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Randy Quaid Suffers New Setback In Quest For Canadian Citizenship


Randy Quaid Heath Ledger David Carradine

US actor Randy Quaid suffered a new set back in his quest to assume Canadian citizenship, some two years after the actor said he had won his legal fight to remain in Canada.

According to CBC News, the Federal Refugee Protection Division have denied Quaid and his wife from assuming Canadian citizenship after the two fled their native America after allegedly being targeted by so-called Hollywood "star-whackers." With their latest rebuttal, Quaid and his wife have now made an appeal to the Canadian Federal Court, claiming that their lives are still in danager.

In their application for judicial review, obtained by CBC, the Oscar-nominated actor and his wife plead that they are victims of an "organised crime" organisation and their attempts to claim refuge in Canada should not be taken lightly. The statement obtained by CBC, also says, "The refugee claims should remain intact as should Evi and Randy Quaid's heads remain attached to their necks and it is their firm belief that their lives are at stake and being racketeered on."

Continue reading: Randy Quaid Suffers New Setback In Quest For Canadian Citizenship

The Last Picture Show Review


Extraordinary
Peter Bogdanovich's seminal The Last Picture Show is a world where the parental figures are never the real parents and almost everyone in plain view is still in some way a kid, regardless of the number of years they've lived. Set in some dustbin town on the edge of Texas, there's a smattering of heckles about an incapable football player in the film's initial measures that rightly anticipates both the town's maturity level and its gossipy nature. The only true adult's name -- Sam the Lion -- suggests mythical lore, if not majestic royalty.

The town where Sam (Ben Johnson) reigns is one of complete despair. He owns a pool hall where they sell candy and soda pop; he also owns the local movie theater where they play Father of the Bride, Sands of Iwo Jima, and John Ford movies. He looks after Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and a retarded boy named Billie (Sam Bottoms, Tim's younger brother) who spends all his time uselessly sweeping the streets and watching the picture shows. There is one pretty girl, Jacey (Cybill Shepard), but she dates Sonny's dough-brained buddy Duane (Jeff Bridges). Jacey acts exactly like her mother (Ellen Burstyn) which is a dreadful fate in both cases. There's also Ruth Popper (an excellent Cloris Leachman), the PE teacher's wife who begins a quicksilver affair with Sonny.

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at the 'Lions For Lambs' screening at the MOMA

Randy Quaid and Evi Quaid - Randy Quaid and Evi Quaid New York City, USA - at the 'Lions For Lambs' screening at the MOMA Sunday 4th November 2007

Goya's Ghosts Review


Terrible
There are always clear-cut signs: a solid cast with no buzz, a good director but no release date, a topical film with a PR campaign that could best be described as non-existent. To say nothing of the fact that the first it was heard of was roughly a year ago, Milos Forman's Goya's Ghosts has its ineffectiveness in the bloodstream and appears to have been released solely on name cred.

Forman, the Czech madman, began his career with sublime studies in New Wave dynamics, most memorably with 1965's Loves of a Blonde and 1967's sublime The Fireman's Ball. Now, after Cuckoo's Nest, The People vs. Larry Flynt, and that ridiculous role in Keeping the Faith, Forman seems to have jettisoned over to the other side of the spectrum. While most of Forman's American fare at the very least holds the faintest whiff of provocation, Goya's Ghosts seems shackled to a supremely-uninteresting story without even a glimmer of spontaneity. Seriously, hasn't it already been proven that all art is inspired by women and all women are evil? Isn't it time to move on? Not according to Forman.

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Brokeback Mountain Review


Essential
The first thing you're likely to hear about Brokeback Mountain, the new film from Ang Lee, is that it's about gay cowboys. Truthfully, that's all the novelty it has to offer. Just the thought of screen hunks Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal making out is a point of sale or controversy, depending on your point of view. But once you get past the hook, what emerges is a much more traditional, but no less affecting, tragedy about two people who simply cannot have what they want.

Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) and Jack Twist (Gyllenhaal) meet while working for Joe Aguirre (a menacing Randy Quaid), looking after sheep on the eponymous mountain. Their friendship develops over fairly archetypal lines. Ennis is the stoic one, Jack the mischievous one. Lee wisely lets this develop naturally over time. Ultimately, though, in a burst of passion, the two reveal what's been simmering since they first saw each other.

Continue reading: Brokeback Mountain Review

Brokeback Mountain Review


Essential
The first thing you're likely to hear about Brokeback Mountain, the new film from Ang Lee, is that it's about gay cowboys. Truthfully, that's all the novelty it has to offer. Just the thought of screen hunks Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal making out is a point of sale or controversy, depending on your point of view. But once you get past the hook, what emerges is a much more traditional, but no less affecting, tragedy about two people who simply cannot have what they want.

Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) and Jack Twist (Gyllenhaal) meet while working for Joe Aguirre (a menacing Randy Quaid), looking after sheep on the eponymous mountain. Their friendship develops over fairly archetypal lines. Ennis is the stoic one, Jack the mischievous one. Lee wisely lets this develop naturally over time. Ultimately, though, in a burst of passion, the two reveal what's been simmering since they first saw each other.

Continue reading: Brokeback Mountain Review

The Ice Harvest Review


OK
Harold Ramis hasn't been kind to his own reputation in the last few years. One of the few uncontested great comedy filmmakers, he's diluted his resume with serviceable but still watery products like Bedazzled and the unfortunate duology of Analyze This and Analyze That. So while his newest, the Christmas noir comedy The Ice Harvest isn't Ramis's best work, it's also the sharpest thing he's done since Groundhog Day and hopefully the sign of more interesting things to come.

With a heart as black as exhaust-stained slush, The Ice Harvest is based on a novel by that jolliest of writers, Scott Phillips (A Simple Plan). Taking place over one long, frozen and grimy Christmas Eve in Wichita, it all starts with Charlie Arglist (John Cusack), a lawyer for the local crime syndicate, handing off a bag to his cohort, Vic Cavanaugh (Billy Bob Thornton), the bag containing over $2 million they stole from the Kansas City boss, Bill Guerrard (Randy Quaid). Vic hides the money and he and Arglist split up for the night, aiming to get the hell out of town in the morning. Being a noir patsy, Arglist proceeds to drink, draw far too much attention to himself, flirt with the local fatale (Connie Nielsen, dead wrong for the job at hand), and get more and more suspicious about Vic's motives. Paranoia ensues when one of Guerrard's gunsels starts poking around the seedy joints that Arglist has been hanging out in.

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Bound For Glory Review


Weak
It sounds like a kickboxing movie, but Bound for Glory is actually based on Woody Guthrie's memiors of the same title. David Carradine plays Guthrie as he rambles and strums and rambles some more, all the way through the dusty Depression in search of stardom. Lots of travelin'. And on and on for about 2 1/2 hours. Bound for Glory doesn't have so much a story as it does a series of vignettes between bouts of Carradine strumming Guthrie's signature tunes. Hope you like folk music, because there isn't much variety to be found among his music. Neither is there much variety in the scenery (though the film won an Oscar for cinematography): just one dust cloud after another, as we ramble across the country. Hell, the didn't call it the "Depression" for nothing. Check out The Grapes of Wrath for a far more interesting and dramatic look at the past.

A Woman Undone Review


Grim
Like me, you're probably saying to yourself: Oh boy, another woman in jeopardy thriller! Did Mary McDonnell kill her cold-hearted husband in the desert??? If you can believe that Randy Quaid is married to her, you just might care. Fairly awful.

Last Dance Review


Grim
Dead Man Walking, meet Walt Disney. Sharon Stone plays it grim -- with the same embittered scowl on her face for the entire film -- and tries to convince us that she's a bona fide Death Row dweller. The plot is lifted, virtually verbatim, from Dead Man Walking, even incorporating the hostile victim's family and the strained flashbacks to "the senseless murder." While the Mouse spares us from the requisite Happy Ending, Last Dance adds nothing to this genre (what there is of a genre), and doesn't merit serious attention.

Home on the Range Review


Good
Disney's recent, highly-publicized split with Pixar Animation Studios probably caused stockholders, executives, and outsiders eyeballing the Mouse House to quake in their boots. After all, Walt's prized studio hasn't produced a worthy animated feature-length film in years - progress peaked with 1999's Tarzan and has steadily declined from Atlantis and Lilo & Stitch to last year's bland Brother Bear.

The toppling trend bucks slightly this week with the release of the unexpectedly pleasant Home on the Range, a smart and lively adventure set on the fringes of America's frontier that temporarily places Disney's 2-D animation station back in the saddle.

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Carolina Review


Weak
Just by looking at the cover you'll be able to figure out a fair amount of the content of Carolina. Sure, there will be a love triangle forming its central struggle, and a kindly old grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) will be on hand to dispense wisdom to young Carolina (Julia Stiles).

But will you guess that a major subplot will blatantly (and explicitly) rip off The Rocking Horse Winner? Or that MacLaine will spew a monologue about rubbing manure on her breasts? Wow. How could you?

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The Adventures of Pluto Nash Review


Terrible
The year is 2080 and not a damn thing has changed - wannabes still roam the universe looking for a gig, clubs still try to make a small budget look like a big one, and most movies still suck... this one in particular.

Eddie Murphy is, you guessed it, Pluto Nash... present club owner and former smuggler extraordinaire. As it starts, Pluto has been out of prison a week, already saving the lives of Polish accordion players in kilts, negotiating bookies into lending him millions of dollars, and turning the worst bar on the moon into the satellite's hottest nightclub. Cut to seven years later and Pluto's club is hot, the jokes aren't, and a charming wannabe singer comes into the club looking for work, about five minutes before it gets blown up, leaving only Pluto, the singer, and an antiquated security robot named Bruno (Randy Quaid).

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National Lampoon's Vacation Review


Extraordinary
OK, when's the last time you saw National Lampoon's Vacation? No, I mean the real Vacation -- the one after with all the profanity and nudity in it? Thought so.

To re-experience Vacation properly (or experience it for the first time) run, don't walk, to get the DVD of the film, a comedy that's every bit as enjoyable today as it was 20 years ago. (Yes, it's been that long.)

Continue reading: National Lampoon's Vacation Review

Midnight Express Review


Excellent
"Oh, Billy!"

Alan Parker's greatest achievement is probably this harrowing -- and infamous -- account of an American who foolishly tries to smuggle back drugs from his visit to Turkey. He's quickly made an example of and tossed into a revolting prison cell. After his 3 1/2-year sentence is nearly up, it's extended for 20 years. You can imagine how he feels, and are faced with the horrors of seeing it all on the screen. Based on Billy Hayes' book and a script from Oliver Stone, Midnight Express has earned a (rightful) reputation as one of the most distrubing films about third-world prisons... or any other prison, for that matter. All modern-day jail flicks owe it a debt.

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