Red Eye (2005)

Director: Wes Craven
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Cillian Murphy, Brian Cox, Jayma Mays, Jack Scalia

Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams) a manager at a hotel in Miami is travelling back home from her grandmothers funeral. Having a big fear of flying doesn’t help her having to catch the red eye flight. We see what customer skills she has when has to deal with a phone call from one of her receptionist Cynthia (Jayma Mays) who made a mistake to one of the loyal customers that she goes on to fix.

Upon arriving at the airport she meets a charming man Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy) who befriends her in the terminal, while in the terminal a clumsy woman spills a drink on Lisa prompting her to have to change her top revealing a scar from a past event.

On arriving at her seat on the plane Lisa finds herself sat next to Jackson. Lisa thinks this might be a good flight as Jackson helps her relax on the take off. Things soon change when Jackson reveals a plan to Lisa. If Lisa doesn’t move Charles Keefe (Jac Scalia) to a different room he will kill her father Joe (Brian Cox).

Lisa is now left with her fear of flying and the terror on the plane will Lisa do as Jackson says who and save her father or not?

The suspense is nicely built in this thriller. Not giving names to any other adult on the plane adds to the realism of a flight where you don’t know the people you are on the plane with just a description. Cillian Murphy shines as the villainous Jackson Rippner while Rachel McAdams does a very good job as the career woman who had a big question to ask.

The story is pretty much a routine one with little twists so your are never really left guessing what will happen next but with lots of tension you will be left on the edge of your seat through out. It is also a pretty short movie only just over 80 minutes but still well worth a watch

My rating 82%

Independence Day (1996)

Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Robert Loggia, Randy Quiad, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, James Rebhorn, Adam Baldwin, Brent Spiner, James Duval, Lisa Jakub, Giuseppe Andrews, Harvey Fierstein

First of lets go through the characters starting with David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) a separated cable repair guy in a television company, David has a very religions father Julius (Judd Hirsch) who is a long suffering chess loser to David who simple keep a few steps ahead of everything based in New York. President Thomas Whitmore (Bill Pullman) a young ex fighter pilot who critics slam because of his age. His wife First Lady Marilyn Whitmore (Mary McDonnell) who is on a visit elsewhere in America. On the President’s staff are Constance Spano (Margaret Colin) David’s separated wife, General William Grey (Robert Loggia) a general who believes in peace and Albert Nimzicki (James Rebhorn). We have a small travelling family the Casse’s father Russell (Randy Quaid) who believes he was abducted and a war veteran and his children Migeul (James Duval), Alicia (Lisa Jakub) and Troy (Giuseppe Andrews). Finally we have Captain Steve Hiller (Will Smith) an wanna be astronaut and top fighter pilot who girlfriend is exotic dancer Jasmine (Vivica A. Fox) she also has a son Dylan.

On July 2ND alien spaceships enter the Earth’s atmosphere locating themselves in the world biggest cities. President Whitmore sets up an operation to communicate with the spaceship. While in New York David finds a code in the satellites that shows that in fact the spaceship are lining up like chess pieces for an attack on these cities. David rushes down to Washington to convince the President what is happening. David convinces the President and along with his staff escape seconds before the alien attack.

After the first attack the President relocates to Area 51 learning about a previous alien crash. Major Mitchell (Adam Baldwin) is the man in charge with Dr Brackish Okun (Brent Spiner) leading the research projects on the aliens. President Whitmore arranges to a counter strike a lead pilot Captain Hiller leads his team in battle with little effect. Captain Hiller has a race through a canyon crashing one the the small space crafts and kidnapping one of the aliens.

We are not left to wonder how humanity will survive this attack? Will this mix bunch of characters be able to unite to defeat Earth new common enemy?

Roland Emmerich gives us his first major action picture with plenty of destruction too. With Will Smith doing one of his first lead role as Captain Hiller shines giving one of his best non dramatic performances. The Americas get a chance to be a heroes again in a true action blockbuster that all should see.

The Story is always going to be predictable but it is also very easy to follow, you can also pick up the movie from most points and not feel like you missed too much. This was the top grossing film of 1996 with $306million. With talk of two potential sequels you are left wondering how those could come about tho.

My rating 92%