Well, at least he didn’t apologize for this movie.
General Francis X. Hummel (Ed Harris) feels as if he has been wronged by the country that he served for so damn long and decides to prove his dissatisfaction. How? Well, he rounds up a group of fellow troops who feel the same, get them into Alcatraz, take it over, hold hostages, threaten to use a bomb on the whole city of San Francisco, and keep a countdown of when the shit goes boom. There to save the day is explosions and chemicals expert Dr. Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage), but he has a special guest with him, retired agent John Patrick Mason (Sean Connery). Mason is the only man who knows his way in and out of Alcatraz, and uses the government’s help to his advantage. Bastard.
We all know Michael Bay. Love him, hate him, adore him, disagree with him. No matter what, we all know a Michael Bay movie when we see one. Explosions, skinny-clad women, macho-posing, bad one-liners, and a whole shit load of action. Nothing more, nothing less. Good, now you know what you’re getting yourself into, let’s get this ride going.
Everybody considers this to be Bay’s best and even if that isn’t true (I’m still a fan of the first Transformers, don’t ask me why), I can still see why people have thought so, even up until today. It’s one of those movies that has such a solid premise, that it’s almost hard to live down the bad-assery. First of all, you got Alcatraz as the setting and any time you have your action and craziness occurring there; you can’t blow it. Secondly, the cast is pretty top-notch with a bunch of dudes that may not have been the biggest and the best box-office names at the time, but still showed you that they could beat some beef when they had to. And no, not that type either.
And lastly, and probably the most important: it’s just fun. It doesn’t matter how much detail I get into this flick, all that matters is that this movie is all the fun and excitement that it should be and that’s it. You got the usual car-chases, the explosions, the gun-battles, the bombs, and even a Mexican stand-off in case anybody thought that not everything was possible. In Bay’s world, anything is possible and he’ll show you too, just with enough craziness and nuttiness to go along on the side. If you can’t handle it, then you shouldn’t have even bothered giving it a look in the first place. You can say that about most directors, but Bay is the prime-example where you have to know if his name is attached or not. Sounds crazy, I know. But there are people out there that hate him THAT much. Poor guy. Just needs a hug. Maybe Megan Fox will lend a hand?
Does that mean it is anywhere near the type of film you want to see to tease your brain and make you think? Absolutely, positively not! Then again, with the name “Michael Bay” attached, you couldn’t and probably shouldn’t expect anything more. That said, this movie is pretty stupid and some situations did make me laugh, albeit the unintentional ones. One of the goofiest gags throughout this movie is how the countdowns always seem to change drastically. At one point, we are stuck watching as the movie reads “9 hours till detonation”. That’s fine. Seemed reasonable and it seemed like time did pass on. Then, out of nowhere, about five minutes later, the movie reads “52 minutes till detonation”. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! What the hell happened to the pass 8 hours and 8 minutes? Did they just suddenly go by as soon as the people closed their eyes? Once again, maybe I was thinking a bit more than the movie, but that’s just a personal, random nitpick from yours truly. Once again, don’t think too much of it. I didn’t, and I had a great time.
Most of that good time is courtesy of the fine sets of bad-asses that Bay was able to assemble in almost every role, short to large. Sean Connery has always been known as one of the biggest and best bad-asses of our generation, and he totally proves that as John Mason. Some will laugh their asses off once they initially see the ged-up Connery’s decking, but after awhile, you get by it all once he gets a shave, a shower, and ready for action. After this hits, then it’s all feet-to-the-floor with him and the charm never stops. Even when Connery isn’t beating the shite out of somebody, he’s always finding a way to burst-out some snappy line that either he made up himself, or it was written for him so beautifully. There’s this whole subplot about him and his daughter that’s touched on a tad bit much, but who cares! It’s Sean Connery, in a movie, playing a bad-ass. Pipe down and enjoy!
Then, on the other end of the spectrum: there’s Nic Cage. If any of you out there know and love Nic Cage, the way that I know and love Nic Cage, then this is going to be one hell of an entertainment-ride for you. What’s so funny about Cage here is that since his character is such a dweeb-a-tron that doesn’t really know how to move in hand-to-hand combat and is as nerdy as you can get, then that means Cage gets to play around with that aspect, the way we all know Nic Cage loves to do. It’s hilarious to see him act like a total and complete nut, and even though there isn’t much else underneath this guy other than the fact that he’s get a preggo girly-gal at home and a pretty suit car, we still love the hell out of the guy. Then again, if you aren’t a fan of Nic Cage; you’re most likely going to hate every second he speaks. Yep, it’s like THAT.
Last, but certainly not least is Ed Harris as the army general who calls this whole thing on and tries to go through with it. Harris is another actor that can be a nut when he chooses to be, and this role is no different. At first, you automatically think that he’s just an idiotic dick that has no real reasoning for doing the things he’s about to do, and you pretty much write him up as a unsympathetic dude right from the get-go. But, as time goes on and people start to piss him off more and more, you see a conscience come out of this guy and it’s believable. Well, at least as believable as you can get in a Michael Bay movie. But that’s still enough credit to Ed Harris who can almost do no wrong. That’s not just in my book, but a lot of others’ as well.
The rest of the cast is filled with a bunch of character actors that you have seen a hundred, million times before but just have never been able to match the name with the face. David Morse, Tony Todd, and Bokeem Woodbine play some of Harris’ fellow soldiers that help him out and do whatever they can to go through with their plan; whereas Michael Biehn and William Forsythe are among the ones that try their hardest to help out Connery and Cage. Whether or not it’s actually successful, I’ll leave to you. But, there’s plenty more where this came from and it’s always fun to play the old-fashioned, “name game” every once and awhile. Even if it is, once again: a Michael Bay movie. Okay, now I’m starting to get serious about that hug, dammit!
Consensus: Everything you’d want in a fast-paced, fun action film, is exactly in The Rock. You got guns, bullets, blood, cheese, bombs, explosives, corny one-liners, and a rare but fun Cage and Connery team-up, just to make sure you have as much enjoyment as you can, without having your brain intact.
7 / 10 = Rental!!
If only songs were as catchy and simple as this one.
In 1964, teenage garage band The One-ders — singer Jimmy (Johnathon Schaech), guitarist Lenny (Steve Zahn), drummer Guy (Tom Everett Scott) and a nameless bass player (Ethan Embry) — become an overnight sensation when their debut song jumps to the top of the charts. But internal tensions threaten to make the group’s fall just as rapid as their rise.
Writer/director Tom Hanks is obviously a guy we all know, love, and care about when it comes to his acting but his writing and directing maybe was pushing it a little too far. However, have no fear, Hanks still is good no matter what he does.
What I liked about this flick was that the simple premise is showed in a very fun, entertaining, and nice way just like the bubblegum pop days of the early 60′s were before all of the drugs started popping on in and out. The story starts off as your usual “band gets bigger and bigger” story-line which was fun to watch because of how charming this script was, and the film keeps that charm going on throughout the whole flick. Hanks does throw in a little bit of satire against the whole music business, but it’s nothing too much to where he seems to be aiming too high.
But enough about the script, let’s just get to the real reason why anybody really remembers this movie and that is for the title song. It’s so catchy, so fun, and is played probably about 7 times throughout the whole flick but it’s not like “I’ve Got You Babe” in ‘Groundhog Day’, to where every time we hear it we want burn every single copy left of that song, it’s a song that’s just really good and actually seems like a song that would be on heavy-rotation during that time-period. There are a couple of other tracks in this flick that are pretty good, but this is the only one that I can remember having stuck in my head after it was over and while hell, even I’m writing this I kind of humming it now as we speak.
However, as good as good as this song may be, it’s also one of the bigger problems with this flick. The direction, writing, and attention is detail is fine the way it ought to be but there’s nothing else that really stands-out from this flick other than the song. It also didn’t help that by the end, there are a little bit too many parts where the film starts to dive into some lame melodrama and just gets really soapy and unbelievable. Then again, I wasn’t looking for anything that seemed like a realistic take on the lives of pop music stars during the 60′s, I just wanted a fun and entertaining flick, which is basically what I got.
I also liked how Hanks put the main focus on the dude that is essentially the back-bone of the band, the drummer. Being a drummer myself, I thought that this was pretty cool to see considering it’s always either the singer or guitarist in the band that hogs all the spot-light. Also, Tom Everett Scott is pretty good as Shades. I’ve seen this dude in plenty of other stuff but this is the only film that I can remember him best in because he’s pretty likable and seems like a dude I would love to jam with due to his love of jazz music. The guy also had a pretty good technique even though it wasn’t really him drumming obviously.
The other band-mates are all pretty good here with the likes of Steve Zahn playing his usual funny/sarcastic-ass character here as the lead guitarist; Ethan Embry being a lot of fun to watch as the semi-mentally challenged bass player aptly named T.B. Player; and Johnathon Schaech probably being the weakest of the bunch as the singer, because when shit starts to hit the fan for this band, he really just seems like he’s starting all of it, just to start it. Tom Hanks is also great as the band’s manager, Mr. White, which also probably helps considering he has the film’s best lines and seems like a dude I could trust with all of my money and fame; Liv Tyler is nice to watch, as always, here as Faye; and it was also really funny to see a very young Charlize Theron as Shades’ girlfriend. There are so many other people in this flick that I could mention but it’s honestly a lot more fun to just point at and think about who he/she is during the film.
Consensus: Though there’s nothing all that spectacular about the flick, That Thing You Do! is still a fun, charming, and well-acted tale of what all bands during the early days of the 60′s all dreamed, hoped for, and had to go through. Also, that song is just catchy as hell.
Marriage is a beautiful thing, that is until von Trier touches it.
A childlike, devoutly religious woman named Bess (Emily Watson) marries a foreign oil worker, Jan (Stellan Skarsgård), who must leave for the barges not long after the wedding. Distraught, she prays that he comes home, and immediately afterward, he’s severely injured, almost completely paralyzed. Thinking it’s her fault, when he requests that she sleep with other men and describe it to him so they ‘can be together’, she takes on the task with tragic determination.
Writer/director Lars von Trier is a guy that I can’t really find myself loving but at least admiring for whatever the hell it is that he’s trying to do. Now, I can maybe move even closer to loving him like so many others already have.
von Trier films this in his grainy, handheld camera signature style which uses only actual light for each and every shot and also no score whatsoever which is always a win win for me. These little elements added in there are what made me really admire this flick because I didn’t feel like I was actually watching a film after awhile, I felt like I was watching a real if bizarre true story play out right in front of my eyes. von Trier also uses chapters for this flick and each one is accompanied by a classic rock song ranging from the likes of Elton John and Rod Stewart. It’s a very strange idea but it’s still an idea that works somehow, even if it is von Trier just messing around like the mad-man that he is.
Where this film really works is its story even though its insane. The whole synopsis may have you scratching your head, as all von Trier synopsis’ probably do, but after about the third chapter, it all starts to turn into a real heart-felt story that I actually started to follow. The film isn’t enjoyable to say the least but the little romance that these two have and how sweet and sort of innocent it actually is, works in the films favor and gets us ready for all of the dark and sad shit that takes over the last 2 hours of the flick. Still, once it does start, I still felt the same way I did before.
I like how von Trier combines all of these ideas with sex, faith, religion, sacrifice, and most of all, love into one film but it never feels too jam-packed with ideas nor does it ever feel like its focusing on one more than the other, they just somehow get focused on all at the same time. You see how this girl is treated because she may be a little weird, but once she gets this husband it’s almost too good to be true of how happy and in love she is. Once that starts to go away though, it’s even worse to see what happens to her and that’s when the film started to make me feel something for this character probably because von Trier cared for her as much as I did.
von Trier may exploit these characters beyond belief but he never loses sight that these characters are just about as real as you or I am and the way he handles just about every scene that builds up the emotional punch until it’s through the roof, is a true testament to von Trier’s writing/direction. We actually feel something for this character and every decision that she makes has another lasting impact not on how we feel about her, but us as well considering that the film never lets us lose sight of who we are dealing with here. She’s not a mean, cruel, or bad person she’s just a girl who’s doing something for her husband, no matter how twisted or effed up it may be. The film even brings up the whole point about what she is doing could be referred to as “good” and I can’t say that I am against that idea either.
Where my problem with this film was, lied in the fact that for every heart-breaking moment here had a nonsensical, bizarre, and strange moment just ready to follow it up, which is what I expected but since this story was so rich it almost feels like a rip-off in a way. von Trier shows too much of the controversial vision of love and faith that he has here and it starts to take away from the believability of things here and give us a firm belief of what we are watching. I know I sound kind of like a cheese ball considering I knew I was going to get a lot of this going into the film but it just seemed unreasonable for von Trier to put all of this crazy and wild sexual stuff in this flick even when it doesn’t really need it with the story that it has.
The real reason to watch this film though is for the performance of Emily Watson here who plays Bess McNeill. Bess is a very strange, weird, messed-up girl who also has a very vulnerable, loving, and playful side to her as well and even though at first it may seem very hard for us to actually get involved with her character, Watson makes this one of the best characters I have seen on the screen in awhile. Watson plays every emotion that goes through Bess perfectly with all of the crying, moping, anger, joy, and downright pure neediness and makes this somewhat schizophrenic character seem very believable in her portrait. A lot of the things Bess does here is pretty effed up but I still thought she was a nice and sweet girl despite all of the problems that she was going through. I think Watson definitely deserved this nomination that she got but I also think that she should have gotten the Oscar as well, even though I still need to see the other nominated performances from that year.
Stellan Skarsgård is also very good in an early role that shows him playing many different emotions as well and us never being too sure as to what really is going on in his mind at the time. Considering he is practically crippled throughout the whole flick, it takes a lot for Stellan to draw out some emotions and mystery within his character, which continues to work considering we never know what’s on his mind, if he is even in the right frame of mind, or if he wants to live or die. None of this is ever really made clear to us which I liked and I think that Stellan did a great job with this mysterious but also likable performance that he gives.
Consensus: Breaking the Waves has a problem with too many bizarre things occurring but it also benefits from a very good story that is weird but also very emotional, amazing performances from everyone involved, especially Watson herself, and a story as far-fetched as it may be, that still comes off as heart-breaking and true, even though it comes from the mind of Lars von trier.
Being snowed in makes me all warm and fuzzy, except I wouldn’t want that feeling all year round.
Willie Conway (Timothy Hutton) returns to the small town he left behind as erstwhile friends, lovers and the scary thought of settling down swirl around him. A friend’s unapproachable cousin (Uma Thurman) and the winsome teenager next door (Natalie Portman) couldn’t be more different, but they afford glimpses of two possible futures.
Those “small-town” films have always been a favorite of mine since I like to feel like I’m right there with the story, and this one did not disappoint.
The script here by Scott Rosenberg is what really has this film clickin’. Rosenberg does a great job of expressing the insecurity’s that men have, and the sexual politics between men and women. Us men, we can sometimes be horny mofo’s and not always do the brightest things, and this film shows that it’s alright because that’s how life is. There is also plenty of comedy to go along here that won’t have you laughing-out-loud, but it will at least give you this breezy feeling throughout the whole film.
Most of the problem with this film that people will actually have is that not much happens here. The whole film is basically conversational, and nothing eventful really goes down and some will be bored by this, but I actually didn’t mind it because they gave us things interesting and witty to talk about.
However, my problem with this film is that it does get schmaltzy at times which sort of took away from the whole cool feel that this film gave me. I didn’t mind the little emotional scenes they had, but I think they were unnecessary especially with that cheesy score they had pop in every once and awhile. Also, I wish there was more viewpoints from the gals here too, but I can’t lie, I still liked what I heard from both sides.
The ensemble cast is good-looking, but don’t let that actually fool you because their all so good. Timothy Hutton is good as Willie and handles the film really well bringing in that coolio charm, and actual “realistic-guy” feel to him. I don’t know if that made any sense but the point I’m trying to make is that he’s a cool dude. Matt Dillon, Noah Emmerich, and my favorite no matter what he does, Michael Rapaport, all do great jobs as the other dudes here. Martha Plimpton, Mira Sorvino, and Lauren Holly are good too. But my favorites out of this cast are from three gals actually. Rosie O’Donnell has a totally hilarious scene here where she talk’s about dudes and our sexual fantasies, and it’s all so true, but the way she puts everything just made me crack up the whole time. Uma Thurman is also awesome as the really cool chick named Andera, who really made me wish I had here as a “fake date” when I needed one the most. But the best performance from the whole cast is Natalie Portman, who at 13, took this little role, and made it so memorable. Her character, Marty, is really quirky and Portman does a great job at bringing out that quirkiness within her character, and make almost every scene she has hilarious but also very interesting. This was a star-making role for her, and with good reason because she’s awesome in this role.
Consensus: Nothing much really happens here other than a bunch of conversations, but Beautiful Girls’ script is so good, that it kind of makes up for that, with it’s themes about men and women, and performances from a great cast, especially Natalie Portman.
So Fandango Groovers and Movie Mobsters have always been doing this little thing where they present a little type of film genre, and a couple of people choose what films to talk about, and I have just been chosen as one of those people. So here goes nothing.
“1,000 years from now there will be no guys and no girls, just wankers. Sounds great to me.” – Mark “Rent-boy” Renton
We have all heard and said before: “Drugs are bad”. However, being an addict of any drug isn’t always as bleak as it seems. I do not take any drugs, but I can easily say that no matter what, you never forget about the people around you. So when I was told all about this little piece, and how to contribute, I couldn’t think of a better “buddy film” than Danny Boyle’s 1996 trip into the drug world, Trainspotting.
The central premise behind Trainspotting is about an on-again-off-again Scottish heroin junkie named Renton and the eccentric group of on-again-off-again heroin junkies he hangs out with. This plot line may not make it seem as crazy, but I have to tell you, some stuff really gets out-of-hand, and not in a good way either. And yet, it’s not a bleak picture by any stretch, which made this so much more unusual of a film because everybody is so used to the dark and depressing anti-drug film that will more or less put you on drugs, rather than stir you away from it. There is a constant energy throughout this film filled with humor, gags, and of course, heroin. For every silly and fun moment, there is an equally sad and dark moment. Even though all of these people are on drugs, you still want to somehow hang out with them, because their just so darn lovable.
This was a launching pad for almost every one involved. Danny Boyle had only one film before this and now has a Best Director Oscar thanks to Slumdog Millionaire. Ewan McGregor is in so much, but mostly known as Obi-Wan. Ewen Bremner doesn’t really do much but pops up every once and awhile, Johnny Lee Miller was in Dexter, Robert Carlyle shows up in many films, and Kelly Macdonald has made a real career for herself in roles in stuff like No Country for Old Men, Nanny McPhee, and most famously, Boardwalk Empire.
Trainspotting is one of those films that just is so much fun to watch, even though it has some terribly depressing subject matter. Boyle does a great job of not rubbing our noses in all the crappy situations these characters are put in, he just tells us basically everything we need to know in order to figure it out for ourselves. Trainspotting may be dark but I can promise you, you will have a great time, and stay away from heroin forever.
If you all want to check out the other posts from this little piece, go here. Thanks everybody for reading!
Something I’ve been wanting for awhile now, and I wasn’t disappointed. Love when that happens!
Perennial survivor Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), now a successful self-help author, returns to her home town of Woodsboro. Sidney’s homecoming, however, coincides with a slew of unsettling new murders.
I have and always will be a huge fan of the Scream franchise. Scream was awesome, Scream 2 was almost even better, and although Scream 3 wasn’t as good as either, it still wasn’t terrible. Thankfully that this is just about in between all of them.
So finally about 15 years since the original, director Wes Craven and writer Kevin Williamson got back together and did what they do best, make funny effective horror films. Williamson keeps a lot of that self-referential talk here about the constant horror movie cliches, and what to do and what not to do, but there were also some great moments of actual comedy. I have always laughed at the Scream movies, but here I was actually “LOLing” all over the place much to my surprise. I won’t lie some of this smart talk does seem a little bit dated, because it has been done three more times, including this, and it may get annoying for some viewers. But for me, I had a ball with all this talk, and it really did assure me that Williamson hasn’t lost that touch.
Craven also brings back his horror hand back, and even though the times have changed since 1996, he still shows that he can go along with them. Craven does a great job of keeping the suspense with this story alive the whole time, and guessing just who the killer really is. In the first one, I had no idea but in the later two, I knew right away so it was a real treat to keep on guessing just who Ghostface really was. I must say you will be shocked by this twist, but it’s all thanks to Craven who actually made us guessing. It’s less scary as it is actually insanely suspenseful, but still works none the less.
The one thing about this film that really had me happy was that it seemed so much smarter than any other horror film has been in the past 10 years. The usage of cell phones and the internet works well here because it gives us more chilling and suspenseful moments, and keeps us on the edge of our seats the whole time. I’m not going to say that i could see any horror film actually happening, but this one is actually kind of believable with the things that happen. These characters know what to expect next, so sometimes they make a smart decision and live, others make a dumb decision and die, and then sadly others make smart decisions and still die. As the body count goes up, so does the blood and gore, and I must say that Craven hasn’t lost his knack for that either.
It was also good to see some of the old crew back together, even though it was only three of the original cast members. Neve Campbell still looks stunning, and can hold the role of Sidney Prescott like no other. David Arquette is still awesome as Dewey even though he is getting older, and looking creepier with that stash, but didn’t he have a limp in the third and fourth? Courtney Cox is also still sexy as Gale Weathers, and it’s such a shame to see her and Arquette’s marriage fall apart since they were the real heart of these films. But then again, I guess if you name your kid Cocco, you don’t have much luck anyway.
The rest of the uber young cast is solid too. Emma Roberts is still that spunky, little girl and isn’t fully grown-up yet to take these roles yet, but with what she’s given, she does her best. Hayden Panettiere is actually very smart and witty as Kirby, Rory Culkin as Charlie also has some good lines, and Erik Knudsen is also very funny. But let’s not forget the awesome Adam Brody and Anthony Anderson as the two bumbling coppers here, who literally have the best lines in this film, and I’m still laughing about one line, but I can’t say which one. Have to go and see for yourself.
Consensus: Scream 4 may have it’s fair share of annoying self-referential language, but the scares are well done, the suspense ins numbing sometimes, and the script is funny enough to keep you laughing. Overall, I’m just glad to see the franchise back, and glad to see it keeping me fully entertained.
One film that must always be watched with subtitles on.
Danny Boyle’s explosive 1996 film tracks the misadventures of young men (played by a cast that includes Ewan MacGregor, Robert Carlyle and Jon Lee Miller) trying to find their way out of joblessness, aimless relationships and drug addiction. Some are successful, while others are hopelessly not.
When it comes to drugs, you shouldn’t get involved with them at all. Their bad news, they break lives one by one, especially heroin. Heroin is that hardcore drug that all the alternative rockers take such as Lou Reed, David Bowie, and Kurt Cobain, among others. It’s considered one of the heaviest drugs, that will change your life forever, but as this film shows, that it doesn’t always have to be terrible all the time.
The one great thing about Danny Boyle, with this film, is that his direction is just about flawless. Literally from the first shot, keeps this film going at a quick, nasty, and in-your-face pace that doesn’t stop until the last credit is off the screen. He does so well with conveying so many emotions with his setting, of depressed Scotland, and how gritty, and dirty is, almost as dirty as its inhabitants too.
My favorite thing about this movie that basically had me won over was it’s script, that worked on all levels. This film in a way is a dark comedy, with bits of comedy, as dark it may be, but they still do get you laughing. But the drama when it hits, oh lord, does it ever so hit, but it never gets too depressing to the point of where you can’t watch anymore, cause you may kill yourself. These characters are drawn out as unique, and realistic people, that you are basically put with in this film, and you don’t mind, considering that you can probably relate to some of these characters, considering their all heroin addicts. There’s some beautiful insight with this film, and as the film progresses, you start to realize the movie is less about drugs, but more about life, and how you should direct it. But the film also delves deep into the life of a drug addict, and the feelings, and ideas you get while your on it. You want to live this different kind of life, because that’s what drugs offer you, but as you start to see your life crumble, you try to build yourself back up, and start it all over, and be what you never wanted to be in the first place, ordinary. This film captures terrifically the struggles of being a drug addict, and eventually getting away from being an addict.
Ewan McGregor got his break with this film as Rent, and let’s just say he deserved it, and if anybody’s trashing on Ewan now, saying he’s a crumby actor, they can just look back at this film, and see he always has been great, just give him the right material. Rent is your ordinary, average drug addict, with plenty of ambitions, which makes him a great person for the film to revolve around. He’s very ordinary, and also interesting. Robert Carlyle as Franco, is simply hilarious, because he’s this tough-as-nails guy that will kick your ass in a second if you mess with him, and watching him stirring up trouble all the time, is so funny and enjoyable. Ewen Bremner as Spud, does a good job, playing a funny character, that we sympathize with early in the film. Johnny Lee Miller as Sick Boy, is kind of a dick, but that’s good, cause we’re interested when watching his character. Also, need I not forget to mention Kelly Macdonald as Diane, who isn’t in a whole bunch of scenes, but is still fun to watch, every time she is in them.
The only setback from this film is the Scottish accents are deep, and if you like to read sub-titles through your movie a lot, then this is certainly the movie to use it for. But even this is very, very, minor.
Consensus: Gritty, darkly humorous, painful, and altogether realistic true story of what drugs will do to you, that supports witha great script, and direction, that is even better with the performances.
Is it a good idea to go and find your real parents, if your adopted? This film thinks so.
Impending fatherhood sends once-adopted Mel Coplin (Ben Stiller) on a quest to find his birth parents. With his exasperated wife, Nancy (Patricia Arquette), and screwy, seductive social worker Tina (Tea Leoni) in tow, Mel’s cross-country expedition isn’t about to go smoothly. Still, between false starts, risky flirting and the FBI, Mel just may find what he’s looking for … at the risk of losing his marbles!
So with The Fighter coming out, I thought I would check up on an earlier film, from director David O. Russell. Not many people know this film, hell, not many people know David O. Russell, but I hope they soon do, cause he has got some real talent.
My favorite thing about this film was its screenplay. The screenplay focuses on a lot of conventional themes such as sex, marriage, and family. But the way the off-beat movie handles all those situations, just makes you laugh, as well as smile at the same time. There are sure to be plenty of gags that will have you laughing, but the fact that how goofy this is, makes you laugh even more, cause you know that this is how life really is sometimes. Life is full of plenty surprises, good and bad, we just can’t take them for granted, and keep moving on.
My main problem with this film was that I still don’t think David O. Russell took his film that serious, and got pretty carried away with his material. There were many moments in this film that could have been very heart-felt, and helped a lot with the story, but instead just keeps on being goofy, and random. In my opinion, this actually took away from the film, and takes away any idea of actually being a film that means something more than just a dirty comedy. I also felt like a lot of the random sex scenes, and just sexual things happening, were really smug. But they didn’t bother me as much.
Ben Stiller gives a very good performance, in one of his earliest roles, playing that quirky, straight-laced dude we all know him for today. When people think of the crap that Stiller does now, they should look back on this film, and realize that he can actually be funny, he just needs the right script. Patricia Arquette is also strong in this film, showing the emotional, and physical problems that a wife can go through. Tea Leoni is very funny, as well as sexy, as I always find her. Josh Brolin and Richard Jenkins show up, as a two gay cops, and just have us laugh almost every single scene. There are also funny, quirky roles played by Mary Tyler Moore, George Segal, Alan Alda, and Lily Tomlin, which add even more comedy to this film.
Consensus: The direction may not be the best for this material, but Flirting With Disaster boasts great performances, and an amazing screenplay that will have you laughing, even though it may be a little bit too goofy.
Not one of the best parodies of all-time, but funny none the less.
Ashtray (Shawn Wayans) moves to South Central Los Angeles to live with his father (who appears to be no older than he) and dope-smoking grandmother. He falls in with his gang-banging cousin Loc Dog (Marlon Wayans), who counts a thermonuclear warhead in his arsenal of weapons. Will Ashtray keep living the straight life, or will he join up with Loc Dog’s gangsta homeboys?
I cannot lie when I say this, but I love almost all parody films. There are certain ones, that just are drop-dead terrible, and don’t look like their even trying, but when they do, I give them credit. This is one that deserves credit.
I liked a lot of the jokes they made in this film, however, some of it did annoy me. The spoofing is very, very obvious, which kind of takes away from the joke, because the idea with spoof films, is to think what movie their from, and basically here, it’s literally right in front of your face, so a lot of the fun is lost. Also, plenty, and I do repeat plenty of gags fell short, or just felt weak, and over-used.
The gags though were funny, when used correctly, and a lot of the silly willy jokes they used here, were even funnier. They spoof films from Boyz N The Hood, to Menace II Society, and to Do the Right Thing, and each spoof is funny it’s own way, and I’m sure the people involved with those movies, must of had a great laugh watching their films be made fun of.
Some people will feel violated, and down-right disgusted with the jokes, but hey that’s what it’s all about, sometimes the funniest things in films, are the down-right disgusting. Watch this with a bunch of your friends if your bored, and see if you don’t start laughing, or talking like you are from the hood.
Marlon and Shawn Wayans do great jobs at playing these two funny as hell, black ghetto stereotypes, and never stop at once from backing down. There are also other little cameos, and supporting acts you may notice like Vivica A. Fox, Bernie Mac, and Keenan Wayans, and plenty others that are just funny as hell.
Consensus: Though many gags fall short, Don’t Be a Menace is 90 minutes of pure humor, wit, and satirical fun, that will make you want to watch any of the hood movies, this film is parodying.
Wish more people actually saw this.
Reeling from a breakup with his fiancée (Cameron Diaz), twenty-something New Yorker Mickey (Edward Burns, who also directed) impulsively marries Hope (Maxine Bahns) — a passenger he picked up in his cab — after a weekend courtship. Meanwhile, Mickey’s brother, Francis (Mike McGlone), is having doubts about his own marriage to his longtime love (Jennifer Aniston). Soon, Francis finds himself attracted to his brother’s ex.
This film judging by the trailer, the poster, and that plot, you would think that this romantic comedy, would be one of those breezy watches. And it is, just with more than that.
Writer/Director Edward Burns does a great job here of writing this film just the right way, with the right moods. There’s a lot of insight with these characters, and although all these characters make dumb decisions, Burns gives them more integrity, and heart, so they feel like actual real people, making real life mistakes. Burns touches on a lot of elements such as family, and love, and although some of them are hard-hitting, they don’t come of as nasty, and we aren’t turned away by what he’s saying.
The only problem with this film is its direction I felt was way too jaded. Burns’ pace doesn’t feel right with a lot of this material, he starts off slow, then he just about picks up the pace, but then slows it back down again, and your confused as to what kind of emotion this guy is trying to convey with this direction. Also, there’s insight in this film, but nothing that we have never seen before, so when the film is over, you really haven’t learned anything new, you were just entertained.
Edward Burns has this very cool, and slick charm about him, that just automatically has you like his character. Mike McGlone is very good as the stuck-up, asshole brother, that has always been jealous of his big bro, and throughout the movie, you can see him being a selfish prick, but by the end you don’t hate him. Jennifer Aniston‘s character is funny, and this is one of her early performances, so it’s nice to see where she was going to be going after this. Cameron Diaz is equally as good, as the evil, back-stabbing, ex-girlfriend of Burns’ character, that plays around the whole movie, and every time she’s on screen, you can just feel the tension. Maxine Bahns gives a very “cute” performance, I say cute, cause she doesn’t necessarily knock it out of the park, but she’s sweet, and you like her. John Mahoney was simply hilarious as the dad who gave out all the advice, and although some of his advice is so stupid, its just funny to hear him say all this junk, but never does it seem fake.
It’s also nice to end out the film with some nice hits from Tom Petty. Can’t get enough of him!
Consensus: It may not be the best thing, but for a small-budget, R-rated romantic comedy, there’s enough humor, heart, and insight in this film to keep you entertained.
Wish more horror films were like this.
One year after the death of Sidney Prescott’s (Neve Campbell) mother, two students turn up gutted. When a serial killer appears, Sidney begins to suspect whether her mother’s death and the two new deaths are related. No one is safe, as the killer begins to pick everyone off one by one. Everyone’s a suspect in this case.
I hate the usual horror films. Occasionally there will be some that actually are very good at what they do, but after awhile, they all turn out to be the same old crap, following the same old formulas, and not changing anything. Which is why I love a film that can actually be honest and say that their are formulas, and try to change it all.
Wes Craven is a master-mind when it comes to horror films. He knows how to write them smartly, knows how to direct them intelligently, and knows how to basically make the most gorgeous blood baths you have ever seen. With Scream he basically is parodying what he is most known for, horror films. But while he’s parodying it, he’s also making a great, and smart horror film.
The main reason why this film is so great, is because the dialogue is just so smart. There are moments in this film where I caught myself laughing at just how cliche it could be, but the good thing about those laughs, is that I’m supposed to laugh. There are constant in-jokes to other horror films that you’ll catch, as well as some funny talk about the construction of how horror films are. Moments like when the person about to be killed, should turn around, or going through random doors to escape the killer, when the easiest would be to just go outside, and etc. You can almost sense Craven is winking at you half of the time. These kids aren’t making old mistakes as much as they are making, new mistakes, which makes it more fresh, and actually quite unpredictable.
The problem I had with this film was that about 15 years later, not all of the dialogue stays fresh. The constant one-liners may have seemed a lot funnier back in 1996, but now where we have horror/comedies like Shaun of the Dead, or Zombieland, this film just seems a bit too corny for its own good. Also, the film is a bit tense with its story, because it does get pretty gory and bloody which I liked. But it didn’t quite work as much, mainly because I knew what was going to happen, by the end, mainly cause the film was telling me what was going to happen, although the plot twist at the end, does come off as a shock in a way.
The cast here is actually very good. David Arquette and Courtney Cox, actually first met on this set, and now that their husband and wife, you can tell the foreshadowing here, because they actually are very good, especially when their on-screen together. Neve Campbell is your average slasher main chick, who’s just there to yell, and “scream” (pun intended), and is believable. Skeet Ulrich, and Matthew Lillard play your average deuche cakes in slasher films, and do a pretty good job of it, not going to lie. Jamie Kennedy is good as the horror film nerd, who has one of the best scenes, where he’s watching Halloween, and he’s telling Jamie Lee Curtis to turn around, and the irony is that he’s saying it while the killer’s behind him, and it’s almost like he’s saying it to himself, cause get it his name is Jamie??? Oh god, sometimes I just quack myself up. And that’s actually not a bad thing, that’s probably what this film was trying to do. Also, let’s not forget The Fonz as our school principal, if only he was mine, I’d be cutting class so many times. Let’s also not forget the infamous Drew Barrymore scene in the beginning, great stuff.
Now that Scream 4 is in the making, I hope that they can do something with that film, like they did with this. Cause it seems all films nowadays have turned into what Scream was making fun of in the first place. So let’s hope that it gives the 21st century slasher films, the wake-up call they deserve.
Consensus: Scream is a horror film, with a great script, that’s filled with wit, satire, and smart dialogue, but doesn’t forget about the blood, and the occasional jumps and scares we would expect from a horror film.
I never thought there would be such a thing as Shakespearean gun battles.
In director Baz Luhrmann’s contemporary take on William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, the Montagues and Capulets have moved their ongoing feud to the sweltering suburb of Verona Beach, where Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Juliet (Claire Danes) fall in love and secretly wed.
I always have liked Shakespeare, and I think everybody, myself included, can at least say they love the classic story of Romeo and Juliet. But I never imagined the story to be played out like this mess.
The one thing I liked about this film was the direction from Baz Luhrmann. He directed one of my favorites of all-time, Moulin Rouge!, and that film had a very crazy, trippy, and all-over-the-place feel to it, as so does this. I liked the visual style Baz was going for here, and the vibrant, and beautiful colors he uses in this film create such a great taste of feeling, and wonder to the whole story and look.
However, his direction isn’t enough to save this ship from sinking big time. I couldn’t believe any of this, especially when these people would speak. The film is shot in modern time, but still keeping with the original olde English dialogue, and this was just a totally bad idea. Everything that these people said, just came out so unintentionally funny, or really cheesy. Leonardo DiCaprio is always great, and Claire Danes is a presence on screen, the only problem is, is that their not Shakespearean actors. Their emotions don’t capture the original text, and when they talk it doesn’t seem real. And besides, DiCaprio cried too much in this film, I mean honestly, the guy was making me laugh. The only person in the cast that I can think of that did the best job with the language, was Pete Postlethwaite. This guy knew how to capture the raw emotion, taste, and feeling that had to go into this character, for audiences to understand, and did the best job out of the whole cast.
I think the constant energy the film was given kind of took away from the original material. This was released back in the day of 1996, and its obviously for teenagers, of the MTV ages, and it just tries so hard to be hip, and cool with the young crowd, that it fails, at even conveying enough emotions to show the real beauty of the story. There are too many gun battle sequences, and random doses of high energy, that just takes this film to places we would have never imagined.
Consensus: It’s visual style may be great to look at, but the film gets lost with it’s ability of trying to be too hip, and doesn’t do it’s cast any favors, by making them sound like complete idiots.
The real d-bags, behind the other real d-bags.
After years of successfully navigating the shark-infested waters of sports management, Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) experiences a crisis of conscience and leaves his high-powered job behind, with one loyal football client (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and a starry-eyed co-worker (Renée Zellweger) in tow.
Jerry Maguire is a film that I see all over the world, is quoted all the time. Lines like: “Show me the money“, or “You had me at hello“, are phrases that never go away. So I finally get to see what all the quoting is about, and what do you know, there are reasons for this to be quoted non-stop.
The main reason this film works is because it is covering a lot of ground, but yet does not seem to get lost in all of it. Wonderful writer/director Cameron Crowe, who has great films like Say Anything…., and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, blends a wonderful deal of almost of almost everything for all to like. The humor in this film starts off strong, and does start to fall by the last act, but its witty appeal in the first 2 acts, is what makes it fun. The romance is even better, as it gives us a romance that at first doesn’t look like its going to happen, but somehow the script makes you have faith in it, and your cheering for it to work. Also, the overall sports element, that will have all dudes from around the world happy. We never get a huge picture on the world of sports like the other two elements, however, we still see what happens behind all these big-time athletes and what goes into them being big stars, and how much effort it really is. Crowe makes this film have a lot of likability, and most of that is due to the heart-warming feel, the film gives off.
However, I still feel like the editing was a bit flawed. It almost feels as if there are two films in here: one about the cut-throat operation of sports agents, and another one about the romance between two lost souls in a way. Both stories could have been made into completely separate films, and although it isn’t a huge flaw, I still feel the sports agent story could have been brought on more. Also, the romance between Cruise and Zellweger does feel a bit rushed and pushed into the viewers face, but I mean it works, obviously. But you can see they rushed into it, and may not be the best couple which kind of ruined the overall appeal of the romance for me, but not that much.
Tom Cruise gets a lot of crap for playing total jackasses like Jerry Maguire, but hey, he fits the role. Jerry is a deuche, and cares a bit too much about his job, and the chicks he bones (what else did you expect, it’s a Tom Cruise film), but by the end, he starts to go through a transition that is overall believable. Also, his charm is what adds a lot more to the likability of the character, so we’re not just stuck there watching a total ass, be big, rich, and have happiness. I hate how people will always be talking ish on Cuba Gooding Jr., saying he didn’t deserve the Best Supporting Actor win, but compared to him and Ed Norton‘s performance in Primal Fear, he is great. He is funny, and adds a lot of spunk to his character, that isn’t just because all black men are funny, but you can tell this guy is trying his hardest to be the next big thing in football, and its kind of great to see the chemistry between him and Cruise, cause they may seem so opposite, but they both share one love, money. It sucks that he isn’t doing crap, other than shitty straight-to-dvd movies, but he’s bound for a come back. I just know it! I have faith in you Cuba!! Renée Zellweger has never really been my favorite actress, but she gives out a breakthrough performance here, and gives us that cuteness she always does so well, and would help her later in life.
Consensus: Jerry Maguire may get caught up a bit too much, but blends a great deal of romance, sports, and witty comedy, backed by great performances from the cast, to create a likable, romantic dramedy helmed by great Cameron Crowe.
See not all Germans are bad, kind of.
Adapted from Michael Ondaatje’s acclaimed novel set against the backdrop of World War II, Anthony Mingehlla’s Oscar-winning drama stars Ralph Fiennes as a horribly burned pilot who recounts a tale of doomed romance to the nurse tending him (Juliette Binoche). As his story is revealed via flashback, so too are secrets about his identity and the depth of his passion for the woman he loved (Kristin Scott Thomas). Willem Dafoe co-stars.
The film is played out and in the style of old Hollywood films, such as Lawrence of Arabia, or Sunset Blvd. However, the way its structured makes it stand-out more from those classics.
The direction from great director Anthony Mingehlla is what makes this film great. I liked how we came into this story, not knowing much about any of these characters, especially, Fiennes, and through the flashbacks it all plays out as if its really happening. Too many times have these non-linear plot structures played out, and we are confused, and totally twisted up about what is actually happening, but with this it plays along to both stories, and they work hand in hand.
There are many aspects of this film that just make this amazing. It is shot so beautifully, with plenty of images in the desert of Egypt, while feeling like Indiana Jones, with the Persian set pieces, and actually looking realistic. The screenplay adds a lot more onto the subject material. Its a moving love story, but also shows the harsh realities that come with love, and especially when the love is dangerous, as we have here. There are moments of love that are happy and passionate, however there are plenty of times, that its sad, and can not work out. So much detail was put into this and you can just tell.
The problem with this film that plenty of others have had, was that it is that its too long. For me, I didn’t think it was totally long, however, there were parts that could have been cut out, along with the slow pace that it so dreadfully annoying at times. There were also moments in this film that I felt the love between Fiennes and Scott Thomas was a bit too self-absorbed. They didn’t quite think of anyone else when they were having this affair, and it kind of spiraled out of control, how we were supposed to feel pity for these lovers.
Ralph Fiennes, stars in his best performance, since the bad-ass Nazi, in Schindler’s List. He not only uses his charming looks to win the audience over, but there are plenty of times, that you can see the pain he goes through as this character trying to understand the way of true love. French actress, Juliette Binoche, is even better showing that she can use beauty, to convey the central innocence and likability within a character. Kristin Scott Thomas is great in her performance, and the scenes she has with Fiennes, are just sometimes spot-on with the chemistry. Willem Dafoe is a kind of random character, but still has some good moments when he’s on screen.
Consensus: Though terribly long at times, The English Patient still delivers a true, and moving portrayal of love, with powerful performances, and a direction that is beauty.
Four crazy ass black woman, that guys don’t have just all the fun robbing places.
Sick of being victims of circumstance and fighting a system that keeps them from realizing their dreams, four black women from the Los Angeles projects opt to knock over a bank. Emboldened after pulling off the heist, they continue their crime spree. But the sticky-fingered quartet (played by Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox and Kimberly Elise) is unaware that a fixated police detective (John C. McGinley) has them in his sights.
There are certain types of films that show a love between a group of friends that love each other so much that they would do anything for the other. For these four chicks, that anything, is robbing banks in order to get rich. Oh, I wish I had friends like these.
The film shows a great deal of how these four friends all equally inhabit struggle, and hardships in their personal and work lives. Whether the d-bag boss is just up your ass all the time, or you feel like you might be getting played by some Harvard grad, they each all have hardships. We see this very well, and early on in the film, we understand the characters enough for us to like them even when they start shooting up mofos.
However, I just had a huge problem actually believing they could pull off as many jobs as they did. These four worked together so sloppy, by the way their technique went, and how the first place they robbed wasn’t even the place they were going to go for. Everybody is so disorganized when it comes to pulling of the heist itself, they make Thunderbolt and Lightfoot shake their heads in disgust.
I liked how director F. Gary Gray made a lot of the action sequences fun and smart, reminding me a lot of the old-school action flicks, but I just feel like he didn’t know what to make this film. In the beginning the film looked like it was a big social statement on how African American women are treated in society. But when they start doing the heist jobs it turns into a typical action flick. I didn’t know what Gary Gray wanted to do, hell I don’t even think he knew what he wanted to do, all I know is that it could have been formatted a lot better. But the guy does look pretty chill, so i can’t talk that much ish on him.
Other than those two slight problems, the performances from these four ladies are superb. Jada Pinkett Smith, does a great job in this film in what you could call the “tragic hero”, and brings out that charm we all know and love her for, but also the unrelentless hate in her soul. Vivica A. Fox, is her usual high-spirited diva, while Kimberly Elise is just being the sheltered little nice girl. But the best here is that lovable little fire herself, I present to you, Miss Queen Latifah. I have to give a lot of props to Latifah for this performance because she goes all out with her lesbo-loving character. Back in 1996, it was unheard of a musician-turned-actor, actually doing a good job. But Latifah broke down that wall and showed that she isn’t anything other than just a bunch of hits, she’s a great and independent woman, who can go all out with her performance, and still be 100% likable.
Consensus: Though the film gets lost in its message, and believable happenings, Set it Off works so well when it comes to showing great action sequences, and working a story of four friends that actually seem like it, mostly due to their performances.
Larry Flynt vs. Hugh Hefner. Who is the better porno seller.
Notorious pornographer Larry Flynt (Woody Harrelson) carries his free-speech campaign from lowly strip clubs to the U.S. Supreme Court in this film about censorship and the sex industry from director Milos Forman. Blending details of the Hustler publisher’s legal battles with scenes from his personal life, the film also examines Flynt’s relationships with his lawyer (Edward Norton) and drug-addicted wife (Courtney Love).
Milos Forman, damn man, you got balls. And I’m not talking about normal-man balls, I mean huge badonka badonka balls. He really directs this film into total controversy, but for a good reason. The fact that Forman isn’t afraid to shy away from showing a lot of boobs, and some vagina, means that this guy is pretty brave. I mean even in today’s world of film, we always are never allowed to show vagina, but somehow he made it possible, and to do it about 20 times.
But it’s not just the fact that he’s able to show a lot of T & A for 130 minutes, no he’s able to also blend this well-written screenplay, with the film itself so perfectly. The writing touches on great ideas about freedom of speech, and the main message that comes out so well here in this film is that, “if the constitution will defend a sleazy asshole like this dude, the why wouldn’t defend people like us?’
The film has a deal of comedy in it, but i just wished there was more of that in this film. Too much of the film acted too seriously for its own good, and was just a little awkward when it tried to be funny. For example, there is a scene in court where, the judge is played by real-life Larry Flynt (as you can see they sexxed him up a lot adding Woody to the main role), and the scene stops for about 10 seconds just to focus on him, and it looked like they were trying to make the scene funnier with that addition, but just came off as being odd.
Woody Harrelson as Larry Flynt was a perfect choice, because Woody is alway’s playing those sleazy, dirt-bag characters so freakin’ well, and he adds a huge deal of character to Flynt, by putting more energy and comedy into this guy’s appearance. The surprising good performance here is Courtney Love. Yes, that Courtney Love. Her character goes through so many transitions, and every time Love makes it seem believable. It’s crazy how some coked-up broad can get her character right, when some can’t even do it right. Although, I think in this movie she was basically playing herself, but hey, that’s just me. Oh and theirs a young Edward Norton here too, funny how he’s playing a lawyer, the same year he would win a Golden Globe for playing a victim in Primal Fear.
Consensus: The People vs. Larry Flynt raises some good questions about censorship and freedom of speech, which are backed up by incredible performances, but never fully go the extra mile to become a fully developed film.
Don’t watch this movie if you need relationship advice, actually don’t watch it at all.
Big-time player and club promoter Darnell (Martin Lawrence) does a double-take when a sophisticated beauty named Brandi (Lynn Whitfield) catches his eye at the club. But as he tries to win her over, the prize is far from what he expected. When Darnell decides he’d rather be with an old friend (Regina King), Brandi won’t take the hint — she’s ready to get even.
Being a Martin Lawrence comedy, I was expecting side-splitting, rolling on the floor laughter, but in the end it didn’t even get a giggle out of me. I tried to like this movie, but I couldn’t. It’s just a dry and humorless comedy.
Now Lawrence directs, writes, and produces this film and shows that sometimes, this is the reason why actros should stay on-screen instead of behind it. Somewhere in this film, is an actually interesting premise about how this one playboy deserves this Fatal Attraction treatment because of the way he treats women, but is narrowed down by stupid supporting casts spots, and unneccessary sex jokes.
I mean in all honesty I didn’t know if this film was supposed to be so funny, cause the film doesn’t have any good jokes here, and by the end of the film it actually starts to turn into a serious thing. I mean this man is almost killed, how is that funny?
I mean I’ll give Lawrence the shadow of the doubt because he does give the usual funny, charm that he always does so well in all of his films. But his hamming it up for the camera seems unwanted since the film can’t even take that humorously, too. Lynn Whitfield’s role in the movie as a woman who goes berserk after being treated like dirt is excellent, I actually believed her.
Consensus: There in no thin line here when it comes to witty dialogue, and funny jokes, since there is none of that in this boring, supposed comedy.
Well, lets just say that this wasn’t such a good pair.
When rogue stealth-fighter pilot Vic Deakins (John Travolta) deliberately drops off the radar while on maneuvers, the Air Force ends up with two stolen nuclear warheads — and Deakins’s co-pilot, Riley Hale (Christian Slater), is the military’s only hope for getting them back. Traversing the deserted canyons of Utah, Hale teams with park ranger Terry Carmichael (Samantha Mathis) to put Deakins back in his box. But can they pull it off?
Much of teh film actually starts out promising. There is enough fun, excitement, and cheesy lines to take up enough of my mind. However, the plot quickly degenerates into an “Indiana Jones” series of stunts and death defying escapes and near misses.
The film goes on way too long. I feel like the way the film turned out to be was just one long special effect after another. I mean the film is fun for a little while, but it just moves on to a point where its almost just every single action film that you have ever seen before, except a lot more explosions.
With a respectable premise, I expected a lot more of this movie. Either a real thriller or a Bond-like joy ride. But it’s neither. I’m usually willing to suspend disbelief and let a few inconsistencies go by, but this starts out bad and gets worse. Park ranger sees military plane crash, finds pilot, pulls gun on pilot. Yeah, right. Bad guys escape, military can only field one helicopter to chase. Sure. Sure dumb.
Travolta does try his hardest to place this sinister bad guy, but the thing is that it really doesn’t work, mostly cause he’s too much of a nice guy. I mean to see him have a lot of charm, which he does, is good, but to just call him a villain cause he does bad stuff to people, doesn’t make him anymore bad than you or me. Slater, ehhhh, I don’t know what he was doing here. I think he was just phoning the whole performance mostly because he just wanted the big paycheck, which sadly, he would get.
Consensus: Broken Arrow starts out with a promising premise, but soon delves into totally unrealistic material, much too long of a film with bad action sequences, and cheesy performances from Slater and Travolta.
God what a bunch of bitches, not witches.
Robin Tunney stars in this supernatural thriller as Sarah Bailey, a Catholic school newcomer who falls in with a clique of teen witches(Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Skeet Ulrich) who wield their powers against all who dare to cross them — be they teachers, rivals or meddlesome parents.
So basically this is a movie that shows a group of weirdo outsider chicks that deal with witchcraft and start messing with each other. Yeah, basically the whole plot right there.
All of the obvious and cliched ideas from every other high school film from the 90′s is here. The jock, weirdos, house parties, and of course the pretty girl. Sometimes I felt like I was just watching a really bad version of Clueless.
The film starts out a bit promising with some good dark comedy, but then transcends into some terrible writing and directing from Andrew Fleming. The movie has a lot of cheap and stale lines that make no sense and at times are just way too stupid to comprehend. The story by the end of the last act can’t even think of anything else to do so they just add in utterly stupid special effects. The scenes where their all chanting were actually kind of depressing because they were unhappy girls doing bad things, nothing fun there at all, and add on the horrible special effects just downright excruciating at times.
The only good thing in this film would have to be the performance from Fairuza Balk who is actually very creepy as the main witch person girl, or whatever you want to call her. She has plenty of scenes where she’s chanting and she just is very creepy and very believable as this demented chick. The other actresses aren’t really given anything else to work with other than state-of-the-art usual stereotypes that all these bad high-school films have.
Consensus: The Craft has an fresh performance from Balk, but the film can’t keep up with her due to the horrible amount of special effects, lackluster story, and no fun whatsoever with its writing.
Watching movies based on plays that you already read, really just takes out all of the fun.
After being spurned by her married lover (Daniel Day-Lewis), young Abigail Williams (Winona Ryder) stirs up a frenzy of hysteria and fear with accusations of witchcraft. Various other townspeople affected are played by Paul Scofield, Joan Allen, and Bruce Davison.
The film is based on and adapted from the 1953 play from Arthur Miller, which I already had the pleasure of reading. To be truly honest I’m glad I saw this movie because without this film, the play would have left a really bad taste in my mouth.
The really daring political statement that the play made was about the rebellion against Senator Joseph McCarthy’s “witch hunts” in the U.S, and how Arthur Miller put those ideas and statements towards these “witch hunts” in Salem. I understood the point and the message, but this film never really did anything new to teach me something different about this time and age.
Most of the direction in the middle of the film really does start drag on. The scenes that featured the little girls acting as they were being attacked by demons were too silly and unintentionally funny. I also feel that this film really doesn’t put forth an effort to draw us in. I knew who these characters were from the reading, but some just seeing the movie will not, so therefore they would be a little confused on who these people really are.
I did enjoy how this film really captured the look and feel of the Salem Witch Trials at the time. All the paranoia that was going on in this little community was captured very well. The film really did look like Salem at the time, because the set pieces are really all in all beautiful and some images are just really captivating.
The screenplay is in most cases a lot like the original play as the majority of the lines were taken directly from the play. Some new lines and scenes were put in and made this film a lot more effective. All the main occurrences in the play are in this film. However, some are altered, and some new ones were added for the dramatic effect. Overall these changes we’re really well planned out for the film and made it more effective for me.
The reason this film really does work is because of its A-list cast. Daniel-Day Lewis, really does a good job here but this is definitely not one of his best roles. It was almost forgettable until the very end. Winona Ryder, does a good job at showing how evil and maniacal she can really be. But the two who really stand out for me are from Paul Scofield and Joan Allen. Paul Scofield plays Judge Danforth, and really does match the act and power this character had over everyone opposite him in the original play. Scofield who should’ve been nominated for Best Supporting Actor, gives off a lot of energy without giving too much of it to show a weakness. Joan Allen plays Elizabeth Proctor, and is the most effective female in the entire cast, and shows she really can be as powerful as anyone else, even though the spotlight is not on her throughout. The only problem I had with some of these performances was that I could not believe them, because I felt that some of the language they used was not very useful for these dramatic scenes, and in the end just made them sound somewhat cheesy.
Consensus: The Crucible is an effective and powerful adaptation of Arthur Miller’s play. However, at times doesn’t feel genuine and doesn’t present a very good insightful message, much unlike the play.