movie, movie review

January 25th, 2016 Movie – Guns

guns

Sometimes, you wish a series had a little more continuity than it does. That is one thing you can definitely say about this series of movies. I mean, who care if you were a bad guy and died in an earlier film. We can just bring you back as a good guy with a different name in another movie. That actually happens a couple of times throughout the film series. It happened with Bruce Penhall, who was one of Miguel Ortiz’s assassins in Picasso Trigger, but then became good guy Bruce Christian in Savage Beach. The same thing happened with Roberta Vasquez, who was the evil double agent Pantera in Picasso Trigger, but now is Donna’s partner in today’s movie, Guns.

The plot: In Las Vegas, Juan Degas, a South American gunrunner, hires two assassins, Cubby and Tito, to accompany him to Molokai for a job. Upon arriving on Molokai, Degas sees Donna and her new partner Nicole enter a dress shop and identifies Nicole as the target for the two hitmen. Unknown to Degas, another woman enters the dress shop and gets the exact same dress as Nicole, and the hitmen end up following the wrong woman. Disguising themselves as women, the two hitmen kill the woman and her husband as well as Rocky, who tries to stop them. Meanwhile, Degas meets with his weapons supplier and makes a deal to smuggle the weapons through Molokai, saying that in a few days, there won’t be a federal agent within 1000 miles of the island. Donna and Nicole are heading to Rocky’s when Nicole notices two men leaving the women’s restroom. Hearing screams coming from the restaurant, they rush inside and find Rocky and the newlyweds dead, with a jack of diamonds card labeled “For Donna” written on it. Realizing the two men she saw were the killers, Donna and Nicole give chase and, upon hearing the killers flew off in a helicopter, they get in their plane and follow them but when the men land the plane and drive off in a rental car, the girls are unable to follow due to low fuel. Landing at Shane’s Aviation, the fill in Shane and Bruce about what happened and, with the realization that Nicole was the intended target, they decide to head to Las Vegas to investigate the only lead they have. Shane contacts Lucas, who runs the Las Vegas branch of The Agency, and he agrees to assemble a team together for them. Elsewhere, Degas berates the two hitmen and sends his assistant, Tong, to watch the airstrip and to use the new weapons to kill Nicole when they land. When the four agents land, they load their gear into a van and split up, with Nicole and Bruce taking a dirt bike while Donna and Shane follow in the van. Tong has two men use a small plane to go after Nicole and kill her but Donna manages to destroy the aircraft, but not before the killers take out their vehicles. Catching a ride to their hotel, the agents meet with the rest of the team and Lucas goes over what they know and gives out their assignments. He tells Donna that the Attorney General in Carson City has been asked to see her and she reluctantly agrees to go but ends up arguing with the Attorney General, who happens to be her mother Kathryn. One of the agents, a magician named Abe, goes to question two suspects that are being held in a police precinct. During the questioning, Abe reveals that he is the brother of a dead federal agent and one of the men was the man that killed his brother and Abe ends up killing both of the men. Tong tells Degas what has happened so far and Degas says that as long as the agents are focused in Vegas, the operation can continue as planned. Elsewhere, Kym is able to track down Cubby and Tito at a drag bar but she is unable to capture them. While watching Edy’s performance, as well as Abe’s performance afterwards, Degas receives a call from Cubby and Tito and decides to send his lover, Cash, to kill Abe while he has Tong have Shane and Brown, who were watching them during the performances, killed. Shane and Brown meet Donna at a nearby gym for a workout but while Donna goes to take a shower, two ninjas appear and attack Shane but are killed by Donna and Brown. Upset with Donna’s continued interference, Degas decides to have Cubby and Tito kidnap Kathryn. Meanwhile, Cash sneaks on board Abe’s boat and kills Ace, Abe’s wife, and uses an grenade to kill Abe. Lucas assembles the team on Abe’s boat but Edy, who used to dance with Cash and recognized the smell of her perfume, skips the meeting and goes after Cash. Inside the boat, the agents learn that the gun used against them was the same kind used recently in South America. Realizing that they were lured out of Molokai so guns could be smuggled through Hawaii into South America, Donna has Nicole and Bruce go back to Hawaii while the rest of the team goes after Degas. When he sees Cash’s body, Degas orders Cubby and Tito to kill Nicole and tells Tong to bring Donna’s mother to him. Stopping for food for the flight to Molokai, Nicole uses the restroom and is attacked by Cubby and Tito, but she manages to kill one of them while Bruce helps her kill the second one. While they are staking out Degas’ hotel, Kym sees Tong bringing Kathryn into the hotel, and Donna and Shane decide to go in. Splitting up, Shane runs into Tong and manages to kill him by sheer accident. Donna confronts Degas, and learns that Degas is the man that killed her father. Degas is using Kathryn as a shield and plans to kill both her and Donna but Donna hits the floor button for Abe’s magic trick, opening the floor beneath Kathryn, dropping her to safety beneath the stage, and then uses a miniature rocket launcher to kill Degas.

Yes, we are back to the over the top campiness that make these movies enjoyable. The acting was pretty decent in this one, though I was surprised by two things in this movie. 1) this is one of the first times I ever saw Erik Estrada not riding a motorcycle at any point in the movie, and 2) he made a pretty good villain. This was also my first time seeing Danny Trejo in a movie, before he became famous for Desperado. The plot was a little confusing but they did their best to tie up any loose ends that there might have been. The special effects were the usual bit of exploding dummies that are fun to watch. I mean, when Donna blows up Degas, you see all the stuffing fly everywhere, but you don’t see any blood like you would expect to see. If you enjoy watching these type of movies, then you will probably like this one.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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Flashback Review: March 23rd, 2014 Movie – Bad Santa

bad santa

Christmas time is always considered a time for family and good will, and there are a lot of movies out there that reflect on those beliefs. But sometimes, you just want to watch the other half of the holiday season. You know, the movies that depict the downside to the holidays; movies filled with crime, mayhem, and death. There are probably just as many of the darker movies as there are light-hearted ones, but this one is one of my favorites. I’m not sure, but I would hazard a guess that there were some criminals that actually used this scam in real life, but they probably were a lot more professional than Willie was in Bad Santa.

The plot: Willie Stokes and his partner, Marcus, are a couple of con-men with a great system. With Willie posing as a mall Santa and Marcus as his elf, they work a mall every year, then on Christmas Eve, Marcus hides and deactivates the security system after the mall closes and the proceed to rob the large department stores. After their recent job is finished, Marcus comments about how Willie is getting worse with his drinking but Willie says not to worry as this is his last job. Willie plans to go down to Miami and live but Marcus says that if he calls him, Willie will be rushing to put on the Santa costume again. After several months in Miami, where Willie has burned through his money and is stealing from people to continue his drinking, he receives a call from MArcus telling him to head to Phoenix. Once there, they meet the mall manager, Bob Chipeska, but Willie’s vulgar remarks worry him and he shares his concerns with Gin, the mall security chief. On his first day at the job, Willie is already dunk and does his best to get rid of the kids as quickly as possible. One of the kids that sees him starts asking him questions and Willie finds himself answering them before the kid starts to unnerve him. After work, Willie goes to a bar, where he meets the bartender Sue and, partially because of her Santa Claus fetish, the end up having sex in his car. As he is about to leave, Willie is attacked by a guy but the kid from the mall starts yelling at the man to leave Santa alone and he leaves. Willie recognizes the kid from earlier and decides to give him a lift home, and the kid continues asking Willie questions. Arriving at the kid’s house, Willie finds out that the only other person there is the kid’s grandmother, who is rather senile, and he tricks the kid, Thurman, into showing him where the safe is, then steals his father’s car. The next day, Bob hears Willie having sex in the woman’s dressing room and after speaking with Willie and Marcus about it, he speaks to Gin about it, who decides to look into it. That night, Willie goes back to his hotel and, seeing someone looking around in there, Calls Marcus to let him know what is going on and then goes back to Thurman’s house to hide out. While there, Willie invites Sue over and they continue their relationship, with Sue starting to develop some actual feelings for Willie. The next day, Willie is awoken by Thurman’s screaming and holding his bleeding hand. Willie tries to help Thurman by pouring some vodka on the cut and Thurman runs off screaming, and Willie notices Thurman’s Advent calendar, which Willie ripped open while drunk the night before, and starts to feel bad. Meanwhile, Gin had someone run the license plate for the car that Willie is driving and goes to see Thurman’s dad, who is in jail for embezzlement. Gin tells Bob that Willie and Marcus as clean, but he then meets with Willie and Marcus after work, and says that he won’t report them but he wants half of the take. Realizing how far he has sunk, Willie tries to kill himself and gives Thurman a note that explains what he has done, but when he notices Thurman sporting a black eye, he goes out and beats up the bully that has been picking on Thurman. A few days before Christmas Eve, Willie and Sue are about to have sex when Thurman comes in the room and gives Willie the gift he made for him, a wooden pickle. Not knowing what to say, Willie is actually touched by the gift and thanks Thurman for the present. When Willie loses his temper the next day and asks Thurman why he keeps on with the present as he is not Santa Claus, Thurman says he knows Santa isn’t real but figured Willie would get him a gift because they are friends. Meanwhile, Marcus and his girlfriend Lois wait for Gin to leave and as he is driving along the highway, they flag him down, pretending to need a jump, but while Gin is connecting the cables, Lois steps on the gas, pinning Gin between the two cars and Marcus uses the jumper cables to finish him off. Sue comes over to help Willie and Thurman decorate Thurman’s house for Christmas then, as he prepares to leave to do the job at the mall, he realizes that he has grown to care for Thurman and tells him that he will be home for dinner. Sneaking back into the mall, Willie prepares to handle the safe but when he realizes what type of safe it is, he tells Marcus it will take a while. After eventually getting the safe open, Willie goes to get a present for Thurman, the pink stuffed elephant he asked for. After grabbing the elephant, he turns to see Marcus pointing a gun at him, telling him that every year Willie gets more and more unreliable so he feels like he has no choice. Lois tells Marcus to hurry up and shoot him when suddenly, the police show up and Willie, Marcus, and Lois are forced to run. Still holding the elephant, Willie gets in the car and, with the cops on his tail, he heads back to the house, determined to give Thurman a present. Arriving at the house, Willie races for the door but is shot down by the police, which is witnessed by several of the neighboring children, who proceed to scream. Some time later, Thurman receives a letter from Willie, thanking Thurman for giving the letter to the cops, and explains how Sue has been given temporary guardianship for Thurman, as nobody is really able to care for him and his grandmother. He also explains that the letter, plus the image of the cops shooting an unarmed Santa Claus, would help him stay out of jail and when he gets out of the hospital, he will be back to visit. Going outside to play, Thurman is confronted by the bully again but, following Willie’s words of advise, Thurman kicks the bully in the balls, then rides off on his back.

Bad Santa met with mostly positive reviews, holding a 78% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus is that it is “A gloriously rude and gleefully offensive black comedy, Bad Santa isn’t for everyone, but grinches will find it uproariously funny.” Billy Bob Thorton would be nominated for both a Golden Globe and a Satellite Award, but lost both times to Bill Murray’s performance in Lost In Translation. The movie was a box office hit, earning over $76 million off of a $23 million budget.

This is one of my favorite dark comedy movies, even when it isn’t the holiday season. Billy Bob Thorton (Willie) was hysterical in this role, made even more so by the fact that he was actually drunk during portions of the filming. Bernie Mac (Gin) and Tony Cox (Marcus) were also funny and, while it was only for a brief while, John Ritter (Bob) was a great straight man for all of them to play off of. The plot was good and the writing, while inappropriate, was really funny. The under story of Willie bonding with Thurman and growing to care for him did make for some light-hearted moments in this movie and did serve to show that even someone as miserable as Willie can have a good side to him. It definitely isn’t for everyone but this is a comedy worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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January 24th, 2016 Movie – Savage Beach

savage beach

Ahh, the memories. I think I mentioned this when I started watching these movies but I did watch many of these movies on Cinemax when I was a teenager. Well this was the first of these movies that I ever saw. Back in the day, the pay-per-view channels would usually show trailers and ads for the movies that they were showing. Well, the first time I ever heard about this movie was when they were advertising it on the preview channel. After seeing it time after time on there, the name of the movie stuck in my head so when I saw it was coming on Cinemax one night, I made sure to watch. So here is today’s movie, Savage Beach.

The plot: Donna and Taryn, along with fellow agents Rocky and Pattycakes, manage to successfully complete a drug bust, where the smugglers were hiding the drugs in hollowed out pineapples. While the four agents are relaxing in Dona’s hot tub, a hospital on Knox island is running out of supplies and places a call to Shane Aviation to deliver more before a big storm hits the island. The owner, Shane Abilene, who is also the area head for The Agency, contacts Donna and Taryn and has them prepare to fly the delivery to the hospital, while he brings them some gear to use in case they run into trouble and warns them about the storm in the area. Meanwhile, Martinez, a member of the Philippines government, is at a naval tracking station, where he has convinced Captain Andreas to help him search the Marshall Islands for a missing shipment of gold that the Japanese hid on one of the islands during WWII. They are waiting for an army major to arrive with a computer disk to help search the area but unknown to them, the major is shot en route and a man named Bruce Christian takes his place. Using the disk, an outside computer expert manages to narrow down the search are but there are still over 100 ship wrecks left to search. Andreas says that two members of the Japanese government are questioning a Japanese admiral, who was in charge of the shipment of gold, and he tells them where the gold shipped from. Later, Martinez meets with the computer expert and pays him for delivering a copy of the computer disk to him but as the expert leaves, a bomb placed in the payment explodes, killing him while Martinez drives away laughing. Meanwhile, as the storm rages on Knox Island, Donna and Taryn manage to land on the island, deliver the medicine, and, after quickly refueling, they take off for home. During the flight back, their plane is struck by lightning, knocking out their instruments and leaving them flying blind. Continuing to fly throughout the night, they manage to spot an island in the morning and crash land on it. In Hawaii, the Japanese agents arrive but are ambushed in their hotel room by two men, who kill them and take their place. Making a copy of the disk, they arrive at the tracking station and using their disk, manage to deduce where the boat landed, which happens to be the same island that Donna and Taryn crashed on. On the island, Donna and Taryn take care of the plane, then decide to explore the island, unaware that they are being observed. Deciding to make camp near the beach, the girls start work on gathering food so they can survive until help arrives, but as they are returning from going spear fishing, Donna notices some footprints in the sand that are quickly washed away by the tide. Hearing movement in the jungle, Donna uses Taryn as bait to see who is out there and after she is attacked by a man with a sword, the girls decide to grab the survival kit that Shane packed them. After mistakenly killing a rooster, the girls decide to try and hunt down the mysterious man but as they move through the jungle, Donna is caught in a snare. As Taryn tries to free her, the man appears but after staring at Taryn, the man disappear back into the jungle. The man heads towards a buried box, containing some dogtags and a photograph of a family, where the man has the same eyes as Taryn. At this time, Andreas, Bruce, and Martinez arrive on the island, Noticing their arrival, Donna and Taryn study the plane, wondering if they can use it to get off the island, but also wondering what the men are doing on the island since they are not part of a rescue party. They observe Bruce calling in his position a radio, but they are captured by Andreas and tied up. Meanwhile, Martinez’s female associate leads a party of men to the island, where they begin to trail the three men as they uncover the gold. The island man, seeing all the armed men on the island, heads to where Donna and Taryn are tied up and after staring at her for a minute, cuts the ropes holding Taryn’s hands. When Martinez, Andreas, and Bruce find the gold, the other group announces their presence, then kills the girl, saying that they are mercenaries and plan on using the gold for their own purposes. The island man throws a machete through one of the men’s chest and Bruce and Andreas use the distraction to make their escape. They are soon caught by Donna and Taryn, who reluctantly agree to help each other make it to their plane so they can escape, but when Bruce asks about the machete, Donna and Taryn choose not to say anything about the strange man. Splitting up, Bruce and Andreas are confronted by the mercenaries and briefly knocked out but before they are killed, Donna confronts the mercenaries and manages to kill one of them but the others run off. Martinez makes his way back to the gold and after killing another mercenary that was closing in on him, he loads the gold in a knapsack and head towards the mercenaries’ boat. Taryn gives chase and manages to use an explosive crossbow bolt to blow up the zodiac, sending Martinez and the gold to the bottom of the ocean. Moving to rejoin the others, Taryn is taken captive by the last mercenary but when the island man sees this, he rushes forward and impales the mercenary with his sword, but is fatally shot in the process. As Taryn cradles his head, the dying man hands her a picture and begins speaking. Andreas translates his words, saying he could not kill those eyes again and the man explains that three Americans washed up on the island and he and his men, under orders to protect the gold, killed the men, one of them being Taryn’s grandfather. While Donna and Taryn fly the plane back to Molokai, Bruce and Andreas wait for their ride and Bruce reveals that he works for the C.I.A. and he had infiltrated the operation. Back on Molokai, the Shane, Rocky, and Pattycakes celebrate the return of their friends and the completed mission but when Bruce comments on how 6 bars of gold seemed to be missing, he says that he convinced his men they were wrong and everyone looks at Taryn, who claims she is still a civilian and was able to keept the gold she found under marinetime law.

A lot of stereotypes, a lot of innuendo, but unfortunately, not much else. To be honest, this movie seemed pretty boring compared to the previous entries. The acting was ok but a lot of the humor from the earlier movies was missing in this one. To be honest, the only line that was really funny to me was when the girls found out their new boss was another Abilene, and Taryn comments about that. The plot was pretty basic but they spent most of the movie on setup and by the time everyone was on the island, there was only 30 minutes of move time left. I hate to say it, but I did think it was funny when the two Japanese agents were attacked by the two mercenaries, it broke down into a martial arts fight, because what else are you going to do with four Asians in a room. And, as expected in this type of movie, there was some sexual innuendo, but most of it was used in an early scene between Donna and Shane, as they traded on innuendo after another while discussing the survival gear Shane packed them. Not a bad movie, but definitely not as enjoyable as the last two.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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January 23rd, 2016 Movie – Picasso Trigger

picasso trigger

Stupid Weather. Why do you have to try and screw up my plans for today. I bought my family tickets to the Georgia Aquarium for Christmas so we could have a day out with the whole family. But now, those plans might be put on holddue to your need to bring snow and ice to Georgia once again. That does not make for a happy camper on my part. On a somewhat funny, coincidental note regarding the aquarium, today’s movie revolves around a painting of a triggerfish. So I might as well kill some time before learning if my day is cancelled by watching Picasso Trigger.

The plot: In Paris, Salazar receives a video tape from Miguel Ortiz, thanking him for his help and saying he will soon kill the agents responsible for his brother’s death. Salazar heads to a charity event, where he donates a painting called the Picasso Trigger to the city of Paris. After briefly talking to a woman in attendance, who comments on the humor that the painting’s title is also his code name, Salazar leaves the event and is almost immediately shot in the chest. The head of The Agency, L.G. Abilene, calls Travis Abilene in Hawaii and tells him the news, warning him to be careful. In Las Vegas, two cops are keeping tabs on Schiavo, who is being investigated for human trafficking, and complaining about how they are being replaced by two girls from The Agency, who happen to be undercover as dancers at the L:as Vegas hotel they are in. Glen, one of Schiavo’s henchmen, has a homing device planted on the two cops and as they are heading back to Palm Springs, he follows them in a helicopter and blows up their car with a bazooka. In Molokai, Miguel is eating at Edy’s and as he is leaving, has his bodyguard send a pair of leis over to a couple at a table. Edy talks to the couple before they leave but as they go walk on the beach, they are killed by two men, who signal Miguel to let him know they are dead. Donna and Taryn are vacationing on a boat in Maui and decide to go snorkeling. While they are swimming, the two men that killed the couple on Molokai show up and, after receiving a call from Miguel, they use a remote control plane to blow up the boat, which Donna and Taryn saw from the safety of a secluded cove. L.G. is riding his horse on his ranch in Dallas when his ranch hand is killed when his jeep explodes. Knowing the explosion was meant for him, L.G. calls Travis and tells him to head to Dallas and pick up Pantera, the agent in Paris that was watching Salazar, and meet him at a nearby lodge. Meanwhile, Donna and Taryn hitch a ride into town, where they catch a train to where their plane is parked. As they fly back to Molokai, they contact Jade and let him know what happened and he says to contact him when they land. Travis meets with Pantera, who turns out to be an old college girlfriend, and they head to a bar to reconnect, but while they are there, Travis notices two men watching them. The next day, they meet up with L.G. and show him a newpaper with a headline saying the agents involved in the Ortiz case have been murdered. When they notice the two men from the night before, L.G. and Travis use a speedboat to get them to follow them, while Pantera follows them in a barge and ends up shooting one of the pursuers, after Travis repeatedly misses, and L.G. kills the second one. L.G. heads back to Washington, while Travis assembles a team of agents to deal with the situation. Meeting in Las Vegas, Travis goes over the information they have and their suspicions that Miguel is trying to gain control of Salazar’s criminal empire. He then hands out the assignments, having Jade and Edy tackle Toshi Lum, Salazar’s Far-East contact, Kym, Patticakes, and Juan stay on Schiavo and Glen in the hopes of catching their boss, Charles Patterson, while Donna and Taryn deal with Miguel and Pantera and Travis head to Salazar’s home. Donna and Pantera argue about the assignments and , when they are alone, Donna tells Travis that she doesn’t trust Pantera. Taryn chooses to fly ahead to Molokai to meet with a friend of hers so Travis has Donna fly back with him, where they decide to join the mile-high club. As they are getting dressed, and Donna uses a lighter hidden in her watch to light a cigarette, Travis remembers something and looks at the photos of Salazar’s death, noticing that the watch was on the wrong wrist. Arriving in Honolulu, Donna and Travis head to the Professor’s house, where he gives them some custom weapons for Donna and Taryn to use. That Sunday, the agents make their move on their respective targets, with Jade and Edy taking out Toshi and his men, and Kym, Patticakes, and Juan kill Patterson, Schiavo, and Glen, but Kym is wounded during the fight. Donna and Taryn take out the two men that tried to kill them, then split up to take out Miguel. Miguel hears about his associates being killed and heads back to his house. One of Miguel’s guards sees Taryn and starts shooting at her before ducking back inside the house so Taryn uses a remote controlled car filled with explosives to blow up the house, then shoots the guard that comes out. The original guard manages to shoot Taryn but she was wearing a bullet proof vest and shoots him when he gets closer. Miguel tries to make a break for it on a dirt bike but Donna shoots a spear carrying explosives into his bike, killing him. Travis, sporting a fake cast and crutch, meets Pantera outside Salazar’s house and heads inside, where he finds Salazar still alive. Salazar explains how he set it up so that L.G. would have his agents do his dirty work for him. Using the gun hidden in the crutch, Travis tries to shoot Salazar but Salazar is protected by a sheet of bullet proof glass, and he uses a missile attached to a security camera to try and kill Travis. Pantera enters the house to see if Travis is all right but as they kiss, she attempts to kill him but Donna, who had been given some information by L.G., shows up and kills her. The two agents chase after Salazar, who attempts to escape on a hovercraft but Donna uses an explosive laced spear to blow up the hovercraft. When Donna wonders about who the man killed ion Paris was, and comments about the real Salazar being dead, Travis suspects that Salazar might still be alive and, programming a miniature rocket to track his pacemaker, he fires the rocket, which streaks back towards the house and kills the real Salazar for good.

Not as good as the last movie but this was still pretty fun to watch. The acting was ok, with the dialogue really making up for the lack of skills in some people. They tried to have a little more complex plot in this movie but while it did make for a lot of seemingly odd timed cut-aways, the attempt to make the movie more serious actually made it funnier to watch. The special effects were just as bad as the last movie, and while the explosions did look good, it was really funny watching the dummies fly apart. Yet another guilty pleasure that can be fun to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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January 22nd, 2016 Movie – Hard Ticket To Hawaii

hard ticket to hawaii

Waking up with a weather induced headache/borderline migraine is not how I wanted to start today. I took some medicine and hopefully it will kick in soon because I really don’t want to have to call out of work as I have too much to do today. Hopefully it doesn’t get any worse by watching today’s movie. While Malibu Express is considered the first movie in the series, the only direct link is one character being Cody’s cousin(and a couple of references to the movie scattered about). However, starting with this movie there would be several recurring characters that work for “The Agency”. So let’s see what happens in today’s movie, Hard Ticket To Hawaii.

The plot: Rowdy Abilene and Donna, two agents from The Agency, are saying goodbye on Rowdy’s boat, Malibu Express, as Rowdy is being transferred to Honolulu while Donna is staying on Molokai. The next day, two Molokai marshalls arrive on an island to check out a local family that grows pot and discover a large drug operation underway. They try to sneak away but are caught in a snare and are killed by one of the guards. As part of her cover for The Agency, Donna works as a small cargo pilot with Taryn, a woman in witness protection, as her co-pilot. They head to the hangar, where they learn that there only cargo is a honeymoon couple wanting to go to Molokai, and a snake going to a local wildlife preserve for study. After dropping off the honeymooners, Donna and Taryn are making there way back to the plane when they notice a remote control helicopter landing nearby. When the helicopter doors open, Taryn notices two small boxes inside and grabs them but two men show up and start shooting at them, causing Taryn to drop one of the boxes. The girls are able to get away from the men and return to their home where, after unloading the snake and placing it inside the hangar, they decide to go in the hot tub. In the hot tub, the open the box that Taryn kept and find a bag containing diamonds inside. Meanwhile, the two men that shot at Donna and Taryn go to see their boss, Seth, who recognizes the description of the plane and makes plans to have the girls taken care of and retrieve the diamonds. The girls try to send word to Rowdy but they are attacked by two masked assailants. The one holding Donna asks her where the diamonds are and she takes him to the hangar, where she briefly struggles with him before escaping, but during the struggle, the cage containing the snake is broken and the snake escapes. The other assailant questions Taryn and collects the box that she had but wants to know where the second box is. While waiting outside, Seth notices the snake and begins shooting at it, causing the assailants to leave the girls and go back to help him, with one of them tripping over a pipe lid in the process. Donna chases after them and manages to shoot Seth in the face before the three villains get away. Noticing the snake is missing, the girls start to search for it when the receive a call from the cargo manager, who tells them the wrong snake was loaded on their plane and that the snake they have is contaminated with deadly toxins. The girls go to Edys, a bar owned by Edy who is a contact for the Agency, and get in touch with Rowdy, who says he and Jade will catch the next flight in. Unknown to the girls, the bartender Michelle, who works for Seth, was listening in on the call and calls Seth to tell him what their plans are. When Rowdy and Jade arrive, they are attacked by a man on a skateboard as they head to Edys, who injures Jade before Rowdy uses a bazooka to kill him. After going to the hospital to get Jade seen too, Rowdy calls Edy to tell her what happened and she says she will go pick them up. However, Michelle, who is actually a guy named Michael, listens in and makes a call to two of Seth’s men, who pick him up and they go and kidnap Edy while she is driving. Meanwhile, Donna and Taryn are doing surveillance on Seth and see Edy being held hostage. Donna recognizes one of the men holding Edy as Michelle and realizes that he was placed at Edys to sabotage Edy’s surveillance on Seth. Back at Seth’s, Seth and his men begin torturing Edy to find out where the rest of the diamonds are. Rowdy and Jade finally arrive and they make plans to rescue Edy. Pretending to be a surfer, Rowdy heads to the beach to throw frisbee with Shades, one of Seth’s guards, and uses a frisbee covered in razor blades to kill him. While Donna uses an ultralight to drop some noise grenades around Seth’s house, Taryn, Rowdy, and Jade head inside to rescue Edy. Killing all of Seth’s men, they rescue Edy and Donna flies the ultralight back home while the others use Seth’s van to head back. As they are driving back, Edy asks them what happened to Seth and, realizing that he is still alive and would go after Donna, Rowdy uses a dirt bike in the back of the van to save her. At the house, Donna is attacked by Seth but she manages to use a spear gun to deal with him. Believing him to be dead, she is surprised when he gets up and tries to attack her again but Donna stabs him in the gut again. Inside the bathroom, Donna starts to wash off the blood from her hands when the snake suddenly burst up from the toilet and she runs out of the room. Noticing Seth starting to move, Donna quickly hides and Seth, hearing the snake making noise in the bathroom and thinking it is Donna, opens the door but is bit by the snake and finally dies. Seeing the snake leaving the bathroom, Donna tries to shoot it but it keeps coming until Rowdy, crashing through the door on the dirt bike, uses the bazooka to kill it. The next day, Donna and Rowdy go to see Chang, Seth’s partner in the drug trade, and after dealing with his body guard, Donna shoots Chang when he attacks them with a sword, knocking him out the window of his penthouse. As the group celebrates on Rowdy’s boat, Edy mentions that they should find the other box of diamonds and turn it in but Taryn claims that since she is the only one that knows where the box is, and that the others being government agents would be forced to turn it over to the authorities, as a civilian, she could keep the diamonds and share the wealth with her friends, which the others laughingly agree to with a toast.

This movie is not a good movie but it is so ridiculously over the top that it is really funny to watch. The acting is pretty decent among all the characters, with the bad dialogue actually helping them. The plot was ok but again, the writing made this a lot funnier than it was probably intended to be. The special effects were bad, with obvious dummies taking the place of some people when they were killed, but that helped up the movies enjoyability because you find yourself laughing at how bad they are at times. People may argue on whether this is a good movie but as far as B-movies go, this is definitely an entertaining one.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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January 21st, 2016 Movie – Malibu Express

malibu express

Sooooo, I have this box set of movies, which is not that uncommon on it’s own. But this particular box set is one that I did not buy and I honestly don’t know how I came to possess it. See, the box set is called Girls, Guns, and G-Strings and contains a series of films by Andy Sidaris known as the “Triple B” series or L.E.T.H.A.L. Ladies series. The movies star several Playboy Playmates and Penthouse Pets, and are one of the reasons for calling Cinemax’s late night programming “Skinemax”. I will admit that I have seen several of these movies as a teenager but I am still curious as to how these DVDs came to be here. I guess that is a mystery to be solved at another date. Might as well get on with today’s movie, Malibu Express.

The plot: Private investigator Cody Abilene heads to the gun range for some shooting practice, but misses the target with every shot. He then goes to watch his friend June Khnockers (with an H) doing some practice laps in her race car before he heads back home to his dad’s yacht. Meanwhile, Contessa Luciana hires Cody to investigate her friend, Lady Lillian Chamberlain, to see if she is selling computer technology to the Russians. As he is about to head to Lady Chamberlain’s house, Cody is stopped by the Buffington family, who have a longstanding grudge against Cody’s dad, and challenged to a race, which Cody loses. Arriving at the Chamberlain mansion, Cody meets Lady Chamberlain, as well as the rest of her family, Lillian’s nephew Stuart, his wife Anita, and their daughter Liza, as well as Lillian’s staff, her butler/chauffeur Shane and her maid Marion. After dinner, Shane goes to the gym with his cop friend Beverly, where he watches her work out. The next day, Cody gives Liza a lift to see her friend Johnathan Harper, who runs a company that sells computers worldwide that Liza is helping fund. While they are there, three men (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) show up and Johnathan has them follow Cody when he leaves, where they warn him to stay away from the place before shooting his car and sending him walking in the desert. Managing to find a used car lot, Cody gets a new car and heads back to the house to snoop around. At the house, he learns that Shane is an ex-con, who has taken videos and pictures of him sleeping with Anita, which he shows her to try and blackmail her into giving him $30,000 to pay off his gambling debts. Shane is also trying to blackmail Stuart and expose him as a gay crossdresser. During a party the Lady Lillian hosts, Shane’s bookie shows up and threatens him if he doesn’t get the money soon. After the party is over, Shane is killed but he manages to take a picture of his killer. The next morning, Cody and Luciana discover Shane’s body and Cody tells Luciana to go ahead and leave while he handles things with the police. Seeing movement in Shane’s room, he goes in to find Anita rummaging through Shane’s furniture and he sends her to get the rest of the family and meet him by the pool. When she leaves, Shane looks through the cabinet and finds a camera with blood on it and takes the film from it. Beverly and her partner arrive and after speaking with the family, show them the pictures of Shane with Anita, which they said were delivered to the station that morning. Lillian recognizes the location in the pictures as being in her beach house and gives Cody the key to it so he and Beverly can look around. The two decide to have sex and while in the bed, Cody finds the remote control for a video camera that Shane had set up. Meanwhile, having been tipped off by Marion that Cody and Beverly would be there, two men show up to kill them but Beverly manages to shoot them both. Cody heads back to his boat, but finds Faye and May, the two girls in the slip next to him in his bed. Mathew, Mark, and Luke show up at the boat looking for the film but Cody manages to shoot Mathew in the ear and chase them off. The next day, Beverly calls Cody and tells him that they arrested Stuart after finding pictures of him with Shane and Cody admits that he has a role of film which he believes is what everyone is after. Cody calls June and to see if her photographer friend Rodney is working there, then he and Beverly go to the racetrack to have Rodney develop the film. When the film is developed, the find a picture of the killer and head back to the car, but Mathew, Mark, and Luke show up and shoot Beverly in the shoulder. Cody leads the men away and ends up getting in June’s race car and driving off, with the three men hijacking a helicopter to chase them. The three get ahead of Cody and plan on ambushing him but when the helicopter leaves, Mathew is distracted and ends up getting hit by Cody, who goes flying and accidentally pulls the pin on the grenade he was carrying, killing himself. With the car out of gas, Cody and June are forced to run, with Mark and Luke chasing after them. With only one bullet left in Cody’s gun, June flashes Luke to distract him, and Cody manages to wing him, then grab Luke’s shotgun and shoot Mark in the knee. Catching a ride back to town, Cody heads to Johnathan’s house, where he meets Beverly and her partner and they arrest Liza for Shane’s murder based on the photograph. The next day, Cody arranges for everyone involved to show up at his boat, where they are surprised to see Liza join them. Cody explains that Liza was left handed and the killer was right-handed. Since the killer was female, Cody was able to account for the whereabouts of all the females at the house that night except for Luciana. He went to her house to find some answers and finds a tape that she left him, where she explains that she was a government agent and she killed Shane not only for his blackmailing the Chamberlains, but because he was working for Johnathan, who was selling computers to the Russians. Knowing some of what she told him was confidential, Cody tells the assembled group what he can and they toast the end of the case.

For the type of movie that it is, this actually was pretty entertaining. Part of that might be because it is so over the top and ridiculous. The acting was pretty decent in this movie, with Darby Hinton doing really well in his role as the lead. The story was kind of convoluted, with a lot of different sub-plots but some of them, like the Buffingtons’ continuosly showing up to challenge Cody to a race. Another thing introduced in this movie that becomes a recurring gag in the future movies is that the male hero is a lousy shot that almost never hits anything. It’s one of those stupid movies that tends to be a guilty pleasure for watching.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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January 20th, 2016 Movie – Malibu Beach

malibu beach

Soooo, I was just a baby during the 70’s drive-in days and obviously didn’t experience this first hand but I just have to ask. Was the drive-in just the place to go to watch soft-core porn that the normal theaters wouldn’t show? I ask this because just about every movie on the Drive-In Cult Classics box set is basically that. I mean, I know that drive-ins were basically portrayed in movies and TV as places teenagers would go to have sex, but was that because of the type of movies being shown on some of the screens? To be honest, it doesn’t really matter. It was just something I was curious about while watching today’s movie, Malibu Beach.

The plot: On the first day of summer break, new lifeguard Dina is working at Malibu Beach, where all the usual antics occur. On the beach, a bodybuilder named Dugan briefly hits on her before turning his attention to a teacher named Ms. Plickett, who he convinces to go back to his place but she leaves before they do anything. Later that night, Dina goes out with her friend Sally but when they get a flat tire, they meet Bobby and Paul as they finish changing it. The guys convince the girls to join them for a beer and the girls agree, where Sally and Bobby end up making out but Dina ducks Paul’s attempts and convinces Sally to leave with her. Bobby and Paul buy some beers and head to the beach, where a bonfire is being held. Rodney, a rookie police officer, patrols the beach and catches the kids smoking joints but one of the girls, Margie, recognizes him as a friend of her brothers and convinces him to join them for a while. Sally and Dina show up at the beach and upon seeing them, Bobby and Paul meet them; with Bobby and Sally going off to have sex while Dina and Paul go for a walk. Paul kisses Dina but realizes that she just wants to be friends. Dugan shows up and grabs Paul and is about to get into a fight with both him and Bobby but Rodney walks by and Dugan leaves. The four kids decide to go skinny dipping and while they are in the water, Paul and Sally start to hook up while Dina and Bobby start to get close. The next day at the beach, Dina watches a kid goofing off and pretend to be drowning but when  he actually starts to drown. she ends up rescuing him. As the kid is sitting on the shore, Dugan grabs him and threatens him if he ever does that again. Dugan then goes over to the lifeguard station and hits on Dina some more. Rodney and his partner show up at the beach and while his partner goes for a drink at the bar, Rodney meets up with Margie and they smoke a joint. Dina’s shift is over and she and Sally go to the women’s restroom to change but when it is too gross, they decide to sneak into the men’s room. When they get there, they find Paul coming out and he offers to stand guard while they change, but when the girls go in, Bobby grabs them. with a crowd starting to gather, Dugan pushes his way to the front and finds Bobby coming out with the girls. Dugan and Bobby are about to fight but Dina tells them there is no fighting on the beach. They decide to have a race but when Bobby’s jeep is blocked in, he steals Rodney’s cop car while Dugan borrows another kid’s (Claude) car. They race towards the entrance to the parking lot but when neither of them back down, they end up crashing the cars but both of them are okay. Bobby, Dina, Paul, and Sally go on a date, sneaking onto the boardwalk to drive the bumper cars before ending up at the local makeout point. The next day, Paul and Sally are getting gas and notice some guys in a van stealing motor oil and alert the station attendant to what is happening. They go to the beach and as they are leaving, they notice Paul’s car has a flat tire and the two guys are standing nearby with a switchblade. Paul changes the tire but then sneaks over and uses a hose to fill their van with water before he and Sally drive off. That night, there is a party at Claude’s house and Bobby and Dugan end up getting into a fight over Dina but it is broken up when the cops show up and break up the party. Dina is tired of the guys fighting over her and leaves, with Boby driving off as well. Bobby ends up going swimming at the beach and Dina finds him there, where they make up and end up having sex on the beach. The next day, Bobby goes over to Dina’s house after her parents leave, where they start to have sex but are forced to stop when her parent’s come back unexpectedly. Later, they go to the pier with Paul and Sally, but when Dugan shows up, Bobby ends up in a swimming race with him. Paul decides to play a joke by pretending to be a shark, succeeding in scaring Dugan, but when he gets out of the water a real shark shows up and almost bites Bobby before he can safely make it up the pier. Dugan feels dejected about winning the race but not Dina, but when Ms. Plickett pulls up and offers him a lift back to her place, he cheers up.

You ever hear the term “mindless drivel”? That more or less is how I feel about this movie. The acting was ok for the most part. The plot was simple, but there were a lot of random events and loose ends that just went nowhere and felt like they were included to fill time. One running gag that I did think was funny was that of a dog that kept going around and stealing girls’ bikini tops and at the end of the movie, you find out that it is Ms. Plickett’s dog. I know this is one of many of these types of movies and you really should watch one of the other ones before this one.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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