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Movie Reviews: The Mark of Zorro +A Sound of Thunder +Return of the Killer Tomatoes +Toy Soldiers

The Mark of Zorro (1974)

Diego (Frank Langella and his perm) leaves his military academy in Madrid and returns to California. There he learns the baddie (Ricardo Montalban and his extremely tight trousers) is being mean. So Diego becomes Zorro, defender of truth, justice and other stuff.

The rest of the time Diego pretends to be incompetent with a blade and a rich idiot with no day job. His love interest (Anne Archer) doesn’t do much but sigh sadly and for some reason nobody recognises him.

Diego’s disguise consists of a scarf tied around his face; I hope he doesn’t sneeze while wearing that mask. His old friends despair of him and his father denounces him. But Zorro will save the day and all will be well. This was okay even if the camera movement is jerky.

Best Lines:
A gentleman does not whip an inn-keeper simply because he doesn’t like his favourite wine.”

“Letters from home have been dark and worrisome. Things are not as they should be.”

“That’s one little peacock that will not trouble us.”

“In his place sits a viper and behind him another viper. You have returned to a land fouled by serpents.”

“It is not theft to steal from a thief, it’s merely irony.”

“And this? This is the son you bore me.”

~
A Sound of Thunder (2005)

In 2055 Time Safari takes rich people back in time to shoot a T-Rex in a flurry of cheap SFX. But our hero Travis learns thanks to a protester and some exposition dump dialogue that messing with the past could have consequences. It’s a prediction that comes true on the next hunt when a stupid mistake causes history to change.

Now Travis and his sidekicks must save the day and put right what once went wrong. This was enjoyable, it was certainly better than series 3&4 of ‘Primeval’.

Best Line:
A butterfly caused all this?”

~
Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (1988)

A mad scientist can turn tomatoes into humans. An idiot named Chad and his friend Matt (George Clooney) must foil his evil plans. This is a cheesy spoof, but all the best moments are in the trailer. Anyway it has a hilarious theme song and a mad villain named Professor Gangreen (John Astin).

Congress have banned tomatoes after The Great Tomato War so our two idiot heroes work in a pizza shop that uses strawberry jam instead of tomatoes. Chad fancies Gangreen’s companion Tara who has dead cobra eyes. Chad doesn’t wonder about all the angry shirtless men who wander around Gangreen’s property.

Matt wears an ugly hat and looks smug. Their boss has Tomato War flashbacks. Meanwhile Gangreen’s servant Igor is whack and Tara is actually a tomato in human form. Tara cares for a cooing fuzzy tomato named MT.

Tara and Chad hook up in a horror melding of 80’s hair and attire. There is product placement, a fight in the pizza shop and a visit from Federal Vegetable Investigations. Chad finds out Tara is a tomato in a hilarious scene. Still MT steals this movie, especially when he has to ride a quad bike to get help for Chad, Matt and Tara.

The ending is messy and incoherent, but this is moderately entertaining. It is still Clooney’s best movie.

Best Lines:
They are gardeners and carpenters. They are not tomato men.”

“Gangreen, that nut on the hill.”

“A lot of people thought that he must have had more to do with The Great Tomato Uprising than ever came out.”

“It’ll take more than that to scare me.”
“Ha! How about this hand grenade?”
“That’ll do it.”

~
Toy Soldiers (1991)

Sean Astin attempted to become a teen action hero, sorry hobbit it’s back to the shire for you. Anyway Billy (Astin) has been sent to the Regis school because he’s a punk who dresses like a homeless male prostitute. These days he’d be sent there after his parents caught him doing something dirty on chat roulette.

Billy is the leader of a bunch of idiots, who are probably all tweakers. That would explain the way Billy is the head of their posse. What are they on? Meth, weed, X, crank, hillbilly heroin?

A drug lord is extradited to the USA and so his stupid son (Andrew Divoff of 'Lost') decides to take over the Regis school and hold its student’s hostage to get him released. But the loony cannot cope with 92 disrespectful punks with 80’s hair.

Billy and his gang are annoyed that their time spent hanging out in the basement drinking vodka mouthwash, phoning sex lines and backtalking Dean Parker (Louis Gossett, Jr of ‘Iron Eagle’) is being disrupted so they plot to foil the loony’s plans. There is no element of reflection going on whatsoever.

The students are way too calm and spend way too time shirtless and hanging around in their underwear. Billy’s roommate Joey (Wil Wheaton) is a moron with an earring and a connected daddy. This combination leads to the plot complications to come. Especially as the loony is unreceptive to reason.

The school is beautiful with three miles of ground, they are so unappreciative. Anyway Billy decides to sneak out of the school to let the good guys know his plans to save the day. The military leader (R. Lee Ermey) decides to go along with Billy’s idiot plan that involves a model plane. The baddies are unobservant and seem unable to speak in a moderate tone of voice.

Everyone is surly and too dumb to live. The good guys charge in. There’s shooting and rappelling. The loony hits Billy with a door and loses his mind. The old codger with no clear job description (Denholm Elliott) drinks the vodka mouthwash. This was okay.

You’d think a school full of the spawn of the vastly wealthy would have better security. How did the baddies fit all their hardware and weapons into the back of one car and a small truck? Who is preparing the food? Why does Montoya have no bruises?

Best Lines:
“I’m not going to expel you. Three schools have done that and it’s obviously done nothing for your character.”

“The school gets taken over by terrorists and I’m still on pots and pans.”

“That’s my ambition in life. To die with you guys.”

“It’s called a book; you may have seen one on television.”

“Is it legible?”
“Only if you know how to read.”

“You let him send his son to your school?”

“This one was an accident, but the next one won’t be.”

“How does a kid have an accident that gets him shot with a machine gun?”

“You just might graduate in this lifetime.”

Tags: hex, lost, movie review
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