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It's obvious that Allen has serious intentions, but they're expressed in bloodless, superficial, derivative ways. Objectionable as their raunchy sense of humor and simple-minded, potheaded characters may be from a socially responsible standpoint, Cheech and Chong transcend the objections. It is a gross, hollow and hokey joke in which even the red herrings prove anemic. [31 July 1978, p.B1]. [10 Mar 1978, p.15], It's a frequent theme of bad children's pictures that knowledge, especially scientific knowledge, is the opposite of unspoiled childhood goodness,and here it is again, only weakly contradicted by the one pleasant actor in the film, Jack Soo, as an idealistic truant officer. The Villain is the sort of dumb comedy that never smartens up. It's the contrast between the brothers that's the point. Denying people the forms of amusement, notably erotic amusement, that the publicity suggests, Derek exposes a truly dangerous ineptitude. There are times when French Exit beggars belief and tries the viewer’s patience. Even after the story threatens to self-destruct, you fight the impulse to suffer a major letdown, for the sake of the swell nerve-racking time you've been having up to that point. The director, J. Lee Thompson, was once a proficient craftsman. [17 Oct 1980, p.C1], If Kagemusha falls short dramatically, and many admirers may not share that impression, the sag occurs at an awesome level of filmmaking prowess. As a result, an hour and a half of tense, funny sexual melodrama is squashed flat by a dud of a fadeout. Still, The Courier makes a smart, stylish stand for the kind of old-fashioned period spy thriller that is increasingly being turned into bingeable series for streaming services. [15 Dec 1979, p.C1]. Cheech and Chong are bawdy, they're unself-consciously irreverent, and if any idiocy can happen, it will happen to them. Edwards and his collaborators have wisely chosen to give an audience just what it wants and expects from a Pink Panther film - riotous slapstick, spectacular stunts and Sellers in a variety of accents and disguises that give him free reign and lead to inevitable uproariousness. I mentioned last week that my launch-era Xbox 360 recently up and died on me just when I got my hands on the game. [29 Sept 1978, p.D1], The movie is a stunning example of collaborative fidelity and artistry directed by Karel Reisz, and its impact may be heightened if one is in the dark as to the plot of its literary source, Robert Stone's Dog Soldiers. At the same time, it's remarkably evenhanded, making no judgment on the musical or social standards of the movement. It’s good at what it sets out to do. Reason against discipline is always funny -- hero to sergeant: "I know I'm speaking for the entire platoon when I say that the run should be postponed until the platoon is better rested" -- but the kicker, that there really is a reason for the discipline, is necessary to the premise. The $13-million film looks crisp and clean. © 2021 METACRITIC, A RED VENTURES COMPANY. [24 July 1981, p.21]. [19 Apr 1980, p.C3], Huston's straightforward, sardonic direction reinforces a compact, unusually literate screenplay. [29 June 1979, p.C1], Murray, though, is wonderful. [16 Aug 1980, p.D2], For a terrible movie, Used Cars certainly has its moments. [20 Dec 1978, p.E1]. You're Washington post for Christ's Sake , not a 12-year-old's diary. Shabbily photographed and raggedly assembled. Though it obviously aims to be sassy and uninhibited, Airplane! His witty, endearing performance in the title role of Hal Needham's terrific new pick-me-up, Hooper, a rousing and sweet-tempered sentimental comedy about the professional vicissitudes and fellowship of movie stuntmen, should finally secure Reynolds a preeminent position in the affections of contemporary moviegoers. Free (& Subscription) Games for All Platforms: New & Upcoming, 22 Most-Anticipated TV Shows & Movies to Watch at Home in April, Music title data, credits, and images provided by, Movie title data, credits, and poster art provided by. One minute sex is like a camp food-fight -- against the rules but everybody has a good time-- and the next it's the grown-up activity that leads directly to that other favorite grown-up activity -- depression. [13 June 1978, p.B1], The premise breaks down just at the point when it needs to be cleverly elaborated into a story. Apparently, through a process of complex algorithms, the reviewer's words were able to be distilled into an accurate and definitive numerical grade. Before it takes an appalling turn for the vicious, The Silent Partner seems an uncommonly clever and gripping suspense thriller. [11 Aug 1981, p.C8], Heavy Metal is one of the worst ideas ever to be translated into a movie. [13 July 1979, p.24], It's a like a film made by people who don't really care, for an audience of people who don't really care. The music isn't bad, but there's something more than a little blasphemous about hearing She's Leaving Home or A Day in the Life sung by the likes of the Bee Gees. From opening wolf howls through ominous, ambiguous concluding images, it sustains an exciting, witty, erotically compelling illusion of supernatural mystery and terror. Despite a powerful performance by Tahar Rahim in the title role, and despite such marquee names as Jodie Foster and Benedict Cumberbatch in the supporting roles of Slahi’s attorney, Nancy Hollander, and Stu Couch, the Marine lawyer assigned to prosecute him — despite scenes of grotesque abuse that inflame the conscience — the movie lands, through no fault of its own other than timing, with a whiff of been-there, done-that. There is such a thing as working too hard. The Driver is a chase melodrama abstracted to the verge of pointlessness. Yes, it’s a coming-of-age story: If Boogie were fully evolved, woke and enlightened, there would be no "Boogie." [28 June 1978, p.E1], Peckinpah is a filmmaking heavyweight, but in Convoy all he's doing is fighting off the boredom and frustration that grow out of coping with stupid material. [03 Aug 1979, p.27], The new Dracula is a dazzler, a classic retelling of a classic text. Rough Cut isn't the finest vintage of its light, dry style, but it is easy to take and when it ends you may be sorry there isn't more. Eyes is somehow too relaxing to be satisfying. He's also got a human side. But Fame goes deeper, into the quintessential problem of youth -- the painful process by which the society's accumulated culture is passed from one generation to the next [20 June 1980, p.17], Humanoids is a clever combination of Jaws and Alien. [16 Oct 1981, p.B1], Whatever is wrong with the plot, there's nothing wrong with the dialogue. [9 Dec 1979, p.G1]. [25 July 1980, p.17], Against all odds and prejudices, Cheech and Chong seem to get better and better. of Western Civilization is a bracing primer to just about anything one might want to know about the hard-core punk scene. Made with the approval of George Lucas, the director of American Graffiti, and perhaps with his misbegotten collusion, More American Graffiti succeeds in making a blithe mockery of its predecessor. [17 Apr 1981, p.19], It's the most exaggerated example yet of the abiding imbalance in modernist filmmaking, where an abundance of texture fails to conceal a minimum of substance, although it frequently makes the act of concealment pictorially exciting. Their new film is a vulgar, zany kick. [15 May 1981, p.19], The repeated fake-outs even lead one to entertain the fond delusion that The Burning might be absent-minded enough to diverge into harmless farce and end up as a rehash of "Meatballs." But these serve ridiculous story making a mushy, if not disreputable, moral point. [06 Jul 1981, p.C3]. Arriving on the heels of Jack Nicholson's Goin' South, Alan J. Pakula's cataleptic Comes a Horseman suggests a conspiracy to kick the poor old Western while it's down. [15 Aug 1980, p.C1], Given the source material, the film is as good as respectful adaptation could make it: a high-class soap opera, compulsively watchable despite a quality of insight eventually exposed as trite and dubious in the extreme. Even the location needs to be filled out, since one forms the misimpression that Gregory is not so much a small town as a ghost town. ", This conflict between love and ambition is finely depicted as far as it goes, and the period setting, in a time when birth control problems made the choice of marriage a commitment to unlimited family life, could have reinforced the poignancy of the choice. To quote Michael Palin quoting Jesus, "There's just no pleasing some people. Rather, Cahill’s latest film is an exercise in existential inquiry. Xanadu cannot possibly be described as a good movie, but it can be recommended to those who can tolerate large amounts of intravenous marzipan. Indeed, you come out of Back Roads feeling more familiar with the configuration of Sally Field's spinal column and chestbone than the character she's struggling to embody. Parker has made his visually charming film more than a study of talented and ambitious kids. [23 May 1981, p.C6], Sounds hard to mess up, but Death Hunt is so unconvincing that you never once stop asking yourself, "Why is this manhunt necessary?" [24 Mar 1981, p.B8], The intelligence and artistry with which Cutter's Way dresses up the top few cliches of the 1980s is amazing. [3 July 1980, p.C11]. Thanks to the heavy synthetic hand of director George Roy Hill, the potentially charming aspects of the kids' infatuation curdle into syrupy gruel. No -- less. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. They're sweet and it's amusing that they have so much trouble doing the obvious, but after a while you get exasperated and wish they would just figure it out and do it. [20 May 1981, p.B1], The most perfunctory and least imaginative of the recent cycle of horror melodramas, Motel Hell may be credited with a fleeting wry touch, but it wears out its welcome by running a minimum of ghoulish stunts into the ground. Even the big spectacle, the demolition of a dam, is going to look unimpressive to moviegoers who've already been to Superman and seen the identical illusion depicted with far more skill. This bad boy sports a well-deserved 7 on Metacritic. There are some very chilling touches in Blow Out. . An entertaining mishmash of skits which finds Mel Brooks back in lively form, both for better and for worse. [13 May 1980, p.B3]. Such a half-baked, arbitrary update that the decrepit plot seems to arise from the misty region of a kind of Jewish Brigadoon in contemporary Manhattan, a Ghetto That Time Forgot. [22 Feb 1980, p.19], An acceptable scene-setter, Carpenter reveals glaring inadequacies as a storyteller. There are corners of this quiet little film — less a plot-driven narrative than a two-person character study — that feel powerfully true, in ways that surprise. For anyone with a taste for the stylized violence and self-aware cartoonishness of the John Wick films — a taste for blood and mayhem that comes closer to corn syrup than most cinematic carnage — Nobody is a brutal treat. Director Fred Walton sets the audience up early for a 20-minute reign of terror and gracefully shocks them out of their seats in a final blitz. [23 July 1979, p.B11], The plot - obviously derived from Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" - has the customary quantum of Disney cuteness as the story unravels predictably...But it takes advantage of the situation for some funny lines. Rich and Famous, directed by George Cukor, does it brilliantly. [13 May 1981, p.B6], Harry Hamlin remains in a depressing, narcissistic low gear in King of the Mountain. Practically everyone who spends more than five minutes on camera dies horribly -- in close-up. When he's not clowning around he takes time to befriend a homesick 12-year-old camper (Christopher Makepeace), thus displaying a streak of responsibility that would curl John Belushi's hair. . Pathos. [28 May 1981, p.D11], Miner doesn't linger over the multiple throat-slashings and skull-splittings. Moses has staged one totally abstract, contemplative sequence of Erving practicing by himself on a playground court at night. [18 Apr 1980, p.19], 1941 represents an appalling waste of filmmaking and performing resources. [9 Oct 1981, p.21], Paternity may not be one of the dumbest excuses for a romantic comedy that ever littered the screen, but it certainly feels like a numbing inanity while you're exposed to it. The music is highly enjoyable -- though perhaps more so once one gets the record album home and isn't bothered with the story -- and the film so unerringly airy that it has a beneficent, tranquilizing, bemusing effect. Tucci and Firth have never been better than they are here, and they earn every superlative that has been laid on them in early reviews. His smoldering pouts, crazed gleams, elevating eyebrows and erotically-contended smiles generate gleeful rabble-rousing excitement. [28 Sep 1979, p.E1], The movie version of The Onion Field offers a compelling buildup of suspense and apprehension, culminating in the shocking murder of a young policeman. It entertains through a half-facetious juvenile gusto. The Blues Brothers offers the melancholy spectacle of them sinking deeper and deeper into a comic grave. [12 June 1981, p.E1]. Not all that long ago he and Quinn were associated on the prestigious hit The Guns of Navarone. A sporadically funny, marginally interesting fiasco that might have evolved into a memorable romantic comedy. [13 Jul 1979, p.E1], The finished film obliterates whatever promise of novelty and human interested existed in the basic idea of Belinski's culture shock. Treat the game with professionalism and respect. Pop a couple of Stress-Tabs before you go. This is a film with brittle dialogue, complicated acting and visual subtlety in the service of a trite and unworkable story. The Art of Starting Over, Sufficiently attractive and absorbing to sustain the fond delusion that Charles' pursuit of the mystifying Sarah might culminate in a revealing, conclusive confrontation. Although it shatters all over the screen, this would-be topical satire may strike enough chords among rabble-rousing yahoos to become a hit of sorts. [24 July 1981, p.19], Arthur is one of those rare contemporary entertainments that can be used to contradict people who habitually complain, "They don't make 'em like they used to!" The Amityville Horror is a feeble excuse for a haunted-house thriller, but given the source, who could ask for more? [27 July 1979, p.B1], The Wanderers is a well-made movie that leaves a so-what impression. [6 Oct 1978, p.19], Days of Heaven leaves one wanting more: either a totally revolutionary approach to pictorial storytelling or traditional dramatic interest....It may be artistic suicide for Malick to continue his style of pictorial inflation without also enriching his scenarios. Next time, the Fisks owe it to themselves to bite off enough material to chew. The Dogs of War can be recommended only as a desperate snack for rabid tastes. There are early warning signs that “World” isn’t going to end well. A snide and knowing viewpoint has left a cloud of smudge over the original clean satire. Alligator, the most amusing variation yet on the Jaws formula, finds plenty of room for incidental humor and romantic byplay while sustaining a breezy suspense plot. On the plus side, Allen's basic movie-making skills are sound. But Robin Williams so utterly captures the Popeye idea as to justify this, and Shelley Duvall is such a perfect Olive Oyl that it will always be difficult to imagine her impersonating a human being. The Art of Starting Over. It’s a fascinating story and well worth revisiting. It has a sentimental story, but that's better than the usual dumb good-guys-bad-guys stories; it's corny, but that's better than the cheap smartsyness of most youth films. May 16, 2016 - Reviews always have a discussion looming around them. As for the comedy, it starts out with Clyde the orangutan defecating in squad cars, and goes downhill from there. [18 Dec 1980, p.C1], This sequel to his earlier hit, Every Which Way But Loose, delivers exactly what it promises, namely lots of fistfights, car chases, booze, broads and country music, plus a dollop of the old Eastwood bootstrap philosophy ("Handouts are what you get from the government. [27 July 1979, p.B1], Moonraker, the newest James Bond spectacle, is a cheerful, splashy entertainment. [03 Aug 1979, p.D4]. [04 Mar 1982, p.C13], A Force of One, has a simplistic plot, low budget sets and sloppy editing.

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