Reviews written by registered user
|17 reviews in total|
In the years since it's release, 'Mrs. Doubtfire' is now not known for being
a very good film, but instead the "Robin Williams in Drag Movie". Yes,
Williams is in drag and dons lots of funny voices but the film is actually a
heartbreaking and sometimes painful look at divorce but is still laugh out
loud funny at many points and a highly entertaining film.
Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) is an eccentric dad who does voices for cartoons. After being fired and throwing his son a huge over the top birthday, his wife Miranda (Sally Field, in an excellent performance) decides it's time to do what she's been putting off for a long time... Divorce. Heartbroken at not being able to spend time with his children, Daniel uses his voice impersanation skills and a little make-up from his brother to become Mrs. Doubtfire, an eccentric English maid. But can he keep his guise for long enough?
What really is great about 'Doubtfire' is the performances. Robin Williams and Sally Field are on top form and play very well as both Daniel and Miranda, and Mrs. Doubtfire and Miranda. It's also a good sign when even supporting actors deliver excellent performances. Not only do we have three amazingly talented child actors, but Pierce Brosnan, Harvey Fierstein and others all impress in their small but memorable roles.
The remarkable thing is that the film doesn't dumb down divorce. It is divorce as it really happens, not a softened up version, but a warts and all version. This quality alone makes the film an even stronger picture. The directing is carried out by Chris Columbus (Only the Lonely, Home Alone, Harry Potter) who shows a real care for the characters. It's once in a blue moon when you can actually say that a children's film has excellent camerawork and dialogue. The writing is based on the children's book 'Alias Madame Doubtfire' by Anne Fine. It is expertly adapted by Leslie Dixon and Randi Singer. They also show a love of the characters and write great dialogue.
Overall, 'Mrs. Doubtfire' isn't just a Robin Williams vehicle, but a hilarious and touching look at the real pains of divorce...
There are few novelists like the late Ian Fleming. His books weren't just
collections of words wrote over a couple of months, they were masterpieces
and excellent books. After writing the so-so 'Dr. No', he wrote his
and most fantastical book: 'Goldfinger'. Whereas all his other books were
very real and had real situations, 'Goldfinger' had gold girls, a raid on
Fort Knox, a woman called Pussy Galore and a Korean henchman with a deadly
bowler's hat. Sadly, 'Goldfinger' is actually one of his weakest and seems
to have took some life out of Fleming but he made up with it by writing
several better books afterwards. However, after the first two James Bond
films were hits, 'Goldfinger' was chosen as number 3. Was this a good or
choice? We'll see...
Starting off with a real whopper of a pre-credits scene featuring everything we've come to know and love about the legend that is James Bond, we're thrown into Auric Goldfinger's (Gert Grobe) plan to raid Fort Knox with the help of henchman oddjob (Harold Sakata) and lesbian Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman). It's up to 007 (Sean Connery) to stop his devious plan!
First of all, this film has good performances all around. Connery is at his peak here and is helped along by the deliciously evil Frobe. Blackman is also deliciously evil and just plain delicious as Pussy Galore. Add to that the menacing Harold Sakata and even small players like Cec Linder and you've got yourself a superb cast. There's not one bad egg in this lot.
Veteran Bond writer Richard Maibum with Paul Dehn has wrote a mostly faithful adaptation to Fleming's book with a few realistic plot changes for the better. On the directing side, Guy Hamilton is truly the best. It's thanks to him this film looks so good and is so re-watchable.
Of course, this film is the ultimate Bond film. It may have several faults and isn't as good as some of the other films but it's a definite improvment over the book and it's Bond, and everyone else, at his best.
As hard to believe as it is, there was a time when we thought Bond would
never return despite what the end of his films always said. In 1989,
screenwriter Michael Wilson (With help from Richard Maibum) decided to bring
Bond back down to life with a much grittier, realistic movie which was
'Licence to Kill'. Although it did make money, it was only a small amount by
Bond standards. Audiences didn't want to see Bond bleed and be in pain while
fighting sadistic drug dealers in Mexico, they wanted to see him in exotic
locations with sexy girls and, as good as 'Licence to Kill' is, audiences
were not satisfied and wanted the Bond they know and love. It would be a six
In 1995, audiences finally got a glimpse of not only a new Bond movie, but a new Bond. Pierce Brosnan slips on the tuxedo and he couldn't be a better choice. Although not as good as Dalton, who is my favorite by far, he suits the role perfectly and knowing we have a good Bond is enough to make a good Bond film but the filmmakers were determined to give us something good and they do!
To try and discuss the plot to a Bond film is like trying to convince people Shakespeare was an alien who secretly lived in California. The plots help but no matter how good, they don't matter. In this film, a main "gimmick" is the fact that 007 had been away so long and times had changed which this film weaves into it's story perfectly. No more cold war and, believe it or not, Bond is being bossed around by a WOMAN. Yes, times have changed. Having a woman as M bossing 007 around in 1962 would have been unheard of. Judi Dench fits into the role perfectly and has some brilliant scenes with Brosnan proving she is every bit the former M's equal despite being a woman. Cast as Moneypenny is Bond, Samantha Bond who teases Bond just as he teases her and tries to prove she has no interest in him at all. Of course, you have to have at least one friendly face and it's lovable old Q played by Desmond Llewelyn. His scenes with Brosnan are very funny although Q is once again just a cameo despite having a large part in the plot in 'Licence to Kill'.
Now that you've got the MI6 team out of the way, there's the ever so famous role of the Bond girl, this time it's Izabella Scorupco playing the beautiful and intelligent Natalya Simonova. With a good Bond girl, you need a good Bond villain and this film is definitely no exception. Sean Bean plays the good-turned-bad Alec Trevelyan aka 006 (Cue dramatic theme) who Bond believed to be dead after an incident during the cold war. Sean Bean is an excellent villain and is quite good because he could be James Bond which makes it believable that he's 006 and he and Brosnan have some excellent chemistry in the pre-credits sequence. Famke Janssen plays bad girl Xenia Onatopp who has a very unique way of killing people. Cast as a slightly inferior henchman is Alan Cumming as Boris. This role is often criticised but I quite liked him and, for once, a non-Russian puts on a good Russian accent.
The script by Jeffrey Caine and Bruce Feirstein is a great piece of work but it is slightly over complicated sometimes which means you get detatched from the film once in a while but Martin Campbell's direction brings you back in.
Overall, a flawed Bond film (Russians speaking and writing in English is a noticeable mistake) but it re-starts the Bond franchise after an agonizing 6 year wait and everything here is nearly spot on making an enjoyable experience for Bond fans and casual viewers alike.
In a book about the James Bond films, 'The Spy Who Loved Me' (or TSWLM) was,
in a negative review, called a slick, greatest hits package. Well, greatest
hits package or not, it's a fitting 10th film for 007.
Roger Moore returns in his 3rd performance as 007. 'Live and Let Die' was a good film but Moore was a little uneasy picking up from Connery after Lazenby had came and went. In his second outing, 'The Man With The Golden Gun', he was let down by a bad script but this film brings together all the elements for a brilliant Bond film. Exotic locations, great girls, a good baddie, an even better henchman and amazing stunts. It was also the first Bond film to have a fully original story. Author Ian Fleming siad not to use any of the story of his TSWLM book which is very different not only to the finished film but to any other Bond book or film mainly because Bond is only in it at the end.
The film kicks off with one of the best "for real" stunts in the history of motion pictures as 007 skis off a cliff with the safety of a parachute painted like the union jack. This firmly establishes us in the surreal yet familiar world of secret agent 007. Good girl Anya is played with considerable charm by Barbara Bach who is very sexy and the first Bond girl to really be competent and not have to shout "James!" every 2 minutes. The villain is Karl Stromberg played by Curt Jurgens. The character was originally intended to be Blofeld but due to legal wranglings with Kevin McClory and his rival Bond film, he didn't give permission for them to use the character. Stromberg is a fairly competent villain, a little over the top at times but truly ruthless.
A good baddie always has a good henchman and Jaws (Richard Keil) is a great one. Although a little too dumb at times, he's very threatening in early scenes and is the only element used from the book as he is loosely based on the character of Horror in the book.
The writers and director have crafted a very good Bond film despite some over the top scenes and a over long climax. This has everything: The cars, Moore in his element, a great baddie, a strong Bond girl and an interesting Bond girl. This is what all 007 movies or even all action movies should be like.
After finishing 'The World is Not Enough', the filmmakers realized instead
of having the next film ready in the next 2 years as usual, they would
3 years and be able to celebrate both the 20th film and the 40th
of Bond's introduction (And, I believe, 50 years since Fleming sat down to
write the first book). With that came 'Die Another Day', a film surrounded
by hype and rumours spreading from a lesbian kiss between Halle Berry and
Madonna to fatal injuries on set. No matter what's true or not, this is an
exciting Bond film perfect for Bond being thrown into the new
Plot? Well, Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is accused of being a traitor after being held captive for a whopping 14 months and once he is released, tries to find out the link between a North Korean terrorist (Will Yun Lee) and a snooty diamond broker (Toby Stephens) with help from Q (John Cleese) and an exciting girl named Jinx (Halle Berry) along the way.
So, how does this film turn out? Is it worthy of it's hype and status as the all holy 20th film in the franchise? Well, yes. It never lets you go for two hours straight and is simply one of the best Bond films. There have been many complaints: Bad theme song (I like it), bad CGI (Distracting at first but what CGI isn't?) and just a general bad quality but this film is enjoyment from start to finish.
Brosnan is a delight from start to finish and obviously loves playing 007. Halle Berry is very good as Jinx, the female agent, and plays it both sexy and intelligent. Rosamund Pike is very nice as Miranda Frost (Oh, chilly!) and Toby Stephens makes for an excellent and ruthless if deceiving villain. A mention goes out to Rick Yune as diamond faced Zao, the best Bond henchman since Dario in 'Licence to Kill'. The MI6 team is here with one absence. Desmon Llewelyn who died in his 80's due to a car crash shortly after the last film. May he rest in peace. John Cleese takes over as Q after his amusing turn as R, Q's assistant, in the previous film. He suits up Bond with his gadgets and gets some amusing lines along the way. Judi Dench is brilliant as M and even better than the last 3 films. Samantha Bond returns as Moneypenny and it's her most amusing yet.
Neil Purvis and Robert Wade are screenwriters here and very good ones as well. They manage to keep the film enjoyable yet have interesting characters and story too. Director Lee Tamahori has a difficult time picking up from the impressive Michael Apted but he proves to be an excellent and fitting choice for director.
So, 20th film, 40th anniversary, what's the verdict? It wins on all counts. A great film, although it has flaws, with great performances all around and obviously a fun film to make. It's very different from the much more character driven 19th film 'The World is Not Enough' and it provides a nice breather for two hours.
The 'Batman' films did two big things for comic book films. They breathed life into the comic book film genre then with 1997's 'Batman & Robin' sucked life out of it. No quality comic book movies for us, then. But, a little film called 'X-Men' came along and changed that for the better. Comic book movies were hot property from Fox making the 'X-Men' sequel to Miramax producing 'Bluntman & Chronic' (If you're a fan of Kevin Smith, you'll get the joke). Then came along 'Daredevil'. It's probably the least known and most underrated comic book of all history. Everyone knows Superman or Batman but ask a question about Daredevil and chances are they will look at you with a weird look on their face. That's probably what I did when first hearing about it but soon after picked up the graphic novels 'Daredevil: Guardian Angel' and 'Daredevil: Yellow' and even though they remain the only 'Daredevil' graphic novels or comis I've read, I love everything about the character and think that he's truly a one of a kind creation so was very excited to finally see this film. For those of you who don't know, Matt Murdock (Ben Affleck) was blinded as a child and as an adult is a lawyer by day and a crime fighter called Daredevil by night. As a lawyer, he learns that there is a man running all crime in New York called the Kingpin (Michael Clarke Duncan). Daredevil is determined to find and kill Kingpin but in the way has to deal with goodie/baddie Elektra (Jennifer Garner) and the lethal yet very funny Bullseye (Colin Farrell). Although this film has had mixed reviews, I found it to be an effective comic book film and even though I'm a huge fan of Sam Raimi, Mark Steven Johnson has directed a superior comic book movie. Affleck is very good as Daredevil if a little uneasy in some earlier scenes. Duncan is the highlight as Kingpin AKA Wilson Fisk, a man made out of pure muscle. Jennifer Garner shows more than just beauty as the lethal Elektra and proves to be a very well developed character. Farrell is obviously the stand out as Bullseye even if his part isn't as well developed as I hoped it would be. One thing that makes this film stand out from most is that the director Johnson has an obvious love for the character because he wrote in addition to directed. While most super hero scripts go through umpteen writers and directors, it seems to be a labor of love for Johnson but I would still like to see the R rated cut which will hopefully be released on DVD in the future, although the DVD due for July is said to be the theatrical cut, the R rated one not only has more violence but should likely include more story as this film does feel like it's lacking a certain something. Overall, it's not Shakespeare, it's still a comic book movie and should be treated as such but as one it is only second on my list under 'Batman'.
John Waters is a man I could listen to forever. He can repeat the same story over and over and it never gets boring. He can hold your interest in any one of his DVD commentaries and growing up as a gay man in Baltimore, has a very interesting life. He also wrote some of the all time funniest films. There are three sections of his life that you have to take note of. There was some black and white shorts and feature length films in the 60's but I will leave those out of this review. The first section of his life was his early, angry, gross out work which went on from 1972 to 1977 (Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Desperate Living), 1981 to 1990 was the transition period where his work changed (Polyester, Hairspray, Cry Baby) and then there's the more mature big budget Hollywood films from 1994 to 2001 (Serial Mom, Pecker, Cecil B. Demented). These films are all uniquely different and hold different styles of their own and all are important pieces of filmmaking but no matter what, 'Pink Flamingos' will be John's most famous work (with the possible exception of 'Hairspray'). Even Waters has said that if he came up with a cure for cancer and died the next day, 'Pink Flamingos' would still be his biggest achievment. Made in 1972 for a small budget (People say different things so I'm not going to put an exact budget on it), it starred the infamous drag queen Divine who performed the infamous final scene (But unlike other reviewers, I'm not going to say what it is) along with "Dreamlanders" Mink Stole, David Lochary and Mary Vivian Pearce. I'm going to run along the story even although you will most likely know it already. Divine is the filthiest person alive but the FBI is hot on her tail so she hides out in a trailer near the woods under the alias Babs Johnson. She lives with her egg obsessed son Crackers (Danny Mills), retarded mother Edie (Edith Massey) and her travelling companion Cotton (Mary Vivian Pearce). Many papers call her the filthiest person alive but evil couple Raymond (David Lochary) and Connie (Mink Stole) Marble want that title will not stop at anything to hold that title for themselves. I could easily just talk about everything that goes on in the film as many reviewers have chosen to do but I feel this is a very original film which is actually a satire on modern family life. The Divine clan are trailer trash. They have incestuous relationships and do very sick things but the Marbles are the exact view of suburban life. Clean houses, well organized and in the end they turn out to be the failures. They consider themselves filthy yet are disgusted at Divine's accomplishments proving that Divine and trailer trash win out and that modern day families are basically just clones of each other. The film improves with repeat viewings as you see just how sharp the wit on display is. John Waters' script is filled with some of the most quoted lines in film history. Although nobody is really a trained actor, their performances far surpass any modern day oscar winner. Divine is, as always, perfectly cast in his role and has some of the best lines on display. Edith Massey presents her very unique style of acting and, believe me, she's a real talent. Mary Vivian Pearce (The only person to appear in EVERY John Waters film) once again provides some laughs even if she doesn't always get the big roles she deserves. Mink Stole and David Lochary are hilarious as the perverted couple who want to steal Divine's title to no avail but it is truly Danny Mills who stands out. John Waters discovers a new male talent in each of his films starting from here going right up to 'Cecil B. Demented', all of whom rarely appear in any other John Waters movie (In fact, I don't think any of them ever have). Danny is very real in this film which makes his gross out scenes stand out but, unlike a lot of other people, I did not once cringe at this movie. I found it's situations funny but I was more impressed with the sparkling satire on display. Divine's infamous last scene is much less shocking than an oral sex scene earlier in the film. Not to take away from his brilliant performance though. Although his later films are even better, Waters first color film is a brilliant black comedy worthy of repeat viewings. Two things though, I want to see more! Waters has said there is about an hour of deleted scenes but only 15 minutes were on the DVD and were only small snippets of deleted scenes (The Marble's earlier attack on Divine's trailer had much more to it than we see in the deleted scenes section). Mind you, Waters said he found the footage in his attic so maybe all the other stuff is lost or too old and ruined to be seen today. Also, there was a sequel planned for this film. The script is widely available but will never be seen due to the deaths of main actors. It's a shame, the script seems even better than the first 'Pink Flamingos'. I would also like to see what Danny Mills is doing these days. Overall, I love this film and couldn't say more about how much I love it. Well written and directed, it's brilliantly staged and is one of the best comedies of the later half of the century. Much better than any gross out movies today, it is pure genius of the highest order. A must see for any self respecting film viewer.
There is a certain genre of films that are very hit and miss. It's the horror comedy genre. It can be creative and fun like in 'Evil Dead 2' or it can flat on it's face like some unbearable 80's films. 'Bad Taste', however, is quite different. Made during four years in New Zealand, it's a weird blend of Looney Tunes, horror films and low budget action. It is a huge accomplishment in low budget film right up there with films like 'Clerks' and 'El Mariachi' but it does have many faults too. The basic story is of a group of agent type people who have to save Earth from the threat of aliens who want to use humans as burger meat in outer space. They bumble through the film trying to catch and kill the aliens and leave a trail of gore certainly wherever they go. Of course, this film has developed a new legion of fans thanks to Peter Jackson's latest film being some sort of blockbuster. It's something to do with middle earth and rings and wizards, don't ask me! The high points of this film is just the way they accomplished things on such a cheap budget. The action at the end is very impressive for such a low budget and the cliff top battle between Derek (Peter Jackson) and Robert (Peter Jackson) is amazing mainly because they really make it look like Peter Jackson is fighting himself but the two sides of the fight must have been filmed very far apart. The Derek character is thin and with short hair but the Robert character is very chubby with a beard and long curly hair (Looking more like the Jackson we know now). However, the huge low point of this film is the character of Derek. Peter Jackson has no problem acting as Robert but the Derek character is, as I believed a review site called him, Rick Moranis on speed. The first 30 minutes of the film are ruined with him putting on increasingly stupid expressions. It improves in the second half when he becomes a homicidal, half dead maniac. The directing by Jackson, on the other hand, is nothing to complain about. He proves he's a brilliant director 14 years before 'Lord of the Rings' and the look of the film is very different to most low budget films. What originally was envisioned as a 20 minute short turned into an 80 minute movie. Although, you can see a bit of cutting would have helped. I felt the last half an hour was a really great time but the first 50 minutes only had great moments few and far between. Still, it's a sick, demented film that is sure to please many movie lovers. It becomes crazier as it goes along and proves that there is no limits to low budget filmmaking when you're as good as Peter Jackson!
The James Bond film franchise is officially the most high grossing and famous franchise in history. Probably raking in even more than 'Star Wars' when you put together grosses of all 20 films with toys, magazines, videos, DVDs... It has earned a whole load of money in it's time but sometimes a Bond film needs to come along to put Bond back on track which usually happens after a very over the top film. We've had 'On Her Majesty's Secret Service', 'For Your Eyes Only', 'The World is not Enough' and this film, 'Licence to Kill' or LTK as I will refer to it. LTK is based on part of Ian Fleming's second James Bond book 'Live and Let Die' where Bond's CIA agent buddy Felix Leiter is captured by a character known as The Robber and fed to sharks then left half dead with a note attached to him saying in capital letters "HE DISAGREED WITH SOMETHING THAT ATE HIM". When the feature film version came out in 1973, many fans were annoyed to see this excellent sequence hadn't been adapted for the film. It would take a full 16 years to see this scene on film but it certainly pays off. In Timothy Dalton's second and last performance as James Bond, he is the best man for his friend Felix Leiter's (David Hedison reprising his role from 'Live and Let Die') wedding. As Leiter begins his honeymoon, a drug lord called Sanchez (An effective Robert Davi) who Leiter captured early on in the film, escapes and attacks Leiter and rapes and murders his wife. He has Leiter eaten by sharks and left for dead with a note identical to the one in the book 'Live and Let Die'. Bond decides he must avenge Leiter but, in a very well written scene, M (Robert Brown) takes away his licence to kill leading Bond to go on a personal vendetta against Sanchez. It's a very effective film. Dalton is amazing as Bond, Davi is an even superior villain than Telly Savalas, Carey Lowell is one of the best Bond girls in recent years, and Hedison is good in his role as Leiter besides his very over dramatic line "I'll See You In Hell!" which is a bit too over the top and which makes the other wise brilliant scene too comic. The only fault is the fact that the character of Felix Leiter has never been fully developed in the Bond films. Perhaps the least known recurring character, he has appeared in 7 films and has been played by 6 different actors, all of different age, weight and talent. Originally envisioned to always be played by Jack Lord, he demanded too much money after appearing in the first Bond film because he had just become a huge star on TV. In the books, Felix was sort of like Bond's CIA double but in the films was never fully developed. Although Rik Van Nutter probably portrayed him best in 'Thunderball', Hedison is a close second playing him in this film and 'Live and Let Die'. If the character had been played by the same actor more, his near death may be much more effective but it is done very well as it is. The stand out of this film has to be a young Benicio Del Toro as Sanchez' evil henchman Dario who is a close second to Odd Job as the perfect henchman. Unlike other henchman, he's very smart and lethal and can be quite vicious in many of his scenes. Speaking of viciousness, this film is probably most famous for it's violence. Although the violent bits are not continuous and are few and far between, they stand out for being very brutal but in the end, it only adds to this amazingly tense Bond thriller. However, two scenes that could have been the most violent were never depicted on screen. One was Dario's butchering of Lupe's lover and the other was Dario's rape of Della. These were both tastefully shown off screen and that makes these brutal attacks all the more effective. The script by Richard Maibum and Michael G. Wilson is their best Bond collaboration. They have took the best part of Fleming's 'Live and Let Die' novel and crafted it into a truly stand out Bond film. John Glen's final directing job on the Bond films is a nice farewell to a man who really put his stamp on the Bond films. As noted before, the performances are top notch with Dalton, Lowell, Davi and Del Toro standing out. Bringing a bit of comic relief to the preceedings is gadget master Q who steals the show in many of his scenes. This Bond film finishes up as a truly effective and haunting film which left me stunned. The recent Bond films are excellent but they don't make 'em like this any more.
About ten years ago, convenience store clerk Kevin Smith was working at a little place called the Quick Stop when he decided he wanted to make a movie. Lacking a big budget, he shot a film at the place he worked on a very low budget... Ten years later, he has a cult following that no one predicted. Add to that, he's a busy man. Shooting films, commercials, skits and doing a cameo for the recent 'Daredevil' movie, he never has and probably never will run out of steam (Until he retires which he says will be when he's 40). There are also two unique groups of fans. The first are the much smarter group that discuss his film universe, the metaphors behind his films, and the films themselves but the second group are more unfortunate. Usually of the teenage variety, they love the film for their potty mouthed humour and dirty talk and really don't get what's going on and more often than not are a pain in the back side. That's not to say all teens are like that. Some are actually more mature the 20 year old+ fans of Smith's but those are the fans and they are here to stay probably because of one movie that at first was just a small budget pet project then next minute, a huge cult classic. Looking at Smith's films, this film does still feel like his best. It's lacking any real story but in the end, it's really just about a normal day for the unfortunate Dante (Brian O'Halloran). It's also very smart. Filled with obscure literature references and the whole film seems to be loosely based on the play 'Waiting for Godot' which is frequently discussed in the fascinating book 'An Askew View: The Films of Kevin Smith'. Although, in the end, the two things this film is most famous for is the swearing (Although much less than I expected) and the infamous 'Star Wars' discussion which proves to be one of the highlights of the film. In the end, it's a film about a lonely convenience store clerk looking for love and some sort of normal life in this crazy world. All his customers seem to be near psychotics and his best friend Randal (Jeff Anderson) is very depressing most of the time just adding to Dante's wounds. Either way, this is an amazing flick that is useful for two occasions: Feeling phylosophical? Watch this film! Feeling in need of a good laugh and cheering up? Watch this film! It's an amazing piece of work.
|Page 1 of 2:|| |