LIONS FOR LAMBS (2007 USA)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.5|5.0 Starsììì

Lions for Lambs takes three stories and endeavors to connect them, but in, what appears to be, an effort not to offend, fails to deliver the connection in a hard-hitting, coherent, and relevant fashion. The film lacks strength and becomes hard to decipher for relevance. Tom Cruise and Robert Redford seem out of character while Meryl Streep, surprisingly, performs at the average to good level. The best actor in this movie is Andrew Garfield.

Storyline

Professor Stephen Malley (Robert Redford) encourages student Todd Hayes (Andrew Garfield) to engage and do something worthwhile.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Robert Redford for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Daniel Lupi for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Janine Roth (Meryl Streep), Senator Jasper Irving (Tom Cruise), Ernest Rodriguez (Michael Peña), Lieutenant Colonel Falco (Peter Berg), ANX Editor (Kevin Dunn), Arian Finch (Derek Luke), Soldier (Larry Bates), Soldier (Christopher May), Soldier (David Pease), Soldier (Heidi Janson), Sniper (Christopher Carley), Student (George Back), Student (Kristy Wu), and Student (Bo Brown).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s good to read a plotline on this film before going to increase understanding of what it is attempting to do. The relevance seems lost throughout the film.


Ben Meyers

TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON (2009 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.3|5.0 Starsìììì

Twilight Saga: New Moon has a terrific story underlined by a good script. The special effects in the film are very good.

Storyline

Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) attempts to protect Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) by breaking off their romantic relationship.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Chris Weitz for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Marty Bowen, Greg Mooradian, Mark Morgan, and Guy Oseary for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Gran (Christina Jastrzembska), Charlie Swan (Billy Burke), Jessica (Anna Kendrick), Mike (Michael Welch), Eric (Justin Chon), Angela (Christian Serratos), Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene), Jasper Hale (Jackson Rathbone), Mr. Berty (Russell Roberts), James (Cam Gigandet), Aro (Michael Sheen), Caius (Jamie Campbell Bower), and Marcus (Christopher Heyerdahl).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The movie stands as an excellent effort for Director Chris Weitz and prepares Twilight fans for the next film in the Twilight series.

Ben Meyers

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (2016 USA)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Starsìììì

The Magnificent Seven is an example of a re-make film that actually improves on the original film. Great acting from Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent O’Onofrio, Peter Sarsgaard and some new names Byung Hung Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, and Haley Bennett under the direction of Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun, and Southpaw) pull together a truly outstanding western. This is a Wow! film for the western movie fan.

Storyline

The western town of Rose Creek needs liberation and widow, Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), gathers a team of liberators.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Antoine Fuqua for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Bruce Berman, Antoine Fuqua, Walter Mirisch, and Ben Waisbren for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Faraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier), Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), Teddy Q (Luke Grimes), Matthew Cullen (Matt Bomer), Denali (Jonathan Joss), McCann (Cam Gigandet), Maxwell (Emil Beheshti), Preacher (Mark Ashworth), Josiah (Billy Slaughter), and Anthony (Dodge Prince).
                                                                
Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This is a classic re-make that wins and has great action scenes that are very well done. 


Ben Meyers

FATAL INSTINCT (2014 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.3|5.0 Starsììì

Fatal Instinct lacks realism, good acting, dynamic dialogue, and almost everything needed to make a film stand out from other films within its genre.

Storyline

Sometimes ‘evidence’ does not point in the right direction to properly solve a crime.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Carl Reiner for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Pieter Jan Brugge for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Ned Ravine (Armand Assante), Laura Lincolnberry (Sherilyn Fenn), Lana Ravine (Kate Nelligan), Lola Cain (Sean Young), Frank Kelbo (Christopher McDonald), Max Shady (James Remar), Judge Skanky (Tony Randle), Clarence (Clarence Clemons), Laura’s Husband (Michael Cumpsty), Arch (John Witherspoon), Milo Crumley (Blake Clark), Restroom Patron (Edward Blanchard), Restroom Stall Patron (David Greenlee), Guy in Bumper Car (Tim Frisbie), Freckle-faced Kid (Michael MacCleod), and Judge Ben Arugula (Carl Reiner).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. This movie is just another police story without any distinguishing feature that make it memorable.

Ben Meyers

BEER FOR MY HORSES (2008 USA)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.2|5.0 Starsììì

Beer for My Horses has potential, but Toby Keith and his supporting cast do not appear to be comfortable acting in this movie. There is no naturalness that is essential to establishing story. The film quickly becomes a run-of-the-mill output that misses every opportunity to redeem itself. The cameraman needs professionalism as in the scene where the fertilizer heist goes wrong. Watch for Tom Skerritt in the movie.

Storyline

Joe Bill ‘Rack’ Racklin (Toby Keith) and friends become involved with Mexican drug lords.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Michael Salomon for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Leslie Belzberg and T.K. Kimbrell for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Lonnie Luther Feldman (Rodney Carrington), Annie Streets (Claire Forlani), Skunk (Ted Nugent), Buck Baker (Barry Corbin), Tito Garza (Greg Serano), Sheriff Wilson Landry (Tom Skerritt), Cammie (Gina Gershon), Charlie (Willie Nelson), Deputy Stippins (Chris Browning), Norvel (Myk Watford), Manuel Garza (Carlos Sanz), Johnny Franks/Agent Levon Spurlock (Chad Brummett), Gypsy Gene (David Allan Coe), Merriweather (Mark Povinelli), and Becky (Beth Bailey).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

No. Better police movies are the Lethal Weapon 1-4 series.

Ben Meyers

LEPRECHAUN 2 (1994 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.8|5.0 Starsìì

Leprechaun 2 serves up evil and horror better than the first film. Warwick Davis plays a great villainous leprechaun. Look for a very worthy finale to the film. 

Storyline

The Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) decides to take a bride, Bridget (Shevonne Durkin), with or without her approval.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Rodman Flender for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Mark Amin for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Cody (Charlie Heath), Morty (Sandy Baron), Ian (Adam Biesk), William O’Day (James Lancaster), Housewife (Linda Hopkins), Drunk at the Pub (Arturo Gil), Tourist’s Girlfriend (Kimmy Robertson), Tourist (Clint Howard), Midwestern Dad (Andrew Craig), Frank (David Powledge), Homeless Man (Billy Beck), Desk Sergeant (Al White), Detective (Martha Hackett), and Partner (Jonathan R. Perkins).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. This sequel film improves on the first Leprechaun movie, but still fails to consistently match the horror of Saw and Saw 2.

Ben Meyers

GET SMART (2008 USA)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì

Get Smart—a movie dedicated to the television series—features Steve Carrell as the character Max Smart and Anne Hathaway as the character Agent 99. The film stands as a piece of good entertainment.

Storyline

Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) receives a highly coveted promotion to field agent when an entire department of field agents’ identities are compromised.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Peter Segal for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Bruce Berman, Steve Carell, Dana Goldberg, Jimmy Miller, Brent O’Connor, and Peter Segal for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Agent 99 (Anne Hathaway), Agent 23 (Dwayne Johnson), The Chief (Alan Arkin), Siegfried (Terence Stamp), Agent 91 (Terry Crew), Larabee (David Koechner), The President (James Caan), Agent 13 (Bill Murray), Hymie (Patrick Warburton), Bruce (Masi Oka),Lloyd (Nate Torrence), Shtarker (Ken Davitian), Krstic (David S. Lee), Dalip (Dalip Singh), and Vice President (Geoff Pierson).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. For those who loved the Maxwell Smart television series, this movie serves up the same type of comedy and does it well. The movie is worth its ticket.

Ben Meyers

DR. OTTO AND THE RIDDLE OF THE GLOOM BEAM (1986 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.8|5.0 Starsìì

Dr. Otto and the Riddle of the Gloom Beam—highly creative—seems at first glance as a ‘drop in the bucket’ film, but as the movie progresses one sees that the script analyzes life in a humorous and especially observant manner that everyone can relate to. Jim Varney uses his typical low-budget tactics to create this film, but the Varney lovability is there in full measure.

Storyline

Dr. Otto desires to control the world.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director John R. Cherry III for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Jerry Carden and John R. Cherry III for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Dr. Otto/Rudd Hardtact/Laughin’ Jack/Guy Dandy/Auntie Nelda/Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney), Otto’s Head Hand (Glenn Petach), Lance (Myke R. Mueller), Doris (Jackie Welch), Slave Willie/Kegler (Daniel Butler), Tina (Esther Huston), Rhonda Sue (Tina Goetze), Monique (Jennifer Wood), Bank President Rutherford (David Landon), V.P. #1 (Mac Bennett), Lance’s Dad (Winslow Stillman), Lance’s Mom (Mary Jane Harvill), Herr Vonschnick (Irv Kane), Mme. Vonschnick (Leslie Potter), Man at Autoteller (Bill Middleton), Woman at Autoteller (Nancy Alderson), and Checkout Girl (Bonnie Keen).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The inspiration is there and the multiple personalities Jim Varney plays add to the interest of the film.

Ben Meyers

THE PRINCESS DIARIES (2001 USA)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

The Princess Diaries carries its story well. It’s a great film for Anne Hathaway fans and, with the wise choice of Julie Andrews to round out the cast, becomes an almost classic family movie. The storyline’s concept and the resulting script are great. Special thanks goes to Director Garry Marshall for using his broad directing skills to great advantage. The 2004 sequel is Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.

Storyline

Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews) reveals to her grand-daughter, Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathway), that she is the princess of a small country named Genovia.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Garry Marshall for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Debra Martin Chase, Whitney Houston, and Mario Iscovich for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Joe (Hector Elizondo), Lilly Moscovitz (Heather Matarazzo), Lana Thomas (Mandy Moore), Mia’s Mom (Caroline Goodall), Michael Moscovitz (Robert Schwartzman), Student Josh Bryant (Erik von Detten), Student Jeremiah Hart (Patrick John Flueger), Teacher Mr. O’Connell (Sean O’Bryan), Vice Principal Gupta (Sandra Oh), Charlotte Kutaway (Kathleen Marshall), Gym Teacher Harbula (Mindy Burbano), Music Teacher Wells (Kimleigh Smith), Cheerleader Anna (Elizabeth Gudenrath), Cheerleader Fontana (Bianca Lopez), and Cheerleader Lupe (Tamara Levinson).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film is clean, worth a sequel, and serves the whole family well. Great work for all involved.


Ben Meyers

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (1974 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Starsììì

Murder on the Orient Express presents a classic story in grand style under the good direction of Director Sidney Lumet. This is a great watch for the teen/adult.

Storyline

Someone deserves to be murdered, but who does it?

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Sidney Lumet for directing effort. Thank you to Producers John Brabourne and Richard B. Goodwin for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Hercule Poirot (Albert Finney), Mrs. Hubbard (Lauren Bacall), Bianchi (Martin Balsam), Greta (Ingrid Bergman), Countess Andrenyi (Jacqueline Bisset), Pierre (Jean-Pierre Cassel), Colonel Arbuthnot (Sean Connery), Beddoes (John Gielgud), Princess Dragomiroff (Wendy Hiller), McQueen (Anthony Perkins), Mary Debenham (Vanessa Redgrave), Hildegarde (Rachel Roberts), Ratchett (Richard Widmark), Count Andrenyi (Michael York), Hardman (Colin Blakely), and Doctor (George Coulouris).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s a worthy watch that features an all-star cast.

Ben Meyers

VAN HELSING (2004 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

Van Helsing provides the perfect setting for Hugh Jackman to show his acting skills and shows the versatility of Kate Beckinsale as she pulls off a vampire movie that is totally different from her 2003 Underworld movie. Terrific work by Director Stephen Sommers.  

Storyline

Van Helsing (Hugh Jackman) and Anna Valerious (Kate Beckinsale) fight vampires, wolfmen, and other creatures fantastic.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Stephen Sommers for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Sam Mercer for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Count Vladislaus Dracula (Richard Roxburgh), Carl (David Wenham), Frankenstein’s Monster (Shuler Hensley), Aleera (Elena Anaya), Velkan (Will Kemp), Igor (Kevin J. O’Connor), Cardinal Jinette (Alun Armstrong), Verona (Silvia Colloca), Marishka (Josie Maran), Top Hat (Tom Fisher), Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Samuel West), Mr. Hyde (Robbie Coltrane), Dr. Jekyll (Stephen Fisher), and Barmaid (Dana Morávková).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s worth at least one ticket and has potential for re-watch over the years.

Ben Meyers

ERNEST GOES TO AFRICA (Video 1997 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.2|5.0 Starsììì

Ernest Goes to Africa—simple entertainment fare for the Ernest P. Worrell fan—provides great African scenery as a backdrop to Jim Varney’s antics.

Storyline

Ernest (Jim Varney) buys two jewels from a flea market without realizing they are priceless relics to an African tribe.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director John R. Cherry III for directing effort. Thank you to Producers Kenneth M. Badish and John R. Cherry III for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Hey You, the Hindu/Auntie Nelda/African Woman Dancer (Jim Varney), Rene Loomis (Linda Kash), Mr. Thompson (Jamie Bartlett), Betty (Clare Marshall), Sinkatutu Chief (Washington Xisolo), Prince Kazim (Robert Whitehead), Jameen (Zane Meas), Kareem (Charles Pillai), Bazoo (Sello Sebotsane), Dobbs (Frank Opperman), Thug #1 (Dan Robberts), Thug #2 (Frank Pereira), Weasel (Tony Caprari), Ol’ Man At Flea Market (Ian Yule), Stealing Man (David Germond), and Boss (Anthony Fridjhon).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. For Ernest P. Worrell fans, it might work.

Ben Meyers

HARLEY DAVIDSON AND THE MARLBORO MAN (2000 USA)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.0|5.0 Starsìììì

Harley Davidson and The Marlboro Man works for the adult audience while it examines lifestyles of the not so rich and not so famous. The acting is good and the script has a style of its own. The film is worth one viewing.

Storyline

An armored car heist goes wrong when the robbers find it carries drugs, not money.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Simon Wincer for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Jere Henshaw for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Harley Davidson (Mickey Rourke), Marlboro (Don Johnson), Virginia Slim (Chelsea Field), Alexander (Daniel Baldwin), Jimmy Jiles (Giancarlo Esposito), Lulu Daniels (Vanessa Williams), Thom (Robert Ginty), Kimiko (Tia Carrere), Old Man (Julius Harris), Jose (Eloy Casados), and Jack Daniels (Big John Studd).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s worthy of a watch. Director Simon Wincer pulls this story together with Mickey Rourke, Don Johnson, Daniel Baldwin, and Vanessa Williams. 


Ben Meyers

THE GOLDEN COMPASS (2007 USA)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

The Golden Compass—inspired by novelist Philip Pullman’s stories—shows great imagination working within a parallel universe where working with personal daemons, powerful armor-shielded bears, and rescuing orphans becomes the common place. The movie is a WOW! piece of entertainment that features the voices of actors like Ian McShane, Freddie Highmore, and Ian McKellen. Dakota Blue Richards, who plays Lyra, does an outstanding job.

Storyline

Young Lyra (Dakota Blue Richards) takes a trip with Mrs. Coulter (Nicole Kidman) and finds Mrs. Coulter has a serious agenda that affects orphans, Gyptian children, and children from poor families.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Chris Weitz for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Toby Emmerich, Michael Lynne, Ileen Maisel, Andrew Miano, Mark Ordesky, Robert Shaye, and Paul Weitz for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Lord Asriel (Daniel Craig), Roger (Ben Walker), Pantalaimon (voice of Freddie Highmore), Iorek Byrnison (voice of Ian McKellen), Serafina Pekkala (Eva Green), John Faa (Jim Carter), Farder Coram (Tom Courtenay), Ragnar Sturlusson (voice of Ian McShane), Lee Scoresby (Sam Elliott), and First High Councilor (Christopher Lee).


Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The story is complicated and rich in symbolism. The film deserves a sequel.

Ben Meyers

ERNEST IN THE ARMY (Video 1998 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.6|5.0 Starsììì

Ernest in the Army—the tenth and last of Jim Varney’s Ernest P. Worrell movies—becomes one of his best. It revolves around a solid storyline and delivers good comedy that can even be appreciated by war flick fans. Director John R. Cherry does another good job in support of the Ernest P. Worrell series.

Storyline

Ernest P. Worrell’s (Jim Varney) fantasy of joining the military materializes.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director John R. Cherry III for directing effort. Thank you to Producers John R. Cherry and Kenneth M. Badish for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Army Captain/Arab on Quicksand (Jim Varney), Cindy Swanson (Hayley Tyson), Colonel Bradley ierre Gullet (David Müller), Ben-Ali (Christo Davids), General Rodney Lincoln (Jeffrey Pillars), Barnes (Duke Ernsberger), President Almar Habib Tufuti (Ivan D. Lucas), Sergeant Ben Kovsky (John R. Cherry III), Ali Tenbu (Peter Butler), Kibee (Farouk Valley-Omar), Corporal Davis (Josh Cherry), and Pretty Woman (Amanda Wilson).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. Jim Varney built the Ernest P. Worrell series on a shoestring budget, acted in multiple roles in many of the films, and generally entertained us in his own unique style. He acted in many television series and voiced characters for movies like Toy Story.

Ben Meyers

THE ALAMO (1960 USA)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.7|5.0 Starsììì

The Alamo—not the worst John Wayne nor the best—sports an all-star cast that includes Richard Boone who delivers a noteworthy speech via the character Sam Houston. Be prepared for some heart touching, sad scenes for the last 50 minutes of the movie. The film earns its remake in 2004 with new casting.

Storyline

The Battle of the Alamo told from pre-battle events through the actual battle.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director John Wayne for directing effort. Thank you to Producer John Wayne for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Colonel Davy Crockett (John Wayne), Colonel Jim Bowie (Richard Widmark), Colonel William Travis (Laurence Harvey), Smitty (Frankie Avalon), Captain James Butler Bonham (Patrick Wayne), Flaca (Linda Cristal), Mrs. Sue Dickinson (Joan O’Brien), Beekeeper (Chill Wills), Juan Seguin (Joseph Calleja), Lieutenant Reyes (Carolos Arruza), and Jethro (Jester Hairston).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s interesting to see John Wayne’s effort as a director and actor. Other films he directed: Big Jake (uncredited), The Green Berets, The Comancheros (uncredited), and Blood Alley (uncredited). A superior film with Wayne as the actor is The Shootist. A better film from the western genre is The Duel with Liam Hemsworth.

Ben Meyers

SLAM DUNK ERNEST (Video 1995 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.4|5.0 Starsììì

Slam Dunk Ernest—average Ernest film—delivers a predictable Jim Varney-style movie. It is certainly not his worst film, but definitely not among his best movies either.

Storyline

Ernest P. Worrell (Jim Varney) desires to play basketball. The Archangel of Basketball (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) provides supernatural help.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director John R. Cherry III for directing effort. Thank you to Producers George Horie and Stacy Williams for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Barry Worth (Cylk Cozart), Tommy T. (Colin Lawrence), T.J. (Miguel A. Núñez Jr.), Willie (Lester Barrie), Walter (Richard Leacock), Mr. Zamiel Moloch (Jay Brazeau), Ms. Erma Terradiddle (Stevie Vallance), Quincy Worth (Aaron Joseph), Sarge (Douglas Newell), Mr. Ellis (Henry O. Watson), Dr. Love (Lossen Chambers), Opponent 1 (Charles Andrew Payne), and Jackie (Brenda Crichlow).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. Diehard Ernest fans will like this movie, but a better choice for Ernest fans is: Ernest in the Army.

Ben Meyers

THE FEARLESS HYENA (1981 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.3|5.0 Starsììì

The Fearless Hyena, while not an outstanding kung fu movie, manages to impress with some of its training exercises like doing sit ups upside down while hanging from a tree. The story is typical of this genre and works as an afternoon watch.

Storyline

Young Shing Lung (Jackie Chan) overestimates his ability to use kung fu and finds himself in trouble with much more skillful fighters than he.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Jackie Chan for directing effort. Thank you to Producer Li Hwa Hsu for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Grandpa (James Tien), The Coffin Seller (Dean Shek), The Unicorn (Hui Lou Chen), Yen (Shi-Kwan Yen), The Master (Kun Li), and Willow Sword (Tien-Chi Cheng).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. It’s one of Jackie Chan’s earlier films and not one of his best, but it is good education to watch an earlier work to understand that skill and performance develop over time and, with steady work, ability increases.

Ben Meyers

1492: CONQUEST OF PARADISE (1992 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.3|5.0 Starsììì

1492: Conquest of Paradise—wannabe epic that didn’t quite get there—fails in character development, storyline, portrayal, force, and casting. Many of the actors’ personalities are not clearly enough defined to carry the story. Gérard Depardieu and the rest of this cast work at the average level.

Storyline

Columbus (Gérard Depardieu) receives help from Santangel (Frank Langella) in the form of personally loaned money as well as persuasion of Queen Isabel of Castille (Sigourney Weaver) to make a voyage to the New World.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Ridley Scott for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producers Mimi Polk Gitlin and Iain Smith for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Sanchez (Armand Assante),), Older Fernando (Loren Dean), Beatrix (Ángela Molina), Marchena (Fernando Rey), Moxica (Michael Wincott), Pinzon (Tchéky Karyo), Captain Mendez (Kevin Dunn), Bobadilla (Mark Margolis), Arojaz (Kario Salem), and 10-year-old Fernando (Billy L. Sullivan).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Maybe. This film does not provide the quality viewing of other movies dealing with this subject.

Ben Meyers

THE SHOOTIST (1976 USA)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.2|5.0 Starsìììì

The Shootist—John Wayne’s final film—is as good as it gets for western film. It’s classic John Wayne and a final farewell gift to all his fans. Lauren Bacall and Ron Howard support Wayne in this story. Both actress and actor are beyond reproach. Look for Jimmy Stewart, Richard Boone, Harry Morgan, and John Carradine in this fabulous send off.

Storyline

J.B. Books (John Wayne) rents a Carson City, Nevada boarding house room as a place to die.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Don Siegel for directing effort. Thank you to Producers M.J. Frankovich and William Self for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Bond Rogers (Lauren Bacall), Gillom Rogers (Ron Howard), Dr. Hostetler (James Stewart), Sweeney (Richard Boone), Pulford (Hugh O’Brian), Cobb (Bill McKinney), Marshall Thibido (Harry Morgan), Beckum (John Carradine), Serepta (Sheree North), Dobkins (Rick Lenz), Moses (Scatman Crothers), and Burly Man (Gregg Palmer).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s a classic and ‘not to be missed’ film for all western and possibly non-western film fans. Director Don Siegel did an outstanding job in moving this film along toward a terrific conclusion.

Ben Meyers

LEPRECHAUN (1993 USA)


Ben Meyers’ rating: 2.7|5.0 Starsìì

Leprechaun has the class act of Warwick Davis depicting a really evil leprechaun. He has an excellent supporting cast. The film made an eight to one box office intake and seems to range in an almost cult classic range of film partially due to the dark side of this leprechaun...no child’s play or nimble tricks here...this leprechaun is down to do business. Kudos to Holly Davis for terrific costume design and the makeup department for its outstanding artistry.

Storyline

When J.D. Reding (John Sanderford) and his daughter, Tory Reding (Jennifer Aniston), move into an old farmhouse, workers accidentally set free a Leprechaun (Warwick Davis) who has been deprived of his bag of gold.

Additional Thanks

Thank you to Director Mark Jones for directing effort. Thank you to Executive Producer Mark Amin for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Nathan Murphy (Ken Olandt), Ozzie (Mark Holton), Alex (Robert Hy Gorman), Dan O’Grady (Shay Duffin), Shop Owner (John Voldstad), Mrs. O’Grady (Pamela Mant), Sheriff Cronin (William Newman), Deputy Tripet (David Permenter), Dispatcher (Raymond C. Turner), and Waitress (Heather Kennedy).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It’s good to see Warwick Davis in this lead role and to see Jennifer Aniston in some of her earlier works. This film is not really a horror film, although it has its moments. This film has five sequels starring Warwick Davis as the leprechaun. If one is looking for real horror, however, better watches are Saw and Saw II.


Ben Meyers