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23 reviews in total 
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Revenge (2000)
Flat and Uninteresting (and that's not just the victims), 7 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have the dubious honour of actually owning this film on DVD (don't ask; it was the a case of a bottle of red wine, credit card and Well, it's not the worst money I have ever spent, but it does come close.

The story is a stock "revenge" story, which actually tells you all you need to know. Woman wronged seeks retribution on the guilty parties. The movie tries to be clever with a "surprise" twist at the end, but if you have ever seen any movies like this in the past, it won't be that much of a surprise.

As for the cast: Alexandra Paul (Laura Underwood) is way too butch as a woman (actually she is probably the most masculine officer in the Police House). The whole beginning "fantasy" arrest (as commented on by a previous reviewer totally NOT realistic) sets the mould for her character. No nonsense, no romance, no personality.

Vlasta Vrana (Dan McCartney) plays the role-reversal as Laura's partner. Although being male and older, he plays dumb to her clever cop. And yet has the dubious honour of extolling pseudo-Confucius like gems of wisdom and witticisms (on the death of one guy he utters the immortal line "guess he was coming as he was going" - how did this escape the Oscar nomination panel!?!).

Anthony Michael Hall (Brian Cutler) Laura's "love interest" (bit of a misnomer) is hardly seen through the film and doesn't really have the chance to shine. Oh and the surprise.... is not a surprise (you'll see what I mean).

Michelle Johnson (Vicky Mayerson) the eponymous "Fallen Angel" again another character given no opportunity to develop and flesh out. Suddenly appears, does the deeds and then goes. The motive is given but to say it's weak is an understatement.

So, in summation, a poor movie, not unwatchable but only just.

Hitched (2001) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Watchable, if a little odd, 5 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first thing you notice about this film is that it is about 45 minutes too long. You quickly get the premise of the story and the extra time doesn't really add any value to it.

Crazy wife + cheating husband = REVENGE.

Sheryl Lee as the wife quickly seems to degenerate into Psycho-kitty and I found myself losing all care and sympathy for her or her plight. The husband (Anthony Michael Hall) on the other hand, after some quite funny outbursts about his standpoint on fidelity and the power of "Little Ted" (if you get my meaning) actually seemed to grow and develop as a man leading to a slightly sad (yet predictable) outcome.

One comment on Anthony's physique, heck even he had to grow sometime only Peter Pan was the eternal child. And as for looking overly big, nah, it's just the camera adding 10 pounds and your 108" Plasma TV.

The ending smacked more of the Twilight Zone or Outer Limits than a Hallmark moment, but oddly it fitted.

This is not an unwatchable film and it definitely has its moments however I wouldn't call it a stalwart for the Feminist Cause.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Gentle Romance (with an 80's feel), 5 October 2009

This is quite a hidden little gem of a romance, and one you should try to discover.

The story revolves around Street Performer, Magician and part-time Book store worker, Josh (Anthony Michael Hall) and his two more worldly wise (??) friends Tim and Sean. Josh is looking for love where as his two friends are looking for lust (with varying degrees of success and quality).

The story is gentle and more than a little believable (if you overlook the usual "Friends" faux pas that a lowly worker/performer can live in a nice large apartment without starving to pay the rent and in this case dine out regularly). The stand point of both Josh and Doreen (the love interest) will ring true with most singles the world over along with their insecurities and anxieties. The romance is slow but sweet without being cloying.

The second plot line, the two friends helping to find love for Josh in the Lonely Hearts Ads is a little hit and miss, although the "Interview" sequence to find their top three is quite funny.

The look of the clothes and the scenery gives the 80's impression which is hard to shake off. That and the carefree attitude to random sex seem out of place in a 21st century film but if you let your imagination take you back to the days of Dynasty and Robert Palmer videos you can excuse this.

This is a good solid cast, the four main actors more than hold their own and provide a little escapism for 90 minutes or so. More believable than Pretty Woman for those of us still paddling in the singles pool.

Final Approach (2007) (TV)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Not really bad, just really long, 5 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As has been pointed out by fellow reviewers this is a bit of a clichéd/hackneyed film, full of hokum and nonsense.

This is true; however as a rainy Sunday afternoon film it isn't that bad. Yes, there are some really wincingly bad plot features: the Super Agent fired for one punch, the passenger coincidences that put them on this ill-fated flight, the ANNOYINGLY competent, plucky rookie stewardess (she was late for her first flight, yet when all this goes down her more experienced colleagues reduce to tears whilst she runs around like Halle Berry (another Executive Decision reference)). And the whole sub-plot with the White Supremacist although it started well, sort of got lost especially with the prison visit and faded to nothing. The producers were trying too hard at the Red Herring aspect.

Another thing, a handsome face means you are good, true, brave and to be trusted without question - cue Dean Cain saving them all.

Oh, and at the mind blowing running time of 2 hours and 46 minutes, this film was almost in real time for the flight. Even Lord of the Rings struggled to keep your interest over times like this, so this film had no chance. Maybe, a little editing could have saved some of the groans and heightened the tension.

Two good features of the plot were the "Chase the Ace" sequence with the vans at the beginning, nicely done and the concept of them parachuting out of the jumbo before it came in to land.

Next, in answer to points raised in previous reviews, the Nuclear Bomb was a fake (as was explained in the disarming sequence. They managed to get guns on board using the luggage carriers (luggage is scanned BEFORE it goes into them not after so it would be possible to unlock them and hide in there).

Finally, to the cast, most of them are faceless crowd workers with the occasional line of dialogue. Dean Cain is turning into a bit of a Julia Roberts in that his whole acting arsenal consists of a smile. Obviously, he uses his more than Julia to win over Men, Women, Good Guys and Bad Guys alike, but I would liked to have seen a little more depth in his character. Lea Thompson, how she ended up in that role I don't know. She was quite wasted in the role and looks as uncomfortable delivering some of those lines as she did in that male-fantasy tight short skirt. Definitely, not Desert Storm Combat gear. Anthony Michael Hall, well at least he put some effort into his role (wasted overall on the rest of the film). His role started off complex and menacing and then faded to shallow and two dimensional. A wasted opportunity.

So, like I said, not a bad rainy day film but could have been much, much better.

P.S. Does anyone else think that Anthony bears more than a passing resemblance to Steve McQueen? (Or am I suffering altitude sickness?)

Secrets (1992) (TV)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Not an Oscar nominee and doesn't pretend to be, 2 November 2006

I have read some reviews which slam this film for being uneventful and dare I say bland.

First of all I would like to say that the title of this drama is Danielle Steele's Secrets, this is important because no offence to Ms Steele but her books are hardly War and Peace or Lord of the Rings. She has cornered the market in soap operas on paper, holiday books that are read once, enjoyed and then used to raise funds for the disadvantaged at your local charity shop. This is by no means a complaint or a sign of disrespect to the lady, she is good at what she does and is well loved.

So with this in mind the film had no illusions at being a blockbuster. It is flashy, glammy, 80's (even though it was filmed at the beginning of the 90's the influence is still there) and lightweight.

The story line presents all the scenarios from the beginning, each are worked through in succession and all happily concluded by the end. Personally speaking in this day and age of movies with non-endings or bittersweet tales that show that dreams and hopes and romance are not only dead but very suspect that they ever existed I find little bits of escapism like this a breath of fresh air.

The stars are not looking to win awards, just do a little TV movie which to the heavyweights such as Stephanie Beecham and Christopher Plummer keeps their hands in, their profile current and their bank account healthy. For some of the up and coming stars such as Ben Browder and Josie Bisset it provided a useful stepping stone to bring them to the attention of other directors, etc. which lead to their later more high profile appearances.

So all in all, this is a likable pulp novel dramatisation which is as entertaining, stylish and forgettable as the book. Just perfect for a rainy afternoon and a box of quality street and a nice cuppa.

The Sky's on Fire (1999) (TV)
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A little mindless fun, 4 August 2006

OK, so this will never win an Oscar but it wouldn't win a Razzie either! This is the televisual equivalent of an airport trash novel. A little love, a little danger, a little science mixed together to make a quick, frothy eco-drama.

The story concerns the damage that Mankind has inflicted on Mother Nature and the fact that even the most benevolent of entities will get hacked off from time to time.

Basically, it is a morality tale that we reap what we sow. As we blindly pour CFC's and the like into the atmosphere and the earth, eventually something will happen.

In this case the "happenings" stretch from the ridiculous to the sublime. The beached whales, psychotic birds and my personal favourite the full grown human held hostage by maggots and spiders (OK when it comes to the second creepy crawly I can see why she did what she did urghh).

The characters never really have the opportunity to develop more than two dimensions, but even then the actors carry it well and I have to say to their credit this movie could have been "hammed up" a heck of a lot more. Even the "it might just has to" solution to the situation was handled well and didn't feel to easy a plot feature.

As for the main stars, John Corbett (Dr. Evan Thorne) managed to convey the eco-scientist without either hysterical apocalyptic panic or cold detached "I told you so". He made the character reasonably believable (for all it's dimensional limitations as previously noted).

Bradley Whitford (John Morgan), favourite of mine, added some credibility to the film just by being in it. His character again was played middle of the line. Not so closed minded as to be Anti-science/Anti-tree hugger but not so open minded as to be looking for his next quote from Revelations! The love interest/action parts were left to the two "youngsters" Josie Bissett (Jennifer Thorne) and Ben Browder (Racer, never knew if this was his whole name, first name, surname or nick name! But it was pretty annoying as a name anyway). Here we have the double love interest (Jenny is Racer's Fiancé and Dr. Thorne's sister), the obligatory hero (Racer is a Airforce Jet Pilot) and the human element (Both are affected by the situation at one time or another). They were credible performances and again not over the top or soppy! So all in all, it is not a film I would give up shopping or visiting friends to watch. But saying that if I saw it on Channel 5 (UK) or TNT (US) one quiet afternoon I would happily while away and hour and a half with a good cuppa and a digestive.

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Not THAT bad, 31 July 2006

So before I start this comment a couple of pieces of information.... Firstly, I am a Ben Browder fan so not only saw but purchased this film for this reason and secondly, even before I clicked the purchase button on Amazon I read the comments already listed on this site.

I would like to say that although it would never win any Oscars, on the whole this was not that bad a film.

C. Thomas Howell, one of my favourite 80's stars, does not look good in this movie I have to admit. At times he looked more like a strangulated Jim Carrey doing one of his goofy faces. His acting was not the best I have to admit, although I have to say in his defence that the story was quite preposterous at points (especially the whole idea of him just jumping in his BMW and tootling down to the wrong side of the tracks to find out answers!)

Sean Young is of very little consequence really. Aside from looking good (and naked for about .05 of a second) she is ignored on the whole.

DeeDee Pfeiffer's role could have been expanded but as it is was left pretty two dimensional.

As for Ben Browder, his was actually quite a pivotal role and aided the story twists, but again was under utilised.

I have to say the worst culprit of the whole movie was the story. It was very slow in places dragging its feet over unnecessary elements and then suddenly making great leaps across other plot features.

However, even though it was no "Usual Suspects" (the only film in creation to keep me guessing until the last second, no mean feat I can tell you) it had some nice twists and the ending was explained well (I hate half-endings).

Overall, if I saw this coming on TV I would watch it again, and I feel that I have made a worthwhile (if a little frivolous) purchase from Amazon.

My final two thoughts are:

Firstly, re: the extras on the DVD, DON'T bother with the deleted scenes and DO listen to what Brad and Ben say in their interview! They tell you NOT to watch the interview before the movie as they give away a MAJOR plot feature (I did not heed their advice and so fell foul of this fact!)

and secondly, it is so strange to hear Ben swear. Never could quite get used to it :-)

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Not bad for the uninitiated, 24 November 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The eponymous hero of the piece John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) walks the line between Heaven and Hell, trying in his own way to tip the cosmic battle towards the light. Angela Dodson (Rachel Weisz) crashes into his world after the suicide of her deeply devout, yet disturbed identical Twin sister Isobel.

On the story, I'll write no more as being a spoiler junkie myself I have ruined many a film by reading the synopsis/ending before watching a single minute, and also I am sure greater minds than mine have outlined it more succinct terms than I.

My comments on this film come from a relatively uninitiated point of view. I knew nothing of John Constantine before the release of this movie and to be honest I would not have looked at it if the actors involved had not interested me.

Keanu Reeves has always been on the receiving end of criticism, but lets be fair to the guy He has been around for quite a while now and, although he is no Tom Hanks or Harrison Ford, I don't see his star fading anytime soon. The John Constantine he portrays owns a lot to his Matrix Neo (in my opinion) with the ascension at the end providing some Matrix III deja vu shivers. He is cold, emotionless and distant. He is dammed and so wishes not to communicate with mankind in general because he knows his fate unlike the rest of us poor souls. I like his character and his portrayal of the situation. Rachel Weisz's character is not given room to do anything. I must admit I read the novelisation before seeing the film and missed the background scenes used in the book to flesh out Angela and her sister. Saying that, this was an OK film for her but I feel she could have been given more room to make an impact.

Over all, I liked this film. You like, you don't there seems to be no halfway house and makes no difference to me. All I would suggest is that if you liked it, read the book it will make you appreciate it more.

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Terrible waste of an Excellent Book, 3 August 2004

Back in the midst of time (1980's ish) when I was a mere Whippersnapper I was addicted to Star Wars. But back then the spin-off book factory we know and love nowadays had not been created so after reading Star Wars & The Empire Strikes Back I fell into a Sci-Fi Desert!!!!

Then on one visit to the Big Smoke (London - village to none Brits) I saw an advert for Battlefield Earth, advertised as the "Best thing since Star Wars". I duly bought the book and was blown away by the 1000+ page story.

So imagine my delight when through the Movie grapevine comes the news that one of my favourite Sci-Fi books is being brought to the screen! OK, the first hurdle was John Travola but hey, Tom Cruise wasn't exactly everyone's first choice as Lestat and on the whole that turned out OK (Even Anne liked him!)

But by now the rot had set it, this was not going to be a glorious masterpiece of Sci-Fi history to rank along side Stars Wars (just the first three films mind you), The Matrix, 2001, ID4 (well each to their own). Instead this was an embarrassment, a shame, a humiliation.

Instead of this book living on in fans minds as the greatest film never made, we were presented with a half cocked, half hearted, half film. The acting - bad, the CGI - bad, the editing - bad, the whole idea - bad.

Other reviewers more verbose than I will outline all the specific issues and will advise you the same as I to avoid this film at all costs.

Derailed (2002)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Was this sponsored by Hornby ?, 27 July 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Don't think I am going to knock a Jean Claude Van Damme film just because Jean Claude is in it! On the contrary I usually enjoy JCVD movies as a good source of gratuitous action and violence to watch on a Saturday night either with popcorn at the cinema or a cup of tea at home.

Saying that this is a Bad film, as re-iterated by other reviewers. The story is weak and second hand sort of a cross between the Cassandra Crossing & Under Siege 2. The illness makeup was laughable; a non-specific hive type rash would have been cheaper and more convincing to create instead of the rampant acne devised.

Potential Spoiler Alert---------------------------

JCVD's nonchalant attitude to his son's apparent death was a clear indicator that he would pop up safe and sound before the end of the film.

I have seen better special effects with model trains in the British B&W War films such as the Dam Busters, etc.

To be honest this won't really damage JCVD's career, as it seems to have been on a downward slide since Timecop, which I find a genuine shame. He may not have been particularly eloquent but was good at delivering cracking high-energy action movies with a touch of humour.

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