Anthony Zerbe

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Picture - Anthony Zerbe New York City, USA, Monday 17th March 2008

Anthony Zerbe Monday 17th March 2008 Stella Adler School of Acting Benefit at Cipriani New York City, USA

Licence to Kill Review


Terrible
Timothy Dalton's second (and final) Bond outing is mainly memorable for nothing in the film itself. The title, Licence to Kill, was a change from the original Bond story, Licence Revoked, when it was revealed that a large percentage of Americans didn't know what "revoked" meant. And then there was the issue of whether to spell the first word "licence" or "license." Ultimately less was said about the film, which is one of the least successful Bond movies ever at the box office, especially in adjusted dollars. The problem? The story isn't very Bond-like: He leaves MI-6 for most of the film to avenge best bud Felix Leiter's death at the hands of a drug kingpin while canoodling with Carey Lowell, a poor Bond girl choice if ever there was one. A cameo by Wayne Newton pushes the film into full-on kitsch, and many feared the series was dead after Licence's poor showing. It would be six years until the next film, GoldenEye, the longest period without a Bond release since the series began in 1963.

Aka License to Kill.

Continue reading: Licence to Kill Review

The Dead Zone Review


Good
One of the more successful entries into the Stephen King horror film genre (and probably the best under the Dino De Laurentiis production label), The Dead Zone is aided in no small part by Christopher Walken in the lead role.

Walken stars as high school teacher Johnny Smith, who wrecks his Beetle and spends five years in a coma, only to discover he now has the gift of second sight. Predicting local tragedies is one thing, but eventually he becomes entangled in a political race (with Martin Sheen running for President), and Johnny foresees that if he wins, disaster will ensue (you know, the nuclear kind).

Continue reading: The Dead Zone Review

KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park Review


Unbearable
Not too far into the big book of bad movie ideas is KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park, one of the most ludicrous "horror" films ever made, and one of the worst movies you'll sit through. And sit through it you will, mouth agape, marvelling at the terrible special effects, the wooden "acting" from the clearly stoned members of rock band KISS (who probably didn't have any idea what they were getting into), and direction that amounts to plopping a camera down and telling people to read their lines. In fact, the film doesn't even look edited properly, and you keep feeling like the crew are going to run into the frame and reveal it's all a joke. The Scooby-Doo-like title aptly describes the plot -- though it doesn't mention the evil robot versions of KISS that must be vanquished before they can play the big concert (which looks like old footage), after which you'll finally be allowed to turn off the TV and vomit.

The Omega Man Review


OK
There's an entire subgenre of science fiction flicks from the '70s which feature Charlton Heston in a futuristic setting. Nowadays, these films work mostly as camp or kitsch (with the possible exception of Planet of the Apes). Soylent Green is one of those movies I suspect few people haven't actually seen. Many know it from that hilarious Phil Hartman sketch on Saturday Night Live, where he plays a hambone Heston who continually flubs his line. It's pretty funny in the actual movie, too: Heston flails his arms and screams, "Soylent Green is people! It's peopppppllllleeeee!" All right, maybe you had to be there, but to me, that's pretty hilarious stuff.

Finally, we have The Omega Man, based on a popular Richard Matheson science fiction novel entitled I Am Legend. I'm surprised that this film hasn't become part of pop culture, since it features Heston as the last virile hero on the planet (involved in an interracial romance -- a bold political move at that time).

Continue reading: The Omega Man Review

Papillon Review


Good
There's a lot to like about Papillon. Compared to the witless blockbusters of today, with their explosions and CGI trickery, Papillon is the type of outsized escapist adventure tale that Hollywood once had down pat. It's well acted, gorgeously shot, and generally exciting -- all of which makes its mediocrity an even greater disappointment.

The trouble lies in its placement in the evolution of the Hollywood action film. Papillon is a transitional species. At the same time it soars on old-fashioned virtue, it also suffers from modern vice. Its 150-minute running time, false endings, and mind-numbing repetitions make it an early predecessor of the indulgent blockbuster of today.

Continue reading: Papillon Review

The Dead Zone Review


Good
One of the more successful entries into the Stephen King horror film genre (and probably the best under the Dino De Laurentiis production label), The Dead Zone is aided in no small part by Christopher Walken in the lead role.

Walken stars as high school teacher Johnny Smith, who wrecks his Beetle and spends five years in a coma, only to discover he now has the gift of second sight. Predicting local tragedies is one thing, but eventually he becomes entangled in a political race (with Martin Sheen running for President), and Johnny foresees that if he wins, disaster will ensue (you know, the nuclear kind).

Continue reading: The Dead Zone Review

Anthony Zerbe

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