"Asking a working actor what he thinks about critics is like
asking as lamp-post how it feels about dogs."
Christopher Hampton (playwright)
TV AND VIDEO STUFF OBSERVED SUFFICIENTLY
by Richard Karsmakers
Where would current-day society be without video? It would be
playing more games, probably. Anyway, I've spent some time not
playing games and watching video instead. Rather miraculously,
none of these viewing sessions were in any way interrupted by
Chris "Maggie" Holland's impeccable timing for phone calls.
My findings, opinions and various other ramblings may be found
A full-out no-holds-barred family film is "Beethoven", a film
about a dog and the family in which it lands without the main
family member actually consenting. From beginning to end it's a
load of cute dog shots and a heap of clichés I have rarely seen
before. Need I say that, in the end, nobody - including that one
family member, the dad - would want to be without the dog?
Which does not say it's bad, because actually it's very
entertaining, filled with humour, a lot of cuteness, and even a
half-satisfying story line. There's an evil vet who wants to use
poor Beethoven's skull to test dum-dum ammunition on, and a very
dirty dog that, deep down, is totally friendly and even saves the
day on several occasions. Especially the beginning and the end
are quite hilarious, but I would advise you to check them out
yourself instead of having the bits spoiled by my incessant urge
OK, it's a load of cliché crap perhaps. But it's well done. And
I for one really enjoyed it.
On the contrary to the usual stuff in this column, this is
actually a TV series, a cartoon TV series to be more specific,
and it's one that I feel each intelligent individual of the world
needs to have checked out.
"Duckman" (Private Dick and Family Man) is an American cartoon
for adults, with an enormous load of subtle as well as not-at-all
subtle humour. Drawing techniques are unconventional, and the
story lines are sometimes far-fetched but always hard-core. Some
of the stuff has to be seen to believed; it's difficult that this
load of inspired crap can come from only a few persons' minds.
Voices are brilliant - most notably the cool, collected, bass
voice of Cornfed, Duckman's right hand. There's a lot of
persiflage, corniness, and general zaniness. If there is any way
you can get this on your TV, even if it means buying a satellite
dish, be assured to know it's worth your while. This is mandatory
Wesley Snipes, quite on the contrary to his cryo-preserved and
artificially enhanced evilness in "Demolition Man", is American
all star hero in this sortof "Die Hard" on an aeroplane. Non-stop
action around a psycho and his rather nasty friends hijacking a
plane and off-duty Security Officer Wesley Snipes having to
rescue all the good ones. Except for - predictably - the one
stunning female among the bad ones, all of them get killed. In
the end even the psycho himself buys it, but not before a handful
of good guys have been rendered fit to welcome him to whatever
afterlife has to offer.
And it any good? Well, if you want a film that keeps you on the
edge of your seat - you never quite know who's going to die and
who isn't, with the exception of Snipes of course - "Passenger
57" is certainly right for you. The psycho is definitely one of
the most deviously evil guys I have ever seen.
I was almost certain this was the kind of film Chris of "Maggie"
would have built up an uncanny urge to phone me in. Thankfully,
Philadelphia Experiment II, The
An interesting thing involving a Stealth type bomber somehow
being transferred in time to the conclusion of World War II,
changing the outcome of history rather dramatically.
I haven't seen part 1, but I assume the protagonist is the same
as in the first one, and again he gets transferred back into
another universe, where Hitler has won and things are
totalitarianly different. Quite entertaining and worth the money
spent renting it (especially because someone else rented it and
brought it by so we could watch it too), but not all too
What you get when you cross "Exorcist" with about half a dozen
films in the genre of "Naked Gun" and most National Lampoon
material is "Repossessed", starring Leslie Nielsen and, yes,
original "Exorcist I/II" actress Linda Blair. Leslie Nielsen is
the arch-exorcist, incidentally posing on the cover in an on-the-
cross "Naked Gun" pose, and Linda Blair plays an occasionally
over-the-top parody on the original protagonist.
As a whole, the film is very funny though at times it tends to
drone on a bit. There are a few almost obligatory "Star Wars"
jokes, too. "Repossessed" breaks with quite a few film
conventions, but is not as brilliant as the "Naked Gun" and not
as disconcerting as the "Exorcist" trilogies. Still, quite worth
while renting for a long video night's comic relief.
Triumph of the Spirit
Boring, boring, boring. Willem Dafoe plays a Polish (?) boxer
who gets caught and put in a concentration camp. Hundreds die in
the gas chamber and he starts to fight to win, to stay alive and
at the same time earn the camp commander a lot of dosh winning
the games. We've seen the whole theme before, and after
"Schindler's List" it all seems a bit superfluous.
Er...that Dafoe dude is one ugly mother!
Wayne's World II
I was going to see this in the cinema but when eventually I came
round to going it turned out to have been replaced by "Cool
Runnings" that I went to see instead. In retrospect that was
probably a good thing, because I doubt I would gladly have spent
a cinema fee to see this load of recycled stuff.
"Wayne's World II" now sees Wayne and Garth trying to set up
Waynestock, instigated by a weird naked native American and the
ghost of Jim Morrison. It's not much of a story, really, and
basically they took some of the funny bits from the original and
replaced a few jokes with lesser ones. Even the evil producer
reappears to try and get Tia Carrere (who is nice, but in no way
like Kelly Preston whom I have decided is my definite favourite
woman to roam this mortal plane), and in the end all ends well.
This film is perhaps a bit more worth while if you like
Aerosmith. There's a nice amount of funny moments and even a few
interesting new gags, but it's nothing to really write home
As they (and I) have said many times before, that's all. Another
fix if video reviews may be found in the next issue of ST NEWS.
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.