Presumed Innocent (1990)

posterDirector: Alan J Pakula

Writer: Frank Pierson, Alan J Pakula (Screenplay) Scott Turow (Novel)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Brian Dennehy, Raul Julia, Bonnie Bedelia, Paul Winfield, Greta Scacchi, John pencer, Joe Grifasi

 

Plot: When a female D.A. is killed, the D.A. assigns his assistant to handle the investigation. Only problem is that he was having an affair with her. And the evidence reveals that he is the killer. So he suspects that the man who wants his boss’ job is trying to frame him. He turns to Sandy Stern a highly celebrated defense attorney to represent him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Courtroom Drama

 

Story: Presumed Innocent starts when Carolyn Polhemus (Scacchi) an assistant D.A. attorney is killed the D.A. Raymond Horgan (Dennehy) assigns chief deputy Rusty Sabich (Ford) to investigate a case that doesn’t make sense for the cases Carolyn takes part in.

When the case gets complicated it is her past with Rusty that doesn’t make the case easy for him to investigate as what seems like a rape case could turn out to be set to look like a rape case pointing the finger at one of the criminals she had put away.

When Rusty becomes the main suspect for the murder and must turns to his courtroom rival Alejandro ‘Sandy’ Stern (Julia) to take on the D.A. office who have all turned on Rusty using his previous affair as the main motive for the murder.

 

Thoughts on Presumed Innocent

 

Characters/PerformanceRusty is a very questionable character, he has had an affair which takes away any respect you could have for him even if he is a brilliant attorney, Sandy you can see as a brilliant attorney in his own right that goes out of his way to get the case in his direction which is good to see playing about what could be considered the disgraced attorney. Raymond the D.A. does feel like your typical political figure that abuses their power as often as they like.

Performance wise everything is good but not their best work no one does anything that stands out and by the end you don’t think this will be a memorable role for the iconic Harrison Ford or Raul Julia.preumed

StoryI am usually a fan of a good courtroom drama as they can pull us in until the final outcome of the crime. This story flows very slowly with a court cast that does feel like you could see solved with ease. I felt this story just doesn’t pull us in enough to care about the case mainly because our defendant isn’t painted to be the most respectable character in the first place so we just don’t care who if he is innocent or not.

Mystery/ThrillerWe get a mystery but we don’t get many suspects for the crime which disappoints the thrilling side as we don’t get a chance to figure out who could be behind the crime.

SettingsWe have the traditional courtroom settings that show us just how most of the suspects would have understood just how to cover up murders with ease.genre

Final ThoughtsThis just doesn’t capture us like the other courtroom dramas and then could have been a lot more intense.

 

Overall: A Courtroom drama that just doesn’t hit all the levels it could.

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Home Alone (1990)

homeDirector: Chris Columbus

Writer: John Hughes (Screenplay)

Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Roberts Blossom, Catherine O’Hare

 

Plot: An 8-year old troublemaker must protect his home from a pair of burglars when he is accidentally left home alone by his family during Christmas vacation.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Family Classic

 

Story: Home Alone starts as we see the McCallister family preparing for their Christmas holiday away in Paris and with 15 family members in the house the chaos begins. We follow 8-year-old Kevin (Culkin) who gets banished to the attic after misbehaving and wishing for a new family.

During the night, there is a power cut which makes everyone oversleep and an all-out panic to get to the airport on time leading to Kevin getting forgotten and left Home Alone. Kevin doing what every child would do on their own gets the run of the house but soon finds himself having to fight off two burglars Harry (Pesci) and Marv (Stern) and he uses all the weapons from inside the house to defend his family home.

Home Alone is always going to be the family comedy classic people can enjoy of Christmas the slapstick comedy works to perfection even if it comes off slightly violent for today’s audience. The solo setting inside the house Kevin is protecting all works to show just what one boy can do to protect his own home.

The acting all works great as Macaulay Culkin will always be remembered for this role and the turns from Joe Pesci in a comedy shows the range he had along with Daniel Stern being a great sidekick character to him. The rest of the family all work well giving good performance to show the different siblings Kevin must live with.

This is always being one people will talk highly about and it is hard to say anything bad about this true classic on the genre.

 

Overall: Fantastic Festive Family Film

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror Franchise – Tremors (1990)

termoorscasting card

 

Plot: Natives of a small isolated town defend themselves against strange underground creatures which are killing them one by one.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Horror Comedy

 

Story: Tremors starts as we meet handymen Valentine (Bacon) and Earl (Ward) who discuss the freedom and future when they meet student Rhonda (Carter) who has been studying seismic activity in the area. When the two friends decide to leave Perfection they keep running into obstacles with dead bodies.

When we see the worm/snake like creatures in an attack we watch how Val and Earl have to travel by horse too the next town while Burt (Gross) and his wife Heather (McEntire) search for Rhonda. The town’s people must fight off the freshly named graboids who are hungry for flesh.casting

Tremors gives us the checklist needed for a great horror comedy with stereotypical characters, the community feeling and a creature they have never seen before. Mixing this all together we get to see a real mix of horror comedy that pulls us into the survival story. I will say it was good not to have a really high body count because this could easily have ended up just being one or two versus the graboids instead of the community feeling which makes this feel fresher than other survival horrors.

 

Actor Review

 

Kevin Bacon: Valentine McKee is one of the handymen, he has his ideal woman in mind while considering a planned escape from the dead end town the two live in. when the graboids turn up Val must fight them off to protect the town. Kevin is great in this role showing he can pull off comedy action.

Fred Ward: Earl Bass is the partner of Val’s who believes they should leave town too, he tries to push Val into the correct mind set and has to help fight the graboids attacking the town. Fred is an actor I always imagine in a serious role but this shows what he can do with horror comedy.

Finn Carter: Rhonda LeBeck is a geology student spending time studying the seismic activity around the small town, she learns just how many graboids they are up against and how they are hunting, using this she helps the locals try and defeat them. Finn is good in this role where we get to see a smarter female character maybe the smartest in the film.

Michael Gross: Burt Gummer along with his wife are the local gun experts, they have a collection an army would be proud off. He proves to be one of the most important man when it comes to fighting the graboids. Michael is good in this supporting role but we now he will become the star of the show soon.

Support Cast: Tremors has a good supporting cast that all do a good job in this film making us feel how close the whole community of the characters are.

Director Review: Ron UnderwoodRon gives us one of the most entertaining horror comedies of the time which feels fresh throughout.

 

Comedy: Tremors has good laughs which shines through in the chemistry Bacon and Ward have.

Horror: Tremors gives us a new horror creature to see in action.

Sci-Fi: Tremors uses the idea of a creature we can’t explain for the sci-fi side of the story.

Settings: Tremors keeps most of the action in and around this small town in the middle of nowhere, it also builds the idea that they are trapped creating isolation which is always needed in a horror film.
Special Effects
: Tremors uses brilliant practical effects to make the graboids a constant threat.

Suggestion: Tremors is one to watch at least, it is a fun watch throughout. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Bacon and Ward chemistry.

Worst Part: Hard to find something.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final act.

Funniest Scene: Nearly every scene with just Bacon and Ward.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $11 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline:  The ultimate underground movie. It will leave you legless!

 

Overall: One of the most entertaining creation in the horror comedy genre.

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Franchise Weekend – Predator 2 (1990)

predator2Director: Stephen Hopkins

Writer: Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Screenplay)

Starring: Danny Glover, Kevin Peter Hall, Gary Busey, Ruben Blades, Maria Conchita Alonso, Bill Paxton, Robert Davi, Adam Baldwin, Kent McCord

 

Plot: Amidst a territorial gang war in 1997, a sophisticated alien hunter stalks the citizens of Los Angeles and the only man between him and his prey is veteran L.A.P.D. officer, Lieutenant Mike Harrigan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Sequel

 

Story: Predator 2 starts by taking us to LA in the middle of a drug war with Lieutenant Mike Harrigan (Glover) leading his team Danny Archuleta (Blades), Leona Cantrell (Alonso) and new member Jerry Lambert (Paxton) who has to start taking answers from FBI agent Peter Keyes (Busey).

When the crime bosses start getting killed as well as one of the men in Harrigan’s team it appears that the Predator (Hall) is cleaning up the streets using the same style of selecting its victims as we see how the Predator continues to collect trophies.

Predator 2 continues the idea from the original with an alien killing for trophies. The predator is only killing people he sees as a threats which we do learn from the original and this story continues to build on it. I will say having the Predator almost be the good guy does work because it does open the Predator universe to new possibilities in the future.

 

Actor Review

 

Danny Glover: Lieutenant Mike Harrigan is the hard working determined and rule breaking cop that gets the bad guy every single time but always finds himself in trouble from the higher ups. When his team start getting picked off he has to go against orders to find the killer who is also cleaning up the streets leading to a final showdown. Danny does a good job in this role showing how you didn’t need all muscles to take on the Predator.

Gary Busey: Peter Keyes is the FBI that comes into take over the investigation only to find himself having Harrigan following him around getting involved with the truth about why he is there. Gary does a good job but never truly make the character his own.

Kevin Peter Hall: The Predator is different one from the first film and this time he is stalking the streets of LA. It seems to be studying its victims making sure only to target the armed ones but when it kills one of Harrigan’s men it becomes the main target off his rage. I like how this film opens up the universe of the Predator character giving us a different direction in which it could go in the future. Kevin fits the bills for this character perfect with his imposing screen presence.

Ruben Blades: Danny Archuleta is Harrigan’s closest friend and partner on the force the two have been loyal to each other for their whole careers. Danny finds himself having to keep Harrigan calm whenever he would start to lose the plot. Ruben does well with the character that is not developed as well as it should.

Support Cast: Predator 2 has a bigger supporting cast than the original with Bill Paxton as fast talking charming detective being the star attraction on them.

Director Review: Stephen HopkinsStephen does a good job expanding the Predator universe.

 

Action: Predator 2 has plenty of action with a larger body count helping have wilder action scenes that original.

Horror: Predator 2 does use the horror element by showing all the different kills the Predator does.

Sci-Fi: Predator 2 throws the alien into LA as we see man versus alien coming through again.

Settings: Predator 2 is set in LA which works for the motives of the Predator wanting to only kill the threats with weapons.
Special Effects
: Predator 2 uses the special effects really well throughout.

Suggestion: Predator 2 is one for the action horror fans to enjoy as this is a good sequel. (Action Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Final battle.

Worst Part: LA is a busy setting.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Tagline: Pull over, park, and pray.

 

Overall: Good sequel to quality original.

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Kindergarten Cop (1990)

copDirector: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Murray Salem, Herschel Weingrod, Timothy Harris (Screenplay) Murray Salem (Story)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed, Linda Hunt, Richard Tyson, Carroll Baker, Cathy Moriarty

 

Plot: A tough cop is given his most difficult assignment ever: to masquerade as a kindergarten teacher in order to find a drug dealer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Arnold

 

Story: Kindergarten Cop starts with Detective John Kimble (Schwarzenegger) tracking his prime suspect Cullen Crisp Jr (Tyson) who is searching for his ex-wife who is on the run from him. When Kimble finally gets his man he needs to locate Cullen’s ex-wife to finally put him away which means teaming up with Detective Phoebe O’Hara (Reed) and go undercover as a Kindergarten teacher.

The plan goes wrong early on when O’Hara becomes sick meaning Kimble has to take over the undercover role. Kimble trying to control the class becomes his hardest mission and trying to work out who the mother is just keeps becoming a difficult task with many leads from his class of Kindergarteners.

Kindergarten Cop takes the undercover cop genre putting a nice twist on it to make this also have the one man out of his comfort zone comedy. The action side of the story is toned down a lot but this isn’t a bad thing because we don’t really need this to be too action heavy. The crime side of the story shows that innocent victims can be the child but more importantly this film does show us the serious side that suffering child do go through if not dealt with accordingly. This is a great entertaining crime comedy that everyone does a great job in.

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Detective John Kimble has spent years of his police career trying to bring down Cullen Crisp, when he finally gets his man he must locate his missing wife that can finally convict him of all his crimes. Finding the wife means going undercover as a kindergarten teacher to find the son but this turns out to be a lot harder than Kimble had planned. Arnold shows how he can handle both action and comedy with this performance.

Penelope Ann Miller: Joyce Palmieri is a teacher at the school that Kimble takes a liking too. She has a son that is in Kimble’s class as her and Kimble get close she becomes one of his leads. Penelope is good in this role where we see both sides of her character.

Pamela Reed: Detective Phoebe O’Hara is the partner Kimble has to work with, she was meant to be the one to go undercover but when she gets sick she has to take the back seat. The two are an odd couple which adds to extra comedy in the film. Pamela is good as the sidekick and opposite to Arnold.

Richard Tyson: Cullen Crisp Jr is the man that Kimble has been tracking down but not before he learns about the location of his ex-wife who can put him away for the rest his life. Richard is good as this cocky crime boss.

Support Cast: Kindergarten Cop has a supporting cast which includes the fellow teachers, cops, mothers and most importantly the children who help Kimble unlock the case.

Director Review: Ivan ReitmanIvan gives us a good crime comedy that has a unique twist on the undercover cop story.

 

Action: Kindergarten Cop has action which is needed for the film but isn’t action heavy with just chase scenes being involved.

Comedy: Kindergarten Cop uses the situation to create the comedy as we Arnold in the position we would never imagine to be in.

Crime: Kindergarten Cop throws us into the world where we follow a cop tracking down a criminal, this is all easy to follow and helps the story out along the way.

Settings: Kindergarten Cop takes us to a small town for the most part of this setting as we see it be a place where people look to start a new life in.
Special Effects
: Kindergarten Cop has effects you would expect to see in this without needing to turn to them.

Suggestion: Kindergarten Cop is one I do think every could enjoy from start to finish. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Training the kids.

Worst Part: Television editing this film down.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Sadly, we are having.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too:

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $26 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

Tagline: An undercover cop in a class by himself.

 

Overall: One of Arnold’s best and most underrated pieces of work.

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