Author Topic: Riches Random Reviews  (Read 220451 times)

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #30 on: January 13, 2009, 05:58:09 PM »
Presumed innocent



PRESUMED INNOCENT, like most of director Alan J. Pakula's films is also a complex character study. Based on a best-selling novel by Scott Turrow, the courtroom murder mystery tells the story of prosecutor Rusty Sabich (Harrison Ford) who is accused of murdering his former mistress, the beautiful and ambitious Carolyn Polhemus (Greta Scacchi). All the physical evidence points to him, and Sabich's "golden child" character is in deep trouble. His marriage, too, is in jeopardy as new twists of events leave his wife Barbara doubting Ford's innocence, and Sabich's boss Raymond Horgan, who is running for reelection, simply wants the killer caught before his campaign suffers. Ford's performance (somewhat against type based on previous roles) is excellent as the beleaguered attorney who seeks an end to his nightmare, calling acerbic defense lawyer and rival (Raul Julia) to his rescue. Cinematographer Gordon Willis (THE GODFATHER) and Pakula, who collaborated previously on KLUTE, have created a film of shadow and darkness in which great performances keep the audience riveted right up to the unnerving ending.

Slightly dated suspense drama, with a satisfying plot twist at the end, albeit the killer was obvious after about half an hour. Ford has been in better films, this movie coming probably at the peak of his career, but a solid supporting cast and good direction aid in the endeavour.
This has all the right elements, but is missing a certain something to make it a truly memorable classic.
 :-\
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 10:41:20 AM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2009, 11:17:35 AM »
True Romance




When inexperienced call girl Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette) is paid to seduce comic-book-nerd and Elvis fanatic Clarence Worley (Christian Slater), she doesn't expect to fall for him. But these two lost souls seem to be made for each other and quickly pledge their love, marrying at Detroit's city hall. Clarence discovers some newfound bravado and attempts to retrieve Alabama's possessions from her pimp, Drexl (Gary Oldman), who isn't exactly eager to let Alabama go. Fleeing Drexl's apartment, Clarence not only leaves a trail of bodies, but also inadvertently mistakes a suitcase of uncut cocaine for one with his wife's clothing, and the chase is on. The unlikely newlyweds head for Los Angeles hoping to sell the cocaine and make enough money to leave the country. Unfortunately, they also have to contend with the mob, yuppie drug dealers and the police. Michael Rapaport is amusing as Clarence's best friend who lives with Floyd, a stoner played by Brad Pitt. A sedate Dennis Hopper appears as Clarence's father, who ultimately faces off with mob boss Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken). Director Tony Scott (CRIMSON TIDE, ENEMY OF THE STATE) does justice to the violence and quirkiness of Quentin Tarantino's second feature film script.

Tremendous Tarantino romp, edge of my seat from start to finish. Cleverly written, directed and acted, all the cast were on top form - Slater, the lovely Arquette, Walken, Hopper, Gandolfini, even Val Kilmer as elvis and Pitt as the stoned flatmate worked well.
It is brutal in parts, funny in others, twisted but sweet romance, I now understand how this film reaches into peoples top tens.
Shades of Kill Bill with the extreme violence, specifically to Alabama, but this film can only be heralded as an absolute MUST-SEE
 :thumbup:
« Last Edit: January 15, 2009, 10:35:11 AM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2009, 10:41:01 AM »
Protocol



Goldie Hawn stars in this comedy of political errors as Sunny Davis, a ditsy Washington, D.C., waitress who gets herself involved in the middle of international politics when she inadvertently saves a visiting foreign politician from an assassin's bullet. Sunny becomes an overnight national hero and is used as a political pawn in a Middle Eastern government scam, unaware of the plot against her until it's almost too late.


Boring and empty, I like Goldie Hawn as a person and loved Overboard, but Protocol was like a poor 70's low budget flick. Hollow characters, typecast leads, ridiculous storyline, and sadly very very few titters or amusing moments.
Clearly made to order for Goldie, this is a movie to avoid unless you enjoy watching wood warp
 :yawn:

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2009, 10:43:15 AM »
Seventh Sign



Six signs of the world's end have come to pass as predicted in the Bible. Now a young woman discovers that she and her unborn child play a terrifying part in the chain of events destined to end the world - she has been selected as the chosen instrument of the seventh sign.....

Lack-lustre fare with little tension or drama, acting is average at best and storyline plods through mud, only Moore comes out of it with some respect. I'd recommend the Omen opposed to this any day.
 :-\
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 12:08:12 AM by Rich »

Najemikon

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2009, 12:28:33 PM »
...this is a movie to avoid unless you enjoy watching wood warp
 :yawn:


Best line I've heard in ages! :hysterical:

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2009, 12:12:05 AM »
Dog Day Afternoon



Before Peter Finch was 'mad as hell' in NETWORK, Sidney Lumet's scorching indictment of the American television industry, Al Pacino played an equally ferocious and fed-up bank robber in Lumet's classic film DOG DAY AFTERNOON. Pacino is heartbreakingly real as Sonny, a smart and tough if self-destructive Brooklyn tough whose plan to rob the local bank to fund his male lover's (Chris Sarandon) sex change goes absurdly wrong. Accompanied only by his doltish accomplice, Sal (John Cazale), Sonny resorts to kidnapping a handful of bank employees when he realizes that all the money had been removed before his arrival. As the lengthy August day drags on, Sonny and the hordes of local police, led by Sergeant Moretti (Charles Durning), make little progress, and eventually Sonny's wife and lover are brought to the scene. The crowd's sympathy is immediately captured by the charismatic Sonny, whose antagonism with the police is played out before an audience of millions, leading to an inevitably tragic finish.
Balancing suspense, violence, and humor, the film's depiction of a grand scale media event craftily dives from the political to the personal, evoking a piercing portrait of a single man and his devastating downward tumble into the cracks of the system that Lumet made a career of chronicling. DOG DAY AFTERNOON reunites Pacino with his SERPICO director Lumet, and stands as one of the finest films of the 1970s.


Stand-out performance by Pacino masks the dating of this movie, incredible depth and appeal he creates for the character Sonny highlights his genuine talent. The film as a whole is pretty limp for me in terms of action and suspense, and the 2nd half is totally ruined by being bogged down with over the top sentimentality regarding homosexuality.
Overall an enjoyable viewing experience, and a pleasure to see Pacino mastering his craft
 :D

« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 10:19:48 AM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2009, 10:34:06 AM »
Hang 'em High



The first spaghetti western made in America (sans Leone) and Eastwood's first star vehicle made outside Europe. Eastwood's innocent cowboy miraculously survives his own hanging and then treks across the frontier to bring his hangmen to justice. Highly entertaining, featuring in small parts Dern, Hopper, and cowboy veteran Bob Steele as a dungeon prisoner.

Clumsy mish-mash of a Western, a potentially good film made badly.
Too many close-ups of the wooden Inger Stevens playing Rachel, trembling bottom lip and moody far-away stares, all should have been cut from the movie. The romance didn't work for me in this film, it should have been left as a gritty tale of frontier life.
Possibly the weakest in the Eastwood stable of Westerns for me, it was early in the career and too much 'eyes' and stretched believability - he was shot a dozen times in the parlour, but was up and about soon after - perhaps they had better health care in those days?
As Hollywoods first attempt to copy the gore and brutality of a Spag Western, and a staging post in Clints career, it is probably worth a watch.
 :-\

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2009, 10:42:09 AM »
The Jackal



Bruce Willis is The Jackal - the greatest assassin in history - out to eliminate a top U.S. government official. Declan Mulqueen, an imprisoned underground operative, is the only man who can stop him. Now, the Deputy Director of the FBI, is taking the biggest risk of all . . . he's releasing one criminal to stop another in this terrifically explosive, totally intrigueing suspense thriller.

First-off, admission this is a guilty pleasure, I know it isn't a patch on the 70's original, I know the formula was well-tested, I know Gere's Irish accent is about as ill fitting and phony as Willis's tash, but I do like it.
It is entertaining, believable, has dated reasonably well, thumping soundtrack, and I thought Willis as the cold hearted assassin works really well.
The suspense is played out well, Poitier is convincing as the FBI agent, and enough twists and turns to keep you watching.
I like it, but can concede why others would be appalled at this remake.
 ;D

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2009, 10:44:35 AM »
One Night Stand



Max is a happily married and successful man with two healthy children. However, on a business trip to New York, he meets the beautiful Karen and they embark on a brief affair. On his return home he finds his life different and he begins to withdraw from the people closest to him, even though he and Karen had vowed to forget the relationship. A year later he returns to New York to comfort his hospitalised best-friend and finds himself face-to-face with Karen...

Better than I anticipated, Snipes was the wrong lead for this film, but the other characters were convincing, and Downey in particular gives a strong and moving performance.
A good storyline, basically an inter-racial NY romance, developing into more following the surprise meeting of the couple with their partners at a dying mans hospital bed.
I am not to aware of Mike Figgis' work, but on the back of this will try and source Leaving Las Vegas, which critically was more successful than this movie.
 :D
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 10:22:11 AM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #39 on: January 20, 2009, 10:20:58 AM »
Outland



A federal marshal on an outer-space mining colony uncovers a hideous secret that threatens the sanity of miners working in the depths of an outer planet. Academy Award Nominations: Best Sound.

Academy award for best sound??? How does that work - very mystifying, I didn't find anything remarkable in that category for this movie??

Somewhat predictable 80's sci-fi come cop action movie, it was the 'sheriff comes to town to clean up and upsets the rich crook, who gets the hired hands to take revenge' plot, but in fairness with a novel twist of it happening in space.
Blue Peter sets do not help the overall visual appeal of the movie, and Sean Connery was definately the wrong lead. The doctor would have struggled in a school pantomine, and the 'baddie' just wasn't bad enough. Lots of running around and up and down walkways, a few exploding bodies etc etc.

Having said all this negative critique, the film has some perverse appeal, was very watchable, you do find yourself cheering on the underdog, and bearing in mind it is now nearly 30 years old, it does hold up rather well.
 :)
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 10:32:16 AM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2009, 10:41:21 AM »
Stagecoach



ONe of the all-time classic Westerns - considered by many to be the movie that propelled John Wayne to stardom in 1939. The film is set against the impressive backdrop of Monument Valley in Utah and tells the story of a mixed group of travellers who are making their way across the country to Arizona. They are endangered by an Indian War Party and this, along with their personal histories, results in difficulties. The film pays particular attention to the character studies of the group and is a taut psychological piece which earned an Oscar for Thomas Mitchell's performance as the drunken doctor. The music also won an Oscar and John Ford and Bert Flennon were nominated for best picture. A true classic American western.

A true cinema classic, still very enjoyable to watch some 70 years later, amazing stunts that at times are jaw-dropping (falling under moving horses and stagecoach etc) a film often copied but IMO not bettered.
The action has not aged and for such an old film is so impressive, and the time spent on building the characters so worthwhile and testament to Fords direction. I am not a great John Wayne fan, but in this he was perfect as The Ringo Kid, but the show stealer for me will always be Thomas Mitchell playing Doc Boone.
This is a must-see for all cinema fans  ;D
« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 11:08:41 AM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2009, 11:10:17 AM »
Above The Law



When Chicago cop Nico Toscani (Steven Seagal) discovers that suspects apprehended in a drug bust are allowed to walk, he's not happy. Soon Nico himself is asked to turn in his badge. Although he's now off the force, no way is he out of the action. Seagal makes a smashing screen debut in this tale of a good cop who is forced to confront corruption within the department. NICO offers non-stop thrills and features strong supporting performances by Pam Grier and Sharon Stone.

Interesting to see Seagals first major film, a violent all-action blockbuster specifically written with this actor in mind. Lets be honest, his fighting skills are significantly better than his acting prowess!
An 80's feel of course, but the pace is adequate, the script predictable, and easy to watch.
Not ground-breaking, and not good enough to recommend spending any hard earned cash on.
 :-\
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 08:13:55 PM by Rich »

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #42 on: January 25, 2009, 08:28:43 PM »
Nothing But Trouble



A businessman finds he and his friends the prisoners of a sadistic judge and his equally odd family in the backwoods of a bizarre mansion.

With such a superb cast, I approached this film with an expectation of content. What a surprise I had, one of the weirdest most unpredictable comedies I've seen.
Some parts are rather unpleasant (Fat foundry twins), some were hilariously funny (penis nose at the dinner table), and others bizarre (imagine Jon Candy in drag for example). Written by Dan Ackroyd, who stars as the hideous judge, it is supported by the likes of Candy, Demi Moore, Chevy Chase, and in one set Tupac!
It is an incredibly difficult film to judge, although on hindsight it was pretty poor, I was compelled to watch all the way through, even suffering the spontaneous pop video in the courtroom.
 :-\

richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2009, 08:45:01 PM »
The Express



Based on a true story, "The Express" follows the extraordinary life of college football hero Ernie Davis, the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. His fight for equality and respect forever changed the face of American sports, and his story continues to inspire new generations. Raised in poverty in Pennsylvania coal-mining country, Davis hurdled social and economic obstacles to become one of the greatest running backs in college football history. Under the guidance of legendary Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder, he became a hero who superseded Jim Brown's achievements and set records that stand to this day. Decorated veteran Schwartzwalder was a Southerner with a single vision of a national championship and hardened ideas about how the world worked. But, though he and Davis clashed mightily, he taught the player everything he knew about football, just as Davis helped him learn the true meaning of victory. As the growing civil rights movement divided the country in the '60s, Davis became a symbol for achievement that transcended race. Refusing to flinch from others' prejudices, he achieved all his goals--until he faced a challenge that would make most men crumble. He joined the ranks of black pioneers by teaching a generation tolerance, inspiring a movement that smashed barriers on and off the field.

These 'uplifting' true sports stories are becoming more and more common, and I sat down for this worrying it may fall into the 80% made which are too gushy and overdone to be pallatable.
Fortunately this film about Ernie Davis was made in a thoughtful, realistic, and straight down the line way, and was pretty enjoyable, albeit despite it's name of Express, it rather crawled along through the story.
Perhaps the time has come now to reduce the making of such films portraying the overcoming of bygone 'black' bigotry by American sportsmen, and discover some new avenues to pursue on the screen. The focus of the film IMO strayed too far on the portrayal of the coach, one assumes due that the star billing Dennis Quaid played this part? I'd have liked to have learnt more about Ernie Davis, who seemed a very interesting character.
In summary I enjoyed the film, it is definately not the best of its genre, but by no means not the worst.
 :D



richierich

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Re: Riches Random Reviews
« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2009, 08:48:37 PM »
Billy Madison



Billy Madison, the dim-witted son of a millionaire, wastes his life guzzling beer and devising obscene pranks until his father threatens to leave him nothing. In order to earn his father's respect,... Billy Madison, the dim-witted son of a millionaire, wastes his life guzzling beer and devising obscene pranks until his father threatens to leave him nothing. In order to earn his father's respect, Billy, who bribed his way through school, must pass all 12 grades in six months or see a sycophantic assistant get his father's fortune. Billy struggles with the aide and his own idiocy to make good in this gag-filled farce.

What a pathetic, juvenile load of shit.
Thank god I didn't see this years ago, or I would have been put off Sandler forever  :yucky:
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 08:50:14 PM by Rich »