Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Max Allan Collins Goes To The Movies
On Beetlejuice: **1/2
"Bonus: vile things are done to Robert Goulet."
Police Academy 3: *1/2
"Having already destroyed most of my credibility by admitting that I like certain lowbrow horror films, I will lose the rest of it by admitting that I enjoyed both Police Academy and Police Academy 2."
"This shrewd, disturbing comedy thriller has a wonderful premise...a whirlpool of betrayl and conspiracy, courtesy of Larry Cohen, king of cinematic paranoia."
Dead Ringers: **
"But director/screenwriter David Cronenberg's hatred of women and distaste for human sexuality is becoming as tedious as it is unpleasant."
True Lies: *1//2
"Tom Arnold gives the best performance in the movie."
Ruthless People: ****
"This is the one: the comedy jackpot.
"Imagine one of Donald E. Westlake's comedy caper novels filmed RIGHT--but nastier. Imagine a James M. Cain story directed by the boys who made "Airplane." Imagine a crime story in which the only nice people are the kidnappers. Well, open your eyes and look at the screen."
Back when I was editing Mystery Scene I couldn't wait to get Al Collin's' new movie review column. It wasn't that I always agreed with him--who could possibly find Isabelle Huppert or the novel ANGEL HEART less than spectacular?--but Al combined humor and stunning observation constantly making reading his opinions always both fun and enlightening to read.
Not everybody shared my enthusiasm for his opinions. A few readers managed to sound deeply wounded when Al besmirched one of their favorite directors/actors/genres. And some just could not believe that he preferred small even sometimes trashy movies to the big slick award-winners. I always admired him for doing this. "Best Seller" is for instance is an infinitely better movie than all but one of the Academy Award nominees of 1987. My opinion only of course. Al gave it a deserved four stars.
In 1998 Brownstone books published The Mystery Scene Movie Guide which was all of Al's MS reviews collected in a nice trade paperback.
So here's what I think a small press publisher should do. Combine the first book with a collection of Al's current movie reviews on his blog http://www.maxallancollins.com/blog/. Now that would be one hell of a great read.