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Matthew Meigs, Julie Reyburn, David Alan Marshall, Stephanie D'Abruzzo and Sarah Rice - Sondheim Unplugged Post Show at 54 Below at 54 Below night club, - New York, New York, United States - Monday 22nd September 2014

Alan Marshall, Matthew Meigs, Julie Reyburn, Stephanie D'abruzzo and Sarah Rice
Alan Marshall, Matthew Meigs, Stephanie D'abruzzo, Julie Reyburn, Alexis Cole, Lane Bradbury and Sarah Rice

Bugsy Malone Review


Weak
Fourteen-year-old Jodie Foster had a very busy and very weird year in 1976. There was Freaky Friday for Disney, there was Taxi Driver for Scorsese, and then there was this. Thirty years after its release, Bugsy Malone, an adult gangster comedy/musical in which all the roles are played by children, can make you nostalgic for the '70s and the '30s at the same time. That this oddity was directed by Alan "Midnight Express" Parker, only makes the whole thing more bizarre. Watching the always amazing Jodie vamp it up with her co-star, '70s teen dreamboat Scott Baio, as they lip sync to tracks of the adults who sing for them is one of the stranger cinematic experiences you'll ever have. Forgive me if I pause a moment to go look up more synonyms for "weird."

Basically a story of warring gangs, Bugsy Malone introduces us to Fat Sam (John Cassisi) and Dandy Dan (Martin Lev), who are battling for turf. Bugsy (Baio) shows up at Sam's bar and meets Blousey Brown (Florrie Duggal), who wants to be a star. When the bar is raided, Dandy Dan breaks out his new weapon, a "Splurge gun" that shoots whipped cream. Bugsy and Blousey hit it off, but he's also caught the eye of sexy vamp Talullah (Foster), who always gets her man. Do you care?

Continue reading: Bugsy Malone Review

Bugsy Malone Review


Weak
Fourteen-year-old Jodie Foster had a very busy and very weird year in 1976. There was Freaky Friday for Disney, there was Taxi Driver for Scorsese, and then there was this. Thirty years after its release, Bugsy Malone, an adult gangster comedy/musical in which all the roles are played by children, can make you nostalgic for the '70s and the '30s at the same time. That this oddity was directed by Alan "Midnight Express" Parker, only makes the whole thing more bizarre. Watching the always amazing Jodie vamp it up with her co-star, '70s teen dreamboat Scott Baio, as they lip sync to tracks of the adults who sing for them is one of the stranger cinematic experiences you'll ever have. Forgive me if I pause a moment to go look up more synonyms for "weird."

Basically a story of warring gangs, Bugsy Malone introduces us to Fat Sam (John Cassisi) and Dandy Dan (Martin Lev), who are battling for turf. Bugsy (Baio) shows up at Sam's bar and meets Blousey Brown (Florrie Duggal), who wants to be a star. When the bar is raided, Dandy Dan breaks out his new weapon, a "Splurge gun" that shoots whipped cream. Bugsy and Blousey hit it off, but he's also caught the eye of sexy vamp Talullah (Foster), who always gets her man. Do you care?

Continue reading: Bugsy Malone Review

Angel Heart Review


Good
A decade before Hollywood got obsessed with urban volcanoes, asteroid impacts, and Steve Prefontaine -- offering us multiple movies about each topic -- the Big Bastardized Theme of the year was an inexplicable one: Voodoo. In 1987-88, three major voodoo-themed movies came out, including Angel Heart, The Serpent and the Rainbow, and The Believers. Each was tackled by a major director, and none of them made a huge splash critically or commercially. In fact, they all made pretty much the same amount at the box office -- slightly under $20 million.

So put aside your quizzical concern over why Angel Heart merits a special edition DVD (Robert De Niro's performance alone is worth it), and dig back into this quirky project from yesteryear, when we were all scared to death that a cowrie shell or a chicken claw was going to cause bugs to start crawling out of our face. Angel Heart (based on the novel Fallen Angel) is a 1950s period piece and starts out simply enough: An eccentric, sharp-fingernailed man named Louis Cyphre (De Niro) hires private eye Harry Angel (Mickey Rourke) to track down a missing person with whom Cyphre has an old (and unhonored) contract. Rourke's investigation takes him into the seedy underbelly of New Orleans and the Louisiana swamp. Virtually every one Angel speaks to turns up dead within days, but he plows ahead anyway. In the end he hooks up with a young voodoo priestess (Lisa Bonet when she had a career), and, well, the whole thing gets a little kooky. It's hard to write much about the utlimate resolution of Angel Heart without giving too much away, but suffice it to say it's at once obvious and surprising, considering the very thinly-veiled dialogue and unsubtle imagery.

Continue reading: Angel Heart Review

Starship Troopers Review


Very Good
Move over, John Waters. There's a new king of schlock in town, and he's got a much bigger budget.

The recent video release of last year's Starship Troopers reveals a master at work, comfortably at home in his truest of elements: cheesy action films. Paul Verhoeven is the master in question, the director of such fare as RoboCop and Basic Instinct--his last really successful film, in 1992. With a $95 million budget, Troopers eventually grossed a little over half that domestically, but it has done well enough overseas to ensure that, like Schwarzenegger in Verhoeven's Total Recall, he'll be back.

Continue reading: Starship Troopers Review

Showgirls Review


Good
It's so bad it's good. But hey, it ain't that good.ay?

Showgirls is the capper in writer Joe Eszterhas' storied career. First came Flashdance. Then he shocked us with Basic Instinct. Then he writes Showgirls, an ultra-explicit NC-17 drama about a Las Vegas showgirl who goes from nobody to "Goddess" by playing the Power Game better than everyone else.

Continue reading: Showgirls 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.

Hollow Man Review


Good
Okay, Kevin Bacon! You're invisible and you can't go back to being visible -- what do you do!?

Well, you spy on some naked chicks, right? That's what I'd do! That's what every guy would do, right!

Continue reading: Hollow Man Review

Cliffhanger Review


Good
Once you've seen the trailer for Cliffhanger, you have no choice but to see the film. I mean: Is Stallone really going to jump that chasm? Those flashlights in the dark... that guy under the ice. Wow. Too bad Cliffhanger the movie is nowhere near as good as Cliffhanger the trailer. But the snowbound Die Hard has a certain appeal that makes it giddy Saturday afternoon fun.

Basic Instinct Review


Very Good
Utterly stupid yet completely memorable, Sharon Stone owes her career -- if not her entire life -- to Paul Verhoeven and Basic Instinct. Famed for its sneak-peek at Stone's wig-covered crotch, her "arrest me for smoking" line, Tripplehorn's cinematic break, and a cop-falls-for-the-killer plot ripped out of Sudden Impact, Basic Instinct is part of modern Americana. Too bad writer Joe Eszterhas started taking himself seriously after this movie, becoming the highest paid hack on the planet. At least he's been put in his place... though note that Stone has signed on to do a sequel (now mired in a lawsuit). Yikes!

Pink Floyd The Wall Review


Extraordinary
What is The Wall?

If you're caught up in the psychedelic imagery, confused by what the film is really about, let me offer a summary. At its heart, a rock star named Pink (Bob Geldof) discovers his wife is cheating on him when he calls home one day while on tour, discovering she's with another man ("this is United States calling..."). Pink recedes into a shell of his own creation, remembering his troubled childhood with evil schoolmasters ("hey, teacher, leave those kids alone...") and the problems he caused his mother ("mother, do you think they'll try and break... my balls?"), but mostly dreaming about his father who died in World War II ("bring the boys back home!"), a father he never knew. Crazier and crazier ("toys in the attic, he is crazy"), Pink puts up a wall to shield himself from the outside world, finally imagining himself a Hitler-like leader ("if I had my way... I'd have all of you shot!") until his eventual trial for his real and imaginary crimes. The verdict: Guilty. The sentence: "Tear down the wall."

Continue reading: Pink Floyd The Wall Review

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Alan Marshall Movies

Bugsy Malone Movie Review

Bugsy Malone Movie Review

Fourteen-year-old Jodie Foster had a very busy and very weird year in 1976. There was...

Bugsy Malone Movie Review

Bugsy Malone Movie Review

Fourteen-year-old Jodie Foster had a very busy and very weird year in 1976. There was...

Showgirls Movie Review

Showgirls Movie Review

It's so bad it's good. But hey, it ain't that good.ay?Showgirls is the capper in...

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Hollow Man Movie Review

Hollow Man Movie Review

Okay, Kevin Bacon! You're invisible and you can't go back to being visible --...

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