It begins with a dolphin. Snowflake, the Dolphins football team's mascot, has been kidnapped and after a brief search, it is decided that only one man is right for the job: Ace Ventura (Jim Carrey). Ventura specializes in crimes involving animals being stolen, lost or mistreated. He's also a total loon; hiding about two dozen species of animal in his apartment, taking dips in shark tanks and harboring an affinity for making his butt talk. When Ace, along with the football teams business assistant Melissa Robinson (Courteney Cox), takes the case, it leads him to a football player, Ray Finkle, who was fired after missing a field goal in the Super Bowl. The murder count rises and the morale of the Dolphins' players' dips as Ace tries to track down Snowflake before the "big game," while also butting heads with Lieutenant Lois Einhorn (a particularly thorny Sean Young).
Continue reading: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Review
Written and directed by Anne De Salvo, this sickeningly saccharine 91 minutes revolves around a supposedly tight-knit, triple-generation family of women. Each character embodies the ultimate in annoying stereotypes, from selfless martyr to irresponsible wanderer. And of course, they each have a male in their life to represent the standard issues of women's liberation from 30 years ago.
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But Lynch fans might find stuff to enjoy in Dune anyhow. After all, there's a floating bug monster that parlays with Jose Ferrer's space emperor in the early going, flanked by legions of somnambulant slaves in black raincoats that probably inspired the villains in Dark City. This is followed by Kenneth MacMillan's puss-faced Baron Harkonnen floating around on wires, plucking out the heart of an angel-faced boy-toy (who was planting Blue Velvet-style pastel flowers only moments earlier), and sharing some homo-erotic blubbering with his nephew Feyd (played by Sting, who can't act but lends the film his charismatic rock star presence). Even when the plot is difficult to follow -- some nonsense involving a trade war over different planets that all made sense in Frank Herbert's original novel -- there's enough giddy comic book theatrics to keep Dune interesting as it meanders along for nearly three hours.
Continue reading: Dune (1984) Review
All that was dead the moment Bill Murray threw the candy bar in the pool in Caddyshack. Critics hated Caddyshack, and called Saturday Night Live skits "mean-spirited," but for everyone else, it was finally OK to be crude, clever, offensive -- and funny. Subsequent films like Stripes, often featuring one or more cast members from SNL (Murray, et al.) or Second City TV (Harold Ramis, John Candy), set the mold. The formula hasn't needed much tweaking since then, either; the successful comedies of recent years (There's Something About Mary, American Pie, etc.) owe everything to them.
Continue reading: Stripes Review
Here Howell finds himself in the unlikely role of Addison Terrill, a high-powered Dallas lawyer who's married to a freaky wife (Sean Young) and in a rocky marriage that has to be enhanced by make-believe visits to his office. Pretty soon, the wife is dead, and one of Addison's old opponents (a guy he sent to prison) is on parole and, apparently, on the hunt. Did he kill the wife? Well, we don't really have any other suspects, so what else are we supposed to think. An hour and a half goes by as Addison plays vigilante with old pal Vargas (Giancarlo Esposito). Did they get their man? Is it the right man?
Continue reading: A Killer Within Review
Poor White Trash concerns Michael Bronco (Tony Denman), a small-town boy who wants nothing more than to be a psychologist. He spends his evenings talking about how his divorced mother's (Sean Young) anger towards her ex is a shield for her fear of abandonment, and spends his days raisin' hell with Ron Lake (William Devane). One day, the hell raisin' goes a little too far and the two find themselves in court, where they are convicted but get a suspended sentence due to the handiwork of the sleazy Lennie Lake (Jacob Tierney), a gold-toothed hick of a lawyer with a beer-can garden (you really have to witness this bizarre sight to believe it). Thinking that all is fine, the group goes off to celebrate, only to find out that Michael can't get into college now that he's been convicted of a crime.
Continue reading: Poor White Trash Review