Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Remo Williams

tags: action, comedy, rewinding the 80s 

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Synopsis from
When a street-smart NYPD cop (Fred Ward) regains consciousness after a bizarre mugging, he has a new face and a new identity! Now he's Remo Williams, the Number 1 recruit of a top-secret organization, and he's toppling evil at every turn, even atop the Statue of Liberty, in this "spectacular and funny adventure film" (Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune)! Trained by a quirky Korean martial arts master (Joel Grey) to dodge bullets, brave terrifying heights and thwart attackers with his bare hands, Remo becomes the ultimate criminal exterminator. But when he faces off against a corrupt millionaire and his army of henchmen, the real adventure begins!
I've never heard of this movie nor the books it's based on. I watched it because I liked Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, starring Fred Ward. Remo Williams is my kind of 80s movie - kinda cheesy, full of action and laughs, satiric, and politically incorrect. The "Korean" martial arts master, Chiun, is played brilliantly by Joel Grey (Jennifer Grey's dad, I learned). His hilarious one-liners and great delivery steal the entire movie. Fred Ward, although not matinee idol with regards to looks, is believable and does great in his action scenes. Kate Mulgrew is very good playing an army Major; looks pretty too.

Highly recommended. Currently streaming on Netflix.

I also downloaded for free from Amazon the first book - Created, The Destroyer and a short 67-page book The Day Remo Died.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015


tags: dystopian, science fiction, time travel

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Excerpts of plot description from Wikipedia
On Earth, crop blight has caused civilization to regress into a failing agrarian society. Former military pilot and NASA astronaut Cooper runs a farm with his family. Murph, Cooper's 10-year-old daughter, believes her room is haunted by a poltergeist trying to communicate with her. They soon discover that Murphy's "ghost" is an unknown intelligence sending coded messages using gravitational waves, leaving binary coordinates in the dust that direct them to a secret NASA installation led by Professor John Brand. Brand reveals that a wormhole, apparently created by an advanced intelligence, has opened near Saturn and leads to new planets in another galaxy that may offer hope for humanity's survival. NASA's "Lazarus missions" have identified three potentially habitable worlds orbiting a supermassive black hole named Gargantua: Miller, Edmunds, and Mann, named after the astronauts who surveyed them. Brand recruits Cooper to pilot the spacecraft Endurance to recover the astronauts' data; if one of the planets is habitable, humanity will follow on space stations. Cooper's departure devastates Murph, and they part on bad terms.
My beef with this not-so-stellar production:
>too long at almost 3 hours; needs seriously smart editing
>everybody mumbles his/her lines; so so performances by all
>music too loud; specially irritating when cast are mumbling and music is still on drowning out the dialog; makes me constantly yell at the teevee
>tries too hard to be deep and meaningful; puts me to sleep instead
>stupidity abounds: Anne Hathaway's character, Amelia Brand, has a death wish - the mother of all tsunamis is visibly upon them but, la la la la, she still lingers in the water, la la la la la; whoosh! One dead colleague; thanks a lot Amelia.
>only in movies will you see a flabby astronaut (Maaaaatt Daaaaamon); about 30 minutes of wasted film because his part adds nothing to the story.
>the ending is terrible and vague: why would Cooper's daughter tell him to go and join Amelia? There isn't a whiff of "budding romance" between them.
>Anne is the most annoying and her dinner plate eyes are distracting; she reminds me of Powerpuff Girls cartoon characters.

Separated At Birth
Anne Hathaway and Buttercup - separated at birth?

Not recommended; okay, maybe for insomniacs.