Major League featured pic

Major League (1989) review

Major League posterDirector: David Ward

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, Wesley Snipes, Rene Russo, Dennis Haysbert, James Gammon

CERRANO – “Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straight ball, I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid. I ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats. I offer him cigar, rum. He will come.”

HARRIS – “You know, you might wanna think about taking Jesus Christ as your saviour instead of fooling around with all this stuff.”

CERRANO – “Ah, Jesus. I like him very much. But he no help with curveball.”

HARRIS – “Are you trying to say Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball?”

Let me cut to the chase: if you’re from the UK, chances are you don’t care about baseball and haven’t heard of Major League. And yet – spoilers – I’ve given it five stars. Lol wut etc.

The truth is, I’m slightly biased here. I have family who lived in Cleveland, Ohio and as a result I grew up following the Cleveland-based sports teams, most notably the Cleveland Browns of the NFL and the Cleveland Indians of the MLB.

Major League, a comedy movie about the Indians, has therefore featured in my life for more than two decades. Over the years I’ve watched my worn-out VHS copy, DVD copy and Blu-ray copy so many times I could probably act the whole thing out from start to finish. Continue reading

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One Hour Photo (2002) review

One Hour Photo posterDirector: Mark Romanek

Starring: Robin Williams, Connie Nielsen, Michael Vartan, Dylan Smith

“Family photos depict smiling faces: births, weddings, holidays, children’s birthday parties. People take pictures of the happy moments in their lives. Someone looking through our photo album would conclude that we had led a joyous, leisurely existence free of tragedy. No one ever takes a photograph of something they want to forget.” (Sy, One Hour Photo)

The tragic death of Robin Williams has led to the inevitable business of fans sharing their favourite movies on their social networks of choice.

Given that he was obviously best known for his comedy work, it’s therefore no surprise that the vast majority of the films and TV shows nominated as his best are humorous in nature.

Mrs Doubtfire, Mork & Mindy, Aladdin, his live stand-up shows… there can be no denying that Williams made us laugh countless times throughout the years. Continue reading

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TWABM Vol 1 eBook – FREE for a limited time!

Back in October, I released the first ever That Was A Bit Mental eBook. A few people bought it – these people are considered legends.

Then, in January this year, I dropped the price. A few more people bought it – these people are considered friends.

TWABM ebookThe rest of you, those who have yet to buy it, I consider work in progress. One day you will hang on my every word and treat every new review like another little droplet from heaven. But you need more convincing.

Of course, I’m only joking! *glares* Either way, I’m not going to be updating the site for a couple of weeks, so I recommend you spend that time catching up on some of the other 223 reviews already on That Was A Bit Mental.

Since the best way to do this is read the aforementioned eBook, which contains special ‘Writer’s Cut’ versions of the first 100 reviews on the site – complete with re-written jokes, extra bits and bonus trivia for every film – I’ve decided to do you a little favour.

For the next two weeks – that’s until the evening of Sunday, August 10 – you can download a PDF version of the That Was A Bit Mental Volume 1 eBook, right here, free of charge. Continue reading

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The Godsend (1980) review

The Godsend posterDirector: Gabrielle Beaumont

Starring: Malcolm Stoddard, Cyd Hayman, Angela Pleasence, Wilhelmina Green

“Do you know what a cuckoo does? It lays its egg in another bird’s nest. And do you know what the fledgling does? It pushes the others out, one after the other, until it has the complete attention of the parents. That’s Bonnie. Bonnie must go.” (Alan, The Godsend)

You can tell a film is iconic when it spawns its own brood of knock-offs. Take Night Of The Living Dead and the way every zombie film that followed had shambling, moaning monsters just like Romero’s, for example.

Another shining example is The Omen, the success of which saw a subsequent sharp increase in the number of films about spooky religious kids: Bless The Child, Children Of The Corn, even its own sequel, Damien: Omen II.

The Godsend is one of these offshoots, going so far as to go right down the ‘British couple inherits child that isn’t theirs’ route. And you know, it isn’t absolutely terrible, even though it’s about as original as a Harlem Shake video. Continue reading

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Sin City (2005) review

Sin City posterDirectors: Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro, Nick Stahl, Jessica Alba, Brittany Murphy

“The wind rises, electric. She’s soft and warm and almost weightless. Her perfume is a sweet promise that brings tears to my eyes. I tell her that everything will be all right. That I’ll save her from whatever she’s scared of and take her far, far away. I tell her I love her. The silencer makes a whisper of the gunshot. I hold her close until she’s gone. I’ll never know what she was running from. I’ll cash her check in the morning.” (The Salesman, Sin City)

I’ve been reading through Frank Miller’s Sin City comics over the past few weeks.

While skimming through the letters pages found in the back of each issue – usually packed with readers moaning about censorship – I spotted an interesting comment from Miller.

One reader asked if it was true that Sin City was being turned into a movie, and Miller made it clear in no uncertain terms that he didn’t want this to happen. Continue reading

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Troll (1986) review

Troll posterDirector: John Carl Buechler

Starring: Noah Hathaway, Michael Moriarty, Jenny Beck, June Lockhart, Phil Fondacaro, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

“Harry, your sister isn’t an alien. She’s something much worse.” (Eunice, Troll)

You may already be aware of Troll 2, the movie some claim is the worst film ever made. I’ve already reviewed it, because that’s how cutting edge and cool and shit I am.

But what about the first Troll? What was so interesting about that film that someone decided it needed a sequel? Is it just as bad as its successor? How do they link up?

Actually, Troll has nothing to do with Troll 2. The latter was originally named Goblin until it was decided that changing the name to pretend it was a sequel to Troll would gain it extra credibility. No punchline necessary. Continue reading

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11/11/11 (2011) review

11-11-11 posterDirector: Keith Allan

Starring: Jon Briddell, Erin Coker, Hayden Byerly, Aurelia Scheppers

“Numbers are not merely symbols, Mr Vales. They hold great power. And they have that power because we give it to them. When these numbers align his fate is sealed. Your son must die before his birthday, and if you don’t kill him, I will.” (Annie, 11/11/11)

By this point I’ve become accustomed to groaning “oh for fuck’s sake” every time a movie opens with the words “The Asylum presents”.

In a way, it’s understandable. It’s just muscle memory every time I see the name of a studio known for producing shameless low budget knock-offs of popular movies.

The plan is simple: by giving their films a similar name the Asylum aims to trick unwitting parents who think they’re renting little Jimmy a slice of triple-A Hollywood blockbustery… or, at the very least, some sort of official spin-off. Continue reading

Jason X featured pic

Jason X (2001) review

Jason X posterDirector: James Isaac

Starring: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, Derwin Jordan, Melyssa Ade

“Guys, it’s okay! He just wanted his machete back!” (Professor Lowe, Jason X)

I can just imagine the conversation that potentially took place when Jason X was originally conceived.

“We need to make another Friday The 13th movie boss, but we’re running out of ideas.”

“Running out of ideas? Are you mad? It’s a slasher movie. Put gore and tits in it and you’re good.”

“Yes sir, but Friday The 13th fans expect something more, some sort of twist. We’ve already had a 3D one, a copycat killer one, a zombie one, one shot in New York and a possession one. What now?”

“I don’t care. I couldn’t give a shit if it’s fucking Jason In Space, just get tits and gore in it and have it ready by the summer.” Continue reading

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Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993) review

Jason Goes To Hell posterDirector: Adam Marcus

Starring: Kane Hodder, Kari Keegan, John D LeMay, Steven Williams

STEVEN – “Duke! The part about being reborn through a Voorhees woman, does it have to be a living woman?”
DUKE – “No.”
STEVEN – “Duke, that thing is in the basement with Jessica’s dead mother.”
DUKE – “Mother of God.”

Here’s the story. After Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan died on its arse and drew the lowest ever box office in the series’ history, Paramount was done with it.

Step forward New Line Cinema, who owned A Nightmare On Elm Street. New Line had been itching to make a film pitting their own Freddy Krueger against Jason for a while, but the fact that they owned Freddy while Paramount owned Jason meant it was a logistical nightmare.

New Line’s solution was impeccable: buy Jason from Paramount at a low price while his name is mud at the studio, make him popular again then make the Freddy vs Jason film everyone wants to see. Continue reading

Friday The 13th Part VIII featured pic

Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) review

Friday The 13th Part VIII posterDirector: Rob Hedden

Starring: Kane Hodder, Jensen Daggett, Todd Caldecott, Tiffany Paulsen

“I think the time has come for your first swimming lesson. You don’t wanna end up drowning like that Voorhees boy, do you? He never learned how to swim, either. And he’s still at the bottom of this lake.” (Charles, Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan)

By the time the Friday The 13th series had reached its eighth incarnation it was clear ideas were running a bit thin on the ground.

After all, there’s only so many times you can recycle the whole ‘masked killer stalks horny teens through the woods’ routine without eventually jumping the shark.

By this point though, Friday The 13th had jumped more sharks than Evel Knievel at a poker tournament. Continue reading

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Reviews of films that are slightly less than sane

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