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King Kong (2005)
O'bie would have been proud
This is what this film needed, someone with the same passion as the original was made with. This doesn't stick absolutely shot for shot with the original a la Psycho, more it has it's own identity but keeps faithfully to the original story. It develops the characters more and takes the relationship between Ann and Kong a bit further than the original, hence it's three as opposed to 1 1/2 hours long. I liked the nods of the hat toward the original, apart from the hat Anne wears (see trivia) when on the Venture Anne and Bruce are acting a scene from a film, the dialogue of which is taken from the original film spoken by Jack Driscoll to Anne Darrow. The Jack Driscoll in the original was played by Bruce Cabot, hence the name of the 'leading man' in the new one Bruce Baxter. The fight scene between Kong and the dinosaurs on Skull island was expanded in the new one, but the climax is taken straight from the original the way kong kills the rex and contemptuously flicks its jaw when it's dead. The original also had a scene missing, when the crew are on a log bridge and kong throws them off they land in a ravine and are attacked by a variety of man eating bugs. In the original test screening this stopped the film audience dead, so it was omitted. As far as I know no-one knows where it is now, however with todays more tolerant viewers it has been replaced in the new version. The only thing I am ever going to have in common with Peter Jackson is that the original Kong is both our favourite, and after the last version done By Dino DeLaurentis in 1976 it would be forgivable to feel a bit of trepidation on yet another version. This one takes the relationship with Kong and Anne along the same lines as the 76 remake but where as the 76 remake did it in a clumsy more cheesy way, this one definitely generates more sympathy. Although produced and directed by Merian C Coper and Ernest B Shoedsack, the original to me will always be down to Willis O'Brien the special effects master who made Kong move, so the greatest compliment I can think of to give the new version, to the Crew, Andy Serkis and to Peter Jackson, O'bie would have been proud of this one
When I grow up I want to be Alien
Where to start, this is a film with no beginning, no middle and thank the lord there is an end. Following the trend to make films of computer games, this one is the latest. The cast are OK, and do what they are meant to ie get shot, maimed, but the film is pointless, the flimsy story stumbles along and at the end the production team seemingly get bored and decide to finish the film. I'm not sure what it is about this film I dislike so much, in comparison it's not that different from Resident Evil, but i found that vastly superior. The dialogue isn't exactly Shakespeare but then again you don't expect that in a film like this, the set designs are a rip of from the game, although the guys who built the sets certainly did a great job and the subjective camera angles I found bloody annoying. The best thing about a first person video game is being able to destroy something and shoot aliens, in this you can't even enjoy that pleasure. God help us if there is another because this one should be renamed Doomed. The only saving grace is the thumping soundtrack, and if you're not into that sort of music this will annoy you even more.
Resident Evil (2002)
What do you get if you mix the Cube with the Matrix and George Romero
The first thing I'd like to say is I've never played the video game so I can't judge how good or how bad it is compared with that. As film adaptations of vid games go it is one of the better ones I've seen, but it has so many bits of other things in it. You have echoes of The Cube, the Matrix, Ghosts from Mars, The Relic, and obviously any of the Romero Zombie films. Nonetheless it still has it's good bits. The score is excellent, there are bits in it that you know what is coming up and you're prepared for it and you still jump when it happens. The action is pretty non stop and the performances of the characters is good. If you liked any of the films mentioned above, then you'll probably like this one to, a hell of a lot better than things like Mortal Kombat and Wing Commander. The only thing I wonder is what it would have been like if Romero had stayed involved. A bit of a six pack and curry flick, but still a good curry nonetheless.
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
If you're old and single, and you have to borrow a kid, GO AND SEE IT
Pixar has come up with another winner, as with most animation it relies on all the pieces coming together to make it work, if the animation is great but the story is lousy, it's just a well animated lousy film, but this is one where everything works perfectly. The animation is what you'd expect from Pixar ie damned good the story is fabulous the characters are lovable and watchable and the voices give the characters personality
On a par with Toy Story, Monsters Inc is a company that generates power by making kids scream ('we scare because we care'). The scarers are just run of the mill Joes who clock on and off during their shift, and aim for the exalted title of scarer of the month. Sully is the king of the screams, a big bluey green bear like monster who wins scarer of the month time after time. His friend and sidekick is Mikey, an eye on legs basically, who is the comic sidekick to the rather more serious Sully. Mike and Sully work on the factory floor as a team, Mike controls a conveyor which brings the doors which allow Sully access to the kids via their closets. When Sully goes in, does his act to make the children scream, Mike collects the energy, which is used to power the City the Monsters live in. The monsters work under the myth that if a child touches them they die, which gives some comic touches. One monster who comes out of a bedroom with a sock attached to his back is 'decontaminated' by the Monster Inc equivalent of SWAT. Things get more complicated when a door is left on the factory floor one evening and when Sully goes through it to check who's scaring in it, he accidentally brings back a human infant with him into the monster world. This causes all sorts of mayhem as the monsters search
for the little girl, and Sully tries to keep her from harm as he gets to like her more the longer she's around. You really have to see it to understand the story but it well worth it. As with the latest trend, especially from Pixar there are a few in jokes, the main one being Mike taking his girlfriend to the poshest restaurant in town which is called Harryhausen's, with his girlfriend bearing more than a close resemblance to one of Harryhausen's best known figures Medusa, from Jason and the Argonauts. Again a trait of Pixar's is the out takes at the end so make sure you don't leave before the credits finish. A great family film from Pixar, who seem to be the next generation Disney and as long as they keep this standard up, they'll certainly be up there with them.
Black Hawk Down (2001)
If you liked Saving Private Ryan, you'll go for this
Seeing as this film is based on real events, and real people, please remember these comments are made from a cinematography point of view by a person who's never seen combat, and god willing never will.
In the same way as monster movies hit a new level with Jurassic Park, War films did the same with Saving Private Ryan. I would put this film on a par with SPR, in other words both great films. Imagine the battle scene from SPR and make it about 2hrs long, add another 20 mins at the start to set the scene and you end up with Black Hawk Down. I don't know if it was just living in England at the time or what, but I don't really remember seeing much about the action it's based on, on the TV or in the papers, and if I hadn't heard it mentioned that it was based on a true story I don't think I would have known. Anyway to the film, it's the story of a group of Delta Force soldiers and US Rangers who are dropped by chopper into Mogadishu, (the capital of Somalia), with the aim of capturing the warlord's, Farrah Aidid's closest advisors, with the intention of shortening the civil war.
The plan is they go in with the cover of helicopter gunships and the larger Black Hawk choppers, which are to give cover while the troops are lowered to the ground.
In theory the aim is to get in and get out in about 30 mins, the building where the targets are located is highlighted by the driver of a car, so it seems a straightforward plan. However with the local melitia groups intent on shooting anything non indigenous, the plan starts to go wrong when a Black Hawk is shot down. The tropps are then put in the situation of trying to establish a perimeter around the downed aircraft whilst trying to remove the captives from the town. Futher complications are added when another Black Hawk, trying to give cover to the rapidly spreading soldiers, is also shot down.
The camera work is great, some hand held stuff, some Point of view with the soldiers and with the choppers, gives a feeling of the enormity of the task ahead of them. ie shots of crowds of locals heading for the fallen choppers with about 6 Rangers and Delta Force troops, trying to get there first and hold them off.
Although the character development is overlooked a bit, it's the sort of film where you don't really want 45 mins of the life story of each soldier, it's an action film, where the action kicks off about 20 mins into the film and doesn't stop. Still there are some good performances, from Tom Sizemore, Josh Hartnett, Sam Shepard and Ewan McGregor especially.
The film does a good job of showing what war is to most people, bloody, dangerous, noisy, quite often pointless and mostly done for no good reason other than some guy who's not in the action says it's a good idea. It makes you wonder what the soldiers who were there, think of it, given the hollywood penchant for artistic licence. It must have been a very hard film to actually bring to life, without re-writng history too much. Yes I know some cynics might say that's never stopped Hollywood before, given films like U-571, but to me Black Hawk Down is a great film, with great perfomances, with a story line made even more dramatic due the fact it actually happened. Being more contemporary than SPR it will no doubt have more of an impact on todays audiences, but young or old, whether you've seen combat or not, this film cannot fail to have an effect on you one way or the other.
Definatley worth a view, no matter what you think to war films.
Jeepers Creepers (2001)
Bit unconventional, but worth seeing
This is the usual story, kids see someone dump body go to investigate and end up running for their lives for the rest of the film,. However it does have some redeaming features, It's not the usual group of teenies, with the usual 'cannon fodder' bods being sliced and diced during the film, it only has two main characters a brother and sister, which means the film relies heavily on the character development, which works to a point but doesn't quite make the grade, sometimes I didn't really care what happened to the lead characters, but in general the script was good enough.
I'm afraid I have to agree with another viewers comments
"The film as a whole, therefore, is a bit of a s**t sandwich. But if you like warm homemade granary bread and don't mind a tasteless filling, then you'll get along with this film fine."
It starts of well, building up the tension nicely for about the first hour or so and then looses it big time in the middle, where it muddles along as best it can.
The ending is a bit abrupt but for me was the main redeaming feature, definately not run of the mill and well worth seeing, so if the middle bit tempts you to leave 1/2 way through, my only advice would be don't.
It's nice to see a director who stands by his convictions and goes with a more unconventional ending.
I liked the film even with it's plot holes, ie who or what the hell is this thing, why is it so p****d off, and why is it killing people and with the disappointing bit in the middle, but if you like horror I've definately seen worse.
It lacks the humour of Scream and Scary movie, but is definately worth a look. But hey judge for yourselves, this is someone who thought 'Blair Witch' and 'Scary Movie' were both bloody terrible.
Yeah but where is the dog????
I caught this film on a re run recently and it just reminded me how much I liked it. The story is a bit predictable good guys (in white hats) wanting to make a new life and take things easy, the bad guys (in black hats) won't let them etc, but what saves this is the cast, script and the performances.
Made when most of the names were well known but not major stars, if they re made it now with the same cast, one of the names would probably get more than the entire cast of Silverado.
The cast list reads like a who's who, Scott Glenn, Kevin Costner, Danny Glover, Brain Dennehy, Rosanna Arquette, Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Kline and even John Cleese makes an appearance.
But what really keeps this exciting and fresh is the performances.
No-one is really the star and the story weaves in and out of short stories of each character which regulary overlap with each other, Costner is a sharp shooting kid full of youth and exurberance, and Scott Glenn his older and wiser brother, they are on their way to California and meet various people on the way. One town they stop in has John Cleese as it's sherif, this is were they also meet Danny Glover. Cleese's performance is a bit short lived but great nonetheless.
Jeff Goldblum is good as a card sharp baddy and Brian Dennehy is a menacing sherif, without being too OTT. For me it's not quite up there with Unforgiven, but it's certainly not far behind.
This is feel goood film for the whole family, if you like westerns You'll love this one, and if you don't, you'll love it because it's a good film.
Pitch Black (2000)
Black humour it aint
This seems to be one of those films that people either love or hate. I've heard good things and bads things about it. Having just seen it recently I have to say it maybe wasn't as good as it could have been but it was a lot better than I was expecting.
The story may be a bit worn, a ship crashes on a unknown planet and slowly the crew get wiped out one by one, but it's still well done. The slight twist to this plot is the planet the surviving crew are stranded on is due to experience an eclipse. They of course find this out after finding some rather less than sociable creatures who are only able to get around in the dark.
The creature design was good and the animation for the CGI stuff was excellent, making the threat of the creatures realistic and believable.
The crew are working on a way to get of the planet when the eclipse strikes sending them into a claustrophobic darkness.
The characters are very good, Vin Diesel giving it his all as Riddick, an escaped con who, having served time on a planet where light isn't permitted, has had his eyes genetically altered to let him see in the dark. the story slowly weaves it's way through the different members of the crew, with not all of them being what they first appear.
If you like suspense, a well made film, the odd fright and a good cast then go see this.
I'd ignore the bad comments you here about this, and go and judge for yourself, cos it really would be shame to miss out on a film this good just because a mate of yours doesn't like it.
Charlie's Angels (2000)
What do you get if you cross James Bond with the Matrix, Mission Impossible and the Spice girls..??????
Strange sort of mix this, action, karate type fight scenes, women in various states of undress and enough slow mo to make John Woo drool. It makes as much sense as the original TV series and the plot, what there is of it, is complete drivel, but hey, who the hell cares.
Bill Murray is pretty good as the comic relief in the shape of Bosley, the link between Charlie and the girls. John Forsythe reprises the role of Charlies voice, heard but never seen. There are some good moments and some good one liners, right at the beginning we have Drew Barrymore, in disguise as LL Cool J, watching the in flight movie, which is TJ Hooker and she/he says "Oh no not another film from an old TV series" The Chinese fighting muffin scene is quite good as well, the idea behind this is Alex's (Lucy Lui) ability to kick butt, diffuse bombs all that secret agent stuff, but can she cook .....Hell No! If you've seen the TV series go watch it for nostalgia, if you haven't, go see it anyway cos guy or girl, this has something for everyone. The only thing I have to pick fault with (and this would be a very minor one) is to me Lucy Lui is the only credible one among them, Cameron Diaz is in usual goofy mode, perhaps a bit to goofy even for this, and Barrymore is the sweet, innocent one who you can't really believe would kick a stuffed toy let alone all those mens butts, but hey as I said who the hell cares, roll on the inevitable sequel.
Deep Blue Sea (1999)
I love Samuel L Jackson, and for me he was of the saving graces in a film that has some dubious casting to say the least.
It's unfortunate that being a shark film it will get comparisons with the great flick 'Jaws', and the only thing I can say about that is it makes me wonder just how good Jaws could have been if they'd had the CG technology fimakers enjoy today. (No offense to Bruce, who did a superb job in Jaws) Anyway back to the point, Harlin's direction is up (or down depending on your view) to his usual standard, and there are some really good moments that build up the tension through the film.
Faults aside, and I'm sure if you tried you could find quite a few, its a good film which I enjoyed, and it's worth watching for the CG characters which frequently scare the shark out of you. If you fancy a film that doesn't require to much thought and gives you the odd good scare then this is for you I'd give it 7/10
From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)
Absolutely blood sucking great
The combination of Taratino's writng and Rodgriguez's direction make this a winner. Some slated it for not knowing what it wanted to be a con escape thriller or a horror, but to me this sets it apart from the usual vampire flicks. The casting is wicked, Harvey Keitel (brilliant as ever) Juliet Lewis, Cheech Marin (brilliant in all 3 roles), Tarantino, Salma Hayek (Hubba Hubba) and of course George Clooney, who for me can do no wrong. Since his departure from ER he seems to have gone from strength to strength, and sad muppet that I am I even liked him as Batman.
The script is a bit predictable at times maybe but some of the one liners are great, and the interaction between the characters is well done, no-one particularly steals the show (apart from Hayek when she does that dance) and Tarantino and Clooney as the two convict brothers are really good.
Brilliant film, that's different enough to make it interesting and as with any film that has Tarantino's influence it has a stonkin' soundtrack.
Stressed Eric (1998)
stressful by name it may be, but watch enjoy, relax and howl with laughter as Eric gets more and more stressed each week
just so Lee47 isn't the only one to make a comment, I decided to voice my opinion about dear ole Eric aswell. This series is truly brilliant, the humour is warped as hell and the animation is fanrtastic. It follows the life of Eric, a harrassed single father, with a normal curious young daughter and a slightly less than normal young son who tends to eat anything that isn't nailed down. The au pair is superb, a totally neurotic girl, who goes out gets drunk, takes drugs etc etc. The story lines are great with Eric usually ending up, as the title suggests, stressed out, no matter what he does to avoid it. Watch for the old granny who tries and fails to post her letter each week.
This series comes a very close second to an animated film that's just come out called Ogri, if you get the chance see either of them they are both brilliant.
The Green Mile (1999)
even the mouse acts a blinder.
I agree with some of the other comments made about Stephen Kings adaptations, some work and some definately don't. This is one of those that fortunatley does, and it even makes up for some of the one's that don't. Don't mistake this for just another prison flick, or expect a rip off of the Shawshank Redemption, because this is neither. It follows the lives of prisoners and guards on a prisons death row, Hanks (Paul Edgecombe) is the head guard who tries to show a little compassion to the prisoners facing the inevitable, most of his fellow guards are of the same mind except one, who uses his position as nephew of the governor's wife to keep him in a job that enables him to induldge his bullying nature. Michael Clarke Duncan is John Coffey, who, with shades of Forrest Gump, introduces himself as John Coffey, "like the drink only spelled different" is a prisoner on death row for killing two girls, as the film progresses the guards come to realise they are about to send an innocent man to the chair. It has some nice moments in it, particularly with Mr Jingles, a mouse who patrols the 'Green Mile' floor and eventually makes friends with the guards and prisoners, and I have to say I haven't seen an acting performance like this from a mouse since Tom and Jerry. All the cast play their parts well, Tom Hanks and Michael Clark Duncan especially. King's story gives the film enough of a twist to make it interesting and different, but it's not so over the top with the effects and to make it nonsensical. The film wasn't quite what I expected, and was pleasantly better than I though it was going to be. It maybe a 3 hour epic but I've seen shorter films that have seemed twice as long, and I could quite happily sit through the film without getting antsy. On a par with 'Shawshank' so if you liked that chances are you'll like this as well.
Bug Buster (1998)
What happens to the crew of Star Trek when they die? they appear in films like this
This is one of those movies that leaves you wondering, with a cast like this why was it so bad, or why does a cast like this feel the need to appear in a film this bad.
Out of all the best known names James Doohan, George Takei and Denis Quaid, you figure they surely don't need the money, and if they did do they need it this badly.
This film can't seem to make up it's mind what it wants to be, if it's meant to be a straight, creature horror flick, it fails miserably, and if it's meant to be a tongue in cheek spoof, it fails miserably as well, in fact the only good thing about this film is the consistency, it starts of really bad, continues to be really bad in the middle, and, shooting a slight hole in my own theory, it actually gets worse at the end.
I kept expecting James Doohan to revert to a Scots accent and Say "Ya canna break the law of insects Cap'n' and perhaps it wouldn't have been so bad if he had, it did make a change to her him with, what I assume was his natural voice, for those of you who didn't know he is in fact Canadian, and George Takei as an insect scientist OH MY GOD! (this needs to be said like Janice out of Friends) Another thing I couldn't handle was the size of the town and the women, before you all go crazy let em explain. I live in a tiny little village in England, when compared to the size of the States would probably be of equivalent size to the town this is set in, and most of the women in my village are either over 60 or under 6 or married with kids, we have no incredibly sexy blonde scientist, no beautiful single brunettes and certainly no gorgeous nymphomaniacs taking the men skinny dipping at night. To think I've met people who've had really good ideas for films if only they'd had the chance, and to see a film like this just confirms there is no justice in the world, well in the film industry anyway. If you don't like bugs you'll hate this film, come to think of it even if you love bugs you'll probably hate it.
Jurrasic Park meets Toy Story.
The jury is still out on this on, I've only seen it once and found it a strange mixture of the 'Photorealistic' dinosaurs from Jurassic Park, yet with human qualities given to the dinosaurs ie facial expressions and the ablility to talk. As an animation student I loved the CG stuff and the scenery in some parts was just breathtaking, in the opening few minutes when Aladar as an egg is passed from one dinosaur to another, he is taken in the beak of a giant bird and if your stomach doesn't drop as it soars over a cliff edge showing a 2,000 + ft drop on the other side, you must be clinically dead.
The animation is brilliant, the facial expressions on the animals especially the monkey characters is great and the meteor storm that forces Aladar and his adoptive family to flee is just spectacular. I've read some of the other comments about this film, and some of them, seem to be picking holes for the sake of it, one stated that the dinosaurs were the wrong colour and they walked differently, to me this is just sematics, if you want realism to that extent, you want 'Walking with Dinosaurs' from Discovery not Dinosaur from Disney.
I must admit finding the talking idea a bit hard to handle to begin with coupled with the ultra realism of the dinosaurs but after a while you just accept it, although I am glad they drew the line at having the dinos sing a la the usual Disney style.
The story is well worn, and taken straight from 'The Land Before Time', you have the feeling that with the amount of films that seem to have this story all the dinosaurs would be living in happy retirement in a green, sunlit valley.
All in all a good film, fairly typical Disney, brilliant animation - regardless of the story (which I would have to say is the only real down side to this) the good guys (plant eaters or Veggie Saurus as the are referred to in Jurassic Park) and the bad guys meat eaters - (if I was A T-rex or similar creature I might want to sue for deformation of character) and a meaningful story, in this case, survival of the fittest may be the case in the Jungle, but when your a Disney Dinosaur you take care of the smaller and weaker guys as well, proving that team work is the way to go, which to me isn't such a terrible message.
some who take small children might want to look out for the 'Bad Guy - Meat Eaters' happily chomping a on some of the smaller less fortunate creatures, nothing gory, but some younger viewers might find it a bit too 'real'.
Remember this is a film and a Disney film at that, it's not a documentary, although it seems at times the film isn't to sure of this point. I know with the realistic dinos you figure if Disney go this far, why not go the whole hog and get every little detail right, well I'm sorry but that's nit picking, films in general no matter what genre, Live Action, Animated or a mix, have a degree of artistic licence which you have to accept. Go see this for what it is, a Disney film with some lovable characters, good cinematography and some great animation.
Mr. Destiny (1990)
Kinda re-worked version of 'It's a Wonderful Life" With James Belushi as Larry a man who constantly thinks what his life could have been like if only he'd hit the home run in that crucial baseball game as kid. Michael Caine offers him the chance to live his life as if he had, and even with the big house, prom queen wife and kids, Larry still misses the way things were. Maybe a old story and certainly not a classic, but it does have it's moments as Belushi enters his new office, in life version 2, he approches a desk that looks like the bridge of the Enterprise, not finding an on/off switch he sits down and as all the lights come on comments in surprise "hey whadda know, my desk is wired to my ass!!" and as he scares the life out of the chauffeur by screaching to a halt in the company parking lot with the word "See I told you we'd beat that train didn't I
All the cast do pretty well, Belushi as the confused Larry, not quite sure if the new version of his life is what he really wants, Linda Hamilton as his original wife, who seems to be the thing Belushi misess most, Rene Russo as the prom queen wife Belushi gets in life 2, and Courntey Cox as a psychotic spurned secretary/fork lift driver, who is having an affair with Larry in life 2, but of course Larry doesn't know this.
Most of the cast are big names now and probably make more in one film that the entire budget of this one, still it's fun to watch. One for the six pack and curry brigade.
Dead Man on Campus (1998)
Dead Pan funny
This film is kinda like, 'Dead Man's Curve' meets 'Carry on Campus', it's a re run of the story that if someone on campus commits suicide, then the roomate of that person gets an automatic straight A semester. The story revolves around two roomates, Cooper and Josh, Cooper is the typical student, there for the women and the beer, Josh is on a scholarship, and intends to study to the full and has to make a B+ average to keep his funding. As things fall apart for both students it seems the only way out is to move a fellow student in with them and to push him over the brink of suicide. The humour is black and deals with some morbid subjects, but none the less didn't suffer for this. The room mate they pick as their suicide victims are all completely of their trolleys in their own ways, and make the job of driving them to their deaths increasingly harder. The ending could have been totally predictable, but took a neat twist and the ending explanations of what happens to all the characters is hilarious, if you see it make sure you don't leave before the credits end.
Mighty Joe Young (1998)
Mighty good fun!!
My all time favourite film is the original King Kong, so I'm afraid I was sold on this from the beginning, Bill Paxton and Charlize Theron played their parts well enough, but Joe gets my vote for actor of the film. Rick Baker redeamed himself, and I found I could finally forgive him for playing a part in the 1976 re-make of Kong, in which to me he hit an all time low. Watch out for cameos by Ray Harryhausen, whose work in stop motion animation is legendary, he did the animation in the original Joe Young, and by Terry Moore, she played Jill in the original as well, they play the old couple in the tent at the reception for Joe. Effects aside the film was good fun, maybe a bit of an old storyline, poachers after a valuable creature, but well worth a watch.
The music was good also, not usually my style some of the music in this, but the song that Charlize Theron, sings to Joe to get him to sleep is just beautiful. Sometimes films can get a little too effects laden, but this has a nice balance. The only minor disagreement I have with this film is the ending, but you'll have to see the film to get what I mean, but still it's a small glich in a great film. If only Rick Baker had waited 'til now to do the re-make of Kong.
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Great fun, Go see it, it's a killer!!!!
Not one of the best films ever made, but I loved every minute. John, and Joan, Cusack were brilliant as an assassin and his 'secretary' who tries to get him to go to his 10 year High School re-union. Alan Arkin is outstanding as a weary shrink who is trying not to get involved with a guy who he knows kills people for a living. One exchange between the two has Cusack asking if he should go to the re-union, to which Arkin replies, 'Yes Go, and try not to kill any one' to which Cusack comes back with, 'sure I'll give it a shot', which has Arkin desperately saying, 'No, don't shoot anything'. It's also got Dan Ackroyd in a fairly straight role for him, which he still manages to make very humorous as a rival assassin trying to unionise the profession. Lots of black humour, everytime someone asks him what he does for a living, Cusack usually replies with 'a professional killer', which of course no-one take seriously. The cast is great, the story good, it's full of action, a little romance, some brilliant fight scenes and a sound track, that Quentin Tarantino would be proud of.
The Muse (1999)
the good, the bad and the down right dishy.
Very remeniscent of the player with various cameos by famous people. Albert Brooks was a bit jaded as a Hollywood writer with artistic block, who people kept telling 'You've lost your edge'. Although it has over tones of other films, I still found it good fun, with Sharon Stone as the ever demanding Muse, who has gifts thrust upon her at every opportunity, by people seeking her help. It has it's moments, the one for has to be the image of James Cameron, timidly walking past a swimming pool, looking worriedly into the depths and muttering to himself 'Don't go near the water, don't go near the water.
101 Dalmatians (1996)
Disney does it again
As an animation student, I frequently cringe when they make a live action version of an animated film, as they rarely live up to their cartoon counterparts. This is not one of those films. I loved it, the Dogs, pongo and Perdy, were outstanding, and even with computer stand ins, and Hensons creature shop, you'd be hard pushed to see the joins, the exceptions being the Wood pecker at the door and the two Racoons giving each other a high five. Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson were great, Hugh Laurie and Mark Williams were brilliant as the bumbling lackeys, but the star of the show had to be Glenn Close as Cruella DeVille. I never knew animated characters could have real life twins, but Glenn Close was Cruella's, delightfully over the top, with more ham than a bacon butty. If you liked the cartoon you'll love this version as well. The only thing I wondered about in the whole film was how many takes it took them to get some of the animal shots, this certainly contradicts the old adage of not working with animals and kids.
Friends & Lovers (1999)
Just when you thought it was safe to go to the movies!!!
With a cast like this, you figure the film shouldn't be that bad, but believe me it is. The cast are fighting a losing battle from the start, Robert Downey Jr, should kick himself for getting wrapped up in this film, and as for his accent, the Bavarians have probably put a Fatwa out on him. Claudia Schiffer, shows some potential, but the gag that she falls for a guy with the line "Have you ever considered being a model?" is so thin, it makes Twiggy look over weight. Alison Eastwood also shows potential, but again drowns in the watery story. If this was a kids report card, the phrase 'Can do much better' would be the the one that stands out
The Beast (1996)
OK, but not quite another Jaws
The book is great, and as with most film adaptations, lacks the suspense and atmosphere generated by the book. As far as squid movies go, the effects were fairly good, and it does have it's moments, however these are few and far between, by far an inferior movie adaptation to Jaws.
King Kong (1933)
Magical effects, good story - need I say more
This was made well before computers, but the special effects are mind blowing and make the story literally come to life. As an animation student I love this film, Willis O'Brien was the master of movie magic. If you haven't seen this movie it's one of the all time classics, made when people believed what they saw, I'm only sorry the computer age may make films like this obsolete.