Steven-charles Jaffe

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Near Dark Review


Good
An otherwise relatively straight-up vampire movie is played for cheese value, with Lance Henriksen the leader of a gang of Arizona bloodsuckers (including Bill Paxton in an unlikely role). Adrian Pasdar is pretty bland as the-guy-who-gets-bit, but there's enough comedy value from watching these stars play bad guys early in their careers that it's definitely worth a rent.

Motel Hell Review


OK
There's not much motelling going on in Motel Hell, rather this Bates-inspired innkeeping family kidnaps residents, cuts their vocal chords, buries them up to their necks in the garden, then kills them, cures the bodies, and sells them as meat! Many priceless moments are matched by many more goofy bits that were probably dated the minute they were produced in 1980. This is old-fashioned horror, full of slashed bodies, deranged madmen, and bad jokes. Love it... at least in moderation.

Strange Days Review


OK
I've never really given much thought to what the turn of the millennium is going to bring. Will it be a new beginning for society and the world? Or will it bring on the apocalypse foretold by Revelations?

Strange Days continuously plays these two possibilities off of each other, and in L.A., on December 31, 1999, it seems either one is equally likely. Ralph Fiennes plays Lenny Nero, a bottom-feeder ex-cop who peddles "clips," full-sensory pieces of memory from real people's lives. These clips are played on "the wire," a device which delivers experiences directly into the brain. The very illegal wire is also the source of a whole slew of problems, including the murder of one Jeriko One, a very influential rap star, and the subsequent stalking of Faith (Juliette Lewis), Nero's ex-girlfriend, for whom he still pines.

Continue reading: Strange Days Review

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Review


Good
The rule of thumb with Star Trek movies continues to be: even-numbered good, odd-numbered bad. The first Star Trek movie was a sub-Kubrickian snore. The third and fifth were marred by gratuitous action and sentimentality, respectively. On the other hand, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was an entertaining swashbuckler highlighted by good performances, Kirstie Alley's debut and James Horner's score. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home was a cute riff on the 20th century environmental crisis.

Paramount eventually noticed the pattern. Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the sixth mission of the starship Enterprise, was largely the work of director/screenwriter Nicholas Meyer, who wrote Khan, and executive producer Leonard Nimoy (who played Spock, of course), director of Star Trek IV. The sixth movie generally reflects Meyer's and Nimoy's concern for integrity.

Continue reading: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Review

Steven-charles Jaffe

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