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Author Topic: Riches Random Reviews  (Read 98211 times)
Rich
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« Reply #195 on: April 21, 2009, 11:19:36 PM »

Rumour Has It



At last there's a movie for anyone who's ever looked at the eccentrics and oddballs in his or her family and wondered: Who are these people? Jennifer Aniston stars in and Rob Reiner (When Harry Met Sally...) directs a star-powered romantic comedy about family, love, marriage and other major catastrophes.
Aniston portrays Sarah Huttinger, whose return home with her fiancé convinces her that the sedate, proper, country-club lifestyle of her family isn't for her, and that maybe the Huttinger family isn't even hers. Join Sarah as she uncovers secrets that suggest the Huttingers are neither sedate nor proper – and as Kevin Costner, Shirley MacLaine and Mark Ruffalo join the fun. The story is rumor. The laughs are real!


Laid back and easy going movie, quite a novel storyline link to The Graduate, the film was made for me personally by Shirley MacLaines brilliant role as the grandmother (and Mrs Robinson). It is a comedy romance with all the usual ingredients, several funny and embarrassing moments, a nice pace that keeps you watching, and of course a happy ending.
If you are a fan of this genre, and do not mind Costner and Aniston, then I would recommend this non-taxing film.
 Cheesy
« Last Edit: April 23, 2009, 09:46:21 AM by Rich » Logged

Rich
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« Reply #196 on: April 23, 2009, 09:53:19 AM »

The Endurance



In August 1914, seasoned British explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton embarks on his third excursion into Antarctic territory, planning to cross the Antarctic continent on foot--something no other explorer has attempted before. Only a day's journey from his final destination, Shackleton's ship, The Endurance, is trapped in pack-ice, where she will remain frozen for the next ten months, all throughout the harsh Antarctic winter. With dwindling rations, blizzards, boredom, and illness to contend with, and only each other and their faithful sled dogs for company, the crew grows restless, and Shackleton has his hands full trying to keep the peace on board. A turning point occurs when ice floes finally threaten to crush the ship, and the men are forced to take to the lifeboats. Now Shackleton, abandoning any remaining notions of completing the mission, decides instead to bring back his crew alive at any cost, even though the nearest outpost of civilization is on an island 800 miles away. Historic film clips of The Endurance shot by expedition photographer Frank Hurley, new colour footage of the eerily beautiful Antarctic landscape, as well as commentary by surviving family members and narration by Liam Neeson all combine to make watching this documentary a gripping experience.

Fascinating portrayal of the infamous expedition, well told and edited with the original 1919 'South' footage mixed in perfectly with relatives of the crew and historical experts. If you are uninformed of this amazing adventure, or want to learn more, this feature is perfect as a starting point. I would also recommend 'South: Sir Ernest Shackleton's Glorious Epic of the Antartic' as a most fascinating dvd showing the complete original footage
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Rich
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« Reply #197 on: April 23, 2009, 10:02:09 AM »

Truth About Charlie



Jonathan Demme's THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLIE is a swirling romantic suspense thriller, a remake of the 1963 Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn vehicle, CHARADE. Set in Paris, the film stars Thandie Newton as a British ex-pat whose art dealer husband is murdered while she's on vacation. Arriving home, she is met with an empty apartment, the French police, and an array of mysterious thugs who believe she knows where her husband stashed six million stolen dollars. Mark Wahlberg plays the handsome, beret-sporting stranger who comes to her rescue, but who may not be what he seems. Special mention goes to Tim Robbins as a shadowy American agent, and Christine Boisson as the cool-as-nails police commandant trying to get to the bottom of the matter.

Truly awful remake of Charade, Cary Grant and Hepburn would be spinning in their graves. The whole cast lacks chemistry despite some big star names, the writing is dreadful with a tired old plot full of holes, and every storyline and character twist can be spotted a mile off.
A dog of a film that should be filed under 'Trash'
 Yuck !
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 01:15:16 AM by Rich » Logged

Rich
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« Reply #198 on: April 24, 2009, 01:17:34 AM »

Winning Season



The World Series, 1909. Pittsburgh versus Detroit. Honus Wagner versus Ty Cobb. And thrust into the middle of this historic baseball challenge is young Joe Soshack (Shawn Hatosy), a baseball fanatic from 1985 who has magically traveled 76 years into the past - and into the lives of legendary baseball great Wagner (Matthew Modine) and his fiancée, Mandy Henton (Kristin Davis), Joe arrives on the scene clutching a rare, extremely valuable Honus Wagner baseball card, on which he hopes to obtain Wagner's autograph to make it even more valuable and thus solve his family's financial problems. Obtaining Wagner's famed signature should be easy - but Joe isn't prepared for the role he will play in Wagner's romantic predicament with Mandy and the ballplayer's passion for the rough-and-tumble world of professional baseball. As the last exciting game of the 1909 World Series is about to begin, Joe will attempt to change history - a situation that may trap him in the past forever! Enthralling characters and nostalgic period flavor make The Winning Season a nine-inning romantic fantasy for the whole family.

Fairly run of the mill sports associated story, this time with he backdrop of baseball, directed well and with a fair paced storyline that prevented the film slipping into tedium or over-sentimentality which often afflicts such productions. It is reminiscent of a Disney tv movie, a bit weepy with occasional drama, it will wash over you without making much impact. Modine was not a good choice for the lead, being unconvincing as any form of an athlete, but I thought Shawn Hatosy was particularly good.
 Cheesy

« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 08:09:55 PM by Rich » Logged

Rich
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« Reply #199 on: April 24, 2009, 08:13:47 PM »

Sweet Sixteen



Using a cast of unknown actors and newcomers, Ken Loach fashions another gritty social drama in SWEET SIXTEEN. In his acting debut, Martin Crampston plays Liam, whose mother is about to be released from prison on his 16th birthday. Liam recognises that the only chance for the pair of them to escape the poverty of their surroundings is to move away from the Greenock council estate they live on. However, to realise this dream he will need to get hold of some money. Roping in his friends to help, he sets out on a series of increasingly dangerous schemes to raise cash and soon finds himself out of his depth.

Typical Loach, gritty, at times depressing, a severely harsh look at modern society and it's youth stuck at the bottom of the pile. Incredibly difficult to follow some of the strong Scottish accents, to consider these were unknown actors the Director used is amazing as generally they were superb, especially Martin Compston in the lead role.
Completely unforgiving film, where the message that hope is futile and a better life does not exist for some of our society, is incredibly powerful and thought provoking. Not for the easily offended due to the continual coarse language and graphic violence, it is perhaps a film that should be seen as it is so raw and real.
 Grin
 
« Last Edit: April 24, 2009, 11:53:18 PM by Rich » Logged

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« Reply #200 on: April 24, 2009, 11:55:05 PM »

Event Horizon



In this eerie science-fiction ghost story, an astrophysicist (Sam Neill), haunted by the memory of his wife's suicide, joins a rescue mission to salvage his life's work: the Event Horizon, a prototype spacecraft capable of faster-than-light travel that has been missing for seven years. Their arrival triggers contact with something beyond human experience--and more dangerous than ever imaginable. Similar in plot to Andrei Tarkovsky's eponymous screen adaptation of Stanislaw Lem's science-fiction novel SOLARIS, EVENT HORIZON provides some truly potent moments in its often potent combination of horror and sci-fi.

I'm not sure why I can't fall in love with this sci-fi, it has all the ingredients I like in such a film, but something just doesn't work for me. Perhaps it is the cast which lacks union and chemistry, or a slow cobbled together storyline which drags the suspense out a little too long? Or is it the lack of original ideas in the film which is a horror/alien clone?
The effects are brilliant, especially the zero-effect ones, the score works well through the surround system, and you can't help but jump at several points. Try playing the video they find of the original crew in slow motion - unbelievable gore and depravity!
But there is just too much unexplained for me to get a high scoring review, the Latin speaking captain, where the ship had been and how it got there, the suicidal wife etc etc.
 Cheesy

« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 02:36:13 AM by Rich » Logged

Rich
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« Reply #201 on: April 27, 2009, 08:09:54 PM »

Mission to Mars



From the director of Mission: Impossible comes the thrilling, eye-popping science-fiction adventure Mission to Mars - starring Gary Sinise (Snake Eyes) and Tim Robbins (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Loved Me). The year is 2020, and the first manned mission to Mars, commanded by Luke Graham (Don Cheadle, Out Of Sight), lands safely on the red planet. But the Martian landscape harbors a bizarre and shocking secret that leads to a mysterious disaster so catastrophic, it decimates the crew. Haunted by a cryptic last message from Graham, NASA launches the Mars Recovery Mission to investigate and bring back survivors - if there are any. Confronted with nearly insurmountable dangers, but propelled by deep friendship, the team finally lands on Mars and makes a discovery so amazing, it takes your breath away. Mission to Mars is an action-packed rocket ride that will enthrall you with its stunning special effects and keep you on the edge of your seat.

2001 inferior copy, but with enough special effects and originality to make it viewable. A touch too much sentimentality in a sci-fi for my taste, but the pulsating score and thought provoking ending turned it from a potential onion to a respectable film. Acting was hit and miss, Robbins miscast but Sinise perfect.
Its a marmite film, you'll likely to love it or hate it. I sit on the fence as I found it ok.
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Rich
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« Reply #202 on: April 27, 2009, 08:17:54 PM »

Octopussy



Agent 007 is as daring as ever in the 13th installment in the Bond series. A maniacal Soviet general (Steven Berkoff) is about to cause a nuclear accident that will cripple Western Europe and make the USSR ruler of the world. In order to stop him, Bond (Roger Moore) travels by hot air balloon and folding miniature jet plane to exotic India, where the perils he encounters include a man-eating tiger--and the equally dangerous female head of an international smuggling ring. Maud Adams plays the fabulous villain, Octopussy. This film was released simultaneously against NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN, in which Sean Connery reprised the Bond role for the first time in 12 years.

A good start to the film specifically with the plane stunt through the hanger, but unfortunately the film slowly petered out like a dying flame. It hit the ridiculous mark when they played a Tarzan yell as Bond swung through trees trying to escape, and it never recovered after.
Moore is now showing his age (and his weight), relying heavily on perhaps one too many glib remarks and some disappointingly bad acting, and it is difficult to believe he is athletic and a daring spy anymore. The leading lady is unnoticeable, and the villain limp. The storyline is disjointed, and for a change the score and theme song do not inspire
One of the worst Bonds in my book.
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Rich
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« Reply #203 on: April 27, 2009, 08:27:39 PM »

Catholic Boys



Michael Dunn (Andrew McCarthy) has a great choice of friends. A newcomer to St Basil's, a strict Catholic boys' school in Brooklyn, he falls in with Rooney (tough and dumb), Williams (oversexed), Corbet (a born follower), and Caesar (fat and self-styled genius). This rebellious group gets caught in the crossfire between the repressive and liberal elements in the school, represented by Brother Constance, who likes picking boys up by their ears, and brother Timothy (John Heard), the worldly young priest with a penchant for cigarettes and drink.
Donald Sutherland plays the stern but sympathetic headmaster, Brother Thadeus, in this warm and rousing comedy about a group of young boys growing up, rebelling and discovering who they are.


Nostalgic film from the 80's, a perfectly crafted mix of comedy and drama. The acting is top notch, Mary Stuart Masterson and Andrew McCarthy turn in great performances as the leads, ably supported by Kevin Dillon, Dempsey and Donald Sutherland as the headmaster.
Fresh outlook on adolescents, school years, discovering 'lust', and the growing pains of young lads.
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Rich
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« Reply #204 on: April 27, 2009, 08:32:58 PM »

Stay Alive



Mind-bending thriller about a killer video game. The real world and the game world gruesomely collide when a group of friends play 'Stay Alive', a mysterious underground videogame that kills the gamer whose character dies in play. In a death-defying race against time, the survivors must solve the mystery of the game while desperately trying to stay alive.

Teen horror in the vein of Final Destination, and although not amazing viewing it is not the worst I've seen. The idea of a group of pc gamers drawn into a deadly computer game which starts acting itself out in real life was good, although the movie relied too much on sudden noises and 'jumps' to provide the scary moments.  A lot of the scenes are seriously dis-jointed and the cinematography is haphazard. The pace keeps you interested, and the storyline and acting are of an average quality.
Because of an immensely poor ending you are left feeling a little disappointed and cheated, and thus it has to be marked down as below average.
 Undecided
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 07:07:54 PM by Rich » Logged

Rich
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« Reply #205 on: April 27, 2009, 10:42:07 PM »

Redemption



Stan "Tookie" Williams founder and member of Los Angeles' notorious gang The Crips, was once the most feared man on the cit streets. His reign of terror was finally brought to an end when he was convicted of multiple murder and sent to the infamous San Quentin prison where, even from his cell on Death Row, his reputation lives on. But when journalist Barbara Becnel is granted an interview,instead of a brutal thug she finds a man intent on putting his life of crime behind him as well as gang warfare.

Unbelievably glossy portrayal of a murdering gang member, Williams is made out to be some form of Saint which is of course far from the truth. It amazes me how a convicted and self confessed murderer gets so much acclaim for his miraculous rebirth and consequent work and books to reduce gang crimes and the violent culture associated with many cities in the States. I wonder whether the release of this film was intentionally just before his clemency hearing?
As a film I did not find myself caring about the characters, Foxx is a good lead but did too many scenes which were solely focused on his face or in the visiting rooms, as if that would tell us his story. It is very predictable, artistic license has gone haywire by the director, and the violence and brutality of Tookies early life and initial time in jail is swept under the carpet.
This movie has had an overdose of Hollywood treatment and smacks of a PR piece by Tookie, and the legacy he built up in the 70's and 80's through extreme violence and murder is ignored. Emotionless and disappointing film.
 Undecided
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 12:02:51 AM by Rich » Logged

Rich
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« Reply #206 on: April 28, 2009, 12:04:45 AM »

A Perfect World



Set in Texas in 1963, Clint Eastwood's film is a subtle and haunting work that features what is perhaps Kevin Costner's best performance. Costner plays against type as Butch Haynes, an escaped convict whose tendency toward violence is masked by his affability. Haynes escapes with a more blatantly dangerous convict, Terry Pugh (Keith Szarabajka), planning to ditch him as soon as they cross the border. But Pugh's lack of self-control gets them in trouble, and they take a young boy hostage. Raised by his single mother, a Jehovah's Witness, Phillip Perry (T.J. Lowther, in a heartbreakingly real performance) is fascinated by Haynes's roughneck ways, and the two form a surprisingly strong bond. Eastwood takes a supporting role as Red Garnett, the lawman who, ineptly but inevitably, is closing in on Haynes. With a woman criminologist (Laura Dern) and a trigger-happy federal agent along for the ride, Garnett chases Haynes down while keeping their shared past a secret from his team.

Average kidnap/manhunt thriller, overly long, and a bit too telescoped. Costner again is quite menacing as the killer with a heart on the run, and his hostage TJ Lowther gives a superb performance. The direction by Clint is of course slick and seamless, and his performance with Laura Dern take back seat roles but are both effective.
Strong character development, excellent dialogue, and overall watchable.
 Cheesy
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 09:17:25 AM by Rich » Logged

Rich
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« Reply #207 on: April 30, 2009, 09:24:23 AM »

Unleashed



Martial-arts superstar Jet Li delivers a break-out performance in the gripping, action-packed story about a man raised from childhood by a ruthless crime boss (Academy Award® nominee* Bob Hoskins) to be a violent killing machine. When a blind piano tuner (Academy Award® winner** Morgan Freeman) takes him in, Danny (Li) tries to start a new life, but his brutal life follows him, forcing him to fight back. Featuring breathtaking fight choreography by Yuen Wo Ping (The Matrix and Kill Bill: Vols. 1 & 2).

A boy raised like a dog, trained to kill by cockney gangster Bob Hoskins (perfect for the role), taken in by an all-seeing blind piano tuner, and supposedly set in Glasgow. So the plot sounds ridiculous, but it is still very enjoyable and entertains all the way through. A solid mix of tongue-in-cheek humour, incredible martial arts, good action and originality. Jet Li is typically impressive, and a supporting cast that includes Freeman, Condon and my old cockney wideboy favourite Tamer Hassan is sure to deliver the goods.
Park your reality and enjoy this action comedy.
 Grin
« Last Edit: April 30, 2009, 09:26:59 AM by Rich » Logged

Rich
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« Reply #208 on: April 30, 2009, 09:38:13 AM »

Passchendaele



Set during the height of the First World War, PASSCHENDAELE tells the story of Sergeant Michael Dunne (Paul Gross), a soldier who is brutally wounded in France and returns to Calgary emotionally and physically scarred. While in the military hospital in Calgary, he meets Sarah (Caroline Dhavernas), a mysterious and attractive nurse with whom he develops a passionate love. When Sarah's younger asthmatic brother David (Joe Dinicol) signs up to fight in Europe, Michael feels compelled to return to Europe to protect him. Michael and David, like thousands of Canadians, are sent to fight in the third battle of Ypres, a battle against impossible odds, commonly known as “Passchendaele”. It is a story of passion, courage and dedication, showing the heroism of those that fought in battle, and of the ones that loved them.

Canadian film told with compassion and noble ambition, certainly a story that on paper appears more interesting than it did on the big screen. To say the special feature 'the road to Passchendaele' available from the extras is twice as good as the film is no exaggeration, it is one of the better making-of features I have seen before, and is wholly more memorable than a lot of the actual film.
The war scenes in the movie, gruesome muddy trench warfare with pointless but courageous deaths, are simply amazing, intense, and challenge Saving Private Ryan for quality, and pull this film above what could of been a quite tedious affair. Unfortunately the romance between the leads continually muffles the film, is unbelievable, and eventually causes what could have been a great war film to misfire.
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Rich
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« Reply #209 on: April 30, 2009, 09:53:00 AM »

Never Say Never Again



In this remake and updated version of the 1965 THUNDERBALL, James Bond (Sean Connery), who has been primarily teaching for the last few years, is quite happily yanked out of semiretirement to deal with the deadly SPECTRE organization's newest plan for the destruction of the planet. (The Bond story line mimics Connery's semiretirement from the role, which he had last played in 1971's DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER.) Agent Number 2, also known as Maximilian Largo (Klaus Maria Brandauer), has managed to steal two cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads, and Agent Number 1, Blofeld (Max von Sydow), has threatened to explode them in areas with large populations if a huge, and almost impossible, ransom demand from the NATO countries is not met. The film features an excellent gaming battle between Largo and Bond, as well as stunning turns by Barbara Carrera and Kim Basinger. Technically not an offical Bond movie, NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN was released around the same time as OCTOPUSSY, starring Roger Moore.

Looks like a Bond, smells like a Bond, sounds like a Bond, but it isn't a Bond!
Despite the ingredients being similar, they could not quite replicate the winning formula that is 007. Connery does his best to pull the film through, Bassinger was a convincing Bond girl, and the sexy Barbara Carrera raised temperatures especially when dressed as a nurse with long leather boots. There were exotic locations, plenty of action and fights, and I am sure a fairly hefty budget.
But now the negatives and why it cannot be considered in the same breath as the 007 series. The theme tune is weak, the opening titles (minus the sexist girls) are run of the mill, M is a disaster with Edward Fox, Q is basically absent, lack of flirting with Moneypenny, 007's glib remarks lack the typical punch and cheesiness, the action is below par, the effects disappointed several times (notably the missile scenes), distinct lack of gadgets, and a different and inferior feel to the whole production compared to the mainstream Bonds.
Close - but no cigar
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