Flight of Fury

Steven Seagal wrote and starred in this cheapie made in Romania about a stolen stealth bomber which  Segal must get or destroy before terrorists use it to deliver a biological bomb.

The film begins with the plus-sized paladin about to have his memory erased by some kind of doctor in some kind of military jail. He escapes with the help of two confederates who have no other function in the plot. Once he escapes, he thwarts a convenience store robbery by killing all the baddies - but not before they panic and shoot all the store clerks. What was he doing in the convenience store? Tracking down baddies for the government? Nah. He just happened to be shopping there when the robbery began, so he took it upon himself to do some killin'. If there's one thing that gets the man upset, it's when somebody interrupts his snack selection.

What does all of that have to do with a stealth bomber? Absolutely nothing. It's about 30 minutes of prologue designed to get Segal into the hands of the general with the missing plane. You see, the local police investigate the robbery and decide that they better call the feds because the full-figured fighter is just more than they can handle. The feds, in turn, call military intelligence. Blah, blah. I would not be at all surprised to find out that the prologue was something left over from a different movie.

Once the actual mission begins, it consists almost entirely of four elements which are intercut

1) stock flying footage and stock explosion footage purchased from other productions

2) face shots of pilots in cockpits

3) shots of computer screens showing random things "locking on" to other random things

4) shots of command headquarters back in the States, where the military brass deliver expository dialogue so we can understand what the hell is going on with Segal's mission, which would be otherwise incomprehensible. "How's he doing, Commodore?" "Sir, the Seal team assigned to back him up has failed to make the rendezvous, and has experienced an 100% casualty rate." "Then, God help him, he'll have to do it alone." "But, sir, it's only one man against an Army, and he only has three hours left to (describes complete mission in detail). We better carpet-bomb the area." "Dammit, commodore, this is no ordinary man. This is my best multi-chinned pilot."

This one is one of the four worst Seagal movies I have seen. Back in 2003 when he was really overweight and out of shape, he made two incredibly bad films (The Foreigner, Out for a Kill) back-to-back with director Michael Oblowitz. After that he worked out a bit, started doing his own fights again, wrote some of his own script treatments and experienced a period of resurgence. Sadly, he has now reverted to his old ways. He has now repeated the Oblowitz chapter of his career by churning out back-to-back disasters with a director named Michael.

The Michael Oblowitz Films The Michael Keusch Films
The Foreigner ... 2.54 Attack Force ... 2.72
Out For a Kill ... 2.74 Flight of Fury ... 3.72

The IMDb scores in the table above suggest that Flight of Fury is not as bad as the other three films, but I don't agree with that. It is absolutely in the same league. I've watched most of the seventeen movies which the big-boned battler has made since Exit Wounds resuscitated his career in 2001, and some of them aren't so bad at all, but this one has absolutely no positives and a myriad of negatives:

  • There's very little hand-to-hand combat in Flight of Fury, and none of it is very good. What little there is generally pictures Seagal in head-and-shoulders shots or using an obvious double. Instead of prolonged fights, he tends to knife opponents quickly, with even quicker editing used to disguise his girth.

  • The performances are uniformly sub-par. Seagal's own acting now consists entirely of his controlled tough-guy whisper.

  • The Romanian countryside is actually supposed to be Afghanistan, so all of the extras are Eastern European guys in Afghani mufti, with their faces covered most of the time, presumably to disguise their features.

  • There is no detail in the characterization, and very little in the dialogue.

  • The flying action uses stock footage, as described above. The non-flying action consists entirely of clichés, and the best of that is also stock footage lifted from 1986's Iron Eagle.

  • There's almost no plot detail other than the rough outline I described above, and what little detail there is makes very little sense, perhaps because it was cobbled around existing footage.

  • To top it all off, the cobbled-in plot isn't even original! The storyline of this film is taken directly from another straight-to-vid film called Black Thunder, which came out in 1998. According to IMDb, Flight of Fury it was even called Black Thunder as a working title.

Here's the summary for 1998's Black Thunder:

When the top secret prototype of the Nova Stealth fighter has been stolen, the Pentagon launches a big alarm; the plane shouldn't come into hostile hands. There is only one man who can get the plane back: the test pilot Vince Conners. He and his partner Jannick pursue the Nova to Libya but when they land at the site their mission fails. Jannick has been captured and Conners is on the run. Without friends or allies they have to try to find the Nova before they fall into the hands of the military regime and before terrorists can use the plane to bomb a United Nations meeting with nerve gas.

So Flight of Fury consists of footage from one old film, and a plot from another. Our portly pilot even has a partner named Jannick - and other character names are also the same as in Black Thunder! A straightforward remake of a recent grade-B Michael Dudikoff movie? Not even bothering to change the characters' names?

Frankly, it's like the weighty warrior is not even trying any more.


The film does have one thing for us to note: a completely gratuitous lesbian scene between two hot chicks. It fact, calling it gratuitous understates its irrelevance, since it was not merely unnecessary. It made absolutely no sense in the context of the plot!

Not that I was objecting. It was the only thing in the film worth watching.

Katie Jones (film clip)


* Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

* White asterisk: expanded format.

* Blue asterisk: not mine.

No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.







You Are Alone

A young girl (Jessica Bohl) enters a sleazy hotel, and meets an older man she obviously knows. She goes into a bathroom, and changes into a Catholic schoolgirl uniform. We learn that the man is her neighbor. When his wife left him, he discovered Jessica's secret day job, and booked an appointment with her. It is revealed that when she is not acting the role of fantasy schoolgirl for money, she actually is a schoolgirl.

I will go no further, as I highly recommend this film, and do not want to spoil anything for you. This DVD will be released on February 27 and Tuna says, order it now. I am not normally interested in talky films, and 95% of the film takes place in this one hotel room, but the talk was interesting in this film, the performances were spot-on, and the director stayed focused on what was important-  the two characters. The strongest element of the film, however, is the ending. Even had the film not been strong until that point, the finale would have made it worthwhile.

You Are Alone (2005) was directed by Gorman Bechard, who created that cult masterpiece Psychos in Love early in his career. He has now returned to low-budget indie filmmaking in order to regain artistic control of his own films after a personally unsatisfying experience in Hollywood on The Kiss. This is a very different film from Psychos in Love, but there are some similarities as well. Whereas Psychos was shot during weekends on 16 mm film, You Are Alone was done on a normal schedule but with few locations and a tiny cast using digital video. Bechard filmed most of the time with two cameras. The A camera was meant to carry the bulk of the film, and the second camera was meant as insurance, but was used much more intimately, and ended up providing much of the final film.

The DVD includes director's commentary, a copy of the shooting script, another short film, and bios.

This is a high C+, a must-see for fans of indie cinema.

IMDb says 6.2. The film has been well received in festival showings, winning awards for the film and the performance of Jessica Bohl in her first feature role. Bohl improvised so much dialogue so well that she actually was awarded a writing credit.


Jessica Bohl shows breasts and buns.










The Ramrodder

Today the Time Machine returns to 1969 for more from The Ramrodder with Kathy Williams. Kathy, as an Indian maiden, takes a little topless swim with her lover. Caps and two clips.

(If you missed it Kathy's whipping scene is in the February 10th edition.)






Soup of the Day

In this cute 2006 comedy loaded with beautiful women, the hero is bedeviled by every man's dream: too many girlfriends.

Brandon is in a monogamous relationship. The problem is that it's with three different women at the same time. That works for a while, until all three get together at his favorite restaurant to try his favorite soup. Needless to say, more than the soup boils over.

Nothing groundbreaking here, just a cute and enjoyable comedy that stays lighthearted and fun throughout. Plenty of eye candy as well, and imagine having Ashley Steel surprise YOU in the men's room


Ashley Steel Nicole Magnuson Sunny Lane Tonya Cooley







Quatre étoiles

A Parisian English teacher called Franssou (Isabelle Carré) has a sudden windfall in the form of a € 52.000 inheritance from her grandmother. On a whim, she decides to leave her grey existence behind her and go to Cannes on the French Riviera, where she checks into the Carlton hotel. A casual run-in with what seems a first to be a rich man but soon turns out to be a swindler with more than one debt changes her plans as she decides to offer the man a loan on her own terms.

Franssou declares that she will stick to Stéphane like glue until he pays her what he owes her. This drives Stéphane, who prefers to work alone, with no attachments, crazy. However, Stéphane's been trying to sell a luxury villa he doesn't actually own to René, a stupid but likable (and extremely wealthy) Formula One race car driver, and the swindler decides Franssou might be useful in this endeavor when René falls head-over-heels in love with her.

Props to the costume designer, Isabelle looked fantastic in everything she wore in the movie.


Isabelle Carré







Notes and collages

"Wonder Woman"

Part III of the Lynda Carter series ...











Les eaux mortes

A special French-Canadian old-timer. When Quebec's Monique Miller acted in these nude scenes, she was 73 years old. A sexy Grandmother.


Monique Miller









1980s B-movie legend Michelle Bauer still looks great in a new film, Whispers from a Shallow Grave (2006)

Rinko Kikuchi in Babel (Possible Best Picture winner new to DVD yesterday) Already reviewed


Today's collection-builder is Kathleen Turner. All of her nudity came in a very narrow period of time. After the first six years of her career she kept clothed in public except for her stage appearance in The Graduate.
Cindy Crawford in Fair Game

Erika Marozsan in  Gloomy Sunday (Highly respected WW2 drama which takes place in Hungary)