level.With all the commotion/distraction,this gives Neeson the time to finally take the guy out.As they arrive at the safe level,the bomb indeed explodes.Neeson,with the help of passengers has already taken steps to buffer the explosion with luggage and has gotten all passengers to the rear.The plane descends for a landing on an airstrip in Iceland.The landing is of the white-knuckle variety, but in the end most all are safe and sound,thanks to the air marshall.The film ends as Neeson and Moore,a fellow passenger turned friend,talk of their next destinations.
The film has a grittiness to it from the start as we are introduced to Neeson's unkempt character.As the movie progresses we learn alot more about his personal life and why he is who he is.Even the plane taking off shows Neeson's idiosyncratic nature as he is scared of the take offs,making him more human and making us empathize with him just that much more.Once he gets his first text from someone unknown,the tension of the film never abates until the plane is on the ground.There are,as is usually the case is such movies,many,many red herrings.Everyone is a suspect,and not only is there a countdown every 20 minutes,but this leads to an even bigger one later when the bomb is set to go off.All his cast mates support Neeson wonderfully,and his intensity never waivers,which really is the film's big selling point.Without it the film could not have been as good as it was.
Technically speaking the film is in its w/s a/r of 2:40:1 and is clear and crisp.The only extra is a short featurette on its making.
All in all a top notch high in the sky thriller.Most of it due to Neeson's intensity and the wonderful script and editing which keeps you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out,along with Neeson's character,exactly who is trying to do what and why.There is not a lost moment anywhere.4-4 1/2 stars.

Used Cars (Bilingual)
Used Cars (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Kurt Russell
Offered by importcds__
Price: CDN$ 6.84
23 used & new from CDN$ 6.05

4.0 out of 5 stars Trust Me!, Dec 30 2014
This review is from: Used Cars (Bilingual) (DVD)
Used Cars(released July/80)stars,among others,Kurt Russell,Jack Warden,Gerrit Graham and Deborah Harmon.Jack Warden plays two parts as bickering twin brothers in this comedy from 1980 that I had not seen since its debut.I have always recalled Russell's catch phrase"Trust Me" and remembered the film had its share of good laughs.What I did not recall was that it was co-executive produced by Spielberg and that Robert(Back to the Future)Zemeckis was the director.
The story finds Russell as a used car salesman on a run down,past its prime car lot.He and his buds will do and say just about anything to get a sale of their product...which are pieces of junk.The film focuses plenty on the salesmen and the dirty tricks they play on their customers.However the main part of the film lies with the owner of the lot,Jack Warden.He is a kindly gent and Russell and he are closerthanthis.Warden has two things against him:A heart condition and his conniving twin brother across the street who competes with him,with his own more honest car lot.
The bad twin across the street has been wanting to get a hold of his brothers lot for years and one day pulls a real nasty trick.He gets a demolition car driver to go across the street and get Warden to go on a test drive with him.The car is a beautiful /57 Chevy which Warden personally re-did.Well the drive was designed to give Warden a heart attack and it does.Once back Warden,in total distress,falls to the floor in his office and dies before Russell and the staff's eyes.Knowing what Warden's brother across the street would do if he saw his brother dead,they decide to act as if nothing is wrong.However,and clandestinely,they decide to place Warden in a late 50s Edsel that has been on a crane hook out front of the lot for years.They bring it down and put it in an abandoned car pit out back and fill it in.
Everything is going alright until Warden's long lost daughter comes a calling after all these years(10 to be exact).In the beginning Russell lies to her about her father,saying he has gone to Miami Beach.The mean brother across the street comes a calling and starts sniffing around.He has a hunch and finds the roof of the Edsel under the dirt out back of the lot.He returns to his domain,gets his lawyer to get a search warrant and the next day returns with the police.However Kurt has gotten wind of what was going to happen and has dug the car out .At the opportune time at a nearby location,he starts the Edsel up and points it towards a propane tank across the street near the other brother's lot.It of course ends up exploding,which is to be Russell and the gang's easy out as far as his death goes.But the phone call to give Russell the heads up from another employee in the first place,is listened to in toto by Warden's daughter(on an answering machine).She arrives at the lot shortly before the dead Warden's car explodes.She is of course livid but doesn't turn Russell in.Instead she locks them all out and they have no jobs to go to.She decides to run the car lot herself.
Her business suffers as she has had no experience with selling cars before.To speed the inevitable along,mean brother across the street decides to hire someone to fiddle with some video tape of his niece doing a car commercial.Her tape now claims that she has a mile of cars on her lot.This gives him the leverage to sue her and take her to court for false advertising.Russell hears about it and rushes to the court room.When the opposing lawyer(played by Joe Flaherty from SCTV)asks her about her claim of a mile of cars being false,Russell tells her to say it is true!? The court judge(played by Al "Grampa Munster" Lewis) adjourns the court for the next day at the lot to see if it can be proved.
Russell rallies around 250 student drivers and buys about that same amount of used cars from his car source(for the lot) with money he was saving to buy his way into politics with.The cars are miles away from the lot and time is not on their side.After some nail biting moments, the cars finally arrive on the lot ,but they're one short.That one car is being driven by one of the salesmen ,who finds out beneath the paint of the car he has,it is actually red....bad voodoo for him.Russell calls him and with some persuasion finally convinces him to get there....as fast as he can.As the judge declares they are 18' short,in drives the last car.As they measure and declare they are still two inches short,the back license plate drops down as if it was listening,to give them the needed length.Cheers go up and the lot is saved.Russell and Warden's daughter hug and Flaherty announces to them that a new expressway ramp will be going in across the street and that they will become the biggest dealership in town.
There is actually more to this story than what I have said.Mixed in with all this are not only the shenanigans of Russell and his buds competing with Warden's mean brother across the street(like almost-nude disco dancers),but illegally broadcasting signals over regular TV airwaves to insert commercials into for free,his superstitious bud Graham,the black ex army mechanic McRae,Warden's ever so smart Beagle,Russell's bid to get into politics,etc.Its a bag chock full of surprises and with lots of laughs,some played low,but also with lots of drama and thrills thrown in for good measure.
Technically speaking the film is in its original w/s a/r of 1:85:1 and is generally clear and crisp.Extras include commentary by Russell and the producer,the trailer,a TV spot,raw outtakes and much more.
All in all this is a pleasing comedy from 1980.It shows its year( Disco music and moves are still on display!) but Russell,et al,do a bang up job in this fast moving comedy with a lot of twists and turns.It still holds its own,which is high praise for a film of this genre and age.3 1/2-4 stars.

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11-20