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Co-founder DT said we need to get back to hard reviews of crappy movies. Upon hearing this the JPFmovie crew immediately thought of Leonard Part 6 (1987). Written and produced by Bill Cosby himself. Some material for this review was provided by contributor at large SJ.

During a recent telephone conference, DT emphatically stated that we needed to take the reviews up a notch and come down hard on some really crappy movies.  Did someone say crappy movie?  Well Leonard Part 6 fits the bill period.  Winner of three Razzi Awards (Worst Actor (Cosby), Worst Picture, and Worst Screenplay (Jonathan Reynolds and Cosby).  The film was nominated for two more Razzie Awards, for Worst Supporting Actress (Foster) and Worst Director (Weiland).  The film was so bad the Cosby went on the talk show circuit denouncing the film telling people to save their money.  Cosby went so far as to personally buy up all of the television rights to Leonard Part 6 so it could not be shown on T.V.  Wow, that really says something.  However, even these facts never really prepares the viewer for the soul draining Leonard Part 6 experience.  Even the normally benign movie critics Siskel and Ebert were as hard on this film as I have ever seen (see review below).

Anyone who lived through the 1980’s remembers the Cosby Show (1984-1992) which was constantly at the top of the Nielsen ratings.  The Cosby Show was so popular in fact that they moved the airing of the World Series so that it didn’t run against it.  That’s pretty god damn popular no matter how you cut it.  We all know that actor Bill Cosby is mortal and like so many actors he must have let his ego out of the cage and into the wilderness.  In fact Leonard Part 6’s director in an interview said “It was a terrible mistake. … When anyone gets into that position (Bill Cosby’s position of power in the 1980s), they are surrounded by sycophants and no one tells them the truth.  But Cosby just wasn’t funny.  I couldn’t tell him directly.  I’d say it feels slow, and he’d say, ‘You worry about construction, let me worry about funny.’” For his part Cosby did try to shift some of the blame to the films first time director, but he had nowhere to go there as not only did Cosby act in this movie, but he also wrote and produced it.

Let’s try to summarize the plot—this is very difficult because there is so much crap you have to sift through.  Our hero, Leonard Parker, is a former secret agent turned San Francisco restaurateur forced out of retirement by the CIA to retrieve some sphere that makes animals, insects etc. kill humans.  In addition to this “storyline” his daughter is engaged to a septuagenarian black Italian, and his estranged wife, who, after seeing him for the first time in seven years, dumps soup all over him.

Leonard uses his daughter’s engagement to the old director as an excuse to call his ex-wife.  For the next 20 minutes or so we are treated to a montage of Cosby getting ready for the dinner with his ex-wife (who he could only bear live across the street from)—doing everything from getting a petty cure to exercising with Jane Fonda to get in shape.  According to SJ “this was the worst part of the movie.”  After getting soup dumped on him, Cosby decides to return to the spy business and stop the evil vegetarians.  First, he goes to see some gypsy fortune teller that he doesn’t understand who eventually gives him sticks of butter (to ward off attacking lobsters). All beef patties (to use against the vegetarian henchmen), a queen bee to distract a hive of bees protecting the sphere, a hotdog that makes the evil woman’s side kick explode and we don’t even know what else!

Then the film really starts to move when Leonard infiltrates Medusa’s lair and must fight an army of dancing bird-men in bikini briefs for god’s sake who try to dance him to death, but Leonard outsmarts him by putting on a pair of ballet slippers he got from the gypsy.  He then dances his way out of trouble and foils his attackers. We could not make this shit up!

Next, we see him riding an ostrich on the roof of a building, through a neon sign, then turning into some obvious puppet while there’s an explosion behind him.  Cosby also performed surgery on himself, drove his Porsche 928 with a turret on top through the streets of San Francisco (of course jumping through the hilly streets), throws alka seltzer into vats of dish soap to stop the liquid from contaminating the Bay area and Christ who knows what else.  Don’t call us liars, this is the actual film!

 

But don’t take JPFmovies word for it here are some live comments from critic at large SJ:

“Isn’t this a spy movie?  It’s been 20 minutes of no spying.”

40 minutes into the film: “what is happening?”

“Whose Idea what this?”

“Why is there narration?”

“Shaving the dancing chicken—I am not sure that is really necessary.”

“Aren’t her attacks supposed to be animal based?  Why is there a machine gun and why is she so sparkly?”

SJ hand on forehead pulling back her hair.

“What’s with the fortune teller having a queen bee?”

“That is definitely not how bees work?”

“This is a terrible idea.  Why is he operating on himself?  Why can’t this guy do surgery (butler) why can’t he go to a hospital?”

“Why doesn’t he train the butler to be a surgeon?”

The Play “why is any of this part of the movie?”

“Any good villain should know that you don’t monolog.”

“Stop screaming; they’re lobsters!”

“Really? They had that made of glass?  That’s just poor planning.”

“Really?”  (Beef patties thrown on vegetarians)

“Oh god.  Who approved this?”  (Cosby riding ostrich)

“That is not how ostriches work.  Nobody taught Bill Cosby that the ostrich is a flightless bird?”

What if I told you that this movie cost 51 million in adjusted dollars to make?  “Jesus Christ!”

So, you want to torture a movie lover?  Just make them watch Leonard Part 6—it works every time.

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

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As everyone knows we here at JPFmovies love our guest reviewers. So here is our latest guest reviewer Tom V. looking at Maximum Overdrive (1986) written and directed by Stephen King. Don’t watch it sober.

“The video game says “play me”
Face it on a level but it takes you every time on a one on one
Feeling running down your spine
Nothing gonna save your one last dime ’cause it own you
Through and through

The data bank know my number
Says I gotta pay ’cause I made the grade last year
Feel it when I turn the screw
Kicks you round the world, there ain’t a thing that it can’t do to you”

AC DC Who Made Who (1986)

The concept of this movie was truly extraordinary.  Artificial Intelligence and the Revolt of the Machines.  Starring Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle and Laura Harrington, directed by Stephen King and featuring an exclusive soundtrack by AC DC what could possibly go wrong?  Well, pretty much everything.  There is no logical explanation why anyone would want to stay sober during the viewing of this film.  From a stunning lack of directing, to editing which seems to string together scenes that vaguely relate to one another, to laughably abysmal acting — Maximum Overdrive provides a cornucopia of disappointment. Aside from cocktails and good company, why watch this movie?  This is the first and last attempt at directing by Stephen King.  Who can pass up that kind of milestone?

The Plot:

As the Earth passes through the tail of a comet, previously inanimate objects suddenly spring to life and turn homicidal. In a pre-title scene, a man (King in a cameo) tries to withdraw money from an ATM, but it instead calls him an “asshole”, and he whines to his wife (King’s real life wife Tabitha). Chaos soon begins as machines of all kinds come to life and begin rampaging and murdering all available humans.

The machine carnage spreads as humans and even pets are brutally killed by lawnmowers, chainsaws. Our gang of actors gather at a roadside truck stop called “The Dixie Boy Dinner” just outside Wilmington, North Carolina, where a waitress is stalked and then badly injured by an electric knife.  Classic video games electrocute another victim. Employee and ex-convict Bill Robinson, played by Emilio Estevez, begins to suspect something has gone very wrong with the machines.

Robinson’s belief is reinforced by the marauding big rig trucks, which have formed a gang.  The Big Rig Truck Gang is led by a Western Star 4800 Rig sporting a giant Green Goblin mask on its grille.  Apparently, Stephen King bet bank that the Green Goblin would induce fear in the viewer.  Honestly put, the Green Goblin looked like something Carnies use to promote small block parties with machines of questionable repair and safety.  No matter how many times Green Goblin goes around the truck stop or chases down a hapless survivor, it’s just not invoking the fear factor.  Truth be told Carnies are typically much more scary.

At any rate, as if being menaced by the Carnie-like Green Goblin wasn’t enough, Robinson rallies the truck stop survivors; they use a cache of firearms and M72 LAW rockets stored in a bunker hidden under the Dixie Boy Diner and destroy many of the trucks. The Big Rig truck gang fights back in the form of both a Caterpillar D7G bulldozer, which drives through the Dixie Boy Diner and a M274 Mule, which fires its post-mounted M60 machine gun into the building, killing several of the Truck Stop Survivors.  The Mule then demands, via sending Morse Code signals through its horn, that the humans pump the truck’s diesel for them in exchange for keeping them safe; the survivors soon realize they have become enslaved by their own machines.

Reneging on the fueling operation, Robinson sneaks a grenade onto the Mule vehicle, destroying it, then leads the party out of the diner via a sewer hatch to the main road just as the trucks demolish the entire truck stop. The survivors are pursued to the docks by the Green Goblin truck — which manages to kill one more trucker after he steals a ring from a female corpse in a car — before Robinson destroys the truck once and for all with a direct hit from an M72 LAW rocket shot. The survivors then sail off to safety.  Oddly with all the machines revolting, from electric carving knives, transistor radios to video games to big rigs, the movie gives no explanation as to why the expensive motor boats have not also become blood thirsty man killers.

As Robinson and the survivors sailed off into safety, I began to realize that I would never get that time back in my life.  Fortunately, Brandy Old Fashioned(s) made the entire experience, using the recently released 30th Anniversary edition, palatable.  Oddly enough, the trailer doesn’t contain any AC DC Music, the one redeeming quality about this movie.

This film was nominated for a Razzi award—and rightly so.  It was also Stephen King’s only foray into directing films—again rightly so. Maximum Overdrive is the Sharnado of 1980s films. Speaking of which, JPFMovies will soon be reviewing Sharnado–stay tuned.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

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Stop everything! My friend and colleague Tom V. has proposed a viable theory; that is, the beginning of the end for Hollywood began with the 1990 film “Tango & Cash.” Despite its “all-star” including Jack Palance, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell and several other familiar faces according to Tom V. (and I agree) the film signals the beginning of Hollywood’s decent into mediocrity at best and piss-poor at worst.

Sorry you have not heard from me in a while, but I have a nagging injury that just won’t go away. Anyways, Tom V and I were discussing movies and he said that he deduced the film which symbolized and embodied the beginning of the end for Hollywood: Tango & Cash (1990). This film embodies everything I despise in cinema—its porno thin plot, really bad acting, the udder failure to adhere to “Movie Physics” as set forth in “Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics.” I understand and agree that movies require a certain suspension of belief, but there are limits and this one crossed over everyone I could think of.

First, Sylvester “Sly” Stallone plays an intellectual investment banker-Beverly Hills cop which just comes off so bad and stilted it is laughable. Kurt Russell who plays the Joe-six pack/L.A. cop with a gun in the heel of his cowboy boots. Jack Palance playing the criminal mastermind Yves Perret who would rather than simply kill police interfering with his operations sets up some totally elaborate-unattainable-unbelievable frame up of Tango & Cash even after being told by his subordinates to simply kill them. James Hong (don’t worry you will recognize him when you see him in the clips) playing the classic Asian criminal and some idiot savant James Bond “Q” wannabe who invented the gun boot and built some bullet proof minivan with a 20mm cannon mounted on its side. The list goes on and on.

This film was so bad from the start that Warner Bros. hired editor Stuart Baird to re-edit the movie because they were displeased with the rough cut. Baird was also called in by Warner Bros to re-edit another Stallone action movie Demolition Man (1993) (another shitty movie) for same reasons. Baird and another editor Hubert de La Bouillerie had to constantly re-edit the movie because Warner Bros. kept complaining on cut after cut of it. During the re-editing, some plot parts and even some action scenes were deleted, some of which can be seen in theatrical trailer which was made by using the footage and scenes from one of the earlier cuts of the movie. There is no editor that could have saved this film.

On with the “story.” Beverly Hills LAPD Lieutenant Ray Tango and Downtown Los Angeles Lieutenant Gabriel Cash have earned themselves a reputation for disrupting crime lord Yves Perret’s smuggling operation in their respective jurisdictions. One day, both of them are informed of a drug deal taking place later that night. Both detectives meet each other for the first time at the location, but discover a dead body that is wire-tapped before the FBI arrive and surround the duo. Agent Wyler finds Cash’s backup Walter PPK pistol on the floor with a silencer attached and arrests both Cash and Tango. At their murder trial, Tango and Cash are incriminated by an audio tape, secretly given to Wyler by Perret’s henchman Requin and verified in court by an audio expert, which appears to reveal them shooting the undercover FBI agent after discussing a drug purchase. They plead no contest to a lesser charge in exchange for reduced sentences in a minimum-security prison, but are transported to a maximum-security prison to be housed with many of the criminals they arrested in the past.

Once in prison, Tango and Cash are rousted from their bunks and tortured by Requin and a gang of prisoners until Matt Sokowski, the assistant warden and Cash’s former commanding officer, rescues them. Sokowski recommends that they escape (uh-huh) and provides them with a plan, but Tango refuses to go along with it. When Cash tries to escape, he finds Sokowski murdered and is attacked by prisoners. Tango rescues him and the duo escape. Once outside the prison walls, they proceed to go their separate ways when Tango tells Cash that should he need to contact him, he is to go to the Cleopatra Club and look for Katherine.

The detectives then visit the witnesses who framed them in court. Wyler admits to Tango that Requin was in charge of the setup, and Cash discovers that Skinner, the audio expert, made the incriminating tape himself. Cash finds Katherine, who helps him escape the night club as police move in on him. Later that night, Tango reunites with Cash, who discovers that Katherine is Tango’s younger sister. The duo are met at Katherine’s house by Tango’s commanding officer, Schroeder, who gives them Requin’s address and tells them they have 24 hours to find out who Requin works for. Tango and Cash apprehend Requin and trick him into telling them Perret’s name. Armed with bullshit vehicle loaned to them by Cash’s weapons expert friend Owen, the duo storm into Perret’s headquarters to confront the crime lord. At this point, Perret, who has kidnapped Katherine, starts a timer that will trigger the building’s automatic self-destruct procedure. After killing everyone and destroying all glass that could possibly be in any one building they are confronted by Requin, who is holding Katherine at knifepoint but throws her aside to fight the detectives hand-to-hand with the help of another henchman. The detectives defeat the two henchmen and when Perret appears, holding a gun to Katherine’s head, they kill him and leave with Katherine just before the building explodes.

 

Not surprisingly the film received negative reviews. One bad review came from The New York Times, which criticized the plot, the screenplay, and the acting (right on all fronts). It maintains a 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 41 reviews with the consensus: “Brutally violent and punishingly dull, this cookie-cutter buddy cop thriller isn’t even fun enough to reach ‘so bad it’s good’ status.”

 

Tango & Cash was also given three 1989 Golden Raspberry Awards nominations for Worst Actor (Sylvester Stallone), Worst Supporting Actress (Kurt Russell in drag ya that is right) and Worst Screenplay, but did not win—I don’t know how frankly. According to the Razzi website the breakdown for that year were “TANGO & CASH – 3 Nominations (Including Worst Actor of The Decade) 1 “Win” (See Worst of The Decade Awards).” See http://www.razzies.com/forum/1989-razzie-nominees-winners_topic339.html

 

I can’t say enough about this film, but I will say this it actually hurt to watch the second time when I was cutting the film for the clips. I can watch some bad films but this one almost had me beat.

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2014 in Movie Reviews

 

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