Now With More Than 3000 Reviews! Go Nuts - Read 'Em All!!

WELCOME! Use the search engines on this site (or your own off-site engine of choice) to gain easy access to the complete MAKSQUIBS Archive; over 2500 posts and counting. (New posts added every day or so.)

You can check on all our titles by typing the Title, Director, Actor or 'Keyword' of your choice in the Search Engine of your choice (include the phrase MAKSQUIBS) or just use the BLOGGER Search Box at the top left corner of the page.

Feel free to place comments directly on any of the film posts and to test your film knowledge with the CONTESTS scattered here & there. (Hey! No Googling allowed. They're pretty easy.)

Send E-mails to MAKSQUIBS@yahoo.com . (Let us know if the TRANSLATE WIDGET works!) Or use the Profile Page or Comments link for contact.

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

THE FORMULA (1980)

The real missing formula here is the secret for making a big-budget international thriller. Steve Shagan adapted his own novel about a hard-nosed L.A. detective (George C. Scott) who starts out investigating a murder and winds up on the trail of a Nazi-era recipe for turning coal into synthetic oil. Shagan’s idea of suspense is to bump suspects off as soon as Scott gets his next clue, then he ships him off to scenic spots in Europe where he meets shady lady Marthe Keller and leaves a few more bodies . . . after getting the next clue. Director John Avildsen is at sea here, urban blight was his thing, not skullduggery among the rich & richly upholstered. The only possible reason to watch this is Marlon Brando who comes up with a goofy take on a big, sly oil tycoon/Master-of-the-Universe pussy-cat with Milk Duds to spare. Taking third billing, behind Scott, Keller and the title, Brando plays character actor and seems to be having a fine time, working Scott like a cat with a mouse. And Scott, to his credit, takes pride & pleasure in losing the game. And how come Brando resembles Dick Cheney, circa 2004? (See photo.) Uncanny.

SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: In this 1980 pic, Scott ‘defends’ his new Asian/American partner by ‘correcting’ offensive terms like ‘Sloe’ or ‘Chink,’ insisting on ‘Oriental,’ which, of course, is a rug.

WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Two years before this, THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL made a nice hunk of change using Greg Peck, Larry Olivier, Lilli Palmer & James Mason much as this film uses Scott, Brando, Keller & John Gielgud. While almost as trashy as this pic, it seems to know itself and features a wonderfully naughty score from Jerry Goldsmith, sublime lensing from Henri Decaƫ, ultra-slick production from helmer Franklin Schaffner, and triple the gross M-G-M got out of this dud.

No comments: