Brooklyn's Finest, a review by Jon
2 out of 5
Brooklyn’s Finest? Not really. Oh, why do they use film titles that lend themselves to cheap puns? But in all seriousness, this isn’t very good.
Antoine Fuqua has had an odd career, with a couple of gems, like albeit flawed Training Day or unashamed actioner Shooter, but in-between he produces absolute rubbish, such as Tears of the Sun and especially King Arthur. Both of those films suffer from ambitious over-reaching and despite Brooklyn’s Finest seemingly cut from the same cloth as Training Day, it’s definitely the same problem.
Instead of giving us one, focused and gritty tale of a cop, he tries to give us three. Focus goes out the window and the result is awkward and desperate. We have loner Richard Gere as a regular cop a week away from retirement, forced to train new recruits. He’s jaded, cynical, alcoholic and emotionally dead, except for being in love with a prostitute, the silly sod. Then there’s Don Cheadle as an undercover officer who desperately wants out before he loses his mind. And finally Ethan Hawke plays a narcotics officer who has almost completely gone over the line, willing to do anything for cash so he can get his family into a better home.
They all inter-cut together, supposedly culminating on the same night, so you might be forgiven for thinking that the three separate plots might converge at some point, in some clever and insightful manner. Well, Pulp Fiction this is not. There are one or two minor overlaps and one more important scene that might just make you groan and that feels so desperate it ruins Cheadle’s segment, which had been the best of the three (strangely, that was the problem with Training Day). Gere’s plot ends up being the most satisfying, though it’s so ploddingly predictable, it hurts! And Hawke’s story line is a miserable experience from start through to its nasty, pointless ending.
All three leads do their best to put the fine in Finest and they might keep you watching. I did enjoy watching Cheadle and Gere, and Hawke did nothing wrong, but his story was so awful it detracted from his efforts. Wesley Snipes is great too. He pops up as a friend of Cheadle’s that he is forced to consider entrapping by Ellen Barkin, who has an dreadful character to play. A rabid Rottweiler would have been more subtle and would definitely have had better dialogue. A curiosity to see Snipes in a rare sombre role is as good a reason as any to see this film though.
All three plots are too weak, but two could have been bulked up into fairly decent movies on their own. They would have always been predictable, so joining them together seems like an attempt to hide them and make you feel like you’re watching something important and worthy. But it was done in such a cack-handed manner, it’s just pretentious and the almost complete absence of any tangible link is insulting. I could excuse it if there was some gratuitous action to balance it out, but there’s nothing.
In one scene, Gere visits his hooker friend and walks in on her and another client. Later she tells him, “I’m sorry you had to see that”. I know what she means, still, like Star Trek odd numbered movies, I’m now looking forward to Fuqua’s next project because it should be a cracker!
(From Jon's Random Reviews on February 4th, 2011)
Dark Shadows, a review by GSyren
(From Reviews and ramblings by Gunnar on June 12th, 2015)
Tom's Random Reviews, a review by Tom
Title: Knight Rider: Season One
Length: 769 Min.
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 1.78
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
An iconic TV classic is back and better than ever in the reinvented, updated and super-charged Knight Rider Season One. From executive producers Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity franchise), David Bartis (The O.C.) and Glen Larson (Battlestar Galactica) comes this action-packed series about the coolest car ever created K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Three Thousand), that's equipped with artificial intelligence capable of hacking into any computer, the weapons system of a jet fighter, and incredible custom body technology that allows it to transform into other vehicles. Relive every Season One episode as an elite team of crime-fighters work with K.I.T.T. (voiced by acting legend Val Kilmer) to track down elusive, hight-tech villains. Presented in uninterrupted Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, you won't want to miss this fast-paced ride to the wild side!
My Thoughts:I have seen the pilot when it first aired. Even though I had some problems with it, I was excited overall for a new series. But when the reviews of the actual series came in, I didn't bother picking up the DVD set when it was released.
But when it was on sale now and it's only a single season, I decided to give it a chance.
I have to admit, that I enjoyed the pilot more than I remembered it being. I thought it did a good job setting up the series and also acknowledging the 80s series.
But when I saw the episodes from the actual series, I was heavily disappointed. Bad acting overall. Especially bad was the guy who played Sarah's father. He always had to do the exposition and he always looked like he didn't know what he is talking about. Hard to believe that this guy is supposed to be the inventor of both KITTs.
Horrible scripts which sole aim seem to have been to get the lead actresses into a bikini or down to their underwear. Also I think it is a terrible idea to make KITT a transformer, being able to transform in any kind of Ford car (pick-up truck and even a big van etc.). They should have left it with the "attack mode" (which essentially is the updated version of the "super pursuit mode" of the original KITT). Although the attack mode could have looked better. I looks cheap and ugly. It almost seems like they wanted to top the series Viper, which also had a super car which transformed into the Defender mode. So they couldn't leave it with one alternate forms, but had to have multiple. Or they wanted to get in as much product placement for Ford as possible.
They even had KITT's evil twin KARR be an outright transformer! A robot in disguise of a car. It even has Optimus Prime's voice! Though to be fair this is a nod to the original series, where Peter Cullen also did the voice for KARR.
I liked that they used the windshield as a head up display. But I think it is very stupid to take up the whole windshield for incoming calls. They hardly couldn't see the street anymore when talking on the phone.
After the first 13 episode they retooled the show. Kicked out all the bad supporting cast and kept the ones which were the only fun back in the headquarters scene. And moved the direction of the series more to be like the original series. They even did a bit with petty criminals trying to steal KITT, which was a running joke in the old series.
I have to say, that I enjoyed the last five episodes. And if they would have done it like this from the get-go, maybe the series would still be on today.
I loved how KITT seems to constantly put down Michael at the end. Like when Michael told him to track something, and KITT was like "No shit, dickhead. I am already on it. You don't need to tell me every little thing."
One other thing: I liked the new intro. I starts out as an updated version of the original theme and sounds like the theme of "IT Crowd" towards the end.
(From Tom's Random Reviews on July 11th, 2010)