1990

[4.5] In this direct-to-video sequel to 1982’s Zapped!, Todd Eric Andrews plays the new kid at high school, where he allies himself with the science club and makes fast opponents of the affluent jocks in key club. As the rival groups compete in a series of Homecoming activities, Andrews discovers something behind some loose bricks in the science lab that gives the nerds the edge …

[3.0] A pregnant woman and her boyfriend visit Big Mamma’s whorehouse and abortion clinic, where her fetus is flushed down the toilet into a sewer of toxic waste. The critter manages to survive and seek revenge on everyone at Big Mamma’s place, hookers, johns, and all. The Suckling, also called Sewage Baby in some markets, is bottom-of-the-barrel in production value and has acting that ranges …

[6.0] John McClane (Bruce Willis) has another run-in with terrorists on Christmas Eve, this time at Dulles Airport in Washington DC. McClane fights a rogue faction of U.S. military who sympathize with a deposed dictator being flown in for justice. Meanwhile, McClane’s wife (Bonnie Bedelia) is trapped on one of the many circling airplanes that are running out of fuel during a snowstorm. The Die …

[3.0] In the sewers beneath New York City, a big talking rat trains four big talking turtles to become ninja warriors so they can be shadowy superheroes to would-be victims in the night. Now, right away, you’re either going to run with this or you’re not. I can run with it — but what I can’t run with in this first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles …

[7.5] Jason Patric stars as an alcoholic drifter with a troubled past who wanders into a kidnapping/ransom plot with a widow and her uncle, played by Rachel Ward and Bruce Dern. While Dern’s character does much of the planning, Patric and Ward develop a lustful relationship. But does she really love him? And can either of them trust Dern’s character? Under the direction of James …

[7.0] [This review is of the Director’s Cut of the film, not the original theatrical release.] Kevin Costner falls in love with his boss’s wife and lives to suffer the consequences in this brutal but stylish action/drama from director Tony Scott (True Romance, Top Gun). The script sets up a friendly, almost father-and-son relationship between Costner and his boss, played by Anthony Quinn. The relationship …

[8.0] Alec Baldwin takes on the mantle of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in the action-thriller The Hunt for Red October. One of the joys of this movie is seeing Baldwin, previously known mostly for co-starring in Beetlejuice, become a leading man before your very eyes. And a smart one, at that. Sharing the screen with him is Sean Connery as a Russian captain whose new …

[6.0] Winona Ryder and Cher give us their take on the classic mother/daughter divide in this adaptation of a novel by Patty Dann, directed by Richard Benjamin (The Money Pit, Little Nikita). Ryder’s character is of high school age and tired of being moved from town to town by her colorful but slightly slutty single mom (Cher). Things become especially trying when the family (including …

[5.0] Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Strange Days) co-writes and directs this female cop thriller starring Jamie Lee Curtis. Curtis plays a new cop on the New York streets who shoots a grocery store bandit to death. The film takes a bonkers turn when one of the witnesses hides the bad guy’s gun and starts killing innocent citizens with it. The bullets he uses have …

[8.5] Jacob’s Ladder is a terrific example of what can happen when an inspired screenplay gets into the hands of a great director and a capable leading actor. I’m talking about Bruce Joel Rubin (Ghost), Adrian Lyne (Fatal Attraction), and Tim Robbins (Shawshank Redemption), respectively. Rubin’s script is a fever dream of a tale, following a New York Vietnam vet who’s losing his grip on …

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