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Yes, it's true. Plissken is baaack.

Sometimes you can run across fun movie classics on late night cable TV.

"Fifteen years after John Carpenter squandered a great idea on a mediocre movie (Escape from New York), he does it again--this time on the Left Coast.

ESCAPE fromLA.jpg"Kurt Russell is back as the terminally cynical one-eyed action hero Snake Plissken who, this time, has been coerced into saving the world in Los Angeles. It's 2013 and L.A. is now an island maximum-security prison off the coast of California. Snake has 10 hours to find a doomsday weapon that's fallen into the hands of revolutionaries before he dies of a virus with which he's been injected.

"But the action is clumsy and unimaginative: lots of shootouts and very little suspense. Even the bad guys aren't particularly inventive; only Pam Grier, as a transsexual gang leader, strikes any sparks. Russell growls his way through the role but can only blame himself: He cowrote the script with Carpenter. --Marshall Fine "

Yes, this is the cinematic fun stuff you can always catch on late night cable TV.

Well...the scenes may be more corny and squalid (compared to the original cyberpunk version) from an esthetic standpoint but the movie- a cult classic -- is still entertaining.

EscapefromLA 51QK24REW7L__SS500_ 315.JPGPlissken (Russell) is older, more cynical than his previous role in the New York version. But he still commands the screen. The movie is told through his perspective - as a noble but burnt-out man trying to salvage one last assignment at the government's bidding for a chance to live.

Along the way he encounters every specimen of dastardly vagrant, villain, and vermin.

But Plissken (Russell) is unfazed and he's nonchalant at every turn. It's his disinterest and cool detachment that makes him such a compelling character.

Critics were not so kind on the film chopping it up, some calling Plissken a "middle finger-type of character."

Keep in mind the directors obviously didn't take this as a serious movie, as jokes abound. One good zinger of a line: "This is LA, and this ****ing city can kill anyone!"

Other high points include the scene where he comes across a character named Pipeline (Peter Fonda). Peter Fonda? It is surreal.

After meeting him, Fonda says "I thought you would be taller."


SnakePlissken.jpgThe weak soundtrack, mostly a mish mash of heavy metal and rock-metal, blurs into a forgettable mush.

The scene inside the fancy club where Plisskenkin asks for the bad guy Cuervo Jones. recalls "Thunderdome" with all its freaky characters.

The villain, Cuervo Jones is intrigiung. all of the first 10 minutes. After that he becomes a cartoon character devoid of brains, character or personality. In a B movie, what's new right?

Cliff Robertson is wasted as the extreme right-wing President here. Stacy Keach is,..well Stacy Keach. Here he's in the police commander role that Lee Van Cleef played in the original.

It's always a Whhaatt??- double-take moment when you run across grade A actors in grade B flicks.

The movie comes alive again when Steve Buscemi (yes) appears as Map to the Stars Eddie. Buscemi is a quick-witted, acid-tongued hustler. Think of him as the taxi cab driver (Ernest Borgnine) character in "Escape from NY." A nice surprise is Valeria Golino appearing as the savvy but short-lived chick Taslima.

Overall the movie is a disappointment for those who awaited the sequel - unimaginative script, excessive violence, superfluous characters - but it does have its entertaining moments. If you see it in a new light - as a comic rehash -- and with friends -- you'll really enjoy it. There's comical scenes, sheer stupidity (lots), dumb but funny moments.

I'v seen the movie several times but last night I noticed for the first time, the resemblance in some scenes to the "Terminator" series in its depiction of a future wasteland.

There's always some movie classics on tap on fave channels like AMC, TNT, etc., and every now and then you get a memorable movie you just have to comment on like "Escape from NY."

You seen it? You got comments? You got movie jokes?

Go ahead and leave them.


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Yeah, I did a double-take too when I saw the headline that big screen legand Paul Newman had died.

Newman was supremely talented. He was riveting, compelling, magnetic, unforgettable.


According to the Associated Press, Newman died of cancer after a brilliant six-decade Hollywood career that produced unforgettable movies such as "Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid," "Young Philadephians," "The Verdict," "The Sting," "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Hustler," among many.

AP reported Newman died Saturday at his farmhouse near Westport, Connecticut.

His family released a statement:

"His death was as private and discreet as the way he had lived his life, a humble artist who never thought of himself as 'big,' surrounded by his beloved family and the close circle of friends." 

The AP story went on to report: "Paul Leonard Newman, known as "PL" to his friends, appeared in more than 50 movies, including "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "The Hustler," "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "The Sting." He earned nine Oscar nominations for acting and won the best actor honour for 1986's "The Color of Money"."

The AFP reported: "Paul Newman's craft was acting. His passion was racing. His love was his family and friends. And his heart and soul were dedicated to helping make the world a better place for all," Newman's Own foundation Vice-Chairman Robert Forrester said in a statement from Westport, Connecticut. The actor had suffered from cancer."

For more details:

Paul Newman dead at 83 (+pics, video), New Zealand - Sep 27, 2008
LEGEND PASSES: Hollywood movie star legend Paul Newman has died at the age of 83.Newman is pictured here in on the Jay Leno Show in 2005 and in the 1969 ...
Paul Newman dead Sydney Morning Herald
Hollywood legend Paul Newman is dead
Paul Newman Dead At 83
Voice of America -

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Stayed up late last night watching TV and came into a pleasant surprise, a movie called: "The Fifth Horseman is Fear" on TCM, Channel 71. It starred Miroslav Machacek as Dr. Braun and Olga Scheinpflugova as the music teacher.

Fifthhorseman_cover 315.JPGIt is a fascinating movie, produced in 1968, with stark black-and-white cinematography. It is also a brutal yet mesmerizing story about a Jewish doctor who tries to make a human contact in a bizarre backdrop that is World War II Nazi Germany during the invasion of Czechoslovakia.

It is a time when human decency and individual ambition is trashed and put aside behind fascism, Stalinism and the grand machine.

In this review, the film is about "the Holocaust that was directed by Zbynek Brynych. Instead of depicting gas chambers and concentration camps, the film examines the subtler but equally debilitating mental effects of oppression."

"The Fifth Horseman is Fear" is a grim film, made more so by its black and white imagery. In summary, the film is powerful in its depiction of an individual who risks his life to help someone who is considered a fugitive, a criminal in a time where madness reigns.

The central protagonist, Dr. Braun, is riveting in his portrayal of a man caught between duty and political oppression. There is so much ominous fear and dread throughout the Hitchcockian film, one can never relax or allay the sense of danger. Yet that is what makes this film all the more powerful. One individual trying to do the right thing, at a time when his actions can have deadly consequences.

More details:

The film was shown on TCM last night and unfortunately, there is no upcoming scheduled showing of that film within the next 10 days. We suggest you put a Google alert on it for a future showing.

Drop us a comment if you happened to have watched it last night.



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