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Licence to Kill (1989)
The Best Bond Film
'License To Kill' was the second and last Bond to star Timothy Dalton as 007 - despite playing Bond closer to Ian Fleming's original creation than any other actor given the role before or since, 'LTK' & 'The Living Daylights' were both relative box office disappointments, especially at the U.S Box Office as 'LTK' barely broke even on it's original release stateside although it did relatively well Worldwide but has consistently been voted the worst Bond Film in various publications over the years, which I think is very unfair as I believe 'LTK' to be the Best.
The story has Bond going rogue after his friend Felix Leitier is fed to a Shark & his Wife is brutally murdered on their wedding day, so Bond goes after the drug dealer responsible.
It has great co-stars in Carey Lovell, Robert Davi & Talisa Soto, Wonderful Locations and a great Title song by Gladys Knight.
'LTK' was at the time the most gritty and violent Bond movie made and was given a PG-13 in the U.S and a '15' rating in the UK which would have limited it's Box Office potential to a certain extent - but was such a breath of fresh air after Roger Moore's Sexist,camp & misogynistic portrayal.
At the Time Bond Producer Michael G. Wilson blamed budgetary problems, and Producer Albert Brocolli blamed poor marketing & a late name change from 'License Revoked' to 'License to Kill' for it's relative theatrical disappointment.
'LTK' is by the far the Best Bond Film made to date & Dalton played the role perfectly it's just a shame that he only has two Bonds to his name - both are far better than their reputation would have you believe.
Good Stuff.....Not too shabby at all
That with it's troubled post production - very few people have actually seen, Due to the Film's distribution rights going from 20th Century Fox to Dimension Films and being delayed not once, not twice, not three times - but a staggering FOUR times (because of The Weinstein/Miramax Split) before it was finally released in May 2005, 2 YEARS after completion to barely a 1000 Theaters, and making less than $4.5M on it's release - so don't be misled into thinking it's terrible due to it's Theatrical disappointment, it's actually a really good whodunit thriller set on a remote Island where The FBI sends it's agents for training on how to track Serial Killers, but someone on the Island is Setting ingenious traps and bumping the agents off one by one.
Starring Christian Slater,Val Kilmer,LL Cool J,Kathryn Morris,Johnny Lee Miller, Patricia Velasquez & Clifton Collins Jr - Mindhunters is different,very well written,acted and is quite possibly One Of Harlin's Best which deserves to be more widely seen.
The Langoliers (1995)
Great Story, Good TVM, But badly needed a larger budget
In a TVM adaptation of Stephen King's Novel - 10 people wake up an a jetliner going from L.A. to Boston and realize that everybody else including the crew have disappeared into thin air as if a biblical rapture has occurred, leaving their watches,Pacemakers,Jewelery and whatnot behind - The group of passengers which include a Pilot (David Morse) A Mystery Writer (Dean Stockwell) a Soldier (Mark Lindsay Chapman) along with a teacher (Patricia Wettig) a token Black guy (Frankie Faison) A Blind Girl (Kate Maberly), A hippy chick (Kimber Riddle), A geeky guy (Christopher Collet) A stocky guy (Baxter Harris) and an obnoxious Businessman who ends up going insane (Bronson Pinchot) are the only people left aboard and are obviously in a state of shock and bewilderment and especially so when They can't get any contact from anybody on the ground and everywhere appears to be in darkness below the Clouds - so as they start to panic at the situation they find themselves in they decide to re-route the plane to Bangor International Airport in Maine (Author King's Hometown) and when they do finally land they find the World hasn't changed, but again everybody's disappeared and the surrounding area seems Dead, The air is odourless, The Food Tasteless,The Drinks Flat and Time seems to be moving much quicker - and a distant sound which at first only the blind girl can hear seems to be getting closer, but What is it? Where are They? Where is Everybody?
Review:- I'll start by saying I've not read the novel on which this TVM is based upon, but I found 'The Langoliers' an enjoyable, and at times gripping TVM, but you really have to suspend your disbelief throughout and many points within the Film make no sense whatsoever. While at 3 Hours...Yes 3 hours! that's NOT Including Ad Breaks it is FAR FAR too long and could have had 30-45 Minutes cut off it's running time, but this was a 2 part Mini-Series when It was originally shown which is why the plot was padded to within a inch of it's life and seems especially long when seen in one go like I did.
The Acting is pretty awful - but both Stockwell and Pinchot give it their best shot, The Special FX are pretty poor, the Climax with the 'Langoliers' especially so - but this was a TV Movie made 14 years ago, so I'll cut it some slack there. Directed & Produced by people who already had some experience translating King's work onto the Screen - they do pretty well, but seriously for what was a great story - It needed far more money thrown at it, better actors & a shorter running time
All in All a Very Good TVM - Which badly needs a big-budget remake
Flight of Fury (2007)
Dire Stuff - The worst Seagal movie I've seen......so far
'Flight Of Fury' is a shockingly dire but worst of all boring Action Film - I don't expect a lot from a Seagal Film, all I expect is to be moderately entertained for 90 or so minutes with some mindless action -unfortunately this doesn't even achieve that low expectation, The action scenes are few and far between, the plot (which is totally irrelevant in these Films) is needlessly complicated and confusing with huge plot holes throughout, The acting is truly abysmal - bordering on embarrassing with Seagal and his whispering One expression performance being the best among the sorry lot of 3rd raters - I find it hard to believe that anything close to $12M was spent on this dire mess unless $11M of that 12 was Seagal's Salary - I somehow doubt it! The one moment of any interest to Straight guys or gay girls is that out of seemingly nowhere two hot chicks end up in a lesbian sex scene of sorts complete with huge baps on display other than that - It's mediocre stuff which is no different to many of the Michael Dudikoff B-Movies I've endured
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Cheesy of Course, But it's the best Feel good Film of all time
Even the hardest of hearts will soften after this 90 Minutes or so of pure entertainment, Yes it's Cheesy, Yes Brosnan is Hopelessly miscast and his singing voice is truly awful and the plot is totally irrelevant, but WHO CARES!
It's bright, Funny, Immensely watchable, even for someone like myself who isn't a big ABBA or Musical Fan - When I watched this I was having a really bad day, so I thought why not and Put in on - Mamma Mia put me in such a good mood, the songs are catchy & Cheery - Beautiful actors, beautiful locations and Streep is outstanding as is everybody apart from The Former 007 - Who actually signed onto the film without knowing what it was about, he signed purely because Streep was in it, and he gives it his best shot
Great Entertainment from start to finish - Watch it after a bad day and it'll put a smile back onto your face!
P.S. At time of writing, It's now become the UK'S highest Theatrical Grosser of all time, Overtaking Titanic and deservadly so.
****1/2 out of *****
Men in Black II (2002)
Short and Forgettable Cash-in Sequel ** / *****
The first Men in Black Movie which came out in 1997, was a fun, Thrill ride of action, Comedy and FX, with great leads in Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones.
Fast Forward 5 years Later and we have the sequel - Men in Black 2, which I was looking forward to seeing having enjoyed the first, Well I gotta be honest I was hugely disappointed not only was this Short.... Way Short with Film & Credits coming in at UNDER 90 minutes, The Story was weak and by-the-numbers and Nobody's heart was in it - Smith & Jones were going through the motions and acted as If they couldn't be bothered and were in it purely for contractual reasons, The SFX while great after a while were tiresome and seemed to be overdone to a huge amount to cover the inadequacies in the plot - The Comedy was forced and where was Linda Fiorentino who took over Jones' role at the End of the first? She was nowhere to be seen & and as far as I recall no reason was given for her absence - although I know Fiorentino was a notoriously difficult actress to work with and she hasn't made a motion picture for many years, but a reference to her character would have been nice. Co-Stars which included Rosario Dawson, Johnny Knoxville, Lara Flynn Boyle & Rip Torn, were abysmal and close to embarrassing.
It was a huge hit of course - though not as big as it's predecessor, but quite frankly it didn't deserve to be a hit, It's just another example of Hollywood treating Cinema-goers as Mindless Idiots who'll watch anything with oodles of Effects, regardless of the quality of the script.
From as far back as 2005 there's been talk of a second sequel, Personally I think This shameless Cash-in Sequel Is quite enough thank you very much
Black Dawn (2005)
Better than expected Seagal Flick *** out of *****
In 'Black Dawn' a sequel to Seagal's earlier Flick 'The Foreigner' from 2 years earlier again has Seagal playing Johnathan Cold a rogue CIA Agent, this time he's undercover infiltrating a group of terrorists who plan to detonate a Nuclear Bomb over Los Angeles.
As most will know the plot in a Steven Seagal Movie is rather irrelevant as it's usually just one big plot hole from start to finish & people will moan about Seagal's weight gain, duff acting, dubbing & obvious body doubles, but to be honest those who moan have far too much time on their hands. What do you really expect when you stick a Steven Seagal film into your DVD Player??? None of him films - even his best claim to be anything other than mindless action, and as such does what it says on the tin and is enjoyable if you just want undemanding cerebral pleasure.
Co-starring various non-entities including Tamara Davies, John Pyper-Ferguson & Julian Stone, Who all actually play their roles to an acceptable standard. From the Writer behind Wesley Snipes' STV flicks '7 Seconds' & 'The Detonator', Produced by 8 People including Seagal Himself & Andrew Stevens who has dozens of Straight to Video Pictures in his repertoire, and Directed by Cinematopgrapher Alexander Gryszynski who does a pretty good job at his first shot at Directing.
All in All not the best Film you're ever likely to see, not even the best in it's genre, but it's pretty good if your expectations are low
*** out of *****
Last Action Hero (1993)
Superb Action Thriller Satire with Arnie sending himself up. ****1/2 out of *****
'Last Action Hero' is one of Schwartznegger's best movies, he sends himself up perfectly in a satire of the action genre and many of his own films.
The story is every kid's dream, of being transported into an action movie starring their favourite star.
Great co-stars including Anthony Quinn,Charles Dance & F.Murray Abraham - Well written with many in-jokes and references to many other films throughout & Action packed from start to finish and from the Director of Die Hard & Predator
At the time of it's release it was projected to be a huge hit - It didn't happen - on a huge budget (of it's time) of $85M it opened to only $15.4M and made a mere $50M stateside and $137M Worldwide - The fact it didn't make the huge business anticipated was probably down to opening the Week after Monster Hit (and at the time the highest grosser of all time) Jurassic Park, so it was a case of bad timing on behalf of the Studio - Sony ended up making a $27M declared loss on 'LAH' while not being in Pluto Nash Territory that's quite hefty!
The only small complaint I have, is that at 130 Minutes, it's rather TOO long and could been 15-20 Minutes shorter.
All in all a vastly underrated and under-appreciated Action Thriller that a lot of people don't 'get'
****1/2 out of *****
Dire Stuff...Gold left me cold.
'Gold' or the far more interesting title 'The Great Gold Conspiracy' is a supposed Action Adventure Thriller, I'm afraid to say It's not Thrilling and is decidedly lacking in both Action & Adventure, I haven't read the Wilbur Smith Novel on which this is based, but I have to believe it's better than this boring old tosh - there are far too many pointless scenes and the romantic subplot between Roger Moore & Susannah York is overdone to a large extent and with co stars such as Ray Milland & John Gieulgud, I expected better - they are far too good for this nonsense, the best thing about it is Elmer Bernstein's Soundtrack
Should have been so much better considering the talent involved.
Ciao Manhattan (1972)
The very sad tale of Socialite & Warhol Muse Edie Sedgwick (1943-1971) who effectively plays herself in this odd Film, It took 5 years to film what with Edie in and out of Mental institutions so it doesn't make a great deal of sense, it follows her life in a large part from the time she left Warhol's 'Factory' and what the life of excess drugs did to her sanity, Edie was such a beautiful Fragile girl - who finally got her head together and got married (her wedding day video is edited into the end of the movie) but it was too late, her husband woke up on a Morning in November 1971 and found her dead beside him, she had died in her sleep from overdosing on her medication she was 28 - 'Ciao' was released months later and was virtually ignored on it's original release, but thankfully with the Jean Stein/George Plimpton Biography from 1982 and David Weisman (Co-Producer of 'Ciao' keeping her memory alive) and the well intentioned but disappointing and critically panned 'Factory Girl' which was sadly hacked to pieces by the Weinstein's - Edie is now more famous and popular than she ever was!