"No Way Out", from Johnny
I rented this today
after reading some controversial comments about
the DVD on one of the message boards. A couple of
notes: Given the fact that Costner has some
trouble speaking English, I thought his Russian
would give Elya a few laughs. She was astounded
to report that he delivers his lines perfectly,
with only the faintest hint of an accent, and got
the difficult Russian vowels exactly right. The
man missed his calling. I guess he should have
played Eugene Onegin instead of Robin Hood.
Sean Young must have the
largest ears of any woman I've ever seen. I'm
surprised they never tapped her to play a Vulcan
in any of the Star Trek movies or shows.
SPOILER AHEAD: dont'
read if you plan to rent it. The plot of this
movie is completely implausible - based on a
one-in-a-zillion string of coincidences (1) in
order to divert suspicion from a murder he has
committed, a powerful member of the executive
branch creates a red herring - and shifts the
blame to a non-existent legendary Russian spy.
(2) to head up the investigation of
"Yuri", he hires simon-pure
goody-two-shoes naval hero Kevin Costner to give
the investigation a veneer of credibility and
sincerity (3) it turns out that Costner was also
the woman's lover, and was there the night of the
murder, and many clues are pointing to him.
What's so bad about
that, Scoop? That's kinda cool that Costner's
investigation is starting to turn up Costner.
Wait a minute. I haven't gotten to the really
silly coincidence yet. It turns out that the
legendary non-existent Russian mole who was
essentially made up by the Secretary really does
exist - and it's Costner!!!
OK, I know that's silly,
but it actually plays out OK. Costner is
frantically trying to keep the investigation from
unearthing him, and we think all along that it's
to avoid the murder charge, not knowing the
deeper implications. So witnesses come in to
testify and Costner, head of the investigation,
has to keep them from seeing his face - it's all
pretty slick. So I have to say it's a watchable
movie, despite what must be the most ludicrous
plot device since the invention of the Deus Ex
Machina, and a typically over-the-top performance
from Will Patton, who was Costner's co-star in
The Postman as well.
Oh, I almost forgot the
controversy from the message boards. Don't watch
the widescreen version of this movie if you rent
it. It is no wider than the standard version,
with no more seen on the left and right, and less
on the top and bottom. In order to create a
widescreen version, they simply chopped off the
top and bottom of the VHS 1.33 version to get
back to the original aspect ratio. Can you say
"RIP OFF", boys and girls?
Sean Young (1,
Demoniaques", from Johnny Web
I've discussed this Jean
Rollin flick twice in the past, and will discuss
it again tomorrow when I get to the other two
girls. For today, just look at lovely Joelle
Coeur, one of the most beautiful women ever to
appear in grade-z cinema.
Long Kiss Goodnight", from Johnny Web
Geena Davis' marketing
plan was to develop herself as the first real
female action hero, with Cutthroat Island and
this movie about an assassin with amnesia who is
living as a suburban housewife. To tell you the
truth, Geena was pretty good in this stuff, with
the athleticism to pull off the action, and the
ability to turn from vicious beast to sweet,
enthusiastic PTA mother. I don't think Geena
failed, but I think the world didn't much cotton
to the concept.
This is not a great
movie, but it's approximately comparable to the
first Mission Impossible - lots of explosions and
gunfire and some impressive action sequences and
miniatures. The FX feature quite a spectacular
set of explosions in Niagara Falls, and the
destruction of one of the border bridges.
As often happens in
these flicks, the best character is a secondary
one, Samuel L Jackson as a sarcastic low-rent
corrupt private eye who is hired by sweet
housewife Geena and ends up working for
psychokiller Geena. Of course, as Hollywood would
have it, the selfish cowardly sleazeball ends up
saving the day with an act of heroism after we
thought he was dead, and the trained killing
animal finds her heart softened by her daughter,
and reverts forward to housewife again.
Speaking of aspect
ratios, this widescreen version is in a rather
elongated format. My raw caps were 720 x 260 - a
rather unusual 2.8 to 1 ratio! I can't recall
ever seeing one quite so far from a square.
Soldier's Tale", from Tuna
I haven't seen this
movie, but read the book. A World War Two story
about a beautiful prostitute whom the French
resistance accuses of being a German
collaborator. Co-starring Gabriel Byrne as a
British soldier who chivalrously protects her
because he thinks she is unjustly accused. The
book features an emotionally devastating ending,
and I gather they retained the power of the
ending in the movie version.
Basler looks great. No
nudity in #7.
Marianne Basler (1,