Archive for James Coburn

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In the sequel to the hit comedy Sister Act, Whoopie Goldberg reprises her role of Deloris Van Cartier, a Las Vegas entertainer who hid out with in a convent of nuns to avoid a nasty bunch of gangsters. In Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Deloris is persuaded to return to the convent by the Mother Superior (Maggie Smith), because her help is needed in teaching their choral students at St. Francis High in San Francisco. However, St. Francis is in a crisis, since the administrator running the school (James Coburn) is threatening to shut the place down. If the gospel choir wins first place in a singing contest in Los Angeles, St. Francis will be saved from the priest’s plans.

What people are saying:

“While the kids may sing a storm when at last they get down to mixing Beethoven, gospel and rap, in the good clean fun department this is monumentally weak and derivative.” 2 stars

“One must remember this is sequel and will probably not be as good as the first movie. Personally I really don’t like sequels all that much but see them anyway. Most of time they have the same plot as the first one. If the first film made a lot of money, It will continue on the same theme without being that good because they don’t have be to make money. So one should keep that in mind when viewing this movie. It’s okay but with no suprises. Whoopi Goldberg usually does well in comedies and will probably to continue with this type of role. In this movie she helps school children with their music abilities they don’t seem to know that they have until she as a nun comes along. A good movie but certainly not a great one. See the movie and form your own opinions. ” 3 stars

“I love this movie — Lauryn Hill singing, Maggie Smith vs. James Coburn, just wonderful music. I don’t know why it got such a low rating…I’ve gotta watch it every year at least. It’s such fun! Look at the discrepancy between the audience reviews and the critics — critics can’t always tell you what’s going to life your heart. She even quotes my favorite poet/philosopher Rilke. I’m a songwriter with major label credits and I just love the music — Lauryn Hill singing His Eye Is on the Sparrow slays me…and the final competition number is absolute joy. Glee fans should enjoy it too!” 5 stars

“Unfortunately, the sequel took a very cliche attempt of “reaching the children’s hearts” and tried for a more heartwarming feel good kind of film while the plot seemed to kill whoopi’s skills in comedy, since her comedy from the first film would have been somewhat inappropriate for this film. However what wasn’t filtered of Whoopi’s humour is worth at least knew watch even though it’s more or less a film that has you saying “I’d rather watch the good one”. Whoopi at least saves ut to be a half decent movie even though the script seems fairly unbelievable and predictable.” 2 1/2 stars

“It’s heart is definitely in the right place, but only the Good Lord Above knows where the hell its brain is. Goldberg throws her nun disguise back on for absolutely no reason, other than to lead an aged plot concerning a class of unruly kids learning to respect one another, and themselves. It turns out to be nice enough, and the music is as awesome as ever. But while the first one was loveably daft, this one’s just numbingly stupid.” 2 stars

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In Like Flint

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Flint is again called out of retirement when his old boss finds that he seems to have missed three minutes while golfing with the president. Flint finds that the president has been replaced by an actor (Flint’s line [with a wistful look] is “An Actor as President?”) Flint finds that a group of women have banded together to take over the world through subliminal brainwashing in beauty salons they own.

What people are saying:

“Although the film crawls with dime-store beauties, there is a noticeable lack of sexiness in it. Women bent on being tyrants evidently haven’t much time for anything else” 3 stars

“…tries to top its predecessor by sending übermensch Derek Flint to Moscow, outer space, and the Isle of Uppity Brassiere Models … sloppy pacing, shoddy production values, and Lee J. Cobb looking like he’s planning a stern call to his agent.” 2 1/2 stars

“Awesome, super spy and Man of Mystery joins forces with an army of super-hot, ’60s, bikini-clad women (who plan to take over the world with a brain-washing hairdrier) to foil a diabolical plot to take over/destroy the world. Yeah … who wouldn’t like this movie? The movie was almost as good as the Austin Powers spoofs of the Super Spy.” 4 stars

“Basically another in the endless series of Bond-knockoffs of the late 60’s, the second Flynt movie (for some reason I keep missing the first one) is fun enough as a semi-parody. It’s nowhere nearly as offensive/dumb as the Matt Helm stuff. Coburn makes a decent superman spy, although his lanky physique makes him look rather ungainly in the fight sequences (only Ted Danson looks more awkward). It’s your basic Cold War type movie with some women who want to rule the world (and *oh the humanity* are betrayed by the military man they put their trust in, played by a fiendish Steve Inhat) tossed in.” 3 stars

“Derek Flint is back, bashing more heads, wooing more lovely ladies, and thwarting more evil. This time, he’s up against an impostor in the government, a rogue military man, and an army of beautiful woman bent on world domination. Is the super cool master of kung-fu up to the challenge? Do you really have to ask? Wild antics, crazy music, and a bevy a beautiful women. They could have kept these movies going for years. But, unfortunately, this was the last (excluding the TV pilot).” 4 1/2 stars

Charade

Posted in Classics, Drama, Movie Reviews, Thrillers/Mystery with tags , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2016 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Cary Grant stars as Peter, who may or may not be a flimflam man who aids the recently widowed Regina in her mission to recover a fortune hidden by her late husband. But three sinister crooks — who’ll stop at nothing — also covet the loot.

What people have said:

“A very cool, taunt, and Hitchcockesque thriller, Charade was one of the last hurrahs of Cary Grant as a Romantic Lead in the early sixties. Even though looking a bit old in this, Grant still exudes charm, urbanity, and a polite, smoldering sexuality. Charade is a complex, yet very hilarious whodunit with an amazing cast, headed up by a personal favorite, Audrey Hepburn. A few years removed from her Roman Holiday triumph, Hepburn shows a litte of her Breakfast at Tiffany’s persona as the very tasty and yet confused widow of a man with a shady past. James Coburn, Walter Matthau, and the wonderful George Kennedy are also on hand as the bad guys after Grant and Hepburn. Although dated, Charade is definitely worth the time of any thriller fan, especially lovers of Hitchcock.” 5 stars

“Charade passes the time, but is only occasionally rewarding. Grant and Hepburn both seem wooden when talking to each other. I was really surprised at how stiffly they read their lines. There are moments of entertaining banter and goofiness, but far too few for a movie with these actors. It could have been much better.” 3 stars

“It was a boring mess. We watched for ~50 minutes, then stopped, and read a plot summary on Wiki to see how it ended. We were curious enough to do that, but not enough to sit through another dull hour of it unfolding. The acting is mediocre and wooden, the dialogue is clunky, and the characters are uninteresting. The twists get stupider as it goes. Then, at the end, Hepburn’s character exclaims that she hopes she has “lots of boys” for her new man. So, it’s got sexism too. That’s common with older movies, but it’s another irritation on top of the movie’s other, various flaws.” 1 star

“Very humorous whodunit centering around a lost $250,000 and 5 shady characters who all want it. Classic dialogue, fast paced plot and a satisfying finale.” 4 stars

“Charade is a nice piece of 60’s entertainment; and thanks to the good production, excellent score and charm of its stars, Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, I thought the film held up pretty well after all this time. Obviously, the most notable reason to watch the film is the great chemistry between Grant and Hepburn, which makes their banter of witty one-liners and thinly veiled sexual innuendo very enjoyable. The other reason to see the film is director Stanley Donen’s Hitchcockian sense of building suspense and intrigue, which keeps the film’s mystery angle working at all times. Because of this aspect, I thought the twist at the end was very satisfying. So, whether you’re an old-movie buff or a fan of mysteries, thrillers or romance, check out Charade, you’ll probably like it.” 4 stars

The Magnificent Seven

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

A Mexican village is periodically raided by bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach). As he and his men ride away from their latest visit, Calvera promises to return.

Desperate, the village leaders travel to a border town to buy guns to defend themselves. They approach a veteran gunslinger, Chris (Yul Brynner). He tells them guns alone will not do them any good; they are farmers, not fighters. They ask him to lead them, but Chris rejects them, telling them a single man is not enough. They keep at him though, and he eventually gives in. He recruits men, though the pay is a pittance.

First to answer the call is the hotheaded, inexperienced Chico (Horst Buchholz), but he is rejected. Harry Luck (Brad Dexter), an old friend of Chris, joins because he believes Chris is looking for treasure. Vin (Steve McQueen) signs on after going broke from gambling. Other recruits include Bernardo O’Reilly (Charles Bronson), Britt (James Coburn), fast and deadly with his switchblade, and Lee (Robert Vaughn), who is on the run and needs someplace to lie low until things cool down. Chico trails the group as they ride south, and is eventually allowed to join them.

Even with seven, the group knows they will be vastly outnumbered by the bandits. However, their expectation is that once the bandits know they will have to fight, they will decide to move on to some other unprotected village, rather than bother with an all-out battle. Upon reaching the village, the group begins training the residents. As they work together, the gunmen and villagers begin to bond such as when the gunfighters decide to share their food with the villagers upon realizing they are going without while their protectors feast. Chico finds a woman he is attracted to, Petra (Rosenda Monteros), and Bernardo befriends the children of the village.

Calvera comes back and is disappointed to find the villagers have hired gunmen. After a brief exchange, the bandits are chased away. Later, Chico spies on the outlaws and returns with the news that Calvera and his men will not simply be moving on, as had been expected. They are planning to return in full force, as the outlaws are broke and starving, and need the crops from the village to survive.

The seven debate whether they should leave. Not having expected a full-scale war, some of the seven as well as some of the villagers are in favor of the group’s departure. However, Chris adamantly insists that they will stay. They decide to make a surprise raid on the bandit camp but find it empty. Returning, they are ambushed by Calvera’s men, who have been let into the village by those villagers fearful of the impending fight. The seven’s lives are spared, as Calvera is certain that by now, the Americans have lost any further desire to fight for this village, and he fears revenge if they are killed; they are disarmed and escorted out of the village.

Despite the odds against them, and despite their betrayal by the villagers, all of Chris’ group except Harry decide to return and finish the job the next morning. During the ensuing battle, Harry returns to rescue Chris, and is mortally wounded. Bernardo is killed protecting children he had befriended; Lee and Britt are also slain. Seeing the gunmen’s bravery, the villagers are inspired to overcome their own fear, and they grab whatever they can as weapons and join the battle. The bandits are routed. Calvera is shot by Chris; puzzled, he asks why a man like Chris came back, but dies without an answer.

As the three survivors leave, Chico decides to stay with Petra. Chris and Vin ride away, pausing briefly at the graves of their fallen comrades. Chris observes, “Only the farmers won. We lost. We always lose.”

REVIEW:

I’m not usually a fan of remakes. This is a remake of a Japanese film, The Seven Samurai. However, in the ’60s, people still had original ideas, and this is a total remake, not a reboot.

The acting in this film is dwarfed only by the gunfights. It’s the perfect Western.

The film’s score, composed by Elmer Bernstein, is memorable. Of course, I’m a little biased due to the fact that I played an arrangement of it in high school band.

Calvert, the villain, reminds me of Tony Shaloub’s character in Men in Black. Not in terms of personality, but in terms of his mannerisms.

I always am fascinated when I see established actors in their younger days. James Coburn and Charles Bronson’s youthful looks astounded me as I watched this film.

Each of the seven have their own set of issues that the audience can relate to, which makes them human, and Yul Brynner is more than a capable leader of this rag tag mob of hired guns.

They just don’t make movies like this anymore. Anyone want to make a bet on how long it’ll be before someone decides they want to reboot this. You know it’s bound to happen!

4 out of 5 stars