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The Foreigner (2003)

Steven Seagal is one the great treasures of the cinema because no matter how terrible, low rent, dull and inept one of his films may be, he can be counted on to be completely nonplussed by it and to deliver at least a few classic moments you’ll never see anywhere else.

For instance, in The Foreigner, a muddled nonthriller as dreary as all the perpetually overcast Polish locations featured in the film, Steve somehow blows up a train station while pretending to take a whiz at a urinal while the bad guy is just standing around gawking. Damn Bad Guy, just be glad Big Steve didn’t have to go number two! Continue reading

Belly of the Beast (2003)

How did I know that Steven Seagal‘s Jake Hopper is the most coolly professional of all ex-CIA kick fu bad asses infesting Thailand? Was it because when he was informed that his daughter was kidnapped that his trademark catatonic squint never even wavered or threatened to slip into an indifferent squint? Was it because when his old friend betrayed him and was about kill him, Seagal’s response was “you’re just a trailer park bitch.”

Or maybe it was that when he was arrested after killing half of Thailand at a shoot out in a train yard, he resisted arrest by beating up the entire police station. But it also certainly could have been when he killed his old buddy after debating whether to kill him with his partner and Seagal practically yawned saying “he sealed his own fate” and then used every ounce of energy in his mountainous torso to almost shrug. Continue reading

Kill Switch (2008)

Are you tired of gearing up for your bi-monthly dose of Steven Seagal straight-to-video action movie mayhem only to find it an ugly, muddled mess about Steve being an ex-CIA agent who is forced to wreck a foreign country (which one depends on what country is offering tax incentives to shoot the film there) while dispatching various thugs, arms dealers, drug pushers, and rogue military elements as quickly as possible? With all the rapid fire headshots, neck snappings and stabbings, it’s like Steve is being forced by the ACLU or the Humane Society to put these guys out of their misery with a minimum of deadly force. It’s something akin to hiring Vincent Van Gogh to paint your house beige. Continue reading

A Family Circus Christmas (1979)

It is well known that the holidays can cause or exacerbate feelings of sadness, loneliness or depression in certain people. And it isn’t just confined to the unfortunates watching A Family Circus Christmas either. The holiday blues also has the Family Circus itself awaiting Christmas on a knife’s edge, perched precariously between the illusion of the tranquil domestic bliss depicted in the creaky, unfunny decades old comic strip and the building pressure of the repressed mental illness much of the family exhibits during this, one of its three animated forays into the holiday special genre. Continue reading

Christmas Rush (2002)

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A cop gets trapped in a large building battling a gang of thieves all by himself! And his wife is one of their hostages! And it’s freaking Christmas time! Wait – don’t stop me! Because another entry in the cinema’s best genre of film, the Die Hard genre, is always welcome!

Christmas Rush (also known by the generic action title Breakaway which just screams “cable TV movie no one will ever remember 5 minutes after it airs on TBS”) wisely lifts everything that made the original Die Hard not only the greasiest movie ever made, but frankly one of the crowning achievements of 50,000 years of human civilization, and adds the few cool things that somehow didn’t make it into it – a little religion and go karts! And a forklift! And a kid needing a bone marrow transplant! And most fantastically of all, an insurance company handing out a $200,000 check as a reward for Dean Cain helping to destroy their mall! Continue reading

Cyborg Cop II (1994)

Cyborg cop is back! Except that there aren’t any cops who are cyborgs in it! You do get a pack of evil cyborgs. You also get a cop. So maybe the filmmakers accidentally left a comma out of the movie’s title.

But who really cares if there aren’t any mechanical police stiffly delivering their lines or wearing a vacant expression throughout the film. That’s what star David Bradley is for! Besides who needs a bionic arm that turns into a Gatling gun when you’re wearing a freaking fanny pack! That thing could hold extra pomade, spare pair of oversized sunglasses, or even a dead partner’s souvenir lighter which can be dramatically pulled out during the climax to finish off the rabid robot! Continue reading

Lower Level (1991)

You’re a successful architect babe, working in the skyscraper you’ve designed, but something is missing. No, I’m not talking about an emergency exit that could actually be used in an emergency, though that would have been nice considering the circumstances. What’s really missing is what is always missing with these supposedly empowered ladies – a prince charming to take her away from her ivory tower. And how do I know that? Because I’m some male chauvinist piggie? Nope, she tells us this in the voiceover at the beginning of the movie as she writes it in her diary! Continue reading

Rescue Team (1983)

Whenever it’s time to assemble yet another team to bring back more of our boys from Vietnam (watching these POW movies can leave one with the impression there are more Americans left in Vietnam than Vietnamese), special attention must be made to signing up the right combination of talents. For instance, you need an explosives or a demolitions expert, but you’re probably wasting a team slot if you take one of each since both are likely proficient at blowing up bamboo huts. (There’s nothing wrong with lots of exploding huts of course, but you don’t want it coming at the expense of guys having their throats slit by the knife expert.) Continue reading

Way Down Cellar (1968)

I imagine that Way Down Cellar is something of a failure since I was more interested in how Beans and Skeeter’s hapless flag football team, the Jets, finished up the season than I was in the intrigue surrounding the crabby old man who was staying in the old Burton House (the same house is also seen in For the Love of Willadean) and doing mysterious things down in the basement. It’s especially difficult to work up any enthusiasm for a bunch of crooks who get outsmarted by a couple of kids that can’t even manage to execute a simple running play during the game they get shut out of in the opening moments of the film. Continue reading

The Treasure of San Bosco Reef (1968)

Let me disabuse you of the notion straightway that the titular treasure is anything awesome. As near as I could tell, it was mostly a bunch of crusty crap pulled up from the wreckage of an old ship. Various vases and pots that for all any of us know might have just been a bunch of leftover junk no one wanted. Did anyone confirm whether the ship’s manifest indicated it was on a voyage to the local shipyard’s giant yearly garage sale? Still, it was a bunch of baracled bric-a-bac a whole team of thieves were willing to kill for, so maybe it cleaned up real nice. Continue reading