Film & Theatre   



The Oscars 2002 




Hot and Cold Running Dames

A Play Based on True Events,
In Three Acts by Dick Acorn



A Play in 2 Acts by Dick Acorn


Willie and Al Buying Things

A Play in 1 Act by Dick Acorn



The Filming of Al Pacino's Cruisin'

On the Waterfront
“Marlon Brando that bastard, stole my grandmother’s cat” [more]

11 Movies to Own

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The #1 Worst Actor of All Time -- Not

People who study acting, or study films, or watch a lot of movies, will tell you that Keanu Reeves is hand's down the #1 worst actor today...  [more]


Just the Ticket



Dick Sheppard
Return to Thunderdome
Movie Reviews

Always a bit behind the schedule of movies just released, Dick Sheppard nonetheless occasionally picks his head up from reading a book and watches a movie on TV; free broadcast TV. You can read his reviews here.

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In the Heat of
the Night


" bandana in your right rear pocket, you take it in the keester, in the left, you're packing fudge.."



Harlem Nights

"Possibly the best ever line uttered in any movie was in Harlem Nights."



Miss ‘ems:


The Watcher 

Keanu Reeves lethargically plays a psychotic strangler who taunts a pill-popping, diabetic Chicago homicide detective (talk about a fucked up dude) also played lethargically by James Spada. Mira Sorvino plays Spada’s shrink. 

This is a forgettable movie, the only interesting twist to the story is that the Keanu character sends Spada pictures of his victim days in advance of killing them. This leads to unintentionally comic scenes whereby the media frantically alerts the public to find the pictured potential victim, or hopefully to have her find herself before the piano-wire toting Keanu does.  Naturally this doesn’t happen and at least one ignorant dame gets the life bloodily choked out of her. Mira Sorvino is wasted as the shrink, and you don’t feel the least bit anxious when she’s tied up in a warehouse, surrounded by flammables with Keanu threatening to light the works. You are almost begging him to get his shit together long enough to start the blaze for two reasons: 1) it’s the kind of movie where you need something – anything – badly out of the ordinary to happen; and 2) you like a good fire even if it means the fetching Mia goes up in smoke..


From Russia with Love

James Bond in Istanbul to steal a Russian coding machine, which in turn is to be stolen from Bond by the evil SPECTRE organization. The SPECTRE broad instead falls in love with Bond, helping to foil the plot. 

Funniest casting in the movie is a young bleach-blonded Robert Shaw (of later “Jaws” and “The Sting” fame) as the SPECTRE assassin who gets his butt kicked (what else) by Bond during a trainride brawl. Otherwise comparatively boring as a Bond flick, even as only the second one made. The Nazi-ish SPECTRE uber-broad, “Number 3” is a hoot as she tries to kill Bond with her poison-dagger-tipped shoe. Let’s face it: plenty of dames would love shoes like that and would use them with abandon on any and all guys in range.


Watch 'ems:

Breaker Morant  

Well-acted period piece story about three Australian officers on trail for ambiguous murders during England’s African Boer Wars in the early 20th Century.  Plenty of interesting British colonial atmosphere and colonial pomp, excellent pacing, great English acting.

O Brother Where Art Thou?

George Clooney as the likable head of a band of Depression-era chain-gain escapees who find Southern adventures good and bad.  Some of Clooney’s presence and scenes bring Gable to mind; others are corny. 

On balance, fun for all.  Some over-the-top stereotyping add to the hokey Southern setting. Outstanding soundtrack.

Dr. No  

The very first of the incomparable James Bond films, from 1962.  Dashing supersecret -agent and precursor of the 60’s-style “International Man” James Bond tracks an evil-doer into his Caribbean lair. 

The usual car chases, broad encounters, and over-the-top gadgetry make this first Bond picture the signature for all that follow. Ursula Andress as the first “Bond girl” sets a standard that might still be unmet. One of this reviewer’s best movie scenes ever is when Bond, about to make his signature “shaken dry” martini, finds his Smirnoff “red” vodka spiked; he casually reaches into a draw and pulls out a bottle of Smirnoff Silver.  Smooth – classic Bond.  

Patriot Games  

This reviewer’s favorite Harrison Ford roles are as Tom Clancy’s action-oriented CIA field man, Dr. Jack Ryan. Alec Baldwin had the role in, “The Hunt for Red October,” but Ford defines it in this excellent revenge-driven movie. 

An angry Ryan stymies an IRA kidnapping attempt on a Royal Family member and spends the rest of the movie tracking down the bad guys before they get his family. James Earl Jones is great as Ryan’s CIA boss; Sean Bean and Richard Harris play strong in IRA roles.   

Clear and Present Danger  

At the request of the president, CIA man Jack Ryan winds up in the middle of a deadly Colombian drug war. James Earl Jones makes another fine appearance even though his character dies, and Willen DaFoe adds intrigue as an enigmatic CIA field agent.

Plenty of double-crossing and shoot-ups, as Jack Ryan defies the odds and his President to bring the “truth” to the American people. The scene in which Ryan confronts the primo drug lord by knocking on his door and presenting his CIA business card is classic Clancy and played strong by Ford.