Those damn Metal head stoners are always killing those girls for no reason.
A troubled high school slacker, Samson (Daniel Roebuck), kills his girlfriend for no particular reason and shows off her dead body to his friends Layne (Crispin Glover) and Matt (Keanu Reeves), whose reactions vary about whether to involve the police.
After watching ‘Bully’ a long long time ago, I realized that there were more stories like that one out there, and it soon started to make me realize something: Teens love to kill people.
Writer Neal Jimenez does a very good job at showing these kids as none other than complete alienated misfits, that don’t really have any effect from a murder of one of their own friends. You get the real idea that these kids have no idea what to do or even think after this shocking murder has just happened, and it seems like they also don’t even really care. This is a little shocking no matter how many years go by, but that can’t be said about the rest of the film.
Even though this film starts off very strong, it really starts to fall apart pretty easily. The plot goes into places that seem totally ridiculous because of actually focusing on this disturbing story at hand, we start to go into a pretty cheesy teen-romance, a 12 year-old (who is terribly annoying) looking for a gun, Crispin Glover running all-over-the-place talking like a mental patient, and Dennis Hopper talking about a blow-up sex-doll as if it has been his wife for the past 30 years. I’m all down for a little bit of creepiness here and there but the real story at hand, seemed so much more interesting than what any of these little annoying sub-plots or happenings even showed.
The gritty look of it has something to be admired, but many times I felt like the film could have been so much better with it’s real portrayal of these punk kids in a suburban town. These kids don’t give a damn at all, which was understood by about the 20-minute mark, but to have the whole film go on and not shed any light on the murder, why it happened, and what these kids are going to do to get by it, seemed pretty dumb to me. These kids are alienated from the rest of the world around them, I get it, but please show me something that can actually glue me into the story rather than just drag me along.
However, when I looked down on everything, I thought about the cast and that’s kind of when I eased up a bit since there are some real good performances here. Keanu Reeves plays his usual dumb-ass role here as Matt, but he does a great job with this character and gives a lot of his more emotional scenes, a believability that this character needed to actually work. Ione Sky is alright as Clarissa but I never understood why she’s so remarkable as a female character; Daniel Roebuck is a little weird as our killer for the hour and 39 minutes, John; and Dennis Hopper is great as Feck, this total nutty drug-dealer that holds on to a blow-up doll like I mentioned before, but the catch here is that he’s the good guy in this whole film.
The best performance from the whole cast is probably the one and only Crispin Glover as Layne, the total speed-freak that takes this whole film over with every scene he gets. Glover does a great job with this character because he’s doped out on his pills and weirdness that when it comes down to something real and dramatic like this murder, he doesn’t know what to do and panics every chance he has. Glover is perfect at creating this character that’s a little nutty, mean, raw, but also very emotionally attached to the world around him and was my favorite thing about this film.
Consensus: River’s Edge has some nice bleak touches on teenage society that may seem disturbing to most, but as the film transcends, it turns into this ludicrous, silly, and otherwise lame way of trying to get an interesting story out there that should have been more gripping. Check out ‘Bully’ instead.
Drinkin’ in the courtrooooooom.
A washed-up, ambulance-chasing attorney (Paul Newman) gets a chance at redemption when his friend (Jack Warden) tosses him an open-and-shut medical malpractice case. But instead of accepting an easy cash settlement, he takes the powerful defendant to court. James Mason plays the opposing counsel, whom his legal adversary calls “The Prince of Darkness”.
Director Sidney Lumet is a favorite of mine and even his films that aren’t amazingly great, are still OK even if they may be nothing new.
This is a courtroom drama that isn’t really all about an up-lifting story that’s high on inspiration and corny lines. It’s more about this guy who actually gains a lot of self-esteem through this one case and has a new out-look on life. Yeah, it still sounds pretty cheesy but I can assure you, farthest thing from really.
The script done by David Mamet is good although it seems too much like a stage play, rather than an actual full-length feature film. However, there are moments where he shows brilliance whether it’s Newman yelling an annoying judge, Newman and his girl getting into a yelling match, or any of the courtroom scenes, Mamet seems like he knows exactly how he wants to say everything, and it works out very well here. With this film, there’s also a portrayal of how dark the legal system can actually be. Sometimes, not all the time, sometimes it’s not all about who’s right or who’s wrong, it’s actually about the money and who is going to get a certain amount for the decisions to be made. I thought this was a pretty bold point to show, and very cool to see in a courtroom drama like this one.
Lumet is also good with his direction here because he uses the slow-burn process well to where the story is built up the whole entire time, to the point where the last 10 minutes of the film keep you on your seat the whole time. Lumet also uses a bunch of silences and awkward pauses in-between all of these conversations these character’s have to give it a real-life feel.
However, the problem with this direction is that I really didn’t feel like this film was actually going anywhere. It didn’t mind the slow-pace because I thought it actually helped the film, but for a long long time I didn’t feel gripped by this story at all. I almost just felt like I was watching Newman do these little lawyers thing-a-ma-jigs here and there and I wasn’t wondering just what was going to happen next. The whole sub-plot with Newman and his lady-friend, played by Lindsay Crouse, I felt was a little weird and didn’t add much to the film other than a really cool scene that I think I already gave away but when you see it, it’s pretty cool I must say.
Paul Newman is very very good in this lead role as Frankie Glavin. Glavin is just a guy who wants to do right but is such a bum and so out of it when it comes to getting this course case done, he feels pressured and almost out-of-sorts. He once had it all, then he soon lost it all, and is now trying to win it all back. This is a great character, and a character that Newman plays so well. Newman’s delivery of his famously stirring closing argument, is a career highlight and probably my favorite scene from this film, other than the one I came close to mentioning. There is also another good performance from James Mason as Ed Concannon, and he practically made me want to punch his face in. That is a good thing too. Also, be on the look-out for a young Bruce Willis in the background of the film by the end. That bastard always shows up in the most random places!
Consensus: The Verdict has good performances, especially Paul Newman and a good script that keeps the story going with it’s slow-pace, but it doesn’t really start to gain momentum, until the last act where something just didn’t feel like I was taken along with this story.
Christmas just would not be the same without it.
Ralphie (Peter Billingsly) is part of the all-American family in the 40′s trying to survive the Christmas season. It is also his quest to finally get from the big man himself what he’s been wanting and been warned about for so long…an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Hey, he said it best.
Come on now! You had to know that this was coming around sooner or later. This is basically the definitive classic film for Christmas and it only gets better with age, considering I remember always watching this way back when I was still hanging out in my Superman undies on the 24th of December.
The reason why this film works so well is because it’s so damn memorable. I mean almost every line of dialogue is something everyone all over the world still remember to quote and even the events that happen as well are memorable as hell too. Who doesn’t want to go to a Chinese place on Christmas? Who doesn’t want that leg-lamp? Also, who doesn’t want a damn BB-gun for Christmas? These are only a couple of things that are memorable, but they aren’t the only ones I can promise you that.
I think the best part about this flick is that it really hits some reality points, especially if you’re a kid because a lot of what goes on here and said here, is actually how a kid is. Ralphie is just like any kid during Christmas time: he wants presents, he tries his hardest to stay on the nice list, and he day-dreams all day about getting good grades in class and having the whole class lift him up over their heads. I always thought like that as a kid, and in other ways still do but it’s just easy to say that if you’re a kid now watching this, you will see a lot to relate to and realize that you are not alone in the way you act. Then again, I don’t think any little kids are reading this anyway.
I don’t know where all of the stars in this film went because everybody here is memorable and perfect for their roles. Peter Billingsley at least directed the terrible flop ‘Couples Retreat’; Darren McGavin kept on doing his own thang for awhile, even appearing as Billy’s dad in ‘Billy Madison’, but tragically died in 2006; and Melinda Dillon kept doing on doing whatever the hell it is that she was doing but the last time I saw her in anything was in ‘Magnolia’ and even then I had to look up who she was. Yes, three random-ass films like ‘Couples Retreat’, ‘Billy Madison’, and ‘Magnolia’ all share something in common.
The reason why this flick is just such a classic is because it just brings me on home some of the nostalgia that I love seeing in any film. This just reminds me of hanging around my house, drinking some egg nog and getting in the whole mood and spirit of Christmas which I always truly love. This is definitely a flick that will love on for as long as Christmas goes on for and I’m proud to call this one of my all-time favorite films no matter what.
Merry Christmas everyone!!!
Back in the day when these two guys were golden.
A down-and-out con artist (Eddie Murphy) trades lifestyles with a well-to-do investor (Dan Aykroyd, all because of a cheap bet between two wealthy power players (Done Ameche and Ralph Bellamy). Add a prostitute with a heart of gold (Jamie Lee Curtis) and craziness ensues.
Director John Landis is a guy that I could never really get into even though he has so many films that are regarded as “classics”. However, seeing that it is Christmas time and that I need to start getting rid of some of the DVDs I have stacked up and never watch, I thought this was a pretty good pick.
The premise is a fun and inspired one right from the get-go and you see how these two different life-styles create two different types of great characters. The dialogue itself is very funny because it’s not one of those cheesy and lame 80′s comedy scripts where they say something dirty and it’s supposed to be hilarious. Instead this film is edgy and has a lot of great moments where you either chuckle or laugh-out-loud, depending on the type of person you are. Landis also does a great job here behind the screen because he balances out the original screwball premise with the modern use of comedy.
A problem I did have with this flick was the fact that the comedy gets a little dry at moments, and I sort of found myself barely laughing for some pretty long periods of time. This doesn’t get dramatic by any means necessary, but it just feels like it focuses more on the plot and what’s happening, rather than actually being funny. I also could not believe how some people go to school and study how to be a successful Wall Street investor for about 3-4 years, but I guess if you’re Eddie Murphy it only takes about 5 minutes. This was a little strange and thought it was some lazy writing in trying to get us to see how much being a street-folk, like Murphy’s character, would benefit being a Wall Street investor.
Another problem I had with this film was the fact that it tried to be a splitting satire on Wall Street and very wealthy people, but for some reason, a lot of this just fell flat for me. There’s not much bite here even though it pretends like it’s actually saying something about the business world and the difference between social classes. Overall, this just felt like an unnecessary part to have in this flick, considering they could have easily just relied on the comedy they had going on here in the first place.
The real reason this film works and is so funny is because of its hilarious cast. Dan Aykroyd is very funny as Louis Winthrope this dude who I thought I was going to hate the whole time, but instead, I ended up really getting behind his character and the way Aykroyd plays this upper-class yuppie made me laugh because he’s so good at it. Yes people, I know it’s very hard to imagine, but there was once a time-and-age when Dan Aykroyd was actually funny in films.
Eddie Murphy gives one his funniest performances as Billy Ray Valentine and absolutely steals every single scene he has. He starts out as this very slick and sly con man, who goes through a total transformation as this rich-man but still stays likable and hilarious. Murphy breaks out all of these witty lines (lines that even my mom still quotes) and it also helps that he probably has the best character since this guy is just a good guy in general. I can’t really say much else other than the fact that he’s hilarious here and the real reason why this film is so memorable to be honest.
Let’s also not forget to mention everybody’s favorite part in the film where Jamie Lee Curtis lifted off her top for some big-ass booby time. That’s what I’m talking about!
Consensus: Trading Places may not be as satirical as it may like to think it is, but Aykroyd, Murphy, and Curtis all add a lot to this flick to make this funny premise go beyond its limits.
Trying to keep some of the Halloween spirit up and about during Christmas time.
After losing their academic posts at a prestigious university, a team of parapsychologists (Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis) goes into business as proton-pack-toting “ghostbusters” who exterminate ghouls, hobgoblins and supernatural pests of all stripes. An ad campaign pays off when a knockout cellist (Sigourney Weaver) hires the squad to purge her swanky digs of demons that appear to be living in her refrigerator.
Before director Ivan Reitman decided to go on and do classics such as ‘No Strings Attached’ and ‘Evolution’, he actually did some legendary stuff with a film that you may have heard of, but then again maybe not. All I have to know is…who ya gonna call? I know that was corny but come on, you had to know it was going to happen at least once in this review.
I’ve seen this film a long long time ago and it was always a favorite of mine, so to give it another shot and see how it held up for me all these years later, was a real treat for me. The premise is pretty original right from the start and it would have easily fallen down like a sack of bricks but it somehow ends up being one of the most genius ideas ever put into a film, mainly because of all of the talent that is involved here.
There are so many hilarious one-liners here that I hear uttered from time-to-time but never really got the joke until I had this film refresh my memory and make me realize just how damn funny the lines are. I mean every situation they have here is just utterly ridiculous but the film knows that but still finds plenty of ways to bring out comedy no matter what whether they are depending on some well-placed slap-stick, dead-pan readings from everybody involved, or some sly satire of surging capitalist hubris. Each and every way this film approaches its comedy works beyond belief and I just laughed my ass off at so many things here that were said. Something that doesn’t usually happen when I’m watching an 80′s comedy.
The comedy isn’t the only fun aspect to this film though, Reitman also seems to have a lot of fun with this plot and his direction brings out some of the most imaginative stuff that ever came out on-screen in the 80′s. There is a lot of fun to be had with these guys all running around in these plain-looking jumpsuits chasing after flying goo that is actually a ghost, and every scene ending with some witty pun. Let’s also not forget everybody’s favorite giant villain, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. I mean honestly, who comes up with this shit and can actually make it somethings that revered as comedic gold.
My one gripe with this flick is that the special effects here are very very bad but then again this is 1984 we are talking about here. I know I sound like a complete dickhead for even bringing this up and knocking down some points for this but to be honest, it sort of took me out of the film considering the whole time I just saw this dog flying through the screen as if he had just popped out of a PlayStation game. I know I’m nit-picking, but for some reason it just bothered me.
The real reason this film worked so well is because of the man that plays Peter Venkman, a man named none other than Bill Murray. Murray is always a show-stealer no matter what it is that he is in and here as Venkman he is no different. His dead-pan delivery is spot-on because he knows that everything in this film is just plain and simply ridiculous and he handles just about everything like the sarcastic unprofessional that he is and almost every time he is on-screen, he had me laughing my ass off. There is a reason why this guy was the main thing to see in ‘Zombieland’. It’s a shame that he is apparently kind of a dick in real-life, because if I saw him walking on the street I would probably just try my hardest to hang out with him the whole day, even though I would probably get denied.
Everybody else here is fine too and each give their own little funny lines, while Murray is off killing this film with his delivery. Harold Ramis is funny as the nerdy Egon, Dan Aykroyd is even funnier and nerdier as Ray, and Ernie Hudson is fun as the token black guy Winston. There is also some funny performances given by Sigourney Weaver as Venkman’s love-interest of sorts, Dana Barrett and Rick Moranis as Barrett’s nerdy next-door neighbor, Louis. As you can probably tell now that there are a lot of nerds in this flick but hey, nerds rule and they deserve their times to shine too.
Consensus: Ghostbusters is the classic that I always imagined it being even when I was still running around in my little Spider-Man undies. It’s funny, original, exciting, and perfectly-delivered by the likes of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and many many others.
I’m definitely not having half of my family over for Christmas now.
Hapless Clark (Chevy Chase), exasperated Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) and their ever-changing kids (Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki) gear up for Christmas. As usual, all the good intentions in the world can’t save them from disaster … or Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid), whose unannounced visit throws the house into further disarray.
Since it’s “the most wonderful time of the yeaaaaarrr” I thought it would be cool to do a little Christmas-movie marathon starting with a film that I loved when I was a kid, but now realize that it’s not as funny.
John Hughes wrote this screenplay and has a great blend of some real silly humor that gets mixed in with a lot of the cartoon mayhem that occurs around the time of Christmas. Hughes is obviously not afraid to get a little goofy with this film as he throws a lot slap-stick in our faces with Clark Griswold getting hit in the chin, then falling down a ladder, then falling through the ceiling, and then basically everything else catching on fire. I like how Hughes is able to have a little fun with this screenplay and is able to show his goofy side.
My problem with the script though is that there surely is a lot here in this script that is pretty annoying and not very funny at all. The slap-stick at first was funny but then there were scenes that went on way too long that seemed too cute to actually be considered funny. There’s a long-ass scene with a squirrel running rampant throughout the whole house-hold and everybody is running around like a bunch of goons to bring out some sort of laughter, when in reality, this was just a lame way to get some laughs. This isn’t the only scene that tries a little too hard to be funny but I can easily say that it’s the one I remember mostly rolling my eyes at.
Although I may rag on this film for not being terribly funny, like it was trying so hard to be, I still think it captured a lot of the fun, warmth, and joy that goes into the holiday season. I mean you got you’re whole family right there with ya’ to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside and the whole “getting the perfect Christmas tree” to the “lighting of the lights” is what really will make you feel all happy even if the comedy can’t do that much all for you.
Chevy Chase is great as as always as Clark Griswold who always seems to have everything figured out, until something changes right away to completley terrible. Chase has mastered this role and he shows no signs of a bad performance but it’s also a real shame considering that this guy doesn’t really do much now. The last time I probably saw him was actually in ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’ and to be brutally honest, he was the most forgettable part of that forgettable film. That’s saying something.
Randy Quaid seems to be having a lot of fun as Clark’s cousin, Eddie, who is a total country bumpkin which is where the majority of the jokes for this film come from. I’m not saying Quaid is bad or anything here, because he’s actually one of the more delightful performances in this flick, it’s just that all of the jokes here centered around him just being this total red-neck that can’t pay for anything or even use his head right. They pulled this joke about 15 times and wasn’t funny once so I have to say that Quaid kind of got pulled under the neath the crap-shoot here.
Consensus: While Christmas Vacation isn’t funny the whole time, there is still enough silliness and warm moments to make this a great seasoned treat for anyone wanting a nice little laugh right next to the Christmas tree.
Don’t take taxis during rush hour. This is what will probably happen to you.
Neal Page (Steve Martin) is a high-strung advertising executive who needs to get from New York to Chicago in a matter of two days, for Turkey Day. Many things go bad for Neal and he ends up being stuck with a very nice, eternally sunny, and somewhat intolerable dude named Del Griffith (John Candy), a shower-curtain salesman. Things go from bad to worse, and Neal is stuck with Del in trying to get back to his crib for the turkey. And honestly, who wouldn’t be rushing home for Thanksgiving dinner? Yummy yummy.
John Hughes is a great writer and director and those are the two strengths that are shown here incredibly well, especially with his writing. The whole script here is basically watching this tight-ass be tormented by horrible situations that honestly do go from bad to worse and a guy he always seems to sneak away from, but in the end, he always ends up being right back to where he started from. It’s a formula that is very obvious but somehow Hughes makes it work.
The humor here is hilarious because I just loved seeing a buddy-comedy that had funny situations mixed with a lot of the usual jokes that come from two guys who are polar opposites. Del is talkative, loving, and always happy, while Neal is somehow always tense, annoyed, angry, or just bothered by everything going on around him. This clash between two characters creates a whole lot of fun for the film but then again, I do love road films, so my opinion could be a bit biased.
What really adds to this film is the fact that the humor is under-lined with some sentimental moments, but it doesn’t feel forced or corny in anyway. Hughes is able to draw out these characters so much that by the end of the film, we really do understand them and care for them and hope that no matter what they are both happy, which may sound a little cheesy now but the film spends so much time with its comedy that when it actually does get a little soft, it surprisingly works. The ending is quite a heavy one and I think that’s a real surprise and tribute to what a true talent John Hughes was as a screen-writer.
My problem with this film was that it was a little too obvious that there is a lot more to this guy Del, then we actually think. Without giving anything away, we never really find out where this guy is going, why he’s going there, and just how the hell he ends up going the same way as Neal the whole film. This to me seemed pretty obvious and I think if Hughes wanted to really shock us, he could have just been a bit more mysterious with the character of Del.
There was also this one scene where we find out the big “twist” if you want to call it that, at the end of the film. The scene doesn’t last long and I think for the film to really give this hard-hitting emotional impact on the audience, the scene needed to be help up longer before we started getting into the real heavy ending. Then again, I could just be nit-picking like a the highly-esteemed movie critic that I always am deep down inside.
The main reason why this film works is because of the great performances given by Steve Martin and John Candy who give some of their most memorable performances of their careers, and that’s saying something. Martin is great as the stuck-up Neal, who always seems to be freaking out at everything, and there are also many other scenes where he gets to show his true comedic talent. If you don’t believe me, just watch the F-bomb scene, then you’ll see what I mean. Just wish the dude would step away from ‘Cheaper By the Dozen’.
Candy has never been better as Del and it’s probably my favorite performance from him (beating out ‘Uncle Buck’) because he’s just so damn likable. The guy is always happy, looking on the bright side of things, and whenever something bad seems to come his way he always finds his way of sneaking out of it and bringing out a positive. Candy has a lot of funny lines and funny scenes where he gets to show his playfulness on-screen, but it’s really about the heart that Candy brings out inside of Del that works. You can tell there is something underneath Del, and there are a couple of scenes that hint this and the way Candy shows it is just perfect and real showing of how great he was with both comedy and drama. If I was stuck with John Candy on a two-day trip, I can easily tell you it would be a hell of a time though!
Consensus: Planes, Trains and Automobiles uses a formula we have all seen before but somehow Hughes makes it even more hilarious than it has any right to be, which is also with some thanks to Candy and Martin who are perfect in these roles, bringing out both comedy and heart within their own characters. Perfect Thanksgiving film.
Happy Turkey Day everyone!
Now I know that I definitely have to stay away from my wife’s sisters from now on.
The film is a tale of three sisters-Hannah (Mia Farrow), Holly (Dianne Wiest) and Lee (Barbara Hershey-who are all unique and special in their own little ways, but they all have problems when it comes to their men and love life. Taking place over two years, we see their struggles, pleasures, and problems as they come to grip with life.
This film goes into some gross places considering the fact that one of sister’s own husband starts boning around with another sister, however Woody Allen is an amazing writer and makes even the weirdest and craziest of things work somehow in his own little cooky way. I think one of the main reasons being is the fact that he’s able to balance all of these stories, topics, and genres so well that it almost is too hard to take your eyes off the film and rarely does your mind ever go somewhere else.
This is also one of the films in Allen’s career where a lot of it feels very realistic because not only does he use that hand-held camera that makes me feel as if I’m right there with these characters, but the fact that a lot of what these people go through and talk about all ring true. I mean we’ve all gone through these feelings at one point or another (not necessarily the boning of your wife’s sister, but you know what I’m saying…) and because of these very interesting characters, it’s also even easier to relate to.
There is a lot to enjoy here but I really have to give some love to Woody who does a great job of keeping this film very interesting and not trying to bog it down with a lot of his annoying themes and messages he always tries to get across in his films, but here they don’t really get in the way all that much. Except for the whole religious angle which I kind of felt was a little forced and out-of-nowhere. I mean maybe Woody was trying to satirize and bring out some questions within the fact of Christianity, but I didn’t see any real reason for this, except for how it kind of ties together in the end.
I was very glad to see Woody taking a back seat to this cast, and letting everybody strut their stuff and do a bang-up job. All of the girls are all very interesting in their own right and it also helps that each one is played exceptionally well, although I do think we could have gotten to know more about Hannah, considering she is the one who is named in the title and she’s the one sister the film pay’s attention to the least.
Michael Caine actually won an Oscar for his role as Elliot here and I have to say he deserved it because he is just great to watch. Caine’s character is the one who is dicking around on his wife and that calls for many emotionally-strong scenes where he just does not know what he wants, much like everybody else from the whole film, except this guy is actually doing something bad. Caine owns almost every scene and it’s a real great change of pace for him considering he’s not always in every scene and not being terribly witty.
Consensus: Hannah and Her Sisters is a great Woody Allen flick because it balances out heart, darkness, humor, and tenderness all so well with a very well-written script, and performances from everybody involved that add so much more dimensions to these already interesting characters. Oh and it also has Thanksgiving din-din in the film so watch it around that time.
Basically, don’t do coke.
Al Pacino plays two-bit Cuban hood Tony Montana, who makes his way into the U.S., where he and his friend Manny Ray (Stephen Bauer) soon enter the world of crime. They murder a political figure for drug dealer Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia) to get their green cards and are soon on his payroll. Tony’s elimination of rival Colmbian drug dealers gives him a more prominent role in the organization.
This is that film that everybody always praises and loves because it is just iconic. Every time you hear lines like “Say hello to mahhh litttle fienddd” or when somebody mispronounces “cockroach” this is the reason for it all. But it’s not as amazing as it legacy may show.
Director Brian De Palma does a great job here with re-amping this story and simply making it still tense but exciting to watch. As always, De Palma has a whole bunch of violence and bad language here that will probably shock a lot of people, but how De Palma films this with long tracking-shots, beautiful and vibrant colors to add to the dark material of the film, and the beautifully choreographed gunshots and violence is where De Palma really works well here. De Palma keeps a lot of scenes tense but then keeps that style he has for the other scenes, and make’s this film great to look at, while everybody’s cursing and getting shot.
The script from Oliver Stone has a lot of twists and turns that keep this film on it’s toes but his way of showing the decent of gangsters all-over-the-world and how they all start off well, but soon start to fall into a daze of problems until they can’t get out is very true and actually something a lot of gangster films do nowadays. You can tell that there’s a lot of the usual gangster-film conventions here that you always get, but somehow Stone makes it all seem new and fresh with his twists.
However, as bloody as the violence may be and no matter how bad these characters curse, I still didn’t find myself terribly riveted by this story, as well as not shocked one bit. I think the story kind of lost it’s way half-way throughout because it doesn’t really do much to support the characters around Tony while he’s falling into this huge-ass coke addiction. I didn’t hate Tony, I just didn’t understand why nobody tried to chill him off of that stuff for awhile, and why he kept making so many deals with all these major kingpins when he knew was soon going to be a wanted man. The film also needed some help with its editing because some scenes here don’t even feel needed, while others just linger on for about 10 minutes without any real meaning.
Although countless movie-goers were probably so taken aback by everything they saw on-screen here in 1983, 27 years later this film doesn’t really shock all that much since we have seen worse practically come out every Friday. I think the film was trying to push the envelope incredibly, which it did, but some of this violence just feels terribly gratuitous, just so De Palma could shock a couple of people, and I’m never down for shocking to be shocking.
It’s funny that the most Italiano man in the history of men, Al Pacino probably plays one of the best Cubans in a film ever. Al Pacino plays Tony Montana, and right from the get-go you know this guy is a smart-ass, hilarious, smart, but also very riveting and almost every scene this guy has you cannot take your eyes off of him at all. Pacino throws himself into this character and makes him seem like a larger-than-life character that may never die and could quite possibly take over the world. Some will say Pacino’s acting is over-the-top, but I say it’s one of the main reasons this film will always be remembered for the classic that it is and by also showing why Al Pacino is one of the best actors of all-time.
As much as I may talk ish on this film for not being amazing still 27 years later, I still have to say that this film is iconic with good reasons because it’s just great how everything looks. The dialogue, I will still find myself quoting 30 years from now at a lame adults b-day party, and the violence, I still find memorable and probably will always have it plastered into my mind. It’s crazy how certain films may not have it all to be a classic, but have just the right amount of whatever it is their doing right, to be awesome.
Consensus: Though it may not be as shocking 27 years later, Scarface is still a gangster classic with stylized action, quotable lines from start to finish, and a powerful lead performance from Al Pacino that shows his insane range he has as an actor, which almost makes me forget about 88 Minutes. But I still remember that piece of crap sadly.
This is what happens when you get old, and you just need more things to do.
Respected ophthalmologist Judah (Martin Landau) faces an ugly dilemma when his mistress (Anjelica Huston) threatens to expose their affair. Meanwhile, married filmmaker Cliff (Woody Allen) falls for a TV producer while shooting a documentary about an arrogant comedian (Alan Alda).
Woody Allen always knows how to convey emotions within his films no matter what genre that may be and I have to say that he still hasn’t lost his touch many many years later. This is one of those minor works.
Allen’s strategy here is basically showing two different films, one a comedy, the other a drama, but have them both convey the same emotions, and it really works well. Allen goes into detail about the idea of evil and why do most get away with it, while others simply cannot and have grief over their evil actions. We don’t understand the consequences of sin, but we still do it anyway and how we can get over that is a hard part of life as well.
This film is very brutal but at times very funny and it was great to see Allen tackle such a dark subject without getting too schmaltzy and light with it all, which is probably why some people would not like this that much. And although his best way of getting “dark” was probably Match Point, this was one of his first times he started to fall into a bit of a dramatic mood, which is very cool to see.
My problem with this film is that I felt like even though the central theme works incredibly well, however, the story itself doesn’t really live up to it that much. We get these little signs of Judah’s past with his family, and being a little Jewish boy so it can give us some sort of reflection on his life before all of this evil happened, which kind of felt forced to me so it could get me to care and understand more about his character rather than seeing him as a sinner, and that being the end of it.
Another problem with this film is that it brings up so many questions but never seems to answer them, until this dark ending where we never fully understand what the answers to those questions were, or even if we get any in the first place. Also, why didn’t Judah just let things happen if he really had something for this mistress? It seemed like there were many times that they were actually in love together and then when he has to, he just has to try and get rid of it? I didn’t understand this nor did the film really try to answer what my questions were in the end.
The cast is very good as they always are with any Allen film. Allen is great as his usual neurotic self as Cliff; Alan Alda seems like he’s having a total ball with his role as this snobby, and full-of-himself comedian, Lester; Anjelica Houston is very compelling as always as Dolores; and Mia Farrow plays the meek writer, Halley, to perfection, as she always does. The best bit of casting in this film is Martin Landau who is terrific as Judah, and conveys so many emotions by just moving his eyes and mouth. He is so very good in this role and doesn’t let loose of his dark character, and shows us a person in moral crisis very well. Good thing the guy won that Oscar for being a vampire.
Consensus: Though it’s not Allen’s best, and has too many questions left unanswered, Crimes and Misdemeanors is a dark meditation on evil and how deal with it everyday, that still has plenty of comedy, and good performances to keep any viewer riveted as well as searching for answers to the questions that are brought up.
Talk about FLYing solo. Actually I have no idea what that term has to do with this film I just felt like being witty.
While testing his teleportation device, scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) accidentally merges his cells with those of a housefly. As his reporter girlfriend (Geena Davis) bears witness, Seth slowly — and quite disgustingly — morphs into an insect.
I’ve never really taken time out of my film-reviewing and looked at any of David Cronenberg‘s films but after seeing this one, I may just check out more because this guy’s crazy!
The one thing that Cronenberg does well is that instead of being just another dumb and silly gore-fest about a dude who turns into a fly is that he actually lets there be time for the story to actually build up to where we actually care for everything that happens. There’s a very smooth pace that Cronenberg brings to this film and one that seems like it’s more of just developing the story and characters rather than just being slooooow.
Another thing that Cronenberg does well is that he takes all of these different sides of the story, and puts them together well. There’s a little bit of romantic comedy stuff here, some sci-fi stuff as well, real human drama too, and then to top it all off a lot of scary stuff to keep people scared as well. It seems like a very goofy combination that wouldn’t work at all but somehow Cronenberg makes it work beyond belief. There’s a lot of people who said they saw a metaphor for AIDS in here too but I mostly just saw how people react to a disease all differently and how it can make some people never want to let go, but in some cases, you just have to no matter how much you love them.
The make-up and costumes are also pretty cool looking even though they may be incredibly gory and will turn many others away. We see how Seth’s body changes and transforms over time and to say the least, it’s not pretty but it actually looks very detailed and disgusting in a good way. In a world filled with CGI everything, it’s a huge relief to see an 80′s film that makes a dude who is turning into a fly, actually look like a fly with the power of some really cool-looking make-up and costumes.
My main problem with this film is that I feel like too much of it was a little too over-the-top just for the sake of being over-the-top. Granted, I liked how gory and disgusting these costumes looked but there were times where I felt like Cronenberg just wanted to shock people with what he was showing in Seth’s transformation and for me, it came off as a bit annoying.
One example is that Seth’s girl, Veronica, gets pregnant and she has no idea what’s in her. Is it a human, a fly, or a flyhuman? Nobody knows and neither does she but she has a dream that she actually gives birth to a little fly baby thing and she’s just yelling and screaming with this blood all over and to me this just seemed random and really forced. It was almost like Cronenberg just wanted us to see something we’ve never seen before by showing us a little fly thingy coming out of a woman and it seemed a tad forced and random.
The cast isn’t a real big one but with the people they have, it really is a treat. Jeff Goldblum is perfect here as Seth because Goldblum is such a goofy actor that to have him as this guy go through this total transformation works because he brings this sort of funny charm to his character as well. I was rooting for this guy even though he did go through this terrible transformation and how Goldblum plays him like a real, likable human being is also very sad especially when he starts to really turn into a fly at the end. It’s also rare to ever see him in a leading role and he does great with it. Geena Davis is also very good as Veronica, as she doesn’t lose sight of her love for Seth even as times get harder and harder. Their chemistry is great and how these build it up more and more as time goes on really adds an extra layer of heart to this film and works for the full product as a whole.
Consensus: The Fly is a little too over-the-top at points, but David Cronenberg perfectly mashes all of these different elements of romance, drama, and horror as well as a great leading role from Jeff Goldblum to give is a disgusting but emotionally well-told film.
30 years later, and it still kicks ass.
During an unplanned stop at a remote cabin deep within the woods, a group of teens falls prey to a mysterious supernatural force. As his pals become possessed and turn into flesh-eating zombies, Ash (Bruce Campbell) struggles to keep his cool and save his own skin.
Even though the title and poster should have been a big warning for me, I still had no idea just what I was getting myself into. When I say that, it’s a good thing too.
Writer/director Sam Raimi isn’t all about having A-list stars or big-budget effects and that’s why this film works on so many levels. The movie was made with about $400,000 and you can tell that all of that money went to non-stop blood, gore, and fake body-parts that this film constantly threw all-over-the-place. It also kind of gives hope to all aspiring film-makers out there, that if you can make cool films with a small amount of money. It all depends really on the film itself.
I mean I have seen a lot of gory horror films (Hell, half of the horror movie’s in today’s world rely on gore for “the scare factor”) but this one totally pushes the envelop and with good effect too, because I was totally wigging out by all of the crap I saw on-screen. Raimi gets totally insane as the film goes and in time, gets more original with this material. I mean come on, who has ever seen a tree rape someone before? I rest my case.
The way he constantly uses the camera to run-around the woods as if it were some sort of person, or unstoppable force is very influential and also at the same time, still very scary once you see how realistic the camera is moving to keep up with the action/terror. Truly freaky stuff here and it will definitely now make me look twice while I’m in the woods from now on.
The film isn’t as scary as it is just gory and it’s real problems actually lie within some of the writing because regardless of what Raimi may be able behind the camera, on paper, he can’t keep the magic going. There’s a lot of really cheap and dumb lines that I’ve probably heard about 1,000,000 times before and after this film was released and the dramatic weight they try to give this film seems forced and annoying considering how many times this film should have just strayed away from it. I guess maybe I’m being too judgmental but I have to say that this kind of took away from the film’s overall effect.
When it comes to acting, this film kind of suffers as well with the exception of the one and only, Bruce Campbell. This movie is practically responsible for launching his career into “the B-movie God” he’s known as today, and with good reason. He plays our hero, Ash, and starts off very nerdy and scared but then turns into this crazed killer that totally just wants to get the hell out of the woods and it’s kind of cool to see this guy’s whole transformation throughout the whole hour and 25 minutes.
Consensus: About 30 years later, and The Evil Dead still stands as an all-out gore fest with some great scares, awesome moments of blood, gore, and action, and also shows some low-budget film-making at its finest and really it’s early beginning.
Never trust a chick who follows you when you don’t pay for a meal.
Hey hey hey hey hey! It’s Friday, so you know what that means everyone. Go on over to Boomtron, and show me some love and let me know if you think Ray Liotta is a diverse actor or plays the same dude in everything.
Check out the review here:
While you’re at it this weekend everybody go out and check out Taylor Bourne, or I mean Jason Lautner, or whatever, or Moneyball which looks really good and Killer Elite with my three boys. Oh and Dolphin’s Tale but that just looks like 3-D Free Willy.
Have a great Friday everyone!
I didn’t know that having green eyes in the 80′s was the craziest things, but then again so was rubix cubes. I mean this is the 80′s we’re talking about here.
Traveling through a shadowy world filled with supernatural creatures and spectacular action, regular guy Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) and lawyer Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall) try to track down a 2,000-year-old magician, Lo Pan (James Hong), who has kidnapped Burton’s friend’s green-eyed fiancée.
After reading that synopsis right there you probably already have an understand of just what you’re getting yourself into when you go into a film like this. But it isn’t all that bad.
Director John Carpenter is doing a crazy thing here by actually combining a kung-fu film with some aspects of a western and somehow making it all work. The film really works well with it’s action that seems intentionally corny with the non-stop karate noises, high-flying judo kicks, and almost everything getting ripped to pieces. The action is a lot of fun and I’m glad that Carpenter went for the tongue-in-cheek approach because who can honestly take wizards and truck drivers fighting against each other in one movie together?
I think the problem with this film is that even though it does have a certain amount of fun to it, the lines and cliches were just almost unbearable to the point of where I just got annoyed. The film starts off a tad slow, which wouldn’t have bothered me at first if the lines weren’t so damn cheesy and the gags they actually had were funny rather than just being forced. There were also times during this film where they do something that seemed really cool back in 1986 but now just seems totally lame which is how it is with a lot of films that came from this decade.
However though, the real shining star of this film is actually Kurt Russell as Jack Burton. Russell is channeling in his inner John Wayne and does a great job at playing this dude that is such a fool of himself by talking up a big game for himself, and then never ending up to be able to actually prove his man-hood. Burton has some of the best lines in the film and when it seems like everyone else is just another action movie cliche, he seems to be able to seem like the most realistic person in the film.
The rest of the cast is filled with almost every Asian actor who’s been in a movie such as Dennis Dun, Victor Wong, and James Hong. Let’s not also forget to mention that we have a little side performance from none other than a very young Kim Cattrall who actually seems like she could use a film like this ever since her comeback performance in The Ghost Writer.
Consensus: Though it is of course dated in many places, Big Trouble in Little China has some awesome and just fun action sequences, with writing that doesn’t take itself too seriously so therefore nobody else should whoever wants to see this one.
Also, check out one of my latest posts on Boomtron about The Rock and Taylor Lautner in the David and Goliath film here: http://www.boomtron.com/2011/09/the-rock-vs-jacob-taylor-lautner/
Not much has changed in the past two decades, except for maybe Charlie Sheen. He’s changed a whole damn lot.
Enterprising stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) falls under the enticing spell of Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), an unabashedly greedy Wall Street arbitrageur who tutors him in the unscrupulous tactics that put the corporate raider on top. But when Gekko embroils his protégé in an insider-trading scheme that may risk the jobs of kith and kin, Fox develops a conscience and decides to turn the tables.
This one was written and directed by a favorite of mine, Oliver Stone. This was around the time he was hot off the huge Oscar winner, Platoon, and although this one isn’t as great as that one, it’s still alright.
As director, Stone knows what he’s doing but it’s all pretty simple with this film despite good camera-work that moved all-over-the-place, to give us the feeling of being busy that these stockbrokers always had. But when it comes to writing, Stone has been better.
The dialogue is alright but there are way too many lines that I felt were just too “movie-made”. All of the dialogue feels like it could have easily been quotable, but I just didn’t think people talked like these guys were with all their macho hammy bullshit sayings. I think it was more the 80′s to blame, rather than Stone himself because I guess what they thought was cool to say back in the 80′s, just seems lame and cheesy now.
The only line from this film that anybody really quotes, hell, even remembers is “Greed is good”, which is no surprise because the whole film practically is about that line and it’s the truth which is why this film still works in today’s world. There is still corporate greed running all over the world and it’s a shame that after almost 23 years later, that this shit is still happening and still around but I guess that’s what really matters about this film. We can still watch it today and have as much of an connection to it today, as anybody would have had then.
Michael Douglas is very good in this role as the evil, Gordon Gekko. Right as soon as you see this dude with the slick hair, the huge white collar, the suspenders, and the cell phone that’s the size of my head, you know he’s a total scumbag, but Douglas does a great job at making a scumbag look good. Douglas knows how to make Gekko seem like a total prick, but just a prick who wants more money, more respect, and more power to basically take over any company just to the point of where he can about be one of the richest men in the world. Gekko is the type of guy, you just hate, but there’s something about him that directs your attention towards him right away. That’s all thanks to Douglas and although I don’t usually like him as an actor, I think he does a very great job as Gekko and makes him the personification for everything that’s wrong with the economy.
The rest of the cast is pretty good too. Charlie Sheen is good with his yuppie schtick as Bud Fox (what a dumb name), but as the film goes on he gets more cocky and angry, and it’s actually kind of hard to take him as seriously as the film wanted us to. Martin Sheen doesn’t have the same problem his son does and actually has a couple of very emotional scenes. Daryl Hannah doesn’t bring anything to this film as Bud’s main squeeze, and could have been left out of the picture completely and it wouldn’t have mattered either way. Terence Stamp, John C. McGinley, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, and Sean Young are all good.
Consensus: Wall Street has a powerful performance from Douglas, and features a timeless look on the Wall Street circuit, but falls for too many 80′s cliches like the lame and cheesy sayings in the script, the annoying synthesizer, and just the feeling that nothing else here is really authentic.
The one that started it all, and gave us the beautiful masterpiece that is Batman & Robin.
Bruce Wayne (Michael Keaton) starts to make a name for himself as a masked enemy to the criminal set just when the flamboyant Joker (Jack Nicholson) takes over as tops in the mafia and eventually the world.
In the 21st century, everybody’s favorite superhero film is probably The Dark Knight, but rarely do you hear people talk about this one. This is the film you can also thank for all the non-stop superhero flicks we have come out during the summer.
Director Tim Burton knows what he wants to do with this material and doesn’t stray away from making this a total dark and creepy superhero flick, that at the time was almost unheard of. The set pieces are beautiful and Burton’s keen eye for art and style really works here and make Gotham City a more demented place that the comic books made it seem rather than the campy TV show.
Burton also does a great job creating not only a dark atmosphere with the stunning art job he has, but also keeps this film going with enough entertainment and funny moments to cool you over. There’s not a huge sense of big-budget crazy explosions here but with any real Batman film, you see all this awesome action happen without it getting out-of-hand.
However, the real problem with this film in the end, is with it’s script. As a whole, this is not a very compelling story of a boy who’s parents were killed by this very same man because it doesn’t really focus on both evenly. I could tell that Burton really wanted to focus more on The Joker rather than Bruce Wayne himself and it’s a big problem since we get about three scenes in a row of The Joker, and probably one of Wayne/Batman all in a sequence.
I just felt like there was no real dramatic focus here as to who I was supposed to care about more and just seemed less and less of an actual story and more of just a bunch of random set-pieces that Burton thought would be cool to show. I also can’t recommend this film that much because the romance here for the most part kind of blows, but that’s the case with a lot of superhero flicks so it’s OK here.
Now the real reason’s to see this film are the performances from the two stars; Nicholson and Keaton. Jack Nicholson is perfect as The Joker because he has that total goofiness but at the same time evil and mean look to him to have you laughing at him, but also realizing just how much of a threat this guy actually is. Nicholson plays almost every scene to perfection and has so many memorable scenes here just mainly because Jackie knows how to play crazy oh so well.
The film is also best remembered because it showed that Michael Keaton can play a really good Batman, which is something nobody expected from Mr. Mom. I liked the type of wimpy angle that this film took on Batman and made him seem more like a dude with actual fear rather than just a dude who didn’t give a shit and to cast Keaton in the main role is what really made this Batman amazing. People will say that Keaton was the best “movie Batman” we’ve ever seen, and to be honest, I can’t really say I disagree.
Kim Basinger is pretty weak here as photojournalist Vicki Vale because she just doesn’t seem like an actual journalist by any chance with her model looks and model attitude. Her romance with Keaton is bland which takes away from the film overall but I guess every superhero needs one.
Consensus: Though it isn’t as emotionally involving as you would expect from such a dark and atmospheric superhero flick such as this, Batman benefits from some beautiful set-pieces from Tim Burton, great performances from Nicholson and Keaton, and some fun summer blockbuster entertainment to hold you over.
If all robots look like The Governator, we’re all doomed.
In the post-apocalyptic future, reigning tyrannical supercomputers teleport a cyborg assassin known as the “Terminator” (Arnold Schwarzenegger) back to 1984 to snuff Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), whose unborn son is destined to lead insurgents against 21st century mechanical hegemony. Meanwhile, the human-resistance movement dispatches a lone warrior (Michael Biehn) to safeguard Sarah. Can he stop the virtually indestructible killing machine?
James Cameron is a guy that a lot of people don’t like because of his attitude, but say what you will, this guy knows how to make a good film. If you read that synopsis up above, it’s pretty laughable but it’s Cameron who doesn’t let that get him down and relies on many action scenes that keep the pace up and running. When you watch these action scenes, it’s awesome to see what Cameron does with such a low-budget and how he makes this type of film-making so much fun.
The action scenes are awesome and running at a brisk pace but the whole film is a great blend of all sorts of genres which makes it even better. It’s action, it’s sci-fi, it’s a little bit of romance, a little bit of horror, and a tiny hint of black comedy that all works so well. But when all that action is done, these characters actually are talking about something and I have to say that I liked the love story, no matter how corny it may have seemed.
My problem with this film is that like a lot of 80′s films, this does seem a bit dated. The visuals for the time we’re state-of-the-art, but looking at them now, I have to say they can be pretty laughable. The low-budget feel of this film made it seem very naturally made, but those special effects don’t stand the test of time at all. Also, there are many moments of random 80′s cheese, but I think when reviewing a film from the 80′s, that’s practically a given.
Even though many people are hating on him because he can’t keep it in the pants, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the man! The role as The Terminator he takes is perfect because he fits the look of a souless gun for hire. His chopped up hair, big shades, and 80′s punk look, make shim look like the Incredible Hulk if he went to down-town New York. Linda Hamilton is great as Sarah Conner who fits the convention of a girl-on-the run, and doesn’t get annoying one bit. Michael Biehn is OK here as Kyle Reese and is very good at playing that loner that is so angry and troubled, but still you want to see live on.
Consensus: Although the special effects may be dated, The Terminator is a great sci-fi action film because James Cameron keeps the film moving at a good pace, and has plenty of fun with what he’s making, and that leads to the viewer having an even better time.
Any place with a temperature below 20 degrees is ultimately the scariest place ever.
Scientists working in Antarctica are forced to abandon their research after a helicopter crashes near their camp, bringing a lone dog into their midst. But the plot thickens when the otherworldly canine changes form in the middle of the night. As it turns out, the dog is a shape-shifting alien that can attack animals — and unsuspecting humans.
Ever since I played that video game back in the day, I have always been wanting to see what this whole film was all about, and thankfully I wasn’t let down.
This is from the insane mind of horror legend John Carpenter, who was on a role in the 80′s, and this film shows it. The film combines two elements here to create a lot of horror within this movie and that is the actual story and the jaw-dropping special effects that both work so well hand-in-hand.
There is a great deal of suspense to to this story as it plays well along the lines of a “whodunit”, but actually more of a” whoisit”. You don’t really have an idea s to what’s going on, how it’s happening, and who or what is causing all this until it is too late, and this film keeps that mystery going for a pretty long time, thus kept my interest the whole time. The special effects are also some of the best I’ve seen in a film ever, and they really are some of the most disgusting, freakiest things I have ever seen. It was nice to see just how amazingly scary these special effects can look, and still be creepy about 20 years later and not actually be computer-generated. With these two elements helping this film’s creepiness, some really crazy shit goes down. I can’t go in to what exactly does happen, but to say the least, there’s some crazy batso shit here that will really mess with your mind.
However, my only real complaint with this film was that I felt like the characters weren’t actually written that well. The cast does a pretty good job with what their given but all these dudes really just seem like cliche, and I feel if they actually brought just a little bit more insight to these character’s lives, I would have actually rooted for them more and more. Although, you do have Kurt Russell sporting one of the best beards in film history, and Keith David being that cool, black man.
Consensus: With ultimately terrifying special effects, and an inspired direction from the mind of John Carpenter, The Thing will leave you on the edge of your seat, as well as scaring the crap out of you.
Those dudes with more make-up than my mom, sure do know how to rock!
Mark Wahlberg stars as Chris, a lead singer wannabe who gets to live his wildest dream when he’s whisked from anonymity to being front man for Steel Dragon, the enormously popular metal band he worships. Accompanied on tour by his girlfriend, Emily (Jennifer Aniston), Chris soon discovers life in the fast lane is not what he envisioned, and the relationships he holds dear are strained as his star rises.
The 80′s was a pretty silly decade now that people look back at it. The hair, the make-up, the new wave music, but most of all heavy metal music.
One of the biggest problems with this film is that it’s script doesn’t do anything new or original to the whole rock star film genre. There are moments upon moments where the cheesiest lines pop up, and I’m not going to lie, some of it actually had me cringing. Lines like: “I’m leaving and never turning back” and “If you follow your dreams, you can do it”, just had me wondering where they actually serious when they wrote this script.
Another problem with the script is that there’s no actual insight into this film and every character here just seems like another cliche for a film that had so many. By the end of the film there is this life lesson about becoming your own person, and taking a life that is yours just seemed really lame and contrived.
However, this movie is actually somewhat entertaining throughout. I have always liked that 80′s glam metal and there’s a lot of it with bands such as KISS, Mötley Crüe, Ted Nugent, and AC/DC appearing on this soundtrack and it added a lot more of a fun vibe to the film. There is also a good amount of humor within this film that will have you laughing and feel like you’re apart of the ride with these guys, partying, drinking, having sexy time, and most of all just living the life of a rock star.
Mark Wahlberg is one of my favorite actors because he can play that everyday man like no other, and his role as Chris Cole is no different. I like how Wahlberg is this happy-go-lucky, smiley kid that finally gets to live his dream, but slowly starts to see that he doesn’t want all this chaos, and becomes fed up. Wahlberg plays this all so well, and that pure charm that he has, is one of the main reasons why Cole is a guy we like. Jennifer Aniston is actually good in this role as Emily Poule and had me laughing with some of the things she said here. Timothy Spall was basically the man as Mats, and all of his scenes just had me laughing, mainly because of Spall’s delivery that gets me every time. Dominic West, Timothy Olyphant, and plenty others pop up and all do a pretty good job too.
Consensus: Rock Star doesn’t have that much insight into the world of heavy metal music from the 80′s, and not a very good script, but the solid acting jobs and fun pace, keep this film entertaining although predictable.
A poor man’s Platoon. But that ain’t so bad.
In director Brian De Palma’s Vietnam-era war drama, a young soldier (Michael J. Fox) suffers a crisis of conscience when the men on his patrol callously rape and murder a Vietnamese girl and then try to cover up the crime.
This late 80′s gem is actually based off a horrific event where 4 soldiers actually raped and then murdered a Vietnamese girl, but the 5th one chose not to.
Director Brian De Palma is most known for taking his style over substance in most films, but here he actually stays on track and goes for a bigger understanding. I expected this to be a huge, big-scale, Vietnam war epic, but instead it’s a small, singular story that’s more about the themes instead of the glitz and glamor of most war films.
The bitter lesson of this film is that its not always enough to have morality on your side, you also have the power to back up your beliefs and what you stand for. The film is about this small group of sliders where they have become so angry, and so vicious, that they don’t even consider any Vietnamese person, human beings. The film shows the harsh effects of what all this hardened violence can do to a person, and sometimes make them turn for the worst. You also have to wonder how you would act if you were put in the same situation, as I still do not know what I would exactly do.
My main problem with this film that really took away from my overall experience was the beginning and end of this film. It starts off with Fox on a subway, visibly alive, and having a flash-back as to what happened during his time in the war. This already has us know that Fox is alive throughout the whole story, and ultimately takes away from the film’s tension that it tries so hard to go for. The conclusion is also so up-lifting, gentle, and unconvincing that it really does seem tacked on to this film and took my self away from the harsh reality of war that this film gives off.
It must have been hard for some people to actually believe Michael J. Fox here as Pfc. Eriksson, even though he’s always known as Marty McFly. As the film goes on, you understand how courageous he is in standing up for what he knows is right, and doesn’t once back down from any of these guys, as intimidated as he may be. Sean Penn is amazing in this role as Sgt. Meserve, the vindictive squad leader who is filled up with so much venom and hatred from all these months in the jungle, that he is able to absolutely oppose his will on the others, and he convinces us that he can do that. We also get some very early roles from the likes of John Leguizamo, John C. Reilly, Ving Rhames, and the evil Don Harvey.
Consensus: Casualties of War has a poor opening and beginning that may take away from the film, but it soon becomes a morality tale, heightened by great performances from the cast, and themes about war that will stay in your mind.