Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Movie Review: Atomic Twister

Atomic Twister
Once Upon a Time Films, TBS Superstation, USA, 2002. 

Single-mother Corrine Maguire (Sharon Lawrence) and her son Campbell (Daniel Costello) have moved to small town in Tennessee. Neighbour Jake Hannah (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) is a virile police officer, who has a childhood's trauma. Tornado killed his mother, or that's what the told to Campbell. Jake has trouble with his former girl friend Ashley Bishop (Charmaine Guest) whose father happens to be Jake's boss Sheriff C.B. Bishop (Corbin Bernsen). So there is enough drama potential for a regular teen soap-opera. 
Sharon Lawrence
Mark-Paul Gosselaar
Charmaine Guest
Campbell is a player-wannabe who wants to play Twister with his considerably older and curvy nanny Stacy (Joanna Morrison). Naughty kid. 
Joanna Morrison
But this is a disaster movie though. Corrine works in Helman-Klein nuclear plant. Security guard Stu (performed by Olympic champion Carl Lewis) is the only security of the plant that is manned by about 5 people. The reactor is safe and protected from meltdown. But is it tornado-proof? Of course not! The tornado is threatening the plant and even Stu can not sprint fast enough to avoid a dark fate. The communications are lost and the Standard Operating Procedure for Disaster Situations seems to be gone with the wind as no-one really knows what to do. Jake brings an emergency radio, but it only works outside (!) Also the nuclear power plant has chronic power shortages (!!)
Carl Lewis
This makes the safety procedures and management of Chernobyl look good.

If the tornado blows up the Calvin-Klein plant, it would have a huge negative impact on the property prices of the state (bad). So Dr. Martin Jennings (James Gaylyn) from Nuclear Regulatory Commission sends some experts to prevent the disaster. The only expert who gets to the location on time is Manuel Fluentez (George Henare) so Corrine and her work-mates Neville (John Sumner), Gail (Meryl Main) and Potter (Jonathan Blick) have to gain time to prevent the disaster. At the same time Corinne tries to save her son.
Meryl Main
Gail stares at the monitor while Corrine looks horrified
Jonathan Blick and John Sumner
Potter and Neville
Modest TV movie has dramatic music that sometimes sounds like background music from original "MacGyver." Although it is not quite worst of Syfy-style films, there are many scenes that make you shake your head. There is not much believability and the technical details are horrible. In one scene a guy has to walk through a  radioactive area to hit the shutdown switch. One would think moving quickly would shorten the exposure time to radiation but no. Let's stroll slowly admiring the scenery instead. And with Stu dead just about anyone can wander into the nucular plant without hindrance. And if something is broken, kick it and it works again.
Yes, they really are tornadoes.

Some amusingly bad scenes and nice-looking ladies make it watchable. Otherwise it is pretty basic cheap disaster film that delivers a small amount of suspense.

No radiation-laced tornado is seen. Now that would be silly. That would be like combining already dangerous tornado with something overkill like sharks. What?
Corbin Bernsen drinking coffee

Rating: Bad or So bad it is good

Starring: Sharon Lawrence, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Carl Lewis, Jonathan Blick, Daniel Costello, Charmaine Guest, George Henare, John Leigh, John Sumner, Corbin Bernsen, David Aston, Paul Barrett, Grant Bridger, Katrina Devine, Peter Feeney, Taylor Garton, James Gaylyn, Michele Hine, Meryl Main, Joanna Morrison, Ashleigh Seagar, Jared Michael Thomas, Louise Wallace, Sara Wiseman, Roz Turnbull, Jak Wyld
Director: Bill Corcoran

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Movie Review: Chasers

Morgan Creek Productions, USA, 1994.

Sailor Eddie Devane (William McNamara) has a last day in the service of U.S. Navy. Couple of shady deals should be still completed, selling a cargo of army pants and covering the tracks together with partner-in-crime Howard (Crispin Glover). He has already ordered a Porsche from Salesman Stig (Dean Stockwell). However Eddie gets a last duty to escort a prisoner to court. There's no way to avoid the duty so he has to go on a mission with tough chief petty officer Rock Reilly (Tom Berenger) who already hates him.
Tom Berenger and William McNamara
Rock & Eddie
Due to technical error the prisoner they have to escort is a woman. Seductive Toni Johnson (Erika Eleniak) tries to escape on every possible occasion. Slowly the mismatched trio begins to develop fondness for each other. Nothing bonds better than little fist fighting and backstabbing.
Erika Eleniak
Happily strolling on the countryside
Country music plays and quips fly. There is an amusing brief role from Gary Busey, he appears as pesky prison warden. This was the last feature film directed by Dennis Hopper, he appears here as pervy underwear salesman. Seymour Cassel appears as Master Chief Bogg.
Seymour Cassel
Master Chief Bogg
Gary Busey
Sergeant Banger
It is not very outstanding military comedy, with many ideas left half-way but has some fun scenes and is in some way entertaining. Berenger is pleasantly grumpy, Dwight Yoakam's songs and other country music are good and the story has a mild feel-good aftertaste. There is some nice southern country atmosphere with diners and roadhouses, 1970s-80s road comedies were perhaps the inspiration. There is some eye-candy for fans of William McNamara and Erika Eleniak, if you know what I mean. Still with the cast more fun could have been expected.

Rating: Average

Starring: Tom Berenger, William McNamara, Erika Eleniak, Crispin Glover, Matthew Glave, Grand L. Bush, Dean Stockwell, Bitty Schram, Gary Busey, Seymour Cassel, Frederic Forrest, Marilu Henner, Dennis Hopper, Scott Marlowe, Jim Grimshaw, Mick McGovern, Charles Page, Richard Pelzman, Laura Cathey, Jim Bath, Michael Flippo, Rick Warner, Rob Priester, Gene Dann, Jon Rodgers, Michael Martin, Victoria Duffy, Michael O'Brien, Elizabeth Hawkins, Tony Donno, Wallace Wilkinson, Robert Pentz, Jackson 'Rock' Pinckney, Jimmie Lee Sessoms, Melissa Wyler, Ted Detwiler, Bob Dorough, John Christopher Stuart, Toni Prima, David E. Harshbarger, Matthew Sullivan, Justin Thaler
Director: Dennis Hopper 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Movie Review: Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise

Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
Twentieth Century Fox, Interscope Communications, Amercent Films, American Entertainment Partners L.P., USA, 1987.

After gaining a victory for nerd-rights against Alpha-Beta jocks the Lambda-Lambda-Lambda nerds Lewis (Robert Carradine), Poindexter (Timothy Busfield), Lamar (Larry B. Scott), Booger (Curtis Armstrong) and Wormser (Andrew Cassese) travel to Fraternity Conference in Fort Lauderdale. Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) stays home as he broke his foot while playing chess. In sunny Florida bikini-girls are plentiful and that suits perfectly for the nerds.
Larry B. Scott, Robert Carradine,Timothy Busfield, Curtis Armstrong, Andrew Cassese
Lamar, Lewis, Poindexter, Wormser and Booger
Courtney Thorne-Smith
Ed Lauter and Bradley Whitford
Buzz and Roger
In the hotel they meet new friends: friendly hotel trainee Sunny (Courtney Thorne-Smith, known as Alison from  "Melrose Place") and pre-nerdcore era rapper Stewart (Barry Sobel) but also old enemies are there. Alpha-Betas are there with the bellowing jock Ogre (Donald Gibb) from the first movie, with his classic line: 'Nerds!' The hotel manager Buzz (Ed Lauter) does not want nerds in the hotel. Conspiring with jock-president Roger (Bradley Whitford) they evict the nerds. The nerds are forced to move to a sucky hotel, but the jocks are still not contended and try to kick them out of the conference. The nerds find themselves stranded on a deserted island and have to put their brains to use to get out. 
Donald Gibb
Nerds With Attitude
Although the permise is not as original as in the prequel than the first, I somehow enjoyed this more. The second Nerd-adventure rolls smoother than the previous, having less paartying and more plot and slightly more clean jokes. The basic idea is the same, the nerds try to get accepted but the jocks play dirty. However there are plot holes that look like the script was rewritten on the fly. Stewart has little meaning to the plot and it seems that originally Sunny was supposed to have romance with him, but the story arc was abandoned and in the end Sunny is hugging Lewis. Betty (Julia Montgomery) is seen only as a portrait that Lewis packs in his suitcase. Lewis, you womanizer. However in the third Nerd-movie Lewis and Betty are happily married so everything is well again (I don't have the sequels). Much of the events are silly but it is a fun and genuinely a 1980s comedy.
Lewis, you dog.
Courtney Thorne-Smith is cute in her nice girl role. Regular Oriental old guy actor James Hong appears as Snotty, the Master of Gross. After the first film Ogre became somewhat a cult character and likewise Jaws in the "Moonraker", he is made more sympathetic here.
James Hong
Rating: Good

Starring: Robert Carradine, Curtis Armstrong, Larry B. Scott, Timothy Busfield, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Andrew Cassese, Donald Gibb, Bradley Whitford, Ed Lauter, Barry Sobel, Tom Hodges, Jack Gilpin, Anthony Edwards, James Hong, Priscilla Lopez, James Cromwell, Jason Julien, Marilyn Caskey, Richard Joseph Paul, Rhonda Waymire, Donna Rosea, Susan Vanech, Robert Goodman, Michael Fitzgerald, Huey Laborde, Raymond Forchion, Carmen Thomas, Miles Greadington, Victor Morris, Ed Knott Jr., Tom Boykin, Ruben Rabasa, Michael J. Carnevale, Noreen Compton, Janet Constable, Stephen Ray Cranford, Ellen Marguerite Cullivan, Ian Ng Cheng Hin, Scott Spinnuci, Kai Thorup, Todd Vittum
Director: Joe Roth

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Movie Review: Revenge of the Nerds

Revenge of the Nerds
Twentieth Century Fox, Interscope Communications, Zacharias-Buhai Productions, USA, 1984.

Long before "Big-Bang Theory" or "IT Crowd" there was a film series "Revenge of the Nerds."

Geek-friends Lewis (Robert Carradine) and Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) (you have to know some chemistry to get the joke) go to college. Maybe they can meet some girls there. Unfortunately there are bullies who hate nerds. Ogre (Donald Gibb), Burke (Matt Salinger) and Stan (Ted McGinley) and other idiotic Alpha Beta jocks burn down their own frat house so with support from Coach Harris (John Goodman) they invade the freshman-dormitory kicking the new students out.
Robert Carradineand James Cromwell
Lewis and his dad (James Cromwell)
Michelle Meyrink and Anthony Edwards
Judy (Michelle Meyrink) and Gilbert
Donald Gibb
The nerds are not accepted to fraternities so they decide to start their own. But the system is rigged so they are not allowed to do so. They join U.N Jefferson's (Bernie Casey) black fraternity Lambda-Lambda-Lambda and throw a party but the Alpha-Betas ruin it. The nerds plan a revenge with some juvenile pranks. Stan's girlfriend Betty Childs (Julia Montgomery) plays dirty tricks but ultimately can not resist love skills of the nerds.
John Goodman and David Wohl
Coach Harris and Dean Ulich (David Wohl)
 Julia Montgomery
Stan and Betty
Larry B. Scott, Brian Tochi and Curtis Armstrong
Lamar, Takashi and Booger
Although starring nerds it doesn't make the jokes intelligent, rather on the contrary. College-comedy has similar raunchy and low-brow jokes as "Animal House." There is a lot of crude fun but somehow it could have used the nerd-theme better. There are many laughably bad jokes too. It has the usual elements of college-comedies, wild parties, topless girls and silly contests so the genre hasn't really evolved much since that. The cast has typical side-characters for the comedies of the era, Gay, Oriental Guy and Pot-head that are fun but do not quite fit the definition of nerd but represent the social outcasts of the college world. In the end, though, there is talk about tolerance and sort of declaration of nerd-rights. 
Sorority girls
Robot vacuum cleaner model 1984
Remember, mopery is exposing yourself to a blind person!
Lloyd Sherr
The Moper

Rating: Average

Starring: Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Timothy Busfield, Andrew Cassese, Curtis Armstrong, Larry B. Scott, Brian Tochi, Julia Montgomery, Michelle Meyrink, Ted McGinley, Matt Salinger, Donald Gibb, James Cromwell, David Wohl, John Goodman, Bernie Casey, Alice Hirson, F. William Parker, Roger Carter, Kres Mersky, Marianne Muellerleile, Lisa Welch, Suzanne B. Hayes, Shawn Siqueiros, Sandra Katzel, Henry Kendrick, Fumio Kodama, Lance Lombardo, William B. Wilson, Carl Cherry, Adam Frank, Taylor Samuels, Brad Grunberg, James Anklam, Matthew M. Haugh, William C. Horning, Angela C. Gardaphe, Lisa Kolasa, Kristen Kinderman, Kay Strunk, Gamble Baffert, Brian Lover, Jerry Kurinsky, Tonja Sue Philbee, Monique Sorenson, Calon Blackledge, Scott Bird, David Moskowitz, Steven Duran, Thomas Obeid, Theodore Kerpez, Michael Urena, Vincent Lindsley, Laura Bell, Linda Felker, Deborah Bernstein, Renee Mintz, Donna Costello, Lillie Nusz, Romy Dushoff, Rhonda Tinsley, Felicia Fagan, Jennifer Wilcox, John Almon, Brian Nelson, Daniel Egan, Thomas Repp, Jay Galland, Andrew Salan, Dean Heindel, Scott Spangler, Robert Melton, Steve Yeatras, Madaline Blinder, Colleen Madden, Lucy Craig, Susan Myers, Jennie Gaio, Kristi Nelson, Carolyn Hoover, Melissa Perlman, Karen Knutzen, Lori Stock, Chris Stravolo, Kelly Reed, Lloyd Sherr, Malcolm Gregor, Clinton James Austin, Greg Berg, Kris Levario, Peter J. Wacks, Michael L. White
Director: Jeff Kanew

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Movie Review: Major League: Back to the Minors

Major League: Back to the Minors a.k.a Major League III
Morgan Creek Productions, Warner Bros., USA, 1998.

I thought I had all the "Major League"- films but I didn't, so I have to skip the second part for now. Oh well, this is not the first time I'm watching movies in the wrong order. 

Gus Cantrell (Scott Bakula) is planning to quit his baseball career that has seen the better days. Stuck in lower leagues he does not have much room for advancement. Maybe he should start a peaceful life with his nice girlfriend Maggie Reynolds (Jensen Daggett). His old friend Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen) suggest a new career coaching a minor team Buzz. After the previous movies Roger has become a baseball team owner.
Scott Bakula
Gus Cantrell
Jensen Daggett
Maggie Reynolds
Corbin Bernsen
Roger Dorn
The most promising player in Buzz is Billy 'Downtown' Anderson (Walton Goggins) but he is also selfish diva. Other players are weak. Pitcher Hog Ellis (Judson Mills) needs to learn pitching and the second pitcher Carlton 'Doc' Windgate (Peter Mackenzie) is too slow. Lance Pere (Kenny Johnson) is a former ballet dancer trying a baseball career and Lopez twins (Tim, Tom & Ted DiFilippo) are always quarreling. Empathetic Frank 'Pops' Morgan (Thom Barry) is supportive but too old to run fast, so Gus makes him the Captain. 
Thom Barry
Frank 'Pops' Morgan
Judson Mills
Hog Ellis
Walton Goggins
Billy Anderson
Roger wants Billy to his team Twins that is coached by Gus' old nemesis Leonard Huff (Ted McGinley). The game doesn't get better until two retired players 'Voodoo' Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert) and Taka Tanaka (Takaaki Ishibashi) join the team and show the youngsters how to play baseball. Buzz gets a chance to humiliate Twins in a big arena, but Leonard does not play fair. Billy shows his skills though and Leonard hires Billy although he is still not ready for the big league. Losing the best player makes Buzz lose the motivation. The End.
Not really. Gus teaches that baseball is not one man show, but a team game. There is no "I" in "Team." The players deserve a second chance so it is a time for a rematch!
Dennis Haysbert
Takaaki Ishibashi
Taka Tanaka
Ted McGinley
Leonard Huff
Scott Bakula was good as a coach, whipping the underdog players into shape. Familiar character from the previous films Announcer Harry Doyle (Bob Uecker) has some funny scenes. And Ted McGinley, known for "Married With Children" still has slick idiot charm. There is some fun physical comedy but the verbal comedy is milder than in the first movie, mostly because the new player characters are not as funny. You just start waiting the appearance of the old team players. Roger Dorn is quite out of the character here, and makes wonder what happened between the first and the third film. It is not so bad but far from remarkable. Although the comedy gets slightly better near the end, it almost would work better as a baseball TV-movie drama.

Rating: Average

Starring: Scott Bakula, Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haysbert, Takaaki Ishibashi, Jensen Daggett, Eric Bruskotter, Walton Goggins, Ted McGinley, Kenny Johnson, Judson Mills, Lobo Sebastian, Thom Barry, Peter Mackenzie, Ted DiFilippo, Tim DiFilippo, Tom DiFilippo, Bob Uecker, Larry Brandenburg, Jack Baun, Mike Schatz, Joe Kelly, J. Don Ferguson, Brian Beegle, Ted Manson, Ronald 'Buzz' Bowman, Alex Van, Tim Ware, Robert M. Egan, Michael A. Lynch, Richard Bruce Doughty, Al Hamacher, Natalie Hendrix, Stephen Hardig, Letroy Myers, Gary P. Pozsik, André Tardieu, Brien Straw, R.J. Kackley, Bradley Crable, Ken Medlock, Lucinda Whitaker, Kimberly Herndon, Elizabeth Diane Wells, Gary Murphy, Scott Foxhall, Warren Peper, Dee Thompson, Raymond Sterling, Ron Clinton Smith, Richie Dye, Dolan Wilson, Laura-Shay Griffin, Mark Storm, Bayani Ison
Director: John Warren

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