City Slickers (1991) Movie Review

Director: Ron Underwood

Writer: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel (Screenplay)

Starring: Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby, Patricia Wettig, Helen Slater, Jack Palance, Noble Willingham

Plot: On the verge of turning 40, an unhappy Manhattan yuppie is roped into joining his two friends on a cattle drive in the southwest.


Tagline – Yesterday They Were Businessmen. Today They’re Cowboys. Tomorrow They’ll Be Walking Funny.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Little Comedy

Story: City Slickers starts as three 40-year-olds Mitch (Crystal), Phil (Stern) and Ed (Kirby) have been spending years going on adventure holidays together with their families. Mitch however is getting tired of his everyday life in New York City where he believes he should have done more with his life and for his birthday, Phil and Ed get him a special present.

The three are going on a boys holiday in a cattle drive across the south, one which will bring them back to nature and learn to find a new lust for life, while Phil must decide about his future after being caught teaching on his wife.

Thoughts on City Slickers

Characters – Mitch is the one of the three who has been having the biggest mid-life crisis, he has always worried and now he has seen him career take a turn he wasn’t prepared for, he gets sent on the cattle drive which would have given him a chance to reconnect with nature for the first time. Phil has been stuck in a marriage where he is controlled, he works horrible hours and gets caught out cheating on his wife, left with nothing, he starts to stand up for himself when it comes to facing a future with nothing in it. Ed has always been a womaniser, he has just got married though, which sees him wondering if it was the right thing to do. The three have always been there for each other and now they are finally needing to talk to each other about the problems they kept secret.

PerformancesBilly Crystal in the leading role of the three does bring his charm, while some of his comedy might well miss or feel like it is all pop culture references, he works wonderfully well with Daniel Stern and Bruno Kirby, the three each get a moment to shine and have great chemistry together.

StoryThe story here follows the three lifelong friends that have been vacationing together for years and now after starting to worry about their own futures, get to go on a boys trip on a cattle run, where they can final start to see just what the future might hold for them. This is a story that for the 90’s would have translated to everything that people get caught up in during life, but when you look at the more model society, the friendship would be a lot closer with the technology use. With this story we do get an interesting look at what people might find a happiness in life, in a world they would never have imagined.

ComedyThe comedy in the film comes from Billy Crystal trying to bring his wise cracking lines forward during most of the scenes, it doesn’t always work either.

SettingsThe film is set in the South of America which would see cowboys and cattle drives happening, the backdrops could be from any western too.


Scene of the Movie – The birth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The witty lines just don’t work.

Final Thoughts This is a comedy that focuses on friendship and finding the reality of life, it does show how the three friends must learn they are just getting started in life.

Overall: Life’s an Adventure 101.

Hook (1991)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: James V Hart, Nick Castle, Malia Scotch Marmo (Screenplay) J.M. Barrie (Books)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Caroline Goodall, Charlie Korsmo, Amber Scott

 

Plot: When Captain Hook kidnaps his children, an adult Peter Pan must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy.


Tagline – What if Peter Pan grew up?

Runtime: 2 Hours 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun-Filled Fantasy

 

Story: Hook starts as we meet businessman Peter Banning (Williams) who has started over working leading to his children become distant, his wife Moira (Goodall) forces him to visit his Granny Wendy (Smith) in London for Christmas, where she sees how much Peter has changed since his childhood of never wanting to grow up.

Captain Hook (Hoffman) takes Peter’s children, which sees Peter needing to be pushed into returning to Neverland, a place he has long forgotten about, with Tinkerbell (Roberts) taking him there only for Hook to be left disappointed by the man Peter has become, Tinkerbell has three days to restore Peter’s faith in Neverland to save his children.

 

Thoughts on Hook

 

Characters – Peter Banning is a lawyer that has been neglecting his family, his Grandmother sees him losing his young heart that made her take him in, in the first place, Peter must confront his past to save his children from his old nemesis Captain Hook in Neverland, a place he has long since forgotten about. Peter has become everything he once hated as a child and shows how at times parents can get buried in their work. Captain Hook has been waiting for the day Peter Pan returns, he is left disappointed when he does return a shell of the boy that left, giving him three days to prepare for a battle, while having his own plan to get revenge on Peter. Tinkerbell comes to Peter to bring him back to Neverland, she helps transform him back to his original self, while showing him what he is still fighting for.

PerformancesRobin Williams was a great choice for this role, he gets to manages the serious adult side of everything as well as the playful side of Peter Pan with ease being able to swap between the two whenever he needs to. Dustin Hoffman as the villainous Hook has great enjoyment in this role where he does get to play along with his character. Julia Roberts does all she needs to do without being as involved as the lead too.

StoryThe story follows an older Peter Pan that must return to Neverland to save his own children after his old nemesis Captain Hook takes them there. This spin on the Peter Pan story is a wonderful on because see Peter grown up becoming everything he promised he wouldn’t shows us just how difficult being an adult can be, you will turn your back on parts of your childhood become what you once feared. This was always the meaning behind Peter Pan in the first place, finding an escape from the busy lives, now an adult must use this to save his own relationship with his children and family, which is what is important in life.

Adventure/Comedy/FantasyThe adventure side of the film takes Peter to Neverland to relive moments of his childhood in a fantasy battle against pirates with fairies on their side. We do get elements of comedy, but even Robin Williams is held back from going into his full routine like we saw in Aladdin.

SettingsThe film uses the same settings that we know from Peter Pan, the London setting might well be a more modern one, but Neverland hasn’t aged a day since Peter has left.


Scene of the Movie –
The battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Pop culture references.

Final ThoughtsThis is a magical version of Peter Pan’s adventures showing how life can change for adults who never thought they would be when they were children.

 

Overall: Magical adventure.

Rating

 

 

Harrison Ford Weekend – Regarding Henry (1991)

Director: Mike Nichols

Writer: J.J. Abrams (Screenplay)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Annette Bening, Bill Nunn, Mikki Allen, Donald Moffat

 

Plot: After being shot, a man loses his memory and must relearn speech and mobility, but he has a loving family to support him.


Tagline – His life was based on power, success, and ruthlessness. Until a bullet made him think again.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Drama

 

Story: Regarding Henry starts as we meet hotshot lawyer Henry Turner (Ford) he closes cases with ease and has the full trust of the partners in the firm, his strict behaviour does return home too with the way he controls his daughter Rachel (Allen), with his wife Sarah (Bening) dealing with reminding him of names at parties.

Henry’s life is turned upside down when he is shot in a head, leaving him with no memory, speech or mobility. Bradley (Nunn) his physical Therapist comes into this life to help teach him again as Sarah must adapt without the income that Henry once bought in. with Henry’s recovery going well, can a return home make him better, both in health and in his own personal standards of treating people.

 

Thoughts on Regarding Henry

 

Characters – Henry is a lawyer, he closes cases with ease, but doesn’t seem to be close to his family or friends, busy working for the most part of his life. When he gets shot in the head, he must learn to recover and learn everything again, this shows Henry a new way to look at life which will make him a better person. Sarah is the wife of Henry, she supports him through the tough time knowing he will remember his life in time. Bradley is the physical therapist that helps Henry break the first hurdles in his recovery.

PerformancesHarrison Ford gives a performance we wouldn’t know him for, he does well for the most part, but there are moments he doesn’t hit the performance like he should. Annette Bening is good in her role through the film with Bill Nunn adding the extra moments needed in this film.

StoryThe story here plays out like a fantasy film in places, we have one man that has a lift changing injury that makes him see life in a different point of view.  We see his recovery process which shows us how the people in his life can change their opinions on one person after an injury impairs their abilities. This does tell the recovery process and clearly shows the changes Henry goes though which are good to see through the film.

RomanceThe romance of the film is standard it shows the life both Henry and Sarah have had before and after the injury.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in New York city, which is great as I always say, which helps show how the busy life of Henry affected his life.


Scene of the Movie –
The rehab.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Moments Ford doesn’t hit the injury the way you believe.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good drama that shows how injuries can affect lives, not just the person that is injured but the people close to them too.

 

Overall: Good Film which shows Ford in different light.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Crime – H – Hudson Hawk (1991)

Director: Michael Lehmann

Writer: Steven E de Souza, Daniel Waters (Screenplay) Bruce Willis, Robert Kraft (Story)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Danny Aiello, Andie MacDowell, James Coburn, Richard E Grant, Sandra Bernhard

 

Plot: A cat burglar is forced to steal Da Vinci works of art for a world domination plot.


Tagline – Watch your step. Hold your breath. Hang on for dear life. And catch…the hawk.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terrible Crime Comedy

 

Story: Hudson Hawk starts when Hudson (Willis) is released from prison, only to be drawn into committing one more burglary with his partner in crime Tommy Five-Tone (Aiello). The next day Hudson learns that not everything was as simple as just stealing a horse figure.

Hudson learns that the piece that he steals is involved in the world dominations and follow a strange amount of events, finds himself working for Darwin Mayflower (Grant), stealing the great works of Da Vinci.

 

Thoughts on Hudson Hawk

 

Characters – Hudson Hawk is a cat burglar that even after getting released from prison ends up back in the world of crime, only after stealing the first piece of art, he ends up needing to battle a world domination plan which takes him to the most famous art galleries in the world. he is wise-cracking that often on makes his own holes deeper without trying to. Tommy Five-Tone is the best friend of Hudson and does work with him on the crimes, he is often the butt of most of the jokes going on through the film. Anna Baragli is a nun that is undercover trying to stop the Da Vinci crystals coming together, she pushes off the flirts from Hudson who doesn’t learn her true place until too late. George Kaplan is the head of the CIA team tracking down Hudson, he knows each move he makes and will follow him to every location the job takes him too.

PerformancesBruce Willis really struggles with anything comical and this shows just how badly he handles this material, Danny Aiello does ok with the supporting comic moments. Andie MacDowell looks lost in this role for the most part, with only James Coburn seemingly knowing his place in the film.

StoryThe story follows a cat burglar that gets given a job which soon sees him travel the world forced into helping criminals try to claim world dominance. The story here does feel very messy, it might well surprise where things go, but they do end up feeling completely random and make you feel like you are watching a sketch show rather than a coherent story. this is just a story that becomes difficult to watch and will end up making you lose interest quickly in the film.

Action/Crime/Comedy The action plays into the comedy, we have silly moments throughout the film which try to get laughs and fail to achieve this, we do enter a crime world that does feel like it will just be robbery before getting out of hand.

SettingsThe film does use the locations of the famous galleries from around the world for the main locations, with each needing to used for the latest robbery.


Scene of the Movie –
The first robbery.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The comedy is a big miss throughout the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sloppy comedy that misses more often than it hits, it feels like a drag to watch and completely miss-cast movie.

 

Overall: Sloppy throughout.

Rating

 

 

Doc Hollywood (1991)

Director: Michael Caton-Jones

Writer: Jeffrey Price, Peter S Seaman, Daniel Pyne (Screenplay) Neil B Shulman (Book)

Starring: Michael J Fox, Julie Warner, Barnard Hughes, Woody Harrelson, David Ogden Stiers, Frances Sternhagen, George Hamilton, Bridget Fonda

 

Plot: A young doctor causes a traffic accident in a small town and is sentenced to work for some days at the town hospital.


Tagline – This summer’s prescription for comedy

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Small Town Comedy

 

Story: Doc Hollywood starts as we meet hotshot doctor Ben Stone (Fox) who is on his way to a cosmetic surgery job in Beverly Hills only for him to have an accident and upsetting the locals. Ben is forced into working for 32-hours in the local doctors to pay for his crime, the Mayor (Stiers) is trying to talk into staying in the town as the new doctor and Ben must learn to navigate the town for the week.

In the town Ben starts to fall for the feisty ambulance driver Lou (Warner) who just might give him a reason to stay away from the big city life.

 

Thoughts on Doc Hollywood

 

Characters – Ben Stone has worked for years to get to the very top of his field, he is finally getting a chance to make serious money in the world of cosmetic surgery, this has made him cocky and selfish in nature. After his accident he does try to talk himself out of any trouble only to end up needing to be a small towns doctor for the week, he finds himself torn between the high life or the quiet life after falling for a woman in the town. Lou is the ambulance driver in the town, Ben falls for her, she has her own ambitions and has made her sacrifices along the way after a previous heartache.  Dr Hogue is the current doctor in the town, he is old school style and his ways clash with Ben, he doesn’t like the new way of doctoring, but his health isn’t what it used to be. Hank is the love rival of Ben, he has been good friends with Lou for years and his fast-taking style tries to sell everyone insurance.

PerformancesMichael J Fox is fantastic in the leading role here, he gets to show his natural charisma to show us how unlikeable a cocky and likeable a character can be. Julie Warner is great as the love interest that could have too much baggage for a man like Ben, we see how she makes us want and understand her characters decisions. We get a good supporting cast who all give performances that fit the characters they are playing.

StoryThe story here shows us how a successful doctor on route to a big job which would leave him in the life of luxury, but along the way he ends up stuck in a small town getting back to the roots of what it is to be a doctor of a small community. This is a story that while is generic is easily on that can be enjoyed, we see how one man who has only ever thought about himself starts helping people in need of help and learning this is what will make him feel happy in life. We do get the town dynamics which we would expect to see and of course we need the love story as the woman Ben meets could help him see life a new way. This is one story that has a sweetness to everything going on and is easily one we could see everyone enjoy.

Comedy/RomanceThe film does have a wonderful amount of comedy that often comes Ben’s reaction to anything he isn’t used too. The romance side of the film shows us just how meeting someone can change your view on life.

SettingsThe film shows us how a high rolling doctor must adapt to quiet town after committing a minor crime, this shows us just how different the two worlds Ben must be involved.


Scene of the Movie –
Leaving town.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain supporting characters would be classed as generic small town figures.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable comedy that showed us just how talented Michael J Fox was, it might well be generic formula and this only makes this more enjoyable movie.

 

Overall: Fun serious rom com.

Rating