Rick Rossovich

Rick Rossovich

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Roxanne Review


Excellent
At the beginning of Roxanne, C.D. Bales (Steve Martin), sporting a black baseball cap, white Oxford shirt, and a nose as big as Pinocchio's, walks down the street in a confident strut -- for whatever reason, carrying a tennis racket. He is approached by two slack-jawed losers who spew "big nose" insults. Rather than slump down and walk on by, C.D. springs into action, engaging in an extended, acrobatic sword fight involving his tennis racket and the other men's ski poles. C.D. wins handily. He is very nearly the most skilled, able-bodied, complete man -- if it weren't for that huge nose.

That sword-fighting scene is indicative of the entire movie's attitude. Roxanne is an intelligent, playful flight of fancy, meant to be judged by the merits of its own universe, not the real world. Martin is a brilliant mind and a beautiful writer, and the light touch of his screenplay allows for this story to be set in the "real world," but graces it with such good cheer and unexpected whimsy that this film is like a fairy tale with jokes.

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The Terminator Review


Essential
I'll never forget the first time I saw James Cameron's The Terminator. I must have watched that movie at least 100 times during my youth. But during the 101st viewing, the VHS copy I stole from my uncle Dave's video collection was eaten by my crappy old-school, top-loading VHS player. Damn, that sucked.

The Terminator stands as a personal favorite. Schwarzenegger was in his prime in the 1980s -- in guilty pleasures like Commando, Raw Deal, Predator, Conan The Barbarian, and The Running Man. But he gave many kids my age something to hang on to during the Reagan years. Schwarzenegger was our generation's John Wayne, a muscle-bound bodyguard extracting his own kind of vengeance from a cold and dangerous world. He was always the good guy, but it's almost ironic that his first indelible impression on our minds was that of a killer robot from the future sent back in time to murder a hot coffee shop waitress.

Continue reading: The Terminator Review

Top Gun Review


Good
Anyone fondly remembering Top Gun as a prototypical action-packed Jerry Bruckheimer 'nad-fest probably hasn't seen it in awhile. Newly released as a mega-deluxe DVD, it's time to remember what Top Gun really is: From "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" to "Take My Breath Away," it's mushy love story first, fighter-pilots-in-training movie second.

Ironically, the early 1990s would bring to light the fact that carousing was what naval pilots seemed to do best: The 1986 Tailhook scandal occured during the same year Top Gun was released.

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Streets of Fire Review


Grim
A bizarre take on West Side Story, Streets of Fire gives us Paré and Lane as the beast and the beauty in the music scene of "another time, another place" -- a time that manages to muddle the hair styles, attire, and vehicles of the 1930s, 1950s, and 1980s. Needless to say, it's an ugly time, an ugly place. The "rock-and-roll fable" of Streets of Fire doesn't have much to say, culminating in a pick-axe fight between Paré and bad-boy Dafoe, which I think says just about all you need to know.

The Terminator Review


Essential
I'll never forget the first time I saw James Cameron's The Terminator. I must have watched that movie at least 100 times during my youth. But during the 101st viewing, the VHS copy I stole from my uncle Dave's video collection was eaten by my crappy old-school, top-loading VHS player. Damn, that sucked.

The Terminator stands as a personal favorite. Schwarzenegger was in his prime in the 1980s -- in guilty pleasures like Commando, Raw Deal, Predator, Conan The Barbarian, and The Running Man. But he gave many kids my age something to hang on to during the Reagan years. Schwarzenegger was our generation's John Wayne, a muscle-bound bodyguard extracting his own kind of vengeance from a cold and dangerous world. He was always the good guy, but it's almost ironic that his first indelible impression on our minds was that of a killer robot from the future sent back in time to murder a hot coffee shop waitress.

Continue reading: The Terminator Review

Artworks Review


Grim
It was 1990's Highlander 2 that sunk Virginia Madsen's career and it was 2004's Sideways that resurrected it. Here's one from those lost years, brought back to life thanks to her sudden resurgence. Expect to see a lot of movies like Artworks in the coming months: Low budget affairs she made, probably out of boredom, and lacking much to really make you want to watch.

In Artworks (and yes, that title is horrible), Madsen is Emma, a security system salesperson, the police chief's daughter, and an amateur artist. She hooks up with Bret (Rick Rossovich), an art gallery owner. Together, they hatch a plan to rob the locals of the paintings they don't properly appreciate: Both of them hate phonies that collect art simply for bragging rights. The remainder of the film tracks their heists and eventual comeuppance, in between panty-clad romps in the bedroom.

Continue reading: Artworks Review

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