Writer: Caroline Thompson (Screenplay) Tim Burton, Caroline Thompson (Story)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne West, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Robert Oliveri, Conchata Ferrell
Plot: A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.
Tagline – Innocence is what he knows. Beauty is what she sees.
Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Beautifully Dark Fantasy Film
Story: Edward Scissorhands starts as local Avon saleslady Peg (Wiest) reluctantly goes to the mysterious abandoned mansion overlooking her small community where she finds young man Edward (Depp) who is living in isolation with scissors for hands.
With Edward trying to settle into a normal life, he soon becomes popular with the locals because of his ability to use his hands to create beautiful garden decorations and soon he becomes the talk of the town while slowly falling in love with Kim (Ryder) the daughter of Peg.
Thoughts on Edward Scissorhands
Characters – Edward has lived in isolation for his whole life, when he is discovered he tries to get used to normal life even with the scissors for hands, he shows amazing abilities when it comes to cutting things be it bushes, hair or grooming, though his isolation has made it difficult for him to understand right from wrong in the world, until the time comes for him to make a difference. Kim is the daughter of the family that take Edward in, she has an abusive boyfriend who fits the generic high school asshole, she sees the kindness in Edward wanting to help make him understand life more. Peg is the Avon saleslady that finds Edward and wants to help him understand a normal life, she doesn’t believe she is doing anything wrong and with her being an outsider of the gossip girls, she suddenly is put in the spotlight too. Jim is the asshole boyfriend that wants to use Edward for his own gain knowing that he wants he girl, he gets jealous of the new bond between the two and looks to find his own way to fix it.
Performances – Johnny Depp in the leading role is fantastic, he shows the innocence his character needs through each new discovery while looking like he is taking everything in. Winona Ryder works wonderfully as the romantic interest that shows the sweet side and the conflicted side of her character. Dianne Wiest shows us just how a middle-aged woman with her own insecurities can be strong for everybody around her no matter what they think of her and Anthony Michael Hall hits the asshole boyfriend down just like we need him to.
Story – The story follows Edward a young man that gets bought out of isolation and bought into a normal community while always being the outsider. We see how they want to welcome him with open arms, while also having the fears of just what he could be capable of if something was to go wrong. We get a good strong moral to the story, which is to respect anybody no matter what they look like because inside they could have the same feelings as you. The story is told in fairy tale form which keeps a glimpse of magic about everything we are seeing. From the moment the father gets Edward drunk by accident to the barbecue scene we get to see how Edward adapts to each social situation too. This is one of the stronger of all Tim Burton’s stories which shows us just how important being nice to people in life will be for everyone.
Fantasy/Romance – The fantasy side of this film focuses on just how Edward a man with scissors first came about and second must be accepted in life. The romance comes from just how Edward learns what love is when he meets Kim, how both learn about difficult decisions when it comes to loved ones and how important acts of kindness can help people.
Settings – The film is mostly set in one location, a small community which has gossip about anything that happens there and comes together for the better moments.
Final Thoughts – This is one of those beautiful fantasy films, it shows us just how people need to be treated fairly no matter what they look like because kindness can be found in all.
Overall: Fantasy fans enjoy.
Writer: Gene Quintano (Screenplay) Karen Baldwin (Story)
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Powers Boothe, Raymond J Barry, Whittni Wright, Ross Malinger, Dorian Harewood
Plot: A former fireman takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President and others hostage during the seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.
Tagline – Tonight, 17 thousand hockey fans have been taken hostage…but just one of them knows it.
Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Hugely Entertaining Action Film
Story: Sudden Death starts as we meet firefighter Darren McCord (Van Damme) who is involved in a tragic rescue resulting in a young girls death. 2-years-later McCord has got a job as a fire inspector for the city ice hockey team as they are preparing for the seventh game in the Stanley Cup, taking his two children Emily (Wright) and Tyler (Malinger) to the game.
With the game under way Joshua Foss (Boothe) executes his plan to hold the Vice President (Barry) hostage along with the rest of the arena threatening to kill the hostage unless he gets paid, McCord becomes the only person that can save the arena and redeem his reputation.
Thoughts on Sudden Death
Characters – Darren McCord is a former firefighter who lost a young girl during a rescue, 2-years-late he is now a fire marshal for the ice hockey arena, he takes his kids to the game only for his daughter to be taken by the terrorists. He must use his fighting skills to stay ahead of the terrorists and save not only his daughter, but the vice President and the rest of the spectators in the arena. Joshua Foss is the leader of the terrorists, he wants money and lots of it, knowing where to take it from, he will kill anyone who is involved in the plan, he will kill hostages being a man of his word knowing he has a full arena of victims. Vice President is the man being held hostage by Joshua, he remains calm knowing that the situation doesn’t need to get out of hand no matter how many people Joshua executes. We do have Darren’s kids who are both just what you would expect with the members of the terrorist group completing the mix with the generic ones we know.
Performances – Jean-Claude Van Damme is one of the biggest icons in action, this could very well be one of his best roles, he looks like an everyday man with his own problems acting like a hero and showing us the fighting skills which have made him famous Power Boothe is great in the villainous role, he calmness makes his character fell disturbing throughout the film and is easily on of the underrated villains of the action genre. The rest of the cast are good, while the main two steal the show.
Story – The story is what people branded ‘Die Hard, in an Ice Hockey Arena’ that is the best way to describe it, a former hero needing to redeem himself from a past mistake and when the chance presents itself in the ice hockey arena he must save the people from a criminal. It uses the real-time feeling as the have the game being the countdown through the events which does help show the rush to save the day as well as dealing with a villain that is cold-hearted and has been planning this job for years. For action we don’t always need the deepest of stories, this shows us what we can have achieved within the time period in question.
Action/Crime – The action shows McCord going up against different henchman in different locations around the arena, even if the kitchen one against the penguin suit is the one you will most likely remember. The crime shows how a robbery can be put together to work like clockwork even if things don’t always go to plan.
Settings – The film is set in the ice hockey arena, the action needs to remain here for the whole game giving us a tidy timeline to deal with through the film.
Final Thoughts – This is an enjoyable action film that shows us just how entertaining Jean-Claude Van Damme can be if we are allowed to let him off his leash to fight.
Overall: Action film to enjoy.
Writer: Stuart Flack (Screenplay)
Starring: Lin Shaye, Oliver Rayon, Valeska Miller, Ryan Ochoa, Linda Cushma, Casey Nicholas Price
Plot: Lonely widow Joyce rents out a room in her house and becomes dangerously obsessed with one of her guests.
Tagline – All she wanted was a decent man.
Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Lin Shaye is Truly Unsettling
Story: Room for Rent starts when Joyce (Shaye) loses her husband, feeling left alone in her house that she needs to pay for the debt left behind, she decides to open her own Bed n Breakfast in her home. Her first guests are a couple which sees her become friends with Sarah (Miller) helping her with her problems.
Learning from her early mistakes with her bed n breakfast, Joyce upgrades certain parts and starts searching for more guests with Bob (Rayon) being her next one. Joyce starts to get an unhealth obsession with her guest who helps her deal with problems including the local teenage troublemakers Wayne (Ochoa). Will Joyce obsession take things too far or not?
Thoughts on Room for Rent
Characters – Joyce is an older lady that has lived her life with her husband for years, her husband dies which leads to her feeling lonely wanting attention. She is considered strange in her town, she turns her home into a bed n breakfast in an attempt to make new friends which she does, even if she starts to become obsessed with one of her guest, acting like a school girl trying to impress him. Bob is her first long term guest that Joyce takes in, he is mysterious about his personal life and does grab the attention of Joyce, he will stand up for Joyce with the local troublemakers. Sarah is the first guest that Joyce gets, she is an author working on her latest book which sees her need to decide on her own future, she stays in contact with Joyce becoming a pen-pal and visiting when Bob has been staying long enough, seeing how Joyce is acting differently.
Performances – Lin Shaye is fantastic in this role, we are left truly unsettled by here performance which sees her making decisions which seem odd. Oliver Rayon is left looking confused by Joyce’s character which is needed for the film. Valeska Miller completes the supporting cast with a performance that doesn’t do anything wrong.
Story – The story here follows a lonely widow that opens her house to guests, only for her to become obsessed with one of them, making up her own stories to what is happening between the two. This story does make us feel unsettled throughout, we see Joyce become more obsessed with each passing moment, acting like a school girl trying to grab the attention of her crush. It must be pointed out there is a hint of grief of losing a life partner, which could see anybody do something out of the normal. The story does suffer in places because we get the ideas of certain side stories to why Joyce is the way she is, only they don’t seem to get completed to the most satisfactory levels for us.
Thriller – The film doesn’t take long to build up the tension because Lin Shaye makes her character feel like she could be up to anything in the film.
Settings – Most of the film is set in the home, it does feel disturbing when you know how Joyce could always pop up somewhere.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the more disturbing and unsettling movies of the year, even though it doesn’t pull all the triggers it could.
Overall: Unsettling and chilling.