1980’s

[6.0] Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas, The Karate Kid) stars as a high school senior who resigns herself to babysitting when her date cancels at the last minute. But when her friend runs away from home and makes a panicked call from the bus terminal in downtown Chicago, Shue decides she has to rescue her — even if it means dragging a 9 year-old girl …

[7.0] Charlie Sheen and Maxwell Caulfield (Grease 2) star as high school graduates who take a weekend car trip to L.A. where they start a killing spree. Sheen’s character slowly begins to wrestle with his lingering empathy, while Caulfield’s grows more homicidal. The film heads toward a climax where the boys turn on each other while the cops are hot on their tails. The Boys …

[2.5] John Travolta returns under the curious direction of Sylvester Stallone for this sequel to the mega-hit Saturday Night Fever. But whereas Saturday Night Fever was a sincere story about a young man with big dreams and lessons to learn, Staying Alive is just a plodding procedural love-triangle that climaxes in an over-the-top music number of camp proportions. Travolta’s Tony Manero character seems to have …

[3.0] It’s not Tim Matheson or Kate Capshaw’s fault. Really, it isn’t. Both of them are plenty attractive and charismatic to carry a film like this. The problem is that A Little Sex is a boiled-down reduction of every rom-com ever made. Matheson plays a guy who talks his long-time female buddy (Capshaw) into getting married. But since he can’t keep his wiener zipped up, …

[2.0] Dennis Quaid stars in this remake of a 1949 thriller about a literature professor who has 24 hours to live, and he spends that time trying to figure out who poisoned him and why. I like Dennis Quaid a lot, but nothing can save this movie from the fact that it was made by pretentious film school hacks with an absurdly improbable screenplay. Quaid’s …

[5.0] A masked killer stalks four teenagers at the prom, six years after they accidentally killed a fellow classmate. Prom Night is part of the slasher boom of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Jamie Lee Curtis stars as the sister of the killed classmate. Leslie Nielsen also appears as her father. Neither of their talents are put to especially good use here, though. The …

[8.0] In this Spanish film from writer/director Agustín Villaronga, a Nazi child killer is put in an iron lung after a botched suicide attempt. His wife hires a young male nurse to take care of him, but the young man becomes increasingly unhinged as he reads through the Nazi’s diaries. Once the caregiver begins re-enacting some of the Nazi’s crimes and winning over the affection …

[5.5] Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall have enough intrinsic charm to carry this incredulous comedy across the finish line. McCarthy stars as an artistic loser who can’t keep a girlfriend or a job. But when a department store mannequin comes to life for him, the two fall in love. I love the concept and the leading actors, but I wish the movie focused on them …

[5.0] Richard Gere plays a Chicago detective out for justice in New Orleans, where he hopes to find a woman, played by Kim Basinger, who witnessed his partner’s murder. Turns out Kim has a sad story and needs some rescuing of her own, so she and Richard fall in love while they hide from the bad guy (The 4th Man‘s Jeroen Krabbe) who killed Gere’s …

[6.0] A computer nerd makes a deal with the Devil and is transformed into a sexy beefcake overnight, free to spend his summer on a California beach full of wanton babes before his time’s up and the Devil comes a’ knockin’. Hunk is a silly, low-budget cornball of a movie. And I think there’s a need for that in our movie diets. I like that …

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