REVIEW: ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Starring

Leonardo DiCaprio (Inception)
Brad Pitt (Moneyball)
Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad)
Emile Hirsch (Alpha Dog)
Margaret Qualley (The Nice Guys)
Timothy Olyphant (Santa CLarita Diet)
Julia Butters (American Housewife)
Austin Butler (Arrow)
Dakota Fanning (Ocean’s 8)
Bruce Dern (Freaks)
Mike Moh (Inhumans)
Luke Perry (Riverdale)
Damian Lewis (Homeland)
Al Pacino (The Devil’s Advocate)
Brenda Vaccaro (Supergirl)
Nicholas Hammond (Stealth)
Samantha Robinson (Cam)
Lena Dunham (This is 40)
Harley Quinn Smith (Yoga Hosers)
Danielle Harris (Halloween 4)
Scoot McNairy (Argo)
Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld)
Dreama Walker (Compliance)
Rebecca Rittenhouse (The Mindy Project)
Rumer Willis (Return To Sender)
Clu Gulager (Feast)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Kurt Russell (The Christmas Chronicles)
Zoë Bell (The Hateful Eight)
Michael Madsen (Species)
James Remar (Black Lightning)
Corey Burton (Critters)
Quentin Tarantino (Planet Terror)
Maurice Compte (Power)
James Marsden (X-Men)
Townsend Coleman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)
Perla Haney-Jardine (Steve Jobs)

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)In February 1969, Hollywood actor Rick Dalton, star of 1950s Western television series Bounty Law, fears his career is over. Casting agent Marvin Schwarz advises him to make Spaghetti Westerns, which Dalton feels are beneath him. Dalton’s friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth —– a war veteran who lives in a trailer with his pit bull, Brandy —– drives Dalton around because Dalton’s alcoholism has resulted in multiple DUIs. Booth struggles to find work due to rumors that he murdered his wife. Actress Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, have moved next door to Dalton, who dreams of befriending them to restore his status. That night, Tate and Polanski attend a celebrity-filled party at the Playboy Mansion.Margot Robbie in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)The next day, Booth repairs Dalton’s TV antenna. He reminisces about a sparring contest he had with Bruce Lee on the set of The Green Hornet, resulting in Booth being fired. Charles Manson stops by the Polanski residence looking for Terry Melcher, who used to live there, but is turned away by Jay Sebring. Tate goes for errands and stops at a movie theater to watch herself in The Wrecking Crew. While driving Dalton’s car, Booth picks up a hitchhiker, named Pussycat. He drops her off at Spahn Ranch, where Booth once filmed Bounty Law. He notices the hippies living there (the Manson Family). Suspecting they are taking advantage of the owner, George Spahn, Booth insists on checking on him despite Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme’s objections. Spahn dismisses Booth’s fears. Booth discovers that Steve “Clem” Grogan slashed a tire on Dalton’s car; Booth beats him and forces him to change it. Tex Watson is asked to deal with the situation but arrives as Booth drives away.Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)Dalton plays a villain on the pilot of Lancer, and strikes up a conversation with his eight-year-old co-star, Trudi Fraser, a committed Method actor. Dalton struggles with his dialogue. After having a breakdown in his trailer, Dalton delivers a performance that impresses Fraser and the director, Sam Wanamaker, bolstering Dalton’s confidence. After watching Dalton’s guest performance on an episode of The F.B.I., Schwarz books him as the lead of Sergio Corbucci’s next Western, Nebraska Jim. Dalton takes Booth with him for a six month stint in Italy, during which he appears in two additional Westerns and a Eurospy comedy, and marries Italian starlet Francesca Capucci. Dalton informs Booth he can no longer afford his services.Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019)On the evening of their first day back Dalton and Booth go out for drinks, then return to Dalton’s house. Booth smokes an acid-laced cigarette and takes Brandy for a walk. Tex, Susan Atkins, Linda “Flower Child” Kasabian, and Patricia “Katie” Krenwinkel park outside in preparation to murder everyone in Tate’s house. Dalton hears the car and orders them to leave. Changing their plans, they decide to kill Dalton after Sadie reasons Hollywood “taught them to murder”. Flower Child drives off, deserting the other three. They break into Dalton’s house and confront Capucci and Booth, who recognizes them from Spahn Ranch. Booth orders Brandy to attack, and together they kill Katie and Tex and severely injure Sadie. Booth is injured in the altercation. Sadie stumbles outside, alarming Dalton, who was listening to music on headphones, oblivious to the mayhem. He retrieves a flamethrower – a souvenir from one of his movies – and incinerates her. Booth is hospitalized, Sebring engages Dalton in conversation, and Tate invites Dalton over for drinks.The ending leaves you wondering “What if…” over and over again, questioning what reality would look like if these fictional characters of Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth actually existed. And I think that’s when I realized how perfect the title was: it’s a humorous, fairy-tale (although not completely violent-free) ending to the tragic fate of Hollywood in the 60s…

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: 7 MUMMIES

 

CAST

Matt Schulze (The Fast and The Furious)
Cerina Vincent (Power Rangers Lost Galaxy)
Billy Wirth (The Lost Boys)
Billy Drago (Children of The Corn: Genesis)
Andrew Bryniarski (Any Given Sunday)
Danny Trejo (Machete)
Martin Kove (Savage)
Noel Gugliemi (Training Day)
Max Perlich (Blow)
Adrianne Palicki (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

7_Mummies_5

We open with two greedy gravediggers who get sliced up by an unseen presence before delving into the 5-minute credits sequence. Then we witness a tipped-over van, out of which fall a collection of slimy convicts and one extra-jiggly female guard. The group promptly decides to wander off into a surprisingly verdant desert wasteland, whereupon they come across a mumbling Danny Trejo. Vulgarities are exchanged, and then the convict crew (and busty broad) wanders off into the desert again, only to arrive at an authentic-style Old West town, complete with booze, whores, and  a bunch of lame-looking zombies who pop out once the sun goes down.And then it’s just a bunch of aimless meandering and tons of insipid dialogue before the flick winds down with an amusingly inept finale. A movie that wanted to be a From Dusk Till Dawn-style genre stew is, instead, a painfully inert, agressively silly, and absolutely dreary concoction. It’s a dumb story populated by obnoxious characters who do moronic things. Often.Noel-in-7-Mummies-noel-gugliemi-24693975-853-480First-time director Nick Quested makes all sorts of embarrassing mistakes: He allows his annoyingly incongruous rock & rap tunes to simply blare over the dialogue, the lighting on the flick is consistently insufficient, and there’s way too many redundant (not to mention pointless) fade-ins, fade-overs, and stutter-step editing gimmicks. And don’t even get me started on the horrific screenplay.B-movie fanatics will no doubt see a cast list that includes Cerina Vincent, Danny Trejo, Martin Kove, and Billy Drago, and get a few charitable thoughts in their head. Ignore those feelings and simply rent something else. Trust me. Cerina Vincent was the only reason I bought this, being a fan of hers ever since her Lost Galaxy days.

 

REVIEW: THE INCREDIBLE HULK (1977) – SEASON 1

Starring
Bill Bixby (My Favorite Martian)
Lou Ferrigno (I Love You, Man)
Jack Colvin (Child’s Play)
Bill Bixby in The Incredible Hulk (1977)
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST
Charles Siebert (Xena)
Susan Sullivan (Castle)
William Daniels (The Blue Lagoon)
Gerald McRaney (Focus)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)
Loni Anderson (Stroker Ace)
Robert Alda (Rhapsody in Blue)
Pamela Susan Shoop (Halloween II)
Jennifer Darling (The Six Million Dollar Man)
Julie Adams (Code Red)
Andrew Robinson (Hellraiser)
Sarah Rush (Battlestar Galactica)
Sherry Jackson (The Breaking Point)
Sheila Larken (The X-Files)
Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1977)
The first season of The Incredible Hulk premiered with its pilot in 1977 and went on to run for eleven additional episodes. This is the one that started it all and in the opening moments of the series we are given a glimpse at Dr. David’s origins and how he came to possess the abilities of the Hulk. With the introduction out of the way the first season more or less hits the ground running as it established itself with some strong episodes and character development. Granted there are a few clunkers in between the good parts, but all around it was a solid start for Hulk.
Lou Ferrigno and Laurie Prange in The Incredible Hulk (1978)

“Death in the Family” is the first episode after the pilot and it’s a nice way to get the series going as it establishes the formula early on. This episode sees Banner making his way through California only to stop and help a handicapped girl after she faints in an orchard. It leads to David getting into the middle of a plot to kill the girl, so naturally only he and the Hulk can save her. When he’s done with California, David hitches his way to a new city where he befriends a wannabe boxer involved with some shady dealings. After that he moves on to working in a zoo in an episode that actually features the Hulk fighting a gorilla.Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)Both of these episodes were kind of weak after the pilot and “Death in the Family”, but the season gets much better from here on out.One of the strongest notes comes from the fifth episode, “Of Guilt, Models, and Murder”. I found this episode entertaining due to the way it played with David’s amnesia after he becomes the Hulk. The episode starts out with the doctor waking up in a room with some dead fashion models, and naturally his mind heads down dark, guilty paths as he blames the Hulk for killing them. The rest of the episode sees him investigating the murders and trying to get the bottom to find out whether or not he was actually involved.From then on the first season has some ups and downs as it makes its way through the remaining seven episodes.Lou Ferrigno in The Incredible Hulk (1978)Of the better episodes, “Terror in Times Square” stands out as it features David helping out an arcade owner who is being pressured by some people for “protection”. What better protection could you ask for than having the Hulk on your side for some good ‘ol fashion smashing? “The Hulk Breaks Las Vegas” was a great episode as well. I mean, just think about it, the Hulk running through the streets and casinos of Vegas! After these episodes the only other one that stands out in this season is “Earthquakes Happen” which has David /the Hulk attempting to stop a meltdown after a massive earthquake.

REVIEW: TOP OF THE WORLD

 

CAST

Peter Weller (Robocop)
Dennis Hopper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2)
Tia Carrere (Wayne’s World)
David Alan Grier (Jumanji)
Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat)
Peter Coyote (Sphere)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)
Ed Lauter (The Artist)
Michael DeLano (Commando)
Gavan O’Herlihy (Willow)

top-of-the-world_01In Las Vegas for a quicky divorce, a just-paroled ex-cop and his wife wander into the Top of the World Casino, run by the shady Charles Atlas. They win big, right as the casino is being robbed. The police believe their big win was a staged diversion, and the two of them become suspects. Over the course of the evening and next morning, the two attempt to escape to surrounded casino, and to prove their innocence, as well as to save their marriage.3a06eb652967c723cced5d8f718Not a terrible movie, but it’s kind of lacking. I would only recommend you watch it if nothing else better is playing on TV.

REVIEW: CROCODILE 2: DEATH ROLL

CAST

Heidi Lenhart (California Dreams)
Chuck Walczak (24)
Jon Sklaroff (Three Kings)
Darryl Theirse (Jesse)
David Valcin (Person of Intrest)
James Parks (Django Unchained)
Martin Kove (The Karate Kid)

Image result for crocodile 2 death swampAfter a bank robbery, four criminals try to escape to the village of Santo Cristo in Acapulco, but they hijack the plane when a storm requires the pilot to start to turn around. They force the pilot to continue flying. After the copilot struggles with one of the hijackers, the plane’s instrument panel is destroyed and it crashes. Most of the passengers and one of the hijackers die in the crash. The criminals gather the remaining passengers, killing those too injured to be of use, and force the rest to haul their loot through the swamp to the town they need to reach to finish their escape. While they gather the loot, a crocodile suddenly emerges from the water and eats the pilot. The criminals empty three guns into it, killing it.Image result for crocodile 2 death swampAs they travel through the swamp, they start falling prey to the dead crocodile’s furious 30 foot mother (The crocodile from the first film). As the passengers struggle to survive crocodile, the only hope for rescue is in the hands of Zach, the boyfriend of one of the stewardesses and a tracker he runs into a bar that he hires to search for the crashed plane. Max (leader of the terrorists) forces the tracker to leave Mia (the stewardess) and Zach behind. But during the flight, Roland (the tracker) grabs Max’s gun and shoots Max to the chest, killing him. When Roland tries to turn back, his chopper is grabbed by the crocodile. The croc leaves Roland to die in an explosion. Mia and Zach become the only survivors and kill the croc by using a life boat’s gasoline and lighting it with her lighter, resulting in the croc blowing up. At the end of the film, Mia and Zach are at a resort swimming. As Mia jumps in the water the croc appears, she then wakes up with Zach, realizing that it was just a dream. A loud roar is heard as the camera zooms out the swamp, foreshadowing another beast of some sort.61ZVsohnm2LThe original was an amazing, cheesy, unlikely, crazy, teen horror, hilarious, b-movie, spoof and this thing just takes it further. It’s a decent enough creature feature as long as you don’t think to hard.