When in doubt, always trust The Swayze.
It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers bands together to defend their town and their country from invading Soviet forces and also try to fend themselves off of each one another as well.
So, after about 4 years of being in post-production, the remake to this 80 classic is finally coming around and to celebrate (if that’s what you call this review) the arrival of it, I’m going to go back to the days when times were simpler, and hell of a lot cheesier. Big, big mistake on my part.
Back in the 80′s, it really seemed like America was paranoid as hell by the Ruskies and what they were going to do to us next, which makes it all the more reason why this film should have just had a whole bunch of more fun with itself. Seriously, when you see a premise that includes a bunch of young kids with AK-47′s, going around and shooting up the Soviets, you should be expecting a whole bunch of ridiculous fun that continues to get better and better as the flick goes on. However, that’s barely the case here and instead, we get a lot of moping, sadness, and total seriousness from everybody involved. I get the fact that maybe the idea back in the 80′s of us getting invaded wasn’t such a funny, little joke like we can sort of have now, but there wasn’t anything here at all to lighten-up the mood at all. Everything is taken as if it really was happening, with real people, real situations, and real guns. If I wanted to see something like this being real, I would go to Russia myself with a bunch of guns and start shooting up the place. When I go to the movies, I expect non-fiction fun and a whole bunch of it, as well.
See, even though the serious-approach to this story may be bad, it gets even worse when you consider the screenplay everybody has to work with here. This is some god-awful screen-writing that starts off corny, gets cornier, and just ends up being downright laughable by the end of it, but not just because of the lines these characters use, but because of what the writers and director behind this movie try to get us to care about. The scenes with the whole army of wolverines together, didn’t do shit for me as half of the time as when they were just sitting around, eating beans, and crying about how they miss their mommy and daddy. I don’t think a single conversation went by without one of them breaking down into a full-out cry-fest as if they just got done watching Marley & Me. Yeah, it’s pretty sad but come on, your shooting the freakin’ people that killed your mommy and daddy so be happy and put a smile on if you can and keep on nuking. Then, the film tries to have it both ways by trying to develop and have us sympathize with the evil characters from the Russian side, but it works for these characters, just like it works for the others: to no avail whatsoever. Basically, we are just left watching the movie without any real human-connection whatsoever and it’s pretty obvious that the film-makers were just depending on the cool premise and right-wing approach the whole time.
Then again, who needs substance, when you can just blow shit up for 2 hours?!? That’s pretty much what this film was asking, and you can totally tell because of the action is pretty solid, in terms of 80′s action glory. I don’t know if this matters at all in today’s day and age of NC-17 movies coming out every month, but this was one of the first flicks to ever get slapped with the PG-13 rating and has 2.23 glorious acts of violence occur every minute. Now, if that doesn’t tell you anything about this film then I don’t know what will but the explosions, gun-play, blood, killing, and warfare is pretty fun to watch and definitely where most of the film’s energy lies in. Didn’t understand why the hell the Soviets took time out of their day, just sitting around and being angry, when all they could have done was just look around for a bunch of young punks in the woods. However, though, I didn’t write this movie and thank God for that or else I would probably have to take up a job as a pizza-delivery boy for Domino’s!
The positive to this film that sort of kills all of those other bad germs is Mr. Patrick Swayze who I will never, ever say a bad thing about in any movie whatsoever. I love the guy and I loved him here, but it’s such a shame that everybody else around him just sucks the life out of everything good that The Swayze does and most of all, does with style. Seriously, you got a cast full of 80′s stars like Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, and Jennifer Grey all accompanying Swayze, and they are all so gosh darn terrible. I don’t know if it was the cringe-inducing script that screwed them over or what, but something was just not clicking here and every time one of these character’s opened their loud-ass mouths, I just prayed that a Soviet wrecking-crew would come around and blow their freakin’ heads off. I know, I know I sound like a freakin’ maniac, but they really pissed me off and I didn’t really give a shit whether or not they completed their mission (whatever that was). I just wanted them to start blowing shit up, taking names, and doing it all for the good of the country. In a way, I guess they succeeded, but damn is it a miserable time getting to that point.
Consensus: Red Dawn is an obvious flick for a cult following: it has guns, explosions, cheesy dialogue, and Patrick Swayze. Then again, though, a lot of those elements that make it so loved by a certain type of crowd, doesn’t always click so well with other viewers who just want to have some fun with a movie and not have to be bothered with a terrible script that’s unbearable at times.
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.
I wish when I skipped school, it was as fun as this.
High-schooler Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) knows everyone — and every trick to faking an illness. So with the entire school convinced he’s at death’s door, Bueller grabs his girlfriend (Mia Sara) and best friend (Alan Ruck) and hits the streets of Chicago for a well-deserved day off. Fed-up principal Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones) is determined to catch Bueller and put a premature end to his field trip. But it’s tough to outfox Ferris.
Writer/Director John Hughes is known as one of the premiere directors for when it comes to 80′s films. With films like Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, and now Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it almost seems like Hughes is a teenager when he’s writing all this stuff.
There is a lot to love here, and the best thing about this film is the creative screenplay from Hughes. There is a lot of comedy here, for me, it was a lot of laugh out loud comedy, and other times it was little chuckles, but overall it had me laughing. But it’s not just the funny in here that’s great, it’s capturing the emotion, and the mind-setting that was within all the teenagers back in 1986. There are plenty of parts where they bring it up, but around this time was when the teenagers started rebelling against all their parents and standing up for themselves. It’s great to see how Hughes captures the generation of the 80′s teen, and he never stopped, but it’s a shame he had to go so soon. R.I.P. Brotha.
But it also delves a lot more into the fun of life. To be truly honest I was pretty jealous of everything Ferris was doing. I mean going on top of parade float singing The Beatles, driving around in my friend’s dad’s 1961 Ferrari GT California, and faking dinner reservations at a fancy ass place, makes me want to go do something fun. Ferris says it himself twice in the film: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” And that’s what this film is all about, enjoying the fun things in life while you have it, cause you never know when your going to have that chance again.
Matthew Broderick does a great job of portraying Ferris Bueller probably cause he feels like a real cool guy. He’s funny, he’s got the hot-ass girl, and he can basically get himself out of any situation. There are constant times when Bueller breaks the fourth wall and talks to us, and that brings us to connect more with his character, and say hey, this guy is really cool, I wish I was him, or at least hanging out with him. It sucks that Broderick doesn’t do much stuff now, but for me, he always be a lovable star.
Other characters in this movie are great too. Alan Ruck as Cameron is the most developed character in the movie, and although is a total mook that can annoy you, you feel the pain he feels, and he has one scene where he’s on the phone with principal Rooney, posing as Sloane’s dad, and it’s easily the funniest scene, and that car scene is just perfect. Mia Sara does nothing now, and that kind of sucks, cause she’s actually good in this. Jeffrey Jones is good here as Mr. Rooney, who is just the biggest d-bag ever, and he reminds you of all high school principals out there. Too bad that guy had to have child porno caught on him, he would still be in a lot of stuff, creepy bastard. There is also some great stuff from Ben Stein, and an amazing cameo from the always funny Charlie Sheen.
The only problem I had with the film that doesn’t make it one of my all-time favorites, is that it doesn’t go far enough, as far as other’s character’s emotions, and feelings, but it all still works none the less.
Consensus: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a prime example of a film that’s hilarious, fun to watch, but well-written, with plenty of ideas and trends about the times in the 80′s, with a timeless message of life.
The Vietnam War really did make people go fucking crazy!
Helmed by Oliver Stone, this searing autobiographical drama chronicles the Vietnam experiences of naïve volunteer soldier Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen), whose view of the conflict starts to change after witnessing murder and rape at the hands of his compatriots.
One of the first key claims of this film is that it is one of the first fictionalized story to tell the most true story about the war. Now Stone who dropped out of college to volunteer for the army, puts his own experiences into one hell of a film.
The reason why Platoon is so significant and great is because its one of the first to show the moral ambiguity that the average day soldier faced daily. You see how all these soldiers, full of pride, are trying to overcome the enemy as well as the others in their squad. It was great to see how all these soldiers talked with one another, and it kind of felt like a school in how you got to see all these characters interact with one another in such a small environment. Most of this is due to the great writing as usual from Stone.
Not only does Stone write this film wonderfully but he also does an outstanding job as director, thus proving why he is one of my favorites. The scenes that Stone choreographs are shot with such beauty and unpredictability that we don’t have a clue of who’s going to die, much like war in real life where you don’t know whats going to happen next. There is also one scene where we see a Vietnamese village get tortured and the way it is shown is so nerve-racking and disturbing that you can’t take your eyes off the screen at all. The film also showed a lot of the other stuff that soldiers had along with rapping of women, drug use, and of course fragging of other soldiers.
The one problem I had with this film isn’t such a problem the movie has, as much as its more of my problem. I mean all these things that Platoon has done with its characters and story, is something I’ have seen from plenty of other war films such as Saving Private Ryan, and Full Metal Jacket. Now I liked a lot of the battle scenes and how they were shot, but I still feel like none of them were as quite as match for Saving Private Ryan’s honestly.
Platoon has probably one of the best characters that I have seen in a war film to date. Mostly all of these characters in one way or another are likable, because you can relate to exactly what they do in situations cause you would do the same thing. Sheen probably gives one of his best performances in his career, cause they aren’t really many, and I actually get past his character from Tow and a Half Men and take him for what he is in this movie and not something totally humorous. The best performances from this film probably come from Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger, who both play two different sides of the war, Good & Bad. Berenger plays this hard-ass dick head cop that seems to always get everyone’s side, and Dafoe in his greatest role yet plays the total opposite as a smart, tough, and all around likable guy who you cheer for in every situation, mostly due to the way he handles his character especially when the most powerful scenes come on.
Consensus: Platoon is a powerful and effective film that shows the American Soldier fighting in The Vietnam War for what they are, backed by incredible performances from Berenger, Sheen, and mostly Dafoe, and because Stone has a wondeful knack for writing and directing especially when it comes to creating an emotion.
Is greed always good??
Enterprising stockbroker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) falls under the enticing spell of Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), an unabashedly greedy Wall Street arbitrageur. Gekko takes Fox under his wing, tutoring his charge 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.
Director Oliver Stone, as many of you may know is one of my favorite directors of all-time. I like if not love a lot of his stuff so when I heard about this film, and how Douglas won a Best Oscar, I was ready for a wonderful film. Instead I got a bore-fest.
If you are annoyed by shallow anti capitalism good-versus-evil plots, avoid this one. On its face, this film bashes illegal insider trading. But it goes further. The bashing subtly reaches legitimate brokers who make a living trading stock (a service which, like movie making, vastly enriches the very few at the expense of the many who want the service). Two lines most revealingly demonstrate this: The evil caricature Douglas smugly asks (paraphrasing) “You think this is a democracy!? No! This is capitalism!” (Ignoring that the political system (democracy) and the economic system (capitalism) are interrelated and are presumably good.)
This film is basically incredibly predictable in a story that goes from one place to another in cliche after cliche. The characters in this film are just basically total yuppie assholes. Even the main protagonist, Sheen, doesn’t even seem that liable to root for. He just seems so dumb and even a bigger deuche.
The acting is very very sub-par. I mean in all honesty I think Douglas at times really did over-play his role as this totally unlikable guy. Some scenes hes very good, and some hes just not all that there. In all honesty he did not deserve that Oscar at all. Sheen gives an OK performance here but I found it very hard throughout the film to take him seriously since I’m a huge fan of Two and a Half Men.
Consensus: The acting is OK, but the story is very very contrived, with predictable story elements, and even worse characters that your more likely to hate then cheer for.