Views & Reviews From Writer Steve Miller
Formerly Reviews and Stuff at Rotten Tomatoes, 2005 - 2009.

Currently Showing at Cinema Steve

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

'Any Gun Can Play' isn't worth the time

Any Gun Can Play (aka "River of Blood" and "For a Few Bullets More") (1967)
Starring: Edd Byrnes, George Hilton, Gilbert Roland, Ivano Staccioli, and Kareen O'Hara
Director: Enzo G. Castellari
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

A banker (Byrnes), a bountyhunter (Hilton), and a bandit (Roland) race each other to recover a stolen gold shipment that was hidden by a Mexican cutthroat who was subsequently killed by the US Army.

"Any Gun Can Play" is a singularly uneven and uninventive western. It starts out attempting to be a dramatic western along the lines of "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" but it turns into a comedy along the lines of "My Name is Nobody" at about the halfway mark, but it is vastly inferior to both of those other movies. The first half of this film is so-so, but once it tries to become a Hill/Spencer-style western spoof, it becomes an unfunny mess with dull fights, dumb gags, and scenes that drag on and on because the director seemingly lost all ability to know how end a scene.

The best part of the is the performance by Gibert Roland, who plays a Mexican bandit leader who masterminds the goldheist and later finds himself doublecrossed every time he turns around. He the only actor who rises above mediocrity of everything around him.

Everything about this movie is unoriginal, substandard and lackluster. It's not so bad so as to be unwatchable, but there are far better ways to spend your idle moments.

Monday, March 26, 2007

'Suicide experts' whine over 'Wrist Cutters'

Who would have ever imagined that there are whiny "suicide experts" out there?

Suicide Experts Upset About Film Ads

Officials at a top US suicide prevention group are failing to see the funny side of billboard ads for a new comedy that show people killing themselves.

Acclaimed indie movie "Wristcutters: A Love Story" follows a group of people who have taken their own lives, as they take a trip through purgatory.

The film, starring Patrick Fugit and Shannyn Sossamon, has won a handful of top indie film prizes in America, but the director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is not a fan of the film, or its marketing campaign.

In a letter to producers, Robert Gebbia says, "You don't see people making fun of other causes of death, but you see it with suicide and mental illness."

But producer Courtney Solomon isn't planning to pull the ad campaign, stating, "The movie's message is that love is better than suicide. Our job is to get people into the theatre in a way that's accessible to them. There are many different ways to skin a cat. God forbid someone was considering committing suicide. This film may change their opinion."

And if people change their minds about committing suicide, how will Mr. Gebbia make a living? No wonder he's upset!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Richard Jeni dead at 49

Comedian Richard Jeni, who appeared frequently on the "Tonight" show and headlined a number of HBO comedy specials, died Saturday, March 11, 2006, in Los Angeles in what appeared to be a suicide; he was 49.

Jeni died of a gunshot wound to the head, an hour after police responded to a 911 call from the comedian's girlfriend and he was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Hospital. A final confirmation of suicide was still pending Monday morning, after further investigation of the incident and an autopsy.