Taxi (1998) Movie Review

Director: Gerard Pires

Writer: Luc Besson (Screenplay)

Starring: Samy Naceri, Frederic Diefenthal, Marion Cotillard, Manuela Gourary, Emma Wiklund, Bernard Farcy

Plot: To work off his tarnished driving record, a hip taxi driver must chauffeur a loser police inspector on the trail of German bank robbers.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun

Story: Taxi starts as slick pizza delivery man and scooter racer Daniel (Naceri) finally gets his dream job, as a taxi driver in Marseilles, his driving skills means he can complete the fares which others wouldn’t get completed. Police officer Emilien (Diefenthal) is still struggling to pick up driving, which is making his own position a problem, when the latest job is to stop German thieves.

When the two meet, Emilien sees a chance to redeem himself, while letting Daniel off the misdemeanours he has been committing behind the wheel, as the unlikely duo look to capture the German thieves.

Thoughts on Taxi

Characters – Daniel is a speed demon, he races scooters and once he gets his taxi licence, he uses this passion for racing as a challenge to get fares to destination on time, only this sees him speeding with Emilien in his car, needing to make up for his mistake, he offers to help Emilien crack the case he is working on, as the two become friends. Emilien is a clumsy cop, he can’t pick up driving, with his actions leading to more problems, he knows his time is limited and uses his new found friendship to crack the case that will impress the super intendant. The pair work well together showing they can fill the weaknesses they both have. Lilly is Daniel’s girlfriend that is always missing the chance to spend time with him. Camille is Emilien’s mother that is the only person he has in his life, with her ever positive mood reflecting onto him.

PerformancesSamy Naceri and Frederic Diefenthal together are great to watch, with excellent chemistry together through the whole film. Marion Cotillard in the supporting role is fun, but we don’t get to see enough of her character.

StoryThe story here follows a speed demon taxi driver that reluctantly joins forces with a down on his luck cop to try and take down a group of German thieves in France. This is a buddy comedy, with two different people working together for the greater good, the pair get laughs as they plan for the next robbery. It does show us how sometimes you must find a way to outsmart the criminal and is designed to get more flash out of the car chases, with the comedy in the partnership. We don’t need to get much deeper with everything, letting the simple idea shine through.

Action/ComedyThe action in the film is very entertaining, with flash car chases all the way through, with the comedy coming from seeing how the two as they get through the days together.

SettingsThe film is set in Marseilles, which does bring together a couple of tighter streets and a different location for the car chases, that we would have seen before.

Scene of the Movie – The final chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough of Lilly.

Final Thoughts Fun action comedy that doesn’t hold back on the action, while letting the comedy flow nicely.

Overall: Enjoyable.

Signature Entertainment presents Taxi on Digital HD July 31 and on Amazon Prime August 3rd

Renegades (2017) Movie Review

Director: Steven Quale

Writer: Richard Wenk, Luc Besson (Screenplay)

Starring: J.K. Simmons, Sullivan Stapleton, Charlie Bewley, Sylvia Hoeks, Joshua Henry, Diarmaid Murtagh, Dimitri Leonidas

Plot: A team of Navy SEALs discover an underwater treasure in a Bosnian lake.

Tagline – $300 million. 5 Navy SEALs. 1 impossible heist.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Bland

Story: Renegades starts as we meet the five Navy SEALs Matt (Stapleton), Stanton (Bewley), Ben (Henry), Kurt (Murtagh) and Jack (Leonidas) who work on extracting enemies from danger zones, with the latest area being in Bosnia and the latest escape causing major damage to the city, much to their boss’s Levin (Simmons) anger.

With Stanton dating a local woman Lara (Hoeks), she has planned to use the men’s help to uncover stolen gold from World War II, only for the previous mission to leave the men in hot water with the local military looking to hunt them down, can the team pull of the heist before it is too late.

Thoughts on Renegades

Characters – Levin is the commanding officer that is constantly criticising the SEALs, even though he does respect the work they do, he is always fair, while being strict towards them. When it comes to the SEALs we get the young one, the one with a tragic past and the generic rest of them, none of the five main characters really stand out in anyway. Lara is the local woman that is dating one of the SEALs, who brings them the idea of the gold, wanting to make sure that her people get what is theirs.

PerformancesWe have J.K. Simmons in this film, he is by far the best part of the performances, because of how much he demands the screen. Sylvia Hoeks does well, while it is the actors playing the SEALs that struggle to bring their characters to life.

StoryThe story here follows a group of navy SEALs that team up with a local woman to unearth gold which was lost during World War II, even though the city is crawling with soldiers looking to kill them. This is an attempt to put a spin on the heist film, which could have worked if the characters had something about them, but in the end it is just a story we have seen before, offering very little else to the genre. It is largely forgettable in everyway, you know how it will unfold and by the end you just will be left with a feeling of we have seen this.

Action/Crime/WarThe action in the film is basic war scenes, in the 90s street conflicts, no scenes stand out, while the crime world is how people will always look to profit from someone else’s misfortune.

SettingsThe film is set in Bosnia, through a war torn city, while the underwater scene does pose a couple of problems for the heist, we don’t get anything new when it comes to the locations.

Scene of the Movie – First escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The SEALs are bland.

Final Thoughts This is a very basic action heist movie, it offers nothing new to the genre and by the end of the film, you most likely have forgotten most of it.

Overall: Forgettable.

Laurence Fishburne Weekend – Contagion (2011) Revisited

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Scott Z Burns (Screenplay)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet

Plot: Healthcare professionals, government officials and everyday people find themselves in the midst of a worldwide epidemic as the CDC works to find a cure.

Tagline – Nothing spreads like fear

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense Thriller

Story: Contagion starts when people from around the world start getting sick, with Beth Emhoff (Paltrow) returning home with the same serious symptoms, dying in front of her husband Matt (Damon) and son Clark (Kane). Dr Ellis Cheever (Fishburne) and Dr Erin Mears (Winslet) are leading a task force to investigate the sudden amounts of people getting sick, with Dr Leonora Orantes (Cotillard) attacking the cases from the European side.

Journalist Alan Krumwiede (Law) is trying to get a big story from the outbreak, with the scientist racing against time to first find the infected, secondly to learn about the virus and thirdly just where it started before the population of the world starts dwindling.

Thoughts on Contagion

Characters – Dr Leonora Orantes works for the World Health Organization she starts the investigation from Europe through Hong Kong trying to trace the origin of the disease, showing how easily it was spread. Dr Ellis Cheever and Dr Erin Mears are from the CDC that are trying to contain the problem in America, building shelters for the sick, dealing with the pressure from people who want the story. Alan Krumwiede is an internet reporter that gets aggressive with his techniques in searching for the truth. Mitch sees his wife being one of the first victims, finding him being one of the few people immune to the disease.

PerformancesWe have a brilliant cast in this film, we have A-Listers and up and comers mixing together effortlessly, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Kate Winslet and Marion Cotillard are all fantastic in their roles through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the outbreak of an unknown aggressive disease that is effecting the world globally, we have the race from the governments to try and figure out how to stop it and learn where it came from before it kills millions around the world. This story does show us just how quickly a disease could spread, how deadly it could be and how the world could start to fall apart even within the first month of the outbreak. We do get to see the scientific response to everything which is a lot more interesting instead of just following the traditional trends which we have seen before, we see how desperate the people have become and even how the structure of government can even hold up everything. This is an investigation based movie which is important to see for everybody as we are getting the search for the origin too.

ActionThe action in the film is more about the race to find a cure, to save lives, which does make this a thriller side of everything.

SettingsThe film takes place all over the world, showing just how quickly the disease started to spread, with people in the world getting sick, the disease spreads quicker.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show us just how sick the people will get, this is mostly make-up effects which shows how sick people will become.

Scene of the Movie – The search for the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The annoying daughter that is more worried about time passing than surviving.

Final Thoughts This is a great look at how quickly a disease could spread and cause millions of deaths and how much work would go into solving the problem.

Overall: Brilliant.

Die Hard (1988) Movie Review

Director: John McTiernan

Writer: Jeb Stuart, Steven E de Souza (Screenplay) Roderick Thorp (Novel)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Alan Rickman, Reginald VelJohnson, Paul Gleason, De’voreaux White, William Atherton, Alexander Godunov

Plot: An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Tagline – He’s the only chance anyone has got.

Runtime: 2 Hour 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Absolute Classic

Story: Die Hard starts when John McClane (Willis) heads to LA to spend Christmas with his wife Holly (Bedelia) during a work party at the Nakatomi Plaza, this is one last chance to hopeful rekindle their marriage.

The party takes a turn for the worst when Hans Gruber (Rickman) and his highly trained team crash the party, holding the guests hostage, only John gets away unseen, John hides in the building trying to lower the odds to save the guests including Holly from the terrorist that simply won’t stop.

Thoughts on Die Hard

Characters – John McClane is a New York police officer that is spending Christmas in LA with his wife, trying to save his marriage, he isn’t the guy that goes to business parties, but he gets his chance to shine when the terrorists take over the building, he shows his ability to evolve to the situation to stay ahead of the terrorists. Hans Gruber is the leader of the terrorists who have taken of Nakatomi Plaza, they are in control of the hostages, with their plan in motion, he sees McClane as a pain, rather than a problem expecting his men to be able to solve the situation, he always has a plan for the different situations he could be expecting. Holly is John’s wife who works in the building, she becomes the leader of the hostages not revealing her identity to the terrorists.

PerformancesBruce Willis is fantastic in the leading role, it was the role which made him a superstar as he gives us one of the most iconic figures in cinema history. Alan Rickman on his debut in film is truly brilliant too, bringing one of the most iconic villains in film history too. The rest of the cast do bring us characters we will remember through the film, which is something most action films struggle with.

StoryThe story here follows a cop that finds himself needing to overcome the odds to rescue a large group of hostages from a group of terrorists. This story keeps everything simple with the terrorists having their plan, the cop having to think on his feet and the supporting characters given enough development to make us care about what is happening. This story is great to watch because of the fact it doesn’t make anything more complicated than it needs to be and become one that nearly everybody knows.

ActionThe action is filled with shoot outs, explosions and fights, everything you would to see in this style of film.

SettingsThe film keeps all the action in the tower, it keeps everything feeling contained which only adds to the hunt for McClane by the terrorists.

Scene of the Movie – Welcome to the party Pal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is easily one of the greatest action films of all time, it brings us two of the biggest icons in film history and will leave forever in the memories of the audience.

Overall: Classic.

The Pool (2018) Shudder Movie Review

Director: Ping Lumpraploeng

Writer: Ping Lumpraploeng (Screenplay)

Starring: Theeradej Wongpuapan, Ratnamon Ratchiratham

Plot: In an abandoned 6-meter deep pool, a couple is stranded there with a deadly predator.

Tagline – No water. No Ladder. No Way Out.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense

Story: The Pool starts as Day (Wongpuapan) is finishing off work on a film that is using the giant swimming pool, when he decides to relax while everyone heads off, little does he know that someone has started to flush the pool and before he notices, he finds himself too deep in the pool, with everyone else gone, he finds himself trapped in the pool.

Once the pool is drained, Day must care for his injured girlfriend Koi (Ratchiratham) who got inured diving in and he must deal with a hungry crocodile that is trapped with him, in a race to survive.

Thoughts on The Pool

Characters – Day is the slacker that finds himself stuck in the swimming pool, he has always not taken life too seriously, where he must try and figure out how to get out of the pool alive, save his girlfriend and escape from it add in a crocodile, he has everything to fight for. Koi is the girlfriend that gets injured, which needs protecting, she is kept in safety, while waiting for Day to take things more seriously.

PerformancesBoth actors are great with Theeradej Wongpuapan needing to get involved in the more physical side of everything in the film.

StoryThe story follows a couple that find themselves trapped in an empty swimming pool with no escape and a crocodile in a battle to survive. This story might well have been made before ‘Crawl’, but it does have such a similar feeling in the battle to survive. The story does keep everything super simple as it is just the survival against the odds. The plan to stay ahead does keep everything feeling intense and by the end of the film, you literally don’t know what will happen next.

Action/HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the crocodile attacking, showing how deadly it could be and how Day must try and stay ahead of the threat.

SettingsThe film is set in the swimming pool, it has no escape, the pipe system do offer a potential outcome, but with nowhere to go the battle against the crocodile.

Special EffectsThe effects are strong at times, but the crocodile never looks real during the proper attacks.

Scene of the Movie – The big battle against the crocodile.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain crocodile scenes seem too CGI heavy.

Final Thoughts This is an intense horror that truly keeps us on the edge of our seats during the incidents, being the one that people who liked Crawl, will love this.

Overall: Loved Crawl? Love This.