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The Food Of The Gods Review


Terrible
Writer/director Bert I. Gordon's adaptation of The Food of the Gods claims to be based on "a portion" of the eponymous H.G. Wells novel. Apparently he meant the portion that sucks. At least eight of Gordon's films have been lampooned on bad-movie-graveyard Mystery Science Theater 3000. That this one never made it can only be a matter of the show having been cancelled before they could get to it.

The film begins, improbably enough, with way-too-old-to-be-playing-football professional athlete Morgan (Marjoe Gortner) deciding to take a break with another unbelievably old player, Davis (Chuck Courtney) and their promoter Brian (Jon Cypher). They head off to a remote island to hunt deer on horseback, because that's how football players unwind.

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The Dirty Dozen Review


Very Good
Can The Dirty Dozen really be 40 years old? Well, almost. This watershed film paved the ways for bad-guys-as-heroes flicks ranging from The Wild Bunch to Reservoir Dogs, and its influence is still felt today. Yet how can The Dirty Dozen feel so tired when viewed in this millennium? Maybe its a cast that, though exquisite, is a bit much. The Dirty Dozen also appears to have paved the way for the Airport movies, studded with megastars and short on plot. Viewed today, too much of Dozen is schlocky and trite, reliant on stereotypes that border on Hogan's Heroes-level characterizations to tell the WWII-era story. (Writ large: 12 career criminals are given a last chance to pull off a major anti-Nazi mission.) The film is pioneering, daring, and very well made. But there's a bit much to go around, and now you can see the actors jockeying for notice among each other. Still a good film, though its impact is now starting to fade.

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Winter Kills Review


Excellent
A real cult classic, this reimagining of the Kennedy assassination asks what might have gone down in an alternate and very similar universe. Based on the book by Manchurian Candidate author Richard Condon, the story gives us Nick Kegan (Jeff Bridges), the half-brother of a president assassinated 19 years earlier. Suddenly, evidence reveals there was more than one shooter that day (sound familiar?), sending him into a wild -- and often wildly funny -- hunt for his brother's actual killers. Dryly comedic, William Richert takes his directorial debut into impressive places -- and wow, check out that cast! Too bad it gets a little kooky in the end, but that doesn't detract much from a very fun movie.

Paths Of Glory Review


Essential
Brilliant study into the nature of cowardice and the pathetic nature of the modern (well, in 1957) military machine. Vehemently anti-war, Kubrick takes us on a this-can't-be-happening ride, as French soldiers fail in their mission to take a certain hill from the enemy. A court martial ensues, with devastating results.

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