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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Burt Reynolds is violent, implacable and full with rage and hate in this strong and violent crime-drama movie!!!

Author: Helena Maria Leitão Pamplona (hpamplona@yahoo.com) from Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil
19 March 1999

Emotion, happiness, accuses and redemption. " Hard Time ", the newest masterpiece directed and starring the star Burt Reynolds, brings everyone of these emotions! this film is, without a doubt, one of the best crime-drama films already done by Hollywood. Burt Reynolds, after his exceptional performance in the porn-saga " Boogie Nights ", which saved his career and took him back to the stardom, signed a contract with the TNT network to play the main character in three films and to direct at least one of them. Well, Burt is now directing "Hard Time" continuation, that will be called "Hard Time 2: Premonition ", and judging by his auspicious work in the first of the series, the executives of TNT made the right decision when letting him direct it again! Reynolds was never so good as he is in " Hard Time ", it is possible to see in his eyes the happiness, the energy, his passion, maybe for noticing that he's in charge, that he did again what he knows and that he has his authority of consecrated star recovered to the eyes of Hollywood and of the world now! with the hair already gray-headed, and with his famous mustache, Burt Reynolds is the image of the experience, of the man who is capable to demolish anything that appears in his way. The glance of Reynolds is still strong and penetrating, expressed all his determination, his interior hate. As his image in the poster of the film, Reynolds today is the image of a powerful, capable man who will still give a lot what to speak...

The story of "Hard Time" is exceptional, complex, intriguing and very, very tense. The intrigue follows "Sharky's Machine" style, a memorable film which Reynolds directed in 1981. Burt Reynolds interprets Logan McQueen, Miami's toughest cop, as the poster's taglines say, a fearless and full of rage inside of himself man, who doesn't fear anything in the world, in fact, he laughs in the presence of danger. At his side, there is Charles Duffy (interpreted by Charles Durning, a great friend of Reynolds and excellent actor, already nominated as best supporting actor by " The Best Little whorehouse in Texas "), his dedicated partner. Together, the two drive by the streets of Miami, facing dangerous latins,drug dealers and criminals of all the types. "Hard Time" has so many action scenes, shooting and persecution that it's impossible to enumerate them! McQueen,clearly, has many enemies and people who would like to see him dead. McQueen is, then, incriminated by something that he didn't commit and he is sent to a maximum security prison. In the prison, the cops are hated and McQueen knows that will have to do something to survive by everything and not to be murdered inside the place, he is determined to get out of there and to find the person (or the people) who incriminated him,and so settle the final scores.For the murderers' and the criminal's surprise, McQueen is worse and more dangerous than all of them together: the scenes in which Burt Reynolds smashes the men's head who planned to curry him is too violent! "Payback", Mel Gibson's movie, looks like Disney films, when compared with "Hard Time", in terms of violent scenes.After executing his sentence, and after having killed everybody that annoyed him in the place, McQueen is loosened, and now his hate is even bigger and powerful: he will go until the end to discover and kill each one of the men who incriminated him.The film still has some mysteries: a suitcase full of lost money, a vain and unfriendly black promoter who will do everything to promote homself (Billie Dee Williams as Johnny Cochran), a seductive attorney (played by MiaSara) and a murderer called Catarato (Paco Cristian Prieto) who represents the key for the whole mystery... Once the film was produced and done by TNT, it is visible its high quality: it nor even seems a film done for television, but a film done for the theaters, is a violent and poetic masterpiece, that has as its base an excellent plot, actors in the peak of their talents, and a strong and competent direction.And as he had already demonstrated in "Sharky's Machine", Burt Reynolds uses all his talent, competence and will to command a high level show filled with loaded-tension. The hate glance and determination, the cynic and malicious smile, the charming, pretty and brilliant presence: the Burt Reynolds of the seventies,of "Sharky's Machine" , reappears, lowering, violent and better than ever! and at this time he has more one thrilling enemy : if in "Sharky's Machine" the antagonist was Vittorio Gassman, in "Hard Time" a magisterial star lends his talent as villainous: Robert Loggia is Mr. Big, a crime boss who loves flamenco dancing,a dangerous and bad man, like Joe Pesci in "Godfellas"... And "Hard Time 2: Premonition" is already made, and it's in post-production phase! in this continuation, Logan McQueen will have to kill a dangerous terrorist who is exploding Miami. And the only hope resides on a prisoner who says he is capable to foresee the attacks ...in this film, Robert Loggia, Mia Sara and Charles Durning continue on the cast,and Bruce Dern enters. Once again the show is guaranteed! Burt Reynolds is back! his charm, his presence, all his wonderful and thrilling personality comes back to the screens of the whole world, and we owed that to "Boogie Nights", the film that put him back to the top! and if before we lamented and we suffered with the ostracism in which this legend was relegated, today we have surplus reasons to commemorate his return to the success, to the fame, to the stardom and the movies! Burt Reynolds was never so well as he is now! and get ready: "Pups", "Stringer","Waterproof", "Mystery, Alaska" and "The Hunter's Moon" are on their way!!!

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9 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Great For A TV Movie!

Author: John Barnum (bar32350@delta.obu.edu) from Arkadelphia, AR
1 March 1999

This is definitely a top grade TNT made for television movie. If you get a chance you should try to see it! Burt Reynolds does a great job of acting! It's about Logan (Reynolds) a police detective trying to catch a bomber copycat murderer. I can't recall the last time I saw Burt Reynolds in this Action genre of film, he plays it very well, it's chocked full of great lines and if you like action movies, with suspense and tension you should try to catch Premonition!

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Hard Time Indeed

5/10
Author: writers_reign from London, England
23 February 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I've no recollection of this playing on TV in the UK which doesn't of course mean it didn't, I don't watch everything on every channel every day; in fact I bought this on DVD which was marketed as a 'double' together with Lighning, one of Ed McBain's 87th precinct stories. Neither effort is much good and both have TV written all over them. This is yet another cop drama and for some perverse reason it goes out of its way NOT to say where we are, even the tags on the cars have no state id. There are three leads who have all payed their dues without becoming superstars, Burt Reynolds, Robert Loggia and Charles Durning. There's nothing much to grip us plot-wise, everything has been done a zillion times before, the best you can give it is that no one bumps into the furniture.

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8 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Burt Reynolds directs and stars the best thriller i've seen a long time!

10/10
Author: ary luiz dalazen jr.
7 January 1999

Hard Time is an excellent film!It's filled with great action sequences,has a good plot,the cast is amazing,and this film could easily be a sequence for 1981's Sharky's Machine.Burt Reynolds is one of the most talented actors i've ever seen,and his been there presence helps to compose with surgical precision his character,a hard,though and implacabe cop!the time has passed,but Burt Reynolds still has that look in his eyes that makes everybody shake!this film doesn't even look like a television movie!no,it looks like a real movie,a cinema movie!what we see here is the kind of movie that doesn't offer to the audience easy solutions,instead,this film is complex and thrilling!we have that feeling that makes cinema one of the best things of the world,we are involved by the story.Burt Reynolds made a brilliant comeback,after Boogie Nights!i can't wait for his next ones:Stringer,The Progenitor,and Deliverance 2!just a suggestion:wouldn't it be nice to see Sharky's Machine 2? and how about to cast,for this film,Laura Linney,Reese Witherspoon and Tom Selleck? Congratulations,Burt!you're still the best!and Hard Time is the best thriller i've seen.

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4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Overused Plot Business Brings No Surprises.

2/10
Author: rsoonsa (rsoonsa@bandbbooks.com) from Mountain Mesa, California
10 November 2007

A common cinema sub-genre is one that may be termed Good Cop vs. The System, wherein an ethical police officer struggles against his corrupt supervisors while striving to remain employed, and here this not very entertaining attempt by director and lead Burt Reynolds easily fits into the category, utilizing nearly every cliché available from a wealth of examples. Oft-used low level helicopter footage, of a South Florida resort skyline backs the opening credits, as Reynolds reads, for a voice-over, lines from a work by Bob Shacochis: his introduction to the anthology "Florida Stories". This obviously would appear to be an attempt to set the film near Miami, yet much of the selected Shacochis text is ironically descriptive of Southern California as well, and additional urban shots are culled from the Los Angeles region, where in fact the work was, for the most part, filmed. This is the first of a featherweight trilogy of "action" films produced for TNT and starring Reynolds, with the "hard time" of the title, a prison sentence served by his character, Detective Logan McQueen, transpiring during this affair's sequel: HARD TIME: THE PREMONITION, but in this work McQueen, sharing a holding tank with other inmates awaiting bail or sentencing, is advised by a transvestite that it can not expect anything less than a "hard time" from its captors. The film begins with McQueen and his Detective partner Charlie Duffy (Charles Durning) atop a downtown roof, deployed there as an anti-graffiti detail, implementing binoculars to espy upon wall scribblers at play, an assignment below contempt in the opinion of Logan, when they spot a street robbery in progress and, after having pursued three suspects a good distance on foot, McQueen brings two of them to bay in an alley dead end. Here occur the events that result in McQueen being locked up, because at the termination of the pursuit, there is a shootout during which one of the trapped bandits is killed, to the peculiar displeasure of the Detective's superiors. He, of course, did not kill the robber, and the remaining portion of the picture relates of McQueen's endeavours to clear his name despite obvious antipathy towards him by the city's law enforcement power structure, including his own Department, in addition to a politically motivated District Attorney's office. Another form of jeopardy to Logan comes from large scale narcotics trafficker Connie Martin (Robert Loggia) from whom was stolen $190000 in the course of the alley escapade, and naturally Martin believes that McQueen has purloined his illicitly gained monies. In the midst of all of this, Duffy's severely overweight condition hampers Logan in the function of his duties, even on "graffiti patrol", but since we learn that Duffy and his wife had adopted McQueen as a youngster, fidelity to the portly Detective has remained steadfast. Flaws in logic and continuity are plentiful, and while a viewer will have nearly immediate awareness that an unidentified police official is corrupt down to the bone, a large cluster of red herrings is infused as an attempt to remove focus from what is palpable to a viewer. Reynolds employs a good many of his preferred personnel for the trilogy, nice paydays indeed for them, but his relaxed and permissive directorial style results in Johnny One Note performances from most of the cast who simply fall back upon habitual stylistics. He himself is rather long in the tooth and a bit connective tissue challenged to fit into his vigorous role, but able stand-ins and post-production editing bring him through the physical stresses of action sequences, none of which is deftly staged. The players treat the drudging screenplay as a mere walk through, often making heavy weather of it. Michael Buie as Higgs, a young police officer who may have morally strayed, gains acting honours here as he creates his part with care while remaining on topic. Too many centres of interest are fostered by the plot, with the hub of the affair becoming police rectitude, although depiction of police protocol, procedures and tactics is often so bizarre as to be risible in addition to being a discouragement to viewers who might be curious enough to see the next two films of the HARD TIME set.

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