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A Soldier's Story Review


OK
Shockingly dated, this A Few Good Men precursor follows military justice in an all-black army regiment during World War II. The problem isn't the theme -- which is timeless -- or Denzel Washington -- who was 30 years old at the time but looks like a teenager. The problem is the photography and the schmalzy production values, which look like they're years ahead of the Hallmark era. Norman Jewison won copious praise for this film back in 1984 and even got an Oscar nomination, but the cheeseball '80s presentation of some serious subject matter (racially charged murder investigation) just doesn't fly today.

Die Hard 2 Review


Grim
Die Hard had it all: a sympathetic hero, a wonderfully serpentine villain, kick-ass fight scenes and shootouts (which are really hard to make entertaining, in the glut of routine action flicks that overflow our video racks), an enjoyably quirky supporting cast of character actors, and dialogue you could really sink your teeth into. ("I wanted this to be professional. Efficient, adroit, cooperative, not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way, so he won't be joining us for the rest of his life.") This flick was so pervasive, we had to endure a slew of rip-offs: Die Hard at sea, Die Hard on an ocean liner, Die Hard in a friggin' library! OK, so they never did one in a library, but that would be pretty funny, wouldn't it? [Indeed they did do it in a library: Masterminds. -Ed.]

What a pity that Die Hard 2: Die Harder (based on the novel 58 Minutes) falls into the trap of being just another Die Hard in Washington's Dulles Airport. I mean, it's kinda funny that John McClane (Bruce Willis, having a good ol' time) acknowledges his pathetic luck. Not this shit again! He's waiting for his wife's plane to land when terrorists seize control of the airport, crashing a plane just to prove that they'll stop at nothing. Yes, they will stop at nothing! Insert an evil laugh here, and throw in a moustache twirl, why dontcha?

Continue reading: Die Hard 2 Review

Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling Review


OK
Richard Pryor, phone home. In this terribly autobiographical tale, we see Pryor as ghost/angel, looking back on his life -- working his way through the seedy clubs, making it big on Ed Sullivan, and self-destructing on booze and drugs. Of course, the real Pryor never set himself on fire... In any case, Jo Jo Dancer is certainly a heartfelt and cautionary tale a la Gia, but it lacks much in the way of plot development, action, and a reason to care about Jo Jo one way or the other. I fell asleep more than once.

Metro Review


Terrible
Awful and derivative, this Eddie Murphy vehicle relies so much on is-there-a-killer-aroiund-the-corner-no-it's-a-dog fright gags that it's pathetic. Maybe the worst offender of all is near the end, when Murphy's cop (of course) finds a little package in front of his door and spends 30 seconds slowly opening it... to... reveal... a... cassette tape! Good lord. I'd explain the plot but that would force me to further insult us both.
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