THE LIMEY
1999, Lionsgate, 89 min, USA, Dir: Steven Soderbergh

This complex crime thriller features a tour-de-force performance by Terence Stamp as Wilson, a British ex-con who travels to Los Angeles to investigate the death of his daughter. As her friends Eduardo (Luis Guzman) and Elaine (Lesley Ann Warren) help Wilson fill in the blanks about his beloved Jenny - whom he hadn’t seen since she was a child - the trail leads to the girl’s former boyfriend, Terry Valentine. A record producer/drug dealer played by a superb Peter Fonda, Valentine dodges Wilson and sends a hit man after him, but neither the assassin, a team of bodyguards nor the DEA can prevent “the limey” from confronting his child’s killer. Masterfully directed by Steven Soderbergh, the film employs footage from a 1967 film, starring Stamp, to cut back and forth between the present day and Wilson’s back-story.


THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE
1986, 84 min, USA, Dir: Nelson Shin

The hit animated television series (and action figure toy line) makes its first leap to the big screen! In the year 2005, Optimus Prime and his heroic Autobots struggle to defend their home planet Cybertron from the voracious Unicron (Orson Welles, in his final role) and defeat the evil Decepticons and their ruthless leader, Megatron. The all-star cast giving voice to these battling ’bots includes Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, Eric Idle, Scatman Crothers and Casey Kasem. Released between the series’ second and third seasons, THE TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE killed off several major characters and featured a heavy-metal soundtrack and anime style that gave it a slightly darker tone than the TV program - but it’s still intergalactic fun for kids of all ages.


THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE
1951, Warner Bros., 69 min, USA, Dir: John Huston

Until the last decade, this was regarded as one of director John Huston’s lower-profile pictures, but with each passing year its stature and merits grow. A profoundly moving rendition of Stephen Crane’s classic novel of the Civil War, with an exceptional Audie Murphy as Henry Fleming, the young soldier wracked by self-doubt, and the offbeat Bill Mauldin (the most famous political/war cartoonist of the era) equally good as his friend. With Royal Dano, Arthur Hunnicutt.


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