Tag Archives: Linda Kozlowski

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles (2001, Simon Wincer)

Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles is a terrible movie. But it’s not offensive, which makes it peculiar. It’s cringeworthy, with most of its L.A. jokes being about ten years too late. It even has a movie studio finish–an awful sequence–which doesn’t rip-off of Beverly Hills Cop III, but does make one remember what happens when franchises go stale… but try anyway.

Los Angeles is the very boring story of Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski taking their son (Serge Cockburn) to America for the first time. Kozlowski’s filling in at a newspaper and Hogan is just going to hang out. Then there’s this dumb story about Jere Burns and Jonathan Banks being corrupt movie producers. I think it’s supposed to be mysterious. It fails on that front.

Kozlowski is awful, though I suppose it could just be the awful script. Hogan’s innate charm carries him through pretty well. There’s no action though; he’s an sixty year-old man after all.

Simon Wincer’s direction is more appropriate for an episode of a crappy television show than a film. That ending action sequence I mentioned earlier is unbearable. It’s boring. Wincer doesn’t have a single well-directed sequence in the entire film.

He gets no help from his crew, either. David Burr’s photography is lousy and Basil Poledouris’s score is embarrassing for someone of his ability.

There are a couple of surprisingly good laughs at the end, especially considering the dearth of humor preceding them.

It’s embarrassing for everyone involved.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by Simon Wincer; screenplay by Matthew Berry and Eric Abrams, based on characters created by Paul Hogan; director of photography, David Burr; edited by Terry Blythe; music by Basil Poledouris; production designer, Leslie Binns; produced by Hogan and Lance Hool; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Paul Hogan (Mick Dundee), Linda Kozlowski (Sue Charleton), Serge Cockburn (Mikey Dundee), Alec Wilson (Jacko), Aida Turturro (Jean Ferraro), Jere Burns (Arnan Rothman), Jonathan Banks (Milos Drubnik), Kaitlin Hopkins (Miss Mathis) and Paul Rodriguez (Diego).


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Village of the Damned (1995, John Carpenter)

Village of the Damned has three major problems. In no particular order… I’ll start with the stunt casting. Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Mark Hamill and Michael Paré are all–to varying degrees–genre actors. While Reeve and Paré are both fine, Alley’s out of her depth and Hamill’s just terrible.

Some of Alley’s failings–and some of Hamill’s even–tie directly to Village‘s next big issue. It has enough characters and story for a mini-series, not a ninety-some minute feature. It takes place over nine or ten years, most of those years flying by without enough reestablishment of the ground situation. Major supporting characters disappear, like the actors had to go do something else. Village lacks any narrative ambition and it needs a lot.

The third problem, in terms of Carpenter’s direction, involves that lack of ambition. He never figures out how to make the evil, psychic Aryan children scary. They do nasty things and such, but they aren’t scary because he makes them so obvious. It doesn’t help the kids are bad actors–Lindsey Haun is particularly bad as the ringleader, but Thomas Dekker isn’t much better as the primary male.

Most of the other performances are good. Linda Kozlowski does well as the secondary lead (it oscillates between her and Alley). Karen Kahn, Peter Jason and George ‘Buck’ Flower are all fine. However, Pippa Pearthree is terrible.

Carpenter has occasional good directorial moments, but he’s clearly disinterested, which is too bad. Reeve and Koslowski deserve better.

0/4ⓏⒺⓇⓄ

CREDITS

Directed by John Carpenter; screenplay by David Himmelstein, based on a novel by John Wyndham and a screenplay by Stirling Silliphant, Wolf Rilla and Ronald Kinnoch; director of photography, Gary B. Kibbe; edited by Edward A. Warschilka; music by Carpenter and Dave Davies; production designer, Rodger Maus; produced by Michael Preger and Sandy King; released by Universal Pictures.

Starring Christopher Reeve (Dr. Alan Chaffee), Kirstie Alley (Dr. Susan Verner), Linda Kozlowski (Jill McGowan), Michael Paré (Frank McGowan), Meredith Salenger (Melanie Roberts), Mark Hamill (Reverend George), Pippa Pearthree (Sarah, George’s Wife), Peter Jason (Ben Blum), Constance Forslund (Callie Blum), Karen Kahn (Barbara Chaffee), Thomas Dekker (David McGowan), Lindsey Haun (Mara Chaffee) and George ‘Buck’ Flower (Carlton).


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THIS FILM IS ALSO DISCUSSED IN SUM UP | JOHN CARPENTER, PART 4: THE MUNDANE YEARS.

Crocodile Dundee (1986, Peter Faiman)

When Crocodile Dundee starts, it’s deceptively bold. For roughly the first half of the picture, Linda Kozlowski–without any previous theatrical credits on her filmography–is the protagonist. She’s not really believable as a tenacious newspaper reporter, but she works as Jane to Paul Hogan’s Tarzan. Sorry, Mick Dundee.

During that first half, when Dundee is the odd couple trekking across the Australian wilderness, Hogan is at his best. He’s playing what should be a comic role with complete seriousness. The approach endears Hogan so much he can survive the rocky second half, when the couple heads to New York for Kozlowski to show off her caveman.

Hogan’s able to survive the vague racism, bad soundtrack and mean-spirited homophobia. He’s so charming, one doesn’t even want to blame him… even though Hogan co-wrote the script.

Kozlowski, however, doesn’t do so well in the New York parts. She’s saddled with a boring boyfriend–Mark Blum is terrible–and a boring father. The father, played by Michael Lombard (who’s bad), shows up just to give the movie a couple more scenes. The writers clearly ran out of content for the New York half.

Director Faiman misuses the Panavision frame enough one has to think he was thinking about the inevitable VHS release, though there is a great tracking shot at the end of Central Park. His cinematographer, Russell Boyd, does a wonderful job, saving the visuals.

Peter Best’s score is sometimes sublime, sometimes awful.

Dundee is half a good comedy.

1.5/4★½

CREDITS

Directed by Peter Faiman; screenplay by John Cornell, Paul Hogan and Ken Shadie, based on a story by Hogan; director of photography, Russell Boyd; edited by David Stiven; music by Peter Best; production designer, Graham ‘Grace’ Walker; produced by Cornell; released by Hoyts Distribution.

Starring Paul Hogan (Mick Dundee), Linda Kozlowski (Sue Charlton), John Meillon (Walter Reilly), Mark Blum (Richard Mason), David Gulpilil (Neville Bell), Michael Lombard (Sam Charlton) and Reginald VelJohnson (Gus).


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Crocodile Dundee II (1988, John Cornell)

Crocodile Dundee II isn’t really a comedy. It’s an action movie with a lot of comic moments, but it’s not a comedy. Figuring out how it’s going to not be a comedy–since it’s a sequel to a successful comedy after all–is one of its biggest problems. Director Cornell and writers Paul Hogan and Brett Hogan take about half the movie to figure it out and, by the time they do, it doesn’t really matter anymore.

The movie opens with Paul Hogan still in New York with girlfriend Linda Kozlowski. He’s still being a fun-loving Aussie, but she’s getting bored (this subplot goes nowhere). He’s got a new buddy–Charles S. Dutton, who’s sort of good, sort of not–but longs for a return to the bush. But Dundee II isn’t about Hogan returning to Australia… it’s about Kozlowski’s past getting them involved with South American drug dealers.

It’s an eighties sequel so there are drug dealers. It’s a sequel so Kozlowski, the protagonist for the original, is reduced to a damsel in distress. Dundee II stumbles into all the traditional sequel pitfalls.

But then the second half, with Hogan playing games–in the Australian bush–with the drug dealers and their thugs, is great. It easily makes up for the rocky first half.

Hechter Ubarry is terrible as the drug dealer; the rest of the supporting cast makes up for him.

Nice score from Peter Best (except when he’s too action-oriented).

Dundee‘s a lot of fun.

2.5/4★★½

CREDITS

Directed by John Cornell; screenplay by Paul Hogan and Brett Hogan, based on characters created by Paul Hogan; director of photography, Russell Boyd; edited by David Stiven; music by Peter Best; production designer, Lawrence Eastwood; produced by Cornell and Jane Scott; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Paul Hogan (Mick Dundee), Linda Kozlowski (Sue Charlton), Charles S. Dutton (Leroy Brown), Hechter Ubarry (Luis Rico), Juan Fernández (Miguel), Dennis Boutsikaris (Bob Tanner), Ernie Dingo (Charlie), Kenneth Welsh (Brannigan) and John Meillon (Walter Reilly).


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