Tony Goldwyn

Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI (1986, Tom McLoughlin)

Director McLoughlin tries something new for the Friday the 13th franchise; he makes Jason Lives a monster movie. A really bland, not even slightly creepy and only once surprising, monster movie. It’s not notable for it failing to be a good monster movie, it’s notable because McLoughlin’s so sincere about it.

McLoughlin, who also scripted the entry, is also sincere about making the film accessible. No, really, there’s no other reason to have a bumbling executives playing paintball than the make the film accessible. McLoughlin wants people to enjoy Jason Lives.

Unfortunately, his script is lame and his direction of actors is weak. His composition is bland, predictable and never effective, but a lot of it is cinematographer Jon Kranhouse. The movie’s terribly lighted. And, even worse, Harry Manfredini’s score is laughable. It’s never scary. He’s going for that monster movie vibe McLoughlin wants.

In the lead performance, Thom Mathews is terrible. As his love interest, Jennifer Cooke gives a perfectly adequate performance in an unbelievable role. As her father–and the sheriff after Mathews–David Kagen is real bad. There are a lot of actors in a Jason Lives, sometimes too many to track, but none of them are good.

Jason Lives also distinguishes itself by putting children in danger of being brutally murdered by a resurrected by lightning slasher monster. McLoughlin can’t even make that sequence scary; he can’t even create empathy for children in danger.

Jason Lives is rather bad, even as a Friday the 13th movie.



Directed by Tom McLoughlin; screenplay by McLoughlin; director of photography, Jon Kranhouse; edited by Bruce Green; music by Harry Manfredini; production designer, Joseph T. Garrity; produced by Don Behrns; released by Paramount Pictures.

Starring Thom Mathews (Tommy), Jennifer Cooke (Megan), Courtney Vickery (Nancy), David Kagen (Sheriff Garris), Michael Swan (Officer Pappas), Mike Nomad (Officer Thornton), Vincent Guastaferro (Deputy Rick Cologne), Kerry Noonan (Paula), Renée Jones (Sissy), Tom Fridley (Cort), Darcy DeMoss (Nikki), Roger Rose (Steven), Cynthia Kania (Annette), Bob Larkin (Martin), Whitney Rydbeck (Roy), Alan Blumenfeld (Larry), Matthew Faison (Stan), Ann Ryerson (Katie), Wallace Merck (Burt), Nancy McLoughlin (Lizbeth), Tony Goldwyn (Darren) and Ron Palillo (Allen Hawes).

The Mechanic (2011, Simon West)

It would be going far to say The Mechanic almost succeeds. There’s not very much it could succeed at–while a remake, the film could have been another in star Jason Statham’s Transporter franchise; there’s nothing distinctive about it. Except maybe Mark Isham’s awful score.

The film opens with some of director West’s worst work. Luckily, he tones down his rapid cuts after the pre-title sequence (which clears up whether he makes bad choices intentionally… he does). He never establishes a tone; even in Panavision, he keeps close to the actors and the New Orleans setting is wasted. But he does approach the low end of bland incompetence, an achievement for him.

It helps having Statham around. Statham’s made this film before; not just the Transporter series, but basically everything he headlines. The scenes with him and Ben Foster show what a waste the dumb action genre is for Statham. He can hold his own with Foster, who–and The Mechanic is just another example of it–is the finest character actor of his generation and probably the last too.

Richard Wenk’s script has some fine little moments for Foster and an action scene every seven minutes or so. It’s not clear if Lewis John Carlino (who wrote the original and is credited here as co-writer) actually contributed anything to this version or if the filmmakers didn’t want to call it a remake.

Foster and Statham make it pass easier than it should… but the ending’s still crap.



Directed by Simon West; screenplay by Richard Wenk and Lewis John Carlino, based on a story by Carlino; director of photography, Eric Schmidt; edited by T.G. Herrington and Todd E. Miller; music by Mark Isham; production designer, Richard Lassalle; produced by René Besson, Robert Chartoff, William Chartoff, Rob Cowan, Marcy Drogin, Avi Lerner, John Thompson, David Winkler and Irwin Winkler; released by CBS Films.

Starring Jason Statham (Arthur Bishop), Ben Foster (Steve McKenna), Tony Goldwyn (Dean), Donald Sutherland (Harry McKenna), Jeff Chase (Burke), Mini Anden (Sarah) and James Logan (Jorge Lara).

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