Neil Canton

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Back To The Future Review


Extraordinary
A classic adventure that holds up perfectly today aside from a few green-screen gaffes, Back to the Future is a quintessential '80s flick that combines science fiction, action, comedy, and romance all into a perfect little package that kids and adults will both devour. I know I did when I saw this film as a teenager, anxiously wishing I could zip back in time too to stand up to a bully, right some wrongs, and otherwise fix the mistakes that I made... never mind my parents. Michael J. Fox is perfect in the lead role (though the film was original half-shot with Eric Stoltz in the lead), but Christopher Lloyd ("Damn! Damn damn!") steals the show as Doc Brown, whose Delorean time machine enables all the madcap adventures that follow. Overall it's about as perfect as a summer blockbuster amusement can get. Check out the DVD set of all three Back to the Future movies, a huge bargain at under 20 bucks.

Back To The Future Part III Review


Very Good
Ah, this is the one you see on cable TV all the time. I'm not sure why, but I suppose it's because Back to the Future Part III holds up on its own as well as the original and much better than Part II, which kind of abruptly ends in the middle of the story. This is the old west part of the tale, which begins when Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) is inadvertently sucked back to 1885, and through a convolution of events, Marty (Michael J. Fox) heads back there as well to save Doc's life. Eventually there's another problem preventing the duo from returning to 1985: There's no gasoline for the Delorean in 1885 and they can't get the car up to the required 88 miles per hour. Whoops. Overall this is a good time, but the steampunk adventure doesn't thrill us quite as much as the original, which features a very similar arc. By now, old Biff (here as "Buford") has worn thin and comes off as primarily an excuse to add more conflict, and Mary Steenburgen's abrupt love interest is a no-show.

Back To The Future Part II Review


Excellent
Back to the Future takes a darker turn with this first of two sequels (which were shot together, perhaps for the first time in film history that more than one film was made simultaneously for a staggered release), in which the relatively quaint and simple time travel arc from BTTF gets far more confusing and, in some ways, more fulfilling. The setup from the first film -- Marty's son is in trouble in 2015 -- turns out to be a MacGuffin and of little consequence. The real point is to get Marty into the future and to get a now aged Biff into the Delorean and back to 1955, where he gives his younger self a sports almanac that lets him instantly become a millionaire through sports betting. This sends Marty back again to 1955, where he has to get the almanac away from Biff while avoiding his other self, who's busy dealing with mom and dad. Time travel starts to get a little mindbending here, and along with its convolutions and ominous tone (Hill Valley is now a dangerous slum), it's not nearly as popular as parts 1 and 3. Still, it's a good film and rewards an attentive viewer with tons of inside jokes and kooky predictions about the future (look at how many fax machines everyone was supposed to have!).

Get Carter (2000) Review


Weak
Forget Get Carter. Instead... get me a cup of coffee.

What the hell has happened to all good American action movies? Did I unknowingly miss a meeting somewhere? When did all of the bad-ass, kicking butt and taking names, gun-toting, crazed, vengeful characters of the 1980s -- from such films as Commando, Cobra, Predator, Raw Deal, First Blood -- suddenly turn into innocent, compassionate, sensitive, teary-eyed knuckleheads. The only place to turn these days for an honest action film is towards the East -- and I don't mean New York City.

Continue reading: Get Carter (2000) Review

The Witches Of Eastwick Review


Good
This 1980s sensation turned a lot of heads with its scandalous tale of Jack Nicholson -- playing the devil, or at least a devil -- who woos three shrewish women in the small town of Eastwick (think Salem, Massachusetts), turning them essentially into his whores. Ultimately this is a platform for Nicholson to bust loose with what might be his most gregarious performance ever, an over-the-top phantasmagoria that distracts you from the largely absent plot.

The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension Review


Very Good
He's a rock star. He's a surgeon. He's a scientist who has completed the work of his father and has managed to travel through solid matter by punching into the 8th dimension in his rocket car.

He's Buckaroo Banzai, inhabited by the inimitable Peter Weller in a role that has granted him cult status among the geeks of the world. In this film (originally intended to be the first of a series but petering out after the debut), Banzai's trip into the 8th dimension sets off an intergalactic war of sorts, as a former interdimensional traveler (who came out wholly insane in the form of Lord John Whorfin (John Lithgow)) is trying to get Banzai's Oscillation Overthruster for himself, in order to bring a plague of evil aliens to destroy the earth. And of course there are good aliens that just won't have any of that -- and they're set to blow up the earth themselves if Whorfin succeeds.

Continue reading: The Adventures Of Buckaroo Banzai Across The 8th Dimension Review

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Get Carter (2000) Movie Review

Get Carter (2000) Movie Review

Forget Get Carter. Instead... get me a cup of coffee.What the hell has happened...

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension Movie Review

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension Movie Review

He's a rock star. He's a surgeon. He's a scientist who has completed...

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