My weekly movie reviews. You can also read these on letterboxd.


Let’s Get Harry (1986)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

This forgotten 80s action film is better than it has any right to be, especially with an Alan Smithee credit. According to what I’ve read, director Rosenberg took his name off the picture because of the intro and scenes throughout added to take advantage of Mark Harmon’s rising stardom. The thing is, the studio was right even if they did it for the wrong reasons. I can’t imagine what the movie would be without first seeing who Harry is and then watching him nearly get killed the whole movie while his friends are trying to get him?

I’m a sucker for men-on-a-mission movies so this film played to my taste but beyond some silly, contrived moments it has a lot of good going for it. First, there’s Robert Duvall as the professional soldier. He’s in 80s Duvall mode, having settled into his acting persona and playing it to great effect. He’s the heart of the film when he’s on screen and off. Gary Busey plays a maniac and there’s no surprise that he does that well. I loved his car dealer/big game hunting persona, especially in the scene when he decides to torture a South American female captive. And the rest of the not-so-wild bunch aren’t bad either, including an appearance from Glenn Frey of The Eagles as the coke-snorting member of the ensemble.

The action is well-staged, the soundtrack is great (if you love the era), and the characters are written and played just well enough for us to truly care about them.

Watched on Tubi


The Soldier (1982)

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

What writer/director James Glickenhaus tries to create with The Soldier is an American alternative to James Bond. And he’s nearly successful.

The film has all the elements: international locations, a ski chase scene, a couple car chase scenes, a take-over-the-world plot (though toned down compared to the other franchise), and an attractive lead who can kick ass and woo women. It’s a smarter affair than the Bond movies, trying to weave serious political issues into the narrative and clearly promoting a pro-Israel message. The results are mixed. On one level, it’s lots of fun especially during its most exaggerated moments. But the last quarter is anti-climactic, leaving the viewer with an uninspired ending. After the set up Glickenhaus gives us the rest of the film, they needed a bigger bang to finish the film.

I like Ken Wahl a lot as a performer but feel that this early he still hadn’t figured out his screen presence yet. It would have been interesting to see him develop the character over a series of movies. The rest of the cast is mostly forgettable beyond cameos from Klaus Kinski and George Strait (never thought I’d say those two names if in the same sentence).

If you enjoy action films and the 80s era, this might be worth a look for you.

Watched on Tubi.


McBain (1991)

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

I would never guess from the title and poster for McBain that it would be a men-on-a-mission movie similar to Uncommon Valor and the other, superior Walken war adventure The Dogs of War. The other surprise is that this 80s action film is better than it should be. It’s a consistently entertaining shoot ’em up that plays with political themes of the era. If I have one complaint it’s actually Walken who sleepwalks through his lead role. Michael Ironside, who gets far less screen time, would have been a more interesting protagonist. If you’re a fan of 80s genre pictures, this is worth a one-time watch.

Watched on Tubi.