We have been going around in circles with Google for about three weeks with
their "attack site" warnings. (This is a false positive. There is no
genuine problem with our sites. As you know, we don't even use any cookies!)
Anyway, the Google problem can filter into our site in certain ways if you use
Firefox, because Firefox keys off Google for some functions. That browser,
Chrome browser may prevent you from getting to the back issues or to Charlie's
site, (or sometimes to the Movie House or Other Crap, or even the main page).
Until they figure out their problems, there is a workaround.
You can either (1) switch temporarily to MSIE, which is immune from this glitch;
or (2) in Firefox, go to tools/options/security and uncheck "block reported
attack sites." You can always restore the setting after leaving.
You don't really read many positive things about Steven Seagal, but we must give
the devil his due. The man has an excellent work ethic. He churns out a lot of
movies, and his characters are not the kind of roles where he can memorize five
lines, work one day, then leave. He is generally onscreen for virtually the
entire running time, and often combines his acting with producing and writing
credits, as he does here.
In this one he plays, as is his wont, an ex-supercop. It's the typical Seagal
set-up. While saving the world from destruction and maintaining the honor of his
profession, the Weighty Warrior inevitably resigns, is fired, or is placed
on disability leave on some lame pretext like a hangnail, thus making him
eligible to take on special assignments which require his special blend of
unimpeachable integrity, multiple chins, and ass-kicking ability. The same thing
happens this time.
This time, however, there is a twist. He learns to experience the new economic
reality alongside the rest of us. He is unemployed for nearly 35 seconds! Yup,
his cell phone rings and he actually gets an incredibly lucrative job offer from
an old friend while he is still talking to his supervisor about being placed on
disability leave. But those 35 seconds of unemployment were clearly the most
traumatic 35 seconds of his life, and that hardship really helped to build his
Anyway, he moseys down to Texas to help an old friend, and ends up doing his
usual stuff: helping old friends, minorities, the innocent, the weak, the
handicapped, and lovable puppies. Of course, he succeeds at the expense of an
enormous number of bullies and no-goodniks. As the body count mounts, he
eventually resolves the problems he has been hired to combat, mainly because
he's pretty much the only white guy left alive in San Antonio.
The film has an odd ending. There is a long gun battle between Seagal's team and
the baddies. Seagal wins. That's it. The film ends. No discussion, no wrap-up,
no wise words, no post-mortem of any kind. Just a shoot-out followed by closing
As usual in Seagal flicks, there is no nudity from the female leads, but is some
fleeting nudity from assorted bit players.
Catch the deluxe
version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles,
Sally Field film clips
Brandy Wilde film clips
Laura Hippe film clips
|From 1970 to 1990,
director Bob Rafelson had a fairly solid string of successes.
It's interesting to look at them sorted by IMDb
By now you are probably thinking, "Among all those
famous and/or acclaimed films, how could there be one movie on the
list that I've never heard of, a film which scores below six at IMDb?"
That's a fair enough question, but I guess the
film in question, Stay Hungry, wasn't that obscure when it came out.
After all, it earned a Golden Globe for its co-star, a large
muscular man named Arnold Schwarzenegger. About five or ten years
later, the big fella hit pay dirt in Conan and Terminator, and the
rest is history, but in this film he played a much more realistic
role than his usual larger-than-life super heroes and villains.
Arnie played a bodybuilder from Austria who was competing in the Mr
Universe competition and trying to make a new life in the United
States. You have to admit it was a pretty solid job of casting.
Jeff Bridges is the star of the film. He plays a
rich boy whose parents died in a plane crash. He lives in his
parents' home, but he still calls it "their" home. His own life has
not yet begun. He doesn't really fit in with his rich relatives and
Somehow, Bridges falls in with a sleazy real
estate syndicate which is trying to buy up entire city blocks to
erect high rise office buildings. One project is being blocked by a
single hold-out. (How many movies have used this plot?) A shabby
mom 'n pop gym is the reluctant seller, and Bridges is assigned by
the syndicate to charm, cajole, or otherwise convince the owner to
play ball. Bridges, however, turns out to be one of those rich guys
who is more comfortable with genuine working class people, and he
strikes up friendships with some of the people in the gym.
(This is a recurring Bob Rafelson theme, and is
also the basic concept behind Rafelson's best movie, Five Easy
Bridges pals around with Big Ah-nuld, as well as a
slightly trashy but refreshingly unaffected female employee of the
gym (Sally Field). Ah-nuld and Bridges form a relaxed love triangle
with The Flying Nun, and Bridges pretty much forgets about his
assignment to buy the gym, at least until some sleazebags show up to
do with muscle what Bridges failed to do with guile.
Meanwhile, Bridges takes a certain perverse
pleasure in foisting his new friends on his rich pals, and watching
the fireworks between the two groups. Fields finds it callous of
Bridges to take aloof pleasure from everyone's lack of comfort in
the forced social mixture, so their relationship becomes turbulent.
Rural country music and Ah-nuld's bodybuilding
provide the colorful backdrop for the film, often in tandem, because
Ah-nuld's character is a helluva country fiddler as well as a
bodybuilder! The bodybuilding and musical scenes provide a nearly
surrealistic underscore to the film, especially when Ah-nuld's
gigantic hands finger the ol' fiddle. Bridges does an amazingly good
solo dance number when his character gets liquored up and is
persuaded to dance inside a circle at an impromptu country jamboree.
He has to perform well, albeit drunkenly, and he has to convey both
exuberance and embarrassment at the same time. He pulls it all off
This is not a very good movie, as you can guess by
the fact that you never heard of it despite the presence of several
major talents, but it is kind of an interesting movie in some ways,
often veering off into truly quirky and surreal directions. Let's
face it, there's a lot of fun in seeing Ah-nuld playing the fiddle,
or Jeff Bridges clogging up a storm, or Ah-nuld wearing a Batman
outfit, or Sally Field just prancing around in the altogether in her
first and last real screen nudity. Perhaps you join me in having a
lot of curiosity about seeing what those three big stars looked like
a quarter of a century ago.
The major problem with the movie is this: after I
watched it, I read the DVD box and noticed that it was supposed to
be a comedy. I never suspected that for an instant. I thought it was
just supposed to be an offbeat romance about a guy trying to find
himself. I don't remember thinking anything was especially funny,
although certain of the most surreal scenes do seem funny in a way.
There is a scene, for example, with dozens of bodybuilders prancing
through downtown Birmingham in their little bathing suits,
occasionally stopping to do pose-downs for the street people, and
even riding single-file, standing, on top of a public bus. I guess
that was supposed to be funny.
The film was not extraordinarily popular back
then; it has been forgotten over the years; and it doesn't seem good
upon a fresh look either. Given the presence of Rafelson and some
big talents, I expected more than this film delivers, although I
still enjoyed watching it for the curiosity value.
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Although it is billed as a horror/thriller, this film is really more of
a character study. Directed by John McNaughton on a budget so low that
Mary Demas played two different dead women, it is a well done look into
the minds of serial killers, inspired by real-life killers Henry Lee Lucas
and Otis Toole.
Henry is an exterminator in the Chicago area who, when the spirit moves
him, kills people. Eventually, he enlists his roommate Otis in the
endeavor. The secret, he tells Otis, is to never kill the same way, so the
cops can't find a pattern. That way, they're looking for many murderers
instead of one.
This was a fascinating movie, and it wasn't especially bloody, with
most murders occurring off-camera. They did show some of the results,
however, but by today's standards, it was pretty tame. The caps are from
the Blu-ray version, which was high definition, but preserved the original
movie's 4:3 aspect ratio.