Harvey Atkin

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Meatballs Review


Excellent
Bill Murray has enjoyed a career renaissance in recent years, playing the model of middle age and forlorn cool in movies from precocious youngsters such as Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson. Having cachet in the independent film community is very nice, and it does make for some good magazine articles.

Still, I miss the laugh-out-loud Bill Murray, the one from circa 1979 to 1993. And, really, with American comedy in such a precarious state at the multiplex, isn't it time he dug into his old bag of tricks? Would anyone blame Murray if he broke ranks with the art house crowd and helped revive the Farrelly brothers' career?

Continue reading: Meatballs Review

One Tough Cop Review


Grim
One Tough Cop sure makes for one boring movie. This true story of a case in the life of NYC flatfoot Bo Dietl has that "ripped from today's headlines" feeling usually reserved for TV. It's best left there.

The Incubus (1981) Review


Grim
John Hough isn't exactly known as a moviemaking genius (check out 2001's Hell's Gate), but maybe some will take his dazzling prolificness as a substitute for quality. One of his most maligned films, 1981's The Incubus, has John Cassavetes as a New England doctor who finds himself performing one autopsy after another on the slaughtered young girls of the town.

Is the doctor's boyfriend -- who's experience sadistic nightmares -- the culprit? Or is it an otherworldly beast called the incubus?

Continue reading: The Incubus (1981) Review

Love and Death on Long Island Review


Excellent
Blink and you missed this little gem, the story of an aging, British Luddite writer named De'Ath (as in the title of the film, John Hurt) who goes to America to seek his newfound muse -- a B-movie actor named Ronnie Bostock (Jason Priestley) who stars in films like Hotpants College II. Bizarre and touching, funny and poignant, this is one horribly titled film that really ought to be seen.

Hurt, as usual, pulls out all the stops on his vaguely pathetic, vaguely lovable role -- a stuffy gent who becomes inexplicably obsessed. The beginning of the film traces De'Ath's introduction into modern life, necessities generated so he can expose himself to Ronnie's work via VHS. He freeze-frames a locker room scene, listens intently for cheeseball lines like, "You're nothing but a skid mark on the underpants of life!" Finally he opts to move to Long Island in the hopes of encountering Ronnie face to face (along the way he rather humorously learns the difficulties of trying to get around suburban America by foot).

Continue reading: Love and Death on Long Island Review

Harvey Atkin

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