The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)

By Adam Lippe


Someone should have combined this and Judge Dredd to combine two huge failures into one, and so Stallone could have battled the beasts in this film in who could say “I am the law!” less convincingly. I’m not sure what we’re supposed to care about when the two most interesting actors in the movie, Brando and Kilmer, get doubled in screen time by the dull Thewlis, who can be great in stuff like Naked, but has nothing to do but react in this mess. Brando has only about 4 scenes and is killed an hour in, and the final twenty minutes has the beasts scowling and firing guns, at each other. Then, a lot of stuff blows up. Why would they bother with all the makeup if they were just going to shoot machine guns and cause explosions? Though it makes the final montage criticizing us all for the violence we cause, from soccer riots to police beatings, that much funnier.

The Island of Dr. Moreau on DVD at

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By Adam Lippe

Whenever there’s a genre parody or ode to a specific era of films, such as Black Dynamite’s mocking of Blaxploitation films or Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, the second half of Grindhouse, the danger is that the film might fall into the trap of either being condescending without any particular insight, or so faithful that it becomes the very flawed thing it is emulating.

Black Dynamite has nothing new to say about Blaxploitation films, it just does a decent job of copying what an inept [...]

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Featured Quote (written by me)

On Cold Fish:

Though the 16 year old me described the 1994 weepie Angie, starring Geena Davis as a Brooklyn mother raising her new baby alone, as “maudlin and melodramatic,” Roger Ebert, during his TV review, referring to the multitude of soap-operaish problems piling up on the titular character, suggested that it was only in Hollywood where Angie would get a happy ending. “If they made this movie in France, Angie would have shot herself.”

Well Cold Fish was made in Japan, where Angie would have shot herself and that would have been the happy ending.