About Dave Franklin

Dismayed by the state of post-2000 cinema, Dave Franklin hasn't visited a movie house in more than a decade. He can usually be found in a dingy room dressed up as Marilyn Monroe, pining for the lost days of 70's cinema. Saying that, he will visit you for an appropriate fee to read excruciating excerpts from his novels.

80’s Action Is No Laughing Matter: Part 2

Chuck Norris in Firewalker Loathed by the critics, Chuck’s first shot at comedy in 1986 was a box-office dud that helped finish off his benefactor Cannon Films. Good work, son. Plusses: I couldn’t really follow the premise, but we end up with two adventurers and a pretty bird trying to find buried treasure in Central […]

80’s Action Is No Laughing Matter: Part One

You’ve heard the sayings. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Variety is the spice of life. A change is as good as a rest. And so on. Well, for most actors it’s straightforward to enjoy a wide range of roles, but action stars do have a tendency to plough the same bullet-ridden furrow. […]

The Last Hurrah #4: Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein (1974)

“My grandfather’s work was doo-doo! I am not interested in death! The only thing that concerns me is the preservation of life!” Mel Brooks’ 2021 autobiography All About Me! is an irritating, surprisingly poor read. It’s lame, politically correct, bland and devoid of interesting anecdotes. I don’t think there’s one word of criticism aimed at […]

The Last Hurrah #3: Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler (2008)

Oh Mickey, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you blow my mind, hey Mickey! Was the elfin Toni Basil singing about Mickey Rourke, handsome, talented bastard that he was? Probably not, but after his terrifically understated performance in the 1981 classic Body Heat as a reluctant advice-giving arsonist I guess it’s possible. At that point […]

The Last Hurrah #2: James Caan in Misery (1990)

Film Title

Misery

Synopsis

Caan gets it write

Director

Rob Reiner

Cast

James Caan
Kathy Bates
Richard Farnsworth
Frances Sternhagen
Lauren Bacall

Caan did much better than a lot of actors, but his lengthy career still manages to give off a whiff of disappointment. There was never any doubt about his ability, typified by an early performance as a brain-damaged ex-ball player in 1969’s The Rain People. Here he’s very good at doing what he can with […]

The Last Hurrah #1: Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979)

Film Title

Apocalypse Now

Synopsis

“I wanted a mission and, for my sins, they gave me one… I was going to the worst place in the world.”

Director

Francis Ford Coppola

Cast

Martin Sheen
Frederic Forrest
Laurence Fishburne,
Robert Duvall
Dennis Hopper
Marlon Brando

It’s always a mystery when a gargantuan talent falls off a cliff. How can an auteur like Coppola, a man who ruled the cinematic landscape of the seventies by combining searing art with the most fantastic consistency, fail to make another great movie after 1979? A mesmerizing gift can’t just evaporate, can it? I mean, […]

A Decade Of Chucking Up

During the groovy, Colosseum-set climax of 1972’s phenomenally successful Way of the Dragon, Chuck Norris took on the legendary Bruce Lee. Next to the lithe Asian superstar, he looked fat, slow, very hairy and curiously graceless. No matter, for he played his part in a terrific dust-up that fight fans still salivate over. He followed […]

Starring Debuts #21: Jennifer Beals in Flashdance (1983)

Film Title

Flashdance

Synopsis

Dreams can come true, but only if they start from the most unlikely place and someone powerful pulls a string or two.

Director

Adrian Lyne

Cast

Jennifer Beals
Michael Nouri
Lilia Skala
Sunny Johnson
Kyle T. Heffner

I’ve long acknowledged graduates from the Kelly McGillis Top Gun School of Absurd Roles and no one deserves a bigger pat on the back than Flashdance’s Alex Owens. I mean, name one other flick with a wannabe ballerina working as a welder in a Pennsylvanian steel mill. Not only that, but she appears to be […]

Spread Your Legs For Daddy: Part 4

Eyes Wide Shut (1999) The story: Cruise and Kidman mope through Kubrick’s flaccid finale. Does it make me wanna incorporate anything into my sex life? I guess you’re asking if I fancy an orgy, right? Well, I wouldn’t mind dipping a toe (fnar! fnar!) There is something appealing about turning up at an isolated country […]

Spread Your Legs For Daddy: Part 3

Secretary (2002) The story: A dominant, uptight lawyer (James Spader) employs a self-harming, subservient secretary (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Unconventional true love blooms. Does it make me wanna incorporate anything into my sex life? Lots of sexual relationships originate at work. It’s probably the number one place where people hook up. Most working days (those mundane, hateful […]