Andrew Pfeffer

Andrew Pfeffer

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Everly Review

Very Good

A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman at the centre of it, which means that it's entertaining even if it's rather pointless. With an Asian chop-socky style, it feels like it could have been based on a Japanese graphic novel. And with its limited one-room setting, it seems like it might be adapted from a stage play. But no, this is an original screenplay that cleverly mimics those (and more) styles.

It stars Salma Hayek as Everly, a woman who has been held for four years in a single room, forced to work as a prostitute. And today she has snapped, killing her captors before realising that getting out of the building won't be quite that easy. Worried about her mother and young daughter (Laura Cepeda and Aisha Aymah), Everly tries to make a deal with the big boss Taiko (Hiroyuki Watanabe), who merely sends a series of vicious goons culminating in The Sadist (Togo Igawa). Eventually Everly's mother and daughter turn up, so now she has to try to keep them out of harm's way as well.

There are only brief respites from the carnage as this movie powers through a series of jaw-droppingly violent fight sequences that are as messy and witty as anything Tarantino has dreamed up. And the filmmakers play up the absurdity, using a soundtrack that's packed with Christmas carols as Everly dispatches one attacker after another.

Continue reading: Everly Review

The Man From Elysian Fields Review


OK
James Coburn is just great in The Man from Elysian Fields, one of his final performances before recently succumbing to a heart attack. As a dying, once-great novelist, the veteran actor displays a combination of fire and vulnerability that makes him a riveting presence.

Unfortunately, such generous adjectives can't be used for Elysian, which has a promising premise but does little of interest with it. Andy Garcia plays Byron Triller, a struggling novelist who has mounds of trouble supporting his young family. Out of luck and out of nowhere, Byron meets a mysterious, upscale pimp, Luther (Mick Jagger), who thinks Byron would be an ideal addition to his escort service.

Continue reading: The Man From Elysian Fields Review

The Big Brass Ring Review


Good
Extremely convoluted and complex political thriller, made only because Orson Welles was in the process of making it (and starring from his own script) when he died in 1985. The political melodrama was intended as a "bookend" to Citizen Kane, but this ain't no Rosebud.

Beat Review


Good
Judy Davis might have commanded the definitive Joan Vollmer role in Naked Lunch, but in Beat, Courtney Love makes a not-half-bad at reinterpreting the last weeks of her life before being accidentally(?) shot in the head during a William Tell parlor trick by her famed writer husband William S. Burroughs.

Set in broken down Mexico City, the film finds Vollmer receiving a visit from beat-heads Allen Ginsburg (Ron Livingston) and Lucien Carr (Norman Reedus). (Carr, a minor figure in beat history, was a UPI reporter responsible for introducing many of the beats to one another as well as inspiring Jack Kerouac to type On the Road on a roll of teletype paper.) Burroughs (Kiefer Sutherland) is off on one of his bisexual booty calls, leaving his wife to ponder whether she should stay with her philandering husband (being no faithful lap dog herself) or skip town and return with her two kids to New York with Lucien and Allen. (Her very short history should tell you which route she actually chose.)

Continue reading: Beat Review

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Andrew Pfeffer Movies

Everly Movie Review

Everly Movie Review

A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...

The Man from Elysian Fields Movie Review

The Man from Elysian Fields Movie Review

James Coburn is just great in The Man from Elysian Fields, one of his final...

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