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Posts tagged “suspense

Toy Soldiers (1991) – Redeemed

You know, I watched this movie back in 1991 or 1992 and remember being very disappointed with it. Well, I used to drink and I’ll chalk up my original opinion to that fact, because after just watching it again, I am pleasantly surprised on how much better a movie it seems to me now.

Toy Soldiers tells the tale of a group of students at a boarding school that are taken hostage by the son of the Colombian Cali Cartel’s leader after his father is captured and extradited to the United States for prosecution. Demanding the release of the Cartel leader or they will start executing the students, the terrorists quickly get control of the school and booby trap it against an incursion. A small group of students , led by Billy Tepper (played by Sean Astin) and Joey Trotta (played by Wil Wheaton) decide to try and fight back by collecting information on the terrorists and getting that information to the authorities on the other side of the school’s walls. Using that information, the authotites decide to move in, but only after The Dean, Edward Parker (played by Lou Gossett Jr.) convinces the military that Billy Tepper can be trusted.

This is an action packed movie with plenty of drama and suspense. Not an award winner or anything, but still a solid film. Like I stated at the beginning of this write up, I didn’t even like this movie when I first saw it, but I am glad I gave it a second chance.

Check out the trailer here:


Magic (1978) – A Great Movie

1978’s Magic is a twisted, psychological horror tale of an introverted mouse of a man, Charles “Corky” Wither, a professional magician and ventriloquist (played by the great Anthony Hopkins) who loses his grip on reality just as he is poised to make it big in show business.

Corky attempts to hone his stage skills at the insistence of his dying father (a one time magician that that worked the Catskills scene), who believes in Corky’s talent. After lots of work, he is discovered by big time agent, Ben Greene (played by the always great Burgess Meridith) who get’s him a deal with a major network, with the caveat that Corky must take a medical exam – nsomething that Corky refuses to do on “principal.” Upset, Corky takes off to an old place that rented cabins in the Catskills. It turns out that the lodge is run by a woman, Peggy Ann Snow (played by the gorgeous Ann-Margret), who Corky had a crush on as a child. 

Peggy Ann, now in a bad marriage, engages Corky and they end up in bed together and talking about her leaving her husband and taking off with Corky. Little does anyone know (at this point), that Corky is being controlled by his schizophrenic alter ego that manifests itself through his ventriloquist dummy, Fats. 

Ben Green walks in on Corky while he’s having an argument with the dummy, realizing that the reason Corky refused the medical exam was that he was worried that the doctor would discover that he was stark raving mad. After a tense test (that Corky fails), Ben goes to leave, vowing to get Corky professional help.  Shortly after walking out the door, Fats convinces Corky to kill Ben… And then the carnage begins.

I don’t want to give away anymore of this masterpiece. Let me say this: I have ventriloquist and their acts – I do not find any entertainment in this form of show business. That said, Magic is a fantastic movie with a great cast and great acting. A good movie.

Watch Magic – you owe it to yourself!

Here’s the trailer:


Outland (1981) – Sean Connery Kicking Ass as a Federal Marshal – In Space

Let me start by saying that I like this movie. I first saw it as a kid, and found it boring and dumb back then, but am glad to say that my opinion has now changed.

Set in a titanium mine on Jupiter’s moon, IO, Federal Marshal William O’Niel (Sean Connery) is assigned to the stating to lead it’s security detail – something that should be routine. Well, if this was going to be a routine assignment then this wouldn’t be much of a movie, right? Luckily, things don’t stay routine – for us, at least.

Not a very fast moving film, it is filled with darkness and a foreboding feeling. This mine is not an overly happy place. Soon, miners start acting weird and doing inexplicably psychotic things that either cause death to themselves – There’s a problem on IO. Seems as though Marshal O’Niel has a drug problem in the mine to fight – and a bad one at that. Add to the fact that the drugs are being supplied by the leader of the mine, Mark Sheppard (played by Peter Boyle), who also starts a campaign to have Marshal O’Niel eliminated. A great performance is also had by Frances Sternhagen (you might not know the name, but you most probably will recognize her from countless roles) as the jaded, but ethical Doctor Lazarus. Also – look out for John Ratzenberger of Cheers fame – he’s in here somewhere…

Dark, moody and plodding may not sound like positive things to say about a movie, but in this case they are positives. This movie is supposed to be Dark, moody and plodding. If you’re looking for a sci-fi movie with a lot of action, well this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a sci-fi movie with depth and drama, watch this. Plus, it freakin’ has Sean Connery in it. Add a few exploding heads due to rapid decompression and you have a most watchable movie. That’s easy to do as I just discovered that the whole thing is available on Youtube – you’ll find that right after the trailer, below.

Check out the trailer here:

And the Whole movie right here: