DVD Review: THE ITALIAN JOB (1969)
by David Blackwell
I watched the so-called remake of THE ITALIAN JOB and I wondered how much better the original was. I finally rented the
original version of THE ITALIAN JOB starring Michael Caine, Noel Coward, and Benny Hill; and I was so amazed how good the
movie was. The movie is about a thief (played by Michael Caine) who gets out of jail and plans to carry out the theft of $4
million in gold in Italy. He gets the money to carry out the job from Mr. Bridger (Noel Coward) who runs his criminal empire
from prison. The vital part to the job is to get a computer programmer (Benny Hill) to plant a program to cause a traffic
jam. Once they get to Italy, they have to contend with the Maffia and the Italian police.
The movie is a comic caper that is definitely a classic. The heist itself is fun to watch and the police chase after the
three Minis on (and off the streets) is equally enjoyable. You have good actors in a movie that is much more exciting than
the so-called remake that is just using the name to catch in on the original. The remake is boring at times where I found
the 1969 original to be enjoyable every minute and teh movie ends in a way that makes you wonder what happens next. The DVD
has a commentary track, a documentary on the movie, a neat deleted scene, and a couple of trailers (the old theaterical trailer
for THE ITALIAN JOB is a good one). The menu system is more interesting than the menu system on the DVD of the remake. My
advice if you're looking to watch THE ITALIAN JOB, track down the original and avoid the remake like one wants to avoid the
Maffia in THE ITALIAN JOB.
DVD review: ALIEN HUNTER
by David Blackwell
Sometimes, one does get an interesting sci-fi movie that was made for $2-$3 million. An object emitting a radio signal
is found in Antartica by a group of genetists who are working on a better version of farm crops like wheat and corn. James
Spader plays a college professor who used to work on SETI as an alien hunter (decoding radio signals for signs of alien transmissions).
He is sent down to the base in Antartica to study the radio signal, and there he bumps into a scientist he was once involved
with years ago (when she was a student). Meanwhile, the US military hears of the discovery and wait for an opening in the
Antartic storm to contact the base. They don't want the object opened because it contains an alien that carries a pathogen
that can wipe out the human race, and they will do anything to make sure that pathogen doesn't get out.
ALIEN HUNTER has a wonderful 1.85:1 transfer. The deleted scenes are just variations of existing scenes in the movie (and
unfortunately the deleted scenes aren't color corrected and not of DVD quality). The movie itself is an intersting movie where
it goes to show some things should remain unopened and some will do anything to survive even if it means others will die.
The acting and direction is good, and the CGI is good for the budget of the movie.
DVD review: FULLTIME KILLER (aka Chuen jik sat sau)
by David Blackwell
FULLTIME KILLER is a very stylish Asian action movie about two hitmen, O and Tok. Tok wants to take out O because Tok wants
to be the top hitman. In the middle is O's housekeeper, Chin, who falls for Tok. On both of their trails is Interpol. Tok
vomits when he sees strobing or flashing lights. O uses his housekeeper as a front because O never lives in his apartment
she cleans (and he watches from across the street in another building). Chin wishes she could have hooked up with O, but she
falls for Tok who loves to do everything flashy when he kills me. Chin works ina Japanese Language video store in Hong Kong
while Tok likes to talk about good action movies (with references to Leon and Desperado).
FULLTIME KILLER is a very interesting and exciting action movie with plety of detail and twists. The action scenes are
done with such style that sometimes it is like watching an opera with gunplay. The acting is good and the direction is fantastic.
I have always loved Hong Knog action movies after I first watched HARD BOILED in 1994. The print on DVD is good, and the sound
isn't overbearing like it is on some DVDs. This movie has a good mix of Chinese, Japanese, and English (and thankfully none
of it is dubbed). the subtitles appear when they're needed. Palm Pictures does a good job with foreign films on DVD.
review: SPACE TRUCKERS
by David Blackwell
I have been wanting to see this movie since 1996 (or 1997), but I was disappointed by this movie and wonder how it got
made in the first place. The special effects are cheap looking and the sets look cheap too. I wonder what they spent the $30
million budget on. This movie shouldn't be taken seriously, and it makes for perfect fodder for Tom, Servo, and Crow. Yep,
this is one of those movies ripe to be made fun of in a Mystery Science Theater 3000 kind of way.
SPACE TRUCKERS is a story of space trucker John Canyon(played by Dennis Hopper) who gets a job of delivering sex droids
to Earth, but the cargo is really an army of bio-mechanical killer robots sent to invade Earth. John gives a ride to Cindy
(Debbie Mazar) who says she will marry him (if he can get her to Earth) and Mike Pucci (Stephen Dorff) who wants to be a space
trucker himself. I don't need to spoil anymore of the plot except to say I kept wondering why did Dennis Hopper make this
movie and why did director Stuart Gordon come up with this piece of crap. Some people may like it, some may hate it, and yet
others can make fun of it in a MST3000 way.
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