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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After Earth deals with a father and son who crash land on planet Earth
about 1000 years after people were forced to leave, and when the father
breaks his legs, the kid must go and retrieve an item needed to make
contact with their own world, and that's it basically.
I want to be fair with M. Night Shyamalan (considering the string of flops he's made over the past few years), but once again, he fails with this boring and terrible film. After Earth is awful, it's badly acted, badly directed, and especially, it's badly written. How the man who directed the classics like The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable could make this mess of a movie is beyond me. His career has basically gone from sugar to s--- in the course of ten years. It started with Lady In The Water, and it continued with The Happening and The Last Airbender, and it still goes on with After Earth. Shyamalan gets most of the blame, not only did he direct this movie, but he also co-wrote the screenplay, and is partially responsible for a lot of the boring and unintentionally funny scenes that appear in this dud. However, as one reviewer said, the movie is worth watching for one reason, it's worth watching just so that you can say that you saw a movie with the worst child actor in history.
Will Smith has got talent, but here, he wasted it by doing only two things, spending most of the time sitting down and giving instructions to his son, and by talking in a monotone for almost the entire film. He also wrote the story that this was based on. I will not hold it against Will Smith, as I really admire the man, but he has certainly done better than this. Jaden Smith on the other hand, is another story. Jaden Smith cannot act, he seemed like a 2-dimensional emotionless cardboard cutout provided with the fact that he can recite some lines. On top of all of that, his acting came off as laughable, every time he tried to make a tough-guy face, a tense face, or a scared face, I couldn't help laughing at how stupid he looked. He seriously needs to go back to acting school, because as this movie proves, Jaden Smith cannot act even if his life depended on it. The "best scene" was probably the "I'm not a coward" bit, Jaden couldn't have been more cringe worthy in that scene than he was. You might as well say that he's one of the worst (if not the worst) child actors in history.
Not to mention that the screenplay provided us with many moments that could put us on the train to snooze-central, many of the actions sequences (which also feature Jaden Smith in his "prime") were overlong and got to be very tiring after awhile. One notable moment includes where he encounters some baboons. He disobeys his father's commands of not to touch them, and he hits the leader with a rock, causing Jaden to get chased by other baboons. He should have listened to his dad and not do anything...but no! He had to attack the baboon and as a result, he takes us on a chase scene that feels much longer than it actually is. He also goes through other challenges, like getting poisoned by a parasitic like creature, but this seems more like mishaps and annoyances, rather than something of a grand adventure. There is no sense of wonder or excitement in these sequences, but there is something more along the lines of a sense of boredom.
In an attempt to end this review on a more positive note, I will say that the music score is good and there are some very good special effects, but as one knows, good special effects and music alone are not enough to save a movie from being a flop. Unless you want to see that you have seen a person that you would consider to be one of the worst child actors in all of film history, then I would advise that you steer clear of this drivel, and fondly watch some of M. Night Shyamalan's earlier works like Signs, The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
From director and writer James Cameron, comes an action picture like no
other. That film is his 1994 marvel, True Lies. All I have to say about
this film is this: "Now THIS is how you make an action picture!" True
Lies is an exciting, tense, action-packed, thrill ride. Not to mention
that it also provides us with a few laughs as well! In True Lies,
Arnold Schwarzenegger gives one of his best performances. He plays
Harry Tasker, a man who has secretly been living a double life. To his
wife, Harry is an ordinary (and boring) computer salesman, but in
reality, he is actually a government agent who has been involved in
many operations. And the secret is put to test when Harry finds himself
and his family being threatened by terrorists. And during the course of
this movie, Schwarzenegger brings out the action and the thrills (but
hey, isn't that usually what he is best at doing?)
Jamie Lee Curtis co-stars as Helen Tasker, Harry's wife who is unaware of her husband's true identity, believing him to be an ordinary businessman. Curtis was superb in this film, this is without a doubt one of her best roles. Tom Arnold plays Albert Gibson, Harry's partner who provides us with some laughs, usually about being stuck in the van while Harry gets all the action. Art Malik is menacing as Salem Abu Aziz, the leader of the Crimson Jihad, and Bill Paxton also provides laughs as Simon, an agent who takes in interest in Helen, but is later revealed to be nothing more than a used car salesman. And there's also a small but memorable role in the form of Charlton Heston, who plays Spencer Trilby. All in all, the whole cast did excellent jobs with their performances, with the best performance being (and you might have already guessed this) that of Arnold Schwarzenegger. I would honestly have to say that True Lies is easily one of the five best movies that he has ever made.
James Cameron (the veteran of the Terminator movies and the movie Aliens) directs this movie, and he also singlehandedly wrote the screenplay, at he did a superb job at doing both. The combination of Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Cameron is a combination with chemistry. They had previously worked on and achieve success with the first two Terminator movies, and with True Lies, they achieve more success. With True Lies, Cameron brings out the thrills and action while also throwing in some laughs to please us, and the way that he does it, it succeeds perfectly. I like how Cameron combines action and drama with comedy in this film, therefore pleasing the audience in a number of ways, he provides them with some head-cracking and intense action and he provides them with some funny moments that will probably have the audience laughing. Basically, you could call it a combination of two movies in one, and here, it works to perfection.
All in all, if you enjoyed The first two Terminator movies (and some of other Schwarzenegger movies for that matter), then True Lies is definitely a must see. In fact, it is a must see even if you haven't seen some of Schwarzenegger's other films. True Lies is the way that an action movie should be made. As you probably know, most action movies have non-stop action, violence, killings, and swearing. True Lies does have plenty of action, killings, and violence, but at the same time, it also doesn't overdue it too much. Although, there is one scene near the end involving a missile which...well, it's best that you see for yourself. Oh well, at least it still looks cool all the same. Anyway, if you haven't seen this film yet, then you have definitely got to see it. True Lies is the perfect way to make an excellent and exciting action picture, the results are definitely something to see.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the fifth and final installment of The Death Wish franchise, Paul
Kersey makes another return to his vigilantism when his girlfriend
finds her business threatened by mobsters led by her ex-husband.
Death Wish V: The Face Of Death is a fine end to the franchise. Released 20 years after the first Death Wish film, the film brings the action-packed franchise to a satisfying and enjoyable conclusion. On the whole, I can say that while all of the Death Wish films are good, the first one is the best, the second and third tie for second, and while the fourth and fifth films tie for third, I don't mean that in a bad way, as while those films are both top entertainment, I am just saying how I would rank each installment on a scale of which film was the best.
In his fifth turn as Paul Kersey, and his final theatrical starring role, the late and great Charles Bronson proves to use that he was still capable of being a superb action star. He was 72 at the time, and by this point, Bronson became something along the lines of a cool old guy. In this movie, he could still pack a wallop. Bronson could still get into trouble, fire a gun, defeat bad guys, and do all sorts of other things that are signature traits of his Paul Kersey character. I was surprised at how Bronson (with his age) was able to pull all of this off and make it look at least a little bit believable.
Michael Winner (I, II, III) and J. Lee Thompson (IV) helmed the director's reins for the previous installments. This last installment was directed by (and written by) a relatively new director (at the time), Allan A. Goldstein. Goldstein gave the movie a different approach from the way that Winner and Thompson gave the previous films. Goldstein removes the "Terminator" like qualities that Kersey had in the third and fourth movies, and instead returns him to the way that he was in the first and second movies. While I didn't mind that Kersey had the Terminator qualities in the third and fourth movies, it was nice to see him revert back to his old form, and I really have to admire Goldstein for wanting a return to the old days.
And as with the four movies before, Death Wish V has got a fine supporting cast. Michael Parks is menacing as mob boss Tommy O'Shea, and Lesley Anne-Down is well casted as Olivia Regent, Paul's girlfriend and Tommy's ex-wife. And basically, the rest of the cast did good work, but as usual, Charles Bronson came out on top of everyone. Bronson still had it in him even after twenty years since he made the first Death Wish film. How a man his age could still be an action star and make it look believable is beyond me, as he did it perfectly.
However, there where a few flaws with this movie. For one thing, although I liked Paul's girlfriend in this movie, the romance trend was getting old and unoriginal, and like the previous two films, there are some instances where the dialogue seems rather forced. However, like the third and fourth films, some of those cheesy lines can be good in a funny sort of way, or as you have probably heard me say before, they can be narm charm. Well anyway, the rehashed romance cycle is one of the few major flaws that I find with this movie.
And as I mentioned earlier, this movie is a return to Paul Kersey's original form of vigilantism. In the first movie, he was a vigilante who killed random muggers. In the second film, he killed the ones who rapped and murdered his daughter and housekeeper. In the third and fourth movies, he was turned into essentially "The Terminator", and really racked up the kills. Here, he is now back to killing only a handful of enemies, just like he did in the first two films. It was nice to see the series end with a shout out to the old days by having Kersey back in his original form.
All in all, if you watched and enjoyed the previous Death Wish movies, then you should see this fifth and final installment, as it brings the series to a fun and satisfying conclusion. You will see Paul Kersey go out in a last note of glory as you see him return to his vigilantism once more to do what he is best at, defeating the bad guys. Lastly, I can certainly say that this was one franchise that I do not have any regrets over watching, as it was very entertaining from the very minute that the first movie began to the very minute that the final movie ended.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In the fourth installment of the Death Wish Franchise, Paul Kersey
takes on some members of a drug cartel after his girlfriend's daughter
dies from an overdose, and he brings with him his vigilantism.
Considering that the series had been going on for 13 years by this point, I was expecting this movie to be bad, but it wasn't bad, I found it to be fun, exciting, and quite the enjoyable experience. While this movie is definitely not as good as the previous installments, Death Wish IV: The Crackdown is still a fun and exciting action thriller that delivers plenty of action as well as thrills. This continues the format of the previous film, ramping up the action and turning Paul Kersey into The Terminator, but all the same, this installment is another good continuation of the series.
The ever-excellent Charles Bronson takes up his fourth turn in his role as Paul Kersey, and he shows that he is more epic than ever before. At age 66, he still delivers the action, the thrills, and the excitement in his most famous role. Or in other words, Bronson was still in top form, he could still get into danger (and get out of it), fire a gun (and a few things stronger), and do many other things that are signature in the series. He was 66 at the time, but considering how well he pulled it off, he didn't seem that old.
Michael Winner directed the first three films, but did not return for this installment. Instead, J. Lee Thompson (the original Cape Fear) takes up the director's reins, and he gives a different look to the film. Thompson continues with the usual format, but he removes the obligatory rape scenes and he instead cranks up the action and the thrills. The angle that Thompson takes as director is one of the main factors that makes Death Wish IV worth watching. I'm not knocking Michael Winner for his work on the first three movies, but I really have to give Thompson credit for the direction that he took this film.
Continuing the trend of the previous films, their is a fine line-up of supporting cast members. John P. Ryan plays Nathan White, a tabloid owner who recruits Kersey to eliminate the drug trade in Los Angeles. Then we have some good performances from people such as Perry Lopez as Ed Zacharias, one of the main drug lords in the Los Angeles drug trade, and then we have Kay Lenz as Karen Sheldon, Kersey's love interest. All in all, this film continues the format of having a good supporting cast to go alongside the ever epic Charles Bronson.
Like I said earlier, in the previous film, Paul Kersey went from being just your standard vigilante to becoming the next incarnation of The Terminator. He returns in this movie with his "Terminator" qualities (or should I say, "Bronsonator") to take down the bad guys. And it definitely shows in this movie, as like Death Wish III, Kersey ends up with a rather big amount of kills on his hands, although not as many as in Death Wish III. However, the movie does not suffer from these "Terminator" qualities that Kersey may possesses.
However, would I say that this is a perfect film? No I would not. There are some flaws, such as there are a few scenes where the screenplay seems a bit forced, but at the same time, it's enjoyable in a funny sort of way. That's what they call Narm Charm. Where while there may be some narm in a movie, it's good narm, as it comes off being on the so bad it's good level. And that's what Death Wish IV has, some instances with cheesy dialogue, but however, those moments are enjoyable in a funny sort of way.
On the whole, Death Wish IV: The Crackdown is another good installment of the Death Wish franchise, it delivers loads of action, thrills, and suspense. So yes, if you saw and enjoyed the first three Death Wish movies, then you will probably enjoy this fourth installment. Normally, the idea of an old guy running around and killing bad guys seems very absurd, but the way that Charles Bronson pulls it off, he takes that idea and makes it work. All in all, I would recommend this fourth installment if you enjoyed the previous films, as you will not be disappointed by it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In Death Wish III, after he is mistaken for killing a friend, Paul
Kersey is recruited by a crooked police chief to battle some gangs who
are causing terror in the streets.
Death Wish III is the third installment of the Death Wish series, and like the two previous films, I found it to be enjoyable. This film has got more action, more thrills, and more excitement than the second film. As a matter of fact, you can kind of say that it's something along the lines of "Paul Kersey Meets The Terminator", as this movie features the biggest body count of the series (and if I am correct, the biggest body count of Charles Bronson's entire career). However, the movie is still pretty darn enjoyable, despite that they ramped up the action for this one, and this format would continue with the fourth film, and then finally with the fifth film.
In this film, Charles Bronson shows that he has still got it in him. I mean that even though he was definitely coming on in years, he could still get things accomplished. He could fire a gun (all sorts of guns in fact, such as a pistol, a machine gun, and a rocket launcher), he can give bad guys a thrashing, he can get into danger, and he can get out of it too, all at the age of 64. I was surprised at what a strong showing that Bronson made in this film, it was great to see that he still had it in him.
However, I am not saying that this is an unflawed movie, as it isn't unflawed. There are quite a few scenes in this movie in which there are some moments that are unintentionally funny. One scene has a little conversation between Kersey and his love interest, Kathryn Davis, and the words are rather redundant and are stating the obvious. In the scene, this is said: Ms. Davis says to Kersey, "I hope you like chicken. It's the only thing I know how to make," and Kersey responds by saying, "Chicken's good. I like chicken." That's rather redundant and obvious, isn't it?
Michael Winner returns again to direct what would be his last contribution to the series. And like he did with the two previous movies, he did a fine job with his directing. Here, he directs this movie just like he did with Death Wish I and Death Wish II, he is able to make it fun and exciting. As a matter of fact, I believe that I can say that while he didn't do a better job with this film than he did with the first film, Winner did a better job with this film that he did with the second film, as he made this one more exciting than Death Wish II (by the way, if I have an odd word usage, I'm sorry, but it's usually how I speak).
There's also a good supporting cast. Besides Charles Bronson, we've got a menacing performance from Gavin O'Herlihy as the main antagonist named Manny Fraker, a sadistic gang leader who is responsible for killing Kersey's friend, Charley. Another good performance comes from Martin Balsam, who plays Bennett Cross, another friend of Charley who assists Kersey. However, I thought that the best performance (after Bronson of course) was the performance of Ed Lauter as Richard S. Shriker, the police chief who recruits Kersey to take down the enemy.
As I mentioned earlier, beginning with this film, and continuing with the movies that would follow, Paul Kersey undergoes character evolution. The first two films are vigilante revenge dramas, in this movie, he becomes something like The Terminator. He kills more people in this movie than the both of the first two movies combined, especially in the final showdown of the movie. However, I didn't mind that, as the way that the villains are characterized, you can only end up rooting for Kersey as he pulverizes the enemies with his vigilante skills.
Is Death Wish III worth watching? Yes. If you are a fan of the Death Wish movies, or at least enjoyed the first two, then you should give this one a go as well. While it is not one of the best movies that you will ever see, it is still worth watching. If some of the unintentionally narm-worthy scenes that appear in this movie don't satisfy you, then perhaps the action and the danger that Kersey gets into will. So join Charles Bronson in his third turn as Paul Kersey for some excitement in the third installment in the Death Wish series, Death Wish III.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
In Death Wish II, Charles Bronson returns as Paul Kersey. This time,
Kersey is in Los Angeles. One day, he gets his wallet stolen from him
by a gang of hoodlums. Then later, the same hoodlums break into his
house and rape and murder his daughter and housekeeper. Kersey is left
seeing red after this, and he returns to his vigilantism.
After seeing the first film, I decided to watch the rest of the franchise, and I have to say that this movie was not a disappointment at all. While it doesn't quite achieve the level of greatness that the first movie achieves, this is still a fine follow up. I was a bit worried, as I believed that this would be more like a parody considering Charles Bronson's age, but after I did watch the movie, I have to say that, for being in his 60's at the time, Bronson certainly knew how to show the audience a good time.
That's right everybody, this movie is actually a good movie. When I watched it, I was actually expecting it to be not that good of a movie (if not an absolutely horrible movie), but when I watched it, I very much enjoyed it, it's a very good sequel to an excellent movie. Bravo to Michael Winner for directing this film, as he did another fine job, just like he did with the first Death Wish movie.
Well anyway, Death Wish 2 is definitely worth watching, it's got everything that the first movie had, it's got some action, it's got excitement, thrills, and suspense, and not to mention, that Charles Bronson once again shines in his roles as Paul Kersey, probably the most famous movie vigilante of all time.
Kersey is characterized somewhat differently in this movie than he was in the previous movie. In the previous movie, was a vigilante killer who would shoot and kill any mugger who attacked him. In this movie, he doesn't shoot anybody who tries to attack him. Instead, he is solely interested in killing the men who are responsible for the murders of his daughter and his housekeeper. But apart from that, he is still the same Paul Kersey that we all know and love.
Michael Winner directs this movie again, and he gives it lots of edge, and in the process of doing so, he makes a sequel that is fun entertainment. Also worth mentioning is the score, which is composed by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page. The way that Page scores this movie, he gives the film an eerie, dark, and tense feeling to it. It's a shame that he didn't go on to score many more films, as he could have been a great film composer in addition to being a great musician. Anyhow, both Page and Winner did fine work in their respective departments.
As I mentioned earlier, Charles Bronson was back in fine form for his second turn as Paul Kersey. Even in his early 60's, he could still be a hero, kill bad guys (and give them a thrashing whenever he wasn't killing) and survive multiple dangerous situations. Charles Bronson (in my opinion) was one of the greatest action actors of all time. When it came to action movies, he was perfect. Even getting into his 60's, (and his 70's when he made the last Death Wish movie), he could still do a smashing job at being an action star. And also in this movie, Vincent Gardenia is back as Detective Frank Ochoa, the man from the first film who was hot on Kersey's trail of vigilantism. What's he doing in this film? He is once again following Kersey's acts of vigilantism.
All in all, if you saw and enjoyed the first Death Wish movie, then you should watch Death Wish II. However, when you do watch this film, it is a good idea to throw away all of those preconceived notions that you might have heard about the movie, and keep an open mind about it. If you do keep an open mind, then there is a good chance that you will end up enjoying the movie. But anyway, although it is not as great as the first movie was, Death Wish II is still a solid and very enjoyable follow up. Bravo to Michael Winner for his directing on this picture, bravo to Jimmy Page for his music score, and especially, bravo to Charles Bronson for putting on a great show in his iconic role as Paul Kersey. Bottom line: Definitely worth watching, it's lots of fun and has lots of thrills and excitement.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Death Wish is a movie that gives a whole new meaning to the crime
genre, it was one of the first movies to show a crime victim deciding
to take justice into his own hands rather than leave it to the
Anyhow, Death Wish tells the story of Paul Kersey (played excellently by Charles Bronson), an architect designer who is living a pretty normal life. But then, one day, his wife and daughter are attacked and raped in their apartment by a group of hoodlums who followed them from a grocery story. Paul's daughter survives but eventually falls into a catatonic state, while Paul's wife dies. Paul is devastated by this, and eventually, he decides to take justice into his own hands. At night, he becomes a vigilante killer, he goes around killing muggers, all while people are unaware as to who the killer is.
Death Wish was highly controversial upon its original theatrical release, with many people complaining that the movie was supportive of vigilantism and personal justice, where as Brian Garfield's original novel denounced it. However, I heard stories saying that there where theaters full of people who actually had been mugged or were afraid to be mugged, and whenever Kersey would commit an act of vigilantism, those people would all begin cheering and applauding, that's because they felt safe in the theater, and they were thrilled at seeing the tables turned.
And also, as Paul Kersey describes, what happens in the movie actually did happen (and continues to happen) in real life. It is not uncommon to be in New York (or any other major big city as a matter of fact) and see muggers with clubs, knifes, or any other weapons that they may have with them. And while people are afraid of these attackers, they just ran and hid from the danger, as well as not taking into account that others might be in danger as well, and in this movie, Paul Kersey is taking these matters into his own hands and is out killing muggers, and in doing this, he's not just thinking about himself, he's also thinking about how other people as well.
Charles Bronson was perfectly cast as Paul Kersey, he plays Kersey like some of his other "tough guy" roles, but he is not always in the same mood. Normally, he is an ordinary man who is working on an architect project, but when push comes to shove, he enters his "tough" mood and brings out the vigilantism. I can't think of anybody who could have played the role of Kersey better than Bronson, he was perfect, and he would reprise his role in four sequels. This movie is without a doubt one of Bronson's best roles, along with his roles in The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, and Once Upon A Time In The West, this film ranks among the best of his output.
Director Michael Winner brings action, suspense, and thrills to the screen with his direction of this movie. Winner's directing is top notch, but not rushing the scenes, by letting the suspense build up and eventually unfold with each act of trouble that occurs, he manages to make an exciting, suspenseful, and ultimately, a classic movie that delivers an interesting take on the crime genre. And to add to that, Winner would return to direct the next two installments of the series, which he also did fine jobs with.
And there are many great supporting performances in the movie. The best supporting role in my opinion is that of Vincent Gardenia who plays Frank Ochoa, a detective who is on to Kersey's vigilantism, especially when as a result as Kersey's actions, the crime rate has steadily decreased. Even the minor roles are important too. The muggers who attack Kersey's wife and daughter were scary, as there are actually people who do thing like that in the real world, and judging from what I have read, what these hoodlums do to Kersey's wife and daughter is as realistic as something like that can actually get.
Anyway, Death Wish is definitely a movie that is worth watching, as it's a an excellent film for one thing, and it is like no crime movie that you have ever seen, it gives you a different approach on the law and on justice. However, whether or not you will like this movie depends on how you view politics and the legal system. But anyhow, if you have not yet seen Death Wish, then you should watch it, and depending on how you view the political and legal systems, you should like the film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
RoboCop 3 is one of those movies that you are bound to mention in the
same sentence with films such as Batman & Robin, A Good Day To Die
Hard, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, and Rocky V.
Or in otherwords: "Hey people! Did you enjoy the first two RoboCop movies?" *sucker punch*
I loved the first RoboCop movie, and RoboCop 2, while not as good as the first movie, is still great in its own right. But this third film, is terrible! How could the RoboCop saga come to die with this bomb? Well let's see, shall we?
For one thing, the first two RoboCop movies were both rated R, and contained a lot of blood and violence, and even some nightmare fuel-ish qualities to them. But this film, it completely devoid of those qualities. While there is some blood and violence, it is not the kind of violence that the two previous movies contained. Why is that? Because this movie is rated PG-13! What?! Trying to make a RoboCop movie child friendly is not a good idea, and it was an obvious attempt to cash in on a bigger audience to make more money. But it didn't work, as this film failed the box office. But that's not the worst part! Let's continue!
Robert John Burke is the new guy playing RoboCop, taking over from Peter Weller. Peter Weller was RoboCop, he was excellent. Burke on the other hand, was anything but excellent, the way he portrayed RoboCop, it was as if he was an entirely different character. I'm not going to hold it against the actor, but come on, he's just not Peter Weller, not in a million years.
In this movie, OCP is on the verge of financial ruin, and RoboCop is out for revenge against a rouge organization after his partner, Anne Lewis is killed by the leader of the group. The way that RoboCop is characterized is horrible, for one thing, he is reduced from being a man/robot of iron to being as weak as an action figure! Really, in this movie he takes more damage than in both of the previous movies put together, and he takes it easily too! How did he get so weak?! Oh, but the best is yet to come people! Now, he can fly! Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane, it's Robocop! Doesn't have a nice ring to it. Does it?
Also, who is RoboCop reduced to battling in this movie? Robot ninjas. Yes, I just said that, robot ninjas. That seems like something you'd see in some sort of Power Rangers movie. In the first two movies, RoboCop was fighting dangerous criminals who could actually be downright scary, but here, he's reduced to fighting villains who pose little to no threat at all. And not only that, but this robot ninja looks like a normal human being, but if you do anything so much as lightly hit him, he breaks into pieces like some kind of toy! Fred Dekker directs this movie with the subtlety of a train wreck, the way that he aims to please both kids as well as fans of the first two movies ends results in an extremely convoluted mess of a movie.
While I appreciate RoboCop's bid to save Detroit from the rouge organization, I instead wish that he would destroy all of the copies of this movie! If he tried to destroy this movie, I doubt that the restraining directive 4 would prevent him from doing so. Do yourself a big favor. Do not watch RoboCop 3, as you will find it to be a horrible and insulting end to the franchise. It is definitely a better idea to fondly re-watch RoboCop and RoboCop 2 and enjoy them, and it's also a good idea to forget that this third installment was ever made.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Die Hard Franchise has been helmed by four different directors.
John McTiernan directed Die Hard and Die Hard With A Vengeance, and he
did excellent jobs at directing both. Renny Harlin directed Die Hard 2,
and he did a great job with that movie. And Len Wiseman directed Live
Free Or Die Hard, and in doing a good job with that movie, he saved
himself from the B-movie list of directors.
When A Good Day To Die Hard was made, who directed it? John Moore. What is John Moore known for? His filmography includes some titles like Max Payne, the remake of Flight Of The Phoenix, and the remake of The Omen. And it's safe to say that, A Good Day To Die Hard will continue John Moore's losing streak of movies, because yes, it's terrible. Even with the R-rating and the "Yippie-ki-yay mother------" line, the movie is terrible. You can call this "The Batman & Robin of The Die Hard series."
How could this have happened? The first 3 Die Hard movies are classics, even the fourth one is a great time, but this fifth installment, was horrible. Why is that? Well let's see.
First off, let's talk about the plot, John McClane goes to Russia to help his estranged son out of trouble, and soon finds himself caught up in a terrorist plot.
Note that none of this is Bruce Willis' fault, as an actor can only do so much with the script that he's given. In this movie, Willis can still run, beat up enemies, fire a gun, and do what he did in the other films.
For one thing, the movie looks unrealistic and feels like one endless chase and an endless battle of chaos. There is no rise of tension or suspense, but as one reviewer pointed out, endless pandemonium from start to finish. The car chase could have been great, but it was overlong and near the end, it got to be too unrealistic looking. And also, the way that McClane is portrayed...it finally happened. He has been turned into essentially, The Terminator, he is shown as being an impervious god-like man whereas in the previous movies, he was a hero who was vulnerable and very capable of taking damage.
Another problem I had was with the new McClane, played by Jai Courtney. Unlike Lucy McClane (who I rather liked), the new McClane is very unlikeable. Jai Courtney as Jack McClane was terrible, he came off as bossy and bratty, and the first scene that he appears in is a killer, he pulls a gun on his father! By doing that, how does John Moore expect us to like this kid? A kid pulling a gun on his own father, who happens to be an iconic action hero.
John Moore directs this movie with the subtlety of (to quote another reviewer) a car crash. He slams all of the footage together and puts extra emphasis on CGI for most of the action sequences, especially the ending were John McClane is turned into the next incarnate of Superman. Many people said that they thought that the F-35 jet sequence in Live Free Or Die Hard was absurd. Well if you agreed with that, then oh boy, just get a load of this! Skip Woods' writing is horrible, he portrays McClane as a man who is the exact opposite of what he was in the four previous movies. In this movie, he gets into a car chase and almost immediately starts causing massive damage in a short period of time with no signs of getting hurt. And why? Just to stop the bad guys from attacking his son. And not only that, but he also shows no qualms with killing bad guys that show up. Whereas in the four previous movies, McClane is a vulnerable and reluctant hero who only does his jobs because there is nobody else that can do them.
Also, in this movie, there are three villains, all of them forgettable and not dangerous. I'd be willing to bet that Hans Gruber and his brother Simon, along with Colonel Stuart and Thomas Gabriel are all probably in hell, watching this movie together, and are laughing upon seeing who and what McClane has been reduced to battling. And not to mention, that in the four previous movies, whenever the terrorists made threats, they would not hesitate to follow up on them. In this film, the terrorists do make threats, but none of them get carried out, everything is just a nonstop battle to prevent the threat from occurring.
A Good Day To Die Hard clocks at 97 Minutes, why it was released a such a short time, I have no clue. I read reviews for the previous films, and nobody complained about those movies being 2 hours+. Just think about how much better this movie would be if all of those deleted scenes would have been added back in.
I heard that Bruce Willis wants to make a sixth Die Hard movie before retiring the character of John McClane for good. Here is what I would recommend. Get John McTiernan to direct it, or Renny Harlin, or even Len Wiseman for all I care. These three can all do a better job than John Moore can. And get a better screenwriter, preferably Steven de Souza, Jeb Stuart, Doug Richardson, Jonathan Hensleigh, or even Mark Bomback. All of these did better at writing the scripts for the previous films than Skip Woods did with this film.
In short, A Good Day To Die Hard is terrible, it corrupts the meaning of the Die Hard name. Unless you want to see John McClane become a one-dimensional invincible super-god, then avoid this film at all costs.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Look back to 1976. That year, Richard Donner directed a horror classic
called The Omen, with a screenplay by David Seltzer and starring
Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, and David Warner among others.
Now, fast-forward to 2006, and John Moore basically takes Seltzer's original screenplay, and tries to make a carbon copy of the original, with some changes to it. He updates it to the modern day, and makes references to things like the 2004 Tsunami and 9/11. Why was this included? We are all well aware of the time that we are currently living in. Also, this was obviously made to cash in on the 6-6-6 gimmick. It was released on at 06:06:06 AM, on June 6, 2006. That's correct people, The Omen is a horrible remake, John Moore should have well left alone.
I do not even know why Moore wanted it to be a shot-for-shot remake. Gus Van Sant came up with that move when he remade Psycho, and even he admitted it was a bad idea. This proves that director John Moore must have had way too much free time on his hands, if he had the nerve to remake a horror classic like The Omen. To say that he did not give this movie the edge that Richard Donner gave the original is an understatement. Moore directed this movie like he wanted things to be fast paced (he also directed Behind Enemy Lines and the remake of Flight Of The Pheonix), he adds fire, flashes, more blood and gore, and he removes the showiest death from the film, that was a failure, a big time failure.
Let's take a look at the cast, shall we? In this remake, Robert Thorn is now being played by Liev Schreiber, who takes over from the fabulous Gregory Peck. I won't hold it against Schreiber, but he just wasn't as good as Peck was in the original. Well, that isn't exactly his fault, the directing is lousy. Julia Stiles on the other hand, is another story. Julia Stiles as Katharine Thorn was terrible. For one thing, she was too young, and secondly, she butchered the character to beyond recognizing. In the original, Lee Remick played Katharine in a convincing and believable way and to where we feel sorry for her. Stiles' portrayal changed Katharine from being sympathetic to being an irritating nag who you are actually glad to see get killed. And not to mention that the kid playing Damien lacks the creepiness of the kid who played Damien in the original.
Jerry Goldsmith won a well deserved Academy Award for Best Original Score for his haunting work on the original film. The score from this movie is not haunting or chilling, it's just loud and in some instances, it's irritating. If you want music that's haunting and chilling, just listen to Jerry Goldsmith's Ave Satani, which is something that will stay with more for as long as I live.
Do yourself a very big favor, whatever you do, do not, I repeat, do not watch this remake, as it is devoid of scares and creepiness. Watch the original instead, as it's scary, tense, suspenseful, and is definitely a much better film. John Moore could not do what Richard Donner did so right, even with David Seltzer's screenplay. Moore should have very well left alone. Then again, this movie's title is pretty self-explanatory. The Omen is that the director of the movie, John Moore is right on the track to becoming one of the worst movie directors in the modern history of Hollywood...
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