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Edge of Darkness (2010)
I saw this in the theater, on this date.
As I got past the 26 movie previews at the beginning, I remembered what it was I had come to see and was pretty happy about that.
As this started to unfold, I remembered thinking to myself that I really didn't see the 'previews' mostly because I had 'purposly' missed them, after I saw this was coming out. I was intrigued at the preview though, so I wanted to save it for the movie. At first as I saw the opening scene, for a moment I thought, is this going to be good? Or is this just gonna suck the dollars out of my pocket?
But as per Martin Campbell and his intuitive directing style, that leaves room for 'surprises' and breath-taking sequences.
The cool thing about Campbell's style is that it is satisfying when he does something that you think is going one way and you end up with a nice twist, that makes sense. The story was one that I was not familiar with before I saw it, I kept it that way to truly be surprised. And how. This for me drew me in from the very beginning, right after I had a second of questioning. Probably not for typical reasons either.
Mel, from the front picks up his daughter and he looks so weathered. He looked good for a Boston P.d. man. But this doesn't just start, it gets moving kind of like a freight train, and just as one passes you by when not paying attention, will get your attention!
He was in the right roll, here. I thought of other actors as he was moving through this story and I couldn't replace him, with anyone that I could see over taking his part. No way. This to say the least for me as I left, was a rare moment where I didn't think of changing the events, etc, around.
The intensity and the dialog is outstanding. From moment to moment I enjoyed the way it was shot and set-up. The reality in the scenes that followed, were of such degree to me that I didn't have to really suspend my disbelief. Which for many over-the-top movies is all too common place these days. With respect to artists and directors, not all are the most original, or creative. But for Mel Columicile Gerard Gibson, it moved along a spectacular edge.
The story and plot, I am not sure if it has any connection to the original type material from the series or not, but this should win awards. That is my humble opinion.
Far be it for me to say what his best performances are for everyone else. But I know that for me there is such a broad range. I did enjoy the Passion Of The Christ, most of all, due to the content and story, that is true. That's awesome too.
This moves with respect to the viewer at a good pace and the 'whole' of the story is a shocker for most. I won't give it away, but it is strong. You can't help but root, for this man, yell out at the screen, (I did, once, okay, three or four times) and sometimes want to tear up. As always however, Mel is Mel. He brings his own flavor and this is his!
Recommended for people who like adventure, and deeper mature story and Epic film-style. The cast was smashing in the execution of this event. **** Thanks IMDb.com
Mayans can be a lot of fun, huh?!
I had seen the previews, believing that this epic film was going to set the rules and rock like a barge full of bricks...and it did!! Wow, victorious! Yeah, right. I remember a time when I was in the made for cable T.V. program Young Indiana Jones Chronicles in California in 1994 working with John's Brother Bill Cusack. That was a lot of fun, to be with a professional man who has a family of talent. I have always liked John's delivery. It always seems to run similar from movie to film. Whether good, great or bad, he just has a mode about him, that is indeed John. I was truly, well let me say that even in disappointment there can be hope, but not for this. Let me see, and I am very much not alone here, when I say count the movies, epics and bombs about saving the world, or the ending thereof. Even if it was ending my lawyer would still want to collect on the bill! At any rate, by and large we've seen Armagedden, which I liked, Independence Day, which I thought was a 2 hour movie built around a gigantic explosion accompanied by a few more, and recycling and organics and coke and John Lennon, with some holes that were the size of the grand canyon, but not to stray here. There was also Deep Impact-good and on and on many to list. The situation was that there were far more 'holes' in this, that made it far, and above too unbelievable even at the 'suspended belief' portion. The biggest thing amongst all the poorly executed 'Special Effects' first was the airplane taking the slip-thru the falling buildings and the shakiness of the plane on the screen!! I laughed, because it looked so ridiculous, the falling embers that were striking everything except the pro-tags in the movie, was flat-out unreal. It looks and is, Phony! It did not even have the ability to make me believe that it was happening, even with the millions of dollars that was spent on the making of this faking the world's end movie. Then, amongst all the other stuff I won't waste time on, there was John's character, at the air field, after they refueled the plane, and he took, Woody Harrelson's R.V., and the ground opened up to HELL, he, as the airplane is leaving in a much needed get away for the 'newer' husband of the ever hot Amanda (baby-love)Peet, John climbs out from the pit which probably had enough HEAT to skewer him like a pig-on-a-spit!! Literally. He made it out from the R.V. dropping and onto the side of the whatever-opening and climbed out. Ho-boy. I got up and walked out at this point, mind you I love John Cusack's ability. The other point of default for this over done world-ending disaster picture was the bad-dialog, of foreigners and even at the market within that conversation standing by the fruit Loops cereal and he says there is always something getting between us and then the earth opens up in the supermarket isle. Please! I can't take it anymore, the formulated 'Hollywood Formula' crap factor that most movies have these days and it is only getting worse. I have an idea, just get rid of most of these over the top, Hollywood exec.s and their 'out of touch' ideas and go to more a purist formatting. Not the over lighted, MTV music played out music over-score, hair, make-up always seeming a little too perfect, no acne, clothing never really getting dirty, that goes on and the stupid, obnoxious one-liner poop, that they totally rely on to catch people's attention during the fifty-seven movie pre-views that they show before your movie starts. And in all of this... why can't kids just be kids? They don't have to be super heroes, super- smart or always have a 'snappy' script written 'come-back' that sounds more adult than their own age group. Ah, hell, we need some fresh good ideas. Not just more over sexed and over-done liner movies that rely on cool images and dialog than story and gradual building to a coherent climax that satisfies, not lets you down in the aftermath.
*Not recommended by me anyway. It truly is a disaster movie. Huge disaster. Thanks IMDb.com, it's not the end of the world yet. Revelation.
Something is watching from the shadows....
Gentlemen, let's broaden our minds. Lawrence!! And the music plays!! I don't know but I didn't see this one coming after years of the comic books and the 1960's series on television, in which I loved. I tell you, I didn't think about this, until they (the studio) released the 'Pre-views' for this in I think it was late 1988. I believe every potential ticket buyer stood up for this one. And ah, let's take a moment... Nicholson: "You can call me Joker!" If you don't think this cat can play a criminal master-mind in the most degenerate way and yet with a flair for the dramatic, and still dressed like a well tailored comic-book character, then you-don't-know-Jack!! The right idea for casting this, in both arena's. Who would have thought that Michael Keaton, would be the Man! He shined as a hero multi-millionaire in reclusion. He fought crime, convincingly with crushing strength and in style. People were griping about Keaton as Batman, when word had gotten out in the shooting process and the studio was ready to pull-it, I heard until Tim Burton the director told them they need to see him in action first and he gave them the pre-view reel of this. That made believers of them all! Funny thing was that Bill Murray of SNL was the almost original pick for this comic caper. Think on that one for a moment, I mean Bill is great, but whoa, I don't know here! The Joker was given a gold plated deal of a contract on this one. He received a guaranteed 10 million, or a percentage of the 'Gross' whichever was highest. He ended up with over 60 million for himself! Jack Palance another giant in character cinema. And as Jack's boss that was perfect. There are not many, that can be the criminal empire boss like Palance could play it, as he did so well.
Then the others who played in this putting the rest together for a fun feast of the senses in regard to a crime fighting blockbuster.
Kim Basinger in what was quite a Hey!-day. She was lovely and soft as silk to look upon. "Well, miss vale." The joker exclaimed upon seeing her for the first time. Then there is Robert Wuhl, the ever smart-alack type reporter who carried it off as if it was nothing but him. In love with Vicky too, but would lose out to the Batman. Of course.
I was glad to see this come to the theater and do as well as it did. I can't believe that it was now over 20 years ago. W
Where does the time go?
RECOMMENDED HIGHLY (****)
Quantum of Solace (2008)
Bond in Solace
It's lithium -like on screen appearance, I was caught up and deeply involved, there was a sort of flashing, that catches your senses, James profile and you are trying to make it all out as fast as it is happening! This almost leaving you behind in the first moments.
A nameless, unknown and very important man in an interrogatory situation who exclaims in an eerie undertone "We've got people everywhere.." And just then, one of the new world order members, the man's allie, pulls his pistol rapid fires it and kills one of MI-6.
A flurry of action explodes as the criminal elements tail James sweeping through the road in and out of traffic and ultimately ripping the door off Bond's beautiful Astin-lovely-Martin! So sad I almost cried! That's no way to treat a car of that stature. Then pulling onto a rock filled side road connecting them to a Corry, James getting hammered by gunfire, finally (driving solo) takes hold of his weapon and fires back!!! Then onto two big doors opening he is able to head down that little pathway to a spot and parks. I won't tell you what happens next, I want you to be able to watch this and enjoy it. Not everyone will, but there is enough 'shock-value' for the want-on oo7 fan. James Bond no more. What you're seeing when you watch this is a splendid and necessary departure, from the predecessors of the past. Withstanding, only recently Casino Royale (2006). A box office blast, that started a new and more grown up Bond. Scaithing and gritty. A harder hitting and more real effecting Bond than has been previously seen.
Brosnan, whom I have loved from the on-set has been more 'hit and miss' for me. Goldeneye (1995) was with mass appeal for me and millions of 'Bondies', made me glad Bond was back. By the end however, with 2002's Die Another Day, that episode of Bond was less then stellar in performance and by all standards I hate to admit, I was both sorry that Brosnan had left and happy that a significant change could take course...bring the New era of James Bond.
I enjoyed his Frenchman buddy that always acts with his very own flavor and seasoned style. I was not happy for the last situation he ended up with.
Quantum is 'manic' speed in part and massive in style and beauty of surrounding scenery. It's powerful with shock...no slick one- liners. Instead just iron gripping strength brought out by Daniel Craig's Spy hero-007. The out dated double o, as an irratant to Judy Dench's M. But Cromagnun has never been soo good, aye Miss Judi? After breaking a killer, almost in half in Haiti's Port A Prince, I was stunned , amazed at how real it felt. Simple and yet brilliant directing for me. Honest and definitely hard (smash-cut) calculated blows, I could feel the pain of every 'hit'.
Even with the locking the dead bad guy in the bathroom at the party, Bond takes the handle (snaps it) off of the door and does with such calculated brute force, that it just makes you laugh because of his control. The end sequence is very serene and for me satisfied, the story ending, bringing it all - in-all. It was like a snowy cold Christmas send off without the fan-fare, just muffled and quiet, bringing it to the end. Whew! All that, and I am hungry for more, yet satisfied in the mean time. Wondering, will Craig be back or...who would be next???
I was thoroughly impressed with 'Quantum' and even though not all will, I say, Recommended Highly for the Bond fanatic. (*****)
From the start, there is a strange and combing feeling of the story unfolding. The military, a hard core training tool for those about to go to war or even make it in peace-time. It is hard, it is cold, it is calculated, of course. If it weren't we would have been over taken by some foreign government long ago. Not to say that, that isn't what is slowly happening now...don't get me started. I watched in slow amazement as Samuel's character took flight after the interview with the young soldier, started. John reminds me a little of his role in The General's Daughter, but then it clears a sort of different pathway. I enjoyed watching the elements of the story take place and then seemingly change direction, to a certain extent. Definitely a good paced action and thought provoking military story that leads you and keeps you from any stretch of 'Boredom'.
This was one of those "I watched it but I could enjoy it again." Type features where, just once is not all. You can learn something new if your mind is in a 'discovery' mode.
Some films... once you know what has happened, people tend to think "I've already seen it." But yet, there are stories like this that just take you by surprise.
And for me that is what it is all about. Good actors of course can do, but it is all involved with the writing and direction and I love this director's brain. I met Samuel L Jackson in L.A. gassing up his Lincoln Navigator, he was dressed in black leather attire very impressive man. I enjoyed that.
Another great John McTeirnan directed piece, that has brilliant performances and a smart script.
Recommended (****) Highly.
On Deadly Ground (1994)
Nanuk the bore...
I was out at the video store and payed $3.99 for this, not to rent... to buy. I am sitting here watching this thinking back to the time I saw it years ago in the theater. This is another prime example of a film that has not aged well. At one point a well known military man (now retired) who consults other film makers on military situations and action, etc, was given I believe one of the most overly lengthy lines to deliver, in one of those film moments that is supposed to give information to the audience about the pro-tag.
Here is one mercenary to his boss "This doesn't seem like one man, it's as if there is a whole fire team out there!" And the Merc captain, the well known retired man: "My guy in D.C. tells me we are not dealing with a student here...we are dealing with a professor. Any time the military has an operation that cannot fail, they send in this guy to train the troops okay?" Now that sounds all good in an action sort of way, alright, now here's where it goes further, then too far. "He's the kind of guy that would drink a gallon of gasoline, just so he could take a leak on your camp fire!! You could drop this guy off at the Artic Circle in a pair of bikini underwear, without his tooth brush and tomorrow afternoon he'll show up at your poolside with a million dollar smile and a fist full of pesos. This guy's a professional...ya got me?!" Whew!! I can tell you that this is not in league with other stuff he has done. His brilliant fight scenes are not enough to carry this to a solid rating victory. The director should have been pulled first, which was, Segal. Not to mention some of the acting was incredibly lost in spots. Michael Caine is on board with massive experience, and his character (probably with what he brought) in addition to Steven directing him, just barely makes the final mark. Then on the top, of that if they would have just edited out the whole part in between the saving Forrest after the explosion to the spirit filled, fantasy vision and the naked girl on the bed with the old lady standing next to the bed with the baby rattle and the washing in the river and Steven rising up and down for the spirit director of the vision thing. From that next scene where John McGinley's character the Aegis-One security guard comes in and is looking to track down Forrest Taft and shoots the little native man. That would have been ideal to pick-up at after the confession that Forrest gives the villagers, right before the little native man lies to the Aegis-One security force in the helicopter. The whole button pushing thing at the end of the story at that control console, just seemed so juvenile, even though it was there to help bring the end. I do have to say though, that I loved John C's character as the security fool. He is the guy that should be at the mall issuing those sticker tags on your driver's side window that read 'You can't park here'. That's good for the environment too. If you like John C. McGinley and most do.. and you haven't already seen 'Stealing Harvard' don't miss John in that too.
Not highly recommended, unless you are John Denver or just plain... high.(*)
Thanks IMDb.com >>Go Green Baby. Just not in your complexion.
The Proposal (2009)
An unexpected pleasure...Ooh Ms. Sandra
Hey now! I picked this for my wife tonight. Though, it seemed that the pre-views somehow, didn't look that appetizing. I couldn't have be more wrong. And what a sweet surprise! This Sandra Bullock produced little diddy had her in what I say is one of her smartest roles/characters I have seen so far. Aside from the dancing with Gammie over mother earth, even with that she still was hot as can be, all the while shaking' her groove thing. I didn't quite get it other than comic relief I'm sure, but it didn't seem to fit the story, although it was kinda cute anyhow. I never payed attention to anything other than Sandra's acting before now. She played this rich witch executive to the edge. I was proud of her performance, she is amazing like never before. She had a rigid sexy grace about her that just makes you CrAzY!! She, not to get off on a 'rabbit trail' here, but she seems to have nice aging process. Some people get older, some look more and more wonderful as they age, thus Sandra.
She is stunning...I am shocked that I am writing this, because I have never felt this way about Ms. Bullock. Ryan her secretary assistant is quite the right man for the job. He brings with himself an ability for on the line delivery. He is totally believable. He was the perfect opposite to her sexy, steely eyed lady boss. The story takes Sandra's character by surprise to Alaska, to get her out of trouble, she doesn't want to take the trip at second thought, but has to end up following through, or she could lose everything. While on this little adventure and cover-up mission to save her ass, they take in a few different situations that teach them some different things about themselves and some life lessons that they won't soon forget.
I have to admit that amongst the beautiful Alaskan backdrop, this family of Ryan's character are sort of like the Kennedy's of Sitka, Alaska. They were very outgoing and happy and totally engrossing to this duo. They really didn't have a chance when it came to trying to pull off what they were trying.
I must say though, through the laughs and all else I was shocked at seeing Sandra in just a wash cloth covering her tan bod. She is fit, she's hot. No debate there. I saw more of her than I ever have, or though I would and what was more, the pre-views don't do the bedroom crossing scene any justice, at all. When the two crossed paths naked and basically met sticking together standing up before they hit the floor, like that, it was not something that you are gonna soon forget either. I was dumb-founded. I never knew that Sandra was that way. Jeez Louise!!
Well this one with the astute Madison avenue frigid queen of cold had me at the proposal on the street corner.
They made this one with love you can see, some lust too just to keep the guys on the edge of the seat so to speak and a fun story about a couple that were not supposed to fall in love, but did anyway. Betty White was a wonderful addition to this by the way, here's to you Betty for putting something smart and comedic into this feature of love from New York to Alaska.
I recommend to the girl and guy date night type stuff it's a winner.(****)
Transporter 2 (2005)
Driven to tears...
In time, many a studio attempts to capture the 'magic' of the Original. From the sexy little beast girl, that was long and lean that took out the doctor and even with the hallway shoot-em'-up and the exploding tank that sends her to the floor, with incinerator power scorching almost everything in that front office way, yet with her doctor's coat burned by her neck and head, she and her platinum blond locks, unscathed! On top of this, with the police baring down on her in the street as she has lost sight of the 'transporter' she has enough silence after the police give her a command to drop her weapons, she takes a call on her headset and takes an order, hangs up then proceeds to, in one sweeping motion drop the empty clips, not just one but both and re-load then turn with two non verbal police officers, apparently they didn't have anything else to say to a half naked woman in the street, that has fired at least 150 rounds. She is holding two automatic weapons that could cut them in half and they have had tactical training, from the academy...but she is simply too much for them and in a second guns down two officers standing with the squad car doors as Shields. Talk about escape from reality. There seem to me to be too many things that would not work out ...unless your 007. Maybe this is just a poor attempt at making a professional driver Bond film. Who knows? In addition, it has a look similar to an episode of C.S.I: Miami, which I am a fan, but it has definitely departed from the first film and it's feel. And the situation with the marina, and the goofball he's chasing? What in the heck was that?? Too much unguarded stuff, to be a place that I can jump into and simply believe. and of course the phone call at the end, while he is sitting in his Audi to summon yet another adventure.
The first in 2002, was an escape surely, but this was that now, pushing the envelope way too much for me.
I would recommend if you are looking for a real Hollywood action flick, to check this feature out...if not well. Sometimes a sequel just is not the answer. (**)
National Security (2003)
Mar-In and SsTeve Z
Sure many people that didn't like this are vocal about it, but for me I like Steve Zahn and Lawrence proved himself in Blue Streak. I like the wit of director Dennis Dugan, ever since I saw him in "can't Buy Me Love" back in 1987. I haven't forgotten the personality he has. Although he didn't direct that one, but he has done plenty of other great pictures's. So with that I will explain, as the screw-ups that these two partners are, they try to be cool and make it happened while being inattentive boobs, they get demoted, and dropped done to a sub-level in their careers, the place that they don't want to be, so now they're a little scared about being trapped in one place. Plus there is a bigger event that is pushing them to act in a more serious and calculated manner. These two have to get to some seriousness...amongst all the craziness.
Zahn, has a really good flavor for this part and he does have a talented ability that he brings to many other roles, I like his style. If he bulked up, which might not be too healthy, but never the less he might be another Chris Farley!! Martin Lawrence is just great at bringing the crazy-civilized guy to the part. He seems to have that go back and forth ability that allows him to be either way and seemingly always a little of both. I enjoyed this even if others complained about it. For me I can recommend it to others, mostly I will say, get this on an edited film purchasing site, so that you don't have to worry about the kids, if you have any, seeing and hearing stuff that ain't appropriate. I liked the soundtrack as well, for an urban sort of feeling. I would still get the edited version for me anyway.
At any rate I recommend, although nutty and a little corny, it's still up there on the fun scale. (**)
Blue Streak (1999)
Mar-In Streakin' Lawrence
Generally speaking, I'm not a Lawrence Fan, and was not that familiar with him or his show. At this time when this came to town I went because of the pre-views and thought it couldn't be that bad, right? In actuality, it was a lot of fun!! Martin was a great character that played the their turned sueto cop. This was a pleasure for me to watch. There are so many different things to choose from that it makes the competition tough. I'm thinking to myself, wow, I'm checking out Martin in the middle of everything else, so this must be strong enough. I was right. His dilemma after robbery, stealing expensive diamonds and then getting chased by the fuzz, makes things a little more complicated than he could handle. So, presto-stash-O. The diamond is stowed away, in a building that is going up. Good idea and 'quick' thinking for him. Although he gets busted anyway for breaking into the jewelry store. He does two years in the pen. He gets set free. Now he is feeling fine! He goes back to check out his girl and she has gone from a size petite, to Esther Role. This does not sit well with her either when he lets her know about the obvious change in girth. The rock of Gibraltar diamond that he stole, in his hiding place is not quite what he remembers it to be. He is a con that is free, standing in front of the new police building, where his little stolen article is awaiting his return. Now, complications play out bigger. He has what looks like a torette's syndrome break-down in front of the building and some officers out on break, while cars pass by and on lookers see him, freaking. He has to come up with a plan to get this job done. And considering where this is all taking place, it had better be brilliant. I won't give away what happens next, but this is a slick well crafted comedy with the likes of Luke Wilson and William Forsythe who has been in a number of outstanding films, both comedy and action and dramatic roles. There is always a bunch of stuff going on and it is a lot of crazy-half planned out funky Martin on the loose fun. He can't speak Spanish very well either, but that really won't hurt him in the end by the way.
This is a Martin Lawrence casted good piece of now classic entertainment, that I can say, "Yes I recommend it." See it if you haven't. It isn't going to win an Oscar, but it will be worth the time to watch. (***)