Fred Weintraub

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Gymkata Review

I've seen Gymkata three times. That's not a boast. The first time I caught it was on videotape in the late '80s. The second and third times it was on some late night cable station and I was either too sleep-deprived or inebriated to turn it off. I know it's cliché, but the whole car wreck analogy fits almost too well. When Gymkata is on, I just can't turn away. And I'm not alone - - the net is littered with sad accounts of similarly affected individuals.

Jonathan Cabot (Kurt Thomas) is a U.S. gymnast sent to the backwater country of Parmistan to participate -- and hopefully win -- The Game, a dangerous, obstacle-laden decathlon. Why? Because the U.S. government needs to set up a "Early Warning Earth Station for the Star Wars program" and sending in troops to do it is "out of style." Indeed. Thing is no one has survived The Game in 900 years. There's a reason for that, too. As if the course weren't hard enough, contestants must maneuver through numerous ninjas, crazies, and Parmistani thugs that try and stop them.

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Trouble Bound Review

It's wacky fun on the run with an ex-con (Michael Madsen), a mafioso's daughter (Patricia Arquette), and a dead body locked in the trunk of the car they've stolen together.

Even in 1992, this didn't pass for much of a premise, and the random road trip our heroes take doesn't pass for much of a plot either. They flirt, they fight, they philosophize endlessly in the way that ex-cons and mafiosos' daughters do. At least they do in the movies. Plot points are thrown at us with little care -- even less care than Madsen and Arquette seem to be taking with their acting lessons.

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Enter The Dragon Review

A bellwether among martial arts films, Enter the Dragon was effectively the final film of Bruce Lee before his death at age 33 of brain edema (ouch). Dragon stands tall for both its high-flying, slow-motion kung fu stunts, its classic Lee vignettes (Lee tastes his own blood then flies into a rage), and its highly implausable plot involving Bruce as a fist-fighting spy recruited to infiltrate an ex-Shaolin Monk's island fortress during his triennial martial arts tournament. Naturally, there's a revenge subplot, loads of ladies for the combatants' diversion, and plenty of ass-busting fighting. A classic of its genre that must be seen by any self-respecting movie buff.
Fred Weintraub

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