Drew Barrymore is a Barrymore, Lionel mostly (with a flash of John).

This is a rare chance to see Martin Sheen at his most brilliant. George C. Scott in a ponytail rather bizarrely resembles George Washington. Moses Gunn and David Keith are vividly keyed to the main attraction.

Which is an Old Testament prophetess calling down fire to blast her enemies with.

One of the most amazing and delectable pictures to be found.


Armed and Dangerous

Walter Goodman of the New York Times called this “an exercise in inanity”. There’ll be a cineplex named after him somewhere, someday.

It opens with a cop up a tree and a defense counsel who gets his client locked up for safety’s sake. The cop and the lawyer enter a new line of work as security guards. The union is crooked, the company is crooked, so the last line of defense is this pair.

And that must be what disarmed the critics, seeing things brought to such a pass on the screen. After all, the script is very funny, the actors are great and Mark L. Lester is an underrated director who ends a conventional car chase only to begin with new mayhem.

But this is all palaver. Something so rigorous as Armed and Dangerous ought to be enjoyed for Candy’s high style in low matters, Levy’s shifty reasoning out of all bounds, Kenneth McMillan’s saintly savoir-faire, Steve Railsback’s gung-ho yahoo, Don Stroud and Bruce Kirby as bad cop/good cop, the terrible macho of Jonathan Banks and Brion James, Robert Loggia as the hooligan atop the pile, and Stacy Keach, Sr. as the judge, with Meg Ryan as Margaret Dumont.


Showdown in Little Tokyo

The gentle joke is that Showdown in Little Tokyo is very largely modeled on Pollack’s The Yakuza, but filmed Stateside with plenty of local color. Dolph Lundgren’s skillful quietude dominates the rhythm, with Brandon Lee’s genteel acuity in counterpoint.

Much of the main interest is in seeing how Lester constructs this out of his actors. His camera moves fast for naturalistic glimpses in the action scenes.

A near forerunner to Rising Sun, also featuring Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa and Tia Carrere.

So, between Sydney Pollack and Philip Kaufman, a very amusing film about ganglords and rituals, with its whorehouse/bathhouse number, its fatal distillery, and its fireworks finale.