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Nine Months (1995)
Enjoyable, simple comedy. Grant and Moore have no chemistry yet Robin Willaims is EXCELLENT!
Hugh Grant is Samuel Faulkner. A simple man with a simple life with a loving girlfriend. Then the bombshell drops! His girlfriend, Rebecca Taylor (played by Julianne Moore) is pregnant! Samuel is not ready for this and it spins his life into disarray. The rest of the film (as hinted by the title) is the progression of Rebecca's pregnancy, and the slow comprehension by Sam of dawning fatherhood.
Nine Months for the latter is dull with uninteresting dialogue and expected sequences. Though there are scenes which are so chaotic and suspenseful that you will cry laughing. Notably the few scenes with Robin Williams at his comedic best as the Russian doctor.
The support cast is very good. Tom Arnold and Joan Cusack are well matched spouses. As well as Jeff Goldblum in a role that couldn't be more different from his Jurrasic Park character.
Chris Columbus has made a light, enjoyable comedy, though you get the feeling that with each one of his passing films you can clearly see that it would have been handled better in the hands of basically any other director. Each one of Columbus's films (with the exceptions of Mrs Doubtfire and Home Alone) are simple and lifeless. They lack complex story lines, interesting problems and elements that make a film great.
The main problem in this film is that Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore have no chemistry! They simply don't fit together! Unlike Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in Notting Hill or Julianne Moore and Pierce Brosnan in The Laws of Attraction, the stars of this picture don't make a good team. Another negative note for Chris Columbus. Better casting next time!
Nine Months is enjoyable comedy for fans of the stars and anyone who wants to have a quiet night indoors to indulge in a bit of light humor.
Three class performances, an original plot and a humorous script make for one entertaining film
Bandits is an interesting original film about two outlaws, Joe Blake and Terry Collins (Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton) whom, after escaping from prison decide to continue their bank robbing spree but with a different tactic. They kidnap the bank manager,take him to work the following morning and get him to open the vault without the complications of tellers and customers. This works successfully until they run into Kate (played to perfection by Cate Blanchett in an overlooked role).Kate is an overworked stressed out housewife who decides she needs some action in her dull life. She forms a romantic relationship with Joe and starts to rob banks with them, a little extreme for a mid- life crisis don't you think?. Later in the film she falls for Terry. Cate becomes torn between the two and a rift is formed between the thieves. This is the interesting dilemma explored in this film as the two cannot afford to be torn apart as all they have in life is each other.
This film is funnier than you would expect, it plays more as a comedy than a crime film. Willis nicely escapes his cop persona in the role of Smooth likable Joe Blake. Thornton is superbly funny as Collins, the neurotic paranoid partner. As aforementioned, Blanchett is perfect as the love interest.
The ending is enjoyable if not a little expected. The one big flaw in this film is that Thornton's character, though entertaining is clearly not the criminal type. Though the relationship between the two main characters is touching.
Bandits is a funny, enjoyable, original comedy that I recommend to everyone. Go out and see this film. There will hardly be a moment in it that you will not adore.
Historically "correct" for entertainment's sake
Troy is based on Homer's poem, the Iliad, in which we are not assured of any historical fact. Due to this lack of information Wolfang Petersen decided to create fictitious story-lines to please the movie-going public. And it worked. Troy is a passionate, compelling often powerful film that was worth it's duration yet not nearly worth it's quarter of a billion dollar budget.
Brad Pitt turns in an unexpectedly excellent portrayal of a Hollywood altered Achilles. Eric Bana gets a five out of ten and Orlando Bloom's weak portrayal of Paris is the down point of the film. His presence may have enticed the female crowd to see this epic, yet in every regretful scene with him he is low and transparent. Nonetheless the younger cast of pretty-boys is made up for by the older more experienced cast including Peter O'Toole and Brian Cox.
The war scenes are not what you would have hoped for. They are lacking in comparison to Braveheart and the Lord of the Rings. What you really have to watch out for are the one-on-one fight sequences between the key characters.
Troy is an exciting film worth watching even more than once though watch it as a compelling action flick,not as a historical epic.
The Money Pit (1986)
Enjoyable 80's slapstick, the two lead performances are superb
The Money Pit is an enjoyable comedy filled with great one-liners and hilarious slapstick. Tom Hanks and Shelly Long buy a run-down house and attempt to magically transform it into a million -dollar mansion. Hanks and Long play off each other very well and convincingly. It is great to see Hanks before he became an A-list celebrity and just as pleasing to see Long play someone other than Diane Chambers (Cheers). The sub-plot of their marriage falling apart is dismal at best. This film needed stronger story lines.
Yet it is worth watching for the hilarious slapstick, such as the collapsing stairs, Hanks falling through the carpet and the chimney coming to rest in the fireplace.
Interestingly enough this film keeps you hooked from beginning to end as you come to care for the characters, yet the audience may develop a closer bond with the house. This film makes for fun midday viewing, and would be enjoyed by die-hard fans of Hanks and Long. On that note look out for Die Hard's Alexander Godunov in a small yet humorous role.
Arguably the Best comic book film ever made, the best of the Batman franchise anyway
Batman is a brilliant piece of cinema. An exceptional adaptation of the popular comic book makes for an exceptional film, which excels in every aspect of it's production. From the performances to the special effects to the set design this film shines.
Michael Keaton plays Batman and Bruce Wayne equally well, and so far he has been the best candidate for the role. Yet as good as his performance is he is outdone by the support cast. Kim Basinger plays Vicki Vale with a passion and the interplay between the two is seamless. Though Jack Nicholson steals the show as the Joker. His performance is as fun as it is mesmerizing. There are moments captured on camera with the Joker which will stick in everyone's mind. Such as the parade, the walk through the art gallery and Nicholson asking the famous phrase "have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?"
The plot is well formed, the film moves along at an good pace, and there is barely a scene which you will not adore. There are only two faults. The beginning of the film is slow, though the rest is so action-packed right up until the final scene it is of no importance. And the method that the Joker uses to take down the Bat-Plane is not only non-believable it is downright ridiculous.
Nevertheless Tim Burton as made a masterpiece here an it is arguably the greatest comic book film of our time. I recommend any fan of the genre to go see this along with anyone who would enjoy a couple of hours of unrelentless fun.
Ocean's Twelve (2004)
Brilliant cast, why weren't they given a good script?
In Ocean's Eleven we saw George Clooney, Brad Pitt,Matt Damon etc etc pull off a classy casino heist. The film was engaging, exciting and most of all, likable. In Ocean's twelve, the whole gang are back, plus Catherine Z-J to pull off another heist. And the reason for this one (try not to laugh) is that they have to pay the money back they made in the first film, plus interest! This is one of the worst plots in recent memory and not only makes for a wasted two hours but totally depletes the excellence of the first film! The cast is one of the best ever assembled but are given nothing to work with. Soderbergh should have known better.
This sequel to the remake of a classic Sinatra film should be avoided by all and forgotten by fans of the cinema. Sequels are currently being filmed to the remakes of the Thomas Crown Affair and The Italian Job. Lets just hope they are not as abysmal as Ocean's 12.
Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
More of an action movie than a James Bond film
Tomorrow Never Dies is the second outing for Pierce Brosnan as 007.This time around Bond has to prevent a Media Mogul from starting a war between Britain and China for ratings. As always Brosnan turns in an enjoyable performance, but Pierce will always be more Remington Steele than James Bond, and will never measure up to Sean Connery.
The story is simple and less believable than most of the 007 plots and that is saying something. Yet the film is helped along by many exceptional action sequences, such as the pre-titles scene, the remote control car and the motorbike chase through Saigon.
The villains are simple and one-dimensional as opposed to the previous more complicated Bond Villains.The Bond Girls in this picture (though not unattractive) are two of the worst characters in the franchise.
I have seen every single James Bond film and this is not up to the standard of the average 007 flick. Tomorrow Never Dies is more of an action film than a James Bond film, and the script would have been better used as the next XXX film.
If you are a fan of the series, do not put your hopes on this picture, but if you are a fan of fast,expensive, explosive action sequences this will not disappoint.
Sgt. Bilko (1996)
Without much of a story yet countless hilarious moments
Sgt Bilko delivers countless laughs, mostly from Steve Martin, Dan Akroyd and Phil Hartman. The rest of the cast are a joke. There are so many gags, slapstick, and one-liners you have to enjoy it. There is no strong story line which is unfortunate, but Bilko gets away with it. The constant parody of the united states army is much more relaxed than the Korean setting of MASH.
Do not watch this film with any predispositions or expectations of what you are going to see, and you will enjoy it so much more. I recommend it to anyone who just wants a quick two hour getaway from reality, and a chance to let yourself go and have some fun.
As Good as It Gets (1997)
This is almost as Good as it Gets
This film is one of the most interesting studies of relationships ever captured on screen. The characters are perfectly formed, the interplay is seamless, and as the characters grow on each other we grow with them.
Jack Nicholson(in his most complicated role) is Melvin Udall, an obsessive compulsive romance novelist.He is very anti-social and just wants to be left alone. Enter Carol Connely (played with gusto by Helen Hunt) a waitress whom the obsessive compulsive Melvin needs to wait on him every morning. Both Nicholson and Hunt won Oscars for their roles and their interplay is breathtaking. I enjoy nothing better than to see two actors in exceptional roles working together, and as Good as it Gets is a perfect example. We see their excellent chemistry working throughout the film unlike in say, Silence of the lambs where Foster and Hopkins only had a few scenes together.
Then we meet Melvin's gay neighbour, Simon Bishop who is hospitalised after he catches people breaking into his home.Simon's dog is sent to stay with Melvin and perhaps the most interesting relationship develops between the two.
The rest of the film is the developing relationships between the characters and how they come to care for each other as well as us care for them.
I will not spoil all the bizarre and touching events that take place in this film but rest assured there are many. There are moments where your heart will skip a beat. Such as when Melvin says to Carrol with more sincerity than Sting, you make me want to be a better man.
Cuba Gooding Jr has a small role in this. Watch out for the very funny scene where he forces the dog on Melvin. There is also a small appearance by Yeardly Smith (the voice of Lisa Simpson).
The one down point in this movie is that the romance novelist side of Melvin's character is never explored, which is unfortunate since you cannot add such a bizarre feature to a character like this and not explain it. The director could have taken an extra scene to convey this characteristic.
Nonetheless, this is a film you can't not love. For each person there are different moments you will always remember and there is no one who will be left untouched.
The Fugitive (1993)
One of the best thrillers, the chase is suspenseful throughout
The fugitive, in a nutshell is one of the greatest thrillers ever made. The pace never lets up, and the best touch is that the director uses brain action to drive the plot instead of violent action, which lets us identify with the characters. And what brilliantly constructed characters!
First there's Dr. Richard Kimble(well played by Harrison ford), falsely accused of murdering his wife and on the run after a brutal bus wreck. We start to identify with him as well as root for him as he searches for his wife's killer. And then there's United States Marshall Sam Gerard(in Tommy Lee Jone's academy award winning role) who attempts to hunts Kimble down. The interesting thing about Gerard is that we begin to root for him too, seeing his tough,relentless character at work.There are moments in this film when Jone's is so unbelievable you heart skips a beat,yet Ford nor Jones take the spotlight. The lead is shared. In the few scenes they have together the interplay is near perfect.
The murder and the conviction take place very quickly at the beginning allowing for the rest of the story to evolve over a longer time.This is well done, though it leaves us wondering why Kimble was sentenced to death on such circumstantial evidence.
Hats off to the support cast! Joe pantoliano and Julianne Moore both turn in excellent performances.
The one problem I have with this film is that the Dam scene is overrated. The previous scene in the tunnel was exceptional yet the stunt in question happened too fast and is undeserving of it's fame. The best scene in the film is when Kimble struggles to get through the electronic door at the prison as Gerard thunders after him.
In say, James Bond films you hold your breath while the hero is in danger and let it go when he escapes. In this film you hold your breath for the full two hours until the final shot when you'll let it go. I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys films and if you haven't already seen it go to the video store and rent a copy of this definitive classic.