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Short reviews of The Final Cut (1996), Eyes of Laura Mars (1978), Revenge (1990) Director's Cut. No Man's Land (1987) and Renegades (1989).




I want to add some quick thoughts on films I have watched recently but haven't gotten the chance to do proper reviews of. To be honest I don't think most of them deserve to get the full treatment. 




The Final Cut (1996): Think Backdraft but then with bombs!




Perhaps this raises expectations but I did feel a very heavy Backdraft vibe when it came to the plot. The Final Cut clearly is a B film with limited budget. However manages to cover this up masterfully by the good acting and some creative bomb disposal situations.

The good acting mostly is done by Sam Elliot. Not that he is doing that much special but even a low key Sam Elliot is interesting to watch. I think what truly will be most memorable are the creative bomb disposal sequences. Especially the ones in the finale. Granted they are a bit far fetched and too fantastical. But for me transformed the film into a very enjoyable viewing experience. Sometimes that extra craziness is what makes everything more worth while.


Definitely one you will be enjoying late at night or slow weekends.






Eyes of Laura Mars (1978): " Gialloesque with key elements stripped out "






Directed by Irvin Kershner (Star Wars; The Empire Strikes Back and Robocop 2) and story written by John Carpenter makes this film a compelling watch. 

It's very gialloesque in the way it's presented but where some key elements have been stripped out. Red herrings for one feel lackluster. The many characters this film has aren't weird or wacky enough. And the sense of dread and suspense is uneven. However it is the tight direction and good cast that will make it worth your while. The twist is something that comes out of nowhere and barely is explained. The first time it will suffice. For the second time however you will realize that it lacks psychological depth and exploration. Laura's psychic abilities also are just something you will have to accept. 

If only Brian De Palma had been involved. He would have made this film into what was needed to turn this into a classic. Now it's just a one time watch!




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Revenge (1990) Director's Cut: There is a good reason why I stayed clear from this title for so long!






Sorry to say. Usually a fan of Tony Scott. Or rather his style of direction. But this film is pretentious bull crap. People who love this film keep saying how I should watch the director's cut rather than the cinematic (shorter) release. In hindsight I would have preferred the shorter version. Because this was just nonsense.

This romantic thriller is not sexy nor thrilling or dramatic. Sure at certain points you do care for the characters but that is mostly because of the situations they are put in and the acting of the cast who are all wasted in this film. Anthony Quinn doesn't get the chance to shine. He could have been portrayed by anybody else. It wouldn't have made a difference. Not that he disappoints. He does a lot with the little he is given. Still an actor of his caliber deserves better. Not once does he get our sympathy even technically we should. And this directly affects the impact of events. The cinematography is top notch yes. But that is all it is. With a good soundtrack it could have been memorable. I can't remember any of the tunes or themes. 

I really don't get why this film is being praised. Had it offered real surprises even illogical ones then maybe I would have understood. Now it's just empty with an obvious message. Somehow I knew that this film wasn't going to be good. So I avoided it for years. I advice you to do the same! 





No Man's Land (1987):  A very Eighties film that only could have been made in the Eighties!






Even after so many years this film still clicks with me. Is it that good? Not really. Even back then it was heavily flawed. But it does offer some stuff that makes it awesome!

The biggest draw for me was the combination of Eighties style cinematography, with the beautiful Porches and excellent soundtrack composed by Basil Poledouris. The film doesn't waste time neither with it's exquisite incredible Eighties opening scene. The scene masterfully forecasts what you are getting from this film. Basically it's a very simple crime / action flick where a cop (D.B. Sweeney) is asked to go undercover. Lieutenant Vincent Bracey (played by Randy Quaid) wants him to find out who the ring leader is of this big Grand Theft Auto operation. And specifically the one guy who is responsible tor the death of the murdered undercover cop from the opening scene. It's here when Benjy Taylor meets the irresistibly charming Ted Varrick (Charlie Sheen). On top of things he also gets embroiled with Ted's sister. Sure if this sounds like your typical undercover cop flick you are right. It certainly is. But because of the style, cinematography, the soundtrack and the cast it's one that will resonate more. It also has some decent action in it. Especially the racing scenes are fun!

Sure I am very nostalgic about this flick! Still I am able to tell it's heavily flawed. It's poor on plot, true character development and impact. Charlie Sheen's character is quite flat and very one dimensional. Sweeney's character at least goes through a struggle of some sorts. Sheen's character remains the same. It's a missed opportunity since it would have given this film depth and perhaps classic status. 

However in my opinion this one will remain awesome until my last breath and beyond!






Renegades (1989): Enjoyable enough!





This one came out when Lou Diamond Phillips and Kiefer Sutherland were super hot due to their involvement with Young Guns. Like in Young Guns there is real good chemistry between Lou and Kiefer. Now sometimes that is just enough!

Like it is in this film. At least for the first and second time I have seen this film. The third time not so much. It's when I really had a hard time ignoring some major flaws. Lou playing a Native American and bringing some of it's culture could and should have been the special element of this generic action flick. Unfortunately the few moments where that is of importance only scratch the surface which is a real shame. Other than that the film is predictable as hell. I mean you know Kiefer and Lou will get along eventually. You can guess who the traitor is. You will know how it will end. The action is serviceable but not really memorable.

Renegades has aged very badly. The first time I watched it, I found it to be very fast paced and compelling. The third time I found it to be dragging and super slow. So yes, enjoyable enough for a one time watch only!









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