John Randolph

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Prizzi's Honor Review


OK
Widely considered a black comedy classic, Prizzi's Honor is dated today and, tragically, finally revealed as a middling work that wanders aimlessly and ends abruptly. The premise is simple: Jack Nicholson (doing a rare role with an accent) is a hitman, Kathleen Turner is a hit-woman. They fall in love, find out they're working for opposite sides, and are eventually ordered to kill each other. Will love conquer all? You be the judge. The film takes half an hour to finally get rolling, while a serious of side plots interfere with the narrative until the movie suddenly just stops. Anjelica Huston won an Oscar for her part as Nicholson's jilted ex-lover, and while it's good, her five minutes of screen time don't merit an Academy Award. What was wrong with Bill Hickey, as the ascerbic Don in one of his best roles ever?

Serpico Review


Excellent
Damn dirty cops! It's gonna take Frank Serpico to clean up this town!!!

Based on a true story of rampant corruption and internal affairs in New York City (where else?), Serpico stands as the consummate cop movie, right up there with The French Connection. But while The French Connection is a standard cops-and-robbers movie, Serpico is pretty much cops-and-cops, as Al Pacino's title character hunts out corruption inside the department even though it means all but signing his death warrant.

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Seconds Review


Extraordinary
Arthur Hamilton has a problem: he's wealthy and successful... but he's getting old.

An old friend phones him out of the blue: Come to this address and prepare for an unimaginable new future. Indeed, no sooner has Hamilton entered the building (couriered there from a meat-packing plant, naturally) than he has become a customer, willing or not, of "the organization," which provides a radical plastic surgery regemin to cut about 30 years off the looks of its clients. Oh, and it also fakes the death of the client and provides a new identity -- and the client's new life is paid for with backdated insurance policies (after the organization takes its cut, of course).

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King Kong (1976) Review


Unbearable
Not even Charles Grodin, in his campiest, hammiest role of all time -- if not the campiest, hammiest role of all time -- can salvage this remake of the 1933 classic beyond one-starsville. This is frankly one of the worst films ever made, a useless and unwanted recreation of the past. Kong is actually a man in a monkey suit, smashing up miniature sets. Jeff Bridges' beard reminds you of a Brillo pad. Jessica Lange's outfits remind you of a hooker's (and of course, she falls in love with the magilla). It's over two hours long and when it isn't wholly laughable, it's utterly boring. And who, when on the run from a giant ape marauding New York City, drops into a bar for a drink?

Christmas Vacation Review


Good
Entry #3 in the National Lampoon's Vacation series is the last funny installment of the four movies (plus one made-for-TV movie which starred none of the original cast members).

This time out the Griswolds aren't on a road trip -- they're spending a big family Christmas at home, filled with senile grandparents, and of course Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his white-trash brood. The usual holiday mishaps occur, from lights that won't go on to a Christmas tree that's too tall, but it's the cruel blackness of life that we see in allVacation movies that makes the film memorable. In a week's time, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) will see his family fall apart, be attacted by a crazed squirrel, and find his boss kidnapped by Eddie after he receives a jelly of the month club subscription in lieu of an actual bonus.

Continue reading: Christmas Vacation Review

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