Saturday, December 2, 2017

WHAT AM I WATCHING THIS WEEK? - Edition 12: 12/1

Another weekend is upon us, and we're back with another trio of streaming options from Amazon Prime. Why Amazon Prime? Because here is what Netflix added on 12/1: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, The Little Rascals and While You Were Sleeping. It's almost as if Netflix wants you to watch their own overrated content. Amazon Prime has a deep catalog of films from the 70s, 80s and 90s for cinephiles to enjoy. These three are just a select few. We have a film steeped in the early 90s direct-to-video kickboxing trend, a 90s classic horror film and an adaptation of an Arthur Conan Doyle story.






Final Impact - Lorenzo Lamas stars in this film about retired kickboxer Nick Taylor (Lamas) taking a young fighter under his wing (Michael Worth) and using him to gain revenge on the current kickboxing champion of the world, Jake Gerard. Gerard also happened to steal Taylor's girl and his pride. It's not every movie where you get a character who asks "If I'm so predictable, then why am I the light heavyweight champion of Ohio?". From PM Entertainment, a direct-to-video monster from the late 80s/early 90s, this is slightly better fare than most in the genre, and Lamas turns in quite a surly and sometimes touching performance. His then-wife Kathleen Kinmont also stars, and watch for a cameo by soon-to-be direct-to-video GOD, Gary Daniels.







Bram Stoker's Dracula - Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-winning foray into the gothic horror realm. Gary Oldman plays the ancient blood-sucker, who has eyes on his reincarnated love, played by Winona Ryder. Anthony Hopkins turns in an eccentric and sometimes comedic performance as Van Helsing and Keanu Reeves tries his best to sound like a young English solicitor. Some terrific atmosphere and production design are the highlights of this one. Regardless of how one feels about Ryder and Reeves being cast here, overall there are some great performances. After decades of the Dracula character being the center of some pretty campy productions, this was a return to his haunting roots. Also, we've reviews this one here before. Check it out here.







The Lost World - Yet another adaptation of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic. A couple of notable difference being that the film moves the story to Africa rather than South America, and the character of Lord Roxton is replaced by a female character played by Tamara Gorski. The story of a scientific expedition in search of a small patch of the world where dinosaurs still exist starts off well enough, with John Rhys-Davies turning in a good performance as Prof. George Edward Challenger. We also have Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) and the great David Warner amongst the cast. There are not enough special effects surrounding the dinosaurs (and not enough screen time) and the film seems to run out of steam in the last half. This would be followed up by a sequel Return to the Lost World, also available on Prime.





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