Franchise Weekend – Candyman (1992)

Director: Bernard Rose

Writer: Bernard Rose (Screenplay) Clive Barker (Story)

Starring: Virginia Madsen, Tony Todd, Xander Berkeley, Kasi Lemmons, Vanessa Williams, DeJuan Guy, Ted Raimi

 

Plot: The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster’s myth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantastically Scary Horror

 

Story: Candyman starts as we learn the legend of the Candyman as researcher Helen Lyle (Madsen) and her partner Bernadette (Lemmons) are collecting accounts of what happens if you say the name ‘Candyman’ in the mirror five times he will appear to you and gut you with his hook.

Helen is married to college professor Trevor Lyle (Berkeley) who teaches urban legends that sweep through word of mouth, sounds like the Candyman story. Helen and Bernie continue their investigation which takes them to a rough neighbourhood where one of the most famous cases of the Candyman took place.

Learning more about the Candyman legend and the horrifying truth about the man Daniel Robitaille (Todd) who was butchered and stung to death. When Helen finds, herself getting a visit from the real Candyman (Todd) who places her in the middle of a crime where she is accused of murder, but this is just a game for the Candyman trying to make his legend continue or will she break the curse.

 

Thoughts on Candyman

 

Characters/PerformanceHelen fills the journalistic leading lady, yes, I know she is a grad student researcher but this offers her a chance to look into the truth of urban legends. This is a standard leading character but at least one that is designed correctly for this style of film. the Candyman is the character we all came to see, he is a striking presence on screen that strikes fear into anybody who sees him, the hooked hand and bees offer genuine fear from this character. Trevor is the husband but is distant through the film that Helen believes is having an affair.

Performances, Tony Todd is fantastic in this role, he created a brand-new icon in horror that is scary in every single scene he is in. Virginia Madsen also shines in this role giving us a strong female lead which always works in horror. Xander Berkeley does ok but doesn’t feel like part of the main story in places.

StoryBringing us a story that focuses on the idea of an urban legend being true but only if you believe in it does work for horror. Having a revengeful spirit killing from beyond the grave will always add to any tension in horror and having a full investigation that fills in the backstory is all we need from this film’s story to add scares and motivation behind it all.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy of what the Candyman stands for is great and built up wonderfully with the horror coming from nearly any scene the Candyman is in because he will kill in the most brutal way with his hook and haunt the dreams of Helen.

SettingsThe film uses to main settings, the ones that are for Helen’s normal life and the bad side of the tracks if you like which shows the dark world the legend has been built up from.

Special EffectsThe special effects used here brilliant, mostly practical ones as we see the final image of what the real Candyman looks like with bees and all will add even more fear to the performance.

Final ThoughtsEasily one of the most iconic horror movies ever made that shows us all horror from one small legend.

 

Overall: Stunning horror a must watch for any horror fan out there.

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White Men Can’t Jump (1992)

whiteDirector: Ron Shelton

Writer: Ron Shelton (Screenplay)

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Woody Harrelson, Rosie Perez, Tyra Ferrell, Cylk Cozart, Kadeem Hardison

 

Plot: Black and white basketball hustlers join forces to double their chances.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Sports Drama Comedy

 

Story: White Men Can’t Jump starts when we see Billy Hoyle (Harrelson) arriving at Venice Beach a notorious black man basketball court where Sidney Deane (Snipes) is a known hustler on the court. Billy looking completely out of place gets one over Sidney as was a former college player who needs to make a fast buck for himself and his girlfriend Gloria (Perez).

Sidney sees the skills Billy has and talks him into working as a partnership using Billy’s skills and Sidney’s connections to make the money fast. The two have their differences along the way but must put everything between in the background to win the new tournament that will help the both with their financial issues.

 

Thoughts on White Men Can’t Jump

 

Characters/PerformanceSidney is the streetwise hustler that has the gift of the talking his way out of any situation. Sidney can go on the court but he is also a very good businessman trying to support his family. Billy is terrible with money but a great basketball player, he is hustling to clear a debt to supporting his girlfriend who is also a firecracker who dream of being on jeopardy.

Wesley Snipes and Woody Harrelson are fantastic as the unlikely couple of hustlers showing they have chemistry to pull off every scene they are in. Rosie Perez brings the fire needed for her role as she helps Woody look all the more innocent in the role.stars

StoryThe story is easy to follow and shows how two men from difference backgrounds can work together to aim for the same thing once they put their difference behind them. We get to see the strong sides to both men as well as their weakness which is important for us to see as everything unfolds. I think this is an important story for people who need to learn to work as a team both on the court and off.

Comedy/SportsWe do get laughs coming through this film which is all good to enjoy, we also get to see the streets style of basketball where not everything is as planned to be as clean as professional basketball.

SettingsNearly the whole film is set in LA where we do spend a lot of time on the wrong sides of the tracks for Billy but this shows how honest these men can be on the court.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is a good time film that is well worth a watch by all the fans of the actors, the sport and comedy dramas.

 

Overall: A film that can be enjoyed by all that see it.

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Single White Female (1992)

posterDirector: Barbet Schreoder

Writer: Don Roos (Screenplay) John Lutz (Novel)

Starring: Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steven Weber, Peter Friedman, Stephen Tobolowsky, Frances Bay

 

Plot: A woman advertising for a new roommate finds that something very strange is going on with the tenant who decides to move in.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Stalker Roommate Film

 

Story: Single White Female starts when advertising computer tech Allison Jones (Fonda) has a big break up with her current partner Sam (Weber) leading to her reaching desperate times with her career, trying to find the income she looks for a new roommate to help with the rent.

The ideal roommate comes into Allison’s life, Hedra (Leigh) a young lady that has great chemistry with Allison. When Sam comes back into Allison’s life Hedra starts getting jealous leading to a string of unusual events affecting Allison’s life, Allison soon learns the truth about Hedra needing to find a way to move her out before her own life becomes in danger.

 

Thoughts on Single White Female

 

StoryThe old psycho roommate story, well this does give us a female driven version of the story with most of the men being made out to be horrible throughout, we have plenty of by the books material but if it isn’t broken why fix it right? This is an easy watch and you can believe how everything unfolds without it being anything that stands out from the rest in the genre.

ThrillerThis is a film that does keep us on edge through the film wondering just how the clogs will be ticking inside the head of Hedra.

Characters/PerformanceAllison comes off a strong career driven woman but slightly naïve when it comes to other things in her life, she is happy to have a lying cheating boyfriend but struggles to make friends in the big city. Hedra is an interesting character who is happy to get obsessed with what she thinks is her perfect friend if not sister, calm calculated through each and every decision she makes.

The performance from both Fonda and Leigh are great with Leigh stealing the show as the psycho roommate. We do have a few other characters but they don’t get enough time to shine with their limited screen time.stars

SettingsThe settings for this film keep us within the apartment for the most part with only glimpse outside in the city. Keeping everything inside the apartment helps with the suspense of not knowing someone before letting the live with you.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that builds on the psycho roommate idea with a very strong female leading performance between the two actresses.

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Overall: Well-made psycho roommate film

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Malcolm X (1992)

malcolmDirector: Spike Lee

Writer: Arnold Perl, Spike Lee (Screenplay) Alex Haley, Malcolm X (Book)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Albert Hall, Al Freeman Jr, Delroy Lindo, Spike Lee, Theresa Randle, Kate Vernon

 

Plot: Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Denzel’s Powerhouse

 

Story: Malcolm X starts as Malcolm X (Washington) himself tells us all about his childhood and troubles with the white clans men his parents had. We pick up his story as he works with Shorty (Lee) during ‘war time’ (I am not sure which war though). We see how Malcolm starts working for gangster West Indian Archie (Lindo) who enjoys how street smart Malcolm is.

Betraying Archie, Malcolm finds himself trying to go out on his own only to find himself in jail and this is where he gets taught the ways of Elijah Muhammad (Freeman Jr) who teaches him the way of God and Islam so when he is free from prison he can preach against the white men in America. Malcolm X went onto become one of the most iconic figures in the equal rights movement even if he ways were different to Martin Luthor King.

Malcolm X is an extremely long look at one of the iconic men in the equal rights movement in America. We get to see his full transformation from gangster to preacher to revolutionary leader. The story is extremely detailed but it would be fair to say we could have had a lot cut out from this film so it doesn’t take nearly 3 and half hours to get through. This is a good history lesson in the end but I would say it is only a one-time watch.

Denzel gives us a brilliant leading man performance showing all his potential to be one of the biggest stars in the industry. When you look at the supporting cast we don’t get too much out of most of these characters which is disappointing as their story is just as important to Malcolm’s and with a film this long we could have done more to create a more equal story for these characters.

 

Overall: This is a good even if long history lesson.

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Hard Boiled (1992)

hardDirector: John Woo

Writer: Barry Wong (Screenplay) John Woo (Story)

Starring: Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Leung, Teresa Mo, Philip Chan, Kwok Chun-Feng, Anthony Wong

 

Plot: A tough-as-nails cop teams up with an undercover agent to shut down a sinister mobster and his crew.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Wow

 

Story: Hard Boiled starts as Inspector Yuen known as Tequila (Chow) is in the middle of a battle between two different sides of the Triads who are struggling for power in the international arms trade. He loses his partner in the latest attempt to bring members of the mobsters down but knows who are the people in play with Mr Hoi (Kwan) and newcomer Johnny Wong (Wong).

As Tequila gets closer to his answers he learns of the mysterious outsider Alan (Leung) who works on the inside of both sides will be Tequila’s best assets when it comes to taking out the mobsters once and for all.

Hard Boiled is an action crime thriller that is just something that leaves you with the feeling of believing the hype. We get non-stop action sequences around the crime story which is easy to follow. The story can come off slightly thin because it is just about cops trying to take down criminals. We don’t get many twists because this is all about the action.

 

Actor Review

 

Yun-Fat Chow: Inspector ‘Tequila’ Yuen has been trying to take down the mobsters for years and when he loses his partner he becomes even more obsessed with stopping them. He is constantly being held up by his superiors that are tired of the body counts each encounter leaves but now he is closer than ever with the help of Alan. Yun-Fat is great in this role as we see an action at his very best.

Tony Leung: Alan is working undercover within the mobs, he is doing the dirty work he shouldn’t be involved with but it is anything to stay undetected by the mobs. He works with Tequila to finally finish his job. Tony is great in this role coming off cooler than the hot headed Tequila.

Teresa Mo: Teresa Chang is the on again off again girlfriend of Tequila, she doesn’t like how much he risks his life if they are to stay together but they do have great chemistry. Teresa is good in this supporting role without doing too much over the top.

Philip Chan: Supt Pang knows both men are trying to take down the same people but isn’t willing to let them know each other, he tries his hardest to control Tequila without much success. Philip does what you would expect for the character of authority in the story.

Support Cast: Hard Boiled has a supporting cast which includes the villains that are very typical for action along with the huge body count of victims in the film.

Director Review: John WooJohn gives us one of the most over the top action films ever with so much fire going on from start to finish all shot with the intensity needed for action.

 

Action: Hard Boiled is filled with the best action sequences you will ever see in film.

Crime: Hard Boiled is a film that is completely about the crime story the cops find themselves in the middle off.

Thriller: Hard Boiled keeps us on edge from start to finish through the story unfolding.

Settings: Hard Boiled uses the setting for added moments through the actions sequences which just adds to everything.
Special Effects
: Hard Boiled has amazing special effects for all of the action sequences.

Suggestion: Hard Boiled is one for all the action fans out there to go and watch. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The Hospital sequences.

Worst Part: Some people will say too much action.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

Tagline: As a cop, he has brains, brawn, and an instinct to kill.

 

Overall: Easily one of the greatest action films of all time.

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