Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Family in Hiding"

Family in Hiding
I knew this day would one day come… it was inevitable!

For months, yours truly, The Phantom has been grousing about how Channel 7’s Late Movie show seems to broadcast an inordinate amount of mob movies and Lifetime/CTV movies.

Well, this Sunday, Channel 7 presents a movie that was originally a Lifetime/CTV movie AND is a mob movie at the same time!!!

I know, it’s hard to believe, isn’t it? I’ll pause to let you pick up the remote you just dropped.

This is a good time to point you to two previous posts of mine: one that will lead you to my reviews of all the other mob movies that have shown up in the Landfill; and the other that links to most of my Lifetime/CTV reviews.

So now that you’ve had ample time to pick up your clicker, let’s get back to “Family in Hiding”: there’s this single Mom who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time and sees a DA get rubbed out by the mob. She’s put into the witness protection program so she can live long enough to testify, but everyone who’s ever seen one of these movies knows that there’s a distinct lack of protection for the threatened until at least the final five minutes when the bad guys are finally disposed of.

There’s really only one notable cast member here.

Well, really three. I’ll get to the film’s main star in a moment.

First, I have to mention Christopher Jacot simply because he was in several episodes of a series the Phantomess enjoys greatly, ”Degrassi: the Next Generation.” A cooler credit for me is his turn as the voice of Johnny “The Human Torch” Storm in the 2006-2007 ”Fantastic Four” animated series.

And I have to mention Ben Cotton because he was in another of The Phantomess’ favorite shows, ”DaVinci’s Inquest.”

Per usual with these Lifetime/CTV movies, it’s a cast filled primarily with Canadian TV actors (who, if you peruse their credits, also appear in a lot of sci-fi and fantasy shows aimed at the San Diego Comic Con set… of which the Phantom proudly includes himself).

So, I said I’d tell you about the film’s star.

I lied. I’d rather show you. Primarily because I have neither a trailer nor a clip for “Family in Hiding.” So…

The star of this movie is “Brenda Strong,” who you’re bound to know from one of her two most famous roles:

Sue Ellen Mishkie, the O’Henry candy bar heiress and braless wonder from “Seinfeld”:

…or as Mary Alice, the suicide on the block whose voice-over narrates every episode of “Desperate Housewives”:

You can watch “Family in Hiding” on WABC-TV Channel 7 on Sunday, August 3rd, 2008 at 11:35 PM... if you dare!

"The Simian Line"

I actually have a vague memory of this film’s existence. Can’t remember if I saw a trailer, or a TV commercial, read about it somewhere or saw some kind of promotion – I just remember hearing this film’s title and the fact that it starred a former-supermodel and a Cajun crooner in rare movie roles. I probably also remember it because it was released shortly after 9/11.

I’ve come to learn it was actually filmed in 1999 and sat on the shelf for two years. Never a good sign.

Another not-so-good sign: most of the reviews compared it unfavorably to ”Ghost.” And let’s face it, while a successful crowd-pleaser, technically, if you stop to think about the script and analyze the acting and production values, “Ghost” really wasn’t any great shakes itself.

Most of all, this film features a rare acting turn by Cindy Crawford. It’s no accident the words “rare” and “acting” are in such close proximity in the previous sentence. If you need any proof, simply watch the trailer for Crawford’s ”Fair Game.”

If anything, this movie can be considered a curio simply due to it having one of those wacky ensemble casts of people you never expect to see working together. Kind of like ”Love Actually,” which is another movie it resembles (that is, if that romantic comedy had psychics and ghosts in it).

Harry Connick Jr. is of course most well-known for being a pianist and singer of jazz standards and originals. He limits his roles so he can manage both his music and acting careers, and as a result has been a solid presence in movies. Acting seems to come easy to him. Of course, with all his nice roles it’s the one where he simply did the voice that I enjoy the most, as the scrapyard beatnik in Brad Bird’s masterful ”The Iron Giant.”

Eric Stoltz – where to start? Too many great roles to mention – go check out his imdb listing. I’ll cite my favorite – as the angel Simon in ”The Prophecy.”

William Hurt is another one that would take too much time to delve into, so I’m directing you to his imdb listing. I’ll just highlight my fave Hurt role, as Inspector Bumstead in ”Dark City.”

Lynn Redgrave… well, this is just getting ridiculous. I’d need to write a blog a day for days just to cover the first quarter of her career… so you’re going to visit her imdb listing, too.

Samantha Mathis has worked steady in both high and low profile projects. She never took off big as I think some thought she would, but at least she works. Maybe best known as the love interest in the John Travolta/Christian Slater actioner, ”Broken Arrow.”

…and Tyne Daly as Whoopi. But she’ll be forever known as Mary Beth Lacey in the long-running female-buddy police drama ”Cagney & Lacey.”

Now, do I really need to tell you anything about Cindy Crawford?

I didn’t think so.

View the trailer here:

Or watch the entire movie on WABC-TV Channel 7 on Saturday, August 2nd, 2008 at 11:35 PM... if you dare!

Friday, July 25, 2008

"The Obsession"

Its movies like this one that really justify my use of the word “Landfill” in this blog’s name. We’ve been down this dark alley of sexual irresponsibility and perversion before with such films as ”Sol Goode” and ”The Real Cancun” and especially ”Cheaters Club.” All displayed an “anything goes, who cares about morals” attitude.

Up until now, the worst of all, the most morally wrong (and illegal) behavior on display was served up in the movie ”These Girls.” Now comes an even more insidious tale of a man going after a teenage girl. A ballet teacher who becomes infatuated with one of his students and dates his mother so he can get closer to her.

I’ll never understand what makes men do this. I mean clearly, the mother here is a woman, and a darn fine attractive one at that. It would be normal to want to date her. The daughter is a KID. Young enough to be the creep’s own kid. It’s just not normal to be obsessed with her. It’s just sick. And I have to wonder whether making movies about people with such sickness in their brains has any point. I can’t see it doing any good. We all know there are creeps out there like this (and in the interest of fairness, just as disturbing, there’s also the flipside of the coin with all the female teachers getting involved with their teen and pre-teen students). We don’t need cheap, exploitive movies to tell us this. And if someone already has a problem with their wiring in this area (being obsessed with an underage person or persons), I firmly believe seeing something like this may make them consider following suit even more.

Now, in all fairness, longtime readers of this blog know that I don’t actually watch the films I feature. I merely comment on the trailers or clips I find before the films air. I’m confident the film doesn’t condone the actions of the ballet teacher and most likely even condemns those actions. Again, I just question why, when we live in a real world where such abuse is happening constantly, we need to show it in a fictional story, even if it is one that condemns the abuse.

On the lighter side, let’s take a look at the cast.

Of course, we have to start with Daphne Zuniga. If you’re a guy, you know her from the Mel Brooks “Star Wars” spoof ”Spaceballs.” If you’re a gal, you know her from such prime-time soaps as ”Melrose Place.” Those aren’t generalizations; just demographics.

Sebastian Spence is a TV actor from Canada. Recurring roles for Spence include Lt. Noel 'Narcho' Allison from ”Battlestar Galactica” and Professor Matt Freeman on ”Dawson’s Creek.”

Elise Gatien plays Zuniga’s daughter. Her career is still young – this was her first film. The rest of the cast is filled with Canadian TV stalwarts.

I couldn’t find trailer for this one, but did find a clip that someone posted online. Strangely, the actor who plays the perverted ballet teacher carries himself more like Robert Patrick as the T-1000 from “Terminator 2” than a graceful dancer.

View the clip here:

Or watch the entire movie on WABC-TV Channel 7 on Sunday, July 27th, 2008 at 11:35 PM... if you dare!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"Winter Break" (aka "Snow Job")

I took one look at the trailer for this Saturday’s movie and said, “Yuck! Boy, do I hate this genre!”

I’m speaking of the “teen sex comedy,” sometimes also known as the “college age sex comedy” or the “immature adult sex comedy.” You know the films. I’m not going to dignify them by naming their titles (although there’d be slim chance of that happening even if I did).

That’s the impression you’ll get when you watch the trailer – that it’s yet another sex comedy. Especially when you notice that Eddie Kay Thomas from all those ”American Pie” movies is in it.

While perusing the ”user comments on, however, a common theme emerged: according to those who’ve seen the film, this movie is more of a “romantic comedy” with soft edges instead of a raunchy one with hard edges.

Still, it doesn’t look totally innocent, either.

Either way, I’m not interested in watching the whole flick. Just doesn’t seem to be the Phantom’s cup of tea.

So onto the other stars. Milo Ventimiglia has quite a few TV and movie credits under his belt, most notably his current role as a star of the super-popular super-hero show, ”Heroes,” his past recurring role on ”Gilmore Girls,” and his turn playing the Italian Stallion’s son in the surprisingly good ”Rocky Balboa.”

Anna Faris is another young talent with a batch of credits. She’s most known as a mainstay in the ”Scary Movie” horror spoof franchise, and also counts four episodes of ”Friends” among her roles.

Last but not least… well, actually, “least” would be the operative word, as in ”the least popular James Bond” – yes, good ‘ol Aussie George Lazenby is in this. I bet he secretly wished Q slipped him a cloaking device, so he could hide himself out of embarrassment on the set of this film. But seriously, it seems the one-time Bond actually has had quite a few post-007 roles throughout the years – good for him – it can’t be easy being so dismissed (hey, most of us couldn’t compete with Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan or Daniel Craig either). He’s also done some nice voice-over work in animated series like ”Batman Beyond.”

By the way, the alternate title of this movie was “Snow Job.” I guess that was designed to make boys under the age of 17 snicker (boys who the movie’s original R-rating was meant to keep out, but we all know how that goes).

View the trailer for “Winter Break” (under its alternate title, “Snow Job”) here:

Or watch the entire movie on WABC-TV Channel 7 on Saturday, July 26th, 2008 at 11:35 PM... if you dare!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Three Cheers for Eric Roberts!!!

Eric Roberts

If you read this blog with any frequency, you know that yours truly, The Phantom of the Landfill has a soft spot for Eric Roberts. As well as a soft spot in my head, but that’s another story…

I went a little bit into Roberts’ background in my post on “American Strays” which you can read here.

As I mentioned in that post, Roberts had quite an auspicious start (including an Oscar® nomination) but ultimately ended up toiling for many years in low-budget, often DTV (direct-to-video) productions. Some of his films from that period would be right at home on Channel 7’s late night schedule. Click on the titles below to see trailers to some likely Landfill candidates:

“Shadow Men”

“Dead End”


“Restraining Order”

Roberts’ detour into DTV land was most likely due to too much competition for the “big roles” and a harder edge than some of the more “pretty boy” leading men types more than anything else, as his acting has for the most part been uniformly good and sometimes even great over all this time.

But beyond his acting skills, he’s just a nice guy. Here’s how I know:

• He’s appeared in not just one one but two films with a friend of mine, who told me how great Roberts was to work with. This is further backed up by the commentary tracks where the other co-stars mention their fondness for Eric.

• I got to meet Eric myself a year and a quarter ago at an autograph show and I could tell not only from my personal experience with him but from how he treated everyone else there that he was a real class act.

Besides being a nice guy, he’s very cool, too. When I told him I wanted him to autograph a photo that I could give my dad as a Father’s Day gift, I mentioned that one of my dad’s favorite movies is “The Pope of Greenwich Village.” Roberts got very excited and said, “don’t worry, I’ll take care of him – I know just what to do!”

He signed the photo, “Tell Charlie they took my thumbs!” Just great.

Back to his career: Eric’s fortunes began to change when he was cast as a bad guy in the hit TV series “Heroes.” And this weekend that roller coaster ride is poised to get even faster: Roberts is back on the BIG screen, and from all accounts, the screen doesn’t get any bigger this year than with the spectacle that is genius director Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Roberts plays a mob boss in the latest Batman epic, and in just about every review I’ve read that mentions Roberts, he’s getting stellar notices.

This is also a good opportunity to laud Nolan as well. Back in the Hollywood Studio System days, Nolan would probably have been an underpaid contract director working with b-movie casts and b-movie budgets turning out what would later be hailed as film noir classics. I’m convinced of it. His films “Memento” and “Insomnia” are pure noir, and he has gone on record as saying his latest Bat-pic is intended to be noir as well.

So fans of low-budget filmmakers and actors have double reason to feel good this weekend, with both Roberts and Nolan hitting a home run. Get out there and support them (and besides, it’s BATMAN!)!

Here’s Roberts being interviewed about “Heroes” – enjoy!

"Long Lost Son"

It’s been a few weeks but Channel 7 has finally scheduled another movie that originally aired on Lifetime in the US and CTV in Canada. This Sunday, the Late Movie presents “Long Lost Son.”

Like the myriad of mafia movies that litter the Landfill, I’ve waxed pathetic time and time again over these (usually) overly-melodramatic TV movie productions. Several times in fact, as these films are almost as ubiquitous on Channel 7’s late night schedule as the mob films are.

Just as I mentioned last week when I posted on
“Mafiosa: the Father, the Son,”
I don’t really want to keep repeating myself. There are specific attributes that make up these Lifetime/CTV movies, and you can read all about them in my previous posts on such movies – just click on the film titles below:

”The Accidental Witness”

”Last Exit”

”Murder in My House”

”Eight Days to Live”

”Cheater’s Club”

”Past Sins”

”Cradle of Lies”

The cast for this one features the real-life romantic couple of Gabrielle Anwar and Craig Sheffer... that is, if they’re still together (the Phantom can never keep these things straight)!

Gabby has appeared in all sorts of films and TV shows. She’s probably best known for her tango with Al Pacino in “Scent of a Woman” as well as her role as Princess Margaret in the series, “The Tudors.” Currently, she has one of the lead roles in the popular USA Network series, “Burn Notice” (and gets to play off of one of the Phantom’s faves, supporting star Bruce Campbell.).

Sheffer also has a laundry list of credits. Most notable to cult film fans is his lead turn in Clive Barker’s quite introspective monsters psycho-drama, “NightBreed.” He also landed a main part in Robert Redford’s “A River Runs Throught It.” His most prolific work was a long-time main role as Keith Scott on the WB drama, “One Tree Hill.”

The other main star here is young Chace Crawford, currently setting teeny bopper girls’ hearts a-thumping as Nate on “Gossip Girl.”

Last week I suggested that Channel 7 just run their mob movies on Saturday nights and change the name from “The Late Movie” to “Midnight Mobsters.” This week I’m suggesting they just run their Lifetimey movies with female leads on Sunday nights and change the name to “Late Nite Ladies.”

On second thought, maybe not... that sounds more like after-hours Cinemax or Showtime fare. Maybe just “Ladies’ Night?”

Unlike this Saturday’s movie, the trailer for Sunday’s “Long Lost Son” does tell you all you need to know about the plot. You can view the trailer here:

Or watch the entire movie on WABC-TV Channel 7 on Sunday, July 20th, 2008 at 11:35 PM... if you dare!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Chicago Boricua"

There’s not much I can say about this film, for two reasons:

1.) It’s the debut film of a first-time director, and as such, most of the cast has few if any other roles to their credit. And those who do have a few roles have a lot of “extra with no character name” type roles.
2.) The only trailer I could find for this is barely a trailer at all. It has the film studio logo and the title of the film, but then goes into a random scene that doesn’t really give you a feel for what the film is about.

Out of the cast, there is one face you may recognize. That would be Aimee Garcia who has a recurring role as Veronica on ”The George Lopez Show.” Everyone else has had a role here, a role there, and probably not enough to be recognizable.

I found some descriptions of the film on Channel 7’s site and on, but they are very general. Basically, they say the same thing about the film – that it is a collection of stories about people in a Latino community (Humbolt) in Chicago. Namely, a realtor, a college student, a drug dealer, and an aspiring beauty pageant contestant. Whether their stories ever converge I can’t say.

In Variety’s review of the film, they likened it to a take on Spike Lee’s ”Do the Right Thing.” I seem to recall that being a bit more cohesive though, a whole piece as opposed to an anthology. Is “Chicago Borica” the whole enchilada, or merely the filling?

View the trailer here:

Or watch the entire movie on WABC-TV Channel 7 on Saturday, July 19th, 2008 at 11:35 PM... if you dare!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"Judgment in Berlin"

Judgment in Berlin

What a difference a day makes. Saturday night, Channel 7 has yet another mafia movie on tap. But Sunday night, they have scheduled a movie that not only is about a serious topic, but appears to actually be a good, well-done movie for a change. I say this not only due to the caliber of the people involved in the movie, but also because I found very few negative comments anywhere on the internet about this movie. The film tackles the court case of an East German man on trial for hijacking a Polish airliner so he can see his kids and take asylum in the West - a true story. Note to my younger readers: to understand the magnitude of this, go google or wiki “The Berlin Wall.”

So “Judgment in Berlin” stars Martin Sheen and Sean Penn, two polarizing personalities. The Phantom doesn’t necessarily agree with all their political views, but both are great performers, especially Penn. But I’m just going to stop here. I mean truthfully, what more do I really need to write about their careers (and their famous offspring/siblings/ex-spouses) that hasn’t already been written a bazillion times over? If you want to learn more, that’s what imdb, google and wikipedia are for. Besides, you know I’d much rather talk about character actors and cult favorites like Lance Henriksen and David Paymer, or the late Brion James.

Speaking of favorites, c’mon channel 7, when are you going to run a Robert Patrick movie?

There are two supporting actors worth mentioning here. Sam Wanamaker was a journeyman actor and often a director as well. The Chicago thesp appeared in countless movies and TV episodes, but his great love was the stage. He spent a lot of time in England in the late ‘50s acting, directing and producing Shakespearean productions at Stratford-upon-Avon, Covent Garden and more. While most of his directorial efforts consisted of TV show episodes, perhaps his coolest directing credit is helming the movie, “Sinbad & the Eye of the Tiger.”

Max Gail will forever be known for his brilliant portrayal of Detective Stan 'Wojo' Wojciehowicz on the seminal ensemble police comedy, “Barney Miller.” But since then, he has continued to turn in one great performance after another, and what comes as a surprise to many, primarily in dramatic roles.

Oh yeah, “Judgment in Berlin” was directed by Sean Penn’s father, Leo. In addition to fathering talented children, the elder Penn left his own mark not only as a writer/director, but also as an 8th Air Force bombardier during World War 2. Before the war, he was a political supporter of communism who advocated U.S. neutrality during the short-lived Nazi-Soviet pact, but once Hitler violated the pact he urged the U.S. to go to war. His past ties to communism and then-present ties to labor unions resulted in him being targeted during the McCarthy blacklists of the 1950s.

You can view a clip from the movie by clicking here...

Or watch the entire movie on WABC-TV Channel 7 on Sunday, July 13th, 2008 at 11:35 PM... if you dare!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Mafioso: the Father, the Son"

Last week I joked that, given their propensity to show mob movies, Channel 7 should just start running them exclusively in their Late Movie slot. As if in response, this Saturday Channel 7 fires back with yet another mobfest!

At this point, I’ve said all I could possibly say about the mob movie knockoffs that litter the Landfill. I’ve outlined time and again their shared elements and their obvious pilfering of the more famous mafia movies and TV shows. Rather than rehash all that again, I invite you instead to peruse my previous entries on such efforts – just click on any of the titles below.

”Avenging Angelo”

”Blood Vows”

”Under Hellgate Bridge”

”Amongst Friends”

”A Good Night to Die”


”American Strays”

The trailer for this Saturday’s movie is filled with “hey, isn’t that so-and-so from such-and-such?” actors. Folks whose names you rarely know, but you’ve seen them time and time again. If the casting here seems deliberately ”Sopranos”-esque, well, that’s the way the meatball crumbles. You can check out the movie’s imdb listing and from there go to the individual filmogpraphies – you WILL recognize some folks, but again, you probably won’t know their names.

The only one I’ll call out here is Robert Costanzo. You’ve seen him hundreds of times, and the fact that he has a similar look to James “Tony Soprano” Gandolfini could not have been lost on the creators of “Mafioso.” Costanzo is quite an adept character actor who can shift from comedy to drama with ease. And for the comic book fans out there, he’s also the voice of Detective Harvey Bullock on the various animated Batman and DC Superheroes cartoons.

Best moment in the trailer: the statement that the film was the “Winner of the Audience Choice Award at the Portland Festival of World Cinema” (I’ll let you come up with your own response to that).

So how about it, Channel 7? Why not just devote one of the late night slots exclusively to mob movies? You have enough of them to run one every Saturday night, for example. You can change the name from “The Late Show” to “Midnight Mobsters” (who cares if the movies start at 11:35). Or maybe one Sunday afternoon when there’s no sporting events, you can have an all-day mobster marathon. It could be a “hit”… you could score some big ratings… maybe even be “#1 with a bullet!”

View the trailer for “Mafioso: the Father, the Son” here...

Or watch the entire movie on WABC-TV Channel 7 on Saturday, July 12th, 2008 at 11:35 PM... if you dare!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

"The Stickup"

Hooray – it’s the return of James Spader! James Spader is one of my favorites – he’s really a terrific actor. In fact, I wrote extensively on Mr. Spader a few weeks ago in my post on “Shadow of Fear.” If you missed that post, or just want to revisit it, you can do so by clicking here.

The only thing I’ll add to that post is that Spader must wake up every day and give thanks for getting the Emmy® winning role of Alan Shore, first on “The Practice” and then on “Boston Legal.” Because apparently he was on a never-ending treadmill of cheapo direct-to-video thrillers, like George Jetson forever running in place in the “Jetsons” end credits. It’s enough to make a fellow scream, “fame, stop this crazy thing!”

Since I’ve already covered Spader, the Phantom will move on to the supporting cast.

Scratch that, I’ll just move on to ONE of the supporting cast members, because frankly, I don’t recognize anyone else in this cast.

David Keith is best remembered for portraying Richard Gere’s ill-fated friend in “An Officer and A Gentleman.” He has had all sorts of roles since, primarily as supporting characters, but sometimes as a lead. His biggest “featured” role would have to be playing Elvis in “Heartbreak Hotel.” Genre fans will know him from a pair of “dad” roles – playing superhero Matt Murdock’s pop in “Daredevil” as well as the father of the intrepid mystery-solving kids in “Hangman’s Curse.” Of note to me is that he actually played a character with the same name as my good friend Tommy Lane, in a movie called “Caged Fear”… aka “Hotel Oklahoma”… aka “Innocent Young Female”… aka “Jail Force” (sounds like film with an identity crisis)!

Okay, make that two supporting cast members. I don’t really know her, but my research shows that last year, Leslie Stefanson played Ted Kennedy’s ex-wife Joan in the TV movie, ”The Women of Camelot.” This year, seven years after appearing in “The Stickup” as Spader’s leading lady in “reel life,” she finds herself his leading lady in “real” life – engaged to become the next Mrs. Spader. That is, of course, if that tidbit I gleaned off of imdb is still accurate.

The film: a series of robberies that Spader is pinned for. He’s a cop who swears he didn’t do it. Was he framed? And is it mandatory that every movie like this a.) have robberies committed by people in clown masks and b.) feature nurses who take their work home with them, continue to nurse patients back to health off-hospital premises AND become their love interest in the process?

View the trailer here:

Or watch the entire movie on WABC-TV Channel 7 on Sunday, July 6, 2008 at 11:35 PM... if you dare!



The Phantom feels a bit guilty writing this, but this film is filled with “also-rans.” It’s not that they’re necessarily bad actors; it’s just that in head-to-head competition with others, well they come up short. They are the backups. The actors that are called in when one or two or even three others on the list ahead of them aren’t available. Except for those times when the budget is so small and the project so limited (i.e. planned from the start to be direct-to-video, as opposed to originally intended for theatrical release) that their names jump to the top of the list.

And maybe that’s just fine because you often find such actors being utilized in stories that require more of an “ensemble cast.” Films where there are numerous characters and no one individual role is meant to stand out or outshine the others. Rather the parts working together toward the overall effect of the whole.

So you have Donnie Wahlberg, formerly of ‘90s mega boy band New Kids on the Block to start with. He’s done some good acting work, most notably a brief but pivotal bit in ”The Sixth Sense” (for which he lost a reported 43 pounds) and a major role in the acclaimed television mini-series ”Band of Brothers.” He’s been able to get some steady gigs in a variety of movies and TV shows, including a recurring role in the ”Saw” franchise, but all in all he’s the “ensemble guy” while his brother Mark gets his name above the titles.

Pete Postlethwaite is a great British character actor. Simply take a look at his credits. Too many choice roles to mention, but since the trailer for “Triggermen” suggests more than a mélange of mobsters and conmen, the most appropriate of those roles to mention here would be Kobayashi in “The Usual Suspects.” And he’s got an Oscar® nomination as well for a Best Supporting Actor part in “In the Name of the Father.”

Claire Forlani, like Wahlberg, has been in projects of all stripes for some time now. Also like Wahlberg, she seems well-entrenched in the “ensemble” area. Her career recently got a boost with a recurring role on the ”CSI: New York” TV series that has led to a slate of film roles. Cult film fans will remember her best from Kevin Smith’s “Mallrats.”

I spoke about Michael Rappaport back in my post on “A Good Night to Die,” which I invite you to check out by clicking here. He tends to play tough mugs, so to speak. To reiterate from my earlier post, to me he’s the next guy you go to when Michael Madsen isn’t available. But at least that puts him ahead of Rich Rosovich. The joke is on all three of them, though, because ever since “Sin City” Mickey Rourke is back on top of the tough mug list. And Tom Sizemore may be permanently off (I’ll leave it to you to research why). It’s a delicate balance that must be maintained after all. A game of plus one, minus one.

From the looks of this trailer, it appears Amanda Plummer plays one of her patented oddball characters again. She may be the only reason to tune into this. The Phantom digs her oddness; it makes her cool to me. Consider her amazing portrayal of a limbo-ized cancer patient forced to do evil Gabriel’s bidding in “The Prophecy” before he’ll let her die in peace. In a film already stuffed with scene-stealing performances from Eric Stolz, Viggo Mortensen, Adam Goldberg... and of course Christopher Walken, Plummer held her own and then some.

Last but not least, I have to give special mention to Saul Rubinek. Memories are funny things, and if I watched it today, I might not enjoy ”Soup for One.” But I seem to recall enjoying the Woody Allen-esque film of quirky New Yorkers in and out of love many, many moons ago and that Rubinek was one of the reasons I liked it. Like just about everyone in Saturday night’s movie, Rubinek has an extensive resume, including a recent recurring role on the short-lived ”Blind Justice” TV show.

So the plot of “Triggermen” as best as I can guess is that there’s two hit men and two con men, and either both pairs switch places or one partner each swaps out so one of them can get a better shot at a girl (for a lip lock, not a dead shot). Yep, it’s another one of those convoluted, crazy-mixed-up movies that tries to combine romance, comedy, and mob violence. It’s the mafia meets Tarantino once again on Channel 7’s late night movie. Maybe all they should do is run mob films in this slot as it seems they show one every other week anyway. Instead of the Late Movie they could call it the Late-Because-You-Got-Rubbed-Out Movie.

You can view the trailer by clicking here...

Or watch the entire film on WABC-TV Channel 7 on Saturday, July 6, 2008 at 11:35 PM... if you dare!