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|339 reviews in total|
The usually dependable film genre of the courtroom drama suffered a letdown with this 1959 20th Century Fox release. As always, Orson Welles delivers a great starring performance but his presence can not save the overall tiring storyline and extremely slow moving pace of this film.
Hollywood should either stop making live action films where animals are expected to be the stars of the show or just not make them so often. The monotonous genre suffers its biggest farfetchedeness of all with this overly ridiculous 1995 Paramount release. This film tells the tale of a group of jungle explorers who take a dangerous trek to the African jungles to recover a gorilla who can communicate to humans through sign language. Compared to the acting performances here by a cast of mostly unknowns, that might actually be the plausible part. This film trashes just about every animal and jungle film cliche ever written and adds nothing genuinely interesting to the genre.
After several years of starring in rowdy action comedies and con man capers, Eddie Murphy gets a chance to deliver a more restrained performance with this film and he manages to do so very well. Murphy portrays Akeem, an African prince who is being pressured into a forced marriage by his parents (James Earl Jones, Madge Sinclair). The woman that they have chosen for him only sees him for his royalty and therefore does not really love him. Akeem sees this right away and brings his loyal servant, Semi (Arsenio Hall) along with him on a discreet mission to America where Akeem hopes to find a beautiful woman who will love him and accept him for who he really is and not just see him for his royalty. Posing as "common folk", Akeem and Semi get jobs at a McDonald's style restaurant and Akeem soon falls for the daughter (Shari Headley) of the restaurant's owner (John Amos). The film features many hilarious scenes and characters especially a group of boxing obsessed senior citizens who spend their days arguing with a barber shop owner. Murphy and Hall demonstrate their levels of versatility by managing to go under heavy makeup and portray several different costarring roles. Yet another example of why Murphy is one of the funniest actors in recent Hollywood history.
Mikhail Baryshnikov is an excellent ballet dancer but what inspired him to get into films? This time out, he is not even in his element. He was cast as ballet types in "The Turning Point" and "White Nights" but here, he has the miscasting of portraying a mole who gets involved in an operation involving swapping prisoners. It is basically a comedy but it does not succeed in being anywhere near funny and much better things can be expected out of Gene Hackman, who unfortunately costars in this snoozer.
With "Saturday Night Live" creator Lorne Michaels producing and a huge all star comedy cast including Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, Jason Alexander, Chris Farley, Michael Richards, Lisa Jane Persky, Sinbad, Michael McKean, Phil Hartman, David Spade, Dave Thomas, Jan Hooks, Adam Sandler, Julia Sweeney and Drew Carey cast in the shenanigans, "Coneheads" should have been a gut busting laugh riot. While it does have some genuinely funny moments, there are not enough of them to make it a hit. The film is yet another extended format of a popular "Saturday Night Live" sketch. The victims this time are the Coneheads, the alien couple from the planet Remulac who crash their spaceship in New Jersey and wind up living among suburban inhabitants. Aykroyd and Curtin reprise their TV roles as married cone shaped head alien couple Beldar and Prymatt with Michelle Burke making her film debut as their daughter, Connie (Newman, who had portrayed that role on TV appears briefly here as Beldar's sister and Aykroyd's daughter, Danielle also appears in the film portraying Connie as a toddler). The plot (although it matters little when compared to the sight gags) has to do with the alien family being pursued by the INS led by Hartman and Spade who will do whatever it takes to deport them. The popular duo of Farley and Spade make their first appearance in a film amid the same cast here but they have no scenes together. Film is not a total waste but it is often rather dated and pales in comparison to the comic delivery of the TV sketches of the characters. Farley, Spade, Aykroyd and Michaels would later collaborate on the much funnier film, "Tommy Boy."
Nicolas Cage recovers from the letdown that he suffered from "The Rock" with a strong action hero lead in this 1997 Touchstone release. The genre gets a twist here. Cage's character is actually a criminal but he gradually tries to turn himself into a hero when upon getting paroled and boarding a criminal infested plane back home, the plane is hijacked by a psychopath (John Malkovich). Just like he did in "In The Line Of Fire", Malkovich handles portraying a sinister villain to great effect and Cage can really deliver when the right scripts and roles come along. Genuine action, suspense and thrills abound in this film that ranks as one of Cage's very best.
When it comes to bringing biographies of famous people to a screen format, that should exclusively be the job of TV series such as "Biography." Hollywood shouldn't waste their time pursuing these big budget biographical epics that just about never succeed especially ones about singers. The victim this time around is country singer Loretta Lynn portrayed here by Sissy Spacek. The soundtrack features many of Lynn's most popular songs but that's about all that's worth noting. This film is a real downer.
Hollywood can give Robin Williams the best casts, the best directors and the best screenwriters in the world of film comedy but they still won't be able to give him a truly memorable comedic film or performance. "Club Paradise", despite the much talent that it has been given, just might be the worst film of Williams' career (next to "Insomnia"). Bad and pitiful comedy throughout.
The continuous blood and guts violence is basically what builds up the script of "Cobra", one of Sylvster Stallone's all time worst films. When given the right script, Stallone can really deliver. It's a real shame that it doesn't happen very often, however. Stallone's then wife Brigitte Nielsen costars with him here (they also appeared together in "Rocky 4"). If you're in a really big mood for some Stallone, see this one only if every other Stallone film (not counting the even worse "Cop Land") is not on TV at the time or not available in the video store.
Here's something that Hollywood had never tried before. A film that's based on a popular board game. There are some amusing moments here but the film drags much of the time and it is usually slow moving. Let's just hope that they never make a film out of something like "Candy Land."
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