March 2015


15-year-old honor student Molly Stewart (Donna Wilkes) attends her private prep school in the Los Angeles area by day. However, at night, she transforms to Angel: the mini-skirted, high-heeled street prostitute working Hollywood Boulevard. Some members of her street family are the aging movie cowboy Kit Carson (Rory Calhoun), street performer Yoyo Charlie (Steven M. Porter) transvestite Mae (Dick Shawn) and fellow hookers Crystal (Donna McDaniel) and Lana (Graem McGavin). All is not well on Hollywood Boulevard as hookers are being killed by a psycho-necrophiliac (John Diehl). Los Angeles Police Lt. Andrews (Cliff Gorman) has been assigned to the case, but he has no leads. Tragedy strikes Angel’s group of friends when Crystal becomes a victim. Lt. Andrews then advises the girls to work in pairs. Angel is working with her partner, Lana, when Lana takes a potential client to a motel room she and Angel share. A couple of hours later, when Angel shows up at the room with a client of her own, she finds the body of Lana in the shower where the killer left it. Based on a description Angel gives the police, a sketch is made and the hunt for the killer starts. Angel is the only eye witness and suddenly she becomes a target herself…

“Angel” is a trashy 80´s cult thriller showing L.A. and Hollywood Boulevard from the seedy side and its strange gallery of characters. The main plot is Angel´s two sides of life and how difficult it is to be left alone in the world without no one really caring and how easy it is to end up on the wrong side to survive at an early age. With other words we have a solid storyline with a social message. Then it comes down to how you handle that sort of story and in this case we do get a B-movie that in a way portray the difficult life as a young prostitute in a glitzy L.A.ish way, which feels a bit weird and unbalanced. The cute Donna Wilkes is hardly a superb actress, but does give life to Angel. And it´s interesting to se John Diehl just prior to his “Miami Vice” days as a serial killer on the edge. “Angel” doesn´t really hold all the seams together. Is it a teen sex drama/comedy or an exploitation slasher movie? Nevertheless, it was nice to revisit the good ol´80´s with its vibe, look and feel. (2 and a half out of 5)

MPW-53430

Max Skinner (Freddie Highmore) spent his childhood summer holidays learning to appreciate the finer things in life at his Uncle Henry’s (Albert Finney) vineyard estate in Provence in southeastern France. Some 25 years later, Max (Russell Crowe) is an unethical, aggressive, hard-working London-based investment trader. Following his uncle’s death, Max is the sole beneficiary of the French property. He travels to Provence to prepare a quick sale. Shortly after arriving he knocks a local cafe owner, named Fanny Chenal (Marion Cotillard), off her bicycle as a result of his careless driving. Subsequently, he discovers that his latest City financial stunt has landed him in hot water with the UK government and with his firm’s directors, necessitating his return to London. To assist in his planned sale of the property, Max hurriedly snaps some photos and in the process falls into an empty swimming pool. He is unable to escape until Fanny, driving by and spotting his rental car, appears and turns on the water supply in retaliation. This delay causes Max to miss his flight and having failed to report to the directors in person, he is suspended from work and trading activities for one week. On Henry’s estate, Max must deal with a gruff, dedicated winemaker, Francis Duflot, who fears being separated from his precious vines. Duflot pays a vineyard inspector to tell Max that the soil is bad and the vines worthless. In the meantime, they are surprised by the unexpected arrival of young Napa Valley oenophile Christie Roberts (Abbie Cornish), who is backpacking through Europe and claims to be Henry’s previously unknown illegitimate daughter. Max is concerned that she might lay claim to the estate. Max becomes fascinated by Fanny, who is rumored to have sworn off men. He successfully woos Fanny into his bed, and when she leaves Max the next morning she expects him to return to his life in London. A disillusioned Christie also decides to move on and the estate is sold. Max returns to his life in London where Sir Nigel, the company chairman, offers Max a choice: “Money or your life.” He must either choose a discharge settlement, which includes “a lot of zeros,” or accept the offer of a partnership in the trading firm, where he would then be “made for life”. The only person he ever loved was his Uncle Henry and his recent visit to Provence has set off a flow of emotions and now he needs to make up his mind of what kind of life he wants to live…

There´s a lot of charm in “A Good Year” and a feeling of something you loved and yet had forgotten about. It reminds me of my childhood visits to my grandmother and grandad and how much I always loved going there. But, in the end I did forget about these special moments in my life and when specifically my grandmother passed away without me not having seen her for years I was struck by guilt and sadness for not having been in contact with her. That is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life. The lesson learned is to keep close contact with your dear and near. I do like the mix of slapsticky moments, sweet romance and life lesson learned in “A Good Year”. Crowe is good as Max, Cotillard is enchanting and loveable (how can you not fall of her…) with her strong persona and sharp comments (“..with your midget car..), Finney is great as always and Cornish doesn´t really get a chance to be part of the storyline as much as I reckon she should. At the same time “A Good Year” is extremely predictable and a bit blend in the corners. But, the biggest minus is the sudden and way too short ending. It feels like Scott just wanted to end it as quick as possible and show the partly sugary and sappy end. That is bit disappointing when he has built up this feel good environment and you just want a structured and longer ending to prolong this feeling and a proper roundup of the whereabouts of the characters. (3 and a half out of 5)

good_year

On the Planet Eternia, at the center of the Universe, Skeletor’s (Frank Langella) army has seized Castle Grayskull and captured the Sorceress of Grayskull (Christina Pickles). He plans to exploit Grayskull’s hidden power when the “Great Eye of the Galaxy” (a portal in the castle’s throne room) opens.The remaining Eternian defenders are scattered and outnumbered. Among them are Eternia’s greatest warrior and Skeletor’s archenemy, He-Man (Dolph Lundgren), veteran soldier Man-At-Arms (Jon Cypher) and his daughter Teela (Chelsea Field). They attack a unit of Skeletor’s troops, and rescue a Thenorian inventor/locksmith named Gwildor (Billy Barty), who takes them to his home and tells them Skeletor has stolen his newest invention: a “Cosmic Key” that can open a portal to any point in time and space. Skeletor used it to breach Castle Grayskull, but Gwildor still has the prototype. When Skeletor’s forces arrive seeking it, Gwildor escapes with it and the Eternians through a secret passageway, directly to Grayskull. At Grayskull, they are ambushed by Skeletor and his troops. In desperation to flee, Gwildor uses the Key to arbitrarily open a gateway, which happens to lead to just outside Whittier, California. The Key is lost upon their arrival and they split up to find it. Meanwhile, in Whittier, two teenagers, Julie Winston (Courteney Cox) and Kevin Corrigan (Robert Duncan McNeill), discover the Key and start pressing its buttons. This allows Skeletor’s second-in-command, Evil-Lyn (Meg Foster), to trace the signal to Earth. She sends a team to recover it, consisting of Saurod, Blade, Beastman and Karg. He-Man, Man-At-Arms and Teela needs to get hold of the “Cosmic Key” before Skeletor and his army does…

Never really saw the cartoon “He-Man and the Masters Of The Universe”, but I do remember the toys taking over the toy stores in the 80´s. The 1987 movie version “Masters of the Universe” was an attempt to create a franchise similar to “Star Wars” I reckon, but anyone who sees this movie will clearly understand that this hardly had the potential of becoming that due to the fact that this is just a poor B-Movie with poor acting, a way too classic storyline and pretty poor CGI. Dolph Lundgren has pointed out his role as He-Man as his lowest point as an actor, which is without no doubt the case. Even if you would like to enjoy this sort of cartoony sci-fi adventure, there´s just too many flaws. My enjoyment in this movie was a young and beautiful Courteney Cox. (2 out of 5)

masters_of_the_universe_xlg

Such a brilliant band.

« Previous PageNext Page »