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Member's Reviews

Red Dawn (1984 & 2012), a review by DJ Doena

Red Dawn (1984 & 2012)

Red Dawn (1984)

Director: John Milius

Patrick Swayze   ...    Jed
C. Thomas Howell   ...    Robert
Lea Thompson   ...    Erica
Charlie Sheen   ...    Matt
Darren Dalton   ...    Daryl
Jennifer Grey   ...    Toni
Brad Savage   ...    Danny
Doug Toby   ...    Aardvark
William Smith   ...    Strelnikov
Ron O'Neal   ...    Colonel Ernesto Bella
Powers Boothe   ...    Lt. Col. Andrew 'Andy' Tanner
Lane Smith   ...    Mayor Bates

Synopsis: The tides have turned against the United States. Most of the world has fallen to the communist advances and Europe is too tired for a third war in the same century. But the US is still free. Until now.
Nicaraguan/Cuban/Russian forces have invaded the US and already taken large parts of the country. Somewhere there still is a Free America. The small town of Calumet, Colorado is not that lucky.
It suddenly finds himself occupied and people are getting arrested or even killed.
A group of high school students manages to escape into the mountains and from there they try to defend their country in good ol' Guerrilla warfare manner.

My Opinion: This film is seriously dated. I've watched it for the first time, so there wasn't any nostalgia that could build up over the years.
But 30 years ago, the world was different and people were actually afraid of an all-ending war that would turn Earth into a nuclear wasteland (Nowadays they're still scared because of a terrorist attack that happened more than 12 years ago and had less than 1/3 of the casualties that traffic accidents caused in the same year, so much so that they're willing to give up essential freedoms for a little bit of safety.).
The cast list is an interesting composition with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, three years before they had the time of their lives (pardon the pun) on Dirty Dancing, still-bad-boy Charlie Sheen but also Lea Thompson (Back to the Future or more recently Switched at Birth).

Red Dawn (2012)

Director: Dan Bradley

Chris Hemsworth   ...    Jed Eckert
Josh Peck   ...    Matt Eckert
Josh Hutcherson   ...    Robert Kitner
Adrianne Palicki   ...    Toni Walsh
Isabel Lucas   ...    Erica Martin
Connor Cruise   ...    Daryl Jenkins
Edwin Hodge   ...    Danny
Will Yun Lee   ...    Captain Cho
Jeffrey Dean Morgan   ...    Tanner
Michael Beach   ...    Mayor Jenkins

Synopsis: This time the Chinese* North Koreans have invaded the US. But the basic story is the same. They invade, the kids flee into the woods and begin their Wolverine terrorist insurgence resistance group.

My Opinion: Actually, this movie this quite a few things better than the original. Before the invasion the NKs disabled all of America's high-tech, computer-based weaponry, so there were no predator drones, no spy satellites, no communications network. It went back to the basics.
In the 80s this wouldn't have been possible, because there weren't that many computers involved in warfare. So this time around it actually makes a little more sense why this didn't end in a big nuclear shootout.
Also, it wasn't a bad idea to give at least one of the guys a background in military training and having been to Iraq he had the knowledge of how insurgence works.
What I also found noteworthy was his comparison to the Viet Cong and the Mujahideen because it at least acknowledged that the VC and others were only doing what these kids are doing now: Defending their own country.
This movie also wasn't a carbon copy; they deviated from the original material in some ways so it didn't become completely predictable for someone who had seen the original recently.
And they have black kids now! In the year of Beverly Hills Cop the original didn't have any memorable black characters in it, not even the obligatory black-dude-that-dies-first. ;)

*Originally the bad guys were supposed to be Chinese but then they also wanted the Chinese market to show this movie, so the bad guys became North Koreans instead.

(From DJ's Short Movie Reviews on February 11th, 2014)

Member's Reviews

Taken, a review by KinkyCyborg

Year: 2008
Director: Pierre Morel
Rating: NR
Length: 93 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: English: Dolby Digital: 5.1, Spanish: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround, French: Dolby Digital: Dolby Surround
Subtitles: English, Spanish

Liam Neeson
Maggie Grace
Leland Orser
Jon Gries
David Warshofsky

Prepare to get Taken for the ride of your life! "Liam Neeson is an unstoppable force" (Premier) in this action-packed international thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. When his estranged teenage daughter (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped in Paris, a former spy (Neeson) sets out to find her at any cost. Relying on his special skills, he tracks down the ruthless gang that abducted her and launches a one-man war to bring them to justice and rescue his daughter.

Scene Access
Feature Trailers
Closed Captioned
Theatrical Version

My Thoughts:

No random pick tonight.... I picked Taken. I've heard from just about everyone who watched this how great it was and I have to agree.

Already a huge Liam Neeson fan to begin with, seeing him in an action film of this magnitude brings his game to a whole new level. He has had many tremendous dramatic roles in his career and yet he flawlessly makes the transition to action star... and a great one. I hope to see more from him. The ruthless edge to his character makes this movie so memorable and a keeper in anyone's collection with unlimited rewatchability. The human trafficking theme has been a popular one on screen these past 5 or so years but most of them have been of the dramatic variety.... good, but not nearly as memorable as Taken.

One of the best movies I've watched this year.  :yahoo:


(From KinkyCyborg's Random Reviews 2010 on August 7th, 2010)

Member's TV Reviews

Caroline in the City Marathon, a review by Tom

Pilot (1995-09-21)
Writer: Fred Barron, Marco Pennette, Dottie Dartland
Director: James Burrows
Cast: Lea Thompson (Caroline), Eric Lutes (Del), Malcolm Gets (Richard), Amy Pietz (Annie), Andy Lauer (Charlie), Tom La Grua (Remo), Jason Workman (Jeff), Cathy Ladman (Ultimate Fan), John Mariano (Maitre D'), Sean Gregory Sullivan (Monroe), Christine Taylor (Debby)

Richard, a struggling and cynic artist, starts to work for Caroline, a cartoonist, as a colorist to make ends meet.
This pilot has a little of a cheap sitcom effect to it with some awkward acting. But beginning with the introduction of Richard I was reminded again, what I liked about this series. Richard's try humor when dealing with the motor-mouth Caroline.
Also Charlie as far as I remember was a character I liked. When I remember correctly, he will be constantly on roller-skates later on in the series.
The slut neighbor Annie will also be a good source of humor with the rivalry between her and Richard (if memory serves correctly).

Caroline and the Mugger (1995-09-28)
Writer: Dottie Dartland
Director: James Burrows
Cast: Lea Thompson (Caroline), Eric Lutes (Del), Malcolm Gets (Richard), Amy Pietz (Annie), Charles Mavich (Man in Plaid), Raf Mauro (Mugger), Steve Anthony Espinosa (Steve), Jeffrey Garcia (Jeff), Christopher Maleki (Chris)

Lea Thompson's character: "Do you think I might gonna go crazy and wanna rent 'Howard the Duck'" :laugh:

Richard is mugged by a unarmed little man and the others make fun of him because of it.
A decent episode. The actors are obviously now more comfortable in their roles.

Caroline and the Gay Art Show (1995-10-05)
Writer: Ian Praiser
Director: James Burrows
Cast: Lea Thompson (Caroline), Eric Lutes (Del), Malcolm Gets (Richard), Amy Pietz (Annie), Andy Lauer (Charlie), Dan Butler (Kenneth Arabian), Tom La Grua (Remo), Neal Lerner (Allen), John Mariano (Johnny), Jack Kenny (Howard Berman)

Richard's art is displayed at a gallery for gay artists. He has to keep it a secret, that he is straight to not be pulled from the exhibit.
Dan Butler (Bulldog from Frasier) guest stars as the gallery owner. A typical "reverse gay joke" episode. But it fits with the characters. Luckily no crinch-worthy jokes here. And Charlie is now on his trademark roller skates :)

(From Caroline in the City Marathon on September 14th, 2008)