...but a bit of what I've been watching lately.
Chicken came over tonight for BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE when he learned his man-crush Mark Harmon was in it. Harmon gets some play in the trailer for this 1979 disaster (movie), but not a lot to do in the film. It takes place immediately following the events of THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE, and stars Michael Caine (just off Irwin Allen's THE SWARM) as a tugboat captain who pulls up to the capsized Poseidon and plans to salvage some gold from it. He, his first mate Karl Malden and cute/annoying sidekick Sally Field are joined by urbane Telly Savalas, a doctor who pulls up in his yacht and announces that his medical crew are going to search for survivors. Well, there are survivors still down there (including Peter Boyle, Slim Pickens, Shirley Jones, Jack Warden, Shirley Knight, Victoria Cartwright and, yeah, Harmon), but Telly actually has his own sinister agenda, which eventually involves mowing down Caine's party with machine guns. Not really a very good movie, which extends to its cheapjack visual effects and ineffective Jerry Fielding score. Nelson Giddings' dialogue is the pits, and it's mostly spoken poorly by the good actors here (Caine and Field are particularly lousy).
I previously announced the death of director John Flynn in this post. His best films were THE OUTFIT, ROLLING THUNDER and OUT FOR JUSTICE, but I also remembered liking BEST SELLER and LOCK UP. BEST SELLER was poorly marketed as a buddy movie, but it's really a thriller with a clever premise and a thin plot. Cop Brian Dennehy, who's also a best-selling author, is approached by corporate hitman James Woods to do a book about him. Woods wants to bring down the fatcats who got rich off the dead bodies they hired him to create, making both killer and cop targets for murder. Dennehy and Woods have good chemistry, but there's little to BEST SELLER beyond their performances.
Meanwhile, LOCK UP may be the least believable film of Sylvester Stallone's career, as hard as it may be to believe. He's the world's nicest criminal, a guy who was sent away for beating up the neighborhood bully. With just six months to go on his sentence, he's abducted from his country-club prison and deposited in a hellhole commanded by warden Donald Sutherland. Stallone is the only inmate to ever escape from Sutherland's prison, and Don wants revenge. LOCK UP is probably the only prison picture with a buoyant musical montage (to The Ides of March's "Vehicle"), but it's also a pretty decent picture.
BLUE MONKEY has no monkey, blue or otherwise, in it. I didn't find this comic Canadian monster movie very interesting. It's basically ALIEN: a giant insect stalks the halls of a hospital housing cop Steve Railsback, doctor Susan Anspach, administrator John Vernon (in an unusually sympathetic role), expectant parents Joe Flaherty and Robin Duke, some drunken old ladies and a bunch of obnoxious kids. William Fruet, who gave us the superior SEARCH AND DESTROY and DEATH WEEKEND, directed.