Author Archives: Gerry Kissell

Why Rotten Tomatoes Critics Aren’t Trustworthy

This is my main reason for not trusting Rotten Tomatoes, as well as most established critics; they review films for their message and NOT their merit as film.

When i write my reviews, I judge a film on: #1. if it tells a good and compelling story. #2. Has a good structure. #3. Is well acted. #4. Looks good. #5. Is entertaining.

I use the standard checks and balance used for the Original Star Wars Trilogy comparison, where each film rates with the others. #1 The Empire Strikes Back #2 A New Hope #3 Return of the Jedi

Well, Empire is hands down the best of any of the trilogies. Empire kills it on: story, structure, acting, look and entertainment value.

I use that same thing in weighing all non Star Wars films, I learned to simply compare them to other films within their given genre. It still works.

Rolling Thunder

ROLLING THUNDER (1977) | REVIEW

Rolling Thunder is the other big film for me from 1977, and is one of my favorite revenge films of the period, starring William Devane as an Air Force Major and Tommy Lee Jones as an Army Airborne Ranger. It’s 1973 and Devane and Jones have just been returned to America after serving as POWs in Vietnam. His return is not so sweet, as he learns his wife cheated on him while he was away and his kid doesn’t remember him. Dabney Coleman make an appearance in the film as Devane’s senior Air Force doctor, who tries to help him acclimate to being free.

At this point, regarded as a hometown hero, Devane’s home town gives him a welcome home event, and give him several gifts, including a case full of silver dollars, that later would be the cause of all his grief, as some very bad hombres come to his home to steal the coins. They torture him, triggering his memories of being brutalized by his captors in Vietnam. He won’t talk, so the thugs try to push him harder to give up the coins, and destroy his hand in garbage disposal. In the process of this assault, his wife and young boy come home, and in front of him, are butchered by the criminals, and he himself is left for dead. But, somehow his character survives.

After recovering from his injuries, and with a prosthetic hook for a hand, he sets out to find the men responsible for murdering his family. The film builds to a final brutal and bloody show down in Juarez, Mexico, as he is rejoined by his fellow POW, Tommy Lee Jones, who plans to help take out this group of dangerous men.

It’s a dark, violent, but satisfying film.

A side note, I found it amusing that the only actual Military Vets in the film, were either side characters or in the bunch of villains. Two of the main bad guys, James Best, best known as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on Dukes of Hazard, and character actor Luke Askew, both served in the Armed Forces during the 1950’s. Dabney Coleman graduated from Virginia Military Institute in 1949, and was drafted in 1953, serving in the US Army. To my knowledge, neither Devane or Jones served. But, both men have done a tremendous job honoring Veterans in their films. Especially Devane, who was awarded a GIFF award for lifetime achievement 2012, for his support for Vets throughout his film and television career.

Godzilla vs. Mothra

When one can’t sleep, watch Godzilla.

Woke up at 3am, and am trying to get back to sleep. So, I put on a classic Godzilla movie. In the US this was called Godzilla Vs. The Thing. But it was just Godzilla Vs. Mothra. Man, Godzilla really was a klutz in this film. Almost all of his destruction after waking up, was him just fumbling around bumping into shit or stumbling and falling into it. LMAO

Still, it’s one of my favorite films from the 60’s. It was also my favorite design for Godzilla’s face and eyes…before they went for the Muppet eyes look in 1967.

Hope this knocks me back out.
Season 2 Episode 6 - War on Free Speech?

A War On Free Speech? | Season 2 Ep 6

In our sixth episode of Season Two, Gerry and Keith have a candid talk about Walter Mosley and his incident in the Star Trek Discovery writers room, his encounter with CBS’s HR, and his decision to leave and write an editorial in the New York Times. Was it just a case of free speech or was there something more behind what was done to him? Is there an attack on Free Speech?

Plus, from Far Cry to Red Dead Redemption, Game Girl D.D. Crowley discusses how much love gamers have for pets in video games.

All that and much more in this exciting episode of
Pop Culture Minefield!