Striking Distance (1993)

Director: Rowdy Herrington

Writer: Rowdy Herrington, Marty Kaplan (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dennis Farina, Tom Sizemore, Brion James, Robert Pastorelli

 

Plot: Coming from a police family, Tom Hardy ends up fighting his uncle after the murder of his father. Tom believes the killer is another cop, and goes on the record with his allegations. Demoted then to river duty, the killer taunts Tom.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Crime Mystery

 

Story: Striking Distance starts as we learn about Detective Tom Hardy (Willis) who is from a cop family with father Vince (Mahoney) killed during a high-speed pursuit around the time of a trial against Tom’s former partner Jimmy Detillo (Pastoreli) for excess force used that Tom went against. We also have a serial killer on the loose but soon everything gets tied together with the killer caught even though it isn’t the man Tom believes it is.

After Jimmy kills himself Tom gets reassigned to a river rescue, when a body turns up in the river, Tom’s Uncle Captain Nick Detillo (Farina) enters the investigation. Tom gets a new partner in Jo Christman (Parker) but Tom’s life is turned upside down as the serial killer has returned, taunting Tom as he killed their latest victim, but this clashes Tom with Nick as Tom searches for the truth.

 

Thoughts on Striking Distance

 

Characters/PerformanceDetective Tom Hardy is from a cop family, he has tracked a serial killer and doesn’t believe the outcome of the hearing, when his father is killed Tom is moved to a small department, now he is being targeted by the killer who is making it personal but Hardy must go against all odds and opinions to solve the case. Jo is the latest partner Tom works with, she is by the book questioning Tom’s motives but also loyal to the Tom’s beliefs. Captain Nick doesn’t want to push Tom out but must to keep his department working.

Performance wise, Willis is good in this film which is one where we see the typical cop needing to solve the case before it is too late, Parker is solid throughout and makes for good supporting performance with Farina who was always good in cop roles do everything well and we also have a good performance from Sizemore.

StoryThe story is what the audience of the crime genre will enjoy, it has the fallen cop who must solve the case that has haunted him for years, this is all by the book and has twists coming in it which you might see coming in places but does have enough to keep us guessing too.

Action/Crime/MysteryThe action sequences are good car chases which are still slightly iconic now, the crime story is all about how cops track killers and not everyone believes everything which does play into the mystery needing to be solved.

SettingsWe start in the big city but move to the countryside which shows the different worlds that Tom must live through to prove his beliefs.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable crime mystery that will keep you guessing till the end, it has solid action sequence you can enjoy even if they are slightly barmy at times.

 

Overall: Good crime mystery.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – P – Philadelphia (1993)

Director: Jonathan Demme

Writer: Ron Nyswaner (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Milman, Karen Finley, Antonio Banderas, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, Ron Vawter, Robert Ridgely, Charles Napier

 

Plot: When a man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.


Tagline – No one would take on his case… until one man was willing to take on the system.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Drama

 

Story: Philadelphia starts as we meet two rival lawyers, Joe Miller (Washington) who fights for the innocent and Andrew Beckett (Hanks) a company man who has risen up the firm to become an associate partner, but Andrew has been fighting a sickness, aids.

When Andrew gets fired from the law firm, he turns to Joe to sue for wrongly termination from the firm after he believes he was sabotaged because of his illness, but Joe’s own homophobic mindset and his questioning how contagion aids is. Joe eventually puts aside his prejudices and takes the case against the law firm, but it becomes a race against time for Andrew.

 

Thoughts on Philadelphia

 

Characters – Andrew Beckett is the brilliant lawyer on the rise within his firm, just after he gets a promotion, he finds himself getting sacked for having aids and being homosexual. He has always been good to the staff he works with and wins his cases but now he battles his illness and wants to sue for wrongful dismissal. Joe Miller is a homophobic ambulance chaser, he wins cases for personal injuries, he is reluctant at first but decides to take the case where he must learn to put his own prejudices aside. The rest of the characters focus around the law firm that dismiss Andrew and Andrew’s boyfriend Miguel as he supports him through his struggles.

PerformancesTom Hanks won an Oscar here, do I need to talk about how fantastic he is in this role, I think not. Denzel Washington also shows how brilliant he was in this role. The rest of the cast also give us wonderful performances throughout the film to make this one of the biggest films of the year.

StoryThe is a story about one man trying to fight against what he thinks is wrongful dismal for his sexual orientation and for having aids.  This is an important film that shows the discrimination people had with both people with aids and homosexuals which should never be a deciding part of whether to keep a member of staff. It is a powerful court room drama that shows us just how people can fight for what is right even if it is against their belief.

SettingsThe film is set in Philadelphia which is a beautiful setting, we are mostly in the courtroom which is now becoming one of my favourite locations for a film to take place in.


Scene of the Movie –
Andrew’s testimony.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is a difficult subject matter to watch for some.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most important films you will see, it has two truly great performances with a supporting cast that is equally as great throughout the film.

 

Overall: Brilliant drama about the struggle.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – I – In the Name of the Father (1993)

Director: Jim Sheridan

Writer: Terry George, Jim Sheridan (Screenplay) Gerry Conlon (Book)

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Pete Postlethwaite, John Lynch, Corin Redgrave, Beatie Edney

 

Plot: A man’s coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.


Tagline – In the name of truth… In the name of justice… In the name of love.

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful & Provoking

 

Story: In the Name of the Father starts as Gareth Peirce (Thompson) an English lawyer is listening to the story of Gerry Conlon (Day-Lewis) as he tells his story of why he was in England at the time of the bombing Gerry from Belfast during the middle of the battle between the Irish and the English, but not part of the IRA. He gets himself in trouble at home and gets sent to England to lay low.

When a bomb goes off in London Gerry gets blamed and coerced into confessing to the bombing by the overly aggressive English police, along with his father Giuseppe (Postlethwaite). Gareth is the only one that will stand up for him through the courts, can he have his name cleared.

 

Thoughts on In the Name of the Father

 

Characters – Gerry Conlon is a rebellious young Irish man that finds himself in London when one of the IRA bombs went off, being Irish he becomes a prime suspect in this terrorist attack and is forced into confessing to the murders he might not be the best-behaved man in the world, but he knows he isn’t a terrorist. Giuseppe Conlon is Gerry’s father that has always tried to teach his son the best and to be best he can be, he stands next to his son on trial while facing the same offences while being innocent. Gareth Peirce is the English lawyer that looks to prove the innocence of Gerry and Giuseppe, she is being told the story before putting her case together.

PerformancesDaniel Day-Lewis is as always fantastic in this role, he fully commits to the role like he does every time he gets a role. Pete Postlethwaite is wonderful in the supporting role despite only being 11 years older than Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson is good in her role through the film.

StoryThe story follows the wrongfully convicted Irish family that are sentenced to long term prison time for an IRA bombing attack they were never involved in. We see how the English police forced a confession out of the suspects giving proof that the nearly included terrorist Protection act.  The story does show us the panic created between the two countries during this time and how people will jump to quick answers to solve the problem in the short term.

BiopicThe movie shows the struggle the Conlon’s faced when facing and serving long prison sentences for crimes they have never committed, with only one lawyer that will try to support their case.

SettingsEach setting shows us where the characters have been during the events of the film, how they were not near the bombing but still blamed.


Scene of the Movie –
The prison tribute.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact not everything follows the truth about what happened.

Final ThoughtsThe story of Gerry Conlon and his fellow friends and family that were wrongfully imprisoned is another case of panic to solve the problem rather than solve the case, we have a character that starts off flawed in places before maturing into a man facing reality.

 

Overall: Powerful performed biopic.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Director: Adam Marcus

Writer: Dean Lorey, Jay Huguely (Screenplay) Jay Huguely, Adam Marcus (Story)

Starring: John D LeMay, Kari Keegan, Kane Hodder, Steven Williams, Steven Culp, Erin Gray

 

Plot: Serial killer Jason Voorhees’ supernatural origins are revealed.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brave Enough to Go in New Direction

 

Story: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday starts as the FBI take down and blow up Jason Voorhees (Hodder) but his heart even away from his body still beats. When the autopsy is going on the coroner eats the heart becoming a killing machine. Bounty hunter Creighton Duke (Williams) offers to kill him once and for all ending the Voorhees rampage.

When we learn that Jason is going body from body looking for a way to come back from beyond the grave as he targets Jessica Kimble (Keegan) and her baby the only way Jason can return with Steven Freeman (LeMay) needing to protect the love of his life and child from the killing machine.

 

Thoughts on Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

 

Characters/PerformanceSteven Freeman is the only one who knows what can save Jessica the love of his life but she won’t let him near their baby. Jessica is the eldest remaining member of the Voorhees family who could make Jason return from beyond the grave. Creighton Duke is a world-famous bounty hunter that kills for the money and now he wants the bounty of Jason Voorhees.

Performance wise, it would be fair to say that everyone is fine through the film without being anything as you would expect from the 9th instalment of a franchise.

StoryThe story does go in a very different direction which I think is a great idea because this time we have Jason in spirit but we lose any slasher impact the story should have. The story does well being braver but could easily be more of a rip off of Halloween now.

Horror The horror is fine with plenty of gore but nothing we haven’t really seen before.

SettingsWe don’t have any iconic settings which disappoints, in fact I don’t think we even go near the lake.

Special EffectsMuch like the last time the CGI is poor but the practical effects are all great.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good move for the 9th instalment but just doesn’t feel like a Friday the 13th movie.

 

Overall: Bloody, gory and strange.

Rating

 

 

Groundhog Day (1993)

Director: Harold Ramis

Writer: Danny Rubin, Harold Ramis (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky, Brian Doyle-Murray, Marita Geraghty

 

Plot: A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bill Murray Machine

 

Story: Groundhog Day starts as weatherman Phil (Murray) is reluctantly covering the fourth year in a row Groundhog Day where the people of the small town believe if the groundhog appears it marks the start of spring. O his trip Phil is joined by his faithful cameraman Larry (Elliott) and new producer Rita (MacDowell).

When a blizzard keeps Phil in the town for one more night, he finds himself waking up on Groundhog Day once again, confused about what is happening he makes nothing of it at first, but when the day keeps restarting Phil starts to question his own sanity. Phil starts by taking advantage of the situation using each day to get to know Rita better, but just how many times can he go through the same day.

 

Thoughts on Groundhog Day

 

Characters/PerformancePhil is the weatherman who wants to do more with his career, he is selfish and doesn’t care about what happened to anybody in his life. He does go through the change in the film as he continues to live the same day getting to know the whole town. Rita is the new love interest who is also career minded, Larry is the cameraman and like most of the rest of the characters are largely forgettable.

Bill Murray is the star of this movie, he has to show his range as an actor while the rest of the cast just must go through the motions of repeating their actions.

StoryThe story is good as it shows how one man can repeat one day over again, learning about people who would never take time to get to know. The story shows us just how much the character of Phil could go through he is does go through the same day.

Comedy/Fantasy/RomanceWe have good moments of laughter from Bill Murray but not too many full blown laughs, the fantasy side comes from the repeating the same day with the romance coming from Phil trying to get to know Rita.

SettingsThe film is mostly set within the small town which makes for a good setting for the big cocky weatherman.

Special EffectsWe don’t have many special effects but the ones we do have all work very well for the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is considered a classic and I can understand why but for me a lot of this film is just how great Murray can be.

 

Overall: This is a full-blown Bill Murray vehicle.

Rating