Don Jakoby

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Blue Thunder Review


Very Good
When John Badham's Blue Thunder came out I was just a kid, but the film made quite an impression on me. I didn't actually see it. And I suspect that most of the kids who told me long rambling stories about it didn't either. It was one of those school yard legends, like the one about the woman in the apartment across from the middle school who gets undressed in her window for all the world to see, or the one about the kid who was skateboarding a swimming pool and found a machine gun in the deep end. Blue Thunder was just the sweetest thing we could imagine. I mean, it was a helicopter that flew silently (so the story went) and it was all high tech and it could kill a million people in a few seconds. This was the Cold War and something like Blue Thunder just seemed too incredible. This was Ronald Reagan's secret weapon against the commies.

Of course, like all schoolyard tales it was too good to be true. "Blue Thunder" wasn't a top clandestine Commie-busting nuke firing super secret weapon; it was a cool looking helicopter that the cops used to control rioters. When I actually saw the movie a few years later, I was bummed to say the least.

Continue reading: Blue Thunder Review

John Carpenter's Vampires Review


Good
I'm a child of the 80s. I like my horror movies, and I like them cheesy. They're not scary to me, they're excuses to get a little closer with my girlfriend, they're ways to enjoy sick comedy in the theatre while the idiot girl's getting gutted. They're my reminder that fiction is more fun than fact. I like them quick, I like them gory, and I like them campy. All of those adjectives are words you can tack on to John Carpenter's Vampires.

Now anyone who has read my review on Halloween will know that I hold this man in no reverence. To be honest, I pretty much hate the bastard. But, I do admit his prowess behind the camera and his ability to scare, although not his creative ability. But this time, he didn't pen the screenplay, so I'm happy. I don't hate his style, I hate his original material. After all, has anyone seen Jim Carrey or Pauly Shore's standup? It sucks. Are they funny people, yes.

Continue reading: John Carpenter's Vampires Review

Arachnophobia Review


Very Good
Spiders, courtesy of executive producer Steven Spielberg, who shows off some of his least interesting special effects here (i.e. giant spider) as deadly super-spiders invade a tiny California town. It's Jeff Daniels, who suffers from the titular disorder, and funnyman John Goodman, as the local extremist exterminator, to the rescue! Plenty of laughs, but the action scenes don't really generate much in the way of scares. Good enough for Sunday afternoon, though. Later aped (very badly) in Eight Legged Freaks.

Evolution Review


Weak
Here's my candidate for most creative casting of 2001....

In Evolution, you get David Duchovny, (former) star of TV's The X-Files who has failed miserably to cross over to any kind of success in film. Julianne Moore, former independent darling before she started making movies like The Lost World and Hannibal. Orlando Jones, 7-Up pitchman and easily typecast goofball. And Seann William Scott, whose most visible role was as a stoner in Dude, Where's My Car?

Continue reading: Evolution Review

Invaders From Mars Review


Bad
Hunter Carson describes one of the titular invaders as "a giant Mr. Potato Head" and that's about as spot on a description you can get for the plasticine mind-suckers that come to earth to take over our hero's parents' brains. Unbearable special effects are the worst part of this remake of the 1953 classic; the rest of the movie is merely forgettable.
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Don Jakoby Movies

Blue Thunder Movie Review

Blue Thunder Movie Review

When John Badham's Blue Thunder came out I was just a kid, but the film...

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Evolution Movie Review

Evolution Movie Review

Here's my candidate for most creative casting of 2001....In Evolution, you get David Duchovny, (former)...

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